Immigration Enforcement in the Chicago area in 2017 has been expanding. Workplace raids by ICE agents are more frequent, arrests and detentions have increased, and undocumented immigrants must now fear what were formerly routine procedures such as “check-ins” with ICE because of the uncertainty that they will be forced into detention. Immigration Bonds seem to be harder to come by – as ICE is declining to set bond on many of its detainees, leaving the question of bond up to an immigration judge. The wait to see an immigration judge for a bond hearing can be several weeks spent in ice custody. The immigration court docket in Chicago has doubled since 2010, with nearly 25,000 pending cases now backlogged. Individual hearing dates are being scheduled out as far as 2021 for some cases.
The Trump Justice Department is focusing on enforcements policies to streamline the removal and deportation of undocumented immigrants. Although their main priority is supposed to be those arrested or convicted of crimes, many other noncriminal immigrants are being swept up in their net. Make sure you know your rights if your are detained by ICE or ICE shows up at your home or workplace. Have a family member contact an Immigration Attorney experienced in Removal Defense and Immigration Bond Hearings if you are processed by ICE for detention. Being detained by ICE and placed in Removal or Deportation proceedings is particularly frightening and stressful. But there are forms of relief that you may qualify for, that could eventually lead to permanent residence status, if you meet certain eligibility requirements.