Tag: deportation

Court Stops Deportation of a Potential Victim of Honor Killing

A decision was made recently in the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case, Kamar v. Sessions.

Kamar, a Catholic woman born in Lebanon, grew up in Jordan and follows Islamic cultural practices and traditions.  Both, Kamar’s mother and sister, are United States citizens.

In June 1999, Kamar came to the United States as a B-2 visitor.  She became an F-1 student in 2001 when she began school for a master’s degree.  Kamar left school when she got pregnant, thus losing her F-1 status.  She and her ex-husband have three sons together.  In 2007, Kamar and her second husband had a baby together who is a United States citizen.

Kamar and her second husband are estranged and she has an order of protection against him.  Because Kamar no longer has F-1 student status, DHS has been trying to deport her since 2007.

She applied for withholding of deportation, claiming that “if she returned to Jordan, under Islamic tradition, she would be subject to an honor killing…[for] getting pregnant out of wedlock.”

Kamar testified that she has received letters from relatives telling her that her cousins intend to kill her.  Her mother wrote to her that one of her cousins said, “That he wish God took his life if he did not finish this work.  Even if this was the last thing that he would do on this earth, he will kill you for your sisters.”

The court also noted that the protection available for victims of honor killings in Jordan can be emotionally painful and cause suffering to the victim.

The court ruled in Kamar’s favor and granted her petition.  She will be able to remain in the United States.

For more information, click here.

 

 

The Immigration Net is Tightening

President Donald Trump ran on a platform of America First.  As a candidate, he promised to Make America Great Again by, in part, making the United States less friendly to immigrants.

Several recent developments have made clear that Trump is following through on his campaign promises.

Employment Based Immigration

At our office, we have seen several signs that one of the Trump Team’s focus is employment based immigration.  The DHS has ramped up scrutiny of work visas and green cards through employer sponsorship.

Earlier this year, USCIS turned off premium processing for most H1b cases.  The agency also announced that it would be cracking down on the use of “computer programmer” as a specialty occupation as the basis of an H1b.

Two months ago, USCIS announced that it would now conduct face-to-face interviews on employment green cards.  USCIS always had this power, but rarely used it before Trump came into office.

We attended a naturalization interview recently with a client who came to America on an H1b, obtained a work based green card and then started his own information technology (IT) consulting company.

The N-400 interview included a whole lot of questions about our client’s work-based immigration history. The officer was extremely interested in whether our client and the companies that he worked for had complied with all of the rules regarding employment based cases.

Jim shot a short video about the interview in Tampa.

These changes represent a significant change in how employment-based visas are handled and it appears that these changes are here to stay.

Non-Immigrant Visas and Crimes

One way that we stay up to date on what’s going on across the immigration landscape is by participating in online forums and Facebook groups with other immigration lawyers.

One of those groups is called Cool Immigration Lawyers.

Earlier this week, one of our colleagues in Memphis reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed her H1b client in removal proceedings.

The basis of the removal proceedings was that the client had been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.  The Department of State quickly revoked his visa and then when the man pleaded guilty, ICE issued him a Notice to Appear, which is the document that commences deportation proceedings.  ICE also took him into custody and only released him after he paid a $25,000 bond.

We believe that ICE’s aggressive position may ultimately fail.  But that is little consolation for the foreign national who thought he was all set on his immigration status but now finds himself facing deportation from the U.S.

It is not clear whether this new approach is an isolated incident by one ICE office or part of a nationwide policy.  It is also unclear as to whether this approach will apply only to DUI’s or to other crimes committed by immigrants.

The point for now is that ICE and DHS are not playing around.  These are serious times and immigrants are feeling the pressure.

 

DOJ Wants Deportation Case Quotas to Speed Up the Removal System

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to instill “numeric performance standards” on our nation’s federal immigration judges.  The immigration courts are currently processing 600,000 cases, which is three times as many cases on the books in 2009.

The National Association of Immigration Judges called the move “unprecedented” and calls Sessions’s plan the “death knell for judicial independence.”

Dana Leigh Marks, who served as an immigration judge for 30 years, said the Sessions plan constituted a “huge, huge, huge encroachment on judicial independence.”

“It’s trying to turn immigration judges into assembly-line workers,” she claimed.

