What Immigrants Should Avoid With Proceedings Before USCIS, ICE And Courts During Coronavirus Pandemic | The State

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The fear of contagion to coronavirus can lead immigrants to avoid continuing with their immigration processes in court, consult a lawyer or promptly monitor their processes at the Immigration and Customs Control offices (ICE) and Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but it is the worst mistake you can make for your stay in the United States.

This was explained by the Dr. Nelson Castillo, of Immigration Today, who indicated that there are options so that people do not expose themselves all the time to COVID-19, since the first consultations with lawyers can be by phone or video, to provide adequate advice, especially if the person faces deportation proceedings or is about to lose their immigration protection.

“During the coronavirus pandemic for an immigration consultation it is not necessary for one to have the person in front of him, to be able to talk to him, discuss, answer all the questions he has … and then give him legal advice”stated Dr. Castillo.

He added that there are people who go to the other extreme, that is, they want to see their lawyers in person all the time, without this being necessary in the first parts of the consultation process.

“All immigration inquiries are made by phone, but there are people who when you tell them that say: ‘Oh, no, I’m going to wait until it opens and I’m going to call you back’… and sometimes they have cases that need to be seen immediately, ”he warned. “It’s something that people have to engage, they have to understand the situation, they have to engage.”

He warned immigrants to avoid having a notary public or multi-service office staff fill out the official forms to send to USCIS or other immigration agencies, as they may contain irreparable errors.

“It is important to remind immigrants not to go to the notaries to fill out their immigration forms, to the multi-service offices…. They should not go there under any circumstances “, he indicated. “They better investigate. There are different ways you can seek legal help, there are non-profit organizations, which are authorized by the government, who have people who are licensed, people who are lawyers who are licensed or accredited by the federal government.

Scheduled appointments

Even when consulting with lawyers, it is important to follow the recommendations of the authorities regarding due protection.

“After the immigration consultation we need to meet with the client many times because original documents have to be signed to send them to the governments, but people have to take care of themselves, take precautions”specified the lawyer practicing in California.

Currently immigration offices, such as ICE and USCIS operate with restrictions, under scheduled appointments and although these can be changed, the ideal is to attend as soon as possible with due precautions, such as social distance, the use of masks and antibacterial gel, measures that will continue even with the new government.

“The US government has given certain extensions to try to accommodate people in these difficult times, but if you do not know, do not understand what the law provides or may not miss an opportunity ”, Explained the expert. “Many of those things are advertised on the immigration website, if the person is not following the immigration offices, they may not find out. Sometimes they may receive wrong information ”.

Easy and safe consultations

Dr. Castillo indicated that there are people who do not know how to properly use the tools on the internet, but consultations with lawyers are easy over the phone and can receive adequate guidance.

“In our migrant community there are people from the most sophisticated, studied and with many positive things for them, to people who cannot read or write or use a computer. We help everyone, “he said. “The key is that the community fits in, adjusts to the new reality that we live in.”

The advices

  • Follow the coronavirus care protocols: use of a mask, social distance and use of antibacterial gel
  • Consult a certified immigration expert: lawyer or recognized civil organization
  • Avoid filling out forms before notaries public or in multi-service offices
  • Attend appointments before ICE, USCIS and courts
  • In case of illness it is better to postpone your appointments with immigration authorities on time

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