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President Trump's tweets about this week shock an overloaded immigration process

Posted: 6:43 AM, Jun 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-28 18:24:40-04
Detained illegal immigrants enter a backlogged immigration legal system

Immigration experts say President Trump's recent tweets about how ICE will start deporting "millions of illegal aliens" this week is shocking the immigration court system. Even before a two-week delay for lawmakers to work out a deal on immigration policy, experts say undocumented immigrants found in recent raids in Ohio will still get their day in court.

From the moment Eliseo Rodriguez De La Cruez heard federal agents during their raid of the Corso's Flower and Garden Center last summer, he knew his time at the facility was over and that years of uncertainty were just beginning.

"I was very sad and we didn't know what was going to happen to us," he told News 5 at the end of 2018.

Rodriguez family
Eliseo Rodriguez De La Cruez (right) stands with his son, Jimmy, during Jimmy's high school graduation. Eliseo is waiting for a court date in April 2021.

See our previous stories about Elieo and his son, Jimmy from July and December 2018.

So when President Trump sent out these tweets below, poeple like Eliseo and Robert Brown Immigration Law Partner Aleksander Cuic took notice.

"I think it's a shock to the system and, I think, a cause for alarm," said Cuic.

He says the tweets are a political move, especially since the President's re-election kickoff event was scheduled for just one day after the tweet was sent.

ICE raid: More than 100 arrested in Massillon
ICE raid: More than 100 arrested in Massillon.

Also, the deportation process is long and can't be circumvented by a tweet.

"There's an immigration court process, so you can't just arrest someone and deport them," said Cuic.

Even undocumented immigrants caught up in the raids in Sandusky and Salem, Ohio are entitled to a day in court to make the case for why they should be allowed to stay.

Detained illegal immigrants enter a backlogged immigration legal system
Detained illegal immigrants enter a backlogged immigration legal system.

That process can take years to play out, so Cuic says anyone arrest just a year ago likely hasn't had their court date yet.

Before the raids started, President Trump tweeted this:

It creates years of uncertainty but also time for undocumented immigrants to make their case.

Eliseo is due back in court in April of 2021 and until then, he's expecting to stay in Ohio.

Eliseo Rodriguez De La Cruez
Eliseo Rodriguez De La Cruez was arrested during a raid on Corso's Flower and Gardening Center over the summer.

Cuic says what's more likely is that the President is referring to undocumented immigrants who have already gotten an Order of Supervision, essentially the step before deportation.

"They've gone through the immigration court process, they've exhausted their court remedies at this point, and they were told by an immigration court judge that they have to be removed," said Cuic.

He says the best estimate is that there are about 400,000 to 1 million people in the United States right now who are at that stage.