The Trump administration has brought fear to the immigrant community by imposing unreasonable policies that affect pretty much every immigrant in the United States. One of the policies is to try to remove (deport) all “criminals” unlawfully present in the United States. The word “criminals” has been broadly interpreted and includes individuals convicted of minor traffic violations such as driving without a license.
Under the laws of the State of Georgia, a person cannot obtain a driver’s license if they do not have legal status in the United States. This means every undocumented individual who drives in the State of Georgia is at risk of being deported by immigration authorities regardless of whether the individual is a single parent with no previous criminal history. This is because the administration considers such individuals to be “criminals.” In several counties, the individual is turned over to immigration authorities after being arrested for minor traffic violations.
If you are unlawfully present in the United States and find yourself being pulled over by police officers and you are driving without a valid driver’s license, here are 4 things to take into consideration to help minimize the impact of your immigration case and to increase the chances of being released on an immigration bond.
- Do not present a fake driver’s license, lie about your name, or lie about your legal status. Under the laws of several states you can be criminally charged for using a false document, and/or for obstruction of justice for lying to police officers. This charge will most likely affect the chances of getting a bond if you are turned over to immigration authorities or can affect your chances when presenting a defense in your deportation case. Many of these incidents can be considered crimes of moral turpitude which can potentially be a bar for several venues of relief.
- Do not evade an arrest. Do not run away from police officers. You could be charged with obstruction of justice and many other charges in state law. Evading arrest can significantly reduce your chances of securing an immigration bond with either the Immigration Judge or Immigration Customs Enforcement.
- Ask to speak to an attorney. An individual whether lawfully or unlawfully present in the United States has a constitutional right to remain silent and to be represented by an attorney. Besides your name, you are not required to answer any other questions from police officers without having an attorney present. Anything that you disclose to police officers can be used against you during your immigration court hearing and can affect your case.
- Attend your state court hearing and/or pay the fine and hire an experienced attorney. Always go to your traffic court hearings regardless of the circumstances of your case. If you fail to attend, the local authorities can issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear in your traffic case. This could lead to an arrest and could eventually lead immigration authorities to revoke your bond if immigration had previously granted one. Furthermore, you should seek legal representation in order to avoid further arrest or any penalty that could affect your immigration court case.
Driving without a license in the State of Georgia can be frustrating, stressful and, under this administration, could lead immigration authorities seek your deportation. The immigration attorneys at Kuck Baxter Immigration are here to help you in your immigration case.