Immigration Update on Executive Orders
“Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” – (signed 1/27/16)
Alert: On 2/3/17, a federal judge temporarily halted the enforcement of certain provisions of this order.
- Temporarily halted. Suspends visa issuance for a period of 90 days for nationals of IRAN, IRAQ, LIBYA, SOMALIA, SUDAN, SYRIA and YEMEN. Other countries may be added to the list in the future.
- Temporarily halted. Suspends refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days, except for those fleeing religious persecution from countries where their religion is the minority religion.
- Temporarily halted. Indefinitely suspends the entry of all Syrian refugees into the U.S.
- Reduces refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017.
- Directs creation of a security screening process for all visas and requires regular review and reporting to the President.
- Orders the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking database; requires visa applicants to attend in-person visa interviews.
“Border Security & Immigration Enforcement Improvements” (signed 1/25/17)
- Orders the immediate construction of a physical wall on the Southern Border.
- Orders the construction of detention centers near the Southern Border.
- Ends the “Catch and Release” practice at the border and orders detention of those who enter the U.S. without permission.
- Orders expedited determinations of pending removal cases for those in detention and assigns immigration judges to courts located in detention facilities.
- Orders the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol Agents.
“Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” (signed 1/25/17)
- Reinitiates “Secure Communities”, a program designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable.
- Promotes agreements which empower state & local law enforcement officers with federal immigration en-forcement capabilities.
- Orders the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
- Requires that DHS collect penalties from unauthorized persons and entities that “facilitate their presence.”
- Declares that localities that “willfully refuse to comply” with federal laws (i.e., Sanctuary Cities) will not receive federal grants, except as “mandated by law for enforcement purposes” (*A Sanctuary City is one which has policies and practices to protect immigrants regardless of whether or not they are documented.) The Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate which jurisdictions are “sanctuaries.”
- In addition to existing criminal, security and misrepresentation grounds of removal under the immigration law, designates the following categories of removable non-citizens as priority for enforcement:
- Persons convicted of any criminal offense;
- Persons charged with ANY criminal offense, where such “charge has not been resolved”;
- Persons who have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense
- Persons who have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any “official matter” or application before a governmental agency;
- Persons who have “abused” any program related to receipt of public benefits;
- Persons subject to a final Order of Removal but who have failed to depart;
- Persons who in the judgment of an immigration officer pose a risk to public safety or national security.
What this means for our communities?
PRECAUTIONS FOR NON-CITIZENS
- Consult with an attorney or legal organization prior to making international travel plans.
- Carry a valid state or city I.D., if possible.
- If any arrest history, consult with an attorney and avoid contact with immigration authorities.
- If represented by an attorney, carry the attorney’s business card or contact information.
- Do not make any misrepresentations on official documents, such as government applications for food stamps, driver’s licenses, school forms, etc.
- Do not lie to law enforcement.
- Do not drink and drive, speed, drive with a broken tail light, or without a license, or violate any traffic ordinance, or any other law which would give law enforcement a reason for a stop and/or arrest.
- Do not jump the turnstile or avoid paying the fare if using public transportation. Such minor infractions could lead to an arrest, conviction and possible removal from the U.S.
NON-CITIZENS WHO HAVE ANY HISTORY OF ARREST OR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS:
- Obtain certificates of disposition for all arrests and have them reviewed by an immigration attorney. Certificates of disposition should not be given to immigration officers without being discussed with an immigration attorney.
- Those charged with any criminal offense, or even a summons, must consult with a criminal/immigration attorney before pleading guilty to anything. Many offenses which seem minor can result in the initiation of removal proceedings.
- Those with pending criminal charges must ensure that they appear at every court date and avoid issuance of a warrant by the court. If a warrant is issued not only is the non-citizen subject to detention, but law enforcement may turn them over to the immigration authorities for removal from the U.S.
Gather passports, birth, marriage and divorce certificates, prescriptions, as well as children’s documents and immunization records.
Original documents and a copy should be kept in a safe location that can be accessed by loved ones or a legal representative in case of an emergency.
Know your Alien (“A”) number, if you have one. The “A” number is the key to information about your immigration case. It is used by the immigration authorities to identify each individual who is not a citizen of the U.S.
Designate at least two emergency contacts who can assume the responsibility of retrieving your documents and care for your children and property in your absence. If possible, designate a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen as one of the emergency contacts.
Prepare and have Power of Attorney documents that someone you trust can use to access your bank account, care for your children or other legal matters.
Do not rely on cell phones - memorize and write important telephone numbers (i.e. your attorney, emergency contacts); share the list of phone numbers with family and your emergency contacts.
Keep all Keep emergency contacts at your child’s school up-to-date.
Know Your Rights
- You have the right to remain silent in encounters with law enforcement: the only information you have to provide is your name. If you are asked for ID, offer a driver’s license or other state/city ID if you have one. Do not present any fake IDs or documents issued by a foreign government. You should not discuss immigration case details with law enforcement nor disclose your place of birth. Remember: you have the right to remain silent and ask to speak with a lawyer
- Immigration agents do not have a right to enter your home without a warrant signed by a Judge. Ask the agent to slip the warrant under the door. Do not open the door if there is no warrant.
- Most persons detained by immigration authorities have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge – nothing needs to be signed to have a hearing.
- All persons have the right to legal representation. While the government will not pay for an attorney, you have a right to be represented by an attorney.