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Baton Rouge Legal Blog

Woman's lawyer claims U.S. immigration law officials abuse power

Louisiana is home to many immigrants. Some may currently be facing problems regarding U.S. immigration law similar to a woman in another state. The process to remove her from the United States has begun, and she has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to try to avoid deportation.

The woman entered the United States legally under a visa many years ago. She has been living here for almost two decades since her visa expired. In 2015, the woman reportedly became the victim of an assault where her attacker threw her against a wall and down a flight of stairs. Sometime later, she applied for a U-visa, which would allow her to avoid removal if she cooperated with any criminal investigation related to her assault.

Immigration detention issue brings West Coast sheriff under fire

Many immigrants in Louisiana are concerned about deportation. It's apparently no different on the West Coast, where word has it that a current immigration detention problem has many people on edge and has also drawn negative attention to a local sheriff's department in one particular county. The issue has to do with important documents that certain immigrants were reportedly unable to access when they needed them.

The American Civil Liberties Union has come out fighting on behalf of immigrants who, according to advocates, may have avoided deportation if only they had been given access to documents that were pertinent to their asylum cases. Some of the documents in question included medical records. ACLU spokesmen say county sheriff's officials and federal immigration officers refused to allow certain immigrants to view their own records, which may have led to their deportations.

Immigration strengthens the American economy

America would simply not be the same without the generations of individuals who come here from other countries. Immigrants, both legal and undocumented, help keep the American economy afloat. Many do jobs others would scoff at, and most are hardworking individuals looking for a better life.

There are many ways that immigrants help America grow, and because of that, it's also an immigrant's right to have legal protections in the country. If your rights are being violated, then you can seek out protection with the help of an attorney. If you're here while undocumented, you still have rights. There may even be ways to help you get a visa and stay in the country legally.

When immigration detention prompts the need for legal help

Many undocumented immigrants in Louisiana (and elsewhere) try to keep very low profiles as they go about their daily lives. The circumstances under which each arrived in this state greatly vary; however, many share common journeys that include escaping abject poverty and imminent danger in their countries of origin. Living in the United States without appropriate legal status places one at great risk for immigration detention problems.

There have also been shocking stories in recent years of documented immigrants being detained and threatened with deportation. Many of the nation's immigration detention centers are said to be hazardous to human health due to unclean conditions and grossly negligent regarding safety and appropriate medical care for detainees. Many families throughout the state are currently fighting for the release of one or more members of their households.

Man glad U.S. immigration law has allowed him to stay

Once upon a time, an 8-year-old boy was brought across United States borders to live. As many Louisiana residents can relate, the situation did not affect his life much at that age, but as time went on and he became a young man, things changed due to U.S. immigration law and his undocumented status. In fact, he often lived in fear of deportation and says he was not eligible for many of the opportunities his high school classmates often pursued.

That same young man, now age 27, described his joy when he qualified for the Deferred Actions of Childhood Arrivals program, implemented by the previous presidential administration to protect those brought to the United States as minors from removal. It's a temporary protection, however, and all requirements must be fulfilled in order to be eligible for application. The man in this particular situation said the years he lived without legal status were the most challenging years of his life.

US Immigration Law sets stage for RAISE Act

One thing that is always certain in life is change; some changes are planned, others are quite unexpected and often significantly impact certain people's lives. Louisiana immigrants may be among others in the nation who are currently worried about possible changes that may occur in US Immigration Law if the RAISE Act passes. Some say the RAISE Act would change the entire face of immigration in the United States.

Two senators introduced the bill and the current administration has reportedly supported it. The RAISE Act would cause a substantial reduction in the number of visas granted annually to those seeking permanent lawful residence in the United States. Approximately one million immigrants obtain visas every year and a significant portion of the visas issued are family-based.

Family in another state torn apart due to US immigration law

An immigrant family in another state recently bid a tearful goodbye to one of its members. The father/husband in the family has been living, working and paying taxes) in the United States for many years. However, under new crackdowns in U.S. immigration law enforcement, undocumented immigrants in Louisiana and elsewhere have reportedly been targeted for deportation.

The man has been questioned about his status in the past but has always been allowed to stay here since he has no criminal record or any other attribute that would pose a national security risk. His country of origin is Guatemala, but he has not been there for at least 15 years. On a recent Saturday morning, he was forced to say goodbye to his wife and three children before boarding a plane that would take him back to the place he left so long ago.

US immigration law encompasses U visa issues

The police department in a major city outside Louisiana recently weighed in on a particular immigration topic. As many readers are aware, U.S. immigration law changes often and can be difficult to understand. The issue police department spokesman was discussing is of high priority to many immigrants in this state: U visas.

Interestingly, officials in this particular state say they've seen at least a 12 percent (or more) increase in applications for U visas over a five-year span. Although the U visa program was implemented almost two years ago, many people are still not familiar with it. Others have firsthand or experience, or know someone who has, with the system meant to protect undocumented immigrants who are victims of crimes in the United States.

Re-entry into the United States is possible after illegal entry

You came to the United States legally, and you want to bring your loved ones as well. You know that the current state of politics makes people more cautious about immigration, so you're worried about taking the steps needed to bring your family here.

Fortunately, there are several different ways to help foreign-born family members get to the United States and to obtain legal permanent resident status. Most of the time, your family member will need to come to the United States legally to apply for permanent resident status. There are a few times when you can help them obtain the status without being here legally, though.

Immigration detention: something many Louisiana immigrants fear

When you leave your country of origin and move to a foreign land, it's to be expected that there will be challenges along the way. From learning a new language to assimilating oneself into the culture and customs of another country, immigrants who have trod the path before understand how overwhelming it can be. Even for those whose transitions in Louisiana have been greatly successful, there are often lingering fears that can't be shaken; many immigrants say their biggest worry is immigration detention.

When a person is sent to an immigration detention center, it is usually because his or her status is being called into question. Sometimes, families are torn apart when a single member is detained and others are left to worry at home as to whether their father, mother, aunt, uncle or other loved one will be deported. Some say even getting so much as a minor traffic ticket is enough to make them fearful that their status will be threatened.

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