U.S. Law Center

October 2015 Archives

California offers new protections to undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants in California’s Orange and Riverside counties play an important role in the state’s economy and social infrastructure. Unfortunately, they are often denied some of the basic rights that a U.S. citizen typically enjoys, such as access to affordable health care. Although states are not able to circumvent U.S. Immigration law, California continues to pass legislation that promotes a better way of life for foreign nationals within its borders.

What are deportable crimes?

Whether you are a legal immigrant or you do not currently have the documentation you need for residency in the United States, if you are living in California, you may wonder what crimes may result in deportation. According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute, felonies, smuggling foreign nationals into the country, aggravated assault, terrorist activities and drug abuse are all on the list of deportable crimes. While these are specifically defined and easy to identify, there are also crimes involving moral turpitude, which is a legal term that may be more difficult to understand.

When do I need a new green card?

When you are a green card holder with permanent residency status, it is very important to always keep your status up-to-date. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must carry your green card with you at all times, as this is proof that you are a lawful permanent resident. There are many reasons why you may need to replace or renew the residency document.

Illegal status means less to young immigrants

Many of those who come to the United States illegally, are seeking the opportunity to obtain a better standard of living than they were able to achieve in their home countries. In California, many laws have been passed recently that allow immigrants more freedoms than they would have in other states. This may be why some undocumented immigrants are feeling empowered to share their stories.

Bill would defer drug charges for some California immigrants

In Riverside and Orange counties in California, a person who has been charged with possession of an illegal substance can plead guilty and participate in a drug rehabilitation program. After successful completion, the criminal charge is dismissed. According to the LA Times, although the state drops the charge against an immigrant just as it does for citizens, U.S. Immigration law does not, so a guilty plea could result in deportation, regardless of legal status. A California lawmaker is attempting to change that by authoring Assembly Bill 1351.

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