For the most part, a traffic citation may seem like no big deal. However, as an undocumented immigrant, you may absolutely do your best to avoid getting a ticket of any kind. Without a doubt, there’s nothing criminal about sliding past a stop sign. However, it could land you in a detention center – and ultimately result in deportation hearings.
Under Texas law, there is an assortment of legal requirements associated with the issuance of drivers’ licenses. Among them is the necessity to verify lawful presence in the United States. In some cases, temporary visitors may be issued limited-term driver’s licenses. However, they are the exception to others that are eligible as follows:
- US citizens
- US nationals
- Lawful permanent residents
When you are pulled over for a motor vehicle offense, the police officer may not necessarily ask you for immigration papers. Nonetheless, the fact that you can’t produce a driver’s license may raise some red flags. In fact, enough that your name can get on a somewhat frightening list.
Traffic Citations and ICE
A recent news article sheds light on some practices initiated by the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) since August 2016. Unfortunately, it’s something that could become your reality.
First, it appears that ICE has requested that state law enforcement officials supply them with a list of names. In particular, they want information regarding all accused DWI offenders who do not have driver’s licenses. However, that’s just the beginning. Those charged with other traffic infractions – without licenses, may also find they’ve made it to the list.
There’s a great deal of concern about putting together this type of documentation. On the one hand, the list does not purportedly have anything to do with race or ethnicity. However, some say this gives local police a means of targeting people for ICE investigation. This essentially sounds like the definition of profiling.
Without question, supplying names of traffic offenders raises concerns for every undocumented immigrant who gets behind the wheel. It’s not just worrying about getting a traffic citation. The fact is that detention centers may fill up quickly with this practice in place.
Headed to the Detention Center
The majority of undocumented immigrants do not come to the United States with plans of anything bad. For the most part, they are escaping poverty or violence in their homelands. While most know the risk factors involved, many feel their actions are necessary.
One can only imagine all of the emotional pains involved upon relocation to a detention center. First, it may mean separation from family members. Next, it is the fear of being forced to live in a jail-like setting. Meanwhile, there is the reality that the next step after the detention center may be deportation.
All things considered, there is at least a temporary solution if you are placed in a detention center. The authorities will review the factors leading to your arrest and determine if you are entitled to an immigration bond. After the bail amount is set, it will be up to you to find the resources to secure it.
An immigration bond will not buy you permanent residency. However, it will give you time. As you wait for your deportation hearing, you will be able to make arrangements for your loved ones. An immigration bond allows you the freedom to set up a defense – without worrying about preparing it from the inner walls of a detention center.
Freedom Federal Bonding Agency is strongly vested in Houston’s immigration population. We are here to help you secure an immigration bond to obtain your release. Contact us to see how we can help you.