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NYC Immigration Law Blog

Immigration law debate involves noncitizens' voting rights

Efforts have been growing to expand voting rights for immigrants who lack the proper paperwork. In fact, several cities in some states already permit noncitizens to vote in their local elections. However, this trend goes against the anti-immigration push felt in many parts of the country, including New York, based on immigration law.

Supporters of the trend have stated that they simply feel that residents of towns and cities -- even if they are not officially citizens -- should be able to have a say in the way their governments operate. For this reason, some cities have pushed and approved for voting rights not only for immigrants who lack the necessary documents but also for residents who have green cards and student visa holders. The matters on which they would vote do not include national or statewide policy.

DACA immigration law may come to an end

U.S. President Donald Trump has made a move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The DACA policy is designed to help immigrants who do not have the proper paperwork according to immigration law but entered the United States as minors avoid deportation and become eligible for work permits. In response to Trump's move, immigration advocates in the state of New York are voicing strong displeasure.

The state of New York places an emphasis on the agriculture industry. However, according to the Workers' Center of Central New York, the state would lack this industry and its resulting prosperity if it did not have immigrant workers. About 20,000 immigrants located in Upstate New York currently lack the proper paperwork according to immigration law.

DREAM Act immigration law may benefit millions

The DREAM Act of 2017 is currently giving hope to some immigrants who lack the proper paperwork in New York and other states. This bipartisan bill is officially known as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors bill. If enacted, those immigrants who are undocumented under current immigration law may be allowed to permanently legalize their immigration statuses and eventually get green cards.

U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Durbin introduced the DREAM Act of 2017 in Congress in July. The bill would be especially helpful for immigrants who lack the proper paperwork because their parents brought them to the United States while they were young children. These immigrants may not qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, if they have exceeded DACA's age requirement.

Do you need a permanent labor certification?

You may have literally searched the world over for a person qualified enough to perform the tasks your business requires. When you found someone, it was not a U.S. citizen. The individual that you chose agreed to move to the United States permanently in order to work for your company. Now, you need to determine how to bring this person into the country legally.

You will be required to file an immigration petition on behalf of the individual, but you must take another step before you can file the petition. You will need to obtain a permanent labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Immigration law history shows immigrants have benefited New York

The economy of New York City has been growing at an exponential rate during the past few decades. Part of the reason for this, according to the Museum of the City of New York, is that immigrants have been making contributions to the city's growth over the years. This is a point that proponents of immigration are increasingly emphasizing in the Big Apple, where an immigration law debate continues to brew regarding how to address those who lack the proper documentation.

In the city museum is a New Immigrant City cabinet that essentially highlights the long-term impact of businesses owned by immigrants. This is achieved through artifacts that come from well-known immigrant-owned businesses, photographs and newspaper clippings. For instance, a metal patty mold that comes from a bakery is currently on display.

Immigration law attorneys may no longer benefit from continuances

Under some new guidance from the current U.S. presidential administration, there may be less time for immigration attorneys in New York to prepare their cases. At the end of July, the U.S. Justice Department released a memo to all U.S. immigration law judges, encouraging them to avoid granting so many continuances. A continuance is a delay in court proceedings that is fairly routine.

The purpose of continuances is that they essentially slow down the justice system while still making sure that both sides are able to make the best cases they can in court. However, according to the justice department, granting several long continuances has caused a delay. This has reportedly made the problem of already crowded immigration dockets even worse.

Immigrants affected by immigration law receive nonprofit help

Immigration continues to be a hotbed issue throughout the United States, including in New York. However, several nonprofits having taken steps to help immigrants in the Big Apple. As a result, immigrants who lack the proper documentation and are dealing with the political challenges revolving around today's immigration law are receiving some of the basic support they need.

Older immigrants are especially benefiting from nonprofit help. According to a recent report, immigrants make up more than 49 percent of the residents of New York City who are older than 65. Meanwhile, immigrants made up just 38 percent of this group back in 2000. In fact, there are currently more individuals over 65 in New York City than there are those 10 years old or younger.

Current immigration law debate involves assimilation

For many immigrants in New York and elsewhere who lack the proper paperwork, the pendulum continues to swing between fear and hope. People of all backgrounds are welcome into the United States based on immigration law. However, the idea of assimilation continues to be a major area of debate.

Immigrants have been found to contribute to the United States in a multitude of ways. For instance, they help with growing food and creating technologies. However, poor assimilation is often blamed for many offenses that involve immigrants, thus casting a dark shadow over immigration.

Ready to trade in your green card for a U.S. passport?

Did you come to the United States in search of a better life? More than likely you did, and you have spent the last few years building a life for yourself here in New York. Now, the time has come to trade in your green card for a U.S. passport.

The problem is that you don't know what to expect. You know there's a test, an interview and lots of paperwork, but knowing that doesn't alleviate your frustrations and fears about the process. Below is an outline of the steps you will take on your journey from permanent resident to U.S. citizen.

What's the status of your status?

U.S. immigration laws are always changing. Some are confident and well-informed as to how to protect their rights and where to seek support if needed; others live in constant fear that the government will deport them.

No matter how risky living in the United States may be for you, you are definitely not alone if you're an immigrant who fears returning to your country of origin above all else because of imminent violence and danger there. In fact, many people know their very lives are at risk if they ever go back to their original homelands.

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