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Northern California Immigration Law Blog

Journalist seeking asylum detained twice over decade

Living in a hostile country can cause many people to question where life will take them. Some people may face even more hostility due to their chosen professions, and as a result, they may attempt to seek asylum in California and other parts of the United States in hopes of remaining safe. However, many people struggle to achieve this goal.

One man in another state has had many issues on his asylum journey. Reports stated that the Mexico native works as a journalist, which is a particularly dangerous job in that country. He was threatened by the military and came to the United States 10 years ago in hopes of obtaining protection. During the course of his time in the country, immigration authorities have detained him twice. 

Proposal to change US immigration law may affect millions

Many people need some type of welfare assistance at some point in their lives, including immigrants legally living in California and other parts of the country. People with disabilities, financial struggles and other difficulties often need to make use of public assistance programs in order to meet their needs. However, potential changes to U.S. immigration law relating to these programs could affect individuals' attempts to obtain citizenship.

It was recently reported that an expected proposal from the presidential administration relates to an already existing plan to impede the number of individuals who gain legal status each year in the United States. Reports indicate that the proposal will cause immigration officials to look less favorably at the applications of immigrants seeking legal status if they have utilized any type of public assistance program, including plans under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, approximately 20 million individuals may find themselves having a more difficult time obtaining green cards and citizenship.

How to correct a name when getting U.S. citizenship

The process of becoming a citizen of the United States is long and arduous. It may take years for the process to finalize, and along the way, there are many opportunities for mistakes. One common error many immigrants have to contend with is a misspelled name appearing on a green card, visa or other important document. 

While such an occurrence can slow down the citizenship process, there are ways to correct the error before receiving your final documents. The way to go about this may differ depending upon how far along you are. 

US immigration law: Citizens can help relatives come to US

Living in California and other parts of the United States allows many people to live out their dream lives. Often, individuals come from other countries and gain citizenship in order to make the U.S. their permanent homes. Of course, they may miss their family members who still live abroad, and they may want to find out information on U.S. immigration law and how to help a particular loved one immigrate to the country.

If a U.S. citizen wants to help a foreign relative come into the country, there are various steps that need to be taken. In particular, the citizen will need to fill out Form I-130, which is known as the Petition for Alien Relative. This form allows individuals to show their relationship with the person who wants to immigrate to the United States.

Changes to US immigration law may affect visa denials

Many people seek visas in hopes of entering California and other parts of the United States for a variety of reasons. Of course, the process for obtaining a visa is not always easy, and U.S. immigration law can often make the entire journey a complicated one. If individuals do not understand the laws surrounding their applications and changes made, they may end up making mistakes or facing denials.

It was recently reported that changes to visa policies may result in more easily denied applications. According to reports, individuals who review visa applications and petitions have been given the ability to deny these applications at their own discretion. This ability was given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and means that the reviewers do not have to attempt to gain more evidence that may help complete a visa application before simply denying the petition. Additionally, no notice indicating the intent to deny an application must be provided.

Citizenship test involves multiple parts

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a major step in any immigrant's life. People in California and across the country may work toward this goal for years in hopes of obtaining the citizenship they desire. Of course, this journey has its difficulties, and one part of the process that individuals must go through is the naturalization test.

There are two main parts to the naturalization, or citizenship, test. The first part involves the language test, which determines the applicant's ability to use the English language. While fluency is not a necessity, individuals will still need to demonstrate that they can speak the language effectively as well as read and write English. They may be asked to read certain parts of their application out loud, and they may also have to write a couple of sentences to demonstrate their abilities.

US immigration law greatly impacts families

Moving to a new country can be a scary and long process. For some individuals who are in danger or are facing other difficult circumstances in their homelands, they may not have time to fully plan their efforts to enter the United States. As a result, they may end up detained by officials for violations of U.S. immigration law.

California readers may be interested in a recent order issued by a federal judge indicating that families who had been divided at the border while trying to enter the country should be reunited. The initial splitting up of children from their parents was part of a zero tolerance policy against those trying to come to the United States without proper documentation. While this policy was in place, approximately 3,000 children had been separated from their parents.

Thousands gain citizenship on Independence Day

Many people feel a great deal of pride for the country they call home. For individuals who have come to California and other parts of the United States from different countries, they may want to show their pride and dedication by obtaining citizenship. Though no easy task, the end result can be rewarding.

It was reported that, on this recent Independence Day, over 14,000 people became U.S. citizens. This occasion undoubtedly signified a great deal of importance for these parties who are now considered citizens in the eyes of the law. In one state, over 100 people representing 48 different countries attended the ceremony, marking their transition to citizens. In all, 175 naturalization ceremonies took place in different parts of the country this Fourth of July.

How divorce affects immigration status

There are several ways for immigrants to become legal citizens of the United States. One of the most common methods most people are familiar with is for an immigrant to marry someone who is already a citizen

However, the naturalization process is rarely simple, and there are still hurdles to jump over even after the marriage. One matter that can complicate things is if the marriage ends before the person becomes a citizen. Many couples divorce after only a year or two, and it is important to know how this already stressful life event will impact the citizenship proceedings

U.S. immigration law enforcement may not always seem right

Immigration has many tricky areas. Even individuals who want to legally enter and live in California and other parts of the United States can have a difficult time navigating the process. Unfortunately, some individuals can face serious issues due to certain aspects of U.S. immigration law, and they may need legal assistance in order to address their situations.

It was reported that one man who had been living in another state was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he and his wife showed up for an interview as part of his naturalization process. Reports stated that the man's wife had been present for part of the process, but she was then asked to leave the room. After doing so, her husband was taken into custody and put on track for deportation.

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