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Riverside & Orange County Immigration Law Blog

Performance quotas proposed for immigration judges

People in Riverside County likely understand the need for certain industries to have performance standards and quotas. Yet there are others where, despite a heavy workload, prudence and patience may be needed in order to ensure optimal outcomes. One might certainly think that the judicial system (particularly in regards to immigration law) falls into that category. One certainly would not want to prompt a rush to judgment in a judicial proceeding. At the same time, others might make a legitimate argument that some see such independence as an excuse to allow legal matters to drag on unnecessarily. 

That is the argument being made currently by the Trump Administration, and recent immigration reform recommendations are specifically designed to address it. Amidst proposals submitted earlier this week, the President recommended introducing performance standards for federal immigration judges. This comes on top of actions already taken to remove limits on enforcement in immigration cases and stated intentions to seek added funding to more than double the current number of immigration judges. All of these initiatives are said to be aimed at clearing up the backlog of 690,000 immigration cases currently in the system. 

DACA and employment immigration

On this blog, we have discussed many of the different challenges that arise for immigrants and those they love. Whether someone is pursuing citizenship or simply wants to visit the country as a tourist or to participate in a family event, people encounter immigration-related difficulties in many different ways. Recently, some people in Corona and across California have been extremely stressed out over changes that were announced with DACA. For those affected by this decision, life may change in many different ways.

Whether someone is enrolled in college or worried about leaving behind their friends and loved ones, DACA has created a considerable amount of stress for many people. Moreover, those who have jobs may be worried that they will lose their position and never be able to work in the country again. For those affected by this issue, it is essential to fully review all legal rights and try to carefully address any challenges that arise.

DACA beneficiaries’ deadlines and Congress’ time to legislate

Many beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in California worry more than ever about their legal status in the United States. While most worried all along because they always lacked legal status, they enjoyed the unlegislated, protective but in-limbo nature of DACA.

Now DACA may be ending if Congress chooses not to legislate on the issue. While it is unclear what the future holds, there is reason to be hopeful, particularly if residents, both with and without legal status, demand action by Congress.

FAQs about the future of DACA

Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made an announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put into place by the Obama administration may be coming to an end under the Trump administration. Recipients of the program, known as dreamers, met this decision with outrage, anguish and fear. However, since the announcement, the future of DACA has become even more confusing. 

If you have heard about President Donald Trump making a deal with Democrats to save DACA, you probably have a lot of questions. Here is what we know about this development so far. 

What do I need to know about applying for a fiancé visa?

Finding the person who you want to marry is a big deal. It is a huge step and planning a wedding can be complicated. If the person you wish to marry lives outside the United States and you want to bring him or her to Riverside County to marry and live with you, it can be even more so. Here is what you need to know about applying for a fiancé visa.

One of the most important things to keep in mind, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is that once your fiancé arrives in the U.S., you only have 90 days to get married. After 90 days, a fiancé visa expires and the person must leave the U.S. if no wedding has taken place. No extensions are available. If your wedding does happen within that 90-day window, an application for permanent residence may then be submitted.

Sanctuary state bill earns support from police chiefs

While immigration is an important and timely topic that concerns people all across the United States, California is home to an especially large number of residents from other countries. Therefore, the state and its municipalities are constantly seeking to amend and adapt laws and policies with this in mind.

In response to President Donald Trump's goals of tightening immigration enforcement since he took office, lawmakers in California have introduced a bill that would make California a sanctuary state. Certain cities have already designated themselves as sanctuary cities, meaning authorities in those areas do not expend time or resources on enforcing immigration laws or investigating people's immigration status. The bill would make that policy applicable to the entire state.

DACA is ending but there may be hope for those affected

When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was launched by President Barack Obama, it aimed to help people who immigrated to Riverside County and other areas as children to obtain work permits and avoid deportation. President Donald Trump has announced that the program will be ending and has given Congress six months to pass a legislative solution. According to NPR, there are a few different versions of what such a solution may look like.

At this point, it is unclear if a final bill would address only this issue or aim to tackle immigration on a large scale. The bills currently up for consideration vary greatly. Everything from extending DACA until a permanent solution can be decided on in the future to giving those affected a path to permanent citizenship is on the table.

Trump ends DACA - Key dates you need to know

The Trump administration announced the end of an important program put in place by the Obama administration. DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, gave deportation relief and work permits to approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

What is the US naturalization test?

The process of becoming a citizen of the United States includes a naturalization test for immigrants in California. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this test has two major components: the English portion and a civics test. The purpose of this test is to demonstrate that you have a basic understanding of the country's language and history.

The English portion tests your ability to understand, write and speak the language adequately. A government official asks you questions related to your naturalization application, and you should be able to answer with a reasonable command of the language. You may make minor grammatical and pronunciation errors, but your speech should be understandable. For the written part, you must write out a sentence that an officer dictates to you aloud. The reading portion tests your ability to read at least one out of three sentences. You may pass this part even if you make some minor errors in pronunciation or omit small words, as long as the meaning of the sentence remains the same. The civics portion of the test includes basic questions about the country's history. You must be able to answer six questions correctly.

How to apply for refugee status

There are several steps to take to qualify for refugee status in the United States. First, a person needs to qualify as a refugee under guidelines set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are numerous qualifying factors, so people should read over them carefully.

While there is some doubt about how many refugees the United States will accept going forward, those seeking shelter in a new country should seek it out as a viable option. Seeking legal advice can help greatly in figuring out what to do to obtain this status. 

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