Crossing a border into the United States might have been a lifelong goal of yours. Perhaps, you spent months preparing your visa application and managing your affairs in your country of origin. You said goodbye to loved ones and friends, closed bank accounts and let your employer know you’d be leaving soon.
Then again, maybe your arrival in Kentucky was a lot less planned. You might be one of many immigrants who suddenly fled his or her homeland because of violence, poverty, persecution or all three. Regardless of the details of your immigration journey, it’s likely you encountered some challenges along the way. If you’re currently worried about your legal status or are a deportation risk, it’s critical that you know where to seek support if a problem arises.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
You’ve likely heard this agency referred to as ICE. Immigration officers working for this government agency often show up at people’s homes or public places intent on making arrests and placing immigrants in detention. Any number of issues might prompt such incidents. The following list provides information about what might happen if an ICE officer takes you into custody:
- You do not have to answer any questions because you have the right to remain silent.
- You do not have to give ICE officers the consent to a search.
- It can take hours to complete the necessary paperwork to detain you. During this time, you may contact a lawyer.
- After processing you, ICE agents will take you to a detention center while they attempt to verify your identity and begin the removal process.
If you are in the country legally, hold a green card and have done nothing wrong, an attorney could intercede on your behalf to reopen your case. It is often easier to navigate this system when all your paperwork is in order.
What if it’s not?
Many people arrive in Kentucky under stressful circumstances, perhaps seeking asylum from the U.S. government. This or other issues may be the reason your documentation was not up to par when you came to the United States to live.
There are often options and strategies available for resolving legal status problems. That’s why it’s so important to build a strong support network from the start.