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Discussion Points for Punto Legal –July 24, 2019

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1. Immigration Raids.

More than 2,000 immigrants who were in the United States illegally were targeted in widely publicized raids that unfolded across the country last week. But just 35 people were detained in the operation. The targets were people with final deportation orders. Why were these raids so unsuccessful? First, advance notice of the large-scale operation gave immigrant advocates time to counsel families about their rights, which include not opening the door or answering questions. Second, community groups shared detailed information about sightings of ICE agents on social media. Third, the targets laid low.

2. El Chapo coming to Colorado.

El Chapo is in Colorado. As you know, El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison last week. The Bureau of Prisons put him in the federal super-max prison in Florence, Colorado. At the Supermax, prisoners spend 23 hours per day in single, soundproof cells made of poured concrete. You have no idea where they are within the prison. Prisoners at the Supermax do get black and white TV’s that play educational programs via a closed circuit system.

3. Immigrants and Social Media.

Many of you have Facebook accounts and are big users of social media. Did you know that immigration officials are now looking at your Facebook page when you apply for a benefit? Do you have photographs on Facebook of you and a gun? Do you have photos on Facebook show drug use? If you are seeking an immigration benefit, make a point of cleaning up your Facebook page and other social media.

4. Parole in Place (“PIP”). There were rumors out of Washington last week that the Trump Administration was going to cancel the “parole in place” or PIP program for spouses and parents of members of the military. If you have applied for or are thinking about applying for PIP, you should consult an immigration attorney right away. One thing you may want to do is get your application in quickly.

5. Expedited Removal.

Expedited removal is a fast track, summary process for removing certain undocumented immigrants without a hearing before an immigration judge. By law, expedited removal applies only to individuals who lack valid entry documents, who commit fraud to obtain admission, or who falsely claim U.S. citizenship. The Trump Administration implemented expedited removal throughout the United States yesterday. Previously, expedited removal was only applied within 100 miles of the border. If you are undocumented and cannot prove you have been in the U.S. for the past two years, you are subject to expedited removal. If you have been in the U.S. for more than two years, you want to have a piece of paper with your name on it that it over two years old. On the other hand, if you are overstaying a visa, expedited removal does not apply you.