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America's immigrants and the threats they face

Today's current political climate certainly reflects a growing concern over the nation's immigrants and their futures. Contrary to what many might assume, deportation can occur even in the mildest cases, such as a traffic violation or unpaid ticket. While many Arizona residents carry out their normal, everyday lives, countless immigrants in the state face threats of deportation, separation from families and a reduced quality of life. 

The Atlantic spent time considering this major issue in America today, speculating on the sensitive grounds that can lead to an immigrant's deportation. An unsettling fact, there exist separate laws that define crimes carried out by immigrants. An "aggravated felony" -- a term introduced by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 -- applies to asylum-seekers and immigrants. While the term initially only applied to serious crimes such as murder, the Act has seen many modifications over the years that have broadened the umbrella of the definition. Over America's recent history, politicians have felt pressured to reform immigration policies; despite intentions, this reform has ultimately hurt thousands of nonviolent immigrants who simply sought better lives.

ICE arresting more people with prior criminal convictions

An ICE arrest can happen a variety of ways, resulting from a tip or a workplace raid. However, in most cases ICE takes a person into custody after local law enforcement has arrested them. A criminal conviction is always serious, but for non-citizens the consequence could be deportation.


America's complex immigration policies

Immigration is a term most Americans are familiar with. With the heated debate on the country's current policies, the topic is a crucial one for countless families. Many may wonder what charges, exactly, might call for deportation under federal law, while others already face threatening measures all because of one minor offense. It is important for immigrants in Arizona to be aware of current policies, as well as possible changes to the future of the country's immigration laws, to best preserve wellbeing and protection. 

Today's media coverage has spun many unfortunate images of immigrants in America. The Pew Charitable Trusts released an article that considered the wide spectrum of crimes that could lead to immigrant deportation, ranging from traffic violations to small-time theft. Immigrants could face threats of deportation even after they have served jail or prison time for crimes, and, according to The Pew, most of these immigrants have entered the country legally. Despite the fact that a large majority of immigrant crimes are minor, President Trump's decision to deport anyone with a criminal record has placed many in not only places of uncertainty, but of potential danger. For example, deporting a mother for a traffic violation back to El Salvador could end badly -- and could permanently separate a family. In addition, The Pew notes that first-generation immigrants have lower crime rates than U.S. citizens, but by the same token, criminal data does not clarify the exact crimes committed by immigrants. 

Applying for a green card for a family member

Being a state that shares a border with Mexico, is it not surprising that immigration is a hot topic in the area. Whether you were born in the United States and have citizenship as a result of that or whether you came to the U.S. from another country and became a citizen through the naturalization process, you may well have a spouse or other family members who are not citizens that you would like to be in the U.S. with you.

There are different ways that you may petition the government for this type of thing. A Green Card is what will give a person permanent residency in the U.S. as explained by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, a Green Card may only be requested for select people.

Arizona Dreamers Protest at Nation's Capital, Await Answers from Congress

Tens of thousands of young people in Arizona have been nervously waiting for answers since President Donald Trump let the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expire in September.

DACA recipients -- known as Dreamers -- fear they and their families could be deported if politicians do not take action soon to pass a bipartisan Dream Act. Advocates are pressuring lawmakers to pass a law that will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent resident status if they came to the U.S. before age 18 and have lived here for four years.

Trump Administration Being Asked to Decide on DACA in September

Uncertainty continues for immigrants of all ages in Arizona and across the United States. In September, President Donald Trump could make a decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Trump is being pressured to let the program expire, while DACA beneficiaries and their families are gathering in Phoenix to rally support for DACA.

Report: Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants May Be Eligible for Legal Status

If you feel that current U.S. immigration policy is to deport first and ask questions later, you are not alone. The reality, though, is that immigrants and their families often have legal options that are not clear until they talk with an immigration attorney.

Immigrant Communities Face Uncertainty as Trump Administration Issues New Rules

The Trump administration recently issued new guidelines that allow federal authorities and local police to crack down on undocumented immigration.

Although the guidelines will take some time to implement, immigrants in Arizona and throughout the country are deeply concerned about their future and the future of their loved ones. If you are worried about your immigration status or that of a family member, take action now to protect yourself. Speak with an immigration lawyer

Green Card Holders Need Strong Criminal Defense and Deportation Defense - Even for a Minor Violation in Arizona

No matter who you are, being accused of a crime in the U.S. is a very serious matter. But the consequences of a criminal charge may be even more serious for a non-U.S. citizen.

In fact, even a minor offense could lead to deportation.

If you or a loved one is a non-U.S. citizen accused of a crime or even a minor violation in Arizona, get help from an experienced immigration and criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. There is no time to waste.

If I entered the U.S. unlawfully as a child, how can I avoid deportation?

You were a child when it happened: your parents brought you with them to the United States and you entered the country without proper authorization. You were born somewhere else. Now, you are in a country where you are not a citizen and do not have legal permission to be here. You worry about being deported. You are afraid every time you see a police officer or someone who you think might ask about your citizenship status. You stayed in school and abided by the law. You worry about your future: will you be able to legally get a job? How long will you be allowed to stay here? Will you be separated from your family, friends and the life you built? Will you be immediately deported if the federal government finds out you entered without authorization?

All these questions can be frightening to think about. The good news is there's a federal policy that stalls deportation or delays removing you from the country if you entered as a child, and were brought unlawfully by your parents. The policy is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). If you are eligible, you may be able to avoid deportation for two years. The policy does not give you formal legal status, but an immigration attorney can help you find out how to obtain legal status.

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