There's a strong warning to undocumented Jamaican immigrants living in the United States, of limited access to legal services during this weekend's deportation crackdown by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Immigration lawyer and Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member for Southern USA, Wayne Golding, says only privately arranged legal services could be given priority based on the nature of immigration proceedings.
Reports are that ICE intends to carry out immigration raids in at least ten cities, targeting a minimum of 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported but who remain in the country illegally.
Golding states that the raids to be conducted and the proceedings afterwards relate to Immigration Law, in which people are not usually afforded free legal representation.
"So that’s where the breakdown happens. The folks who are caught up in the immigration system don’t have the right to be provided with an immigration attorney from the government. So they will have to seek private recourse and of course, if they are from other countries they will have to contact their consulate right away….but it is going to significant if the raids happen this weekend.”
Golding has also warned of possible unintended consequences of the raids to be conducted.
“The collateral damage that is going to happen as a result of these raids are very significant. We are talking about families who are going to be separated. We are talking about people who possibly are going to be taken into detention facilities. We are talking about increased work loads for the immigration court,” said Golding who was a guest on Beyond the Headlines.
He has also indicated that the proceedings may be more complicated than explained by the Trump administration.
“But it’s not as simple as the president makes it out to be. Of course there are persons who have outstanding removal orders that they are going to be targeting. But everyone who doesn’t have proper paperwork to be in the country, they are not going to exercise any discretion.”
Yesterday, US President Donald Trump confirmed that the nationwide wave of arrests of immigrants facing deportation will commence this weekend.
Trump told reporters at the White House that it will be major operation: