When the federal Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office detain immigrants, many people in Ephrata likely think of dangerous criminals who need to be locked up to protect the community. In reality, a lot of the people who are detained by ICE have either done nothing wrong or something as minor as speeding. Just because they are in the country without the requisite permission means they are often locked up for months awaiting a deportation hearing before being unceremoniously returned to the country from which they came or, in more fortunate cases, being awarded a green card.
When immigrants are arrested in Pennsylvania, they may find themselves in a dangerous situation and fighting to stay in the country with their friends and families. For those people who entered the United States illegally, there is a very real threat that they will be deported and will need strong deportation defense lawyers to explain what options they have going forward. It appears, however, that it is not just immigrants that may be in this situation, however, but also American-born citizens.
Though this story doesn't come from Pennsylvania, a proposed city ordinance could provide an interesting approach to immigration in Lancaster County. The mayor of Los Angeles has announced that he would like to implement a city-wide identification card program that would give immigrants an official ID and, could give them access to a private bank account. If the city passes the ordinance, it would follow in the footsteps of several other cities that have already implemented similar programs.