Sessions also claimed last week that frivolous and/or fraudulent asylum claims were also responsible for slowing things down in the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the formal name given to the immigration courts).

The judges’ union argues that the current contract that it has with the government prevents them from being rated based on the number of cases that they complete or the total time it takes for a final decision.

(Just as a point of reference, immigration judges are not actual Article 3 federal judges, but rather administrative law judges and part of the Department of Justice itself).

The Department of Justice is now trying to ignore that language and to compel cases to start moving.

One thing that Sessions is ignoring is that while Congress has allocated significant resources for capturing and detaining undocumented immigrants, the same amount of resources has not been allocated to the immigration courts themselves.

There simply are not enough judges.  Currently, our office is getting court dates two and three years away due to the backlog.  An average non-detained case takes two years or more to be decided.

President Trump apparently plans to request an additional 370 immigration judges, which would double the current number.

While a stated goal of an efficient immigration system is understandable, blaming immigration judges for the delay is simply wrong.  Immigration judges have enormous caseloads and are already stretched to the limit.  Most judges have more than 2,000 open cases.

The fact of the matter is that these judges are often making life-or-death decisions for the immigrants before them.  Literally, life-or-death.  Do we really want them just running the cases through as quickly as possible?

Seems like a really bad idea.

Lawyer Discovers Link Between Federal Judge and Her Private Prison Stock Owning Husband

On May 12, 2008, nearly 400 workers were arrested at a kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, in the largest workplace immigration raid in US history.

Typically undocumented immigrants arrested during raids were charged with civil violations and deported.  But, most of the workers arrested in the Postville raid were charged with criminal fraud for using falsified work documents or Social Security numbers.  Approximately 270 people were sentenced to five months in federal prison in what was termed “a judicial assembly line.”

Allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct flooded in, sparking congressional hearings.

Judge Linda R. Reade, the chief judge of the Northern District of Iowa, supervised the court proceedings, claiming they were “fair and unhurried.”  But, Reade’s husband apparently owned stock in two private prison companies.  Five days before the raid, Reade’s husband bought additional prison stock.

When Reade was appointed to the federal district court by President George W. Bush in 2003, her husband owned stock in the companies now known as CoreCivic and GEO Group, the country’s largest prison companies.  Approximately 150 facilities are operated by the two companies and 150,000 inmates are housed in the facilities.

In February 2011, Reade’s husband sold his prison stocks, collectively worth between $30,000 and $100,000.  During the time between 2003 and 2011, the stocks rose in price 434 percent and 642 percent, respectively.

Former Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann found Reade’s husband’s prison investments when looking into the legal case of the meatpacking plant manager arrested during the Postville raid, Sholom Rubashkin.  Reade sentenced Rubashkin to 27 years in prison for financial fraud in 2010, dropping all immigration charges against him.

Emails and memos from ICE show that Reade met with immigration officials multiple times in the months leading up to the bust.  An ICE memo claimed that Reade learned of approximately 700 anticipated arrests and “indicated full support for the initiative.”  Reade denied expressing personal support for the raid despite the memo.

Parents Awaiting Two-Month-Old Son’s Operation Arrested by Border Patrol

We see a lot of appalling conduct at our office when it comes to how cruel federal immigration officials can be.  But this next case may be at the top of the list regarding callous disregard of any human emotion on the part of Customs and Border Patrol.

Oscar and Irma Sanchez’s two-month old son, Isaac Enrique Sanchez, was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition causing vomiting, dehydration, and weight loss in infants.  Enrique’s condition was curable, but no pediatric surgeon in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas was capable of performing the surgery on his stomach.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, was the Sanchez family’s only hope.  But, the hospital that was only a few hours away via highway would mean that the Sanchezes would have to pass a Border Patrol checkpoint.  The Sanchezes were undocumented.

A Border Patrol officer showed up in the Harlingen, Texas hospital and offered to arrange officers to escort the Sanchezes through the checkpoint, but the Sanchezes would be arrested and put into deportation proceedings once they arrived at the hospital.  Oscar and Irma Sanchez agreed, their son’s best interest in mind.

The Sanchezes’ situation is a part of the controversy over ‘sensitive locations.’  During the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security abided by a policy that immigration agents should avoid arrests at hospitals, schools, churches, and public demonstrations unless there were special circumstances.

