When considering immigrating to the United States, it’s almost impossible to leave the state of Texas out of the game. Recent research conducted by the American Immigration Council shows that Texas wins the gold medal of the state with the highest percentage of detained illegal immigrants.
As neither the immigration inflow nor the strict policies associated with immigration are slowing down, it is important to know what to do in order to keep you and your family safe.
In this article, we lay down the main points and aspects you need to know in order to get help, as well as the proper assessment, in order for you and your family to stay out of the ICE’s blacklist.
A Brief History of Immigration
Besides California and New York, Texas plays a vital role when it comes to immigration, as it is one of the main states that surround the border with Mexico.
The first immigration boom in Texas happened during the last quarter of the 20th century, and by 1995 the number of legal immigrants had raised up to a total of 24 million in comparison to the 4.5 million back in the 1970s.
From the total population of legal immigrants back then, the leading country of origin was Mexico, with a total of 60%.
A lot has changed since then. Factors like globalization, population increase as well as lack of opportunities in third world countries generated the second boom of immigrants. Only this time they were completely illegal.
This second immigration boom took its toll in the U.S, as the states that were closer to the border of Mexico were the ones that started to get and retain most of that inflow.
Needless to say that by 2010, the majority of these illegal immigrants (about 62%) were from Mexico. However, the inflow headed by the Mexican people stopped by the time the 2009 recession hit the country, and it started to plateau and go down since then.
The Current State of Immigration Policies
The most recent administration attributes much of the economic problems in the U.S to illegal immigrants. This feeds a deeply rooted belief that illegal immigration shakes people off their jobs, destroys the local economy and raises the crime rate in the country.
Hence, the current state of immigration policies is oriented to reinforce protection and reduce foreign privileges.
The current government administration has announced the Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy in April this year, which focuses on children being separated from their illegal immigrant parents at the border in order to be transferred to a tent city in Tornillo.
What’s more, the current president Donald Trump is already planning on signing an executive order to end birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants.
What Really Happens with Zero Tolerance
Even though an order to stop “Zero Tolerance” was placed on June the 20th, the separation of families still continues. That’s why it is important that as an immigrant you educate yourself as best as possible, in order to stay protected from separation and deportation.
With the immigration epidemy at a high peak, anyone who is undocumented is at risk of facing separation or deportation. However, there are some things you or your family members can do in order to stay safe. The first one being your right to stay silent.
Staying silent is a universal right that applies to everyone living in the U.S. regardless of their immigration status. If law-enforcement knocks on your door, you can keep the door closed and ask the agents why they are visiting you and whether they are Immigration Agents or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers.
Keep in mind that these agents don’t have the right to invade your property, even if you agree to open the door unless a warrant signed by a judge is shown to you. Ask them to show you the warrant. If they only show you an administrative warrant of removal signed by immigration authorities, they don’t have the right to enter your property.
Finally, if they enter by using force, do not resist nor panic. Re-enforce your right to remain silent no matter what and ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The same applies if you or one of your family members ends up being taken away by the agents. The more you or they talk, the easier it will be for them to deport you or your family members.
How To Stay Protected
When you or one of your close family members is facing the risk of being deported, there are tips you can count on in order to protect you and them.
Educate Yourself: Know beforehand that in order to get your deportation process started, you need to be served prior with a Notice To Appear document.
To know if the document is legit, you need to make sure the following elements are provided in the document:
-Certification from the Department of Homeland Security
-The reasons why you may have violated the country’s immigration laws
-Date and time of your first notice
If any of these things are missing in the document, and you’re only notified via e-mail with a generic email address, then you’re very likely dealing with a scam.
However, in both cases, you need to contact an immigration lawyer right away so he or she can give you the proper assessment on how to proceed under these circumstances.
Know Your Rights and Your Responsibilities: This is vital so that you are aware of what to expect and what to demand in order for your case to run as smoothly as possible.
If Your Case Ends Up in Court: Don’t despair. You still get the right to have a lawyer that is not assigned by the court. The process looks exactly the same as with a criminal trial but with different constitutional protections.
Where to Ask for Help
If you’re facing a deportation process that seems unfair and don’t know what to do, the law professionals from Abdelhadi & Associates Law firm can help you sort out your case. They have all the relevant news and resources to get you educated on the matter of immigration and what you can do to defend yourself.
Moreover, they have a group of high-skilled attorneys that are specialized in immigration matters, and they can help you defend your case at court if needed.
Finally, be patient and don’t react negatively if an ICE person shows up at your house with a Notice to Appear order. Staying calm and asking for professional help immediately is the best thing you can do.