Many Georgia residents will likely be familiar with immigration issues such as border security and undocumented workers, but many business leaders are more concerned about programs designed to allow them to hire foreign workers with specialized skills. The H1-B visa program exists to fill this gap, but many executives and government officials feel that it does not go far enough. They believe that immigration restrictions are hurting American companies as they try to compete in highly specialized and competitive markets.
More than 15,000 of the immigrants accepted in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since its inception in 2012 live in Georgia. The Obama administration put the program in place for individuals who were brought to the United States as children and educated in the country but never attained legal status. To be eligible, the individuals must not have committed any felonies.
For those who are looking to immigrate to the United States, it may be possible to do so via the E-2 visa. This visa allows people who have run a successful business in their home country to do so in the United States. Potential immigrants who live in a country that has an investment treaty with the United States may be able to come to the country if they actively invest in the economy.
Georgia readers who are interested in immigration issues may be concerned about a recent lawsuit filed against the federal government. According the lawsuit, a 2008 program targeting applicants who may be a national security concern has resulted in lengthy delays and denials for Muslims seeking green cards and citizenship. The lawsuit was filed on July 31 by the American Civil Liberties Union and alleges that the program, known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program, uses criteria that are too broad, causing lengthy delays for applications filed by Somali, Iranian and Palestinian citizens.
Georgia residents may be interested to know that according to numbers released by Customs and Border Protection in July 2014, 55,000 family units were taken into custody while trying to cross the border into the United States. That figure represents a 500 percent increase since 2013. A family unit is defined a group of people that consists of one or more children traveling with an adult relative.