WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — President Trump confirmed Friday that nationwide ICE immigration raids will start Sunday.
They are targeting people who have an open deportation order, but have not left the country.
“They came in illegally,” Trump said. “They have to go out. We have millions of people standing in line waiting to become citizens of this country. ”
Wilmington immigration attorney Jeff Widdison says his phones have been ringing with lots of concerned people about what they can do to avoid getting deported.
So what does this mean for immigrants here in our area?
“If your application case is denied by a judge, you have a right to appeal,” Widdison said. “During that period of appeal, you have the right to continue staying in the United States until you receive a final decision.”
Widdison says the raids will likely target people with deportation orders who do not have an attorney to help them through the appeals process.
He says his clients have been stopped anywhere from work, to traffic stops, to their homes. In the Cape Fear, Widdison says there could be quite a few mixed households.
“There is a significant population, absolutely,” Widdison said. “Every household may have a U.S. citizen family member, spouses, parents, children who are U.S. citizens, but they have an immigrant family member. If we’re going to talk about all those families collectively, it’s rather substantial, yes.”
But the President says not coming to the country illegally is unfair to immigrants who have done it the right way.
“They’ve taken tests,” Trump said. “They’ve studied. They’ve learned English. They’ve done so much. They’ve been waiting 7, 8, 9 years with some waiting 10 years to come in. It’s not fair that somebody walks across the line and now they become citizens.”
The Trump administration announced there are 2,000 people in around 10 cities that are priorities for deportation.
If you are at risk, Widdison urges you to contact an immigration attorney.