Saturday, February 9, 2008

Federal Government Sends Message to Immigrants and Visitors: Keep Your Immigration Status Current

Immigrants and non-immigrant visitors in Travis County, Texas may feel the effect of the Federal government's increased focus on illegal immigration. Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton recently announced that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would begin stationing themselves in the Travis County Jail - possibly 24 hours a day. It will be a dramatic change from the department's previous policy of not asking inmates and victims questions about their immigration status. This increased Federal presence could prove devastating to immigrants and non-immigrant visitors who overstay their visas.

Local groups have already begun organizing in opposition to the Federal presence. A number of Austin attorneys have spoken out regarding numerous instances where clients who were citizens, legal permanent residents, or visa holders had “immigration holds” placed on them while in the Travis Count jail.

Immigration agents to work out of Travis County jail [Austin American-Statesman]
Groups assail sheriff’s decision to give ICE more access [Austin American-Statesman]
Travis County Sheriff's Office

*IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS CURRENT. THE GOVERNMENT IMPOSES HARSH PENALTIES FOR THOSE WHO OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS.*

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