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Staten Island Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Reform could change focus from family immigration to work

Concerns about economic growth are causing the experts to look into certain policy reform. In New York and beyond, one such area of interest is skill-based and family immigration. Experts say that, by looking to the example set by other countries, the United States can create policies that increase the number of immigrants overall and maintain a base of highly skilled workers who contribute to fiscal surplus.

To maximize the benefit of immigration, some have argued that the United States should refocus its efforts from family immigration to skilled employment immigration. Experts point to the example of other nations who take in similar numbers of family immigrants but more numbers of skilled workers. In those countries, the additional number of immigrants have contributed to a more robust economy. 

Tough to transfer from TPS to permanent resident

The revocation of Temporary Protected Status for some otherwise deportable aliens has recently been in the news. A person who is not yet a permanent resident of the United States, who resides in New York, may be subject to deportation. However, due to deteriorating circumstances in some countries, the U.S. has granted TPS for some individuals. 

Most recently, the TPS of Haitians in the United States was announced to be revoked. The U.S. administration has decided that living conditions in the country have improved enough since the earthquake in 2010 that the country could start receiving deportees again. Some individuals and advocacy groups argue that Haitians living in the United States should be allowed to stay because they have been integrated into American life, with many holding jobs, paying taxes and owning homes. 

No path to U.S. citizenship for Haitian TPS recipients

An earthquake, a major hurricane and a persistent cholera outbreak -- this is what migrant Haitians are facing a return to. After the disasters, the United States offered a program called Temporary Protected Status, that allowed these individuals to come to this country for relief from the various crises. But now, the current administration has decided to discontinue the TPS for Haitians and asks those individuals in New York and elsewhere to prepare to go home instead of preparing for citizenship

Other TPS statuses have recently been revoked as well for Sudanese and Nicaraguan immigrants. TPS for Hondurans is potentially on the chopping block as well. Many experts and officials are arguing that Haiti is not yet ready to accept thousands of native Haitians back onto its shores, citing continuing difficulties with health, crime and poverty. 

US immigration law being enforced in courts, and just outside

Authorities are looking for migrants wherever people are to be found. Under the new presidential administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is enforcing US immigration law more than ever. In New York, ICE agents are even making arrests in courthouses, grabbing folks on their way in or out of the courts. 

Across New York, it is reported that ICE courthouse arrests are up 900 percent in 2017. Agents are making appearances in courthouses and arresting people who simply report for minor infractions such as traffic violations. Typically, in the past, these agents have only sought out people convicted of more serious crimes. 

Police in schools increase frequency of immigration detention

Because of the recent increase in crime and violence in the nation's schools, parents have embraced the idea of police officers, called school resources officers, lingering at the entrances and patrolling the halls of their children's schools. The presence of a police officer in the building may give many a feeling of security and relief. However, for those who fear immigration detention, either for themselves or for their parents, these SROs create an atmosphere of terror.

In New York and across the country, over 17,000 SROs are employed by school systems. Their responsibilities include giving lessons on safety, preventing crime on campus and responding to any emergencies that occur during the school day. While this may seem to many a positive presence, some are noticing the increase in criminal charges against minority students who commit minor infractions at school, such as using a cell phone during class.

New York city employees won't aid immigration detention

Sanctuary cities provide a haven for immigrants by putting policies in place that are designed not to persecute individuals who may not yet have legal status. Recently, New York City has fortified its status as a sanctuary city by implementing new regulations. The new policies may cut down on immigration detention since city employees will not use their resources to aid federal immigration officials in tracking down immigrants. 

The new regulation includes a policy that city employees will not use any time on duty or city property to enforce immigration laws. The city will also not assist federal officials in locating individuals for deportation in another policy that is now legally binding. Even the Department of Probation will not turn over individuals for deportation as a part of the new policies. 

Family immigration and merit immigration basics

Talk of changes in immigration policy is causing some individuals to review the various ways that immigrants arrive in the United States. The U.S. government seems to be moving away from family immigration toward a merit-based system. Both types of immigration have their place in U.S. policy, and individuals from New York may wish to be informed on the basics of each. 

A recent news story provides more details. Family immigration is the policy that allows for a person who has settled in the United States to sponsor a family member to become a citizen. Spouses and children do not need to wait for a visa number; the family member simply files a petition on their behalf. The process for siblings and other family members can take much longer. 

Permanent resident service members face more rigorous rules

A recent change in Department of Defense policy is changing the way immigrants participate in the military. Under older guidelines, a permanent resident would be able to use military enlistment as a way to fast track a path to U.S. citizenship. The program is now being updated to account for security concerns of government officials. Individuals considering this path to citizenship in New York may wish to review the most current information available about military enlistment and naturalization. 

The program was initially designed to attract individuals with specialized skills to the American armed forces and as a way for legal permanent residents to become citizens. However, it has been reported that changes are coming to the program, effective immediately. Under new program guidelines, all LPRs must pass a security background check and receive a favorable security clearance prior to entry into any armed forces. 

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. 

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