For several years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) subpoenaed financial services companies Western Union and Maxitransfers in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico to turn over all records for money transfers over $500. ICE obtained over 6 million records from 2019 through 2022, and ‘fed the information to a database accessed by local and federal law enforcement agencies,’ according to a report by BuzzFeed. Immigration experts say demanding money transfer records illegally targets undocumented immigrants because they are popular in low-income, minority and immigrant communities that are less likely to have access to banks.
Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy says the accessing of private financial records by DHS and ICE is a serious civil rights and privacy violation:
“The government is taking private, sensitive financial information from people who have not committed a crime and are merely trying to send money to their families. This information can be misused by the government and is counter to our American values of privacy and freedom.”
Immigrants facing deportation who have a lawyer are up to 10 times more likely to win their cases. Many undocumented individuals are not represented by a deportation defense lawyer in their court deportation hearings or miss their Notice to Appear. A Notice to Appear informs immigrants of their court dates and obligations and is only printed in English. 80% of Notice to Appear hearings resulted in absentia removal orders because the individual was not in court.
Watch: Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy Explains Your Rights If You Are Picked Up By ICE:
You have rights! Only 15-20% of people who are picked up by ICE will ever speak to an attorney. Call Godoy Law Office if you or a loved one are detained by ICE. If you or a loved one are picked up in an ICE raid, you and your family need to move quickly so you can have an experienced immigration and deportation defense attorney advocate next to you. Call the immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office in Chicago to protect your rights at 630-912-0322.