Companies in California and across the country, especially in the tech sector, are working to adjust to a sudden change announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On March 19, less than two weeks before the April 1 deadline for H-1B applications, USCIS declared a new procedure for premium processing of some of these applications. The H-1B process involves companies looking to hire highly skilled international workers. In many cases, the workers involved are recent or soon-to-be graduates of U.S. universities with advanced scientific skills and technical training. Successful H-1B visa applicants are chosen under a lottery process that restricts the number of visas available for qualified workers.
If you want to incite a controversial political debate in Colorado or anywhere in the United States, all you have to do is bring up an immigration topic. You'll likely find opinions that express a need for government reform, and you may encounter some who adamantly oppose rights for certain people, such as those with undocumented legal status. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is another hot topic in many debate forums.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted along ideological lines on March 19 when it ruled that immigrants in California and around the country who have spent time behind bars can be detained without a bond hearing, even if they are picked up years after being released. In a case brought on behalf of a group of lawful permanent residents, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that an ICE detention without a bond hearing violates constitutional protections unless it takes place immediately after an immigrant is released from custody.
If you are one of many Colorado residents who follow immigration news, you've likely read numerous stories in recent years where immigrant advocates have spoken out against reported inhumane conditions in many of the nation's detention centers. A highly disturbing issue involves an increased number of miscarriages among pregnant detainees. Detainees are entitled to proper food, clothing and medical care.
A March 7 ruling by a federal appeals court in California might have a profound effect on migrants coming to America. Judges have agreed to allow migrants who have failed to qualify for asylum in the U.S. to appeal their rejections. This ruling stands in stark contrast to the current law, which states that rejected migrants who fail to establish "credible fear" can only appeal based on minor, technical grounds. However, the 9th Circuit federal appeals court found this to violate years of legal rulings, all of which granted constitutional protection to non-citizens.
Looking back on how far you've come in emigrating from another country to the United States, you likely feel relieved that most of the journey is now behind you and that you are navigating the process for permanent residency. Many immigrants say, however, that their challenges didn't completely fade away when they obtained green cards. It's true that any number of issues may arise at any time that place your legal status at risk.
People in California from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua may be pleased to learn about the extension of temporary protected status, or TPS, for these four countries by the Department of Homeland Security. TPS protects citizens of countries that are suffering from natural or human-caused disasters, allowing them to remain in the United States and receive work permits even if they would otherwise face difficulties staying in the country. The program is meant to provide temporary protection until the affected people's home nations recover.