One of the many challenges that some immigrants face is being detained, apart from their families, until their case is heard and decided. But for some, this is changing. Immigration courts in North Carolina and around the country are allowing illegal immigrants to post bail in greater numbers.
In 2003, a man came to North Carolina seeking a better life. He came to this country illegally, but he soon married a U.S. citizen and had three children. He was their only source of support and income, as his wife had a mental disability. But immigration officials discovered and deported him to Mexico, splitting his family into pieces. His children now reside with two foster families because his wife cannot provide for them and authorities refuse to reunite them in Mexico.
Much has been written recently about the shift in Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy towards pursuing for deportation those immigrants with criminal records. But some are asking whether the government might be casting too large a net. Immigrants who have committed relatively minor crimes may get swept up by the new policy, and a Congressman is urging ICE to reconsider the case of one such illegal immigrant.
Immigration issues are at the forefront of the American political discussion at the moment. This is an election year, and some voters will undoubtedly be affected by the candidates' stances on immigration law. Immigration policies will affect North Carolina significantly. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, our state is home to approximately 325,000 "unauthorized immigrants," a category that the Center has created for immigrants born outside the U.S. but who do not fall under the heading "undocumented immigrants."
Much has been written recently in North Carolina and other states about the government's increased efforts to uncover illegal immigrants who do not have clean criminal records. At the vanguard of this immigration policy is the controversial Secure Communities program, which mandates closer cooperation between state and federal agencies on immigration issues. In particular, when local police make an arrest, the program requires that any fingerprints taken be sent to the Department of Homeland Security.