Many foreign nationals living in South Carolina face the possibility of an immigration status check by law enforcement, especially when ethnic profiling takes place. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently acknowledged the illegitimacy of this practice in a leaked email regarding the case of two men from Honduras who currently face deportation.
In response to inquiries from the attorneys for the men, a DHS attorney suggested that the men deserved to be released because local law enforcement had targeted them because of their apparent ethnicity. The men along with three other men had been picked up by police outside a motel. According to police, the men were loitering in an area known for narcotics, but the men insisted they were waiting to go to work.
Although authorities released the three other men, the two Hondurans remain in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A local activist group that demands racial justice, especially for immigrant workers, organized a protest outside the facility holding the men after the release of the DHS email stating the unfairness of their arrest. A DHS spokesman stated that the agency does not intend to be lenient with the men, who continue to face deportation.
A person worried about being arrested and deported could talk to an attorney about how to obtain legitimate documentation to work in the country. An attorney could evaluate the person's situation and recommend steps that could reduce the threat of deportation. For example, an attorney could be familiar with how to successfully gain immigration visas or citizenship. Critical tasks like filling out applications correctly and presenting evidence at hearings might be performed by an attorney. Such efforts could enable someone to navigate the complex immigration process.
Source: ABC News, "2 Hondurans Face Deportation in Possible Profiling Case", Cain Burdeau, Oct. 16, 2015