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New executive order expands who might be deported

It has been an exceptionally difficult season for immigrant communities in Georgia and around the country, and it does not look like things will be getting much easier any time soon. Right here in the Atlanta area, Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently performed "targeted raids" along Buford Highway, detaining around 40 individuals. Under the new, expanded standards for detaining and deporting immigrants, ICE is reportedly picking up individuals who have any kind of violation on their records, not only violent offenses. According to some sources, even those around them may be in danger of being detained and deported.

A spokesperson for ICE contends that the raids first reported on social media are not part of any new initiative, but rather a continuation of ongoing operations. The spokesperson did, however, reference a portion of a recent executive order regarding immigrants who may be eligible for deportation.

The new guidelines indicate that immigrants may face deportation if they have been "convicted of a criminal offense" or "charged with a criminal offense that is unresolved." But the new guidelines go further, including those who "committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense," "have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency," "have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits," or most concerningly, "in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security."

This new era of enforcement of immigration law will not be a simple one. If you are concerned about your security as a resident, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you prepare a strong defense and keep your rights protected.

Source: Decaturish, "UPDATE: Immigration attorneys report ICE raids on Buford Highway," Dan Whisenhunt, Feb. 10, 2017

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