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Will the revival of an immigration law put more people at risk?

People in many cities throughout the country, including New Orleans, face uncertain futures. With immigration law seemingly in a constant state of flux, no one can be sure what tomorrow will bring. Now, many police departments are considering opting into a program in which they would work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The program basically deputizes local law enforcement officers to perform some of the duties ICE agents undertake. Local departments pay for the travel and training and ICE pays for the installation of equipment and software needed in order to perform their duties. Those duties include inquiring about the immigration status of people arrested in the jurisdiction.

They use the software provided by ICE to vet those who are arrested and suspected of being in the country without the proper documentation. If it turns out that they do not possess the proper documentation, they are turned over to ICE. At present, it appears that only jurisdictions with populations of no more than 100,000 are wanting to join, or have already joined, the program. This may not affect those living here in New Orleans, but even a speeding ticket in a jurisdiction already involved in the program could put several people at risk.

Immigrants who find themselves in this position may benefit from discussing their situation with an immigration law attorney. It may be possible to remain in the country and otherwise avoid deportation. It may help to alleviate at some of the stress to understand what legal rights and options they may have.

Source: Reuters, "Police in Trump-supporting towns aid immigration officials in crackdown," Mica Rosenberg and Reade Levinson, Nov. 27, 2017

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