‘Tis the season thousands of undocumented immigrants fear the most. While many illegal immigrants celebrate with family and friends during this time of the year, it is hard to ignore the recent tales of deportation around the country. Nobody knows what may happen next but there are some steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones.
Protecting your children
Children who are United States citizens can remain here with a designated caregiver or return to their parent’s home country. You will need to create a notarized letter to the child can travel and they are not placed in child protection services. If the children are left behind, you should write down a plan together with important documents such as social security, birth certificates, and passports.
When opening a bank account
Immigrants should have an ITIN number when opening a bank account. The way to obtain this is by filling out IRS Form W-7. This helps immigrants who don’t have a social security number. Once the immigrant has the ITIN number, he or she must also complete Form W8-BEN, which helps convert the account so that it can be managed from any country.
When renting a home
In order to avoid unnecessary problems, married immigrants can have the lease in both names so that the remaining occupant can stay on the premises if deportation occurs. If for any reason, both names are not in the lease, the remaining occupants can either request a new lease or terminate the existing one.
What about if you own a car?
You can transfer the title of your vehicle to a loved one, even after you have left the country as long as you sign the title. You can also ask these questions at a local agency.
Victims of crime
If you are the victim of a crime and you cooperate with authorities you may receive a temporary immigration status:
- S-Visa – This visa is for people who cooperate with the Government and provide valuable information regarding terrorist activities.
- T-Visa – This category is available to victims of human trafficking as long as they help law enforcement to track and prosecute these criminals.
- U-Visas – Victims of some specific crimes can work in the United States for up to four years.
Advice for loved ones
If a family member has been detained, gather important immigration documents and contact your telephone company to remove any blocks on your phone so that your loved one can call you from the detention center. You should not visit the detention center or jail if you are also undocumented.
Hire a Salt Lake City deportation attorney with experience in deportation defense as soon as possible. Beware of consultants, travel agents or any other individual or agency promising quick solutions to complex problems. These are the people who take your money and do nothing to improve your situation. Don’t sign or file any document without first consulting your Salt Lake City immigration attorney.