New Policies Asking for Harsher Penalties for Illegal Entry
Previously, illegal entry cases have been charged as misdemeanors. In a recent memo to U.S.attorneys nationwide, Jeff Sessions, the U.S. attorney general, urges prosecutors to charge repeat illegal entry cases as felonies. Similarly, the memo urges federal prosecutors to prioritize immigration-related cases. The Trump administration argues that the increased penalties and prioritization will protect the U.S. from criminal organizations such as, the Cartel.
Similarly, with the harsher penalties for Illegal Entry,Sessions has called for the hiring of 75 more immigration judges and 60 more border enforcement prosecutors. Although Sessions asked judges to prioritize illegal entry hearings, according to the memo, felony charges should be reserved for repeat offenders. In addition to harsher penalties for repeat illegal entries, fraud and identity theft charges may also be allege in such hearings.
The memorandum also prioritizes protecting law enforcement who are enforcing borer protection.
The Trump administration has placed illegal immigration as a top priority. It is imperative to review your immigration documents if you are applying for citizenship or are a legal resident.
Key Immigration Tips for Maintaining Status
Avoid Visa Violations – Be sure to know the extent of your visa. Even minor violations can result in deportation.
Arrive on time for USCIS Appointments – Because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is backlogged, arriving on time to appointments is crucial. Arriving late can postpone or delay your appointment for days, weeks, or even months. Your status could expire because of a missed appointment.
Keep a Record of Your Paperwork – This is the most important advice in maintaining your residency or visa status. It is imperative to track changes in your paperwork and to keep a record of these changes. If needed, making multiple copies can provide a back up in case you lose your paperwork. Similarly, be proactive in providing the USCIS with any address changes. You can do this online, here.
Consider U.S. Citizenship – U.S. Citizenship is a great way to avoid the hassle of constantly maintaining and updating paperwork. If you have a green card, apply for citizenship as early as possible. U.S. citizenship protects against removal (deportation) and can help your family members secure citizenship. There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen and you can read about them here.