During the last few weeks the United States presidential election has been a major topic of conversation. One of the principal issues has been the participation of the Latino community in the vote, especially with all the comments and proposals made by the Republican candidate Donald Trump about immigration reform.
It is undeniable that the Latino community is a major force in the upcoming presidential election in the United States. The growth of this sector of the population during recent years, as well as the continued growth that is predicted, is having a big impact on the country. During 2010 the immigrant population was counted at 40 million (almost 13% of the entire population of the country); 18 million are naturalized citizens, 11 million have temporary documentation, and the rest are unauthorized and without paperwork. The majority of unauthorized or undocumented immigrants are from Mexico (58%) and live in California, New York, New Jersey, or Florida.
Arrests for immigration violations
These days it is common to hear of undocumented immigrants being arrested across the country. Each day there is news of a significant number of arrests that often, sadly, separate families. Many do not know how to react or what to do in these cases. This year alone 408,807 undocumented immigrants have been arrested, the majority Mexicans, followed by Guatemalans and Hondurans.
Under United States law, any person who is not a citizen (whether or not he or she is documented or even has a green card) runs the risk of arrest if found without documents, if he or she has a criminal record, or has previously been deported. Many families in the U.S. that have a “mixed status” (some are citizens or have a green card and others are undocumented) face the threat of arrest.
There are various reasons for arrest, detention, and deportation. Among them are:
- Illegal entry into the country
- Suspected threat to national security
- Being convicted of 3 or more minor felonies
- Unable to prove length of stay after entering the country illegally
- Extensive abuse of visas
The process of arrest for immigration violations
As mentioned above, many people don’t know what to do in case of arrest. They do not understand the process and they experience fear and desperation. Here we offer some advice on what to do in case of arrest for an immigration violation (if you are arrested or if someone you know is arrested):
- DO NOT say anything about your migratory status.
- Inform a family member or friend of your whereabouts; in most cases you will be moved and eventually placed in a detention center for illegal immigrants.
- Avoid signing any documents you do not understand clearly; a detained person has rights which cannot be violated. You may unknowingly sign a document that forfeits your right to an immigration hearing or another one of your rights.
- If you are a family member or friend of the detained person, make sure you have the person’s full name and the names he or she goes by, alien registration number, date of birth, date of entry into the United States, criminal record, and any other type of migratory documentation.
- Be in constant communication with the detained person. This will reassure the person that he or she is not alone and that someone is overseeing their case.
- If the person faces a long detention, visit him or her and provide necessary items and money.
- Look for a good lawyer who can advise the detained person about possible ways to solve his or her case. The lawyer should be an expert in immigration, removal, detention, and deportation.
- Inform family members and friends about the situation of the detained person. This is especially important if the detained person has children as it will help reduce their distress.
- If an undocumented individual has disappeared or has not been heard from, a search can be initiated at the following link offered by the United States government: https://locator.ice.gov/
- Inform yourself about undocumented immigrant issues in the United States. You can find information at the following page: https://www.inmigracionusa.com/guias-de-inmigracion.html
Grupo MedLegal and our App offer you a way to keep loved ones or emergency contacts informed in case of an arrest for an immigration violation or problem with the authorities through an alert that sends them your current location at the click of a button. Many people in the Latino community today are using this service because of the increasing number of arrests in the country. You can download the app by clicking here.
Our business is dedicated to helping the Latino and non-Latino community alike, regardless of migratory status and whether or not you have your paperwork in order. We have more than 30 years of experience dealing with cases of traffic accidents, work accidents, workers’ compensation, and personal injury. Contact us to get the best advice from expert lawyers and the best medical treatment for your situation.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.