You might relate to many other Texas immigrants who say they often feel worried or afraid that a U.S. immigration officer is going to come to their house or workplace to arrest them and place them in detention. Thousands of immigrants are currently detained, many of whom are women and children. If you legally entered the United States, there are still issues that can place you at risk for deportation, such as failing to renew a visa after it expires.
There are several things you can do to be prepared for possible legal problems. It's a good idea to consider certain high priority issues, such as your health, finances and any dependents for whom you currently provide. If immigration officers approach you, it is always best to try to remain calm and cooperate as best you can. It's also good to carry contact information with you, so you can access legal support, as needed.
If you take medications for an existing health condition, it's best to carry information with you that lists the name of your medicine, proper dosage, etc. It's also wise to carry the name and phone number of your physician. You can also entrust such information to a loved one or trusted friend at home, so they know how to access medical support for you at a moment's notice, if a need arises.
You can sign a power of attorney at any time, provided you are of sound mind when you do so. The person you designate will then be able to make financial decisions on your behalf if you face detention. The person who holds power of attorney can access your bank accounts, make mortgage payments, pay bills and also access funds to pay bond to secure your release, if it applies in your situation.
One of the worst parts of immigration arrests is when children witness officials leading a parent away in handcuffs. It can be terrifying to think that loved ones may never see each other again. As a parent, your kids are your main priority, and just because you face detention doesn't mean you lose your parental rights. It can be helpful, however, to sign documents ahead of time that designate someone to step in and care for your children if you suddenly become unable to do so.
Not every detention leads to deportation
If immigration officers place you in detention, it means the U.S. government is activating removal proceedings against you. However, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have to leave the United States. The type of legal support you obtain may have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome of your situation.