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Lancaster Immigration Law Blog

No need to navigate the asylum process alone

U.S. immigration law is complex. It also changes often and even those who try to stay updated on such matters may feel overwhelmed at times because a regulation that applies to a particular situation one day might be obsolete the next. This is one of many reasons it helps to rely on experienced representation when trying to resolve immigration-related legal problems in Pennsylvania. A process that is often complicated is asylum, though it may be less so, if you seek legal support.

Perhaps you are one of many immigrants who fled your country of origin due to threats of violence, poverty or fear of persecution. Many people facing such circumstances arrive at U.S. borders in fear for their lives. On the other hand, maybe you have already been living in the United States, but your visa has expired and you wish to determine whether you are eligible for asylum.

Traffic stop led to a serious immigration detention problem

Pennsylvania residents who entered the United States without proper immigration paperwork may take interest in the case of a man in another state. It is not uncommon for undocumented immigrants to hold paying jobs, drive cars and otherwise contribute to local and national economies by carrying out normal duties of work and family life in the United States. Immigration detention problems can arise however, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents get involved.  

The man in question was driving when police pulled him over in a traffic stop in May. Police say the reason for the stop was that one of the headlights on the car was not functioning when it should have been. The cops issued a ticket, though the man later said he resolved the issue the same day by repairing the headlight and handing the ticket in at a local precinct. He also said officials told him there was nothing more to worry about and that the situation was resolved.  

Employment-based immigration boosts US economy

Many Pennsylvania businesses are owned by people who emigrated from other countries. Employment-based immigration allows thousands of foreign nationals to obtain visas that allow them to enter the United States for the purpose of living and working here. Many of them bring their dreams of owning their own business along with them as well.

The National Foundation for American Policy stated that at least 55 percent of all billion dollar companies throughout the nation were founded by at least one immigrant. More than half of that percentage includes businesses based on the West Coast. Some people may be surprised to learn that companies with which they are quite familiar were started by immigrants.

Man's immigration detention ends when judge orders his release

Many people in Pennsylvania, along with others throughout the nation, were outraged back in July when a 35-year-old immigrant man was arrested while doing his job as a pizza delivery driver. He was stopped at a U.S. army base where he was sent to deliver food. Instead of being allowed to make the delivery, he was arrested and placed in an immigration detention center.

The man is married to a U.S. citizen and has two children who are also citizens. He has been working to rectify his own legal status situation regarding orders for him to leave the country that were issued in 2010. A judge ultimately ordered the man's release from detention.   

Deportation is on the minds of many Southeast Asian immigrants

If all Southeast Asian families in Pennsylvania were to be surveyed regarding challenges they have overcome when adapting to immigrant life in the United States, their answers may be quite similar. In fact, at least 16,000 Southeast Asian families are currently trying to resolve deportation issues. Such situations are often highly stressful and financially draining on those involved.  

A woman in another state says it has cost her thousands of dollars to try to persevere through her husband's immigration detention problems. He is a Cambodian refugee who came to the U.S. in the 1980s. In 2016, however, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in connection with a second-degree felony conviction in his past.  

Are you eligible to become a US citizen?

If you are one of many immigrants in Pennsylvania who hope to one day obtain full citizenship, there are several factors you'll want to consider and steps to take along the way that can help you achieve your goals. To become a U.S. citizen, you must first prove that you are eligible. If you do not have a green card, you are not eligible, so obtaining one would be the first logical step to take to work toward your goal.

Possessing a green card is in itself not enough to create eligibility for citizenship. Before you can apply to become a U.S. citizen, you must be a lawful resident of the United States for at least five years. An exception to that rule would be if you obtained your green card by marrying a U.S. citizen, in which case, you can apply for citizenship after living with your spouse for three years.

Immigration detention: Mother says her child almost died

Like many mothers who immigrate to Pennsylvania, a woman with three children in tow says she fled her life in another country because she feared continued violence from her husband. She and her children traveled for several weeks by bus before being apprehended at a U.S. border and placed in a detention center. The woman says the immigration detention experience almost caused her daughter's death.

The 5-year-old child began complaining that she did not feel well not long after their arrival at the facility. Her mother initially thought it was due to a few bites of food she had been given. However, the woman says it soon became clear there was a much more serious problem at hand, and she asked officials to help her obtain medical attention for her child.

Immigration detention center under investigation

Many families in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are currently worried about loved ones whose immigration legal statuses have been called into question. Other families in the nation can relate to the fear and high stress levels that often accompany such situations. Immigration detention centers can be scary places and allegedly dangerous as well, as a recent tragedy shows. A mother has lost a child, and so far, no one has given her concrete answers as to the cause of her child's death.

The situation happened in another state, sparking an official investigation. Attorneys are offering support to a woman whose toddler-age child died just after being released from the facility. There seems to be evidence to suggest that substandard sanitation and neglect are causal factors in the child's death. It would definitely not be the first time such claims have been made after an immigrant has died during or shortly after detainment.

Man granted defensive asylum after arriving in US in 1992

A man who crossed a U.S. border more than 25 years ago has been granted legal status protection. He was reportedly arrested in May of last year for public drunkenness. The man said he used to live in Mexico but fled circumstances there when he was unable to find gainful employment to sustain himself. He has now been granted defensive asylum, which is a protective status sometimes given to political refugees in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, who arrive in the United States without their paperwork in order.  

Of more than 120,000 immigrants who applied for defensive asylums in 2017, only 6,995 were granted protection. Those who were, like the 64-year-old man mentioned here, are likely relieved they are no longer targeted for deportation. As opposed to defensive asylums, which are processed by the U.S. Department of Justice, affirmative asylums are granted through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  

Father of 3 hoping to avoid deportation in another state

There are currently many Pennsylvania immigrants being held in detention. Each situation is unique, but many share common issues as well. A man in another state can relate to those who are husbands and fathers who are facing possible deportation.

This particular man entered the U.S. some 14 years ago. He later sent for his wife. The two built a life in the United States that includes the three young children they have together. The man describes himself as a hard worker who is willing to do jobs no one else is willing to do. He says he has lived, worked and paid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service all these years and is hoping his good standing in his community adds to his favor in court.

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

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Phone: 717-208-2481
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