When President Obama was in office, he provided guidance on immigration that aimed to keep families together and focused on deporting undocumented immigrants who had committed only serious offenses. President Trump, however, has taken a much more hardline approach on immigration. One of the major shifts that President Trump instituted early during his first term is a change in who should be considered an enforcement priority.
Instead of focusing on deporting people with serious felony convictions, President Trump signed an executive order broadening the scope of who should be considered a target for deportation due to involvement with the criminal justice system. Now, many undocumented immigrants who are accused of a host of different kinds of non-violent violations, including paperwork offenses like using a false Social Security number to get work, could potentially be at serious risk of deportation.
With President Trump's new expanded definition of the types of crimes that make a person a deportation priority, plus his plans to increase deportations, the stakes have never been higher. If you are accused of any type of offense and you are undocumented, it is imperative that you talk with a Schenectady criminal defense attorney to get help as soon as possible.
The New York Times explains the major change that President Trump made to the rules regarding who constitutes a “criminal” for purposes of becoming a priority for deportation.
According to the Times, an executive order signed by President Trump now makes undocumented immigrants a priority even if they have not been convicted of anything, simply for being accused of wrongdoing. “Immigrants must only be charged, not convicted, of a crime, or merely found to have “committed acts that constitute a chargeable offense,” the Times reports of Trump's order.
In some cases, Trump's expansion of the so-called “criminals” to target has resulted in people with old convictions -- those who have been checking in with immigration officials for a long time -- being deported when going for one of their routine check-ins.
One example of this, reported on by CNN, was a mother who was recently deported to Mexico. She had been convicted of using a false Social Security Number back in 2009 after being caught up in a workplace raid. Since her conviction, she has been checking in with a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer with no incidents. She had been in the United States since she was 14, and she has a husband as well as two children who are U.S. citizens. However, her old conviction was enough to make her a deportation target under the Trump administration's policies.
If you are arrested and undocumented, you are also at significant risk -- especially if your arrest results in a conviction. The Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC can help you resolve the charges as quickly as possible and can help you try to avoid conviction whenever it is possible to do so. With the right help, you can possibly find a solution for your legal problems before coming to the attention of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and becoming a deportation target.