Las Vegas ranks as 12th highest metro with number of undocumented immigrants

by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News


According to Pew Research, Las Vegas has at least 170,000 undocumented immigrants, and is number 12 among the US metro cities in the country for undocumented aliens — but the Sin City is declining to be tagged as sanctuary city.

The battle between sanctuary cities in the country versus Donald Trump’s executive order continues to heat up as immigration crackdowns continue to rise.

Las Vegas Mayor Caroline Goodman said in a statement that the city is in “full compliance with ICE regulations and federal authorities.”

Filipinos in Nevada are the second largest minority, next to Hispanics.

The recent immigration crackdowns in the neighboring states of California, Arizona, and Washington leave many undocumented immigrants in the Las Vegas Valley apprehensive.

“Where do we stand in Nevada, at least from the people that I see everyday in the course of my practice, I can say there;s a mass hysteria,” said immigration attorney Vissia Calderon. “There’s a sense of panic in the immigrant community not just undocumented aliens, but also to permanent residents and US citizen individuals here in the states, who have family members in the immigrant community.”

New York City and Los Angeles tops the record of undocumented immigrants, at 1 million.

Trump’s executive order promises to cut federal funds to these sanctuary jurisdictions, if local counties do not comply with the order.

“Local enforcements or police do not just generally arrest individuals, just because the fact that they are undocumented,” said Calderon.

Calderon adds that undocumented immigrants are entitled to a defense, entitled to a due process, being physically on US soil.

“They are scared to go out of the house, to even drive, even if they have driver’s authorization card … again it all goes to the panic, to the sense of fear that something might happen to them. What I always tell these clients, you have to know that you have rights. Unless you have prior deportation order or removal from the United States, generally the government is required to allow you to appear before a judge and go through a deportation process.”

“So if the deportation is gonna happen, it will not be immediate unless you have a criminal history. They are not going to put you in jail, because it is more expensive to put you and keep you in jail.”

Meanwhile, the US citizenships and immigration service started taking applications for H1-B visas.

“The present government is saying that a lot of companies sent their professional workers, or H1-B employees and it displaces American workers,” said Calderon. “I think the adverse effect is not really on the tightening, because Filipinos are generally qualified under the H1-B process… However, we are affected by the fact that there are only 65,000 under the program every year so, for other countries who has a lot of nationals like India, na di displace yung mga Filipinos because of the limited visas available.”

Federal authorities rely on local enforcement agencies to help implement federal immigration laws, but the law does not require local authorities to detain undocumented immigrants — just because their federal counterparts make a request.


One Comment

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  • Mario
    8 April 2017 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Trump thru DOJ will do everything to cut down funding on Sanctuary City not unless they comply with the Pres exec order. Pres Trump MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT is the nomination of SC Justice Gorsuch, 49 yrs old, retire at 80+. THIS IS THE FUTURE OF AMERICA, SC is 5-4 majority CONSERVATIVE for the next 30 yrs.Sure victory for Trump on all his immigration policies, DOJ short and recruiting 200 deportation judges. Justice Ginsberg, 82 might retire this year, with SC 6-3 conservative, voters ID law will pass,bad news for the Dems Party,hard to cheat on election and illegal alien can not vote, 2nd Amendment are protected.The influential US Arms Industry who controls most politicians were stunned when Trump fired missiles to Syria, this vindicated Trump being a puppet of Putin. Obama’s hopes and dreams for Trump to resign, quit and will be impeached is OVER. The US Arm Industry suddenly loves Trump, because more weapon business will be made in Syria & ME. Trump has no choice, he want to stay in power and slowly consolidating more ally’s.Trump will continue to attack the Obama progressive left.

    , he has to play politics.