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ICE: Immigrants in North Carolina protest will not be deported

Last week Charlotte played host to the Democratic National Convention, and immigration issues featured prominently in some speeches given on the convention floor. But immigration concerns also were expressed on the streets of the Queen City. A number of undocumented immigrants traveled across the country in an old bus and arrived in North Carolina to coincide with the DNC.

Calling themselves the "Undocubus," the immigrants intended to raise public consciousness about immigration reform. While in Charlotte, a few of them engaged in a demonstration in a section of uptown. When police ordered them to leave the area, they refused and were taken into custody.

They were released from jail by the next day, however, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issuing a statement that it would not take action to deport any of the protesters who were arrested. The release must have come as a relief to the immigrants. Mecklenburg County participates in the 287(g) immigration program that checks the immigration status of any person brought into custody, which means that arrested undocumented immigrants can more easily be slated for deportation.

ICE also took the opportunity to reiterate its current position on deportation. As we have mentioned in prior posts, the agency prioritizes the deportations of illegal immigrants with criminal records, those who have returned to the U.S. after a previous deportation and illegal immigrants who have recently arrived in the country.

Of course, ICE's position can change with time. Immigration law is a vast and rapidly evolving subject, and immigrants should keep a close watch on any changes that take place.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "'Undocubus' immigrants released from jail; feds take no steps to deport them," Ely Portillo and Gary L. Wright, Sept. 5, 2012

• Reaching one's immigration goals requires following the right procedures carefully. If you would like more information on our firm, please visit our Greensboro family immigration page.

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