Articles Tagged with immigration

After Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration came out, fears have been running high among immigrant and migrant communities throughout the nation. After the highly publicized deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two, Guadelupe Garcia,  after a routine visit with immigration officials, reports have been spreading of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) doing massive immigration sweeps throughout the southwestern U.S. and California. Garcia had a prior conviction from eight years ago for using a fake social security number.

It is reported that ICE in Los Angeles conducted a five-day operation targeting criminals and fugitives in which 160 people were arrested. The arrests took place in six counties. Of the 160 arrested, it is reported that approximately 150 had criminal histories.

The immigration sweeps are the first concerted effort by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings. Immigration lawyers and advocates have reported that they are getting calls about raids of homes and businesses, and in some instances, arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal histories. Many law enforcement agencies in California, including the LAPD have promised not to take part in the mass deportations for which Trump has called.

According to the Pew Research Center, the Los Angeles metro area is home to the second largest unauthorized immigrant population in the nation (1 million unauthorized immigrants). It follows New York City, which has 1.2 million.

Questioned by Police About Your Immigration Status?

First and foremost, everyone should be prepared in case of a criminal or immigration raid. If you have valid immigration status documents or an alien registration number (a nine digit number assigned to noncitizens), you should always carry them with you and show them to the immigration official or police officer in case you are stopped. If you are unauthorized, you should have the name and phone number of your lawyer and a friend or relative.

If you are stopped by the police or immigration officials about your status in the street, note that the law in California does not mandate that you have to show them any ID, and you have the right to remain silent. In California, they cannot arrest you without evidence that you are in the country illegally. If you are arrested or detained, you still have the right to remain silent. You should then immediately ask for your lawyer. If enforcement officials come to your door, you also have the right to ask for a warrant. You can refuse to let them in if they do not have a warrant and ask them to come back with the warrant. Continue reading

California recently passed a bill to protect undocumented immigrants who are the victims of crimes from being deported. California has the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the country at an estimated 2.45 million. The California Assembly passed the Immigrant Victims of Crime Equity Act, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León of Los Angeles. The bill is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown for signing. If signed by the governor, it will become state law.

S.B. 674 requires local and state law enforcement agencies to sign certifications for qualified immigrant crime victims when they have been helpful to the investigation of crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence. The certifications are prerequisites to an application for a Victim of Crime “U-Visa,” which is issued by the federal government to prevent deportation of victims of specific crimes who have been helpful to the investigation or prosecution. S.B. 674 also provides relief for victims of domestic violence. The intent of the Bill is to curb crime, since victims of crime tend to not report it or cooperate with law enforcement if they are in the country illegally. The bill is part of the sweeping Immigrants Shape California legislative package.

Under federal law, being in the country illegally is grounds for deportation. If S.B. 674 is passed, it would mean that victims of sexual crimes and domestic violence in California would not face potential deportation for reporting the crime.