While the sweeping immigration reforms proposed last year did not pass both houses of Congress, there were still some interesting developments in immigration law throughout the United States. These changes will have long term effects on immigrants seeking citizenship and immigrants who have not yet begun the citizenship process. If you have questions about how these reforms will affect your individual case, you should consult an immigration reform attorney for specific information.
Leniency for Undocumented Parents
In August of 2013, the Obama Administration announced a new policy designed to help prevent the separation of undocumented parents from children who were born in this country. Under this new policy, ICE officials have been instructed to give special consideration to any detainee who is the parent or legal guardian of a minor. That being said, it is still imperative that any detainee with children contact an immigration reform attorney to ensure this policy is carried out to the maximum extent allowed.
Courts Strike Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law
A controversial anti-immigration law passed in Arizona was struck down last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for being too vague and unenforceable. The state law which prohibited anyone from giving shelter or assistance to undocumented workers was originally struck down in district court, a ruling that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. The court found that ordinary citizens of reasonable intelligence would not be able to deduce a person’s immigration status before rendering aid.
Republicans Are Climbing On Board
In a political shift that happened late in the year, Republicans in the House of Representatives began embracing immigration reform which would allow for changes in the naturalization process as well as limiting the deportation of current undocumented aliens. It is unclear how this shift in support will play out in 2014.
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