With the current climate regarding immigration, it is hard to know what to do if you are in the country illegally. Even marriage to a legal resident may not guarantee your safety from the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
Karah de Oliveira and Fabiano de Oliveira have been married for two years, dated for eight, and share a five-year-old son. The couple recently decided it was time for Fabiano to file for a green card. They presented the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) officer with Facebook photos documenting their relationship, their son’s birth certificate, and letters from family and friends. It seemed like they had an airtight case.
A green card does not guarantee safety from deportation
According to the New York Times, the UCIS officer did approve Fabiano’s application, but unfortunately, he had a deportation order from 13 years before. Fabiano was arrested by ICE and detained for a month.
This is becoming an increasingly common case. Immigrants with old deportation orders who are seeking citizenship are suddenly becoming targets for ICE. Even if, like Fabiano, their green card application is approved.
All illegal immigrants are targets
Though President Trump has stated he wanted to pursue immigrants with a criminal history, his administration is now targeting anyone who is here illegally for deportation. For immigrants on the cusp of citizenship, this is particularly disheartening. Even showing up for what was once a routine check-in with ICE agents could lead to being deported.
You have the right to representation
Despite all these forces working against immigrants, an arrest does not have to automatically mean deportation. If you or a family member is facing deportation, you may consider contacting an attorney that specializes in deportation defense. An attorney can help you navigate the complex and changing landscape of deportation proceedings.