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Chicago Immigration Law Blog

Deportation processes in the U.S. about to get a whole lot faster

In the past, when the decision is made to deport someone from the United States, a careful process is followed to guarantee that it is not done on grounds that are unfair, illegal or inhumane. Currently, there are hundreds of immigrant families in Illinois who are awaiting their fate in the country. Many of them are waiting to hear whether or not they will be facing deportation as they are working toward gaining citizenship and being able to confidently call America, "home." 

However, things could be getting even more complicated with a recent recommendation by the attorney general who suggested that deportation times need to be sped up indefinitely. As a verbal proponent of Donald Trump's campaign to prevent immigrants from entering the country illegally, the attorney general says that too many cases are being suspended unnecessarily. While he acknowledges that those that have shown good faith may be allowed a bit of flexibility, he pressed the need for more efficient deportation processes to keep up with Trump's "no-tolerance" initiative. 

Process to obtain citizenship lengthened for benefit users

Government assistance comes in many forms including food stamps, Obamacare and even insurance benefits for children and other dependents. For immigrant families in Illinois and across the nation, these types of benefits can provide an incredible advantage as they work to secure their success in a new environment and country. 

A recent proposal by the Trump administration could end up changing the way immigrants view government-offered benefits however. While many people may freely use these types of assistance currently, a new law in the works could lengthen the process of attaining citizenship for people who have used government benefits in the past or who are currently using them. The purpose of the law would be to reduce the number of people who are acquiring citizenship each year in the United States. It is estimated that over 20 million immigrants could feel the effects of the law if it is passed. 

What you should know about temporary work visas

Working legally as a non-citizen in the United States involves obtaining the necessary documentation pertinent to your employment situation. Visas are available to workers across career fields and each type requires a specific set of criteria for applicants to meet.

If you or someone you know seeks temporary employment in the U.S., check out these options for temporary work visas. Those employers seeking skilled workers may consider looking outside the U.S. and would do well to know the options for providing these job opportunities.

Understanding what to expect when you get a green card

You are excited about the opportunity you have to make a new home in Illinois. You and your family have worked hard to gain eligibility to enter the United States and have access to the freedoms that you have heard so much about. One of your options is to get a green card that will allow you temporary privileges that enable you to do things like get a job. At Francis Law Center, we are committed to helping immigrants to acclimate to their new surroundings by providing reliable legal assistance. 

When you decided to apply for a green card, it is important that you are aware of the rights that you will be granted with the privilege of having a green card. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you will be allowed to work in the country. Fortunately for you, the type of employment you choose to pursue is not limited to certain jobs. Additionally, you will be able to live freely in the United States and be protected by its laws so long as you are a law-abiding citizen. 

Managing stress related to family immigration

In recent weeks, a considerable amount of attention has focused on some of the immigration-related hardships that families are facing in the U.S. Even if your circumstances are less dramatic, you may still be feeling very stressed out as a result of family immigration issues. Perhaps you are worried about whether or not your family will be able to successfully join you or you have uncertainty related to paperwork and the entire process. We know how overwhelming family immigration matters can be, but it is important to focus on handling your stress and other negative emotions properly.

Any immigration issue can be tough, but those involving loved ones, such as a spouse or child, can be especially difficult. In order to increase the chances of a successful outcome, you should have a clear understanding of your different options and the best way to approach your situation. Moreover, going over the ins and outs of your case may also provide you with peace of mind. Sometimes, a certain amount of stress is unavoidable, but it is important to prevent immigration-related stress from getting in the way of your success. Sometimes, people can feel hopeless or push off responsibilities because of anxiety.

How can I bring my child to the US?

If you are a parent of a child who lives in another country, you may wonder if you have to do anything to legally bring him or her to the United States. This is often an issue if you had lived in a foreign country and given birth to your child there. That child would then be a citizen of that country. It requires immigration paperwork to ensure your child can legally come to live in Illinois.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that you can petition for immigration as the parent of a child who is under the age of 21 and not married or for your child who is over 21 who is not married. You can also petition for your child who is married, along with his or her spouse and children. As a citizen yourself, you will need to file Form I-130.

Do not allow your immigration status to affect your job success

You have recently arrived in the United States and are excited to begin learning about the culture and experiencing the freedom that you have long anticipated. One of the first goals you want to accomplish is to find employment so you can make a living and support your family. At Francis Law Center, we have helped many immigrants in Illinois to learn about the skills they need to excel in their job, despite their immigration status. 

While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, undervalued and even misunderstood because of your different cultural background, it is imperative that you do not allow your immigration status to define your career. Doing so will hinder your progress and create unnecessary job stress. According to Monster.com, one of the resources you may consider are professionals who can act as an advocate on your behalf. When you make an effort to meet new people, ask for help and create a supportive social network, you may be able to learn new skills and strengthen others as you integrate into society. 

Why are families being separated at the Mexican border?

The news in Illinois is filled with stories about families being separated at the border with Mexico. There are two sides to this story, which each blaming the other, which is a common theme in modern politics. However, how can you figure out the real reason behind what is happening? It helps to get some backstory.

The Trump administration has long held up its beliefs of securing the border. According to CBS News, the administration has adopted a zero-tolerance policy that requires the arrest of anyone crossing the border illegally. Since border patrols have been strengthened under Trump's watch, more people trying to get into the country are caught. If a family is caught, the adults are taken to jail, but the children cannot be held in an adult facility, so they are separated from their parents.

How can you help immigrant children adjust to their new home?

Your family has recently immigrated to a new country and have decided to make a home in Illinois. While you are excited to be in the United States and looking forward to seizing new opportunities, your drastic move required you to uproot your family and transplant them in a new place. Your children in particular, are going to need some time and plenty of support as they adjust to their new surroundings, home and culture. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help them ease into their new normal without compromising the importance of maintaining your own culture and traditions. 

According to The Learning Community, the challenges your family will face could be related to acquiring a job, finding housing, learning about how the educational system works and learning the English language. In your efforts to help your children cope and thrive in their new home, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Make learning the English language a priority. However, continue to speak your native language at home so your children can maintain their own heritage and culture. 
  • Be observant and teach your children to do the same. Watching how Americans do things can be a valuable way to learn about what behaviors are appropriate. 
  • Do not be afraid to ask other people for help. Introduce yourself and make friends who can provide support and give you valuable information about resources you can use. 

Chicago launches CityKey municipal ID program

It’s been a busy week at City Hall. The Chicago CityKey Program officially started and is even more popular than officials expected. The program, designed to put government-issued identification cards into the hands of all city residents, launched last week and has seen many residents waiting in line for hours to get a card.

Chicagoans have been in a particularly big rush to get the card since the first 100,000 are going to be free to get the program started. Residents shouldn’t worry, though, since the cost for the card after the first 100,000 is very small. There are also waivers available for people who are not able to afford the fee.

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