Undocumented Immigrant Deportations – Up To Three Million Removals Are Planned

By Peek & Toland on February 13, 2017

President Donald Trump wants to remove undocumented immigrants and to do it fast. His plan for undocumented immigrant deportations has alarmed many people who are unlawfully living in Texas.

Trump spoke of deporting large numbers of undocumented immigrants during the election campaign. He mentioned the figure of 11 million.

However, in his first television interview since winning the election, he said he planned to deport 2 – 3 million undocumented immigrants when he took office.

The statements came in a “60 Minutes” interview, reported WFAA8.

Trump has promised increase in undocumented immigrant deportations

Undocumented immigrant deportations are set to rise

In the interview, Trump made it clear he’s targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal records. He said:

“We’re going to get the people that are criminals, have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, – we have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, could even be 3 million, we’re getting them out of our country or we’re going to incarcerate.”

The WFAA8 report reflected the fears of undocumented immigrants who live in Texas.

They include Catalina Acuna. She lives in Irving where she moved from California. Acuna and her husband fled cartel violence in Mexico in 2000.

She has three children who were born in the U.S, and hence are citizens through birth.

However, Acuna is undocumented and fears deportation. As many as 1.5 immigrants in Texas are in the same category.

Acuna was more relieved to hear Trump appears to have reduced his deportation figure to one comparable with that of the Obama administration, which also placed an emphasis on deporting immigrants with criminal records in the last four years.

Austin Family Lawyers Help Undocumented Immigrants


Although Trump appears to have softened his stance on deportations, there are no guarantees for the undocumented.

Trump maintains he will secure the border between the United States and Mexico, although part of the promised wall could be a fence.

After securing the border, he will make a decision on what to do with approximately 9-10 million immigrants who don’t have lawful status in the United States but have no criminal background.

He suggested these immigrants are “terrific people,” but gave no indication about his future plans for them.

If you are slated for deportation you should not assume it’s a lost cause, even if you have a criminal conviction. These cases have to be processed by the immigration courts. It’s often in the best interests of a family for its members to be kept together.

You can read about our Austin family immigration lawyers’ record in cancellation of removal cases here. Call us at (512) 474-4445.


Posted in Immigration, Immigration Reform

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New Austin Police Chief Won’t Reconsider Demanding Immigration Status During Traffic Stops

By Peek & Toland on January 27, 2017

Austin has a new police chief. He won’t be changing the department’s practice of not questioning the immigration status of people apprehended at traffic stops.

Austin interim police chief Brian Manley spoke to the KXAN TV station. He said questioning the legal status of people who are stopped has never been police department policy.

Manley took over the department in late 2016 from Art Acevedo. He pledged to continue his predecessor’s approach to not questioning the immigration status of people who are stopped.

Traffic stops are not the place to question immigrant status says police chief

Austin police won’t ask immigrant status during traffic stops

Not focusing on immigration status when someone is arrested for a crime is a policy that’s commonly associated with sanctuary cities, a target of the new Trump administration.

Manley said in the interview the police department has no reason to ask someone who is arrested about their immigration status. He said:

“We’re not going to get involved in their status as far as why they are in the country, how they are in the country whether they’re here illegally.”

Traffic Stops in Austin Will Focus on Criminal Conduct

The chief said the focus of his department will be on any criminal conduct that may have been committed and the need to keep local people safe from crime. The interviewer asked what the department would do if a lawmaker demand police ask suspects about their immigration status.

It’s a pertinent question with a bill intended to eliminate sanctuary cities set to be debated in the state legislature.

Manley said if a bill was passed the police department would need to look at how it could change its policies. He pointed to a longstanding tradition in Austin to focus on the criminal offense rather than the immigrant status of a suspect.

In Travis County, the new sheriff Sally Hernandez has taken a pro-immigrant stance. She has pledged not to honor detainer request made by agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Detainer requests are often made without a warrant. ICE agents ask local jails to hold people suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

Over the next few months, we are likely to see major immigration reforms aimed at increasing deportations. Immigrants with criminal records will be in the front line.

Our Austin family immigration attorneys are well aware of the dangers of broad brush classifications. We know at first hand the importance of keeping families together.

If you need help with an immigration matter, please call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Immigration

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Texas Valedictorian Reveals She is an Undocumented Immigrant in Speech

By Peek & Toland on July 22, 2016

We hear a lot of negative things about undocumented immigrants and the success stories are often hidden. A high school valedictorian helped readdress the balance when she revealed her status during a graduation speech in Texas.

Larissa Martinez is Yale-bound. She used her valedictorian speech at McKinney Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas on June 3 to convey the “unexpected realities” of being undocumented in the United States.

valedictorian reveals she is undocumented in speech

The speech provided a different perspective on the debate about undocumented immigrants which has come before the U.S. Supreme Court. President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals program (DACA) is described here on our website. Martinez fits the criteria.

During her speech, she described herself as “one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of the United States.”

Martinez said she had decided to speak out about her status in her speech because it might be the only chance she had to convey the truth to a wider audience.

She spoke of the importance of embracing immigrants, appreciating what they have to offer as well as detailing the obstacles she faced to academic success while she charted a course to Yale. Martinez won a full scholarship and hopes to become a neurosurgeon.

In a speech that had echoes of the famous oratory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she made the case for other immigrants, praising “people with dreams, aspirations, and hopes.”

She said immigrants rather than a wall built on “hatred” would help make America great again.

Martinez’s teachers said they recognized her great potential ever since her freshman year.

Success stories like this make headlines, but they are far from unique. There are many cases of immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere who come to the United States with little education but go on to great things.

The case of Luis Govea, who hardly knew a word of English when he moved to Texas from Mexico six years ago, was recently featured on NBC News.

The 18-year-old was the valedictorian at Irving High School in Texas. He has won a full scholarship to the prestigious Stanford University, which he will attend in the fall. He won his scholarship through a program called QuestBridge that links academically gifted students from low-income backgrounds to top universities across the U.S.

He said his family was incredibly supportive in backing his academic career after he arrived in America in 2010.

A recent academic study from California found Mexicans are the most successful immigrants in the United States when their starting point is taken into consideration.

If you or your child is an undocumented immigrant who may benefit from deferred action, you will likely be facing a large amount of uncertainty. Our Austin family immigration lawyers can help you. Call us for help at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration Reform

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