“Anyone can be arrested.”
The immigrants’ society is starting to feel increasingly alarmed as the Department of Homeland Security presented President Trump’s executive order against immigrants.
President of Minjok School Yoon Dae-joong stated, “Our fear has become reality. Indiscriminate attack against immigrants has started. Anyone can be arrested for investigation. Even if you are a legal immigrant, if you can’t prove your identity right at that moment you can be taken into custody.”
A person with a U.S. visa of less than 2 years can also be immediately arrested and deported. They can also be deported or become subjects of control if they get arrested for any kind of crime. The subjects of control not only includes illegal immigrants but also ‘removable aliens’ who are legal immigrants.
Yoon added, “Randomly being asked to prove your identity on the streets is no longer a strange thing. If your English is weak and so you can’t properly handle the situation, it’s possible for you to be taken into custody.”
Immigrant advocacy organizations suggest to first take the Fifth Amendment when questioned about immigrant statuses. “Never lie that you are a legal immigrant; committing perjury puts you in a graver situation,” they emphasized.
Immigration lawyers suggest to always carry around evidential documents.
Recently, the hottest topics in Korean immigration related websites were whether to possess green cards with you all the time or not.
It’s actually better to carry your green card with you according to the law. The immigration service bureau announces that it is necessary to always have the green card with you after being issued with one.
However in reality, many immigrants do not carry around their green cards in fear of losing them. Many believe that they can prove their identity just with their drivers’ license. Some carry around a copy of their green cards or take a photo with their phones.
Lawyers emphasize that even if you are a permanent resident it is better to prepare for any case of emergency. Lawyer Jonathan Park stated, “The federal government is executing the 287(g) Program that authorizes them to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions. Currently 38 judicial authorities under 16 states are cooperating with the federal government to control immigrants. When near the border area or somewhere that is cautious of immigrants, it is always better to possess your green card or any evidential document.”
It is especially important to possess your green card, student visa, or work permit visa when visiting border areas such as San Diego, states including Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. According to the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization, the number of immigrants who were forcefully deported between 2006 and 2013 was 17,206 in LA County, 13,479 in San Bernardino, 12,889 in Orange County, 31,278 in Arizona, and 4,947 in Nevada.
Korean hotline for emergency: 844-500-3222
Original article available at http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=5032533
By Soo-yeon Oh and Hyung-jae Kim
Translated by Ellen Kim