RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – Over the past few weeks, comments and social media posts by President Trump concerning large deportations by ICE officials have raised some concerns.
“Don’t wait until you’re detained by ICE to figure what, if anything, you can do. No, do it now. Now’s the time. You can’t wait any longer. This thing about mañana mañana, I mean you don’t have mañana anymore.”
As the 4th of July holiday comes to an end, some eyes are on the Trump Administration after recent tweets and comments by the President are calling for mass deportations by ICE agents.
“Go talk to an immigration attorney. Find out what your rights are. Find out whether any petitions can be filed already, any defenses if you’re detained.”
Villalobos says the threats have some clients concerned. Clients like the man whose identity we are protecting, whom has been in the country undocumented for more than 32 years.
“Like me right now. I have that fear that they will take that action. Well I have been living here a long time, and I have done nothing wrong. Just work.”
Through tears he adds other undocumented individuals share a similar sentiment.
“Well the same as me. Yes, the same. Because it is not easy.”
He adds he would not know what to do if he was deported now. That all his family lives in the U.S., including a nephew, David Cuervo, whom he raised as his son. Cuervo paid the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Iraqi Freedom and now lies in rest at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
His attorney, Margie Villalobos, says if confronted by ICE you do have rights.
“If they come to your door and your undocumented, you don’t have to answer the door unless they have a court order signed by the judge. You don’t have to answer the door.”
Villalobos says if you do get taken into custody, don’t panic, but be assertive for your rights.
“Speak up and say I want to see an immigration judge. I’m not signing my voluntary departure. I want to stay here.”