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Immigration laws may change significantly in 2018

The new year holds many possibilities, but not all of them fill Georgia residents or the larger immigrant community with hope and joy. In fact, immigrants all throughout the country may soon see a complicated season of transition if the White House's recently announced plans to revamp the United States' immigration policies go through.

Under the current immigration system, many individuals qualify for legal residency through family members who already live and work in the United States. This family-based system allows those with family members living in other countries the opportunity to build a life with their family here in Georgia or in many other parts of the country.

Under the proposed immigration system based on merit, those who receive residency or seek citizenship may face greater difficulty qualifying. It is still unclear how this system would work and what effects the transition may have on those individuals already enjoying legal immigrant status.

This year, many things may happen that we cannot anticipate. However, no matter how the immigration reform debate plays out or what policies are implemented by the White House or other lawmakers, it is always wise to know your legal rights, especially if those rights may change quickly.

It is wise to make sure that you have a relationship with an immigration defense attorney who understands the local justice system in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs. As immigration laws change, an attorney can help you understand how these changes affect you and your family, and ensure that you understand how to protect yourself and the ones you love.

Source: WSB Radio, "White House to Push Merit-Based Immigration In New Campaign," Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin, Dec. 19, 2017

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