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Philadelphia Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Know your rights if an ICE officer shows up at your door


Recently under the Trump Administration, more and more undocumented people have become detained if not deported, sending fears across the country. You may be one of many undocumented individuals who has not encountered immigration officers but may be worried about your safety, even in your own home. Although you may not be able to predict when an immigration officer might show up at your home, it is important to be aware of your rights early on so that you know what to do in such an event:

Know your rights when approached by immigration officials

The fluctuating state of immigration enforcement in the United States continues to bring new questions and challenges to those living in the country without citizenship. For non-citizens worried about your status in the country, it’s important to know your rights if approached by immigration enforcement officials.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have taken to approaching, questioning and even detaining individuals in nearly every setting from courtrooms and schools to workplaces and homes. If approached by ICE officers, keep a few important considerations in mind.

What are the types of work visas in the U.S.?

You want to live and work in the United States. It is part of a dream or goal for many people. A work visa is one way to achieve that goal. There are different work visas that may be available to you.

The type of work visa you need depends on the type of work you do. It can be anything from working on a farm to a more skilled occupation.

Many Welcome Immigrants While Some Get Deported

If you’re unsure about your status as an immigrant and feel uncertain about your future, you’re not alone. Many people are in your situation as the state of Pennsylvania is caught up in the changes brought about by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Conflicting Viewpoints

Philadelphia And Federal Government Face Off Over Immigration

The Trump administration has made no secret of its quest to crack down on illegal, and, many argue, legal immigration. From promises of a border wall along the U.S. and Mexican border to stripping Dreamers of DACA protections, in the 10 months since taking office, the current administration has made several sweeping attempts to keep immigrants from both coming to and staying in the country.

Sanctuary cities like Philadelphia have also come under fire by both the Trump administration and officials at the Department of Justice for refusing to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency when it comes to enforcement actions.

With DACA Revoked, Dreamers Face Uncertain Futures

In an effort to solve one piece of the complex problem of illegal immigration in the United States, a program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was enacted in 2012. The program aimed to assist those individuals who came to the U.S. as children by allowing them to obtain legal work authorization and defer any removal actions for a 24 month renewable timeframe.

At the time, DACA was praised by many for being a shining path to bring many so-called Dreamers out of the long shadows cast by their illegal immigrant status. While some Dreamers worried about making their identities and whereabouts known to government immigration officials, the program grew to include nearly 800,000 Dreamers.

Out of fear, Philly says 'Adios' to Cinco de Mayo festival

This is a nation of diversity. In Philadelphia alone, various cultures are celebrated throughout the year, including the Mexican culture. Cinco de Mayo takes place in a few weeks. The holiday has become a day here and across the country during which not only those of Mexican descent celebrate their heritage, but Americans of all backgrounds get together and honor the culture.

Recognizing Cinco de Mayo usually means attending parades and festivals while enjoying mariachi music and Mexican treats. Philadelphia historically has held a large celebration on the holiday. This year, however, the plans have changed. More specifically, El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelphia has been cancelled.

Seeking Asylum In The U.S.

As the number of countries impacted by war, gang violence, food and water shortages and oppressive governments continues to increase throughout the world, so too do the number of innocent civilians who are impacted. Faced with the daily threats of persecution, harm, starvation and death; a record number of men, women and children from around the globe are making the difficult decision to flee their homes and countries in hope of finding safety and a better life.

According to The United Nations Refugee Agency, during 2015, a record number of people, 65.3 million, were displaced by war and persecution. This startling number translates into approximately one out of every 113 world citizens and is forcing other more peaceful countries, including the United States, to reexamine their immigration and asylum policies.

Do immigrants want to learn English?

One immigration-related topic of controversy has to do with immigrants' willingness to learn English.

A study published in Social Science Quarterly in 2012 examined immigrants' attitudes about the English language. Respondents from a previous study were asked this question:

"How important is it that citizens be able to speak and understand English?