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Riverside & Orange County Immigration Law Blog

How can you transition from refugee to successful citizen?

If you are a refugee, transplanted in an unfamiliar country, chances are you are facing uncertainty regarding your future, well-being and personal success. Fortunately, through your determination to overcome the stigma often associated with being a refugee, you can absolutely transition to your newfound freedom, lifestyle and home in California.

The Huffington Post recently shared the story of a successful CEO who was once a refugee in a new country. In the article, the businessman shared his tips for how you can overcome the challenges of immigration and achieve success. These suggestions include the following:

  • Seek opportunity: Rather than wait for success to find you, take the initiative to search for opportunities around you. These can be found in your community, workplace or religious affiliation and can be leveraged to your advantage.
  • Overcome poverty: Often, refugees like yourself find themselves struggling to get by in a new country. However, never allow poverty or lack of abundant resources to be the reason you do not succeed. Think creatively and put your problem-solving skills to the test in finding solutions to setbacks and learning new ways of doing things.
  • Know your dream: Stay focused on your dreams. While you may be tempted to think that your childhood dreams are out of reach, consider what steps you need to take in order to achieve what you desire. Keep your goals realistic and do not be afraid to take risks.

Does spousal abuse threaten your immigration status?

One of the easiest ways to become a permanent resident may be through your spouse if he is a U.S. citizen. However, if your life in California has become miserable because of domestic violence, the cost of becoming a citizen may be too high. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you may be eligible to receive protection without losing your status.

There are a number of requirements you must meet to qualify to file for immigration status through the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This law protects you and your child, and you may both file if either of you has been subject to extreme cruelty or battery.

Visa applicants’ social media pages can now be vetted

People from other countries come to Corona, California to live for many different reasons. Some may wish to work in the United States, others to attend school and still others may want to be closer to members of their families. Anyone who comes to the U.S. from another country will need to apply for a visa. At US Law Center, we understand that your ability to live in the U.S. is very important to you and that the visa application process can be intimidating.

According to ABC News, a new rule has taken effect, which allows those screening visa applications to request additional information if they think it necessary. In addition to being able to require detailed biographical information going back 15 years, screeners can also request five years of an applicant’s social media history. Previously, screeners could only require five years of historical personal information.

Man with no criminal background arrested at meeting with USCIS

Some immigrants who reside in Riverside County but do not have the proper paperwork may wish to take measures to obtain legal status. However, given the current state of immigration enforcement, many of those same people are living in fear of being forced to leave the country that they call home before they can obtain proper documentation.

One man in Ohio recently had his fears come true after being arrested for his undocumented status. His case is alarming to many people since he had been living in the U.S. for a number of years and did not have any kind of criminal background. While under the Obama administration, most of the focus of immigration enforcement was on those with a history of committing crimes. That has now changed under the Trump administration, as evidenced by the fact that 10,800 immigrants with no criminal background were arrested from January 20 to April 30 of this year. In 2016, only 4,200 non-criminals were arrested during that same three-month period.

Beware the harm that fear of deportation can do to children

For undocumented immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens, the current political climate may be causing severe anxiety as they struggle to determine the right plan of action in an emergency.

Some people may believe that becoming less visible is the best way to prevent deportation. For those whose children need public assistance, that may make life difficult.

Report finds many undocumented have overstayed their visas

Many people who immigrate to Corona, California enter the country legally, through a student visa, temporary work visa or other type of document that allows them to live, work or study in the United States. However, most of these types of documents have expiration dates and people who do not take action to either leave the country when required or renew their ability to stay become undocumented.

A new report from the Department of Homeland Security indicates that the number of people last year who remained in the country after their visa expired was more than 700,000, according to ABC News. While some of those people do ultimately leave, or seek out other legal ways of remaining, many stay with no plan of returning to their native country.

Legally, does it matter if Trump's travel ban is discriminatory?

This week, a panel of three Ninth Circuit judges heard arguments about the constitutionality of President Trump's proposed ban against Muslims from certain countries entering the United States. Does the President have wide latitude to exclude groups of people from entering the U.S.? Or is an exclusionary order combined with anti-Muslim rhetoric is unconstitutionally discriminatory?

The hearing, which took place in Seattle, is an appeal from the district court in Hawaii which blocked the ban. The travel ban placed restrictions on people entering from Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days and suspended the entry of refugee applicants from those countries for three months. Last week, a panel of the Fourth Circuit heard the appeal of a Maryland judge's ruling on the ban, but it has not yet ruled. If those ruling disagree, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, but that will take months to initiate.

Pew: Mexicans no longer the majority of unauthorized immigrants

As immigration professionals, we at U.S. Law Center feel it's important to fight misinformation and stereotyping whenever possible. Therefore, we were interested in a new study by the Pew Research Center finding that Mexicans no longer make up the majority of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. For the first time in a decade, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. from other countries overtook the number from Mexico.

The study used data from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to those numbers, there were about 5.6 million Mexican nationals living here without appropriate documentation last year. That's almost half the unauthorized immigrant population -- people from Mexico still make up the largest single group.

LAUSD adopts resolution to make schools immigration 'safe zones'

The Los Angeles Unified School District is the latest California organization to declare its premises to be a safe place from immigration enforcement. The school board has adopted a resolution reaffirming protections already in place for minority and immigrant students and taking a firmer stance in some areas. The Reaffirmation of Los Angeles Unified School District Schools as Safe Zones for Families Threatened by Immigration Enforcement resolution was adopted Tuesday, to the applause of the attending audience.

In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all children in the U.S. have the right to a free and appropriate public education -- even unauthorized immigrants. Schools may not deny education to children due to their immigration status. And, as we have discussed on this blog before, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agents have recently been accused of using misleading tactics when seeking to arrest people for immigration violations.

Deportation of a DREAMer raises questions and concerns

A 23-year-old man who thought he was protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government requesting documentation that explains what led to his deportation in February.

The suit, which was filed by Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez with the assistance of the National Immigration Law Center, is one that other DACA recipients (often referred to as DREAMers) are observing with interest.

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