US deportation of Europeans surges, on track to surpass 2016 numbers

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    Not immune to President Donald Trump’s deportation policy, Europeans illegally in the US are being sent back overseas at an increasing rate. So far this year, around 1,300 have been deported.

    The number of Europeans in the US illegally is currently on track to surpass last year’s deportation numbers. From January 1 to June 24 this year, some 1,300 Europeans were deported, nearly as many as the 2016 total of 1,450 deportations, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Associated Press reported.

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    Magdalena Dolas, executive director of the Polish American Association in Chicago, has said that the organization she belongs to has been asked to give talks about what people should do if immigration officials come to get them at their residence.

    Polish and Irish community groups in the city of Chicago have reported experiencing more inquiries about citizenship-related services, in regards to people seeking legal protections against deportation.

    John Cunningham, who worked as an electrical contractor, is a well-known Irishman in Boston who came to the US with a 90-day visa over a decade ago. He overstayed and had been in the US up until last week when he was deported. Cunningham had a warrant out for his arrest after not showing up to a court hearing in a dispute with a customer. State records showed he also was not licensed as an electrical contractor, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Ronnie Millar of the Boston-based Irish International Immigration center told the AP that “people are very, very concerned and lying low.”

    Approximately 440,000 of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the US are of Irish descent, according to the Migration Policy Institute, the AP reported.

    Large numbers of people from various European countries are seeing a high deportation rate so far this year. From the United Kingdom, already 102 individuals have been deported; from Russia, 81; and 74 people from Poland. These countries accounted for the most deportations last year, according to the study.

    Romanians are the largest group in the US being sent back to their original country so far this year, with 193 deported, according to the AP.

    In 2017 so far, the total number for all deportations by the Trump administration has reached 167,350. This is compared to 240,255 in all of 2016. Mexicans are leading in the deportation category, with 93,000 people sent back to Mexico.

    An HIV-positive Russian asylum seeker in San Jose, California, Denis Davydov, may face deportation due to overstaying a visa. He was detained for more than a month after returning from a vacation. Davydov’s lawyer had him released due to his status as a gay, HIV- positive asylum seeker.

    Davydov is feeling vulnerable as his hopes of seeking asylum have recently become uncertain.

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    “Before this I thought I was doing everything right, but I’m afraid now that doing everything right is not enough. I don’t know what else I can do,” he said, adding, “I feel like it can happen again to me anywhere. In the airport or in the street,” the AP reported.

    Ali Noorani, executive director of the immigrant rights group National Immigration Forum, has made the argument that the rise in deportations shows the Trump administration is going too far.

    “It’s pretty clear ICE is removing anyone undocumented they come across,” he told the LA Times. “The bigger issue is that the Trump administration is wasting really valuable law enforcement resources on many people who aren’t a public safety threat, whether they’re Irish, Latino, Asian or otherwise.”

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