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(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks) 



CHICAGO (JGL) – If an alien had already had an order of removal and he is caught by the U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE), he is no

longer entitled to a day in court.


This was true before and after President Trump issued one of his executive of orders last Jan. 27, ninety days after it was signed.


Manda Walters, ICE Community Relations Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) for Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin, said, “If you are driving down a highway, and you get pulled over, the officer has an option to give you warning or give you ticket.


“Once you have either of those, you are not automatically guilty of speeding, you get a day in court.


“Now, if one gets in the U.S. illegally, meaning, they have no proper documentation to enter this country, he has to go to an immigration court and plead his case. 


“In some cases, if an individual had already had an order of removal, that means they had already been given a day in court.  And have already said, I will go back to my country and then does not leave, they don’t have another time before a judge.”



MS. MARIA DEL CARMEN RODRIGUEZ (right), U.S. Community Relations Officer – Chicago, Illinois, says, “We know that other countries allow dual citizenship but if you are a dual citizen, we do not recognize it but we will not reject your U.S. Citizenship either” during an outreach program at the Ika-24 Pagkikita sa Konsulado (24th town hall meeting at the Consulate) at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago last Thursday. Among those in photo are Consul General Generoso D. G. Calonge (second from right, front row), Bryan P. Christian, Deputy Director of the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS), Deputy Consul General Romulo Victor M. Israel, Jr. (extreme left, third row) and Manda Walters (to Mr. Israel’s right), Community Relations Officer of U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), Filipino community members and Consulate staff. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Ms. Walters was one of the three resource speakers, who conducted outreach program at the Ika-24 Pagkikita sa Konsulado (24th town hall meeting at the Consulate) at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago, Illinois last Thursday. The two others were Bryan P. Christian, Deputy Director of the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) – Chicago and Ms. Maria del Carmen Rodriguez, USCIS Community Relations Officer – Chicago.


She said ICE would now reintroduce the Obama-Era “Secure Communities” but would eliminate the “priority enforcement program” prior to the executive order. It is an information-sharing program when someone is arrested with a pending crime record like murder, robbery and rape and get booked and fingerprinted, those fingerprints and other personal information are sent to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the Department of Homeland Security.


Ms. Walters said ICE uses the information of an alien, who is in custody with another agency, and it can take custody of the alien without releasing him to the public and without creating issues for both the public and the officers.




However, if that county is a “sanctuary county,” “it will not let us know it has custody of the alien” and it will not honor an ICE detainer so he can be processed in the immigration court, it’s one way of the “sanctuary jurisdiction” telling us, ‘No, we are not going to let you gain custody of our detainee.’”



MANDA WALTERS, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) Cultural Relations Officer, said that “if there is an individual, who has committed a crime or is targeted by ICE, ICE agents are not going to schools, they are not going to medical facilities, they are not going to churches. Unless, there will be some dire need like an active shooter, who happens to be an illegal immigrant facing deportation or facing immigration court, they are not going to do that for your public safety if they are in this building, that was happening, and we would want any of officers to come and assist. But generally speaking, they will not be doing that without much (order from) higher authority in severe situation for that to happen.” She made this clarification during an outreach program at the Ika-24 Pagkikita sa Konsulado (24th town hall meeting at the Consulate) at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago last Thursday. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Also, starting April 27, ICE will also implement the executive order that establishes the Victim of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) that will serve as liaison between ICE and known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens. A call center will be set up in California, which assists people to enroll in different victims-related benefits. It can be reached by dialing 855-488-6423 or 855-4-U-VOICE Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST.


ICE will continue to implement Alternative To Detention (ATD) program on a case-by-case basis in which ICE will have individualized alien custody determination in every case, prioritizing detention resources on aliens subject to expedited removal and alien removal based on any criminal ground, such as fraud or material misrepresentation or national security. “This means ICE can basically detain anyone for those reasons and they can be subject to expedited removal, though that wasn’t yet clearly outlined in the executive order what that means is that they (the higher authorities) are still working out what that means.”


Ms. Walters also said that fines have increased from approximately $950 to $3,000 in case of an employer hiring an illegal immigrant. Employers may go to ice.gov and access the IMAGE (Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) program, offering assistance for internal control for procedures and policies and paper work that makes sure that worksites are in line with regulations with USCIS.


Bryan P. Christian, representing Director Thomas Cioppa, USCIS Director in Chicago, spoke about the role played by USCIS. With over 200 field offices in the U.S. and several dozen offices overseas, the field offices, including the Chicago office, provide a range of immigration services, and benefits such as Green Card or legal permanent resident and U.S. naturalization. He said USCIS is one of the components of the Department of Homeland Security, and the largest directorate in USCIS is field operations.  Additionally, USCIS has five service centers located in Nebraska, Texas, Vermont, California and Arlington and Potomac, Virginia. The service centers work only on applications and petitions that have been mailed in, and do not handle in-person interviews or walk-ins like the USCIS Field Offices.


USCIS processes Alien Relative Petition Forms I-130, Employment Authorizations or work permits. District 14 is located in Central region headquartered in Dallas, Texas.




Ms. Maria del Carmen Rodriguez, USCIS community relations in Chicago’s District 14, said USCIS provides to applicants forms, study guides for naturalization, practice exams, materials translated in 40 languages. They are also issuing nowadays Green Cards and Employment Authorization cards that are tampered proof to prevent them from being counterfeited or sold by scammers to unsuspecting applicants.



CONSUL GENERAL GENERO D. G. CALONGE (seated, extreme right) joins in a photo op with from right Manda Walters, Community Relations Officer of U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), Ms. Maria del Carmen Rodriguez and Bryan P. Christian, U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) Community Relations Officer and Deputy Director, respectively, of Chicago, Illinois Field Office, and other members of the Filipino community, including correspondent Joseph G. Lariosa (second from left) of Journal GlobaLinks and Mariano "Anong" Santos (extreme right) of Pinoy Newsmagazine, and staff of the Philippine Consulate during the Ika-24 Pagkikita sa Konsulado (24th town hall meeting at the Consulate) at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago last Thursday. (JGL Photo by ARNEIL TORRES of the Philippine Consulate)

 Some of these scammers, according to Ms. Rodriguez, are accountants, travel agents or “a friendly grandma in a corner.”


She said these scammers are also “notary publics,” who violate the Unlawful Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL).


Other scammers “hi-jack” the U.S. phone numbers of their victims by providing gift cards, adding USCIS will never call anyone nor would ask that the victim pay in order not to be deported.


Indigent immigration benefit applicants should instead consult Community-Based Organizations (CBO’s), who are accredited by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or by the Executive Office for Immigration Reviews (EOIR) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) or both.


Ms. Rodriguez also highlighted the Intelligent Virtual Assistant or avatar that assists browsers in navigating the USCIS website. Ever-improving with every question visitors pose, the avatar is named “Emma” after the poet Emma Lazarus, author of the poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.


During the open forum, when asked if there is a chance that if a deportable alien can voluntarily leave the U.S. at his own expense, to save DHS thousand of dollars to pay for the alien’s plane fare back to his native country, for instance, the Philippines, so the alien can re-enter the U.S., Mr. Christian said, there is a good chance that the voluntarily self-deporting alien can re-enter the U.S. if he can overcome the waiver of inadmissibility/inadmissibilities.


This is usually possible if the alien has a pending family-based application for a green card or for adjustment of status as a permanent resident. (Contact reporter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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