Prepare yourself, your family, and your support network (download our free cards)
With Donald Trump’s new immigration policies, this page was created to provide you with resources. Remember to also check our blog, our newsletter and our Facebook page for updates and information.
EXPANDED FAST-TRACK DEPORTATION, AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOU – JULY 23, 2019
Effective immediately as of July 23, 2019, the Trump administration has expanded the practice of “expedited removal,” also known as fast-track deportation.
What is it?
DHS officers can remove you from the United States without seeing a judge or any appeal.
Who is in danger?
You are in danger if:
- You entered the U.S. less than 2 years ago
- You entered “unlawfully” either:
- without proper documents (“sneak across the border”) OR
- through misrepresentation/fraud (such as false documents)
Who is safe?
You are safe if:
- You lawfully entered the U.S.—even if you overstayed your visa or lost your lawful status OR
- You can prove you have been in the U.S. for more than 2 years OR
- You are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident OR
- You are an asylee or refugee OR
- You are an unaccompanied child
But I have a family/business/ strong ties to the U.S…
This is not a defense, but it is possible that DHS could exercise discretion and not remove you on an expedited basis. However, do not count on it!
What if I have an application pending for lawful status?
Carry proof of this with you. It is not a defense, but it could let DHS exercise discretion and not remove you on an expedited basis.
How can I defend myself?
- Carry copies of proof that you have been lawfully admitted or paroled into the U.S.
- Carry copies of proof that you have been inside the U.S. for at least 2 years, with no departures during that time. Go through your records and organize a paper trail to prove you have been in the U.S. for at least 2 years—utility bills, receipts, rental/lease agreements, school records, etc. You may have to contact certain businesses/organizations to get copies of those records.
- If you are afraid of being harmed in your home country due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or your political opinion, then practice your explanation: who will hurt you, their motive, and why your government cannot or will not protect you. NOTE: being a victim of crime is not a sufficient ground for protection. See our page on asylum for more information.
- Be able to explain any strong ties to the U.S., or any close family with a serious medical condition. This might cause DHS to exercise discretion and not remove you on an expedited basis. Instead, you would probably be put into removal proceedings before a Judge on a later date.
- Download and carry “Know Your Rights” cards and “ICE Agent” cards (see below)
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE “PREPARE, AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS” CARDS– Keep these in your wallet, give them to friends, family and co-workers. They contain advice on how to prepare, and how to respond if you are the subject of an ICE raid/arrest.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CARD TO GIVE TO ICE AGENTS IF YOU ARE ARRESTED/DETAINED– “I AM EXERCISING MY RIGHTS”– Keep these in your wallet, hand them out to family, friends and co-workers. Give this card to the arresting officer so you can remain silent about your immigration status.
Be prepared, take these steps right now
- Gather proof that you have been in the U.S. at least two years: this could include utility bills, credit card and bank statements, insurance policies, school records, etc. Make copies of these documents and carry a copy of at least one of these documents with you at all times, to prove you have been in the U.S. for more than 2 years. Store the originals in a safe place but give a trusted person access to these originals, in case you are detained and need them.
- Carry the law firm’s business card with you, and write your Alien Number (“A-number”) on it if you have one
- Give the law firm’s business cards to your family/support network in case they need to call us to help you– and provide them with your Alien Number (“A-number”) if you have one
- Talk to us (free in-person appointments) about any possibilities for you to gain legal status in the U.S.
- Obtain a copy of your immigration record: Hill & Piibe can do this confidentially for you, without revealing your address and information to the government. Your immigration record can help determine if you are at a higher risk than others for expedited removal or reinstatement of removal.
- Apply for a green card if you are eligible
- Apply for naturalization (citizenship) if you are eligible
- Clear up your criminal record—have Hill & Piibe be involved in this, because criminal-immigration law is extremely complex and you don’t want to waste your money getting useless expungements
- Prepare a legal document to authorize someone else to care for your children if you are arrested; you also may want a document giving someone else control over your finances if you are arrested
- Never carry false documents, and never carry documents from your home country
- Do not associate with people or situations that could cause you to be arrested: persons with deportation orders against them, criminal records, stay away from ICE raid sites, etc.
- Put aside money to pay for a detention bond and an attorney’s help, in case you are arrested
Know Your Rights (download or cut out our free cards above)
- You do not have to answer any questions about your immigration status
- You do not have to let any police into your home without a warrant signed by a judge—even if they just want to “ask questions”
- You can ask the police to identify the agency they are with: local police, sheriff, ICE, Border Patrol, DHS, etc.
- You can ask to speak with your own attorney
- You do not have to sign any documents without speaking to your own attorney
- You can ask for a bond to be released from detention, if you are in an eligible category
In case of detention/arrest by ICE
- If you are subject to expedited removal or reinstatement of removal, there is little that an attorney can do for you
- If you have a deportation/removal order against you, have your friends/family consult with Hill & Piibe immediately—sometimes we can file a motion to prevent your deportation
- Do not be timid or afraid to assert your rights
- Do not sign any documents without speaking to your attorney
- Do not believe the threats that you will be detained for long periods of time; never give up until you speak with an attorney
- Always provide your correct name and date of birth—you will be fingerprinted so lying will not help you, plus your attorney needs to be able to find you
- You could be transferred to different ICE detention facilities throughout the U.S.
- Hill & Piibe can find where you are located, and you should try and have family /friends work with Hill & Piibe to get you out on bond
- Many people are eligible for a bond; it is usually in the amount of at least $1500 but it can be higher for those with a record of immigration violations/criminal offenses
- If you are released on bond, you must attend Immigration Court hearings in “regular removal” proceedings
- If you are not released and you are scheduled for Immigration Court, you can ask the Judge to reconsider granting you a bond for release