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Miami Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Citizenship of thousands of naturalized Americans at risk

There are many Miami residents who are from another country. Many of them have gone through the citizenship process and are naturalized residents. But, it appears that the federal government is reviewing thousands of naturalization cases to check for fraud.

The citizenship applications of more than 2,500 individuals are under review by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The organization has said that around 100 of the 2,500 that have been reviewed are under suspicion and have been referred to the Department of Justice for legal proceedings. This review is happening because of the Trump Administration's focus on investigating whether people have committed fraud during the citizenship process or have committed a crime before they were naturalized and did not report them. The Department of Homeland Security is also launching a major initiative involving Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to look for possible green card fraud.

Duck boats have troubling history

A popular tourist activity is under scrutiny after a recent tragic accident in Missouri. Duck boats are used in many locations across the U.S., including Miami, for tourists to experience land and water in a new way. But, these vehicles have had many fatal accidents that may show that they are unsafe.

Tragedy struck duck boat tourists in Missouri lately. 17 people were killed when the duck boat they were on capsized. But, this isn't the first time duck boats have been in serious accidents. In the past 19 years, there have been at least seven other fatal accidents that have killed over 25 people.

Visas for recent college graduates can be tricky

Many students come to the U.S. to study at our colleges. Once they finish college, they often want to stay and work. But, getting a visa to legally stay and work through employment immigration in the U.S. can be tricky.

There are a few visa options for foreign students once they graduate from a United States college. They can gain an authorization from immigration authorities called the Optional Practical Training (OPT). This allows a student to stay for 1 to 3 years to work in their field of study with an extension on their student visa. The other popular way for students to stay in the U.S., up to 6 years, is the H-1B visa. This is an employer-sponsored visa given in a lottery system. In order for a student to receive an H-1B visa, they need to find an employer to sponsor them. That can be difficult, as less than 25% of U.S. companies say they will be hiring foreign workers. The recent graduates are also competing with often more experienced foreign employees from across the world.

Immigrant Investor Program is set to expire

There are many people in the United States on a Visa. Visas allow people to enter the United States to work, to apply for citizenship, to help out their families, etc. One popular visa is set to expire soon and it may not be renewed.

The EB-5 is a popular visa which allows international investors to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. if they create projects that fulfill the criteria of hiring 10 people or more and go to targeted employment areas. If the projects are done in rural areas or areas of high unemployment, the EB-5 investor needs to invest $500,000. Other areas require the investor to spend $1,000,000. The EB-5 program is set to expire on September 30 with many in Congress urging President Trump to not renew it. Many say the program was started to invest with manufacturing jobs in rural economies, but has spread to real estate developments in urban areas.

Woman dies after failed paramedic assistance

When 911 is called to assist in a medical emergency, it is expected that the paramedics who arrive will do everything necessary to help the injured or sick person. One would not expect that a paramedic wouldn't do anything to help someone, but that appears to be the case in a recent wrongful death event in the Tampa area.

A Tampa area woman suffered a stroke after having a C-section a few days previously. Emergency workers arrived to find the woman passed out with a swollen lip and drooling. Two paramedic units responded to the emergency call and carried the woman down from the third floor. They did not examine her and later said that the woman's mother said she would take her to the hospital. They did not get an informed consent from the mother of the sick woman and indicated in their logging system that the patient could not be found. The woman's mother drove her to the hospital and she was later airlifted to another hospital in Tampa where she later died. The paramedics have been suspended.

Victims of crime being deported as they wait for a visa

Miami residents understand that there are many immigrants in Miami and across Florida. These immigrants often come to seek a better life for their family. Sometimes these immigrants are victims of crime while they are in the U.S. For those immigrants who are victims, there is a special visa they can apply for.

A U visa is a special visa for those who are victims of crime on U.S. soil who are living here illegally. The visa is given so that these crime victims will help solve the crime and also offers a path to citizenship. Recently it has come to light that the U.S. government has started putting these U.S. visa applicants into detention centers and deporting them before they receive the visa. There appears to be an increase in the number of applicants who have been deported, although the U.S. government denies that their policies have changed. The visa applications are still active after they have been deported, but the wait can be years and often times the immigrant is separated from their family.

Judge suspends deportations of immigrant families

Over the past few months the news has been full of immigrants who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The practice of separating families has not ended, but the legal battles continue. Recently reunited families have been deported immediately, leading to more traumatic events in the lives of immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S and family immigration.

A judge has suspended the deportations of recently reunited immigrant families. While the government continues to seek out parents for the children that were separated at the border, they also engaged in rapid deportations of reunited families. A U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of California has halted deportations and has asked the U.S. government to respond to the ACLU's request to give reunited families one week to decide whether they will leave their child in the U.S. to pursue asylum separately from their parents. The government argues that the rapid deportation after a family is reunited leads to more room in detention centers and allows more families to be reunited. There are still over 70 children who have not been reunited with their parents. The immigrants were facing asylum after dangerous and abysmal conditions in their home countries of mainly Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

High blood pressure medication recalled by FDA

Many Florida residents use prescription medication. The majority of the population will have at least one prescription they take daily at some point in their lives. They trust that the medication will be safe and effective and luckily most of the time this is the case. Unfortunately, unsafe drugs also are on the market and there are prescription drug recalls that occur.

A drug recall has recently occurred involving high blood pressure medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a voluntary recall of several medications that include the ingredient called valsartan. Some of these drugs include an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. Over 100,000,000 adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, meaning this recall could include a great number of Americans. Those who are taking a medication that contains valsartan should contact their doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Trump administration expands list of reasons for deportation

Miami is home to a large immigrant community. Immigrants are weaved into every aspect of our society. They're parents, children and workers. They offer benefits for everyone in the Miami area and are an integral part of the community. The Trump administration has spent quite a bit of effort in dealing with immigration issues with new policies seeming to appear weekly. The latest U.S. immigration law issue deals with deportation.

The Trump administration has expanded the number of categories that can be used in order to deport someone. The new categories not only affect illegal immigrants, but also legal immigrants who lose their immigration benefits or status. The new categories are listed in the Notices to Appear, which are given to those who are ordered to appear in immigration court. The new categories are cases in which fraud or false representation are present, cases in which immigrants have misused public benefits, cases in which immigrants have been accused or convicted of a criminal offense and others.

Plastic surgery patient undergoing popular procedure dies

Plastic surgery is a popular procedure for many Miami residents. People undergo plastic surgery in order to help themselves look better, correct physical deformities, and bring back their physical appearance after an accident. One popular procedure, the Brazilian butt lift is under scrutiny after several patients have died after undergoing the procedure.

A popular surgical clinic in Miami, New Life, is under scrutiny yet again after at least 8 patients have died after undergoing the Brazilian butt lift procedure. Six of the patients died from fat clots that were in their heart or lungs and two patients have not had their autopsy results released. During the procedure doctors use a metal rod to suction fat out of the patient's body and is re-inserted into the patient's buttocks. The most recent patient who has died from the procedure at New Life was released about seven hours after underdoing the procedure and went to a friend's house to recover. That night she was rushed to Kendall Regional where she was placed on a ventilator and died three days later.

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