As President Trump officially kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign with a rally in Orlando, he threatened to intensify immigration enforcement efforts and to deport millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. He stated that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will begin deportations that will be like a “rocket docket“, meaning cases of high-priority will be expediently placed in front of an already long administrative line. Notwithstanding Trump’s history of oft-times hysterical and hyperbolic pronouncements and seemingly empty threats, the administration has been putting a plan in place for a “July Operation that would mercilessly target families who fail to show up for immigration hearings and who have outstanding removal orders.
News media outlets have been quick to point out that Trump has a history of threatening mass deportations starting even before his January 2017 inauguration. Immigration advocates, policy experts, and governmental officials have all cautioned about the practicality of mass deportations. In particular, budgetary issues and staffing limitations in immigration courts and at deportation centers contraindicate such a taxing process on our governmental systems.
During an interview with immigration news, senior partner and firm founder of the Shulman Law Group, immigration attorney Edward Shulman expressed concern that these threats instill a sense of anticipatory anxiety in immigrant communities. He explained that the only way to combat fear is through education, highlighting the import of consulting with an immigration attorney to explore options for handling removal orders and for adjusting one’s status in the United States before the intended July operation. Furthermore, Shulman highlighted that anyone without a removal order still has a constitutional right to due process, which means that he or she can still prepare a case and be seen before an immigration court. Finally, attorney Shulman explained that immigration has no right to enter a person’s home without a warrant, encouraging immigrant clients to learn their rights and to protect themselves in the event of raids.