Since Donald Trump became president last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have increased arrests by 42 percent. A recent blitz of deportations have been in the news recounting the stories of long-time U.S. residents who were deported simply because they were undocumented immigrants, even though they never committed a crime while living in this country. For undocumented workers in California and all other states, the prospect of deportation has become a daily worry.
One of the most recent deportations was an Ohio man who had lived in the United States for almost 40 years. Not only is he married to a U.S. citizen and has four children who also are U.S. citizens, he owned several businesses and is described by his congressman as a “pillar of the community.” Nevertheless, he was deported to his home country of Jordan even though he has not stepped foot in that country for 39 years.
Soon after the advent of the Trump administration, the deputy director of ICE issued a statement saying that undocumented immigrants throughout the country “should be afraid.” He added that anyone who has violated U.S. law in any way, including by being in the country illegally, “should be looking over their shoulder.” He vowed that while ICE's main focus is still criminals, those under a deportation order also will be prioritized. Bottom line, however, he said that no one is exempt from arrest or from having deportation proceedings brought against them.
By now, undocumented workers and other immigrants are indeed afraid. With the recent spate of deportations, they might find it helpful to talk with an immigration attorney in the immediate future.
Source: CNN, “‘Pillar of the community' deported from US after 39 years to a land he barely knows,” Jomana Karadsheh and Kareem Khadder, Feb. 8, 2018