Immigrant advocates are afraid that the Sanchez family’s experience demonstrates the Trump administration’s way of handling enforcement actions in sensitive locations.  The Sanchezes had no criminal records and were desperate to help their son.

At Driscoll Children’s Hospital, the officers never left the Sanchezes alone.  They even asked Mrs. Sanchez to leave the door open while breast-feeding Isaac and escorted Mr. Sanchez to the bathroom.

Customs and Border Protection claimed that they are required to monitor subjects in custody “at all times” and attempted to do so “in the least restrictive manner possible.”

Oscar Sanchez says that, “Everywhere we went in the hospital…they followed us.”

For more information, click here.

Firm Attorney Andrew Bloomberg Notches 3 Wins This Week

Sometimes in immigration wins come in strange forms.

This was certainly true this week for three cases that firm attorney Andrew Bloomberg is handling.

Back in March, we were approached by a couple two weeks before their marriage-based green card interview.  The immigrant, who we will call Robert, had just been arrested and charged with a crime which, if he had been convicted, would likely have led to not only to the denial of his green card application, but very possibly to his deportation.

Andrew prepped the couple on how to talk about the arrest at the interview in a way that was honest, but did as little damage as possible.  The couple attended the interview with Andrew and readied themselves for the inevitable request for evidence from USCIS.

Andrew also got in touch with Robert’s criminal defense attorney to work with him in trying to get an outcome to the case that would have the least possible immigration consequences.  The criminal case dragged on and Andrew had to get an extension of the request for evidence deadline.

Finally, last month, it seemed like Robert had the opportunity to plead guilty to a much less serious offense.  Andrew was on the phone with the criminal defense attorney and the client while the plea was being written, and we were able to convince the prosecutor to change the document in the Courthouse to make it better for our client – details always matter in immigration, and particularly when criminal convictions are involved.

When the plea was finalized, Andrew submitted it to USCIS with an explanation of why it shouldn’t impact Robert’s green card application.  Less than a week later, we got word that Robert’s green card had been approved.  Robert pleaded guilty – but by doing it in the right way, he won his green card.

Also in the last few weeks, we were hired separately by two families whose undocumented loved ones had been arrested and taken into custody by ICE.  Both families live in California, but their loved ones were taken into custody in Missouri.

In deportation proceedings, timing can be everything – in addition to the hardship of being incarcerated, proceedings for detained individuals move very, very fast.  We believe that both of these clients have defenses available to them, but the defenses require the gathering of lots of complicated evidence.

Trying to get them released on bond was important not just to get them out of jail, but to gain time to build defenses.  Both clients had some criminal issues over the years, which often makes it very hard to get immigration bond.

Andrew worked with the families to gather supporting evidence of their rehabilitation, and their ties to the community, and submitted this to the Immigration Court along with a short memo on why bond should be granted.

In telephone proceedings at the EOIR in Kansas City this week, Andrew argued that our clients were not threats to the community or flight risks, and the Immigration Judge granted both bonds over the objections of the Government attorney.

While these clients are still in deportation proceedings, they can be with their families and there is much more time to build the strongest possible cases to keep them in the United States.

Congratulations to Andrew.  We are lucky to have you at the firm!

Salvadoran MIT Janitor Taken Into Custody Days Before His Son was Born

Francisco Rodriguez-Guardado, a Salvadoran janitor at MIT, was taken into custody by federal immigration officials for deportation a few days before his first son was born.  “They tell me he has my eyes,” Rodriguez-Guardado says.

Supporters of Rodriguez Guardado include U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, faculty at MIT, and his labor union. The ACLU has filed briefs in support of Rodriguez-Guardado. He does not have a criminal record, volunteers at his church, and runs his own carpet cleaning business.

Arrests of non-criminal undocumented immigrants has increased 145 percent from the first half of last year.

Rodriguez-Guardado entered the U.S. undocumented in 2006, fleeing El Salvador after a work colleague had been murdered by a gang member.  Rodriguez-Guardado was a technician at an engineering firm and owned a car wash in San Salvador.

In 2009, Rodriguez-Guardado was denied asylum in 2009 and had an appeal rejected in 2011.  He was ordered in June by ICE officials to make travel arrangements back to El Salvador.

