A situation is unfolding in a state in the Northwest that has many Florida immigrants and others throughout the nation quite concerned. Most immigrants understand that U.S. immigration law is complex and continually subject to changes. Lately, however, an apparent increase in immigrant arrests has caused many families to worry.
The ongoing matter involves a 35-year-old man who was recently detained after ICE officials identified him as a person who gave an interview to reporters regarding another immigrant’s deportation. The other immigrant happens to be his long-time girlfriend with whom he has several children. She was arrested in June and has since been deported to Mexico.
The man says he believes his own arrest came about as an act of retaliation for doing the news interview. ICE says that is not the case, however. Officials say they could have arrested him in June as well because they were aware of his undocumented status. Instead, they claim that they chose to allow him to remain free so he could care for his children, who were still in the United States at the time. The children now live in Mexico with their mother.
A U.S. immigration law attorney acting on behalf of the man says ICE officials’ actions do not align with typical ICE investigations since his client has no criminal record, was fully employed and part of the local community where he resides. The attorney says there does not appear to be any issue that would have warranted his client’s arrest. Florida immigrants facing deportation or other immigration problems may also retain assistance from experienced immigration attorneys to protect their interests and, if applicable, try to avoid deportation.
Source: The Seattle Times, “No retaliation against immigrant who spoke to media, ICE director tells Inslee“, Steve Miletich, Dec. 22, 2017