On Friday, April 27, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that fewer illegal immigrants stopped for traffic violations will be deported. Why? Because holding illegal immigrants stopped for minor traffic violations is not an efficient use of state and local community funds and undermines trust relationships between local police officers and the community.
Minor Traffic Violations Raise Red Flag
It’s never been the case that an individual would actually be deported for minor traffic violations, but in the past, such arrests have raised a red flag and brought illegal immigrants to the attention of federal authorities who would then start the deportation process.
Goal, Deport Foreigners Convicted of Serious Crimes and Repeat Immigration Law Violators
When time, energy, and funds are used to deport foreigners arrested for minor traffic violations, there are less of the same to deport those convicted of serious crimes.
The Department of Homeland Security says that those convicted of serious crimes threaten public safety; therefor, the focus must be on deporting these criminals as well as repeat immigration law violators.
Note: Drunk driving is considered to be a serious crime and not a minor traffic violation.
What this Change in Policy Means
The New York Times explains, now, “[u]nder the refinement, when illegal immigrants are arrested solely for traffic offenses and do not have a prior criminal record, federal agents will only consider placing a hold — known as a detainer — after they are convicted.” In most cases, those arrested of minor traffic violations are released before they are convicted.
Under the new Department of Homeland Security policy, there will be no more deportations prompted by driving without a license, running a red light or stop sign, speeding, or burned-out tail lights.
Get Legal Help Immediately; Consult with a Qualified Immigration Attorney
If you have been arrested for a serious crime or immigration violation or are threatened with deportation, get legal help immediately. Though minor traffic violations may not stir an investigation, more serious crimes or immigration violations will. Always consult with a qualified immigration attorney.
Even if you have consulted with a criminal defense attorney, if your immigration status is in question, you need a qualified immigration attorney as well. You can reach our immigration law offices at (513) 793-6555, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is located in the Kenwood area of Cincinnati. Your next step is to contact us now.