With all of the problems President Trump has been creating for himself with the Russia collusion probe and other issues, immigration has been mostly out of the news. It appears that the DACA program continues to be safe, the USCIS is approving new and renewed DACA applications within 2-3 months and there has been no indication that the DACA program will be affected by President Trump. If anyone out there is considering applying for DACA for the first time or just renewing their DACA status, I strongly recommend doing it because I think the benefits far outweigh the risks.
As far as the provisional waiver (I-601A), this is the waiver for people who entered the USA illegally and they are married to a US citizen or permanent resident. There were some beneficial changes that President Obama made to the program before he left office that have had a very good impact on approval rates.
Currently, USCIS is approving 96% of I-601A provisional waiver applications!
This is much higher than the approval rate at this time last year, and Obama’s changes have contributed to the rise in approval rates. However, it is still very important to at least consult with an immigration lawyer about your case because USCIS no longer denies I-601A waivers due to criminal convictions or immigration violations. So, it’s vital to know if you even qualify for an I-601A waiver before you spend all the time and energy to put your application together and mail it in.
As far as deportation activity from ICE, there hasn’t been any unusual activity in the Austin area like there was back in January and February of 2017. ICE is still conducting a lot of raids in other parts of the country, so there is definitely a rise in ICE activity in arresting people with criminal arrests and orders of deportation. Just because there hasn’t been any recent deportation activity in Austin does not mean there won’t be in any in the future.
Unfortunately, it’s just a matter of time before ICE conducts another raid in the Austin area. If you get caught, it’s a good idea to know what you should do in that situation. Most people who are arrested by ICE will be given 2 choices:
- Take a voluntary departure where they will take you to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the same day.
- Ask for a hearing with an immigration judge and they will put you in an immigration detention facility in Pearsall, Texas.
Anyone with a US citizen spouse or US citizen children here should ask for a hearing with an immigration judge. That way you will get to stay here with your family for at least 2-3 more years before an immigration judge decides your case. That delay alone is worth it to fight your case because you can spend all of that time with your family without worrying about being caught by ICE again.
There may even be a chance for you to get permanent residence here if you have relatives here that are permanent residents or US citizens. The best way to know what to say if you get stopped by an ICE agent is to talk to an immigration lawyer about your situation so you know what to do if you get caught.
Please contact my office with any questions here.
Or Call Us: (512) 912-7771