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Staten Island Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

A peek into the world of US immigration law

For many individuals desiring to move to the United States, they will undergo court processes in local courtrooms. A person just moving to New York could potentially be a bit bewildered at first, trying to navigate the systems in place for reviewing the case. Some individuals may have a development in their case in the US immigration law courts that would result in a delay. A recent news story gives more details about what the process can be like. 

A woman who was caught at the border avoided immediate deportation but has a case in the court system. She says that she faces uncertainty, prosecution and death if she returns to her country of origin. In the meantime, she has married an American man. She has also hired a lawyer to work with her to request more time to prepare documents for a legal pardon. 

Operation Safe City nets immigration charges in New York

An operation implemented by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has resulted in arrests across the nation. Titled Operation Safe City, ICE agents have entered sanctuary cities to arrest unauthorized individuals on immigration charges over a three-day period that ended Sept. 27. Several people were arrested in New York, with hundreds more being apprehended in major cities all over the United States. 

The ICE Acting Director Tom Holman accused sanctuary cities of shielding criminal immigrants from accountability for crimes. Sanctuary cities typically do not allow customs enforcement officers into local jails or allow access to immigrants within municipal institutions. ICE has responded by increasing the number of enforcement officers arresting individuals on the streets. 

New federal rules request online info before naturalization

A person undergoing the path to citizenship in the United States is subject to many federal rules and policies. One new rule, which will go into effect on Oct. 18, allows the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the ability to access several types of online records about a person. Before naturalization, an individual in New York may be subject to this type of investigation as immigration agencies strengthen their standards and practices. 

Prospective citizens will be required to give their social media handles and profile information. The announcement was published in the Federal Register and includes 12 addendums which expound upon the scope and specifics of the information request. The categories of researchable records include information about country of origin, country of residence and social media handles and aliases. Any public searchable information may be looked at, so information that may come up in search engine results is subject to the rule. 

New York state agencies can not ask about citizenship

An executive order was signed Friday, Sept. 15, forbidding state authorities from inquiring about a person's status in the U.S. The policy set forth by Governor Cuomo goes into effect immediately. Any New York state police officer, state law enforcement agency and other state agencies such as schools may not inquire about a person's citizenship status. 

Under the new guideline, state officials are not allowed to reveal a person's immigration status to federal authorities. Certain exceptions exist to the rule, like in situations involving a law enforcement investigation. The governor hopes to reduce what he calls unfair targeting by law enforcement. He mentions the fact that New York has a rich history of accepting and integrating immigrants, and he hopes that his executive order will further the tradition. 

Woman who is ill seeks deportation defense in New York

A woman has claimed that she was fleeing violence when she entered this country and now faces serious health issues. In addition to having a brain tumor that is growing, she has been ordered deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In her effort to be allowed to stay in New York with her family, she is seeking an emergency stay as her deportation defense, since her asylum case is pending appeal.

The woman was arrested at the Mexican border in 2015 on her way to New York as she fled a violent home situation. She was kept in the detention center for over one year until she collapsed and was taken to a hospital. It was discovered there that she had a brain tumor and required medical treatment. Eleven days later she was removed from the hospital by ICE and returned to the detention facility. 

DACA dominates in US immigration law news

Talk of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has flooded recent headlines, leaving many New York residents asking, what is DACA? DACA is a program within US immigration law that allows people who migrated to the United States as children to remain in the country. DACA program individuals must also follow other guidelines.

In addition to migrating before the age of 16, they must have arrived before the year 2007. The person must now be at least 15 years of age, and they must have been younger than 31 when DACA was created in 2012.  Individuals must also have a clean criminal record and pay a bi-annual application fee of $495. The program is a temporary solution resulting from the failure to pass legislation for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Permanent resident process may slow down with interviews

As the U.S. government grapples with questions of how to manage immigration, new policies emerge. The path to becoming a permanent resident in the United States has generally been slow, but the revival of a once-waived interview process for employment-based green card holders may add more time to the wait. For employment-based green card applicants in New York, this information may explain any delays they are now experiencing. 

The interview has been part of the law for years but has been waived as a means to make more efficient use of limited resources. Employment applications have been considered generally low-risk, and waiving the interview means that more attention can be paid to higher-risk applicants, including those from countries with higher numbers of terrorist activity. The path to permanent residency can take an average of one year to complete, and adding the interviews back in will likely extend this time. 

More Dominicans seek citizenship than other Caribbean immigrants

Many individuals venture to the United States, seeking a permanent home. Of the sixteen Caribbean nations analyzed by Department of Homeland Security data, individuals from the Dominican Republic are the leaders in seeking American citizenship. Recent news coverage gives a snapshot look at the numbers of people coming from Caribbean nations to New York and all other U.S. states.  

For the fiscal year 2017, more individuals migrated from the Dominican Republic to become United States citizens than from any other Caribbean nation, with a total number of 11,129 people. The second most populous group of immigrants were individuals from Cuba, with a tally of 10,281. Jamaicans took the third spot, although their numbers were significantly less, with a total of 5,493.

Family immigration helps immigrants achieve

Opinions vary widely on exactly how we should support new citizens coming to the United States. Some argue that generous family immigration policies enable new transplants to succeed -- not only in emotional ways, but as an important driver of economic success. When migrants help the economy thrive, all citizens benefit. New York transplants who have access to extended family support are more likely to build a strong network and feel happier. 

Family immigration is good for the U.S. economy as well. When a person can be supported in a new place with some of his family, he is more likely to be able to have a job or start a business. In 2014, migrant entrepreneurs started over a quarter of new business in the United States. When traveling families expand, they drive the housing market. 

A look at US permanent resident policies

If a person wants to live legally in the United States, the question can be, but how? Immigration laws can be obtuse, to say the least. A recent news article takes a look at U.S. policies for naturalization and sifts through the many details. Persons in New York looking to become a permanent resident may find some new information that can help them achieve their goals. 

There are immigration limits over many categories of immigrants. Currently, the cap for immigration for individuals with no bachelor's degree is 5,000 people. Only 7 percent of available visas may be offered to individuals from one particular country, so countries with higher populations will not receive a proportional level of representation in the number of immigrants. Quotas for employment-based visas are capped at 140,000, and those numbers have not changed since 1990, despite significant changes in the economy. There are also limits placed on the numbers of immigrants with extraordinary ability -- that is, Nobel Prize winners, scientists and outstanding researchers. 

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