U.S. Law Center

January 2020 Archives

Trump administration's expanded public charge rule upheld

Immigrants in California need to be aware of a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that the Trump administration's public charge rule can go into effect. Immigrants' rights groups had opposed the law and had filed a lawsuit against the government to prevent it from becoming effective.

About 78,000 applications for naturalization are denied each year

About 650,000 green card holders in California and around the country are waiting for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to respond to their applications for naturalization, and many of them are likely to be disappointed when their paperwork is processed. Between 2009 and 2018, immigration authorities denied approximately 78,000 applications for naturalization each year. Applications are routinely denied because immigrants are unable to pass a civics test, they do not possess basic English language skills, or background checks uncover grounds for refusing U.S. citizenship.

Is family-based visas an important topic to you?

It often takes years for those who are immigrants in California or elsewhere in the United States to ensure that their closest family members and relatives will be able to come join them in this country. The U.S. government offers family-based visas in a variety of circumstances. If you recall navigating the U.S. immigration system when you emigrated from another country, you likely remember what a complex system it can be.

Asylum seekers face difficulties in Mexico, immigration courts

Many people in California are deeply concerned about the changes made by the Trump administration to the asylum process at the southern border, especially those with friends or family members seeking protection in the United States. Rather than being granted parole into the United States, as was common in the past, many asylum seekers are forced to remain on the Mexican side of the border while they wait for their cases to be heard. They can be ordered to stay in Mexico even if they have family in the U.S. who are willing to host and vouch for them, a process that the administration claims is an attempt to crack down on people who overstay illegally.

Provision gives some Liberians pathway to citizenship

Immigrants in California who came to the country from Liberia may be eligible for a green card and citizenship. On Dec. 26, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it was taking green card applications for Liberians, who will be able to apply for naturalization after holding a green card for five years.

O-1 visas harder to get amid increased scrutiny

Foreign nationals who want to live and work in California or other states may be able to do so by applying for the O-1 visa. The O-1 visa is available to those who have an extraordinary musical or other type of talent. Those who have won a major award or are otherwise known for their contributions to the world of science or art typically have little problem having their applications approved.

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