If you have turned on the news in the last few years, in the last twenty years even, you’ll have heard about the issue of immigration. Notably in the decision by the Trump administration to push to end DACA and the recent calls to end the ‘diversity lottery.’
New Jersey has the third highest percentage of immigrant residents falling behind only California and New York. If you live in this state, it’s a near impossibility to go about your life and not interact with several immigrants. This is a nation built on the principles of immigration, but not everyone who immigrates does so through the proper legal channels.
This year has brought about a large spike in the number of arrests for immigrants without legal status. The Atlantic reports that this is a nationwide trend. In May, they reported arrests of undocumented immigrants had risen 38% over the same period of time last year. It was also revealed that 25% of these arrests involved no criminal convictions. New Jersey saw a surprising 44% of the arrested undocumented immigrants had no criminal convictions.
There are several reasons for why the state might be seeing this increase. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has been given a larger operational purview due to two Executive Orders signed by President Trump. The second order has expanded the list of “priorities for removal” to include any “risk to public safety or national security.” This is a breakaway from the former policy of only going after those that had been convicted of serious crimes, such as gang affiliates or murder. There is also a belief that cases of collateral arrests will also increase in the months ahead.
That’s where an immigration attorney would be a tremendous help. Becoming an American citizen can be a process of 7 years or longer. The attorney would be able to guide you through the nuanced and arduous process. They may also be able to help you in the worst case scenario of being deported.