It's been a week since President Trump signed three wide-sweeping executive actions designed to increase national security and much of what those actions mean still isn't clear.
Our attorneys have worked with partners at AILA, the American Immigration Council, and elsewhere to identify some of the more pressing parts of the documents. Attorney John Broyles even helped a legal permanent resident who was detained in the Houston Airport retain his green card and re-enter the country.
More of what the executive orders mean will become clear in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please consider these points:
Do not relinquish your green card. Carry it with you and keep copies secure. If you are a green card holder and aren't familiar with the I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, follow BKR and Attorney John Broyles on Facebook for more updates.
Know that Expedited Removal authority under Operation Streamline will be expanded. Operation Streamline is a policy established in 2005 that mandates that nearly all undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border in certain areas be prosecuted through the federal criminal justice system, a departure from previous practices when most immigration cases were handled exclusively within the civil immigration system.
If you are an illegal immigrant, gather evidence that you've been in the country for at least two years and carry it with you. Expedited removal authority has historically only been used within 14 days of entry and within 100 miles of the border. Now, Trump has expanded it throughout the United States and made it apply to anyone who can’t prove they have been in the United States for at least two years.
Know that any kind of illegal immigrant may be targeted. Overstaying one’s visa or coming into the country illegally is being flatly labeled a crime that is a threat to public safety and national security; thus, making every undocumented person a priority for removal.
We encourage immigrants to understand their rights. Sites like Informed Immigrant can help. Find an immigration attorney and carry his or her card with you.
At BKR, we are determined to helping you feel safe. Contact us if you have any questions.