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Changes proposed for U.S. immigration law -- again

Many Florida families immigrated to the United States from other countries. Some say even though they arrived here under perfectly legal circumstances, they still live in fear that something will wrong that will cause threats to their statuses. Some Somali families on the West Coast may relate to those fears as they recently gathered and shared their worries about recent proposals to change U.S. immigration law.

The families gathered at a weekly conference that hosts refugees, naturalized citizens and other immigrants. At this particular meeting, about 60 people were present. They share food, help each other work through immigration challenges and offer encouragement and support to one another as they build lives in the United States.

When they gathered on a recent Friday, some mentioned how frightened they are regarding the newest proposals to cut in half the number of immigrants allowed through the nation's borders every year. The new regulations would also focus on highly educated immigrants and those with special job skills as opposed to the family-based system that already exists. Another key factor of the latest proposals is that preference would be given to immigrants who have already developed English-speaking skills.

Some of the Somali families who were gathered at the recent conference had just completed six months of lessons to learn to read and write English. If U.S. immigration law starts limiting entrance into the United States to those who have no language barriers, it would likely keep many people away. If a Florida resident is currently facing language barrier problems related to a legal situation, a meeting with an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney may help.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Proposal to limit legal immigration ripples through Somali families in San Diego", John Wilkens, Aug. 6, 2017

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