Know Your Rights as an Undocumented Immigrant
If you came to the country through the backdoor, meaning illegally, chances are you are on the list of the Department of Homeland Security’s order of deportation. And while many have already been arrested, detained, and deported back to their countries of origin, you do not have to fear because there are immigration lawyers who can help you understand your rights. Yes, even if you are an undocumented immigrant, you still have rights like anyone else does.
You should realize that the government is merely enforcing the immigration laws of the land. However, you need to know that they have certain policies to follow regarding the arrest, detention, and deportation of illegal immigrants to the US.
For starters, the following are the priorities:
• Individuals who are considered to be threats to national security, border security, and public safety. These includes convicted felons as well as individuals who are on the government’s list of terrorists and criminal organizations
• Individuals who are convicted of misdemeanor charges as well as overstaying immigrants
• Individuals who have other immigration violations
Now, you should understand that the same law says that even these individuals described above cannot be deported if they have been granted a form of relief by the laws of the US. This can include granted asylums. However, there is a catch. Even if you were granted an asylum if the government still considers you a threat to national security or public safety, you will still be subjected to deportation proceedings.
Now, here is what you need to know. Arresting officials can make discretionary judgments whether to arrest and detain you or not. If you have been in the US for a significantly long period of time that you already have family and close community ties in the US, this should be carefully considered. Additional considerations include the following:
• Service in the US military
• Status as a witness, plaintiff, or victim in a criminal or civil action
• Poor health
• Extremes of age – very young and very old
• Serious illness
This means that ICE field agents should make decisions based on the totality of your circumstance.
Furthermore, the following undocumented immigrants do not have to be mandatorily detained.
• Individuals who are seriously ill, either physically or mentally
• Disabled and elderly individuals
• Pregnant and nursing women
• Individuals who are the primary caregivers of children or sick individuals
As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can fight for. All you have to do is to make sure you get in touch with qualified and well-experienced immigration lawyers so you will better understand your rights both as an individual and as an immigrant to the US.