receive, they could—and that could spell trouble for you and your family.
Prosecutorial Discretion and ICE
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement does choose to act on a tip they’ve received about you, they can exercise what’s known as prosecutorial discretion. That means they’ll look at your situation, including your history of work and family life in the U.S. and whether you have family ties to U.S. citizens.
From there, ICE can decide whether to initiate removal proceedings against you; that’s the process commonly known as deportation.
If ICE chooses to initiate removal proceedings, you may be arrested. You’ll then have to appear in immigration court (you’ll get a “Notice to Appear,” or NTA, which describes the charges against you, and gives you a date on which you’re supposed to show up for your first court appearance).
At your court appearance, you can ask for what’s called a Merits Hearing—that’s where you can defend yourself against deportation.
If you’d like to learn more about removal proceedings for people who have entered the U.S. without the proper documentation, check out: