Recently, President Donald Trump announced that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were expected to carry out a series of enforcement operations in major U.S. cities. Among the cities expected to experience these operations are Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco. According to various news reports, these operations will mainly focus on apprehending those who received an order of removal from a judge.
Although the announced enforcement operations are not specifically targeting foreign nationals living and working in the U.S. pursuant to valid visas and current work authorizations, it is important to remember that all foreign nationals need to abide by the requirements of their specific visa. Furthermore, employers should remind employees that under U.S. immigration law, all foreign nationals who are age 18 years or older and who are present in the United States are always required to carry with them and have in their personal possession evidence of their U.S. immigration status. We strongly recommend always having possession of the following documents:
- For All Foreign Nationals:
- For Permanent Residents:
- Green Card
- For Nonimmigrants (H, L, TN, etc.):
- Form I-94 (print out from CBP Website);
- Full photocopy of CIS Form I-797 Approval Notice (if applicable);
- Original tear-off (lower) part of the I-797 Approval Notice (if applicable); and,
- Letter (To Whom It May Concern) confirming employment or copies of recent paystubs.
We appreciate that having these documents in one’s possession at all times is inconvenient, but we reiterate that the law requires all foreign nationals to carry with them “any certificate of alien registration.” The documents we have listed above should constitute good faith evidence of alien registration/U.S. immigration status. Additionally, under no circumstance should any foreign national travel domestically (by air or by any other conveyance) without having the above documents in their possession.
Finally, it is also important that all foreign nationals comply with all U.S. and state laws, and that they are aware of their rights while living in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a brief guide to permanent resident’s rights which can be found here.
While the timing of this or future raids is unknown, the best course of action is to be prepared.