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Workers seeking same treatment as students regarding deportations

To many individuals who have called the United States home for some time, the fear of deportation is all too real. These individuals have made a life for themselves in cities such as Miami, establishing roots doing things such as securing jobs. While immigration reform is being hashed out in the nation’s capital, immigration sweeps of workplaces continue to occur.

While these actions continue to occur, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claims to have softened its approach. A representative indicated that each case is reviewed individually to determine how best to proceed. The decision will be based on a variety of factors including how long the person has resided in the U.S, if they have a criminal record and other members of the family who reside in the country.

Despite these parameters, approximately 410,000 immigrants were deported by ICE in 2012. Of that amount, approximately 55 percent were individuals who had a criminal record. Another 21 percent had previously dealt with immigration matters.

A group of individuals recently took their case to the legislators who are deciding their fate. Among other immigration related matters, they sought to highlight the fact that undocumented students were provided a break from deportation, while the workers were not. Similar to the hiatus in student deportations, the workers are seeking a temporary stop of workplace raids while the legislation is worked through. The group is communicating its message through activities such as art displays.

While it may seem like an uphill battle, it is possible that individuals who think they are at risk of being deported may be able to find a way to remain in the country legally. Because these matters are complex, most would likely benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.

Source: The Washington Post, “Illegal immigrant workers ask not to be deported while Congress debates,” Pamela Constable, July 22, 2013

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