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Orlando immigration lawyersIn many cases, immigrants who came to the United States as children are left in a state of legal limbo. While these immigrants may be undocumented, they may have lived in the U.S. for the majority of their lives without maintaining ties to their country of origin. A potential deportation could cause a great deal of difficulty for these immigrants and their families, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created to address this issue. However, the status of this program has changed recently, and additional changes may be made in the future.

Status of New DACA Applications and Renewals in 2021

A ruling by a federal judge in July of 2021 has affected the processing of DACA applications. The judge ruled that the DACA program is illegal for multiple reasons, including the implementation of the program by the Obama administration without prior notification that would allow members of the public to provide comments. Due to this ruling, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot grant new DACA requests, but it may issue renewals for those who had previously received DACA protections. 

Proposed Changes to the DACA Program

To address the issues raised by the judge, the Department of Homeland Security has issued a new proposed rule for the DACA program, and it is currently inviting members of the public to comment on these issues. After consideration of comments, a final rule may be issued after November 29, 2021. 

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Orlando U visa attorneysImmigrants in the United States who have been the victims of crimes will sometimes struggle to leave a dangerous situation. A person may be concerned about their immigration status, and they may worry that if they come forward and report a crime to law enforcement officials, they could face deportation. However, crime victims may be able to qualify for U visas that will allow them to be protected from deportation and continue living in the United States. Immigrants can work with an experienced attorney to ensure they meet all requirements for these types of visas, and they also may be able to take steps to receive a Green Card that will provide them with permanent resident status.

Eligibility for U Visas

Victims of certain types of crimes may be able to receive U visas that provide them with nonimmigrant status. Qualifying crimes include domestic violence, sexual assault, prostitution, kidnapping, stalking, extortion, and felony assault. A victim must be able to provide information about criminal activity that has affected them, and they must be willing to cooperate with law enforcement officials and assist with the detection or investigation of a crime or the prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of a criminal offender.

A person can apply for a U visa by submitting Form I-918 (Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If there are any issues that affect a person’s ability to be legally admitted to the United States, they may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. They will also need to submit a signed certification from a law enforcement official that provides information about the criminal activity that has affected the victim and states that they have cooperated or are willing to cooperate in a criminal case. Any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency can complete a certification, and certifications can also be performed by judges or prosecutors. Certification can be submitted at any time during an investigation or criminal case or after a case has been completed. A victim may be eligible for a U visa even if the alleged perpetrator is acquitted or if charges are ultimately dropped or dismissed.

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Orlando Green Card lawyersFor foreign citizens who wish to live in the United States, a Green Card is essential. This form of identification shows that a person is a lawful permanent resident, allowing them to live in the U.S., obtain employment, travel freely, and be protected from deportation. However, most Green Cards expire 10 years after they are issued, and immigrants may be concerned about the consequences they may face if they do not complete the renewal process. 

Fortunately, a person’s lawful permanent resident status will not be affected by the expiration of a Green Card in most cases. However, if a person has conditional permanent resident status after entering the United States on a fiancé visa, they will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on residence (Form I-751). Failure to do so may result in a person’s conditional residence status being revoked, which could lead to deportation. 

While most lawful permanent residents will not face deportation for failing to renew their Green Card, they may face a variety of other difficulties once their Green Card expires. Since a valid Green Card is needed for employment, an immigrant may not be able to obtain a new job in the United States, or they may be unable to obtain or renew a professional license that will allow them to work in their chosen career. A person may also be unable to obtain or renew a driver’s license until they have renewed their Green Card.

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orlando immigration lawyersImmigrants who wish to come to the United States or those who are currently living in the U.S. will want to understand the potential issues that could affect their immigration status, including factors that could make them inadmissible or lead to deportation. Criminal convictions are one issue that can play a role in immigration cases, including convictions of “crimes involving moral turpitude.” By understanding the types of crimes that fall into this category, immigrants can be prepared to address these matters correctly.

What Is a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude?

While the U.S. immigration laws state that a person is inadmissible to the United States if they have been convicted of one or more crimes involving moral turpitude (also known as CIMTs), the specific offenses that fall into this category are not specified. However, courts have interpreted this law as referring to any types of offenses involving actions that are shocking, vile, or depraved. These crimes may include offenses such as:

  • Murder/homicide
  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Domestic abuse
  • Animal cruelty
  • Fraud

CIMTs may also involve conspiracies to commit one of the above offenses, attempted crimes, or acting as an accomplice to another perpetrator. 

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Orlando immigration lawyersRecently, news sources in the United States have been reporting on a humanitarian crisis on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. More than 14,000 people who originally came from Haiti have gathered on the south side of the Rio Grande River near Del Rio, Texas, and many have attempted to cross into the United States. The U.S. has closed the border with Mexico, and immigration officials are working to respond to this issue and determine what to do with migrants who have entered the country, as well as those who are hoping to do so.

Haitian Immigrants Hope to Claim Asylum or Receive Refugee Status

Many Haitians have fled their home country following a 2010 earthquake, and more have left in recent months after another recent earthquake and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. These events have led to political unrest that has caused many to fear for their safety. While some migrants left Haiti recently, others had been living in South America before making the attempt to come to the United States.

Because of the dangerous conditions in their home country, many of these immigrants are hoping to claim asylum or enter the country as refugees. However, the U.S. has taken action to deport many of these immigrants. In many cases, these deportations have been based on Title 42, a policy that was put in place by the administration of President Donald Trump. This policy allows for the removal of immigrants without a hearing in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in immigration holding facilities, and it has been upheld by the administration of President Joe Biden.

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