When people from another country break the law in Miami, or are unable to produce papers showing that they are legally allowed to be in the U.S., they can be put into a deportation unit run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Once placed in the unit, the immigrant will either remain there until they are deported back to their country of origin, or they may be able to obtain a release. Current immigration law does not offer those being held in such units much chance of being able to stay without vigorous appeals from family.
The decisions that are made by this year's congress members could affect the lives of immigrants and their families in a big way. Some political groups and congressmen say that the U.S. should change current immigration law to provide a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented people living in the country. Others say that people who came into the country illegally should not be rewarded for their actions by being given U.S. citizenship. Still others seem unable to make up their mind what the federal government should do to address the problem.
As our readers are probably already aware, Florida has multiple farms producing tomatoes, oranges and other produce. These farms rely on employment immigration for the manpower needed to harvest the fruit and vegetables. Without the influx of employment-based immigration, these farms would likely fail as there are few citizens willing to take on the physically taxing, low-paying labor. While proposed immigration law reform seeks to address the millions of immigrants that live illegally in the U.S., there is some concern among this group that they will be ignored by lawmakers.
There are many people and groups who are eagerly waiting for President Obama and Congress to make major changes to the current laws regarding immigrants illegally living in the United States. As momentum continues to build, Floridians are seeing local politicians, religious leaders and others pushing for an immigration law overhaul.
Florida has become a powerful voice in the debate over whether undocumented immigrants should be given a legal residency status. Many of these immigrants are hopeful that the DREAM Act will lead to further changes and new laws that will enable them to claim permanent residency and eventually become U.S. citizens. Still, there is the possibility, until such changes are made, that they will be taken into federal custody and deported.
When people read about undocumented immigrants, their first impression may be that these immigrants are primarily agricultural workers. While this may be true for older immigrants, younger undocumented immigrants in Miami and elsewhere are seeking higher education, attending U.S. universities and hoping to enter the professional workforce. With the potential of the DREAM Act -- an immigration program designed to assist children who were brought to the country illegally -- to someday become law, these people have been given a glimmer of hope that someday they will be able to work in any industry or profession that they wish.
The U.S. government has often shown generosity to people who have been persecuted in their native country or have been devastated by a natural disaster. Nationals from other countries are often allowed to come here to work and live for a time. Some people come to Miami with the intent to return to their native country and work with this goal in mind. Others choose to stay here on a more permanent basis, seeking to become a legal permanent resident. Among groups who have found the door to the U.S. open are the victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
For the last several years, many states have expressed frustration over the U.S. government's lack of action involving immigration. Indeed, even residents in Miami and the state of Florida are divided over exactly what should be done with the millions of undocumented aliens living in the states. Some states have taken it upon themselves to pass their own laws under criticism that these laws violate the rights of residents, even those who are here legally. Now the Mexican government has chosen to voice its displeasure.
Miami is a community that draws in large numbers of people from other countries, creating a vibrant multi-cultural environment. However, this influx also presents great challenges for local businesses and companies in making sure that their workers have the proper papers to meet federal requirements. While law makers are still trying to decide what to do with the millions of undocumented workers who live in the country, employers of these workers are subject to audits from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to Mexican immigration records, the number of Cubans who enter the U.S. through Mexico is up by 400 percent. This year alone, 2,300 Cubans have been detained in Mexico en route to the U.S. Authorities expect this number to reach 3,500 by December, a number that has far exceeded last year's records which only documented 762 detained Cubans.