There's no question that it can be utterly devastating to be on the receiving end of an otherwise unfavorable decision handed down by either an immigration judge or an official with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The unfortunate reality for those people with cases pending in the federal immigration courts is that they are likely going to have to wait a long time for any sort of legal resolution allowing them to move forward due to a sizeable case backlog.
It can be very frightening to learn that a loved one has been physically detained by officials with the Department of Homeland Security for removal proceedings. In addition to this fear, you and your family will likely experience confusion as to why your loved one was detained in the first place, where they have been taken, and whether they have any rights or options going forward.
Last month, The New York Times published an eye-opening report outlining how many undocumented immigrant children, including hundreds of the unaccompanied minors who fled to the U.S. border earlier this year to escape gang-related violence in Central America, are being denied access to area classrooms.
Unlike many other locations in the U.S., New York City is a year-round tourist destination. In other words, the allure of the world-renowned performing arts centers, concert halls, zoos, botanical gardens and, of course, museums is so great that many people are willing to brave less than ideal weather conditions to see all that the city has to offer.
Without a doubt, the immigration-related story generating the most news coverage over the last year has been the plight of the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the southwest border seeking to gain entrance to the U.S. after an unimaginably long journey from Central America.
Last month, the New York City Council passed a measure calling for the creation of municipal identification cards that could be issued to anyone able to present 1) proof of identity via a birth certificate or passport, and 2) proof of city residence via a pay stub, utility statement or other document.
On Thursday, the New York City Council will be called upon to consider two landmark proposals that, if passed, would drastically expand the rights and opportunities available to undocumented immigrants, and serve to further solidify the city's growing pro-immigrant reputation.
Even though Congress has failed to enact any sort of comprehensive immigration reform, changes are nevertheless taking place on the state level. For instance, multiple states have enacted legislation granting driver's licenses and/or tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants and non-citizen residents.
Last week, the Homeland Security Department made headlines when it announced that renewal applications under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program were now being accepted and processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.