What does the Trump presidency mean for the undocumented population?
By Elizabeth Ricci, Esq. Socia Director, Rambana & Ricci PLLC Tallahassee, FL
President-elect Trump has vowed, among other things, to revoke the deferred action for childhood arrivals program and cease to welcome refugees into the United States. What, then, will be the seat of the almost 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants in the United States and the next presidential administration?
First-time DACA applications and DACA renewals are still being accepted by USCIS. It is unknown for how long this will be the case.
The president-elect’s stated priority will be to effectuate the prompt removal of criminal aliens. His stated focus will be on aliens who have criminal histories consisting of multiple DUIs, domestic violence and or drug convictions. This population is urged to seek counsel of experienced criminal defense attorneys and immigration attorneys who focus on deportation to determine whether it is possible to vacate any convictions.
Anyone encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can assert the right to refuse to sign a notice to appear and request to speak to counsel. If given a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge, it may be possible to secure an employment authorization document and a driver license in Florida.
An alien who was previously ordered removed but who did not read depart do United States may be eligible for a stay of deportation with ICE.
Through the U visa program, there may also be hope to remain in the United States for those aliens who have been the victim of a crime in the US regardless of how long they have been in the United States or how they entered. Crime victims are urged to report crime to the police and request certification of the immigration form I 918 B.
Do not give up hope!