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Non-criminal deportations on the rise

In Florida and other states that are home to large immigrant communities, many families live in fear that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will knock on their doors. This fear is a reflection of how the Trump administration has changed the rules to arrest more immigrants.

During the campaign conducted by Donald Trump, one of his salient promises was to deploy a deportation force around the country for the purpose of flushing out dangerous undocumented immigrants convicted of serious criminal offenses. While the deportation force has been very busy with immigration detention cases, nearly 50,000 of those detained in 2017 do not have any history of criminal charges.

After taking office, Trump signed an executive order that gave immigration agents more authority in detaining undocumented immigrants. Furthermore, ICE has changed its internal rules to label immigrants who have fallen into irregular status as criminals. Critics say the agency is doing this for the purpose of 'cooking the books." Only 70 percent of immigrants rounded up by Trump's deportation force have criminal records; however, the Department of Homeland Security bumps this percentage to 92 percent when it explains that immigrants who overstay their visas, don't show up to USCIS appointments or fail to submit required paperwork are in fact breaking the law and should thus be labeled as criminals.

Due to these increased efforts in deportation, immigrants whose legal status is questionable face a high risk of being detained. Therefore, it may be wise for such individuals to reach out to an immigration law firm for support.

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