NPR is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security is fining individuals who failed to depart the United States as ordered. According to NPR, during the last week of June letters with ICE fines up to $500,000 were sent across the United States to people ICE says are illegally in the US and who have removal orders :
ICE said the Immigration and Nationality Act grants the agency the right to impose “civil fines on aliens who have been ordered removed or granted voluntary departure and fail to depart the United States.”
It states fines of no more than $500 for each day the person is in violation of this section.
The fines started in December 2018 and are being sent to both individuals who agreed to leave the country voluntarily and did not, and those who had removal orders buy did not leave. Undocumented immigrants have 30 days to respond after they receive the notice of the fine, after which ICE will move forward. Reports of fines issued across the country range from $300,000 up to $500,000. The fines are noted as section 274D of the INA.
Immigration rights advocates see this as another tactic in the Trump administration’s policy to tighten immigration laws, instilling fear and confusion in immigrants in many different ways. NPR reported the fines a week after the White House postponed planned ICE raids targeting immigrants in the U.S. illegally, which the administration delayed until after the 4th of July holiday.
The Illinois immigration attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants and help navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855.554.6369.