Immigrants in Florida and around the country may face deportation proceedings when they violate immigration laws or are convicted of committing crimes. Those who are removed could be prevented from ever reentering the United States even as a tourist. However, immigrants facing deportation have legal rights and can mount an aggressive defense. Deportation defenses are generally based on either constitutional or procedural grounds.
Migrants who have been in the United States for less than two years could be deported without seeing a judge according to a new Trump administration policy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others have filed a lawsuit asking that the new expedited powers policy not go into effect. The suit claims that it could lead to citizens in Florida or elsewhere being deported by mistake. In 2000, a woman was deported to Jamaica despite being a United States citizen.
Florida residents may have heard about the controversy over conditions that migrants face after entering the United States. The House voted to approve a bill that would send $4.5 billion to border states as a humanitarian gesture. However, it is unlikely that the president would sign such a bill into law. It is also uncertain whether the Senate would approve the same version of the bill that the House passed.
President Trump had planned on ordering a series of raids aimed at finding and deporting immigrants throughout the country. However, he sent a Twitter message on June 22 saying that the raids had been delayed for two weeks. He said that lawmakers from Florida and throughout the country would have time to work out issues related to immigration at the border with Mexico. The president said that if efforts were unsuccessful, the raids would eventually take place.
On June 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Promise and Dream Act by a vote of 237 to 187. If signed into law, it could protect those in Florida who have protected status or participate in the DACA program. President Trump has threatened to end DACA and rescind protected status for immigrants from countries such as El Salvador and Honduras. However, the courts have stopped those goals from being achieved.
In the past, Cubans were generally allowed to live and work in Florida without much trouble. However, that policy is starting to change, and it has resulted in Cuban nationals being deported or not allowed to enter the United States at all. One man was taken into custody upon returning to Miami after his honeymoon. He was a permanent resident and had been in the United States since he was a child.
An immigration court temporarily enjoined the deportation of an 11-year-old girl thanks to public outcry and assistance from those who took up her cause. As with many immigrants in Florida, she was seeking asylum in the U.S.
Many people in Florida have raised concerns about deportations, especially with the escalated approach to immigration detention and deportation advocated by Trump administration officials. However, media attention may have played a role in reversing the deportation of the widower of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan. The 30-year-old man, who is the father of a 12-year-old American citizen, was deported on Apr. 8 after being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as he traveled to work. He was deported to Nogales, Mexico, on Apr. 11, according to his lawyer.
Florida readers might be interested to learn that rapper 21 Savage was released on bond from a Georgia immigration detention center on Feb. 12. The 26-year-old U.K. national was detained by officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Feb. 3 while on his way to a performance in Atlanta.
The children of immigrant families born in Florida generally expect their citizenship to protect them from immigration enforcement actions, but being born in the country does not prevent mistakes like unnecessary incarceration. The family of a man who was inappropriately taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has yet to receive any answers about why the agency threatened him with deportation.