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NYC Immigration Law Blog

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.

Has trouble arisen concerning your visa?

Thinking back to when you first began to dream of moving to New York, you probably recall feeling eager, excited, and perhaps, a bit nervous. Like most immigrants, you likely went through various processes to apply for and obtain a visa and/or other documents you needed to enter the United States. Whether you're a business owner or a new spouse to an American citizen, you, no doubt, had to secure several documents, such as a passport, visa, green card, etc. before embarking upon your journey.

Knowing which visa is most appropriate to suit your particular situation can be difficult. Also, the visa that brought you here may no longer be valid, or, your circumstances may have changed, thus necessitating a change in your legal status.

Immigration law: Obtaining green card a complex process

Living in New York as an immigrant while lacking the proper paperwork can understandably be unsettling. This is especially true in the current political environment, where there is a push for restrictive enforcement of immigration law. However, it is possible for immigrants to obtain legal permanent resident status, otherwise known as a green card.

First, immigrants interested in becoming permanent residents can apply for their green cards if they have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or U.S. spouses. U.S. spouses, parents or children over 21 years of age can help them to quality. In addition, those who have job offers that require special skills or training/education to complete these roles may apply, too.

Immigration law enforcement may threaten drivers without papers

In New York today, moving cars have become easy targets for immigration officials. With the current presidential administration, efforts are being made to aggressively enforce immigration law. As a result, broken headlights or failure to wear seatbelts -- minor traffic violations -- may have life-changing consequences for immigrants without the proper paperwork.

A routine traffic stop has had the potential to lead to deportation for a while now. However, during the final few years of the previous administration, officials started to prioritize serious crimes, which meant that traffic stops that revealed unlawful status were not treated as seriously. This is no longer the case.

Research shows immigration law offers benefits in United States

Whether immigration hurts or helps the United States remains a touchy topic in New York and other parts of the country. This question yields different answers according to American citizens' various political positions and attitudes toward immigration law. However, research shows that the overall benefits of immigration mostly outweigh its costs.

According to researchers, immigrants have historically been able to drive innovation, create jobs and enhance the productivity of both visa-holders and American citizens. In fact, a recent technology leadership council report indicated that either the children of immigrants or immigrants themselves founded 40 percent of today's Fortune 500 businesses. Furthermore, immigrants started over 50 percent of startups in the United States that are worth at least a billion dollars.

Thousands become U.S. citizens under immigration law this July 4

The Fourth of July is a day when many foreigners declare their allegiance to the United States in an effort to become U.S. citizens. In fact, about 15,000 people were expected to be sworn in as citizens this past Independence Day. However, what has changed over the years is where immigrants come from, the roles they play in the United States, including in New York, and how they are treated under the country's immigration law.

Right now, immigrants are 13.5 percent of the population in the United States. This percentage is smaller than the huge influx of immigrants that took place in the latter part of the 1800s. However, the current percentage is a lot higher than that during the slowdown of immigration that occurred following World War II.

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