New data has been released that shows how much more difficult it is for undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation now that Donald Trump is president.
Immigration court data was released earlier this month and showed that from February to June, there was a sharp decline in the number of immigrants who were able to reach deals with prosecutors, thereby avoiding deportation.
Under past administrations, government prosecutors were given discretion to choose not to deport immigrants who were in the country illegally. This often occurred when people facing deportation had spouses or minor children in the U.S., or other special circumstances.
From February to June of last year, there were about 2,400 deportation cases closed due to "prosecutorial discretion." However, during the first five full months with President Trump in the White House, less than 100 deportation cases resulted in deals with prosecutors.
The data was gathered by Transactional Access Records Clearinghouse and reported by the Houston Chronicle.
What does this mean for people facing removal?
It is more important than ever to work with an experienced immigration lawyer if you or a loved one is facing deportation/removal. Even with an effective lawyer on your side, it can still be difficult to reach a deal with prosecutors because they have been instructed to deport anyone and everyone.
Even better than waiting until you or a loved one is facing deportation is taking steps now to avoid a deportation case in the future:
- Work with an immigration lawyer to seek legal status.
- Know your rights If you are stopped and questioned by authorities.
One other important point to keep in mind is that with the huge increase in deportation cases, case processing time has increased dramatically, especially for asylum claims and cases that are more complex. It was reported that, as of June 30, there was a backlog of 610,524 immigration cases pending in the U.S.
Now is not the time to take risks. If you have an immigration matter that needs attention, get help right away from a deportation defense attorney in Houston who understands the recent changes in policy.