Kenyans in US Urged Not to Panic over Deportations
Kenyans living in the US have been urged not to panic over reports of the deportation of 90 Somali nationals and two Kenyans.
US-based immigration lawyer Regina Njogu said laws on immigration have not changed even with the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“Under the current law, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not just grab people and deport them within two or so days.
“Every person subject to deportation is entitled to due process under the US Constitution, which means he or she must be brought before an immigration judge for proceedings,” she said.
Ms Njogu argued that a person can only be deported on the strength of an order issued by an immigration judge.
She said on average, immigration proceedings take six years to conclude.
This means that the case against the 90 Somalis and two Kenyans could have started during the previous administrations.
“Trump cannot order deportation of illegal immigrants without first getting the Constitution and immigration laws changed. Immigration judges decide if or not a person will be deported, and that is after quite lengthy proceedings,” she said.
Responding to Ms Njogu’s post on social media, Kenyan lawyer Prof Makau Mutua said individuals with outstanding deportation orders or criminal histories are more likely to be deported.
“It’s going to be a very unwelcome time in America for many individuals who have lived here productively,” he said.
Uncertainty has gripped millions of immigrants, among them Kenyans living in the US without proper authorisation, following the election and subsequent inauguration of Mr Trump.
Mr Trump campaigned on the promise of deporting close to 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the country.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump said he was ready to build a wall on the Mexican border and directed that migrant quotas and programmes be cut.
The orders would restrict immigration and access to the United States for refugees and visa holders from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, according to media reports.