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Play By A New Set Of Rules

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has always been tough. In the past year, however, the agency has been behaving in a capricious and cruel manner, according to a report on HBO's VICE News Tonight.

Many immigrants report on a regular basis with ICE. These check-ins were normal, "a formality." Since the new presidential administration began, however, these routine meetings have become sources of high anxiety for many immigrants.

Arrested for no apparent reason

There have been numerous reports of immigrants going to their check-ins with no changes to their status and being arrested and quickly deported. (Even bringing a lawyer with you is no guarantee against a negative outcome, though it may very well help.)

These are not cases involving criminal charges. Individuals are arrested, made to surrender their personal belongings, and detained for months prior to removal.

A spokesperson for ICE is quoted in the report saying that about 94,000 immigrants with pending cases have been released from detention on "orders of supervision." But that number doesn't begin to include individuals who come in for routine check-ins. That number may be as high as 2.2 million individuals placed on "custodial supervision" by ICE.

These people on custodial supervision are not detained. Few of them face criminal charges. But their lives just became a lot more complicated. They are put on a schedule of check-ins, which they must not miss, and must often wear an ankle monitor.

On the lookout

During the past administration, ICE considered these people low priorities for immigration law enforcement, but ICE is now encouraged to be on the lookout for anyone suspected of being in the country without documentation, or of overstaying beyond the permitted time.

That is the situation people face today. Thousands of people live in a constant state of concern that they will be reported.

Talk to us. We want to know about your struggle as immigrants in the U.S., and will suggest measures you can take to protect yourselves.

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San Francisco Office
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San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: 415-819-1898
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Sacramento Office
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Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-719-2805
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Oakland Office
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Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510-637-8608
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San Jose Office
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San Jose, CA 95131

Phone: 408-306-1818
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Santa Rosa Office
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Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Phone: 707-805-0898
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Walnut Creek Office
2121 N California Boulevard
Suite 290
Walnut Creek, CA 94956

Phone: 925-330-1132
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