As you grow more accustomed to life in Nebraska and struggle to overcome your language barrier, you may learn the definitions of some English words that cause you to worry. For instance, like many immigrants (especially those whose paperwork is not in good order), words such as arrest, removal and deportation may frighten you. It’s understandable since you’ve likely heard stories about families torn apart or perhaps know someone currently facing threats of deportation. As with most immigration processes, the subject of removal can be quite complex.

U.S. immigration law often changes, and although you understand a particular regulation or issue one day, you may not even be aware that it has been eliminated, changed or made more stringent the next. Lack of knowledge may land you in a detention center. Therefore, it’s best to review your rights ahead of time and know where to turn for support if a problem arises.

Be aware of the basic facts regarding immigrant removal

If you arrived in Nebraska through means that didn’t exactly coincide with existing immigration regulations at the time, merely coming face-to-face with a police officer or other government official may be enough to make your blood pressure soar. If an immigration officer pays you a visit or arrests you or your family member, it doesn’t necessarily mean a deportation will take place. The following facts may help clarify the process:

  • If a police officer or immigration officer takes you into custody, they will likely transfer you to an immigration detention facility at some point.
  • Events that unfold from there depend on various factors, including your individual criminal history record and whether you possess documentation for valid residency.
  • If immigration officials threaten you with removal, you are definitely not alone, as more than 11 million people live under undocumented statuses in the United States, and many of them are currently facing similar problems.
  • Certain situations would warrant an expedited removal process against you, such as if you overstayed a visa or entered the United States without permission.
  • Living here without permission for two weeks or less places you at great risk for expedited removal.
  • If you receive a notice to appear, it signifies that immigration officials have already activated the removal process against you.

As a resident of Nebraska, whether documented or undocumented, you have certain rights that protect you from unlawful actions against you. If you believe someone has violated those rights, you can obtain guidance as to how best to proceed to seek justice.