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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

US immigration law: Advocates oppose DNA collection

If a Florida household includes a family member who was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, it can cause stress and worry for the entire family. U.S. immigration law is complex, and policies are constantly changing. It can be challenging for the average person to know his or her rights and how to protect them in detention.

Many immigrant advocates have been speaking out about the U.S. Department of Justice's ruling that DNA samples may be collected from immigrants being held in detention. In 2010, the then-Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security implemented an exclusion, stating that if a detained immigrant was not facing criminal charges or was awaiting deportation proceedings, he or she would not be subjected to DNA collection. However, the DOJ has now ruled that the DHS Secretary no longer has the authority to make such exclusions, which were heretofore made in consultation between the DHS Secretary and the Attorney General.

US immigration law: Man was detained when he fell, now can't walk

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers say they do not believe a man who says he can no longer walk due an injury he suffered while in detention. The U.S. immigration law officials said they have evidence that a medical examination showed the man did not suffer any injury that would cause inability to walk. An attorney speaking on behalf of the man, however, has stated otherwise. Immigrants in Florida have also complained about unhealthy and unsafe living conditions in detention facilities. 

The attorney says her client is in a wheelchair due to loss of feeling in his legs. This was reportedly the result of a fall the man took while residing in a county jail under U.S. Marshals Service custody. The attorney also stated that she is seeking the man's release based on a writ of habeas corpus. She also is trying to obtain an independent medical evaluation of her client. 

Stay calm if US immigration law problems arise

Federal law governs all matters regarding immigration. New immigrants arrive in Florida all the time, each having experienced a unique set of circumstances in traveling to the United States. U.S. immigration law is complex, and it is not uncommon for issues to arise that delay or impede a person's ability to accomplish immigration-related goals. 

If you rely on an experienced immigration law attorney for support, you increase your chances of resolving any legal obstacles that surface from the time you leave your country of origin to the time you enter the U.S. or become a naturalized citizen or whatever your specific goals happen to be. If you are applying for a visa, it's critical that you know exactly which type you need. It is also important to make sure you can meet all the eligibility requirements because each program operates under a different set or rules. 

Investors can seek adjustment of status

Many Florida immigrants are entrepreneurs or investors. Studies show immigrants play key roles in U.S. business success. In fact, if a person plans to create new jobs by investing capital in a U.S. business, he or she may qualify for a certain application for an adjustment of status, thereby obtaining a visa that allows conditional permanent residency. There are two main categories of this type of visa, which is known as an EB-5 visa.

Those who plan to invest $1 million into a U.S. business may want to learn more about the EB-5 program. If an investment is going into a new business in a targeted employment area, the amount may be lowered to $500,000. A targeted area would typically be a location where unemployment is a lot higher than the average national rate. 

Employment immigration problems? A few things to know

A person who is adept in a specialized field -- such as athletics, medical work or research -- might travel to Florida or elsewhere in the United States to work. Having an extraordinary ability in a specialized field often creates eligibility to apply for a nonimmigrant visa through the process of employment immigration. This type of visa allows a worker to stay in the United States on a temporary basis as opposed to someone emigrating from another country to the United States in the hope of becoming a permanent resident or naturalized citizen.

U.S. employer must typically sponsor a foreign worker in order for him or her to become eligible for employment-based immigration. An employer is responsible for making sure a prospective employee has met all the requirements of eligibility to enable him or her to work in this country. Some people are not planning on coming to this country as laborers but as entrepreneurs to start businesses of their own.

Will US immigration law officials release detainees from custody?

Florida immigrants may be at risk for detention for any number of reasons. For instance, if a man or woman approaches a U.S. border to request asylum, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers may detain him or her for some time. Another reason U.S. immigration law officials might take someone into custody would be if he or she entered the United States without proper paperwork in order.

In many cases, immigrants with no criminal history are later released from detention, able to reside in the U.S. until their cases are fully processed. There appears to be many people, however, who continue to be held in ICE custody even though they have no criminal background. This is why their advocates have called upon the federal government to release them for their own well-being and the sake of their families.

Real estate disputes: Amicable negotiation, a key to success

Many business owners, as well as private property owners in Florida run into trouble when a party with whom they've signed a contract doesn't adhere to the terms. Whether you are a seller, a buyer, a landlord or tenant, it can be difficult and highly stressful to resolve real estate disputes when they arise. To avoid such problems, it pays to carefully review a prospective agreement before signing anything.

It's also helpful to ask someone who is well-versed in Florida real estate law to take a look at a contract to check for any potential problem issues or to make recommendations for revisions to clarify terms or better protect your interests. Once you add your signature to a valid contract, you and all other signatories are legally bound to adhere to its terms. If you're unsure about a certain phrase, deadline, fee or other legal issue, it's best to refrain from signing until clarification is provided.

Adjustment of status rules have changed again

In Florida and elsewhere across the country, staying updated on U.S. immigration laws and policies can be challenging and stressful. It seems such laws are always being changed. Immigrants who are planning to seek an adjustment of status will want to review recent policy changes that may affect their ability to do so.

All states but one have adopted new policies regarding the "public charge rule," which pertains to visa applicants and others who wish to change their legal status. Certain issues may now prompt U.S. government officials to deem a particular person inadmissible for entry to the United States. In addition, those who currently reside in the United States who plan to seek permanent residency may also be unable to do so if, at any time, they are likely to become a public charge.

The citizenship process can be lengthy and stressful

When a person emigrates from another country of origin to Florida or elsewhere in the United States, he or she may have certain goals in mind. Some want to live and work in the United States so they can send money home to their family members. Others come here to live because they are marrying U.S. citizens. Many immigrants have an ultimate goal in common: citizenship.

There is a lot of paperwork involved in the U.S. citizen application process. Eligibility requirements must also be met, such as having a green card before filing an application for citizenship. Those who are not yet age 18 are not able to seek naturalization on their own. 

US immigration law problems: World class athletes not immune

Many Florida immigrants are athletes who have traveled to the United States to compete. Even a world class athlete, however, must adhere to U.S. immigration law and apply for a visa like any other person who wishes to come to the U.S. to live or work. There are many types of visas and it is critical that an applicant understands the exact one needed.

An athlete might be subject to removal or deemed inadmissible to the United States for numerous reasons. For instance, if a particular athlete makes headlines for outrageous public behavior, either involving illegal drugs or for causing a ruckus, U.S. immigration officials might refuse to grant him or her entrance to this country. Perhaps an athlete was already in Florida or another state and got into some type of legal trouble. This could lead to deportation and also to future inadmissibility, barring him or her from returning to this country at a later date.

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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