Although Pennsylvania does not currently recognize same-sex marriage, it is extremely likely that there are same-sex couples who have traveled to other states to get married and have returned home to Pennsylvania. Though these marriages are not recognized by either the state or federal governments, there is the possibility that an upcoming Supreme Court decision could change at least the federal recognition. And this could have immigration consequences for binational same-sex couples in Pennsylvania.
One of the things that many people in Lancaster County may not think about when immigrants move to the community is where those immigrants will live. Yes, there may be neighborhoods and towns that have higher populations of employment-based immigrants, but do they live in apartments, houses or both? Do they rent their homes or do they own them? A recent study has found that immigrants are a major section of homeowners in Pennsylvania.
People across Pennsylvania are making their concerns about immigration heard as they prepare for a campaign to reform the immigration system. There were approximately two dozen organizations featured at a joint press conference earlier in the month in which they explained the need for appropriate immigration reforms.
Earlier this week marked President Obama's second term in office and his inauguration speech seemed to lay out what he wanted to focus on in his next four years. What may have caught many people in Reading's attention is that Obama talked about immigration. It is clear that Obama has wanted to change immigration law in the United States, especially after his executive orders granting deferred deportation and temporary resident status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, but it is expected that one of the major initiatives that the president will tackle will be a comprehensive immigration reform.
This blog has previously talked about President Obama's new initiative that potentially creates a pathway to legal residency and the effect it has had on Pennsylvania residents. Now, President Obama has issued another immigration reform that will help U.S. citizens and their undocumented spouses stay together longer. This new aspect of family-based immigration is set to go into effect in March.
It is heartwarming when the federal government doesn't stand in the way of someone trying to pursue his or her dream. For the undocumented immigrants who came to this country with their parents, that has not always been the case, but a few weeks ago we covered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which provides immigrants who came here illegally as children two more years to stay in the country. A recent report lists a South Philadelphia college student as the first person in the area to receive the reprieve.
Though this story doesn't come from Pennsylvania, a proposed city ordinance could provide an interesting approach to immigration in Lancaster County. The mayor of Los Angeles has announced that he would like to implement a city-wide identification card program that would give immigrants an official ID and, could give them access to a private bank account. If the city passes the ordinance, it would follow in the footsteps of several other cities that have already implemented similar programs.