It appears as though the process associated with identifying and locating an illegal immigrant who is living in the U.S. has changed since President Donald Trump has taken his seat in the White House. Rather than taking a more ethical approach, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seem to be teaming up to catch illegal immigrants by way of “trapping” them. According to the Boston Globe, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts was able to get a hold of some emails that were exchanged between an ICE officer and a USCIS employee documenting their plan that would allow them to detain and even deport unauthorized immigrants who were seeking legal residency.
While it is common for both agencies to work together and collaborate with one another, the way in which they plotted to catch illegal immigrants isn’t.  
According to the news source, the “two federal immigration agencies coordinated a campaign to bring unauthorized immigrants who were seeking legal residency in for interviews at government offices, where they were then arrested, and in some cases, deported.” One of the documents obtained was an email that was sent back in October from Andrew Graham, who is an ICE officer, to a USCIS employee. In the email he stated, “As far as scheduling goes, I would prefer not to do them all at one time as it is [not] only a strain on our ability to transport and process several arrests at once, but it also has the potential to be a trigger for negative media interests, as we have seen in the past.”
Essentially, Graham wanted the interviews to be spaced out enough so that “the public would be less likely to find out about the arrests” and it would be easier for ICE officers to make the arrests. While these individuals were under the impression that they were going in for an interview that would help them get closer to obtaining legal status in the U.S., they were actually a part of a plan that would do the exact opposite.
However, after the ACLU discovered these documents, the union decided to file a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security which is responsible for overseeing ICE. The ACLU filed lawsuits on behalf of five immigrants and their spouses, “challenging the Trump administration’s practice of separating married couples as one spouse seeks legal status.” The immigration lawyers hired to represent these five individuals are claiming that the agency “set-up” their clients and “trapped” them which is not the traditional way ICE goes about detaining illegal immigrants.
The fact is, many immigrants, both unauthorized and legal, are always encouraged to reach out to their local USCIS field office for help. However, many will now be less inclined to do so after learning that the agencies who claim they can help them obtain legal status might be working against them.
Although lawsuits have only been filed on behalf of five immigrants, the news outlet highlighted that ICE detained 17 people at government offices in MA “where they were seeking legal status through their families.” Some of those individuals have already been deported. The lawsuits allege that the women listed in the lawsuits have “received final orders of removal” although they are “married to American citizens and are seeking legal status through spouses,” something the USCIS informed them that they would be able to do.
 
If you are an immigrant living in Boston, MA it is important that you speak with a MA immigration attorney as soon as possible.
 
Whether you need to renew your immigrant visa or you want to help your spouse obtain legal residency, now is the time to retain a Massachusetts immigration attorney to help you with this.
While the Trump Administration works to clean up one issue, another one seems to appear. While families once had to worry about ICE separating them at U.S. borders, now, immigrants cannot attend a scheduled interview at a USCIS field office without worrying that they too might be detained.
Therefore, if you are dealing with any type of immigration-related matter, it is best that you have an immigration and deportation attorney in Boston, MA working with you at all times. Rather than risk being deported or losing your status, it is best you allow one of our lawyers to assist you with your matter which can help reduce the chances of this happening.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *