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New trend shows Syrians entering the U.S. from Mexico

A common perception that may exist regarding undocumented immigrants in Miami and throughout the rest of the U.S. is that they're all coming in from Central American countries. Yet a recent unique trend has emerged among those immigrants who are entering the U.S. illegally. And while their countries of origin are far, far away from Central America, they are finding the path the U.S. permanent residency to be much easier than other immigrant groups.

Since civil war broke out in Syria almost three years ago, over 2 million Syrian refugees have been displaced. Many were initially granted temporary visas to come study or work in the United States. Yet the number of visas to Syrian applicants has declined recently due to the large number coming to the U.S. to claim asylum. Yet that hasn't stopped Syrian refugees from finding their way in.

A new practice has emerged among those fleeing the conflict in Syria to travel to Mexico and cross the border into the United States from there. While certainly a risky move, the number of Syrians stopped while attempting to cross the border has proven to be significantly less than Central American immigrants attempting the same thing. Once here, many of these new immigrants are allowed to stay after submitting "credible fear" requests, meaning they fear returning home due to an ongoing conflict. It's estimated that the U.S. approved over 90% of credible fear requests in 2013. After remaining in the U.S. for one year, many of these refugees are eligible to apply for permanent residency.

The path to entry into the United States may be different for all. What does remain the same is the need to apply for residency status or citizenship through the proper channels. An immigration attorney may help one with that process.

Source: The Wall Street Journal "Syrians Seek U.S. Asylum via Mexico" Miriam Jordan, Feb. 20, 2014

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