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Staten Island Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Family immigration issues discussed in House

Recent media coverage has sparked a new wave of talks about asylum seekers in the U.S. Individuals seeking asylum at the United States borders are now being separated from their children due to a new border policy. What the change means long-term for family immigration has yet to be revealed. For now, people interested in migrating to New York may wish to be aware of current policy. 

In May, the United States began enforcing a new "zero-tolerance" policy. The new policy charges individuals alleged to be crossing the border illegally as felons in criminal court. Prior to the change, the same class of individuals would have been charged in civil court and detained in immigration detention facilities. Since charges are now criminal, a person found to be with children at the time of his or her arrest will be separated from those children and sent to prison.

Man held in immigration detention following pizza delivery

One man remains detained following an incident at a military base. He worked as a pizza delivery man in New York and often delivered to the base. The last time he visited, he said that the check-in procedure had changed, which led to him being arrested and held in immigration detention

The individual stated that he had delivered pizza to the military base many times before. Most recently, he was stopped at the gate and asked for a valid Department of Defense ID. Previously, his city ID card had been sufficient for him to enter and deliver food. 

Justice Department implementing changes in US immigration law

A recent focus of the current administration is overhauling the way that new individuals are introduced into the country. Leaders have called for changes in US immigration law that will result in lower levels of illegal immigration. Some proposed changes include the hiring of more immigration judges to handle cases in New York and the rest of the country. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the leader of the Justice Department. This department handles all immigration cases in a court system that is separate from criminal and civil courts. The Attorney General serves as a type of one-man Supreme Court in disputed cases. 

Citizenship question to return to 2020 Census

The United States has been utilizing a periodic gathering of information about its people known as the census for over 200 years now. Every 10 years, census takers travel to ask questions about the people residing in the U.S. Soon, individuals in New York may notice that a question about citizenship has been added to the normal roster of questions. Although some object to the question being added, there has been a history of its inclusion in the Census.

One expert has determined 1820 to be the first time individuals were asked about citizenship on the U.S. Census. That year was the fourth U.S. Census on record, and the question was if there were any foreigners not naturalized in the household and, if so, how many. The expert said that she was not able to determine what the data was used for, and that the question was eventually dropped. 

Permanent resident cards sent out in error

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent out notice recently of a problem with several thousand green cards. Over eight thousand green cards were recalled because of a problem with the "resident since" date. Any permanent resident green card holders in New York will be notified via mail or through their attorneys about the issue and what they need to do.

Any green cards mailed from February to April 2018 are affected. The cards in question belong to spouses of U.S. citizens who applied for residency under a particular form that removed conditions of residence. The error does not change the individual's status as permanent resident, although it may cause confusion for those who intend to travel or who otherwise may need to prove their residency.

Immigrants could face immigration charges after policy change

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a policy change that may result in the relocation of approximately 50,000 individuals. The federal agency announced that it is ending Temporary Protected Status for Honduran immigrants who entered the country after Hurricane Mitch in 1999. There are approximately 50,000 people who could face immigration charges if they do not leave the country, many of whom may be in New York state. 

DHS has gone on the record to say that the conditions in Honduras since the hurricane have significantly improved. This statement is contested by some experts. Others say that conditions in Honduras continue to be poor, that it is a country plagued by violence and that people continue to flee from the location. 

20 individuals granted citizenship in New York ceremony

For many, it was the achievement of a long-held goal. The struggle to come to a new country, learn the laws and the customs, and to finally be granted citizenship was the triumphant journey for many individuals who called themselves immigrants. Now, 20 individuals are calling themselves citizens after a recent citizenship ceremony held in New York.

Federal judge Gary Favro oversaw the ceremonies held in Plattsburgh, New York. Reporters say that it was an emotional and exciting moment for those new citizens and their families. Typically, these types of matters are handled in a courtroom, but the latest ceremony was held in an auditorium on stage, making it reminiscent of a graduation or other formal ceremony. 

USCIS acts to change US immigration law

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has recently released information indicating a desire to make historic changes in some of their policies. The changes will create dramatic shifts in US immigration law and will potentially reduce the number of individuals approved to work in the United States. Foreign workers based in New York may experience the effects of the recently announced policy changes. 

USCIS Director Francis Cissna revealed in a letter a series of policies that are believed will make certain types of immigration far more difficult. The restrictions will include limitation on the H-1B visa and the ability of H1-B recipient's spouses to work. The laws will also affect foreign entrepreneurs from having an immigration option.

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. 

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