U.S. Law Center

Corona California Immigration Law Blog

The psychological impact of separating immigrant families

People come to the United States to build a better life for their families. However, many immigrants find themselves separated from their families while awaiting decisions on deportation. This causes immense psychological strife that could have a lasting impact, according to the American Psychological Association

When children are separated from their parents, they face an increased risk of developing substantial psychological issues. Along with anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also occur. One study found that kids whose parents were deported or detained had a much higher risk of PTSD than kids whose parents were in the country legally. Even children of illegal immigrants who did not face legal issues fared better, which shows that deportation/detention practices are a likely cause of psychological issues. 

Employers often abuse California immigrant workers

Families who come to the United States from other countries do so in hopes of obtaining a better life. The economy also relies on immigrants, who are especially prevalent in such fields as construction and agriculture. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous employers use tactics to take advantage of undocumented workers. It is important for immigrants in California and elsewhere to understand their employment rights.

According to Public Radio International, California has the most immigrants out of any other state, with agriculture making up a large portion of undocumented immigrant work. Immigrants may be unfamiliar with employment law or fear deportation if they stand up for their rights. Therefore, employers often abuse their immigrant staff in the following ways:

  • Paying them less than a minimum wage
  • Forcing them to work in unsafe or inhumane conditions
  • Threatening them with reporting them to immigration officials if they exercise their labor rights

Do not forget to remove conditions on marriage-based residency

Becoming a permanent resident of the United States can take years of hard work. If you received your residency through marriage to a citizen, though, you may need to do additional work to preserve your status. That is, you may need to remove the conditions on your residency. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confers conditional residency to individuals who receive their residency before their marriage is at least two years old. Said another way, if you married your spouse fewer than two years before receiving your residency, you likely have conditional status. Before your two-year residency card expires, you must ask government officials to remove the conditions on your residency. 

Seeking asylum in America is a difficult process

In everyday conversations, many people in California may use the terms refugee and asylum seekers interchangeably. However, these two groups follow different immigration processes in America. Also, according to CNN, contrary to what many people may believe, the country with the highest number of asylum seekers in America is not Mexico, but China. However, Mexicans do receive the highest denial rate at 88% with Haiti following close behind at 86.1%

In order to qualify for asylum, people must meet the legal definition of a refugee. However, there is still a difference between the two. How so? Refugee status is granted to people who are still overseas, while asylum seekers are usually already in America or seeking entry at the border.

4 steps to getting a student visa

You may want to attend school in the U.S. to get your best education. With immigration issues blazing headlines every day, you do not know if obtaining permission to do so is an option anymore.

The government is still granting student visas to those who qualify. Take a look at four things you need to know about obtaining and keeping a student visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for naturalization?

The process of becoming eligible to be considered for naturalization in California is a unique method that allows you to prepare for permanent residency in the United States. If followed properly, you can simultaneously learn about America and become accustomed to the culture, as well as gradually meet the formal requirements that are listed as part of your quest to be granted permanent residency. 

Understanding the requirements is imperative to your ability to expedite the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. With a solid understanding of what is expected of you, you can maximize your time and resources in seeing that you are able to meet each requirement. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, some of the requirements you must meet include the following:

  • You must possess the ability to read and write, as well as speak English and have a general understanding of the history of the United States.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.  
  • You must have a legally functioning green card that is not expired. 
  • You have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years and in the jurisdiction of your application for at least three months prior to its filing. 
  • You can demonstrate that you maintain the values and characteristics of a good person. 
  • You plan to stay in the U.S. consistently until your naturalization application is processed and you are granted permanent residency. 

An Attorney Will Strengthen Your Defense When Facing Deportation

 

Although individuals are not required to have an attorney present during their deportation proceeding, a recent article highly recommends that you have one. Your chances of a favorable outcome are about 50-50 with an attorney. Without an attorney, however, the chances of avoiding deportation are lower than 2 percent, based on a study of unrepresented immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Understanding the U.S. naturalization test

If you are an immigrant living in California who wishes to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you likely already know that you will need to pass a naturalization test as part of the process. The first step entails scheduling an initial interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after filling out an interview application.

At this interview, the USCIS officer will ask you questions about your background and your application. Keep in mind that the purpose of this interview is not to question your right to become a U.S. citizen but rather to give your interviewer the opportunity to speak with you in English to determine if you sufficiently understand the English language to appropriately answer the questions.

How closing the Mexican border might affect California

If President Trump acts on his threat to close the border between the U.S. and Mexico, it will undoubtedly affect those seeking immigration between the two countries. What you might not realize is that a border closing will have an impact on California businesses as well.

A recent news report indicates that many of the state's residents are concerned about a potential border closure. They feel this way because such a closure will affect the state's economy as well as the economy of the entire nation. Slowing or stopping illegal immigration is the primary goal of a border closure, but how far should such measures go before they harm the nation's natural citizens? The news report indicates that the following issues could arise if the border is closed.

  • Trade between the U.S. and Mexico may cease, meaning that many of the products Californians rely on will no longer be available.
  • Many people will lose their jobs, meaning that families may face severe financial hardships.
  • California companies partnered with manufacturing facilities in Mexico may need to look elsewhere in order to stay afloat.
  • U.S. residents who fill seasonal positions in Mexico may experience difficulty reentering California and other states.
  • Tourism between Mexico and California would slow or stop, leading to massive financial losses for California businesses.

Alternatives to the H-1B visa program

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to employ certain foreign workers. April 1, 2019, was the first day U.S. employers could file a cap-subject H-1B petition for a foreign worker for the 2020 federal fiscal year. While the federal government has not yet released filing numbers, there is a good chance that it accepted enough petitions to fill the 65,000 available slots. 

If your organization is subject to the cap and missed out this year, you may have to wait until next April to hire the perfect candidate. Or, you can look for alternatives to the H-1B visa program that may allow you to employ a foreign worker sooner. Here are some possibilities.

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