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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Advocates of sanctuary cities are requesting that the judicial system in New York consider making it illegal for federal immigration agents to make arrests on courthouse property. Alternatively, they would at least like it to be mandatory for immigration law defendants to be alerted when deportation agents are inside a courtroom. According to these advocates, the court system in New York is not doing enough to protect immigrants from detention when they arrive at court to address criminal cases that are separate from their immigration cases.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, there was an estimated 40 percent increase in immigration arrests during the current presidential administration's first 100 days. The acting director of ICE said that the higher numbers, which undoubtedly affect immigrants and their families in New York, are due to a White House directive to reverse a 2014 policy that prioritized for arrest particular criminal aliens as well as those who recently crossed the U.S. border. The ICE director claimed that the higher numbers demonstrate the current administration's commitment to enforcing the nation's immigration law.