Over the years, many religious workers have come to California through a special immigrant visa program designed for exactly this purpose. Ministers and non-ministers have been eligible to immigrate to the United States or adjust their status to permanent residency under the employment-based, fourth-preference visa program of EB-4. This has been particularly important for religious institutions primarily serving immigrant communities. While there is no annual cap on the number of ministers who can receive these visas every year, non-ministers have been restricted in the past to only 5,000 approved visas every year.
In a June decision by the Supreme Court, justices voted 7-2 that prosecutors need to prove that defendants, illegal immigrants with firearms violations, are aware they are committing a crime in order to be found guilty. The majority stated that lawmakers likely didn't intend to punish violators who were simply ignorant of their status, while the two dissenters say that this ruling sets a dangerous precedent. The decision will affect many immigrant defendants in California and throughout the country.
Individuals who are looking to seek asylum typically need only be present in the United States and qualify as a refugee. That means that a person could cross the border from Mexico into California and ask for protection. However, President Trump wants migrants to ask for asylum in another country first before they decide to do so in the United States. This could be problematic for many different reasons.
On June 5, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most recent version of the DREAM Act, which would offer millions of young undocumented individuals in California and elsewhere a pathway to United States citizenship. The bill will now head to the Republican-led Senate, where it is expected to languish.
The steps taken by President Donald Trump to stem the flow of migrants crossing into California and other border states from countries in Central America has grown increasingly aggressive in recent weeks. On May 30 the President said that he would begin imposing tariffs on goods imported from Mexico on June 10 if steps were not taken to stop migrant caravans before they reach the United States, and on May 30 immigration authorities announced plans to limit special protections afforded to unaccompanied migrant children.
There are about 34 million people who live in Colorado and throughout the United States as legal immigrants. Some have temporary visas that allow them to work or study in the country while others have permanent legal status. Individuals may enter the country if they have family members who are willing to sponsor them. However, proposed changes to the immigration system would put a greater emphasis on the characteristics of the person looking to enter the country.
It's getting harder for people from other nations to secure employment in California and the rest of the country due to factors like an improving economy and Presidential executive orders. More than 200,000 individuals applied for H1-B skilled worker visas in 2019; only 85,000 such visas will be issued. The H1-B lottery was used to select 42% of applicants, but those applicants have more to do before their visas are approved.
Immigrant organizations in California and around the country are concerned about a presidential memorandum issued on April 22 that orders the Secretary of State to open talks with countries that have visa overstay rates of 10% or more. The vast majority of the countries affected are African. The organizations question the validity of the memorandum because it relies on data from Department of Homeland Security entry and exit reports to calculate overstay rates.
California's state sanctuary laws were upheld by a federal appeals court on Apr. 18, in a rejection of a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that California's state laws do not unlawfully interfere with federal immigration enforcement. Earlier, the Trump administration sued the state over three laws, including one that prohibits local law enforcement officials from informing federal immigration agencies about the release dates for imprisoned immigrants.
Those who are hoping to immigrate to California from Mexico may be denied a visa if they are deemed to be a potential drain on the United States government. One man was refused a spousal visa because the government believed that he could become a public charge. This was despite the fact that he had a guaranteed job paying him $18 per hour as well as a relative who pledged to provide financial support if necessary.