Many people from around the world move to the United States in pursuit of a better life. The U.S., and New York in particular, has always been a haven for people who want to start anew in the land of opportunity. One of those people is former National Basketball Association player, Felipe Lopez. He immigrated to this country in the late 1980s to become a permanent resident. A new documentary series is featuring his story as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.
Many people come to the United States in the hopes of improving their lives. Several of them have come from countries where there is political unrest or that have been destroyed by a natural disaster, and therefore, they have little hope of returning. Several immigrants have been living in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), but the current administration is seeking to end this program, potentially putting hundreds of thousands of people's lives in limbo, including many right here in New York.
New York residents may find themselves confused by the latest round of changes to U.S. immigration law. The current administration has announced that, in an effort to ease the burden on public assistance systems, a person who is a permanent resident and relies on obtaining a green card to continue to live and work in the United States may have a tougher time obtaining public assistance. There are many people who support this change, as current policy requires green card applicants to prove they will not be a drain on the economy.
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.
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.
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.
U.S. Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently spoke out about options for resolution to the immigration issue for DACA recipients. This group of immigrants, which consists of mostly young people, has recently come into the news because of the Trump administration's announcement to end the DACA program. The legal status of these individuals is currently up in the air, but the Homeland Security Secretary remains hopeful that a solution to the problem can be found, including possibly granting permanent resident status. This hopeful outlook could potentially be reassuring to some immigrants in New York.
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.
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.
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.