If you are dealing with the immigration system in California, you may be concerned about changes to immigration law and enforcement under the Trump administration. Increased enforcement raids and the widespread use of immigration detention, including for children and families, have sparked serious worry among many. You may be wondering what you can do in order to protect your status and your ability to stay in the country while avoiding detention and deportation.

Keep track of your visa status

Your visa may provide you with specific conditions about your purposes for remaining in the United States or the length of time that you can stay. Adhering to your visa conditions can be an important part of protecting your immigration status. If you have one specific type of legal status, it can be particularly important to stay vigilant about any applicable restrictions on employment. In addition, you may also be required to inform U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if you move or change address. Make sure that you notify USCIS in the required 10 days to protect yourself moving forward. If you have other required paperwork that you must submit, work to get it presented in a timely fashion as well.

Be careful about criminal law issues

A criminal record is one of the most common reasons why people are deported from the United States. Even lawful permanent residents – green card holders – could face removal over a criminal conviction. While you may face deportation for serious felony offenses like aggravated assault, homicide, espionage or terrorism, you could also run into serious immigration problems even if you are convicted of a drug offense. If you are facing any type of criminal allegations, it may be very important for you to discuss your immigration status with your criminal defense attorney.

There are other factors to keep in mind when working to protect your status in the United States and prevent deportation. You may want to steer clear of applying for any form of public assistance in order to avoid being labeled a public charge. An immigration law attorney with experience in deportation defense might provide detailed advice tailored for your situation.