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Miami Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

How can I lose my green card? -- Abandonment

Earlier this week, our blog discussed how all the advantages extended to a green card holder -- the right to pursue work, legal protection at all levels, permanent residence, etc. -- are granted on a quid pro quo basis. Specifically, in exchange for these advantages, the green card holder is expected to do things like file income taxes, obey all laws and call the U.S. home, or risk the loss of their permanent resident status.

Having established how criminal convictions can result in the loss of a green card, today's post will take a closer look at how prolonged stays outside the U.S. can achieve the same result.

How can I lose my green card? -- Criminal convictions

When an individual secures permanent residence -- meaning they become a green card holder -- it's an understandably joyous occasion. That's because not only are they granted the right to live permanently in the U.S., but they are also extended the right to pursue any legal work of their choosing, and the protection of all federal, state and local laws.

As wonderful as all this is, the ability to retain permanent residence is also contingent upon the individual meeting certain requirements, including filing the necessary income tax returns, registering with the Selective Service (if a male between 18 to 25) and, most significantly, obeying "all laws of the United States the states, and localities."

ICE figures show immigration-related arrests have risen dramatically

For those who have followed immigration-related news on a regular basis over the last few months, it may seem as if not a day has gone by without a headline announcing mass arrests being undertaken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in cities across the nation.

Interestingly enough, recently released figures from ICE reveal that the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants has indeed risen in recent months -- and not by a small margin.

What are my rights as they relate to E-Verify? -- II

Last time, we examined how federal law requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires -- citizens and non-citizens alike -- via the Form I-9, and how this document is submitted to the E-Verify system, a database run by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.  

We also discussed how new hires should know that they have certain designated rights in relation to this process, and that these rights extend to scenarios in which E-Verify reveals some manner of mismatch between agency records and the data supplied on the Form I-9.    

What are my rights as they relate to E-Verify?

Ask anyone who's actively searching for a job, and he or she will tell you that the process is exhausting. That's because there are postings to search, resumes and cover letters to prepare, and several rounds of interviews to attend.  

Given this uphill climb, those who get a phone call or email offering them a good position with solid benefits should take some time to celebrate their accomplishment. They should also take some time brushing up what the future holds as it relates to employment verification.

How foreign entrepreneurs are making it work

When an individual makes the choice to start their own company, they know from the outset that it will take a significant investment of time, money and energy. Indeed, as difficult as the process of forming a lucrative startup can be for the average U.S. citizen, it can be even more difficult for an immigrant.

That's because there are immigration laws to consider. Specifically, immigrant entrepreneurs generally don't have an employer to sponsor them, and there is really no such thing as a startup visa. 

Christine Alden's commentary on H-1B visa reform featured in Miami Herald

Over the last few months, Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A has been closely monitoring discussions on Capitol Hill concerning the H-1B visa program, which enables companies to bring foreign workers here to the U.S. to help fill the existing skills gap.

Specifically, we've been monitoring the growing call to reform the program, which detractors in both Congress and the White House claim is becoming increasingly rife with fraud and which serves to facilitate the displacement of U.S. workers with cheaper foreign labor.

Are all adjustment of status applicants interviewed by USCIS?

There's no question that those individuals seeking an adjustment of status, meaning a change in their immigration status from nonimmigrant or temporary to immigrant or permanent, will find the process challenging. That's because there are arcane regulations to read, detailed petitions to file and, of course, stressful interviews to attend.

Regarding these interviews, it's understandable how those going through the process might question the need for them given the thoroughness of the paperwork they've filled out and all the other information they've already willingly supplied to the government.

Miami immigration courts struggle with backlog of over 23,000 cases

The backlog of immigration cases in courts in Miami are growing. Why are these cases increasing at unusual rates? The new administration has resulted in a shift of culture within the courts. Courts are forced to shift from a focus on discretion with each individual case to one of enforcement.

The entire country is struggling to manage the growing number of cases. Recent numbers put immigration cases backlogged throughout the country at over 500,000. This is up significantly from the 113,702 backlogged cases reported in 1998.

Miami is one specific city that is facing some of the largest numbers. The city recently reported 23,045 backlogged cases. Based on current trends, this number has likely grown since the report.

What is a sanctuary city?

President Donald Trump made it clear during his campaign that he would be tough on immigration. Anyone that entered the country without following proper protocol was put on notice - deportation was imminent. In response to this tough stance, many local leaders publicly announced that their city would be a sanctuary to these immigrants.

Did President Trump follow through? President Trump did not take favorably to this opposition. In response, one of his early actions in office was to put out an executive order stating that any city that was deemed as a sanctuary city would not receive federal funding.

What exactly is a sanctuary city? Sanctuary cities are, according to the executive order noted above, those that "willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States."