On July 13, he was arrested because, according to ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer, the plane ticket he booked was not “timely.  Rodriguez-Guardado had booked the plane ticket for after his son’s expected birth date.

Rodriguez-Guardado has credited his Christian faith with preparing him to accept what comes next.  He is in an inmate prayer group and frequently reads his Bible.  “We follow what God wants for us,” he says.  “If they want us to move from here, it’s because there is something better for us someplace else.”

If Rodriguez-Guardado is not allowed to stay in the United States, he is considering trying to move to Canada or Costa Rica rather than going back to El Salvador.  He says, “Believe me…if El Salvador was a safe and peaceful country, I would have never thought of coming here.”

For more information, click here.

President Trump is Ending DACA

Hey everybody, it’s Jim. I wanted to shoot this video to go over some of the thoughts that I have on the President’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. I want to explore what the decision to end DACA means and how that’s going to affect people who are currently benefiting from Deferred Action. Molly, can you let me know, can you hear me, what I’m saying? I don’t know if my microphone’s working. I have a new microphone. So if someone could give me a thumbs up or let me know that the microphone’s working, I’d appreciate it.

We’re going to talk through what Deferred Action is and was and … Thanks, Nick. All right, hot mic. So we’re going to talk about what Deferred Action is, what it isn’t and sort of what’s happened. I’m going to be doing a little bit of reading, and I apologize for that, but I just want to be sure that I’m thorough in talking this through to everybody.

Back in 2011, 2012, the Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would have provided a path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented people in the United States who have been in the United States for a long time and who entered without inspection. This law was introduced by Senator Durbin and Lindsey Graham and some other people. It was a bipartisan bill that the Senate passed overwhelmingly, and they sent it to the House for approval or for a vote. There was every indication that the House had the votes to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

But some immigration hardliners like Steve King from Iowa refused to let it come to the floor for a vote, because they knew it was going to pass, and so no immigration reform happened under President Obama’s watch. What happened instead, frustrated with the Congress’s inability and refusal to process or to pass legislation bringing about comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama adopted a program called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This was put into place in the summer of 2012, and basically what happened is that immigrants, undocumented people who came to the United States as young people, who came as children, who’d been in the United States and who were either getting their GED or had finished high school and were studying and not gotten into any kind of criminal trouble, basically what happened was that those people had their deportation actions deferred. And that’s sort of where the “Deferred Action” comes from.

President Obama and the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and some other people, Janet Napolitano, people at the Department of Homeland Security, came to the conclusion that they weren’t going to be able to deport 12 million people. And so what they decided to do was to come up with priorities. They wanted to focus on people who had been arrested, people with criminal convictions, people who had entered the United States over and over and over, and so they did that. They adopted an Executive Order back in the summer of 2012 that said listen, we’re not going to deport these young people, we’re not going to put them at the top of our list unless they’ve committed some kind of crime. In fact, what we’re going to do is we’re going to give the ability to obtain work authorization and to have their deportations halted.

That sort of has been in place. It’s important to remember that this was not a piece of legislation. This was not something that was passed by Congress. This was just an Executive Order. And so with an Executive Order, that can always be undone by the next president. And that’s exactly what happened today. As a candidate, Donald Trump ran on a campaign to do away with Deferred Action. He and some other immigration hardliners viewed it as an unconstitutional abuse of power. Many legal scholars have refuted that, and most legal scholars have said that this was within the President’s ability to prioritize who he wanted to deport, and that President Obama’s actions were completely legal.

Lately, there have been rumblings from some states, some southern states and some other anti-immigrant attorney generals around the country, that they were going to file litigation to challenge the legality of Deferred Action. Enter stage left Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jeff Sessions was one of the most anti-immigrant members of the Senate before he became President Trump’s Attorney General, and he has now allegedly concluded that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unconstitutional, and he’s like, “Oh no, I can’t defend this Executive Action in court, so President Trump you have to do something.”

What has happened today after much to-do, President Trump has finally come about and announced that he’s going to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. There is an estimated 800,000 people, more than 800,000 young men and women who are law abiding people, who have been in this country for a very long time, who know no other country in which they live, and the program is going to come to an end in six months unless Congress acts. So the President has dropped a little poison pill, I believe, on the Congress, on Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Don’t forget, he’s very frustrated with these people, and now he has taken a very, very hot political topic and dropped it in the lap of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, who he’s been fighting with for a long time.

