Immigration Advocates Brace Area Residents For Enforcement Raids
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced it will begin a set of immigration enforcement raids throughout May and June, prompting area advocacy groups to set up hotlines and legal referral services for illegal immigrants in the area. While government officials and local advocacy groups insist the raids will only target a small slice of the illegal immigrant population, many in the Northern Virginia area are worried they could be next.
ICE representatives claims the raids will target three groups of people:
- Convicted criminals;
- Immigrants who threaten public safety; and
- Recent arrivals after January 2014.
Furthermore, the agency claims it will avoid taking individuals into custody near schools, churches, and hospitals. Those slated for deportation include persons who have a pending deportation order or did not qualify for asylum in the country.
Officials have also stressed immigrant families who have already applied for asylum or relief will not be targeted in the upcoming enforcement effort. ICE conducted a similar raid at the end of 2015 in which hundreds of individuals were arrested but even these immigrants were granted stays of relief for deportation after filing appeals.
Applying for asylum
In recent years, the nation has seen a sharp uptick in the numbers of illegal immigrants and unaccompanied minors flowing across the border. Many of them are trying to flee the extreme violence in their home countries of Honduras and El Salvador and for this reason could qualify for asylum.
As many sources have touched on, even detainment for entering the country without authorization does not necessarily mean automatic deportation. Our federal immigration system has a process in place that allows immigrants to appeal their deportation orders and give them time to apply for relief or asylum.
When deportation does happen, it is usually because ICE denied an applicant’s request for asylum and/or that individual did not appear at a scheduled immigration hearing. When parties fail to show up for court, judges do not usually rule in their favor.
For persons at risk of deportation to give themselves the best chance of remaining in the country, they should contact an experienced Leesburg immigration attorney to help prepare them for the process. Having an immigration attorney helps in the paperwork and interview process as well as investigating all the possible humanitarian programs the U.S. has to offer asylum seekers.
Leesburg Immigration Attorneys
If you or a loved one has questions about U.S. immigration law, contact the immigration attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy, PC for a legal consultation about your case. In addition to asylum, our attorneys are familiar with the application process for such laws as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT).
Contact our office for a consultation about your case. Our office serves clients throughout Ashburn, Paeonian Springs, Sterling, Waterford, Leesburg, Purcellville, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Dulles, Bluemont, Herndon, Haymarket, Reston, Clarke County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County.