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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

US immigration law: Are personal rights violations occurring?

Many Florida households include members who have special needs. While some people's needs involve physical impediments, such as those who need wheelchairs for mobility, others have conditions that impede mental ability, such as bipolar disorder or autism. Caring for those who have special needs is often less stressful when families can rely on strong support networks in their communities. This topic has intersected U.S. immigration law in another state, where legal advocates say that immigrants who qualify for special protections under the law are being denied their rights.

There are at least three states where immigrants who show signs of mental incapacitation are entitled by law to free access to legal counsel. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are required to flag the records of those who show signs of adverse mental health. Such individuals may then attend competency hearings to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements for special protections.

US immigration law: Court orders city to pay compensation

Many Florida immigrants and their families are worried about detainer issues. It is definitely not an issue that concerns people in this state alone. In fact, a recent court case in another state involved an immigrant who was detained on two separate occasions after a judge had already ordered his release from jail.

In the most recent incident, the man had been taken into police custody regarding a suspected assault. The judge overseeing his case ordered that jailers release him while he awaited his next court hearing. The law enforcement officers did not comply with the court's order, however. They kept the man in jail until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrived to take him into their custody.

Are legal obstacles impeding your path to citizenship?

If you're one of many Florida immigrants whose greatest desire is to become a full-fledged U.S. citizen, you've likely been studying and working hard to accomplish your goals. The citizenship process is complex and requires that you meet many eligibility requirements and qualifications before you can file an application and, hopefully, achieve citizenship. Once you do file an application to become a U.S. citizen, you must reside full time in the United States until your application has been fully processed.

Part of the citizenship process includes testing. You must show that you are competent in reading, writing, speaking and understanding English. This is often one of the greatest challenges for those working toward naturalization. You must also prove that you have a basic understanding of U.S. government and the main historical events that have taken place since the country was founded.

Florida real estate disputes: Will school have to sell land?

The mood between a Florida school district, a building developer and a group of residents might currently be described as contentious. The three parties have been entangled in real estate disputes since November. Soon, a circuit court judge will hand down a final ruling on the case, which may or may not result in the school district having to sell more than three acres of land that exists on its campus.

As often occurs when several parties are engaged in litigation, this is a highly complex case. The school district is the acting plaintiff; however, the low-income housing developer and group of neighbors involved are hoping the judge will rule in their favor. The underlying issue that has sparked the complexity of the case has to do with the fact that there are two separate existing contracts regarding the acreage of land in question on the school district's campus.

US immigration law: Are Florida detention centers like prisons?

There are approximately 2,000 immigrants per day placed in detention in Florida. Many immigrant advocates say this number is exorbitant and driven by profit-hungry privateers who own most of the facilities where such people are housed. Advocates also say that many U.S. immigration law detention centers in this state more closely resemble prisons than the transition, processing or holding centers they are supposed to be. 

Some of the most common problems cited in numerous detention facilities in south Florida include overuse of solitary confinement, long lapses of time between meals and lack of proper medical attention. In fact, a recent report was filed that stated that, out of four detention centers that were visited, serious substandard conditions existed in all. The Attorney General is said to have recommended more state inspections of such facilities as a way to improve the situation.

Is foreclosure a worry for you in 2020?

Many Florida residents were satisfied with their financial portfolios in 2019. Others encountered multiple challenges, which is not atypical for most households across the country. There are also people whose financial situations have gotten so out of hand that they are now facing serious crisis. Some are worried about issues such as foreclosure.

It can be emotionally devastating to realize that there seems to be no end to one's financial problems in sight. To make matters worse, if creditors are calling on the phone all the time or notices are arriving in the mail stating that lenders are considering calling in a loan or taking over ownership of a home, it can leave the average homeowner feeling worried and overwhelmed. The good news is that there are often several options available, not only to avert foreclosure but to get one's finances straightened out as well.

Adjustment of status not needed to drive in another state

Immigrants in Florida and across the country may be interested to learn that another state has enacted new policies that may affect those living there under an undocumented status. In the state in question, it is now legal for immigrants to apply for a driver's license, even if they have not been granted an adjustment of status, meaning, their paperwork is not in good standing. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are reportedly not happy about the recent developments, stating that they believe it is placing public safety at risk and undermining the efforts of the U.S. government regarding immigration law.

The official may have said this because part of the new policies have essentially blocked ICE from accessing certain resources, which, in the past, made it easy to track people who lacked proper immigration paperwork. The new Green Light Law states that federal officers can no longer access information at the Department of Motor Vehicles unless a court orders the DMV officials to hand the information over. A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that this will likely be detrimental to the missions of the CBP and ICE.

Simplifying facts regarding US immigration law

There are currently thousands of immigrants living and working in Florida. It is no secret that U.S. immigration law is highly complex and often a subject of debate. If you or your loved one are currently experiencing problems related to immigration or legal status issues, it is a good idea to connect with someone who can provide guidance and support.

When a person acquires a visa, he or she becomes a lawful resident of the United States. A green card means that such a status is legally considered permanent. There are many types of visas as well, typically issued on a temporary basis. It is critical that you understand which type of visa you need and that you follow the proper application process to avoid legal problems.

Worried that holiday expenses will lead to foreclosure?

Perhaps, like many Florida households, yours has been experiencing a financial crisis as 2019 nears its end. Personal economics often fluctuates throughout the year, with some months being more financially stable than others. Medical bills, change of income or even holiday expenditures can be catalysts that tip financial scales in the wrong direction, sometimes leading to serious legal situations, such as threat of foreclosure.

It is easier for a single episode of financial strain to spark an all-out crisis than one might think. Maybe you have fallen behind on mortgage payments because your family had an unexpected medical emergency and you've been trying to pay the bills associated with the incident. Perhaps, like so many others in this state and across the country, you resorted to using your credit card to make ends meet.

Group of immigrants elated as pathway to citizenship clears

There is one ultimate goal for most people who immigrate to Florida. They want to achieve citizenship in the United States. It can be a lengthy process and any number of legal obstacles can arise, which is why it pays to connect with a strong support network from the start. A group of people who came to this country from Liberia are rejoicing this week after a provision in a bill that was recently passed will allow them to apply for permanent residency if they satisfy all requirements. 

Before the bill was passed, Liberians typically lived from year to year under legal status extensions because they were not eligible to apply for green cards. One immigrant advocate who spoke about the recent developments said it is cause for rejoicing because Liberians may now put down roots and gain a sense of security knowing they may seek adjustment of status to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Thousands of Liberian immigrants have been residing in this country on a long-term basis under protection of Deferred Enforced Departure. 

The Florida Bar | 1950 American Bar Association DADE County Bar Association | 1916 Orange County Bar Association Coral Gables Bar Association American Immigration Lawyer Association

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