There is a tragic story emerging out of Sudan that has drawn considerable attention to asylum laws in the U.S. A 27-year-old Christian woman is facing religious persecution in her predominately Muslim country. In Sudan, it is considered a crime punishable by death to leave Islam, also known as apostasy. There is some debate about whether the woman was actually raised as a Muslim, as her mother, who was a Christian, raised her after her father abandoned the family. Regardless of whether she actually committed apostasy or not, hers is a clear case of religious persecution.
Think back to when you were a teenager. Think about what you were worried about at that age. Most teens in South Carolina are concerned about getting good grades in school, social functions and other relatively mundane things. Unfortunately, in other parts of the world, teenagers have to worry about being arrested, persecuted or tortured for who they are or what they believe. Sadly, some of them will even die just for being who they are.
Although native speakers of English may not have a problem answering the questions on a naturalization form, not everyone that is immigrating to South Carolina is a native English speaker. It is a naturalization requirement that applicants be able to speak English, but it is no surprise that official government forms rarely use easily accessible English.
Though many people in Charleston may not realize it, you do not have to be an American citizen to be in the military. There have been many non-Americans who have served with the military for years, including during the Vietnam War. One of the benefits of serving during a "designated period of hostility" is that federal law allows for immigrants to waive their permanent residency requirements and naturalize as American citizens.
Charleston residents may have a family member or know a family member who is affected by immigration issues. Obtaining permanent residence in the United States can be a confusing and challenging issue for many individuals. Fortunately, there are individuals who specialize in immigration law issues to help those in need.
Immigration laws can be a challenge for Charleston residents, as well as the rest of the country. Immigration reform has made national headlines nearly every week. However, there are certain immigration laws individuals should make sure to be aware of.
For most immigrants who come to Charleston illegally, their intention is not to come to the United States and cause trouble but to work for a better life. In some instances, they are hoping to join their spouse and reunite with family. While the best intentions don't excuse breaking the law, people who are trying to come to the U.S. for noble reasons might have options to stay even if they run into trouble with the Immigration and Naturalization Service by entering the country illegally.
There are many circumstances in which an immigrant can be removed from the United States when in the country, such as getting a conviction for certain types of crimes, entering the country illegally and falsifying information. Illegal immigrants who are facing immigration-related charges or deportation need to understand their legal rights no matter what the allegations against them are.
Charleston residents are aware of many policy, social reform and law changes that have been in the news regarding same-sex marriage over the tenure of the Obama administration. Some residents, however may be surprised at the connection between immigration reform and same-sex marriage policies.