A recent arrest in the state of California highlights the dangers that recent immigration policies pose even for legal residents in this country. Jose Luis Garcia, a 62-year-old grandfather and a legal permanent resident of the U.S., was arrested by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 10, 2018, as he watered his lawn at home in the San Fernando Valley. Garcia came to this country as a 13-year-old and has lived here for nearly 50 years.
An 18-Year-Old Misdemeanor Offense
According to ICE officials, Garcia was taken into custody because of an 18-year-old domestic violence charge that resulted in Garcia being required to take anger management courses and being sentenced to probation. He successfully completed all parts of his sentence. Nonetheless, ICE seized on this offense as an excuse to take Garcia into custody and to propose him as a potential candidate for deportation.
No Longer Prioritizing Felony Charges
Garcia’s story is indicative of the new approach taken by ICE under the Trump administration. Under previous presidents, ICE focused primarily on immigrants who committed felonies and who were perceived as threats to the security or safety of the general public. The policies and priorities of ICE under President Trump, however, have shifted the spotlight away from immigrants who have committed serious crimes and toward those who look like easy targets for ICE officials.
A Cautionary Tale for Immigrants
The willingness of ICE officials to pursue those who are in the U.S. legally demonstrates the need to enlist the help of a Miami immigration lawyer for even the most minor misdemeanor charges. These individuals can provide expert help and guidance in ensuring that ICE cannot use these misdemeanors as an excuse to begin deportation proceedings against otherwise law-abiding residents in the U.S. By retaining the professional services of an experienced US citizenship lawyer, immigrants and their families can take proactive steps to protect themselves against ICE operations.
If you need a qualified and knowledgeable Miami immigration lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can help with professional representation that can produce real results for yourself and your family. Our team includes two former immigration prosecutors and a former judge, which gives us the perspective needed to ensure the best possible results for your situation. Call our offices today at 305-856-0400 to schedule a free initial in-office consultation with our team of experienced immigration attorneys. We look forward to the chance to help you and your family achieve the fabled American dream.