Florida residents and many others throughout the country are taking time this week to celebrate and honor the nation's military on Veterans' Day. Many men and women who serve in the U.S. military are immigrants or children of immigrants. In fact, many service members are non-citizens, and some of them are currently facing adjustment of status problems.
In Florida and many other states, there are currently hundreds, if not thousands of immigrants living in detention centers due to various circumstances. Some have requested an adjustment of status by seeking asylum. Others were arrested for suspected crimes, then transferred into the custody of immigration law officers. One man is at risk for removal, but his attorney is working tirelessly to file an appeal on his behalf.
If U.S. immigration laws were simple and leaving a country of origin to come and live in Florida were easy, it would be possible to make a phone call or submit a petition, then follow through to accomplish one's goals. Pursuing an adjustment of status can be a complicated, lengthy process. In addition to the petition, there are numerous other issues to be aware of.
Moving to Florida as an immigrant can be an exciting yet stressful experience. Any number of issues can arise to cause obstacles in the adjustment of status process. There are several ideas to keep in mind that may help keep stress to a minimum and avoid serious legal problems.
Being an immigrant in Florida or elsewhere in the United States is often not without its challenges. When you first arrived at a U.S. border, you may have had a significant language barrier, perhaps needed a place to live, or were worried about acclimating to American society and adapting to a new lifestyle. Seeking an adjustment of status in connection with residency or citizenship may be one of your highest goals in life.
In Florida and many other states, there are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of immigrants living in sanctuary. There may be any number of reasons why a particular foreign national's paperwork might not be in good order, which can place him or her at risk for immediate removal from the United States unless he or she is able to obtain an adjustment of status. A large crowd gathered recently in another state to offer support and advocacy for a man who has been living in a church for more than a year.
When a person arrives in Florida from another country of origin, his or her circumstances may not always be as desired. In fact, many immigrants have adjustment of status issues that they hope to resolve as refugees or through asylum. Each situation is unique and a law that applies to one person may not be applicable to another.
Many immigrant advocates in Florida and elsewhere say the U.S. government can and should do a better job of processing immigration cases. It can be quite challenging to obtain an adjustment of status. However, some say it does not have to so difficult, and the reason it is has more to do with a backlog in the courts than anything else.
Many Florida immigrants are married to U.S. citizens. Those who are currently worried about legal issues that have surfaced after seeking adjustment of status may want to follow a case in another state involving several members of the same family. A young woman, her parents and a cousin were all recently taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
When an immigrant arrives at a U.S. border to seek asylum, he or she is typically detained until the case can be fully processed. Such detentions are usually meant to be temporary, and many asylum seekers are later released while they await full adjudication of their cases. However, before an adjustment of status is granted, many Florida immigrants encounter serious challenges, often including severe adverse health risks, when they are placed in detention facilities that are already overcrowded.