Under Donald Trump’s presidency, immigration laws have been significantly changed and are being strictly enforced throughout The United States by ICE and border patrol agencies. Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies have resulted in numerous families being separated and detained for illegally crossing the border, while more and more immigrants already living in the United States are being targeted and apprehended by ICE agents who take them from their homes, places of work, and even while they are walking about their business on the street.
This calculated and sharp increase in immigration enforcement by President Trump and his Administration has made today a perilous time for immigrant families trying to escape the war, crime, and poverty that exists in their home countries. In fact, federal health officials recently revealed that nearly 11,000 immigrant children are being kept in government custody without their parents.
Since President Trump’s administration began ramping up their efforts to prosecute parents who cross the border with their children, so many children have been detained by immigration agents that the shelters to house them are operating at 95% capacity. One spokesman with HHS’s Administration for Children and Families said that the Office of Refugee Resettlement currently has just 575 open beds.
With Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying last month that the administration would be taking a “zero tolerance” stance on immigration by attempting to prosecute all families who attempt to illegally cross the border, immigrant parents need to be much more cautious about deciding to seek asylum because parents who are charged with illegal entry will now be detained and separated from their children.
Although U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has an explicit nondiscrimination policy that prohibits "the consideration of race or ethnicity" in its screening and law enforcement activities, the policy itself is vague, and states that agents "may use race or ethnicity when a compelling governmental interest is present." One Border Patrol spokesperson told Univision News that immigration agents "have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence. Decisions to question individuals are based on a variety of factors for which Border Patrol agents are well-trained.”
Because immigration law is constantly shifting and becoming much stricter with President Trump in office, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who can handle any immigration dispute you might have to face. From increasing workplace raids to ending temporary protected status, Trump’s administration has altered, and will more than likely continue altering the landscape of immigration enforcement. If you do not have legal citizenship, you should consult with a skilled immigration attorney to find out what rights you have and how to protect them if you are detained by ICE or border patrol.
At Law Office of Mina Amiry, PLLC, we are committed to using our resources and experience to help immigrants and their families protect their American Dream. Contact our immigration attorney in Houston to set up a free consultation today.