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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in immigration status

Posted on in Immigration

Chicago immigration attorneys, refugee status, refugee law, current immigration law, immigration statusIn September 2017, the federal administration began to float the idea of lowering the already-low refugee cap numbers for FY 2018, citing an allegedly insufficient vetting process, especially for those from countries which have historically sponsored terrorism. Given the somewhat frenetic pace of government in the eight months since the changeover, the story has somewhat gotten lost in the national media, but to those who have family members who might qualify for status, this is a very real concern. It is important to understand the truth of the situation and not fall prey to the misinformation that abounds.

The Process is Extremely Comprehensive

One of the most common misconceptions about refugee resettlement in the United States is that they are simply permitted to walk into the country, so to speak; the average layman is only familiar with standard visa vetting (if that), and often wrongly equates it with refugee processing.

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sanctuary city, Trust Act, Chicago immigration attorneys,  immigration enforcement, Illinois immigrantsChicago is still a sanctuary city, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. However, this decision has not come without comment. The U.S. Attorney General has been highly critical of Chicago’s leadership, seeing fit to draw conclusions about the city’s crime rate versus that of Miami, ascribing the difference solely to Miami-Dade’s capitulation to the Justice Department’s request to honor immigration detainers. In what may be seen as a reaction to such talk, Gov. Bruce Rauner may be poised to sign off on the Trust Act, which could have a small but significant effect on Illinois’ immigrant population.

Is Chicago a Sanctuary City?

While there has been much ink spilled about what a true sanctuary city is, the term of art as it is understood is solely defined as a city which does not comply with federal immigration detainers. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) sends “detainers” to local police departments when they hear of someone they believe should be detained due to their immigration status. In most cities, local police comply with these “detainers,” holding the person for longer than they would otherwise be constitutionally authorized to do. 

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detained at the airport, Chicago immigration attorneys,  lawful permanent residents, green card holders, immigration statusSince late January 2017, various iterations of an executive order on immigration have been in force at all U.S. ports of entry, but have seen the most controversy at airports. The most recent permutation as of this writing, after input from the Supreme Court in the form of an unsigned opinion, excludes non-citizen nationals from seven majority Muslim countries—Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen—unless they can prove a “bona fide relationship” to any “person or entity” in the United States.

However, the opinion does not define such a standard, which means that the definition is largely being left up to immigration personnel on the ground. This can cause problems for travelers, even if you are not a national of one of the seven countries on the president’s “list.”

Initial Detention

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Posted on in Immigration

Chicago deportation defense attorneys, DAPA, DACA rescinded, deportation order, immigration statusIn June 2017, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly—now White House chief of staff—officially cancelled the Department’s defense of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans & Lawful Permanent Residents program, known colloquially as DAPA. This means that the program, which was previously on hold pending further litigation, will be allowed to be overturned by the relevant court, instead of going into effect.

While this action partly keeps a presidential campaign promise, it also has the potential to cause considerable trouble for mixed families, as well as casting the survival of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in doubt.

 Rights Granted Under DACA/DAPA

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b2ap3_thumbnail_unaccompanied-minors-Chicago.jpgSince the changeover to the new administration, there have been numerous unanswered questions about the status of immigrants, especially those who are part of various special interest groups. Perhaps no one is more at risk than the unaccompanied minors who make the trip from Central and South America, and it is entirely understandable that many may wonder about what awaits them when they arrive.

Current USCIS Regulations

Currently, unaccompanied minors may seek Special Immigrant Juvenile status. Or, they may apply for asylum on their own, depending on their situation, if they have no family in the country to sponsor them. Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is designed to assist minors who have been abused or abandoned, and as such, has certain restrictions—a juvenile may obtain a green card through the program, but he or she may never petition for his or her parents to do the same, unlike immigrants who adjust status after reaching 18 years of age.

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