Articles Tagged with immigration law

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Backlog in Immigration Cases Poses Consequences for ImmigrantsThe field of immigration law is rife with numerous complications. The need for extensive immigration reform is clear given the scope of the challenges that undocumented immigrants face. One of the areas where immigration reform is needed can be found in the cases that pile up in U.S. immigration court. For immigrants who are trying to legalize their status as U.S. residents, the massive backlog of cases that the U.S. legal system is struggling with is a clear deterrent to their aspirations.  The backlog of cases has reached problematic proportions. Worst case scenarios have immigrants with pending cases waiting for resolutions three years after their cases have been filed.

The delays in legal resolutions yield drastic consequences for immigrants. Cases that are stuck in legal limbo can prevent undocumented immigrants from supporting themselves while they wait for a definitive conclusion to their legal woes. While an immigrant waits for a case to go to court, he is not allowed to legally work within the U.S. Without the necessary legal means to look for gainful employment, undocumented immigrants cannot produce an income that looks after their basic needs. Statistically, the state with the most amount of backlog in terms of immigration cases is California. The city of Los Angeles has the most amount of pending cases in the state with San Francisco coming in second.

For immigrants who fear the prospect of deportation, these legal delays add a deeper layer of anxiety. Given the volume of cases that they need to deal with, U.S. immigration judges tend to deal with cases involving deportation with a sense of haste. The tendency for judges to deliver snap judgments could prove to have terrifying consequences for immigrants who fear persecution once they’re deported back to their country of origin. In a very real way, a huge chunk of these immigration cases carry a foreboding sense of death once the verdict of removal is delivered.

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prisonThere are a number of immigration issues that grip the United States. The scope of each case that comes under scrutiny may vary but some of the more harrowing consequences that stem from immigration issues may jeopardize the well – being of undocumented immigrants. One of the great fears that undocumented immigrants harbor as far as immigration law is concerned is the threat of incarceration. An untold amount of immigrants come into the US in an annual basis. Some of these entries are achieved through the use of nonimmigrant visas while other undocumented immigrants resort to other compromising tactics. One of the more glaring issues that face undocumented immigrants post incarceration is the inability to post parole because of exorbitant bond rates. The case of Honduran native, Maria Sandra Rivera, outlines the details of this issue in an effective manner.

In 2014, Maria Sandra Rivera was jailed in an immigration prison as a result of an illegal entry into the US. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement slapped Rivera with a $7,500 bond before she could post for parole. Given the lack of resources at Rivera’s disposal, the plaintiff decided to pursue a custody redetermination hearing. The results that came out of that hearing did not do Rivera any favors. The judge that presided over the custody redetermination hearing tagged Rivera as a possible flight risk and reduced the bond to $3,500 dollars. The decision didn’t help Rivera’s case in the slightest given the still steep amount that was needed for her to post parole. Consequently, Rivera was sentenced to prison for 5 months.

The conditions that Rivera faced spurred her to sue the Justice Department. The case fell under a federal class action suit and tagged the officials of the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Northwest Detention Center, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Seattle Ice Field office as defendants. Rivera’s line of reasoning stated that the judges in Seattle and Tacoma did not allow for conditional parole requests and used incarceration as a method to resolve cases similar to Rivera’s.

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deportationWhen it comes to seeking asylum, undocumented immigrants need to be aware of the complexities inherent in the law before they can pursue the possibility seriously. If you intend to apply for asylum, it is essential for you to apply for protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture as well. This is extremely important if you have an established reason for fearing the possibility of torture from the country that you hail from. There may be cases when asylum won’t be granted especially if the applicant in question has a history that involves criminal felonies. The details that are involved in cases like this is best illustrated by the experiences of Maria C. Lugo.

Lugo is a citizen of Venezuela who entered the United States in 1996. Lugo was able to gain entry into the US through the use of a non immigrant visa. Lugo’s problems started once she exceeded the authorized staying period stipulated on her nonimmigrant B-2 visa. Lugo’s problems compounded when she had a run in with the law on 2005. Lugo was charged with concealing a felony during this period. The details of the felony involved Lugo’s boyfriend who was trafficking heroin which, consequently, placed Lugo in a compromising situation with elements of the law.

As a result of the felony charge, Lugo obtained legal counsel. On the advice of her lawyer, Lugo decided to plead guilty to one count of misprision of a felony. Lugo’s decision to plead guilty to the charge was spurred by the alternative of facing up to five years of incarceration. Lugo was sentenced to serving time and paying a fine. The case took on a complex turn because of Lugo’s immigrant status. Under immigration law, Lugo’s status as an undocumented immigrant jeopardized her stay in the US. Lugo was caught unawares by this development, asserting that her attorney did not inform her that a guilty plea could compromise her status.

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immigrantsThe changes that will result from President Obama’s immigration reform have created quite some controversy. President Obama is not the only one who has been working towards a more flexible immigration policy, however. Federal courts have been coming down hard on states with controversial policies, including Alabama and Arizona.

Utah officials recently announced that the state will be dropping some controversial parts of its current immigration legislation. Experts predict that this will be the first of numerous states to gradually retreat from what many consider to be controversial immigration laws.

The strictest part of the Utah immigration law is the so-called “show me your papers.”  This rule demanded that law enforcement officers check the immigration status of anyone who committed a serious crime, as well as minor infractions, including traffic violations. Many believed that the “show me your papers” law encouraged racial profiling and also caused fear in the immigrant communities of Utah. Luckily, Utah officials have now decided to scrap the “show me your papers” law from the states current immigration legislation.