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Los Angeles Immigration Law Blog

Dealing with severe criminal charges as an immigrant

Immigrants are constantly vigilant regarding the possibility of deportation. Many avoid doing anything that could get them deported faster, such as breaking the law. However, that does not mean that immigrants never face arrest or being charged with crimes.

Immigrants who face certain charges may find it even more difficult to stay in the country. It is possible that any statutory offense can also eventually involve charges of crimes of moral turpitude. The U.S. Department of State has defined these crimes as being morally offensive, or involving “moral turpitude”, with the definition of turpitude being “wickedness”. Acts of moral turpitude can include a number of things, but can most commonly be slotted into one of the following categories:

  • An intent to harm other things or other people
  • Larceny
  • Fraud

Avoiding unjust deportation

The immigration system in the U.S. has quite a few flaws, and one of those flaws is that a number of immigrants can end up falling through the cracks. This can be especially hazardous to an immigrant if they are attempting to flee a poor situation at home and are seeking a better life in a new country.

Immigrants in the U.S. have a certain number of rights just by being within the country borders. These rights apply to them even if they do not have citizenship, a green card, or any other legal means of being present in the country. For example, immigrants all have the right to a deportation or removal hearing. This hearing occurs in order to decide whether or not you will be able to stay in the country or if you will be deported back to your original country.

Requirements for EB-1 and O-1 visas

In some cases, you may be able to take a job in the U.S. based on your profession or area of employment. There are other cases in which your extreme talent in the area of your work may be enough to bring you over to the country either for a short stay or for an indefinite period of time.

If you are looking into moving into the U.S. based on the merit of being an immigrant of extraordinary ability, there are two options available to you. The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is good for you if you only wish to stay a short while in the U.S., or if you do not want to deal with the extra work that comes with applying for permanent residency. If you excel in the arts, education, business or sciences, or if you are a star athlete, then you are qualified to see if you can apply for this visa. Your employer will determine how long your stay will be, but they can also choose to extend your stay indefinitely if you enjoy working in the U.S.

How to know if you are qualified for a provisional waiver

Separation from your loved ones can be excruciating while you are waiting to receive your green card. This is especially true if you have lived in the U.S. and face being sent back to your home country to await a final verdict on your citizenship.  Here at Ronzio & Associates, we understand that you would like to keep as close to your loved ones as possible. We are here to help.

If you have overstayed your legal term in the U.S., you may have an even more difficult time remaining in the U.S. during your waiting period. Typically, anyone who stays past their legal limits is forced to return to their home country while they wait for their citizenship application to be reviewed. Since staying beyond your term can be considered an immigration violation, you may not even be accepted in the end.

What is required of someone applying for naturalization?

If someone is looking into becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S., they must be prepared for the application process. Not only are there a number of papers to file and documents to collect, but there is also a test that must be passed in order for a naturalization application to be approved.

The naturalization test is required for naturalization. As stated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there is a naturalization interview in which a person will be asked a number of questions about both their background and their application for naturalization. Answers must be given honestly and are considered a requirement along with the paperwork that is filed. In addition to that, there is a civics and English test that must be taken and passed as well. However, there are certain exemptions or waivers that can be made which make it so that taking the English and civics portion is not required.

What is the Secure Communities Program?

Secure Communities Program is a name that has been mentioned often lately due to recent controversy surrounding it. Some people support it and believe it to be a good program while others argue that it perpetuates stereotyping and makes life more difficult for immigrants. But what is the Secure Communities Program?

The Secure Communities Program is a program run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They have stated that its purpose is to carry out the goals of ICE as efficiently as possible. According to ICE, their main goal is to protect the community that it serves. In this case, that community would be the registered citizens of the country.  The Secure Communities Program has a connection with the FBI which is set up in order to help them quickly identify criminal immigrants using fingerprint matches. Secure Communities shares its fingerprints with the FBI after arresting or booking an immigrant into custody. The FBI will automatically send the DHS fingerprints to see if there is a match in the immigration database. If there is, then ICE will prioritize the removal of that immigrant due to their possible increased danger as a criminal.

California’s unique method of handling immigration

While a good deal of negative press has been garnered by states that have been cracking down on immigrants, other states are improving the lives of immigrants. In fact, immigration reform efforts in California have led to a unique set-up in which the immigrant community can integrate rather than be deported.

Due in part to the slow speed at which immigration reform is happening on a national level, states like California have begun to take the matter into their own hands. For example, over 12 laws have been passed since 2001 in California having to deal with immigration reform. Each law passed is meant to make life easier for immigrants and to allow them to integrate into society better. For example, in-state tuition is determined by the number of years a person has spent in K-12 education in the state. It is not based on whether or not a potential student is a registered citizen.

Shackled immigrant miscarriages

There is great debate in Los Angeles centered on the living conditions that detained immigrants currently face. Setting aside the main argument regarding whether immigrants should be detained at all, many people are in agreement with the idea that immigrants sometimes face poor conditions in detention.

This is highlighted in a recent case involving the miscarriage of a detainee. This case is still currently undergoing investigation by immigration officials. According to various reports, one 24 year old immigrant from Mexico was taken to a doctor and given a pregnancy test. This was after she experienced health problems. The test turned out positive. After the test had already been given, she was put in full shackles when taken to the hospital. In accordance with detention policy, pregnant detainees are not to be restrained with the exception of extreme cases. This means that unless they are a flight risk or danger, they should not be restrained.

Innocent until proven guilty: also for immigrants

If you have been charged with a crime while in the U.S. without legal registration, you may be frightened of what the future could hold for you. Here at Ronzio & Associates, we understand that criminal charges can be difficult for you to face without fully understanding the U.S. legal system. We aim to help you.

The first thing to understand is the notion of innocence until guilt is proven. This means that until you are proven guilty of the crime you have been accused of, you will be assumed innocent. Of course, with a margin left for human error, there is always the chance that an unfair ruling may be made for some reason. But if that is the case, you should be able to fight back against your sentencing with the fact that you were not given a fair trial.

Lawsuit filed for sake of immigrant children and mothers

In Los Angeles, there is a battle raging regarding immigration. When it comes to facing immigration detention, many people are standing up for the rights of those who do not have a strong voice.

Immigrant rights advocates are suing in order to help protect a number of families who cannot speak for themselves. The advocates are stating that the incarceration of the many women and children at family detention centers violates the settlement of Flores vs. Meese. This settlement, now 18 years old, states that immigrant children should be released from detainment. If releasing is not feasible, then they must be kept in the least restrictive environment possible. The argument here is that these family immigration centers do not qualify as the least restrictive environments.

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