A key area of Immigration Law which is not often discussed is what happens after an order of removal becomes final. When an individual receives an order of removal, they are not immediately put on a plane back to their home country. Some induvial remain in custody while preparations for their departure are made. However, most individuals work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) to make preparations to depart. Many immigrants own significant property or businesses in the United States or they may have sick family members for whom they need to find other care. The United States government is aware of this and will generally give people time to put their affairs in order. However, at this point in an immigration case, the question is not if an alien will be required to depart but when.
While individuals make these preparations, they are required to regularly report to ICE officers on the progress of their preparations and their projected timeline. An ICE officer makes a determination on how much time to give the individual. At any time, the ICE officer can determine that the individual has had enough time and either require the individual to report again soon with travel documents to leave or detain the individual on the spot. This decision is left solely to the discretion of the officer with their only guidance being what trickles down through their supervisor from the President. There are no statutory guidelines or criteria. As such, few areas of immigration law are as affected by the arrival of the Trump administration.
Under President Obama, ICE used a priority system to focus its attention, at all stages, on deporting primarily criminal immigrants. During supervised visits, this meant individuals without criminal records or multiple immigration violations were generally given an indefinite period of time to prepare to leave without providing any evidence of their plans.
Under President Trump, the priority system was abolished and now all immigrants are a priority. During supervised visits, this means individuals who were given an order many years ago, but have no other issues are often being told to come back with travel plans. Furthermore, there has also been a significant increase in the number of individuals being detained at supervised visits. With each passing month, ICE seems to be less and less understanding of the needs of individuals preparing to leave.
Because of the increased pressure on Immigrants attending ICE visits, it is highly recommended to retain an attorney to help you prepare and accompany you on these visits. At Potra Law firm we fight to get you the best possible outcome during this difficult process. If you are reporting to ICE, please don't hesitate to contact us immediately for a consultation. (770)271-5244