Recent immigrants to Texas complain of disinformation

San Antonio, TX – For many of the migrants Texas Governor Gregg Abbott sent to New York and Washington DC over the past few weeks, the bus journey was a dream come true. Going across the country for free and landing in the Big Apple? What could possibly be better? Unfortunately, once there many recent migrants discovered it will be a long while until they fulfill their American Dream. If ever. According to a recent VOA analysis, many immigrants from South America have no idea what to expect in the US. The skyscrapers in New York are awesome, and there’s Disneyland, and everyone has a fast car. That’s about it.

Immigration experts call this misinformation, or rather disinformation as many pay a lot of money to unscrupulous human traffickers offering them passage to the land of plenty.

Many immigrants have no idea of the legal process. No one explains to them the danger of crossing into the US without authorization. Some are so hopelessly misinformed they present themselves at a U.S. port of entry and ask for help. They are under the false impression that the border officials will simply let them in and, once on the other side of the border, all their problems will be solved – they’ll get work permits and benefits, and they’ll live just like any American.

What really happens when you cross into the US

Many of the migrants making it to the US border are indeed allowed to stay in the country. And they are given an official document, only not the one they were expecting. Illegal immigrants receive a Notice to Appear, which means they must appear before an immigration judge once they arrive at their final destination in the US. Many don’t understand how Immigration Courts work so they simply ignore the Notice to Appear.

However, if a migrant doesn’t show up at his or her immigration hearing, the judge can still issue a deportation order and they probably will. What does this mean? 

To put it in simple words, once the migrant is arrested for whatever reason or the ICE gets them, they can immediately be sent back home since there’s a deportation order with their name on it.

What should recent immigrants do to get legal status?

Skipping the immigration hearing is a very risky option. Going before the judge unprepared is equally bad.

If they want to be allowed to stay in the US, recent migrants should contact a reliable immigration attorney in Texas and prepare for their hearing. 

Any immigrant who has immediate family in the US can apply for adjustment of status. Another option is to seek asylum in the US.

Migrants facing persecution in their home countries on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular group are eligible for asylum. There’s one catch though. You must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the country. 

You may not get legal status for a long time, but at least you can stay in the country. Immigration courts have a backlog of 1.6 million cases of asylum and other immigration applications, so it will be years until you get your hearing. But, at least, you’re doing something and you don’t have to fear you’ll be deported in the meantime. 

If you’re afraid you or someone you love might get deported or if you’ve received a Notice to Appear, get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, servicing the San Antonio area. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

San Antonio, TX

206 East Locust Street

Source: VOA – Migrants, Recently Arrived in US, Grapple With Immigration Barriers

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