There are many risks for undocumented immigrants. Most undocumented immigrants may see the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency as the greatest risk in the United States, but they are often forced to live much of their life in the shadows of society. This fact alone increases the likelihood they will fall victim to an assortment of crimes.
An undocumented immigrant does face a serious risk of being detained and deported from the country, but there is a legal process that ICE must follow. Once someone is detained by immigration authorities, an immigration official will determine if they will be placed in a removal proceeding. You will want to find an experienced immigration attorney at this time because you have rights that may allow for an immigration bond and possible defenses to deportation.
Increased Risk of Crime
There are recent reports of immigrants that fear reporting crimes to the police because they may face deportation themselves. The Guardian recently published an article about the changing risks for undocumented immigrants that included a quote from the Los Angeles police department, “While there is no direct evidence that the decline is related to concerns within the Hispanic community regarding immigration, the department believes deportation fears may be preventing Hispanic members of the community from reporting when they are victimized.”
The article detailed many other interviews with experts on the evolving risk of being an undocumented immigrant in the United States. If you have been the victim of a crime or fear for your life, our firm can advise you on the legal options to report it anonymously or represent you in pursuit of legal relief.
Detained by US Immigration Authorities or Law Enforcement
Undocumented immigrants who are detained by any law enforcement agencies in the United States have legal rights. An experienced immigration attorney can help you pursue those legal rights to the fullest remedy and give you the best opportunity to stay in the US.
If a suspected undocumented immigration is detained by an agency other than ICE, they can only be detained for up to 48 hours for transfer to immigration authorities. ICE can place a 48 hour detainer on people they would like to interview, but that is the maximum amount of time they can be held before they must be released.
When an undocumented immigrant is detained by ICE, an immigration officer will determine if any charges will be brought against them and if they will be placed into removal proceedings. At this time, you will have a right to plead your case before an immigration judge, who is separate and independent of ICE. You will have an opportunity to fight any charges or request relief from removal.
How an Immigration Attorney May Help You Stay in the Country
There are many legal types of relief from removal. These include, but are not limited to, requesting asylum from persecution, adjustment of immigration status and cancellation of removal. An experienced immigration attorney will make sure that you are aware of the legal options available and help you follow the appropriate filings and disclosures necessary to pursue them. If the individual would simply like to leave the country, an attorney may even be able to assist them in negotiating a voluntary departure so that their immigration record stays clean.
At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, we have represented tens of thousands of clients around the country with a variety of complex immigration issues. We work diligently to pursue the legal avenues for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and keep their immigration record clean. Contact us today at (216) 566-9908 to schedule a consultation or make an appointment online.