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Some Olympic athletes very familiar with U.S. Immigration Law

Millions worldwide, including many in Georgia, have been enjoying the competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The United States team is comprised of many high-ranking athletes, some of whom came to the nation through U.S. immigration law processes. In fact, one Albanian-born female athlete said she sought asylum in 1999 and became a naturalized citizen 13 years later.

The woman, who is a member of the United States shooting team, said she had feared fleeing Albania for years because of horrible stories she'd heard regarding other young people who were sent abroad to compete. Another member of the male shooting team describes how he was brought to the United States at a young age for medical treatment, and his family decided to stay and become citizens.  In addition to these athletes, one man who competes in the Judo category is said to have spent his early years in an orphanage with a dirt floor, until a couple in the United States adopted him.

Several other members of the U.S. Olympic Team come from families who defected from lands torn from violence and poverty. The athletes say they are proud to represent the nation as avid competitors in the 2016 games in Brazil. Many say their stories are evidence of the valuable contributions they and other immigrants offer their communities and the nation at large.

U.S. Immigration Law can seem complicated and intimidating to those for whom language poses a barrier, or who may be facing other difficult situations. Guidance is available for Georgia immigrants through consultation with immigration and naturalization attorneys. Attorneys whose practices focus on immigration issues are typically able to clarify applicable state and federal laws, and offer effective representation to those who wish to navigate the process of seeking citizenship or permanent resident statuses.

Source: immigrationimpact.com, "Team USA Includes These Immigrants and Foreign-Born Athletes Competing for Gold", Michele Waslin, Aug. 5, 2016

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