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In the wake of legal changes, immigrants need protection

Every day, it seems as though we read about another change to immigration laws. While change is certainly not new with regard to immigration laws, the current climate of change feels particularly rapid and unstable.

In this environment, many people can be left confused, angry, frustrated, and as this NPR article highlights, afraid. However, whether you are a U.S. citizen or in the country with an expired visa, there are some important things you can do -- or not do -- in order to protect yourself during a difficult time.

  1. Don't assume you can predict the future. Assuming that certain orders will be suspended or that the political environment will change in your favor can lead to some upsetting realities if things don't play out the way you expect, particularly if you only planned for your predicted outcome.
  2. Try to stay calm and assess the situation. It can feel natural to panic when your future and your life in the U.S. could be in jeopardy. However, staying calm can help you make clear-headed decisions that are in your best interests.
  3. Don't ignore the situation. You can do things to protect yourself and your family in the wake of immigration law changes, whether that involves adjusting travel plans or scheduling a visa renewal appointment. Taking action will typically be far more productive than ignoring the situation or hoping it changes.
  4. Consult an attorney. If you are concerned about deportation or want to get on a path to citizenship, then legal guidance can help you navigate the system more easily. Without the help of a lawyer, you can wind up making some costly mistakes.

These can prove to be valuable reminders in the coming weeks and months as the Trump administration continues its focus on changing immigration policy. Whether you are here on a work visa or the child of parents who entered the country without permission, you can take steps to protect yourself and your life in the U.S.

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