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Lawrenceville Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

Criminal defense: What to expect with an attorney's help

A good criminal defense attorney has many strategies that can help you defend yourself effectively. Generally speaking, there are a few ways to defend yourself, but they all fall into the same categories. You either are claiming to be innocent or not. If not, you're looking to explain yourself and actions in a way that will lead to little or no punishment.

A smart defense attorney builds a strong story in defense of the defendant. This story is built on the truths of the case while placing the defendant in a good light. For example, while the prosecution may accuse a person of murder, the defense may paint a picture of someone fighting to protect him or herself and those he or she loves.

How do I become a naturalized American citizen?

Foreign nationals or citizens are eligible to apply to become naturalized United States citizens under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).One of the first steps in qualifying for American citizenship is for you to take and pass the naturalization test. It includes sections testing your mastery of civics, English and U.S. history.

In order to qualify to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you generally have to fall into one of four different categories. Children born abroad to a parent who is a U.S. citizen may qualify for citizenship via naturalization even if they maintain their residence outside of this country.

Poor conditions in detention centers threaten safety of detainees

If you or someone you love must spend time in an immigration detention center, you do still have rights as a person, and may have legal grounds to contest your treatment. Here in Georgia, our state houses a detention center quickly gaining a reputation for being a place where anything but the law gets upheld.

The inner workings of the detention center came to light recently thanks to the investigative work of some local and regional journalists who built upon the findings of the inspector general's office (IG). The IG's office surveyed a number of detention centers, including Stewart Detention Center, which operates in southwest Georgia.

Seeking a green card for your same-sex spouse

Like many couples, you probably felt much discouragement and anxiety when Georgia refused to lift its ban on same-sex marriages. You and your partner longed for the same benefits offered to opposite-sex partners, and you may have felt such a time would never come. If your spouse is not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., you had another complication. Your petition for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident for your partner was likely met with rejection.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal for states to ban same-sex marriage, you and your partner may have hurried to get married. Now that you are free to celebrate your union, what happens to your petition for a green card for your new spouse?

Do children automatically obtain citizenship from a parent?

When children have parents who are already citizens, they may be able to obtain citizenship through their parents. They can do so at birth, after birth or before they turn 18.

There are rules that apply depending on the circumstances.

How to avoid problems when immigrating to Georgia

Immigrating to Georgia or another region of the United States can be a very complicated and stressful process. Whether you have held a dream of building a new life in America for decades or it has only recently become part of your life goals and plans, the better understanding you have of U.S. immigration law, the lower your risk for running into major legal problems. 

It's always best to have resources lined up so that you can reach out for assistance if you encounter obstacles along the way. There are several things you can keep in mind that may also help you achieve your immigration goals in least stressful manner possible. If something happens that causes you concern, such as immigration officials detaining you at the border, try to remain calm and know where to seek support

An immigration judge orders the deportation of a Norcross mom

On May 18, an Atlanta Immigration and Customs Enforcement judge ordered that Honduran mother of six be deported to her home country. He has given her until November to get her affairs in order and to leave the United States.

While that day she headed to her appointment, the Norcross woman walked into court thinking of her appointment as no different from any other she'd attended in the past, her attorney felt differently. He said that he fully expected her to be placed under arrest and deported right away.

Defend yourself against criminal charges while you still can

No matter who you are, facing criminal charges in America can seriously impact your livelihood and the safety of your family. For immigrants living in America, especially those here without proper documentation, facing criminal charges could greatly alter their lives and can result in lengthy detention and deportation.

Building a legal defense is very important as an immigrant, because the stakes are much higher if you receive a conviction. Regardless of other aspects of your residency, even small crimes or merely charges can turn into long stretches of time that you may spend held in a detention facility. Unfortunately, criminal charges cause many immigrants to simply hide from authorities, worried that any interaction with the legal system may result in consequences.

Sanctuary schools could make a difference for children

There is no greater fear for immigrants that being sent away when they know little else than this country. This is especially true for children, many of which have no memory of living in another country and may have no family or friends there.

Children should not have to worry about deportation when the United States is all they know, but it is a concern among families. There is one family, for example, whose daughter was detained as a result of immigration policies that pulled her out of school due to her legal status.

¿Tendrá dificultades para calificar para la ciudadanía?

No importa cuánto tiempo haya vivido en Georgia como residente permanente, es posible que haya sentido que falta algo. Si ese elemento faltante era su ciudadanía de los EE. UU., Era probable que estuviera entusiasmado cuando hubiera pasado el tiempo suficiente para calificar y para comenzar a tomar medidas hacia la naturalización.

Como ciudadano naturalizado de los Estados Unidos, disfrutará de todas las libertades y los derechos que otros ciudadanos comparten, como el derecho a votar en las elecciones, solicitar puestos de trabajo federales y patrocinar a familiares que deseen convertirse en residentes permanentes de los EE. UU. Los tramites para la naturalización son arduos, incluido el aprendizaje de inglés y la comprensión de los principios básicos del gobierno de EE. UU. Incluso si cumple con estos requisitos, varios problemas podrían impedirle obtener la ciudadanía.

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