A few weeks ago, Federal immigration officers arrested five people in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They were arrested after showing up for scheduled appointments at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. Three of the people arrested were beginning the process to become legal permanent residents. ICE said that there were orders for the agency to detain all five of the people for deportation. With Trump as president, there are new deportation priorities. A local attorney called the situation for immigrants a catch-22. This is because if they don’t show up for the interview, it is called abandoned, In addition, if they do show up now, and are detained, they can be removed.
Local attorneys say that they find the arrests both troubling and surprising. “The detention of an individual under these circumstances and most likely the arrest would be something that is definitely new,” says one of the local attorneys. Under the Obama administration, ICE officers were not instructed to arrest or detain individuals under these circumstances. Now people who are eligible to get there green card, following the law, following the rules, and are doing what the government is telling them to do, are at risk of being detained.
Source: “ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants In Lawrence, Signaling Shift in Priorities.”