Individuals living in Indiana and around the country may be concerned about recent efforts by the federal government to track down and remove undocumented immigrants from the United States. Recently, new policies have made it easier for some undocumented immigrants to be removed from the country without a hearing before a judge.
Historically, non-citizens living in the United States who do not have an appropriate visa have had the right to a court hearing. One exception to this has been those who have been in the United States for less than two weeks and were apprehended less than 100 miles from a border. These individuals might be fast-tracked for removal regardless of whether they’ve been offered a hearing.
The new rule, however, changes this so that undocumented immigrants living anywhere in the United States for less than two years can be subject to a fast-track removal. Individuals who have lived in the United States for longer than two years may still be apprehended but are entitled to a court hearing. An immigrant who cannot immediately prove to an immigration agent that he or she has been in the country for more than two years is technically entitled to gather documentation of his or her stay in the United States.
Experts have noted that this process puts a significant burden on undocumented immigrants. Individuals who are apprehended under this new rule may find themselves having to carry extensive documentation, such as leases, paychecks, utility bills and other items that show that they have lived in the United States for more than two years, at all times. Those caught without this documentation may have to rely on friends or family members to retrieve these items.
Individuals who are concerned about current events in immigration law may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the client’s case and make recommendations regarding possible defenses against deportation.