Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news:
“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
(Mr. Rogers from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood)
It might have come to many people’s attention the following:
- There actually is fake news out there – not the way that the current President says there is, but in fact, people who disseminate false or misleading information – especially when it comes to headlines
- Scammers appear in the wake of tragedies, i.e. after 9/11, the hurricanes, shootings and now immigrants. Often these unscrupulous individuals prey on the weak, the vulnerable and the desperate. In the immigration context, they focus on those subject to deportation, undocumented and those seeking to legalize themselves lawfully.
- People posing as Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers demanding money, threatening jail or simply making threats.
- People who pose as attorneys or “notarios” who offer services or promises that either (a) they are not in a position to deliver or (b) to take money knowing that the victim will have no recourse should they be found out.
- People who, feeling animus towards immigrants or minorities in general, making threats in person, on the phone or via email.
These are just a few examples of ways that people are being victimized in the current political climate. Immigration has seen a severe upheaval in policies and attitude towards immigrants by the government and the public in general. Some have used this as an opportunity to oppress while others have sought to assist.
There are many people genuinely trying to assist those in need. Seek out reputable attorneys, non-profits and other organizations seeking to be of real help. However, because there is so much fake information and people out there – it is on you, the reader, to do your homework and ensure that the help you are seeking, to the best of your ability, will be the right kind of help.
Before making any decisions, actions or relying on a friend, family member or neighbor, seek counsel with an experienced immigration attorney, especially in this political climate.