Does ICE look for you if you overstay?

I have overstayed my 1-94 card. My husband and I want our daughters to finish high school here; my 1st daughter needs one more year to finish and my 2nd daughter needs 2 more years to finish. once they finish high school we will leave but I’m really worried. My friend told me that there’s a new law about this.

Asked on July 6, 2014 under Immigration Law, Oklahoma


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There has been a new waive of ICE raids on employers that employ Immigrants in order to deter them from hiring those with expired visas (so they are here illegally) and it has kind of overflowed to other circumstances involving those whose visas have expired. First understand that overstaying your visa is not necessarily a crime. Removal proceedings are civil proceedings and you can be charged with immigration violations. The worst possible penalty for these violations is being sent home, and you may be  eligible for relief from removal and if denied, the right to appeal. You have rights under the law, even with your status. ICE Officers must also respect an individual’s rights to privacy and counsel. ICE cannot enter a person’s home without a specific judicial warrant, authorizing their entry for a specific purpose, such as a search for a particular person or item. Not panicking and informing the officer that one has retained or desires to retain an attorney is the most important step a person can take under these circumstances. If ICE decides to take a person into custody, they must inform the person’s relatives as soon as possible as well, so that they may make arrangements for visitation and potentially hiring counsel before any court dates. I would suggest that you speak with an immigration attorney asap. There is a privilege between you and him or her as to your status so don't panic there either. Good luck.

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