Many New Jersey residents arrived to this state from other countries of origin. Not all of them had their paperwork in order when they did so. In fact, some people arrive at U.S. borders after having little to no time to prepare, such as those who suddenly flee their home countries due to violence, poverty or persecution. An immigration incident recently occurred in another state where 19 people were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
ICE says the immigrants in question had been convicted of serious crimes. The agency says it was merely taking steps to protect the general population from people who pose a public safety risk. However, others say ICE has been targeting certain groups of people for removal, and that the officers made several of the arrests at courthouses.
Many immigrant advocates worry that such arrests will deter people from attending court hearings or cooperating with law enforcement agencies. It is definitely logical to assume that a person who is worried about his or her legal status might steer clear of any location where there is a significant chance that ICE will show up and start taking people into custody. Not showing up for an appointed court hearing can have long-lasting, negative repercussions.
It is often possible for New Jersey residents to successfully navigate the U.S. immigration system and obtain adjustment of their statuses. This may sometimes even be true for someone who entered the United States without having all of his or her paperwork in order. To avoid serious legal problems regarding immigration status, or a criminal law incident that has somehow intersected with U.S. immigration law, it is helpful to seek consultation with an experienced attorney.