A foreign-born person living in South Carolina as a permanent resident may become a U.S. citizen after living in the U.S. continuously for five years. A permanent resident who is married to a U.S. citizen will only need to wait three years to naturalize. For immigration purposes, 'continuous residence" means that a permanent resident has not taken any trips outside of the country for longer than six months.
South Carolina employees may be interested to know that McDonald's was ordered to pay $355,000 after the federal government determined the fast food chain had violated the law by refusing to accept expired green cards as proof of eligibility for employment. The company has also been ordered to forfeit back pay for all affected employees and will be monitored for a period of 20 months. According to the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, requiring unnecessary proof of citizenship or immigration status is an act of discrimination.
South Carolina residents are likely familiar with political discussions related to the numerous Mexicans living in the United States. They may be surprised to learn that 2013 estimates suggest that more than 5 million of these individuals are legal immigrants who meet the eligibility requirements for becoming U.S. citizens. However, just over one-third of these individuals actually go through the naturalization process.
A recent news report may be of interest to people in South Carolina. According to sources, a judge in Austin, Texas, blocked a move for emergency licensing rules for two immigrant detention facilities in South Texas. The facilities are attempting to get licensure as child care facilities, and the emergency rules would have fast-tracked their ability to get the licensing.
Immigrant families in South Carolina may have been following the legal actions that were taken to block President Obama's executive actions on immigration. The controversial executive actions were opposed by 26 states that said the President would be acting outside of his legal authority if he implemented the proposed immigration programs.
South Carolina residents may be interested in a new report about what President Obama is prepared to do if federal courts continue attempting to block his immigration executive orders issued in 2014. Reportedly, a document drafted by the Department of Homeland Security that outlined those plans was recently leaked to the media.
While there are many legitimate international marriages, South Carolina residents are sometimes taken advantage of by foreign-born individuals who are simply looking for a green card. If a U.S. citizen marries a non-U.S. citizen who did not enter the marriage in good faith, there are some steps that the U.S. citizen can take to ensure their spouse does not obtain a permanent green card.
South Carolina residents may have heard about the concept of sanctuary cities and how they relate to undocumented immigrants. Some U.S. cities have policies in place that ban local law enforcement from sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On Oct. 28, the governor of North Carolina signed a bill to prevent any cities in the state from instituting sanctuary policies.