Massachusetts Legal Blog

Changes to Immigration Documentation Laws and Border Security

In the past week, several executive orders have been signed by the new administration with making major changes to Immigration.

The first was focused on internal security in the United States. A new focus has been created on persons in the United States without documentation, whether they entered the country without inspection or overstayed their legal visas. A large majority of this document discussed immediate movement against undocumented persons with criminal records. There is to be an increase of border security, hiring of additional enforcement officers, and harsher measures towards “sanctuary” cities and locations. There will also be a focus on trying to remove criminals whose countries previously refused to take them back. Finally, there is also to be a focus on removing undocumented persons in the United States who have been in the country less than two years.

Changes to Immigration Documentation Laws and Border Security

The second was pertaining to an increase in border security – particularly that along the southern US-Mexico border. This order discussed building the “wall” on the border, some basic discussion of how to fund it, and detention facilities to be created along the border.

The confirmed text of the third executive order, released just a few hours ago, has yet to be released by the White House. News articles do seem to confirm that an executive order was signed this evening concerning the proposed temporary ban of refugees and/or immigrants from certain countries. However, at this time, the final order has not been released on the White House website. At this time, the draft version that was previously leaked does not seem reliable, as it has also been rumored that there were changes made to this draft prior to signing.

Shapiro Law Group, PC will be watching the White House website for the official version of this executive order, even through this weekend. Once official information has been released, another update will be posted.

In the meantime, Immigration attorneys around the country are now recommending that immigrants (especially those who are out of status or have no status) carry with them at all times proof of their legal status or physical documentary proof of continuous physical presence in the U.S. for the prior 2 years as that will help protect them against being subject to Expedited Removal.

Expedited Removal is an immediate order without any further hearing, review, or opportunity to apply to stay in the United States unless the person expresses a fear of persecution, in which case he or she is afforded a “credible fear interview” to determine whether he or she may apply for asylum. Individuals subject to expedited removal generally are not informed of their right to counsel. Likewise, they are not provided a sufficient opportunity to contact counsel to help them challenge the charges against them or present evidence that is not with them at the time of apprehension.

Please rest assured that Shapiro Law Group, PC is constantly monitoring the status of all executive orders being issued with respect to Immigration law and will provide updates once firm knowledge of actual changes are made.

If you feel that you may need assistance with your immigration situation during this changing time, please contact Shapiro Law Group