Tue | Oct 15, 2019

J’cans illegally in US warned to have lawyers on hand - ICE gearing up to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants starting weekend

Published:Friday | July 12, 2019 | 12:24 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

Jamaicans living illegally in the United States are being advised by New York-based immigration attorney Millicent Clarke to have a lawyer’s number on speed dial as they could quickly find themselves on a plane back home if a US government-planned operation gets under way this weekend.

A similar operation was to take place last month, but US President Donald Trump postponed it.

The operation, which has caused outrage among immigrant-rights advocates, is expected to target persons with final deportation orders, including families whose cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

“I can’t tell you certainly how many people will be affected, but I know that there are a ton of people out there in that position. A lot of them will be returned to their country, if this operation goes forward, because they might decide not to go forward with it again, based on public opinion or something else. These are turbulent times. If someone isn’t behind you, the likelihood is that you are going home,” she told The Gleaner.

She continued: “My primary advice is that if you are in that position, take the opportunity to contact an experienced immigration attorney so you can know what steps you should be taking if they come knocking on your door.”

Just in case Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials come banging at your door, Clarke said, they should not be allowed inside your home.

She said those officials usually show up early in the morning in marked ICE vehicles.

“If they have a warrant, tell them to put it under the door. If they push the warrant for your arrest as an illegal alien, you should contact your attorney. But do not give them permission to enter your house,” said Clarke.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com