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Norcross Immigration Law Blog

UN working group condemns US for excessive immigrant detentions

The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has just issued a highly critical report condemning widespread detention of asylum seekers and other immigrants by the U.S. The group described immigrant detention in the U.S. as having "grown exponentially" despite the fact that it is often in violation of international law.

The group of independent experts drafted the 23-page report for the UN Human Rights Council after completing a survey in the U.S. last October. After visiting nine prisons in California, Texas and Illinois and interviewing some 280 detainees, the group concluded that detention is too often "punitive, unreasonably long, unnecessary and costly" and ought to be considered only as a last resort, according to Reuters.

Is the State Dept. refusing to process diversity lottery winners?

Several immigrant advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit claiming that the State Department is deliberately delaying or denying applications by people who won the U.S. Diversity Visa Program lottery. The affected people are from the six majority-Muslim countries covered by President Trump's travel ban -- Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia.

The travel ban bars entry into the U.S. by anyone from the six countries who doesn't have a bona fide connection to the U.S., such as a job offer or a family member. In separate litigation, the legality and constitutionality of the travel ban itself are being challenged and will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

'Dreamer' brothers deported after revealing college plans to ICE

People often come to this country in the hope that they will find better lives for themselves and their families. Often, they are brought here as children as their families flee horrific conditions in their home countries. These former child immigrants, often called "Dreamers," are generally considered blameless -- but that doesn't change their immigration status.

The Obama Administration gave protection to qualifying Dreamers through his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The Trump Administration has not ended the program, but DACA is in jeopardy.

Lawsuit says CBP agents are illegally turning asylum seekers away

Asylum seekers are people whose lives are under serious threat. To qualify for asylum in the U.S., you have to show that you have been threatened with or suffered persecution by the government in your home country or by someone that government cannot control. That persecution must be based on your race, nationality, political affiliation, religion or membership in a particular social group.

Both U.S. and international law require that anyone seeking asylum must be granted an interview to determine if their claim is credible. But now, some human rights activists claim that representatives of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been illegally turning asylum seekers away at our borders.

U.S. immigration law: DACA in jeopardy

For many people in other countries, living in the United States is a dream that they can only hope to attain. Even though some people were able to reach that goal for themselves and their children, many of those people in Georgia and across the country are seeing the legal status of those who immigrated to the country as young children put in jeopardy. A top government official claims that he expects an impending change in U.S. immigration law which could affect millions of people.

The Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, recently met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. In that meeting, Kelly recently issued a warning that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program may be coming to an end, claiming that it is likely to be ruled as legally unsustainable. DACA was put in place in 2012 and protects people who were illegally brought into the country as children from deportation and allows them to work. The program recently received additional scrutiny after politicians from 10 states requested that President Trump end the program.

How to get a visa for a parent

United States citizens living in Georgia or Alabama whose parents want to move into the country need to petition to get a green card for them. A green card holder is able to legally work and live in the country permanently. There are a number of steps to the process, and the one applying for the visa needs to meet certain eligibility requirements.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the child of the parent must be 21 years or older and needs to be a current citizen of the States. A green card cannot be issued to parents of a child who is only a green card holder, and the person petitioning for the visa must consider the United States his or her permanent residence.

Avoid notarios when seeking legal advice

It can be difficult for immigrants to know where they can turn to for legal advice. The challenge of finding good legal help is made harder by imperfect translations between Spanish and English legal terms.

One point of confusion is the role that "notario públicos" serve. The literal translation of a "notario público" is a "notary public." 

What is citizenship status discrimination?

People from diverse backgrounds encounter discrimination in the workplace for all sorts of reasons. In some cases, employees are discriminated against based upon their race or spiritual beliefs, while others may be targeted due to their gender. However, some people are discriminated against because of their citizenship status or their immigration status, which is against the law. Regrettably, this type of discrimination occurs too often and some victims do not know their rights or are intimidated and stay silent.

According to the United States Department of Justice, it is illegal for protected employees to experience citizenship status discrimination, or to be discriminated against as a result of their immigration status. A number of people are covered, including temporary residents, asylees, permanent residents, citizens and refugees. Moreover, accusations of citizenship status discrimination are investigated by the Immigration and Employee Rights Section.

Travel ban goes into effect tonight, only close family exempt

In its last act before summer recess, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed two lower courts' injunctions against President Trump's travel ban.

The Fourth and Ninth Circuit courts of appeal had not actually ruled on whether the travel ban was legal. Instead, they had ruled that it should not be put in force while the legal arguments were being made, and issued injunctions to keep any aspect of the ban from going into effect. The Supreme Court found those injunctions to be too broad. It put most of the ban into effect against those without a substantial relationship to the U.S. and will consider its full legality during its next term.

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