Foreign-born permanent residents who are living in South Carolina may be targeted for removal from the United States if they are convicted of certain types of crimes. While most misdemeanors will not result in deportation proceedings, aggravated felony convictions will. Crimes that involve 'moral turpitude" could also make a permanent resident eligible for deportation.
South Carolina residents may have heard about the 32-year-old woman who was shot and killed in San Francisco by an undocumented Mexican immigrant who was facing deportation. The July 1 incident made national headlines and ignited a debate over San Francisco's status as an immigrant sanctuary city. Critics of San Francisco's sanctuary policies argue that the shooter should have been detained per federal requests.
South Carolina entrepreneurs may know that while a high proportion of immigrants who participate in the investor visa program are from China, those numbers may be limited in the future due to proposed new legislation. Known as the EB-5 program, it currently sets the investment amount at either $500,000 or $1 million, depending upon the nature of the project. In addition, it is necessary to demonstrate that the investments create jobs. The dollar amount has been the same since 1990, and it may be raised to between $800,000 and 1.2 million.
Many foreign nationals living in South Carolina face the possibility of an immigration status check by law enforcement, especially when ethnic profiling takes place. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently acknowledged the illegitimacy of this practice in a leaked email regarding the case of two men from Honduras who currently face deportation.
Legal permanent residents in South Carolina could face deportation proceedings if they are convicted of certain types of crimes. In general, aggravated felony convictions lead to deportation, and misdemeanor convictions do not. However, there are some misdemeanors that are considered aggravated felonies in terms of immigration law.
Some South Carolina immigrants may be among those who took steps to file their final green card paperwork toward becoming permanent residents. Many immigrants did so based on a notice from the State Department on Sept. 9 that said it would be possible for many of them to file paperwork beginning Oct. 1. It is a step that brings a number of new benefits to applicants, and many spent thousands of dollars preparing. However, several immigrants have filed a lawsuit against the government after it revised the notice.
In a move that may be of interest to foreign nationals who have relatives in South Carolina, the U.S. Department of State began accepting applications for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program on Oct. 1. The program, which is also known as the green card lottery, allows up to 50,000 immigrants to become permanent residents whether or not they have a sponsor. Applications must be submitted electronically by Nov. 3, 2015. There is no registration fee.
On Sept. 28, a lawsuit was filed seeking class-action status for thousands of highly skilled immigrants in South Carolina and nationwide who were left in the lurch when the U.S. government reneged on a promise to let them apply for green cards in October. Many of the immigrants, who are mostly from India and China, had already paid expensive medical and legal fees that are required as part of the application process.