Data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and analyzed by the New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) show that ICE arrested more undocumented immigrants in New York City during the year after President Trump took office than in the year immediately preceding. This marks a real change in the way ICE approaches enforcement in our area and an added incentive for undocumented individuals to seek counsel from a qualified New York immigration lawyer.
Abandoning the Idea of Priority Enforcement
According to a fact sheet released by MOIA, the reason behind the shift in ICE enforcement can be traced to Trump’s Executive Order 13768. Along with establishing penalties for sanctuary cities, the order also expanded the number of people considered to be priorities for removal. Rather than focusing efforts on deporting individuals convicted of serious crimes, Executive Order 13768 made even minor traffic offenses grounds for priority removal by ICE. MOIA found that the number of non-criminal arrests and removals throughout the nation increased by approximately 174 percent in the 2017 fiscal year over the previous year. The total number of people removed by ICE during this time period increased by 25 percent.
Non-Criminal Arrests Soaring
Under previous administrations, ICE prioritized the removal of dangerous individuals who had been charged with or convicted of felonies. The shift in prioritization under the Trump administration has changed that focus to all individuals without proper documentation, making it more difficult for law-abiding and hard-working individuals to remain in this country. In many cases, retaining the services of a qualified New York immigration lawyer can be a good first step toward achieving legal permanent residency and avoiding issues with ICE.
Aggressive Enforcement Requires Assertive Action
For many undocumented individuals in our area, consulting with a qualified attorney is the single most important way to protect against adverse actions by ICE and other government agencies. By taking steps to resolve your immigration status legally, you can limit the ability of ICE agents to remove you and your family members from this country and can ensure the most effective solutions for your situation.
If you need help from an experienced New York immigration lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can provide you with the right representation for your case. Our team includes a former judge and two former immigration prosecutors, allowing you to draw on our depth of experience and knowledge to resolve your visa issues. Call us today at 212-201-9031 to set up your free consultation. We look forward to the opportunity to serve your immigration and visa needs.