Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Warns of Restrictive Immigration Policies to Come in Wake of Executive Orders, but Adds that Various Legal Remedies Remain in Force

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Immigrants need to be aware of the heightened enforcement, but should try to remain calm and understand that effective legal remedies are still in effect, says attorney Henry A. Posada.

Immigrants enter the USA from around the world in search of a better life.

Undocumented individuals could be targeted as enforcement priorities and be detained and deported for minor offenses, or for even having committed conduct chargeable as an offense even though not criminally prosecuted or convicted.

A January 25th White House executive order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” sets forth the new administration's broad enforcement priorities. In addition, a few days ago, on February 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued two memorandums implementing the Executive Orders.

Mr. Posada warns that the document on interior security, when taken together with the executive order associated with the proposed border wall and other orders, and implementing memos, will present a major expansion of enforcement within immigrant communities. This means that undocumented individuals could be targeted as enforcement priorities and be detained and deported for minor offenses, or for even having committed conduct chargeable as an offense even though not criminally prosecuted or convicted. Individuals who have misrepresented their immigration status to officials, or individuals with past legal issues could, in some cases, be subjected to detention and removal, says Mr. Posada.

At the same time, Mr. Posada adds, however, that it’s important for immigrant communities to remain calm and understand the numerous important legal remedies that will remain. The Immigration and Nationality Act (the immigration statute itself), decades of case-law (both judicial and administrative precedents), and, most importantly, the United States Constitution, remain intact. That is where immigrant communities may take solace and reassurance. He notes that qualified immigration lawyers remain ready to fight on behalf of their clients and challenge violations of their rights, particularly in the case of removal proceedings.

Mr. Posada adds that in the climate of heightened enforcement, particularly against foreign nationals with criminal histories, there will be a growing necessity for concentration in the area known as post-conviction relief. This is a highly complex legal area which entails being able to navigate through the challenging process of effectively clearing a record of conviction in criminal court, where the criminal record is being used as a predicate basis for enforcement of the immigration laws. Also, it should be noted that post-conviction relief efforts are bolstered for California residents by a number of recent amendments to the California Penal Code that Mr. Posada says are extremely helpful to immigrants who are working to overcome past criminal issues to avoid immigration consequences. He adds that, in light of recent events, the California legislature showed some significant prescience in adding these laws to defenders’ arsenals in the battle against deportations.

Henry A. Posada adds that competent legal counsel in the field of immigration remains an effective means of supporting the rights of individuals who have striven to seek better lives for themselves and their families. Individuals who would like to learn more are welcome to contact the Law Offices of Henry A. Posada at (562) 904-9080, or visit the law firm online at http://www.hposadalaw.com.

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