Gurmukh Singh, a 47-year-old Southern California taxi driver who is originally from India, was detained by US immigration authorities during a check-in for an 18-year-old deportation order, issued in 1999. Singh came to the US in 1998 through sneaking across the US-Mexico border. He applied for asylum, claiming that he was fleeing persecution as a Sikh, but was not approved. Later, Singh’s case was filed to the immigration courts, and he was issued a deportation order. In 2013, Singh was arrested after having attended an interview for an application for a green card, which was filed by his US citizen wife. He later spent five months in custody. However, Singh said that he didn’t know he had the deportation order when he attended the interview in 2013.
Since 2013, Singh strived to get his 1999 order reviewed, but his request was rejected by the court last month. According to immigration authorities, Singh’s case has been fully reviewed, and the 1999 order has always been upheld. In addition, authorities said that anyone who breaks US immigration laws and has a deportation order could potentially be removed from the country. Singh, who is a father of two daughters, worries what would happen to his family after his possible deportation.
Our Verdict: The administration’s tougher line on immigration cases echoes President Trump's efforts to tighten immigration enforcement by building a wall on the US-Mexico border. It is important to keep in mind whether any record in immigration status (e.g. past deportation order) could lead to potential deportation, especially before filing application for green card or citizenship.