Let’s get into the meat of it. Let’s talk about what the announcement today covers on September 5, 2017. This means that those young people are eventually going to have their temporary protected status and their work authorization go away. The first thing to keep in mind is that as of today, September 5, 2017, if you have not applied for Deferred Action and if you are eligible, it is now too late. Some really smart immigration attorneys have been filing these DACA applications over the last couple weeks for the people that waited to the last minute, but the program is now ended. So they will not be accepting any more Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival applications.

For those people who have already been granted Deferred Action, the question is then what happens to them? What happens to their work cards, what happens to their deportation cases, and there’s so many angles to this that we’re going to be shooting video all this week, and then we’re going to post it out to all our social media channels, because we want to get out the word as to what’s going to happen to these people. For the people who already have Deferred Action, if it expires before March 5, 2018 … in other words six months from today … if it expires by March 5, 2018, if you already have DACA and it’s going to expire, you can apply for a two-year renewal, but your application must be received one month from today. It must be received no later than October 5, 2017.

In our office, we’re going to be going over all of our Deferred Action applications, all of our beneficiaries, and we’re going to shoot those applications over for renewal for the people that are eligible. If you have Deferred Action and it expires after March 5, 2018, you’re not going to be eligible for that extension, and your DACA and your work authorization will expire on the date that’s shown on that red work authorization card that you have.

If you have a new DACA application that was filed before today, it is going to continue to be processed. They are not going to stop processing Deferred Action applications that were on file prior to September 5, 2017.

Now, one of the great things about the Deferred Action program, and one of the things that really has driven the hardliners crazy, is that with Deferred Action, not only could you get work authorization, and not only could you get your deportation halted, you also had the ability if you needed to get back to your home country to apply for something called “advance parole.” Advance parole is permission before you leave the United States to return to the United States, and it allows you to go out of the country. And if you have a qualifying relative, that is if you’re married to a US citizen, now that you’ve come back you can apply for a green card, for lawful permanent resident status through that advance parole and through that Deferred Action that you’ve been previously given. And it allows you to be properly inspected so that you can adjust your status.

We did this for a good number of clients, where we had people who had obtained Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, they had a reason to go back home, some kind of family emergency. They’d go back to their home country, and when they return, they come through customs on that advance parole, and now they’ve been properly inspected and they’re allowed to adjust their status. In fact, we had one approved this very morning. We had a case that we’d been sweating. We weren’t sure what was going to happen with Deferred Action. We thought that it might be going away, and one of our long time clients who has had Deferred Action for quite some time and is married to a US citizen got the word today that he’s going to get his green card.

The question is are people who have Deferred Action and who have already obtained advance parole, are they going to be able to leave the United States or are they going to be able to come back to the United States and adjust their status. And the answer to that question is yes. If you’re outside of the United States and you’ve been granted advance parole, the good advice would be to come back as soon as you can, but you are going to be able to do that maneuver that we mentioned and, hopefully, obtain your lawful permanent resident status. That will still be considered a good entry for purposes of adjustment of status.

The USCIS as of today will no longer process those advance parole applications, so some of our clients do have pending advance parole applications. Those will not be granted. As far as people who have final orders of deportation and are in deportation proceedings, we’re going to cover that in tomorrow’s video, but as of now I think it’s safe to assume that those people are going to have their cases what are called “re-calendared”. They’re going to be sent back to Immigration Court, and they’re going to have to be responsive to the charges of deportation, and if they’ve already been ordered deported I suspect that eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, ICE is going to start effectuating those orders of removal. So we’ll see if that’s paused or not. I’m not sure exactly if that’s going to happen yet, but we’ll see.

One thing to keep in mind with all this is you should not be relying on the advice of strangers, you should not be relying on the advice of notarios. You want to make sure that you are using an immigration attorney, preferably one who’s in the American Immigration Lawyers Association, lawyers who specialize in immigration. There are a lot of people in times of crisis like this who try to take advantage of people, and there are many, many, many good immigration attorneys around the country. I encourage you to talk to one of them.

