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FL immigration lawyerFor over 20 years, Congress has attempted to pass different forms of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would provide benefits for immigrants who came to the United States as children. Many of these children were brought to the U.S. at an early age, grew up in the country, consider themselves to be Americans, and wish to continue playing an important role in society. Unfortunately, because of their uncertain immigration status, many of these “Dreamers” struggle to do so. While the DREAM Act has yet to be passed, some programs have provided Dreamers with options, and lawmakers continue to push reforms to immigration laws that will address these issues.

Relief for Undocumented Immigrants Through the DACA Program

Many children who do not have the legal documentation allowing them to live and work in the United States have struggled to address immigration issues. Some immigrants have received relief through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created when President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2012. This program provided relief for people who came to the U.S. as children and met other requirements, ensuring that they would not face deportation and providing them with authorization to work.

DACA was meant to be a temporary solution to benefit certain immigrants until more permanent laws could be put in place. Unfortunately, this has not happened, and the DACA program recently reached its 10-year anniversary. The program has faced legal challenges, and in 2021, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional. While immigration officials currently cannot accept new DACA applications, those who had previously received DACA protections may apply for extensions to ensure that they will be able to continue living in the U.S.

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FL immigration lawyerDue to ongoing political turmoil in Haiti, many of the country’s citizens have attempted to come to the United States, where they will have a better opportunity of living in a safe environment and earning an income to support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, U.S. officials have responded to this wave of migration harshly and forced many people to return to Haiti. This has left a large number of migrants with few options, but those who are facing expulsion or deportation can take steps to protect their rights by working with an immigration attorney.

Reasons for Additional Expulsions of Immigrants From Haiti

In 2020, the administration of President Donald Trump put a rule in place that allowed for the expulsion of immigrants entering the United States. This rule, known as Title 42, made it easier for immigration officials to force people to leave the country, since it did not require them to follow many of the standard procedures, and in many cases, immigrants have been prevented from applying for asylum or being recognized as refugees.

Title 42 was supposedly put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Trump administration stated that it was meant to help prevent infections from being spread by immigrants. While health officials have stated that this rule is no longer necessary, and the administration of President Joe Biden has announced that it intends to lift the rule, a recent ruling by a federal judge in Louisiana has kept the rule in place.

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FL immigration lawyerPeople living in the United States may be able to sponsor their family members for immigration. While multiple types of family-based visas are available, the fastest and easiest way to sponsor a family member is usually through an immediate relative visa. In these situations, U.S. citizens can provide sponsorship for immediate family members, including their spouses, children, or parents. When applying for an immediate relative visa, family members will need to understand the information that must be provided.

Information Required With a Visa Petition

A person can apply for an immediate relative visa by filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). They will also need to provide the following supporting documents:

  • Evidence of their U.S. citizenship - This may include a copy of their birth certificate showing that they were born in the United States, a valid U.S. passport that is not expired, or a copy of their naturalization certificate.
  • Evidence of family relationships - When sponsoring a spouse, a person will need to provide proof of their marriage, including a marriage certificate and, if they had been married before, evidence of the termination of that marriage. They will also need to provide evidence that the marriage is bona fide, such as a lease agreement showing that the couple resides together, documentation of jointly-owned property, birth certificates of children they have together, bank records showing that they have joint accounts, or sworn affidavits from third parties stating that their marriage is valid. When sponsoring a child, a parent can submit a copy of the child’s birth certificate, and when sponsoring a parent, a person can submit a copy of their own birth certificate.
  • Two passport photos.

Information Required When Applying for Adjustment of Status

If an immigrant is eligible for an immediate relative visa, they will also usually qualify for a Green Card. They can apply to become a lawful permanent resident by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). The following information will also need to be provided:

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north carolina immigration lawyersAs a nation of immigrants, the United States has long offered sanctuary, harboring foreign persons from across the globe that are persecuted or fear persecution from their native country. More than 3.1 million refugees have been admitted to the United States since the Refugee Act of 1980. Petitioning for asylum, permanent residency, and citizenship can be complex, timely, and worrisome; however, it is attainable. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States welcomed 625,400 new citizens in 2020. Adept immigration lawyers can guide undocumented residents to citizenship without fear of deportation or retribution.

Differences between Refugees and Asylum Seekers, and What is a DED?

The only difference between refugees and asylum seekers is the legal definition of residency. Refugees are unable to return to the native countries that they have escaped due to famine, war, or political, personal, or religious persecution. They have yet to enter the United States. To attain legal entry, refugees must apply for refugee status. Asylum seekers, known as asylees, have also fled their countries of nationality and meet the definition of refugee but are residing in the United States.

In recent years, Venezuelans have suffered alarming human rights violations due to a tumultuous political regime. The Bolivarian Revolution, led by Hugo Chávez and now by Nicolás Maduro, has created a refugee crisis. Effective January 20, 2021, President Trump issued a Deferred Enforce Departure (DED) program that protects Venezuelans residing in the United States from deportation. These undocumented residents are eligible for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). An EAD qualifies them to receive public benefits and legal employment. Although the DED is temporary, an immigration lawyer can help extend or establish permanent residency. 

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FL immigration lawyerIf you married a U.S. citizen and currently hold a conditional two-year Green Card, you and your spouse must file a joint petition for removal of conditions during the 90 days before your current status expires. If your petition is approved, you will be granted a 10-year Green Card. But what happens if you get divorced before the conditions are removed? You may still be able to get an unconditional 10-year Green Card if you meet certain qualifications.

Who Gets a Conditional Two-Year Green Card?

The main paths that lead to a two-year green card include:

You marry a U.S. citizen abroad and, while still living abroad, apply for an IR-1 immediate relative/spouse immigration. If your marriage is less than two years old when your visa is granted, you will receive a CR-1 conditional two-year visa. If your two-year wedding anniversary has passed by the time your visa is granted, you will receive an IR-1 visa good for 10 years.

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