Many South Carolina residents may remember the government shutdown that occurred last year. The effects of the shutdown has had a domino effect on immigrants facing deportation. Immigration continues to be a controversial issue in the United States and understanding the currently lay of the land is crucial, particularly if one is facing deportation proceedings or knows someone that is.
The shutdown last year caused nearly 37,000 deportation cases to be pushed back by months. Some cases have been pushed back until 2015. It is estimated that 70 percent of all cases were put on hold. However, all the cases that were delayed involved immigrants who were not currently being held in a detention center. Immigrants who were being held were able to have their cases go on as scheduled.
Another important factor of the immigration delays is that there was no discrimination in the types of cases that put on hold. For example, those immigrants that were likely to be deported were able to buy a little extra time in the United States. However, even those immigrants who would likely to be issued a green card or asylum will also have to wait to remain in the United States legally or bring family members over from their native country.
There are many ways for one to remain legally in the United States. However, as shown with the government shutdown, the process is not swift. Even in the best of circumstances, one must have patience throughout deportation proceedings, as well as awaiting asylum or to be issued a green card. When it comes to immigration, even though the process may be extensive, there are strict filing and timing deadlines.
Anyone who is facing immigration issues or wishes to have their family protected should ensure that they understand their legal options. With the most up to date information of the state of immigration law people may be able to get what they need from the immigration courts.
Source: ABC News, "AP Exclusive: Shutdown Hurt 37,000 Immigrant Cases," Feb. 22, 2014