Florida residents may benefit from learning more about how people qualify for asylum. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, individuals may seek refuge and protection in the United States if they are being persecuted in their native country for their political beliefs, affiliations with specific social parties, race, nationality or religion. People who qualify for asylum and apply within 1 year of arrival are allowed to remain in the country.
On Nov. 20, President Obama issued an immigration-based executive order that may be of interest to Florida residents. The new order protects against deportation for undocumented parents of lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens. In addition, the executive order is designed to help keep skilled workers in the country.
Representatives from Florida and California have collaborated to introduce a bill designed to assist immigrants as they adjust to life in American society. The immigration process can be challenging for newcomers, and the legislation endeavors to ensure access to programs that will help with needs such as learning English and civics. Labeled as the New American Success Act, the bill would allow the creation of a National Office of New Americans, an oversight agency that would offer counsel and coordination for varied organizations and agencies dedicated to assisting immigrants as they acclimate to a new culture. Additionally, the Task Force on New Americans would be established to monitor policies related to integration. The task force would make recommendations to members of Congress as well as to the executive branch.
Even in the absence of the proposed immigration reform currently being debated on Capitol Hill, there are still a number of ways that undocumented immigrants living in Miami can find a path to permanent residency. However, attaining such rights is rarely an easy process, and one shouldn’t be surprised if he or she is made to deal with a lot of red tape or face a number of other challenges along the way. Often, one can so all that he or she is required to do, and still encounter difficulties thanks to the mistakes of others.
Most in Miami probably already know that there a number of advantages that those immigrants who've either attained U.S. citizenship or been granted permanent residency enjoy over undocumented immigrants. Yet with the number of undocumented immigrants growing every year, federal and state lawmakers are beginning to realize the need to extend certain benefits to this demographic, as well. While proposed federal legislation has continually stalemated in Washington, many states have been able to pass their own laws to offer assistance to undocumented immigrants.
Those in Miami who've followed the current push for federal immigration reform know that doubts have recently surfaced regarding whether or not the legislation proposed by the Senate last year would actually make it the agenda of this year's Congressional session. Mid-term elections and other financial topics have seemingly pushed the issue to the side. Yet recent comments from prominent leaders on both sides if the aisle have suggested that immigration remains at the forefront of the minds of federal lawmakers. Recent activity from Capitol Hill offers both good and potentially bad news on this front.
The issue of how to deal with undocumented immigrants remains the most hotly contested debate at the heart of immigration reform. Yet while the political movement of such reforms comes to a stalemate, immigration cases around the country, including right here in Miami, continue to test current U.S. immigration law and expose just how great the need for changes is.
There are currently more than 11 million illegal immigrants estimated to be living in Miami and throughout the U.S. And while a majority of Americans agree on the need to provide these undocumented immigrants with a path to permanent residency or citizenship, recent attempts at reforming U.S. immigration policy have reached a political stalemate. Yet that has not stopped the current administration from enacting some changes that now allow for new residency opportunities for select groups of illegals.
For many families there is hope that new federal policies will directly benefit them and their loved ones. Though, that hope has not stopped thousands of unauthorized immigrants from being targeted and deported even as state and federal legislatures continue to debate over immigration reform issues. One recent case involving a Florida father’s fifth deportation serves as a sober reminder that discussions and legislation addressing topics like citizenship and immigration carry very real consequences for families around the country.