We are going to continue to fight for our clients, and we’re going to continue to press Congress to take action. That will be the topic of another video later this week, but for now, if you have questions about the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, if you have any questions about what your particular situation is, be sure to give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Make sure to like our Facebook channel, our YouTube channel so that you find out all of our future updates as to what’s been going on. We are sorry to say good night to you on this very sad evening.

You’ve gotta keep hope alive, as Reverend Jackson said. We’re going to keep fighting. We have friends in Congress, and there have been a lot of good signals that have come out of Congress that this might be changed legislatively, and that would take away a lot of the arguments that Trump, Sessions, and Kris Kobach have for doing away with Deferred Action, and we’re hopeful that even in this dark hour that things will turn around and that we’ll be able to find a good solution for a lot of the great quality people that we’ve met and we haven’t met who’ve all been benefiting from this Deferred Action program. There’s absolutely no reason these children, these young people, these quality individuals should be sent back to their home countries, and we pray and hope and will strive to make sure that that doesn’t happen.

Peace out.

Couple awaits word on whether they will be deported to Mexico

Oakland nurse and mother of four, Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, and her husband have lived in the United States for over two decades, but they do not have legal status.  Under a federal deportation order, the couple and their youngest child, Jesus, 12, will be flying to Mexico City on Wednesday, August 16.

Mendoza-Sanchez received a call on Tuesday afternoon from Senator Dianne Feinstein.  Praying that Sen. Feinstein’s call would bring good news in the 11th hour, Mendoza-Sanchez answered the phone with hopes that her family could remain intact.

Unfortunately, Sen. Feinstein apologetically told Mendoza-Sanchez that immigration authorities had denied the request for a stay and there was nothing more she could do.  Mendoza-Sanchez, her husband, and Jesus, a United States citizen by birth, will have to leave the United States and make a new home in Mexico.

Their three daughters, ages 16, 21, and 23, will stay behind in the United States.  The two older daughters will raise their younger sister, ensuring she completes her final two years of high school.  The two younger daughters are U.S. citizens and the oldest daughter is protected by DACA status.

Immigration attorney, Carl Shusterman, represents the family.  He termed Tuesday’s denial of the stay request a “tragedy.”  ICE officials refused to make an exception for Mendoza-Sanchez and her family because, “if they did, they would have to make an exception for other people, too.”  

Maria Mendoza-Sanchez is a nurse at Highland hospital in the oncology and cardiology wing.  Her husband, Eusebio Sanchez, is a truck driver.  Neither Mendoza-Sanchez nor her husband have a criminal record.

According to an immigration expert, the denial of the stay reflects a shift in the government’s deportation approach.  When cases received high levels of media attention and local political involvement in the past, ICE would shy away from the negative publicity and alter their response.  Santa Clara University School of Law professor, Pratheepan Gulasekaram, says that ICE “is sending a message with this removal…Everybody is potentially a target.”

For more information, click here.

The Unlucky Undocumented: How Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time is Getting Immigrants Deported

People often ask us how life for immigrants has changed since Donald Trump became President.

We tell them that one major change is the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement now routinely sweeps up immigrants during raids even when those immigrants were not the targets of the raids.

For these people, they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In these scenarios, ICE is raiding a house or work place to find a particular undocumented immigrant, but come into contact with additional, previously unknown undocumented immigrants.

And that is how they get caught.

As explained in this recent piece from Time magazine, “[u]nder the Trump Administration’s new enforcement priorities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are instructed to detain and deport anyone who is in the country illegally, which means even so-called “non-targets” may end up in custody after a raid.”

As an example, Time cites a four-day operation in late July 23017 in which ICE arrested 650 people.  Of those, 457 were not targets of the raid.  This means that 70% of the immigrants were unlucky and got caught in the middle of a raid meant for someone else.

President Barack Obama had stated, defined priorities detailing who ICE should be looking for – namely criminals and people who had already been deported from the U.S. who were now back in America.  President Trump did away with those stated priorities.

ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett explained to Time that since the priorities have been eliminated, no classes or categories of removable undocumented immigrants are exempt from deportation.

“I think that our agency now feels that we can make arrests. They’re in compliance with federal law, there aren’t the restrictions,” she said. “It allows more flexibility for the officers to make decisions from their personal dealings with the person.”

As of now, based on raw statistical data, about 44% of those being deported under President Trump do not have criminal records.  This is a slight increase over the 42% of those deported during the Obama era.