Many people living in Florida and in areas across the country have a dream of being a United States citizen. Many have lived and worked their whole life in the country or had parents or grandparents who were American citizens but often believe -- sometimes mistakenly -- that there is no path that can lead to citizenship for themselves. Fortunately, the attorneys at Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A. are dedicated to helping helping people become citizens.
Last time, our blog discussed how more U.S. citizens than ever are now choosing to establish residences abroad for work, school or even personal reasons. We also discussed how many of these U.S. citizens aren't letting their new living arrangements impede their long-term family plans, as many are having children in their adopted homelands.
Thanks to educational pursuits, employment opportunities and lifestyle portability, more U.S. citizens than ever are able to not just visit foreign nations for prolonged periods, but actually establish residences there. In fact, this new era of global living is doing little to hinder plans for raising a family, as many of these U.S. citizens are becoming proud parents while living abroad.
Chances are good that at some point in your life, you've heard a loved one, friend or co-worker vow to pack up their belongings and move to another country as a sort of social protest. In fact, chances are also good that you've heard this sentiment expressed perhaps more than you can remember over the last few months given that we are in the middle of an especially contentious presidential election year.
Federal law dictates that while lawful permanent residents can be legally conscripted into the military, they are also able to enlist in any branch of the armed forces. Indeed, statistics from the Department of Defense reveal that roughly 12,000 active duty service members are non-citizens and another 500,000-plus veterans are non-citizens.
Anyone tuning into the nightly news, browsing the websites of preferred media outlets or listening to the hourly bulletins on their car radio is understandably inundated with all sorts of stories covering the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, much of this coverage has been -- and will continue to be-- dedicated to the hotly contested topic of immigration.
In a previous post on this blog, we discussed the differences between being a lawful permanent resident and being a U.S. citizen. In that blog, which can be read in full here, we noted that there are number of benefits and rights citizens are afforded that others are not.
Many people in Florida are familiar with the theory of birthright citizenship. This means that if someone is born in the U.S., he or she is automatically granted citizenship (though there are some specific exceptions). Even if a baby is born to parents who are not lawful permanent residents in the U.S., the baby will be considered a citizen. This birthright citizenship is addressed and protected by the 14th Amendment.
There are many people who believe that if an immigrant comes to the U.S., follows the rules and gets on a path to citizenship, he or she will be able to get a visa and become a permanent resident in the United States.
Immigration laws in the U.S. are enormously complicated, especially for people who are already struggling to adjust to life in a new country. Issues related to citizenship and adjustments of statuses can also create a very real sense of fear. People who are trying to secure their status in this country can be frightened about what will happen if they are arrested or at risk of being deported.