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Lancaster Immigration Law Blog

Woman finally gets children back after immigration detention

In 2005, a woman in another state was taken into custody by immigration officials. Her immigration detention situation meant that her 7-year old son and infant daughter were being torn from their mother. The events that unfolded drew media attention in Pennsylvania and across the country and resulted in a five-year struggle to reunite the family.

The woman ultimately was deported. When an immigration officer escorted her to the gate of the airplane that would transport her back to her country of origin, she was shocked that her children were nowhere in sight. The officer told her she would be making the journey alone and that her children, who were born in this country, would be staying in the United States.

Immigrant who escaped wildfires now worried about deportation

Many Pennsylvania readers recently followed news regarding wildfires spreading in various regions along the West Coast. An immigrant who lives there with several of his relatives was one who got out of his apartment alive before it was completely destroyed by the fires. In the aftermath of the disaster, he faced several challenges regarding his immigration status and continues to live with dire concerns as to whether he may eventually face the deportation process.

The man happens to be an aspiring neuroscientist who was brought to the United States as a child. Some time before the fires broke out near his home, he had been living under status protection through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Like many other immigrants who entered the United States as infants or minors, the temporary status protected the man from deportation as an undocumented person.

Man's deportation left family struggling to survive

Many Pennsylvania immigrants are currently facing serious legal problems. Some have been threatened with deportation and are worried they may never see their families again. This how a family in another state felt when the father and husband, a U.S. military veteran, was placed in an immigration detention center for 18 months without possibility of bond.

The army veteran was deported to his country of origin. His wife was left to hold down three separate jobs while trying to put food on her table and keep up with bills, all the while likely worrying day and night whether she'd ever see her husband again. The couple's daughter reportedly suffered severe emotional trauma due to the situation from which she has still not fully recovered.

Deportation worries continue to rise throughout the nation

Many immigrants in Pennsylvania say they are living in fear that they will be taken into custody by immigration officers, simply because of their countries of origin. Some say the current presidential administration has a lot to do with the apparent increase in potential deportation arrests. Families throughout the state and nation have come forward to report that their loved ones have been placed in handcuffs and led away while simply going about their daily lives.

No one really knows where or when immigration officials will show up and start making arrests. Typically, they tend to avoid sensitive locations, such as worship buildings or schools. An immigrant may no doubt become very frightened if separated from family members and placed in detention without knowing whether he or she will later be released or forced to leave the United States.

A citizenship application cannot be bought

Many immigrants arrive in Pennsylvania from other countries of origin after securing fiancee visas under the intentions of marrying U.S. citizens. This is a perfectly acceptable and legal means for obtaining legal residency in the United States. As with most immigration processes, however, there is always a chance that someone will attempt to corrupt the system or take advantage of an unsuspecting immigrant by offering to expedite a citizenship application or otherwise committing fraudulent acts.

A situation in another state has led to a man's criminal conviction. It is said that he entered a guilty plea regarding a fraudulent marriage scheme where he paid women to pose as potential wives for immigrants wishing to marry U.S. citizens. The man apparently arranged an entire setup where he would get immigrants to pay him to help them gain citizenship.

Woman learns of father's deportation while she's at work

A woman in another state was at work early one morning when her daughter called to give her some awful news. Pennsylvania immigrants may feel especially empathetic for the woman as some may currently be experiencing similar situations. In this case, the woman's daughter had called to inform her that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were at her home for deportation reasons.

The woman's father was reportedly being taken away from the house in handcuffs. This upset the woman so much she asked a co-worker to drive her home to see if she could help. Her efforts were not timely enough it seems. By the time she arrived, her father was being led away by immigration officers.

Advocates say immigration detention centers should be shut down

A number of Pennsylvania immigrants are at risk for deportation. Some worry they will have to spend weeks or months in immigration detention centers that are filthy and unsafe. It may be a valid fear as immigrants in several other states have reported unclean living conditions and other serious problems related to their detention stays.

A man in another state suffered a fall off a high ladder while he was working. Sometime later, after receiving medical care, he was taken into custody to be deported. Since being detained, his injured arm has gotten much worse. When he was speaking with a reporter, he reportedly kept the arm held at the level of his heart to keep it from swelling.

Are you worried that a notice to appear will lead to deportation?

If you've been living and working in Pennsylvania as an undocumented immigrant, you are definitely not the only one to do so. Most immigrants without proper legal papers live in fear that their lives may be turned upside down at any given moment if immigration officials threaten them with deportation. If you've received a notice to appear (NTA) you may be feeling confused and afraid about possibly being taken away from your family and sent back to your country of origin.

Once you have been served with an NTA, the removal process has already begun. However, you do not have to go it alone at your hearing. You have every right to have an attorney act on your behalf. In certain circumstances, an attorney can file an appeal regarding an Immigration Court's rulings.

This man says his deportation shouldn't have happened

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act protects the legal status of many immigrants in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. One young man, age 23, is involved in a controversial situation regarding his deportation. He says it was completely unwarranted and left him with no choice but to re-enter the country illegally to try to resolve the issue.

The man says he was initially picked up on Feb. 18 by a border patrol officer riding a bicycle who supposedly made him  walk into Mexico. Immigration officials say the initial deportation alleged by the man never happened. They also say he was only arrested on Feb. 19 when he tried to sneak into the United States without valid papers, and that when he left the country the first time, he did so of his own accord.

Family immigration may be at risk with new proposals

In a city on the West Coast, Somali immigrants gathered on a recent Friday to discuss issues that affect their communities and other immigrants throughout the nation. Immigrants in Pennsylvania may have similar support networks in place to encourage and assist new arrivals, as well as those who have been living here for some time. A main topic of discussion at the recent gathering was whether newly proposed regulations would adversely affect family immigration.

It has been proposed that the number of immigrants allowed into the United States be cut in half. Beyond that, other proposed changes would shift the focus of the current family-based system to a more individualized program. The new system would give immigration preference to those with special job skills, no language barriers and post-secondary education degrees or certifications.

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Law Office of Troy J. Mattes, P.C.
132 East Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

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