Newly elected President Trump made several promises during his campaign to crack down on illegal immigration. This is a multifaceted endeavor, including hiring over 10,000 more immigration police officers, toughening immigration requirements, constructing a Southern border wall between the United States and Mexico, and placing flight restrictions from countries whose governments have ties or suspected ties to extremist and terrorist activities. These new measures have sparked public controversy, and many documented immigrants fear being wrongfully deported.
In the first few months of this new Presidency, the government has ramped up immigration raids. People expect more deportation raids in the coming months. In response to this, an Arizona web developer named Celso Mireles created an app named “Redadalertas,” or “Raid Alerts.” This app functions like an opt-in service. People who wish to receive raid alerts simply opt in with their phone number and zip code.
If verified members witness any deportation raid activity, they may report it through the app, and, if the report is verified by other members, subscribers in the area receive an alert. Currently, Raid Alerts only exists as an SMS messaging service, but Mireles reports the full app should be live by May of 2017.
There are several immigration apps available to help potential immigrants complete their applications for legal immigration, such as BorderWise. Critics of Trump’s stance on illegal immigration view it as inhumane or even racist. Trump has repeatedly stated that the deportation raids are targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal histories, however, reports of officials detaining and questioning legal immigrants are becoming common.
Because many people who would be deported under Trump’s plan have young children who are in the U.S. legally, the laws protecting these children will become further complicated.
For people who want to enter the United States and become citizens legally, the process is very complicated. Applications are usually more than 40 pages long, and the government strongly advises applicants have their completed applications reviewed by an immigration attorney prior to submitting them for approval. Apps such as BorderWise offer users guidance for completing their applications as well as low-cost attorney reviews. Expect similar services to appear in the near future as deportation raids increase along with requests for entry into the U.S.
These apps may be viable options for potential immigrants with very straightforward cases. However, more complicated applications, especially for individuals with any type of criminal record, will necessitate more comprehensive legal assistance. The application process is extensive, time-consuming and often confusing. Additionally, potential immigrants may encounter delays while dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. An immigration attorney is a tremendous asset for the paperwork involved in legal immigration.
If you have questions about your immigration status or the immigration status of a loved one, meet with a reliable immigration attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true if your case is headed for immigration court deportation proceedings. Additionally, if you or a loved one is classified as “inadmissible” for any reason, an immigration attorney can help you appeal the decision.
There are several things that may qualify you as “inadmissible,” such as previous recorded incidents of lying to the U.S. government or criminal history. In some cases, an immigration attorney can help contest inadmissibility.
The new President’s immigration plan is still in its early stages, so it’s difficult to determine how on-message the efforts have been so far. Apps such as Raid Alerts and BorderWise are sure to provide some assistance to individuals fearing wrongful deportation, but an immigration attorney can help undocumented residents enter the immigration process legally and with greater peace of mind.
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