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Can your deportation affect your child?

The unsettling feeling of knowing that you could be deported at any time and torn from the home you have grown to love in Arizona consumes your thoughts regularly and you are concerned about the welfare of your children. Understanding how your being taken could potentially affect your children is critical so you can arrange for their care the best you can in case you ever encounter a situation where you are taken from your family. 

According to, children of deported parents may often be taken in by other relatives who may also be at risk of being deported. If your children end up in this situation, whoever is caring for them may need additional financial assistance, but may be too afraid to ask for help because they do not want to risk getting deported themselves. As such, your children may not have what they need or they may not have access to the healthcare assistance they need. Your children may also suffer academically and socially as they struggle to deal with the emotional turmoil of losing you. 

If you have not created your will yet, now is the time

This time of year, you can be easily reminded just how much you love your family and friends. One way you can show each of them just how much you care for them is by ensuring you have your estate planning in order with a last will and testament.

You may not think that planning for a time when you are no longer around is really showing your family love, but what happens if you have an untimely demise and you do not have any of your wishes documented? Preparing your family for a time when you are no longer around is one of the most responsible acts you can do.

Who should I name as my personal representative?

A personal representative, also called an executor of a will, is charged with many responsibilities after the death of a loved one. If you do not name a personal representative in your lifetime, the future of your estate and assets may be left in the hands of whomever the court appoints.

But, choosing who to designate this huge responsibility to can be difficult. Here are a few tips that may help you pick the best candidate:

Defining a "refugee"

Many in Yuma may hear the word "refugee" and immediately envision hordes of impoverished people crowded into planes or on boats rapidly embarking on precarious journeys away from their countries of origin. While many in this scenario may fit the definition of a refugee, the definition itself is not limited to one's socioeconomic status. In reality, people from all walks of life can become refugees, and their status in the United States in protected by the principle of asylum. 

How does one qualify to be classified as a refugee? According to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, a refugee is one who is outside of their country of origin and is unwilling to return to (or avail themselves of the protection of) said country for fear of persecution due to any of the following: 

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality 
  • Political opinion
  • Association with any particular social group

Eyewitness identification may be unreliable

Not everyone currently sitting behind bars is guilty of committing a crime. Flaws in the eyewitness identification process may end in an innocent people being convicted of crimes they did not commit. According to the Innocence Project, 362 people have been exonerated of their prison sentences after DNA evidence proved they were innocent. Of these cases, 70 percent involved incidents of eyewitness misidentification, where the wrong person was chosen out of an eyewitness lineup. How does this injustice occur and what can be done to stop it?

Flaws in the eyewitness lineup process include inadvertent leading of the witness to choose a certain person from the lineup. Generally, the lineup administrator has full knowledge of the case. The lineup should be administered by a person who has no knowledge of the case in order to avoid leading the witness. Furthermore, the witness should be given proper instructions. This includes being told that the suspect may or may not be present in the lineup, so they do not feel obligated to make a choice.

5 arrested on drug charges at checkpoint near Yuma

Obtaining permanent residency in the U.S. can be a long, drawn-out process, yet one that many in Yuma may be willing to undertake in order to protect their immigration status. Compliance to immigration rules and regulations during this process may be vital to ensuring its success, as any infractions (no matter how major or minor they may be perceived to be) can place the outcome in doubt. Once one does have negative elements on their record, they may be closer to being deported than they are securing legal resident status. 

Being accused of criminal activity might easily derail one's attempt to remain in the U.S. Indeed, several men were cited for immigration violations in conjunction with a drug arrest that took place near Yuma. The incident began when border patrol agents ordered the inspection of a car stopped at an immigration checkpoint that they suspected was carrying drugs. Their suspicions were verified when over 30 pounds of crystal meth was found in the vehicle. The five men in the car were arrested and now face drug charges. Of the five, only one (a man from Mesa) was reported to be in the U.S. legally. 

DUI charges can be beaten

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to very serious charges being brought against you. If you have been accused of a DUI, one of the best things you can do is contact an attorney right away. The case against you starts being built the moment the police pull you over; building your defense as soon as possible is vital.

Too often individuals accept the charges brought against them without a second thought. They may do this because they want to put the experience behind them quickly, or because they think the evidence against them "looks bad". No matter how bad the situation may appear, it is always worth it to defend your rights.

How to get started with your estate planning

Many people believe that planning for their end of life only requires a will. However, a will is only part of what goes into an estate plan. An estate plan is something you will set-up now and continually change or adjust for the rest of your life as your circumstances changes.

There is no reason to wait to start your estate planning. Since the future is not guaranteed, the time to work on your estate plan is right now. It may not be easy to think of a time when you are not around, but you should think of estate planning as another way to take care of your family.

DACA requirements and current status

If you or a friend or family member of yours in Arizona are a citizen of another country but entered the United States as a child, you may want to learn about a program that may offer opportunities to stay in the U.S. As explained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was enacted to help people that meet certain criteria remain legally in the country. This program has undergone some uncertainty in the past year.

In the early autumn of 2017, the DACA program was ordered to be eliminated in a phased approach. Since then, however, additional changes have taken place. Today, anyone who had been granted deferred action under DACA before the order of elimination in September of 2017 may apply for a renewal of their original deferral.

Increase in asylum seekers being released

Because Arizona is a state that borders with Mexico, it is often one of the first places that people come to when trying to enter the United States from Mexico, Guatemala or other countries in Central America. Immigration is therefore an important topic to people in Arizona as is the treatment of immigrants and the process they must go through in order to seek and be granted asylum

As explained by KTAR, in 1997 the Flores Agreement was enacted into law and mandated that immigrants seeking asylum be detained for no longer than 20 days after first entering the U.S. For a person wishing to be granted asylum, they must first be questioned by officials from Immigrations and Customs Services.

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