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Lawrenceville Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

Do you know how many immigrants actually live in the U.S.?

When people talk about immigration these days, they often come from two very different sides and may exaggerate things significantly. For instance, maybe someone told you that immigrants are flooding into the country in unprecedented numbers and you should be worried about it. Or, maybe you have heard that the current political climate has turned them back and changed the country that the United States was originally intended to be.

It's dangerous to deal in extremes and important to consider the facts. So, how many immigrants are there in America?

How to renew a United States work visa

It is required by law for all employers to check if their employees or potential employees are allowed to work in the United States. It doesn't matter what your nationality or citizenship status is, you must be able to prove to an employer that you are legally permitted to work in the country. One such way is by obtaining the Employment Authorization Document, also known as the EAD. If this document is about to expire, you need to know how to renew it, so you don't lose your job.

In order to obtain an EAD, you must first file Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization. You will be required to file for an EAD for any of the following circumstances:

  • You are already authorized to work in the United States but need to show proof of such authorization
  • You are required to apply for permission to work in the United States (pending I-485 form, pending I-589 application or F-1 or M-1 student)

Am I safe if I seek sanctuary in a church?

If your status in the U.S. is in question, you may have more reasons to fear than ever before. Maybe your visa expired, and you have not taken the steps to renew it. Perhaps police have accused you of a crime that is a removable offense. Possibly, you were not in the country lawfully to begin with.

No matter your situation, with the latest changes in immigration policies and the promise of more stringent laws to come, you have reason to be concerned about your future. You may have seen stories on the news of families and individuals who have taken shelter in local churches as a way of seeking sanctuary from government officials who want to deport them. Is this a viable option for you?

Citizen held for deportation for days -- but that's not unusual

There's an old movie called "Born in East L.A." that involves a Latino veteran who is wrongfully deported. He's mistaken for an illegal immigrant from Mexico -- despite the fact that he speaks no Spanish and was born in the United States. Back in the 80s, the film played as a comedy. Now, it could be a documentary.

A decorated Marine and native of Michigan, ended up in the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), about to be deported. It took three days for anybody to realize that he was actually a citizen.

Ways to prove your marriage isn't a fraud

When you married a U.S. citizen and took the first steps of your journey in your new Georgia community, you may have felt bubbly with joy and eager to lay a strong foundation for the family you and your partner hoped to have together. Life as a new immigrant in the United States can be quite challenging, to say the least. From learning to speak, read and write English fluently to adapting to new customs, it can evoke mixed emotions.

If you're one of many couples that the U.S. government has notified to appear at a marriage interview, things may get worse before they get better and you're able to feel like you can settle down and start enjoying your new lifestyle. If immigration officials want to interview you about your marriage, it is likely because they suspect you of fraud. The more you know about your rights and how to protect them, as well as ways to prove that your relationship is legitimate, the likelier you will avoid removal. 

Immigration defense: What's an automatic stay of removal?

The threat of being torn from your family, sent out of the country and not being able to return to the United States again is terrifying. This is why many immigrants choose to defend themselves against the risk of deportation in court. An automatic stay of removal is one strategy that if successful, could provide a temporary postponement that prevents immigration authorities from removing the person.

An automatic stay of removal goes into effect automatically when the immigrant appeals the removal before the time limitations specified under the law run out. The appeals must be submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is the highest administrative body that decides cases relating to immigration law. The BIA typically performs a paper review of the circumstances without any court proceedings. The automatic stay of removal will expire after the BIA reaches a decision on the matter.

Immigration detention issues that may cause you concern

If you recently arrived in Georgia as an immigrant, you may still be struggling to adapt to your new lifestyle. Then again, perhaps you've lived and worked in this state for years now but still run into legal issues concerning your or a family member's status from time to time. If your household includes a member in an immigration detention center, you no doubt understand how greatly stressful and frightening such places can be.

In fact, in recent months, many immigrant advocates have spoken out against numerous problematic issues regarding U.S. immigration law, in particular those pertaining to detention and deportation. It is critical that you know your rights and where to seek support if a problem arises, whether you're here on a visa, have a green card or are undocumented at this time.

Were you accused of either of these serious drug crimes?

If you look at the number of criminals who are currently serving long-term prison sentences as a result of a nonviolent drug crime, the statistics are astounding. Perhaps the most distressing part of this is the fact that prison is no place for peaceful, nonviolent people. There are many difficulties and dangers that a convicted person will face in a prison environment.

To avoid getting in trouble with the law and potentially being sent to prison as a result of a drug crime conviction, it's important to understand what constitutes a drug crime. Here are two of the most common drug-related crimes that could land someone in prison:

How should I talk with an airport immigration officer?

It can be terrifying to arrive in the United States at an airport and be subjected to an interview with an immigration officer -- especially if your spoken English skills are a little rusty. If you already have a visa to enter the United States, you shouldn't have any cause for concern, but that doesn't make this interview any easier.

To help you feel a little more secure and calm during the airport immigration officer interview process, we've included a short little script that you can practice beforehand with your friends and family:

Am I already a United States citizen?

It seems like everyone in the world wants to be a United States citizen, and it can be a long and difficult process for some to gain this status. However, it never ceases to surprise us on the occasions when someone comes into our immigration law office asking for help with citizenship and we discover that the individual is already a citizen.

Yes, these individuals tend to be just as surprised as we are -- and overjoyed -- to discover that they're already citizens. It also tends to make our job as immigration attorneys a great deal easier. When this happens, the individual usually falls under one of the following three circumstances:

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