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Unauthorized immigrants on edge, fear immigration agents

With many new policies in place this presidency, it's perhaps no surprise that immigrants feel threatened. There are thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Many live normal lives with families. They work hard, pay their bills on time and pay their taxes.

Despite this, changes within the government have some on edge. A news report about undocumented immigrants living in Rhode Island discussed a man and his girlfriend who live in a basement and, fear going out into public and being arrested for being in the country illegally. Although he has not committed any crimes, he believes undocumented immigrants from all backgrounds are now being lumped together.

In 2014, there were around 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants within the borders of the United States. The majority live in Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, California and Texas, but others do live in varied states. In the man's case above, he was a hard-working employee at a Rhode Island restaurant, but he quit when he heard rumors of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents looking for undocumented workers.

In another case, a woman tried to get legal status in the United States. She entered the country illegally, so she'd have to leave for 10 years before she could re-enter legally. When her son, who was living in Guatemala, suddenly arrived illegally, she found herself in a difficult situation. He now faces deportation, and immigration officials could come for her, too.

If you're living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, you still have rights. Your attorney can help you look into ways to obtain legal documents to stay in the country, particularly if you fled out of fear or hardship.

Source: Providence Journal, "Unauthorized immigrants live in fear of a knock at the door," Karen Lee Ziner, April 24, 2017

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