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Law enforcement detaining immigrant parents, leaving children

Many immigrants throughout Georgia now live in constant fear that the lives they've built in America may be stripped from them at any moment. Numerous reports from various news outlets suggest that law enforcement here in Georgia look for any kind of legal discrepancy or infraction whenever they interact with immigrants, and initiate deportation if they find anything.

Recently, an investigative report found that officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) readily detained immigrants for deportation even when it meant leaving children without a parent. For the hundreds or even thousands of immigrant households where one or more parent faces deportation, this is very troubling news.

In many cases, individuals were detained for minor offenses like driving without a license. While this might seem like a very small violation (and it is), it is apparently all that is needed for ICE agents to detain immigrants and initiate the deportation process. If you are an immigrant living in Georgia, you have every right to be afraid. The threat of unfair deportation is very real at the moment, and may continue for some time. However, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

It is always wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can examine your circumstances and help you identify ways to keep your family safe. While there are no guarantees, the guidance of an attorney can help you understand the law so that you can stay out of trouble with it. If you do run into trouble with law enforcement, it is always good to have an established relationship with an attorney that you can call for representation to keep your rights protected.

Source: Think Progress, "Traffic stops in Georgia are leaving children without their immigrant parents," Esther Yu Hsi Lee, June 23, 2017

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