Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said that its agents are allowed to dress in plain clothes and not identify themselves before taking undocumented immigrants into custody. This may have an impact on those living in Maryland and elsewhere in the United States. In Brooklyn, four people were taken into custody outside of a courthouse by ICE agents who did not identify themselves. They were also in plain clothes when the incident happened, and scenes such as this one have becoming increasing common.
People in Maryland whose loved ones are facing deportation may want to contact the applicable foreign consulate. Immigration arrests are on the rise under the Trump administration, and foreign nationals have a right to contact their consulate for assistance. The consulate may be able to refer themto attorneys.
Maryland readers know that President Trump has made deporting illegal immigrants a top priority on his agenda. However, immigration advocates are concerned that his policies are eroding the protections of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which was enacted by the Obama administration in 2012.
Immigrants in Maryland might be concerned about news concerning more than 600 immigrants being detained in five cities throughout the country. According to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's actions were routine and aimed at people in gangs, with criminal records and who had previous immigration violations. However, both immigrants and those who employ them have expressed concern about what appears to be increasing enforcement.
A Maryland county is considering a sanctuary bill that will protect undocumented immigrants. If Howard County passes the bill, only immigrants who have committed a crime can be asked for documentation paperwork by law enforcement. A council member who co-sponsored the bill said that he hopes that it will result in more undocumented immigrants reporting crimes since they would not need to fear deportation.
Undocumented Maryland residents may be interested to learn that some immigrants are being taken into custody on unsubstantiated allegations of being involved in gang activity. This is despite President Obama's stated focus on those who were entering the country illegally in order to commit crimes over those who have lived in the country long-term while still abiding by the laws.
Maryland residents may be aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began in May to conduct a series of raids designed to round up undocumented workers and those who have now exhausted all of their legal options. Many of these raids took place in schools, homes and work sites, and immigrant advocacy groups including the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project have chastised officials for what they are calling a heavy-handed and inappropriate approach.
Maryland residents may be aware that detention facilities operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been widely criticized by civil liberties and immigrant advocacy groups. Most of these complaints have focused on the conditions in these facilities and the treatment of immigrants, but the federal agency has also been accused of depriving detainees of the due process guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution.
Maryland residents may be aware that U.S. immigration authorities are struggling to cope with a wave of asylum seekers who hope to escape persecution or danger in their home countries and begin new lives in the United States. Many of these people are gay or transsexual individuals wishing to live in a country where they are not openly persecuted or discriminated against, but a report released on March 23 by Human Rights Watch claims that dozens of transgender individuals have been mistreated in immigration detention centers.
Observers allege that conditions at U.S. immigration detention centers have led to the death of numerous detainees. One incident, which began with the June 2011 detention of a 54-year-old, resulted in the man waiting to be treated for 22 days and eventually dying from heart disease after suffering from painful symptoms for about three months. Internal reviews by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined that the death could have been avoided with proper treatment, and advocates in Maryland and around the country say the incident highlights major problems with the way ICE operates.