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Law-abiding undocumented immigrants still face deportation risks

The immigration system in the United States is ripe for reform. Is there anyone in Kentucky or any other state who would disagree with that view? Probably not. The problem, as has been so clearly in evidence for decades, is that no one seems to agree on what shape reform should take. Meantime, as leaders in Washington engage in a policy tug of war, people get snared in the rope.

Just because individuals lack proper documentation does not mean they are not entitled to protection of rights. Delivering that protection can be a challenge, however, and in the current state of the union, an advocate's depth of experience can be of significant advantage to anyone challenging government deportation and removal efforts.

Changes being seen

The arrival of a new administration in the White House has brought with it a clear change in the immigration environment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that immigrant arrests rose nearly 38 percent in President Trump's first 100 days compared to the same period last year.

Authorities say the majority of those picked up have criminal records. The seriousness of their crimes might be unclear, but they purportedly have records. At the same time, about 25 percent of the recently arrested are apparently law abiding. It appears their only misdeed is being in the country without proper documentation.

What some observers find particularly telling is that while arrests of those with criminal records are up by 18 percent over last year, arrests of those with no records have more than doubled. And other legal experts say employers should expect more audits and raids stemming from worker identity authorizations filed by employers.

Foreign workers and their employers clearly have reason to be more vigilant in defense of their rights under the law. Consulting a skilled attorney is a way to exercise that vigilance.

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