When an individual is accused of a crime in the United States, the U.S. Constitution guarantees them the right to an attorney. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint a public defender at no charge to the defendant. But, immigrants in Florida who are detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and facing deportation proceedings have no right to a court-appointed lawyer. They do have the right to hire counsel at their own expense, but this is beyond the means of many detainees.
Many people in Florida are aware that for some time there has been a wave of people coming to the U.S. border from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, some of the most violent places on earth. The migration peaked in 2014 when thousands of unaccompanied children crossed the border in Texas. Until recently, many were turned away and sent back to their home countries, often at great risk of being killed.
When an immigrant in Florida receives notice of deportation proceedings, a great deal is at stake. Deportation from the United States, particularly for a person who has been here for years and may have a family, is a traumatic and life-altering event. Once a person is deported, he can be barred from ever returning to the U.S., even for a short visit.
Many people come to Florida and throughout the United States from other countries for a specific period of time and decide that they want to stay longer. While many might make the mistake of simply not going back to their home country without having legal status in the U.S., there are many reasons why it is advisable for a person to seek to be granted an extension to stay. Those who are interested in an extension need to make sure to go through the legal process for doing so to prevent running afoul with the law and avoiding the various punishments that can come from a violation.
Last week's U.S. Supreme Court tie vote on a case involving President Obama's immigration plan was a severe disappointment for Florida's immigrant community. The 4-4 deadlock left undisturbed a ruling from a federal appeals court that shut down two of the President's programs, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and the extension of a similar program, DACA, which protected immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The programs would have affected millions of immigrants who lack legal status.
For many years, due to Cold War politics, Cuban immigrants have enjoyed significant advantages over immigrants from other countries. Unlike other immigrants, Cubans who make it to U.S. soil have an automatic right to enter the country. They can apply for a green card after being in the U.S. for one year and a day.
While there are many immigrants who want to come to Miami and other locations throughout the United States to live and work, there are also foreign nationals who receive an invitation to take part in training programs offered in the U.S. These people are known as H-3 trainees. Some might be confused as to the legality of a situation such as this and therefore do not understand how it works. An H-3 trainee is required to have been invited by an organization, a business or an individual. The training they will receive must not be available in the home country of the person.
For many immigrants in Florida, obtaining a "green card" is an important step on the path to U.S. citizenship. But, what exactly is a green card, and what are its benefits?
Before entering the United States, a non-U.S. traveler must have a visa. Whether the traveler is seeking to immigrate to the U.S. or simply intends to visit the country on a tourist visa, they must go through the visa application process.
Over the past two years, a large number of people from Central America have come to Florida and other parts of the United States. Many are families fleeing the gang violence that is tearing that region apart.