Individuals who are seeking refugee status and other forms of immigration help might soon experience fewer options and longer wait times. The United States government recently announced that it is considering closing dozens of its international U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices. For those seeking asylum or hoping to make Pennsylvania their home through immigration, this could seriously complicate matters.
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.
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.
It's no secret that debates continue throughout the United States regarding U.S. immigration laws. These laws are complex and often change, leaving many Pennsylvania immigrants and their families frustrated, confused and worried that they may suffer negative consequences due to legal status problems. Family separations at U.S. borders has been a top issue in news headlines as of late. Some parents have understandably said they'd rather give up their requests for asylum than be kept from the children.
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.
If a survey were conducted in Pennsylvania, asking immigrants why they came to this nation, answers would no doubt vary. Many would likely include stories of fleeing homelands from abject poverty and imminent violence. In fact, a young woman in another state says she escaped El Salvador under similar circumstances and, after recently winning asylum, is now in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
A federal court judge in California is expected to rule on whether the immigration detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas should continue to hold families with children. If the judge finds that holding the families is unconstitutional, more than 2,000 mothers and children who have come to the United States seeking asylum could be released from the three detention centers.
Pennsylvania residents may be interested in learning more about some of the recent changes affecting asylum and immigration status in the United States. According to the House Judiciary Committee, between 2007 and 2013, there was more than a 585 percent increase in the number of people granted asylum into the United States. By the end of 2014, there were more than 415,000 cases involving non-detained asylum cases still awaiting review by immigration court.
Pennsylvania residents may be interested to know about the latest development regarding immigration policy. On Feb. 20, a judge put a halt to a government policy that detained mothers and children who sought asylum in the United States. Past policy was to allow those who met the standard of credible fear to remain free while their cases were being heard unless they posed a specific threat to others.
Asylum is a special legal privilege the government may grant to certain people who intend to stay in Pennsylvania or another part of the U.S. for a prolonged period because they fear to return to their country of residence due to the possibility of persecution or torture due to their race, nationality, religion, political opinion or connection with a social group. There are two basic processes for being granted asylum depending on the person's present condition.