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Lancaster Immigration Law Blog

Immigration detention situation topping news headlines

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a petition requesting the immediate release of a news journalist who was recently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The reporter, who happens to be an immigrant, was arrested at an earlier time, then released when charges were dropped. Such situations typically call for setting a defendant free; however, jail officials instead transferred this particular man over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, who then locked him up in an immigration detention facility. Pennsylvania residents facing similar problems may want to follow this case. 

The detainee has never been arrested for a felony, which would generally be cause for detainment and possible deportation. He did, however, recently run stories in his newspaper regarding alleged unfair practices by ICE officials against various immigrants. Some say the man's boldness in reporting such things has ruffled the feathers of authorities, thus prompting his detention.  

Many pregnant women facing immigration detention are worried

In the past three months, more than 500 pregnant women have been processed through the deportation system. In the past, it has been the custom of ICE to release detainees who are pregnant as they await their removal hearings. A new immigration detention policy appears to have recently take hold, however, which may cause pregnant women in Pennsylvania and elsewhere who are are undocumented to worry.

Immigrant advocates recently expressed their anger over policy changes that no longer allow ICE officials to release pregnant detainees. Those in their third trimester are exempt from the new policy as they are not allowed to board airplanes, so they will continue to be released to await their deportation hearings. An ICE spokesperson said all others will have their cases reviewed on individual bases, and pregnancy will be considered as a special factor in each case where it applies.

Are you a Pennsylvania resident facing deportation?

Any number of issues can arise to cause legal problems for those who emigrated from other countries of origin to live in Pennsylvania. If you happen to overstay your visa or have been charged with a traffic violation or criminal offense, your plans to build a new, successful lifestyle may be temporarily or permanently put on hold. Facing deportation can be stressful and frightening.

There are often several options available to halt a removal process. If you've been served with a Notice to Appear, you have every right to retain legal assistance to help you plead your case, present evidence or appeal the Immigration Court's decision to a higher court. If you or your immediate family member have already been detained, an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney can advocate on your behalf to try to secure a release.

Asylum situation gone wrong: Mother and daughter separated

Pennsylvania residents who have navigated the immigration process in the United States understand how challenging such situations can be. Many have been able to reach out for support as they become productive members of society in their new homelands. Others, however, have arrived at the border, fleeing imminent danger and violence, seeking asylum and hoping the U.S. government will protect them.

One such person fled to the United States alongside her 7-year-old daughter. She says they ran away from the Democratic Republic of Congo in fear for their lives. The woman assumed that all she had to do was explain to officials why she and her daughter had come, and the appropriate authorities would help keep her and her child safe.

Man did not expect immigration detention when he called police

There are currently many immigrants living, working and going to school in Pennsylvania. Many reside in neighborhoods where several other immigrants make their homes as well. Immigrants in one such area in another state are greatly concerned about a recent incident that occurred where a man called police for help and wound up being placed in immigration detention.

The man said he looked outside his window at approximately 5:30 a.m. on a recent Thursday. He saw someone he did not know wandering around his property. As most people would do, he immediately called police for help.

Business owner in another state facing possible deportation

Pennsylvania immigrants currently concerned about their legal statuses may want to closely follow a case in another state. A 33-year-old man who came to the United States some 14 years ago was recently arrested by immigration officers at a Greyhound bus station. The man was not doing anything wrong at the time, merely awaiting the departure of his bus, so he could travel to visit a friend. He now sits in an immigration detention facility, at risk for deportation.

This particular immigrant is a business owner and a former volunteer firefighter in this country. He has no criminal record and has been living and working in another state for more than a decade. His initial entrance to the United States was made with a crewman's visa.

Family immigration problems that can be solved with a K-4 visa

Pennsylvania parents can likely imagine how stressful it would be to endure long separations from their children. Many military parents know what this is like, especially if called to active duty overseas. Parents navigating the family immigration process also often have periods of time where some family members are already in the United States while others remain in their countries of origin. In some cases, a K-4 visa can help parents reunite with their children.

A K-4 visa is a temporary legal status that allows a child to be brought to the U.S. to reside with his or her parent while awaiting permanent visa processing. As with most immigrant application processes, there are various forms and fees involved, in addition to eligibility requirements that must first be met to qualify for an application. It's often helpful for a parent to seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney rather than try to address such issues alone.

Company accused of immigration detention violations plans project

Many Pennsylvania families include members who emigrated from other countries. While many of them spent weeks (even months or years) preparing the appropriate documents and navigating the immigration system before crossing the border, others' situations were much more acute, landing them on United States soil without proper legal statuses. In either situation, an immigrant may still be at risk for detainment, as made evident by the filled-to-capacity immigration detention centers throughout the nation.

New detention facilities are being erected all the time. One proposed project has many people in another state greatly concerned. The Management & Training Corporation is a for-profit company that manages private prisons, immigration detention centers and U.S. Job Corps Centers throughout the nation. The company is currently being sued for alleged discrimination against tribal members on its employee staff.

Immigration detention incident has many advocates concerned

Pennsylvania is home to many people who emigrated here from other countries. Some live under undocumented statuses, which poses a number of significant challenges to them and their loved ones. A current immigration detention situation in another state has caught the attention of many immigrants and immigrant advocates throughout the nation.

The matter concerns a 35-year-old man who has no criminal record in the state where he resides but was taken into custody by ICE officials. The man is currently being held in an immigration detention center and has a bond hearing scheduled for the first week in Jan. 2018. The man says he believes he was arrested in retaliation after participating in a news interview regarding the arrest (and subsequent deportation) of his long-time girlfriend.

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.

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Lancaster, PA 17602

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