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Staten Island Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

225 arrested on immigration charges in New York

A recent sweep resulted in the arrests of 225 individuals. All were detained on immigration charges in the state of New York. The arrests were made by Immigration Customs and Enforcement during its six day Operation Keep Safe In New York. 

ICE officials were reportedly pleased with the effort to remove immigrants in violation of the law off the streets. They maintain that these numbers could be easily arrested every week if the sanctuary city of New York would allow its law enforcement officials to work with them. As the policies now stand, the city and local police departments only turns over individuals that are on a domestic terrorist list or who have been convicted of one of 170 serious offenses.

Changes in US immigration law end advice for detainees

Laws for individuals attempting to relocate to this country have been rapidly shifting lately, and a new wave of laws brings new changes. One recent change to US immigration law is that a program offering free legal advice to immigrants in detention centers in the United States will be ended. Other laws seek to end the way asylum seekers are handled at the border and adopt a zero-tolerance policy on border crossings. New York immigrants facing detention and deportation will have less resources available to them and may need to reach out for outside independent help. 

A program run by the Vera Institute for Justice will be ended while it undergoes efficiency reviews, which the government has reported have not taken place in six years. The program helps to explain an immigrant's legal rights while he or she is being detained and offer support to those individuals who do not already have a lawyer. One Department of Justice study actually found the program to be a significant money saver for the federal government, but it seems as if it will be halted anyway. 

Citizenship process can be costly

For some, their dream is to come to America and try their hand at the American Dream. Immigration can be a costly and lengthy process, and trying to cut corners can have detrimental effects. If a person is deported, he or she may not get the opportunity to ever gain U.S. citizenship. Individuals in New York who wish to become U.S. citizens should understand the processes and costs associated with it.

First, a person who wishes to become a citizen must become a legal permanent resident. The process for permanent residency can take years. During that time, a person can expect to potentially spend thousands of dollars. After finally attaining the permanent resident status, he or she must remain in that status for five years. 

Pop singer acquires permanent resident status

It's been a long road, but pop singer Izzy Azalea has finally reached her goal. The singer announced via social media that she was granted green card status in the United States. Individuals in New York working toward permanent resident status may be encouraged by the singer's achievement, knowing that the option could be granted to them in the future. 

Ms. Azalea was born in Australia and immigrated to the United States in 2006. She lived in several U.S. cities, and finally chose to reside on the West Coast for the entertainment business. Along the way, she achieved music fame with top hits and features with other artists. 

Bus searches lead to immigration detention, protests in New York

Advocates recently held a national protest against a major bus company claiming that they are allowing travelers to be disrupted by federal officials. Chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union collaborated to speak out against Greyhound Bus Lines' policy of allowing border patrol agents to board buses and question passengers about their immigration status. The message from the ACLU says that, in New York, the bus raids unfairly target people of color and result in people who are in compliance with the law to be sent to immigration detention

Local groups claim that border patrol agents have been observed targeting groups of Hispanic people for interrogation. The advocates claim that the bus riders are being singled out for racial profiling and harassment and that the policy must end. The Greyhound spokesperson has addressed the ACLU's letter, saying that they intend to continue to comply with the federal agency and that the practice is not uncommon or illegal. The company has expressed a desire to try to balance cooperation with law enforcement with the privacy of its customers. 

Families held in separate immigration detention centers

If family members find themselves facing jail time after entering the country, they could be held in separate facilities. Two separate departments handle the detention of adults and minor children, and people who enter the country together may be separated into far-apart immigration detention facilities. Recently, the ACLU has sued the U.S. Government, claiming that the practice is an unlawful separation of families. Under current policy, a person held in New York could be thousands of miles away from where a family member is being held. 

When some immigrant families enter the country, they seek asylum. If immigration services find that the individuals have entered the United States illegally, they may face a short jail term. During that time, some adults have been separated from their children. In one case, a woman was held in San Diego and her child was sent to Chicago. 

Naturalization offices closed at three basic training sites

The military has traditionally been a path for immigrants to become part of life here in the United States. Now, the path to citizenship through the military just got a little more difficult. A new policy change has led to the closing of three naturalization centers at military basic training sites. Immigrants in New York hoping to gain citizenship after basic training may have to wait a little bit longer. 

An October 2017 Department of Defense policy extended the amount of time an immigrant must serve before becoming eligible to become a citizen. The new length of service time is 180 days. Since basic training lasts only 10 weeks, naturalization centers at basic training sites became irrelevant. 

Supreme Court weighs in on U.S. immigration law

A recent Supreme Court ruling continues a conversation about a detained person's right to periodic bond hearings. In its recent ruling, the Court said the immigrants who are being held do not have the legal right to regular hearings and could potentially be detained indefinitely in New York and other detention centers. The U.S. immigration law ruling is seen as a blow to immigrants and their advocates, but it may not be the final say. 

The case will have implications for legal permanent residents and asylum seekers. A legal permanent resident who has committed a crime may be detained and then deported. An asylum seeker who turns him or herself in at the border must also wait in a detention center for a court date. Sometimes, the cases are delayed for long periods of time due to the backlog of cases. 

A permanent resident contributes to Social Security for all

The federal government retirement and disability program known as Social Security depends on the contributions of workers to maintain the fund. Changes in the number of green card holders admitted to the United States, and the deportation of others, could lead to less funds being contributed to Social Security overall. The result could be a loss of funds leading to the depletion of the Social Security trust fund. In New York, one could argue that a permanent resident makes an important contribution to American society and, therefore, should not be facing harsh restrictions. 

A new study finds that just one out of many recent immigration proposals could increase the unfunded benefits obligation by $1.5 trillion, or 13 percent over the next 75 years. The measure, a Senate bill to reduce the number of green cards, would also shorten by one year the date when the Social Security trust fund is set to be depleted. The proposed bill would immediately reduce the number of green cards by 41 percent and in 10 years would cut the number by half. 

Man remains in immigration detention pending court case

The path to citizenship isn't always clear, and sometimes, individuals get caught in predicaments while attempting to become legal residents of the United States. Due to recent events, one man remains in immigration detention while he and his attorney fight to have him returned to his home. Although this incident happened in another state, individuals located in New York may be interested in hearing about the man's troubled journey while seeking citizenship. 

The man, a chemistry instructor, is fighting deportation and is now located in a detention center. He was sent to the center after being taken off of a plane headed back to his home country. A federal judge ordered a second stay in the man's case, so he avoided deportation at that time. 

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