President Trump announced via Twitter last week that, starting June 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants. Since then, Trump tweeted that he will delay his decision for two weeks and he more recently tweeted that they are on hold.
ICE had not previously announced this massive operation or any related advance plan to the public. The tweet may have been a political stunt to preface an announcement by Mr. Trump regarding his 2020 presidential run. Or, it may have been a leak of confidential ICE plans.
Later statements by ICE leadership did not specifically address the “millions” reference nor the time frame. Even if Trump lifts this apparent hold on the deportations, given the current lack of holding facilities, it is difficult to imagine the actual capacity for a nationwide operation targeting numbers in the “millions” as indicated in the President’s remark.
ICE leadership did indicate that their focus would be on those with outstanding orders of removal and those who have failed to appear in court. In addition to individuals, their focus would also include families (adults and children).
The best course of action for people in the United States who are undocumented, in removal proceedings, or with a final order is to prepare in two ways:
Know your rights in case you encounter an ICE agent. Our PDF handouts below cover a variety of potential ICE situations:
Speak to an experienced immigration attorney.
Even if you have an order of removal, you may be eligible for some relief from detention and removal. You may also be eligible for relief to return to the US legally if you are encountered and removed.
Remember, you cannot under any circumstances obstruct an ICE officer. DO NOT run, lie, resist, or do anything that places you or others around you in danger. Doing any of these things will make a bad situation worse.
Schedule an Appointment with an Atlanta Immigration Attorney
These are troubling times, and you need experienced immigration lawyers who can replace your fears with information that can help you. Schedule an appointment with one of the Atlanta immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen by calling 404-850-9394. We are here to answer your questions and guide you on the best course of action.