The President Elect has stated that he will deport “criminals first”. So who exactly would be considered a criminal? The United States has consistently prioritized the deportation of criminals for the last 20 years; this includes those convicted of felonies and most misdemeanors.
Who is left? “Criminal aliens” can include anyone suspected of gang membership or drug trafficking. Also included would be anyone who has any pending criminal charge and persons with prior deportations. If this is the first category, who is in the second? What can follow is an expansion of expedited removal. This gives authority to any immigration agent to deport, without an immigration court hearing, anyone who cannot prove that they have been living in the United States for at least two years.
I believe that it is important for the immigrant community to hope and work towards a solution for the millions of immigrants who have supported this country. However, it is also best to plan for the worst. At the same time you may want to discuss and share your plans with your closest family members and/or friends.
You can start by visiting an attorney and decide your best course of action. I highly recommend that you include the following:
- Create a power of attorney to protect your assets,
- Plan for the care of children,
- Organize your documents and keep them in a safe place, and
- Have a plan in place for the payment of a bond if that becomes necessary.
I hope you take the time to prepare and support the efforts of immigrant advocates and human rights organizations.