Florida residents who are refugees from their home country may be interested in some information on the application process for asylum. This requires timely filing of forms and other legal matters, but the benefits of avoiding persecution in another country and the ability to bring family members for asylum can be great.
On Nov. 20, President Barack Obama released an immigration plan that may affect those who have either already settled in Florida or who are attempting to immigrate to Florida. In the address, Obama agreed that the current immigration system was not working and that changes needed to be made.
Florida residents may have heard of the term Temporary Protected Status used by immigration officials when a country has been struck by a natural disaster or an armed conflict has broken out. The designation is issued to a foreign country by the Secretary of Homeland Security when it would be unsafe for its citizens to return home or conditions are such that their return would be impractical.
Refugees desiring to come to Florida need to understand the process that must be followed. First, the individual must have received a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Once a referral has been received, the applicant will be interviewed by an immigration officer who will determine the applicant's eligibility for resettlement.
Individuals in Florida seeking to remain permanently in the United States may be eligible to do so as either immigrants or refugees. Although both are terms for people who leave one country to live in another, they describe different situations.
The fact that child migrants come from dangerous places is not enough for them to be granted asylum here in the U.S. In order to gain permission to stay, migrant children must demonstrate that they face direct persecution because of an affiliation with a specific group. Children who do not fit into that category often apply for Special Immigrant Juveniles Status instead.
A 27-year-old gay native of Honduras who has lived in Broward County for the past decade is seeking to regain asylum in the United States after being deported on March 10. The man fears for his life if he must stay in his homeland, a nation in which approximately 80 LGBT individuals have been tortured, murdered, or both in the past four years by various groups including police officers.
Leading Florida Democrats have joined forces with immigration advocates to push for federal legislation that would make it easier to seek citizenship for those in the country illegally. The House of Representatives has been considering a sweeping new immigration law, but the Republican majority is against some aspects of the bill.
Due to the federal government shutdown in late 2013, many people in Florida and around the country had their hearings delayed for months or years. These individuals were waiting to apply for asylum or for legal permanent resident status.
Florida residents may have heard about a group of Haitian citizens who were on a boat that sank eight miles off the shore of Miami on Oct. 16. Four of the 15 passengers on the 25-foot boat, all women, drowned when the boat sank. The 11 survivors were rescued by authorities and taken into custody by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.