As an immigration lawyer based in Edison, New Jersey, our office naturally serves a very diverse population of residents living not only in Edison, but also Woodbridge, Iselin, and Metuchen. Metuchen is incredibly mixed. The quaint borough notably has an Asian population of 7.23%. It is not clear whether undocumented aliens are part of this demographic. In any case, it is worth noting that besides being, in my opinion, one of the most scenic towns in the state, Metuchen is also one of the more aggressive in enforcing traffic laws. It is not uncommon for people to be charged with improper passing, DWI, as well as speeding around this area. Why is this significant? Because many people with immigration status problems are under the impression that they will only pop up on ICE’s radar if they unfortunately have some sort of criminal history. What is not taken into account is that if traffic tickets are not handled responsibly, people may be incurring motor vehicle points which may in turn lead to license suspension if too many are accumulated. In some cases, people forget or ignore their traffic summonses, leading eventually to bench warrants. If an individual without status has the misfortune of being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, or picked up on a warrant, he or she could conceivably come to the attention of ICE, the enforcement arm of DHS. The most recent sweep by ICE bears this out in which many people with arrests in Municipal Court were picked up. It goes without saying that individuals with status issues should of course be driving responsibly. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and mistakes do happen, whether it is the individual’s or police officer’s error. If you do have the misfortune of receiving a traffic summons, and your immigration status is not certain, make sure that you take care of it.
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