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Lawrenceville Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

The difference between unlawful presence and improper entry

In the United States, in the eyes of immigration officials, while illegal immigration is unlawful, an immigrant's unlawful presence is not. There is a clear delineation between the two categories and depending on which one you fall into, potential benefits and consequences associated with each.

As for improper entry, it perhaps the most common type of immigration crime. It is also considered to be a misdemeanor under United States law.

Law enforcement pushing back against sanctuary cities

As 2017 marches on, law enforcement throughout the United States continues to crack down on enforcing immigration law to its limit (and sometimes beyond). While the country as a whole is very divided on the issue, the White House continues to direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to commit greater and greater resources to identifying immigrants who violate a wide variety of laws and prosecuting them with severe consequences.

Now, ICE has announced that it is ramping up its focus on sanctuary cities and pushing back against the local policies many places have instituted to add a layer of protection for their immigrant residents living in fear.

Can you get a green card as a U nonimmigrant?

The victims of criminal acts already have life hard enough without having to worry about leaving the country. For nonimmigrants who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse while in the United States, there is a green card that could help them stay in the United States while they get the care and support they need.

Once they're in the United States, it may be in their best interests to stay. At that point, getting a green card may be the next item on the agenda. This is just one way to get permanent residency status.

Is your temporary visa in order?

If you arrived to begin a new life in Georgia from another country outside the United States, hopefully, you successfully navigated the customs and immigration system throughout the process. You're likely familiar with all sorts of requirements and eligibility rules that govern such matters, meaning, you can't simply show up in America one day and take up residence.

The process of entering the United States to live and work is often complicated and time-consuming. U.S. immigration law is complex and often difficult to understand, especially if you happen to have a language barrier of some sort. When you travel to America, you're required to obtain a non-immigrant visa, which generally allows you temporary legal status to visit, live and/or seek gainful employment here.

Immigrants' job choices are changing

Studies have shown that immigrants are changing job trends in the United States. If you compare more recent immigrants to those from previous decades, there are some stark differences.

For example, the top job choice for new immigrants is in the medical field, working as doctors. The second most popular option is work as a software developer.

Law enforcement detaining immigrant parents, leaving children

Many immigrants throughout Georgia now live in constant fear that the lives they've built in America may be stripped from them at any moment. Numerous reports from various news outlets suggest that law enforcement here in Georgia look for any kind of legal discrepancy or infraction whenever they interact with immigrants, and initiate deportation if they find anything.

Recently, an investigative report found that officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) readily detained immigrants for deportation even when it meant leaving children without a parent. For the hundreds or even thousands of immigrant households where one or more parent faces deportation, this is very troubling news.

A DUI can threaten your life in America

You've always been very careful about how you act in the United States, because you know certain actions could lead to deportation. Now, you're worried about your future, because you've been accused of drunk driving. You know you face heavy penalties, but do those penalties include deportation?

Fortunately, getting accused of a DUI or even receiving a DUI doesn't mean you're going to be deported. Many DUIs are misdemeanor crimes, and those are not deportable in most cases. However, if your DUI is charged as a felony, you do run the risk of deportation.

Bringing your foreign spouse home to the United States

Like many other Georgia residents, you may have the chance to travel to other countries whether for work or pleasure. You experience their culture, see the sights and meet new people. In fact, you may have met someone and fallen in love. The two of you decided to that the wedding would take place in your soon-to-be spouse's country but decided to start your new life together here in the United States.

If that is the case, you may want to gain an understanding of what steps are necessary to bring your spouse into the country. Fortunately, the government wants to help ensure that you and your spouse don't spend any more time apart than necessary.

Are 'Dreamers' safe in the Trump Administration?

The rhetoric of President Trump's campaign regarding people who are not in this country legally has left a lot of people on edge. Agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have cracked down on undocumented immigrants.

Even those who qualified for President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been nervous. The program, implemented by executive order in 2012, allowed immigrants who came here illegally as children (referred to as "Dreamers") to remain in the country legally if they met certain requirements. However, they had to come out from the shadows and acknowledge their illegal immigrant status to do so.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is safe, for now

After months of what feels like daily bad news for immigrants living in Georgia and throughout the United States, there is a glimpse of good news from the White House for individuals who came to country as young children. According to recently released statements from the Trump administration, immigrants protected under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can continue to enjoy those protections — for now.

Immigrants protected under DACA, often referred to as "Dreamers" in the media, can continue to re-apply for temporary work permits every two years under the current rules, but there is no guarantee that this privilege will last very long. While the White House did state that DACA would remain in effect for now, many other similar programs are going away. Some activists and pundits have suggested that this move may only create further tensions between immigrants protected by DACA and those who are not.

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