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US Immigration Law Archives

City's immigrant sanctuary policy questioned

Residents of South Carolina may have heard about the infamous shooting death of a woman at a San Francisco pier that took place about a year ago. The shooter who killed the 32-year-old woman was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was facing drug charges. The fatal incident brought attention to the controversial idea of 'sanctuary cities," places where local authorities refuse to communicate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Marijuana and immigration in South Carolina

While certain states such as Colorado have legalized marijuana, it is still illegal at the federal level. For those who are non-citizens, admitting to smoking, possessing or distributing it could be an offense punishable by deportation. This may be true even if an individual is not convicted of any crime. One woman was detained at LAX for 15 hours before being sent back to Chile for admitting she had smoked marijuana while in Colorado.

Prospective immigrants may have to prove personal character

According to immigration laws, individuals seeking citizenship must possess good moral character. While this seems like a subjective benchmark, those seeking to naturalize in states like South Carolina can prove their character by demonstrating that they haven't committed actions that might indicate they're lacking in positive qualities.

Researchers find that militarized borders are largely ineffective

Border security and immigration have been hot-button topics in South Carolina and around the country during the 2016 primary season, but recent research suggests that increased scrutiny of those crossing the U.S. Mexican border does little to keep illegal immigrants out and mainly serves to prevent immigrants already in the United States from leaving. The study was published in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Sociology.

Lawmakers seek repeal of controversial 1996 immigration laws

Immigrants in South Carolina and around the country live with the knowledge that even a small misstep could dash their hopes of naturalization and lead to deportation proceedings, and many of these fears are rooted in two crime reduction bills passed in 1996. Crime rates were soaring in the 1990s, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act were two of many tough on crime laws introduced by the Clinton administration to reassure a nervous public.

Supreme Court may be split on immigration case

There are likely immigrants living in South Carolina who will be affected by the Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Texas. The case concerns the lawsuit that was filed against President Obama after he attempted to issue executive orders on immigration. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case on April 18, and analysts say it looks like the judges are split in a 4-4 tie.

Large rally planned in support of Obama's executive order

People in South Carolina who are interested in U.S. immigration may want to know about the case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States on April 18. The case concerns the deferred action program signed into law by President Obama via an executive order.

H-1B limits hit in early days of application acceptance

Candidates for immigration to South Carolina and other states in the U.S. based on their prospective employment in a specialty area are subject to limited numbers of slots each year. The H-1B selection process begins with applications being accepted in April of the preceding fiscal year, and if applications exceed the slots available, a lottery process will occur to fill those slots. As the application process for the 2017 fiscal year began in April 2016, the number of applications received quickly exceeded the number of visas available, a fact announced by USCIS on April 7.

Situations that allow citizenship applicants to bypass tests

An individual who lives in South Carolina and wishes to naturalize may find the tests of English language ability and civic knowledge to be intimidating. However, some individuals may be more challenged than others in learning the information and language skills needed because of disability issues. There are certain cases in which a disability could be grounds for being excused from these tests.

Citizenship for South Carolina residents born elsewhere

While those who are born to one parent who is a United States citizen may also be citizens, that is not automatically true. Typically, that parent must have spent 10 years in the United States or in outlying possessions, and five of those years must have been after the citizen parent was older than 14. Furthermore, the may may need to have been the legitimate child of that parent to qualify for automatic citizenship.

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