Interestingly, foreigners seem to think it won’t happen to them. Well, it did happen to 41,318 people in the president’s first 100 days in office according to the Washington Post. Many of these people had children in school, spouses, homes, careers, and other obligations. Now they are either in a federal holding facility or in another country with no way to get back in.
Part of the problem, states Steven Riznyk, who has been an immigration and business lawyer for almost 30 years, is that Presidential Order 13768 has received very little publicity and does not seem to be of concern to any major groups. On the other hand, he states, this Order allows ICE to remove people from the U.S. with any criminal history, even shoplifting. A lot of people fail to realize that if an offense occurred 30 years ago, it still counts, as it has with many of the people calling his firm. If it has been expunged, it still counts. What is even more dangerous is the fact that someone, under the Order, does not need to be convicted; being charged is enough, and they do not have the right to wait for a resolution. In addition to all the other risks, people with criminal records have been made a priority for removal, regardless of the offense or when it was committed.
These are perilous times for foreigners with any kind of a criminal record, and their lives can be destroyed in an instant. ICE is enforcing the Order; many people are aware of the situation in the news under a week ago wherein ICE agents went to a school to investigate a fourth grader. Many people find themselves in a mess in very little time.
Mr Riznyk states there are three reasons for this:
1. People are not aware of the reach and effects of Presidential Order 13668.
2. Many people think that if an offense is minor or occurred many years ago that it won’t hurt them.
3. As human nature has it, many think that if nothing happened so far, it won’t happen in the future.
Many situations can be overcome by filing a citizenship application if the person qualifies, or filing a waiver if the person doesn’t. Most people that get caught in these situations either have a traffic accident or stop, or discover they cannot re-enter the United States when they went to visit a parent who is aging, ill, or on vacation.
Regrettably, many foreign people are being haunted by actions from their past, and many times from something they did when very young. It is only now, 20 to 30 years later that the far-reaching consequences are placing their lives in jeopardy.