Immigration procedures and laws in Texas can feel somewhat delicate and unpredictable right now due to recent changes in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and SB4, a controversial state law that requires local governments to conduct work usually reserved for federal immigration officers. In order to gain a better understanding of what is going on and how it affects the rights of the average Texas immigrant, a TEA Talk was recently held on September 20th, 2017. Houston Immigration Attorney and Professor Susham M. Modi of The Modi Law Firm, PLLC was invited to be a keynote speaker at the TEA Talk conference.
Three of the main topics of discussion in the TEA Talk conference:
- How SB4 and DACA changes or rescindment will affect locals and community members.
- Potential racial profiling in recent years, especially when it pertains to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions.
- Spreading the word about the positive benefits of immigration to the average community and economy.
Attorney Modi and other speakers also talked to attendees about knowing and upholding their own rights when approached by an immigration officer, or a local police officer who is acting as an immigration officer due to SB4 authority. Every immigrant must know that he or she has an inalienable set of basic rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to refuse home entry without first seeing a signed judicial warrant, and the right to video record complete interactions with ICE agents. The more immigrants who are aware of these rights, the fewer cases of unjust deportation there will be.
Furthermore, the TEA Talk explained the four keynotes of Trump’s DACA rescindment:
- DACA and work permits are valid until current and specific expiration dates.
- The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it will not accept anymore DACA applications.
- DACA and work permits set to expire on or before March 5th, 2018 cannot be renewed after October 5th, 2017.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not giving DACA recipients – sometimes called Dreamers – Advance Parole for international travel.
All of us at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC in Houston would like to extend thanks to everyone who attended the TEA Talk and OCA-Greater Houston, the organization that made it possible. To learn more about OCA-Greater Houston, click here to visit its official website. Be sure to also contact our Houston immigration law firm if you ever have an encounter with ICE agents and immigration officers that requires legal intervention, or if you just want to know more about your rights now that DACA is rescinded and SB4 is active. You can call 832.514.4030 to request a consultation with our team.