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United States Immigration Law Blog

What a beginner needs to know about gaining citizenship

The American Dream is alive and well. Many people want to become citizens of our great nation. It's known as the land of opportunity, with many different types of opportunities for all kinds of people. Whatever the reason for wanting permanent citizenship in the United States, there is a way to seek it.

For those who seek the naturalization path to citizenship, they are not connected to the United States as a birthplace or as their parent's birthplace. Naturalization is a legal process that will grant citizenship, if all requirements are met. There are five factors that play into the naturalization process, including age, literacy, moral character, attachment to constitutional principles and an oath of allegiance to the United States. These subjects must be satisfied during the naturalization process in order to have a favorable resolution.

Questions of moral turpitude and immigration status

If you or a loved one is seeking to become a citizen, there are ways to approach the process that could prove beneficial. For most, this means receiving a green card and becoming a citizen. However, there may be some things that are more challenging. If a person has been accused of a crime of moral turpitude, it could hinder the green card process.

Moral turpitude crimes aren't necessarily felonies, however, they could be. When a person is accused of crimes of moral turpitude, it refers to acts that are determined by a court to violate the accepted moral standards of the community. These are crimes that question a person's moral compass. Perjury, tax evasion, wire fraud, carrying a concealed weapon and child abuse have all been deemed by courts in the past to be issues of moral turpitude, although, this is not an exhaustive list.

Drug trafficking accusation could be federal charge

America is seen as the greatest country in the world by many, and a fairly liberal country in terms of our freedoms and liberties as citizens. However, just as with any nation in the world, we have laws and regulations. The reason behind these laws is mostly for public safety and the well-being of all. When you or a loved one is accused of a drug crime, it's important to understand the charges you are facing.

Remember that the way the American legal system works is a presumption of innocence. This means that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In the meantime, a person is allowed to build a criminal defense against such allegations. Depending on the specifics of the case, a person could be facing charges in state or federal court.

Proposed immigration legislation could have huge impact

There's been much talk about immigration reform since the change of presidential office last year. An amendment has been proposed called the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 that has been a hot topic recently. If the amendment were to pass, the size of the country from which a person emigrates would determine the person's status, as larger countries would have precedence over smaller countries.

Specifically, the wording of the bill seeks to get rid of the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigration. At the moment, each country has a numerical limit of seven percent or 9,800 of the 140,000 green cards issued per year by the United States. This percentage is without regard to population. The bill intends to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate limitations relating to place of birth.

How can I legally help my family members immigrate to the U.S.?

Families add richness to our lives, and it can be difficult to live far away from them. Reuniting your family in the United States is a realistic goal. However, to complete your goal, it is important to understand the requirements for that process. As a permanent resident or U.S. citizen you are able to help some relatives legally immigrate to the U.S., but there are some differences in this process depending on your current status.

Who you can petition for as a lawful permanent resident

Why do hopeful immigrants seek out an immigration lawyer?

If you are hoping to become a U.S. citizen, your dream is not a rare one. There are lots of reasons that a person may want to become a resident of the United States. It could be because family and friends already live here. It could be to pursue a job opportunity. Whatever the reason, you have the right to seek residency here.

However, to become a permanent resident, one must complete the proper procedures and requirements. This could mean anything from paperwork, to taking tests to an in-person interview. There are many reasons that a hopeful U.S. resident may seek out the help of others during this process. One party that may be able to offer assistance is an immigration attorney.

What do I need to know about building a criminal defense?

Being charged with a crime can come completely out of the left field. Many are completely taken aback when they are arrested or charged with a crime. Oftentimes, those accused are completely unfamiliar with the criminal justice system. The first thing to know is that all accused have the right to build a criminal defense against any charges they are facing.

A criminal defense can vary for different people charged in similar and opposing situations. Even for two people, charged with the exact same crime, criminal defense strategies can be completely different from one another. This is because the circumstances surrounding the event and the circumstances surrounding the person can yield completely different criminal defense strategies that are optimal for both. So how does a person accused of a crime, like drug charges, determine the best criminal defense strategy?

Federal law and state law can impact immigration process

Becoming a citizen of the United States is a dream for many. Depending on a person's circumstances and situation, there can be multiple steps in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. With citizenship, a person is granted rights that allows the person to stay in Michigan or any U.S. state, permanently. Without citizenship, a visa could run out forcing a person to return to their birth country.

The truth is, federal and state law can impact the immigration process for a hopeful would-be citizen. Federal law generally trumps state law when it comes to immigration matters, as it's a matter of constitutional rights. However, some state laws in Michigan can be relevant to proceedings involving immigration law. Every person's immigration query has specific aspects to them and finding out how your situation fits into the scheme of immigration laws is important.

Holland woman accused of scheme targeting undocumented immigrants

In a particularly targeted and allegedly heinous scheme, a former Holland woman has been accused of ripping off undocumented immigrants. According to reports, the woman faces 7 criminal counts in Michigan Western District federal court, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, several counts of wire fraud and two counts of false personation of a U.S. official. The scheme was several years long and included attempts to target immigrants looking for U.S. citizenship. She claimed to be a person who could help aid immigrants in their process of seeking and attaining citizenship.

However, the woman has no ties to the Department of Homeland Security and is not an attorney like she allegedly claimed. She told hopeful citizens that she could 'fast track' their applications for citizenship. In certain cases, she is accused of claiming that she could conceal criminal history from immigration authorities. In return for her services, she amassed over $75,000 from hopeful immigrants looking to become citizens.

Public charge rule may make drastic changes

The federal government issued a proposed rule that may lead to the rejection of more immigrants or make immigrants and their families reject government benefits. Expansion of the public charge rule could have a dramatic impact on immigration law enforcement.

The public charge provision was enacted in the Immigration Act of 1882. A public charge, who may be denied admission, is defined as someone who is primarily dependent on government assistance when it provides over half of their income.

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