Legal Advice for Austin Immigrants

Sep 22, 2017 by

Austin is still reeling from the back and forth from the White House when it comes to the deportation of Dreams. From the startling announcement that President Trump planned to end DACA (or the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, in other words, the 2012 law that allowed Dreamers to stay in America without fear of deportation), the White House has now vacillated between confirming and walking back that decision. At the moment, the thinking of the government is uncertain.

This decision has major consequences for Austin and Texas at large. There are currently 230,000 Dreamers in this state alone. That’s more than a quarter of the national total.

The uncertainty follows months of increased presence from ICE officers, with Austin one of the cities hit hardest.

For those capable of it, it’s important to find a good visas and immigration lawyer who can help bring immigration status up to date and comply with all laws. This is true even for those who are here legally. Make sure your green card is up to date, and keep it with you at all times. If your status is uncertain in any way, contact a lawyer who can advise you on the right steps to take. And then take them immediately.

We can’t know what will happen next when it comes to immigration law. We’ve seen already travel bans come and go and then come again even stronger. The most recent travel ban has expanded the list of countries, and it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that the next iteration may include countries with large numbers of immigrants already in the US.

Such concerns should encourage those who want to visit their countries of origin to be very careful, and again, make sure all paperwork is in order.

Remember, that there are many different kinds of visas, and if you have one, you may have your own unique set of requirements. The government is not always very forthcoming with what those are. Check the USCIS site to see when your visa expires and what is required to renew it.

For those who are here without visas, keep in close contact with organizations friendly to new immigrants. This includes Dreamers. Dreamers should not assume that the uncertainty coming from the White House means they are safe to continue life as before. A change could come any minute, and the results would be disastrous if you were not prepared.

So be prepared. Contact a lawyer if possible. Contact organizations. Contact your representative in Congress if they are friendly to the Dreamer cause. The more you make your presence known, the harder it will be to remove you from the country. We all pray it doesn’t come to that, but at this point, we just don’t know.

So just be prepared. Whether you’re legal or not, a Dreamer or not, here on a work visa or a marriage visa: if you don’t have citizenship, get all your papers in order and be prepared for anything.

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