South Carolina domestic abuse victims can seek legal assistance with their green card matters. The spouse of any U.S. citizen or permanent resident can petition under the federal Violence Against Women Act to receive help with immigration and naturalization. Spouses must first prove that they or their child have faced abuse or extreme cruelty from the U.S. citizen or permanent resident in order to qualify for protection.
Children in South Carolina and throughout the country who have entered the United States illegally may have the right to an attorney in the future depending on how a judge rules in a lawsuit filed by immigration rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 and had a hearing on March 24, argues that all children should have both procedural due process rights and substantive rights under the constitution. The opposition argues that the children only have the latter set of rights.
Immigration law is constantly evolving as well as quite complex. South Carolina residents know how much of a political hot button it has become as well.
The issue of immigration reform has stirred emotions and concerns throughout the nation, and less than two years ago South Carolina joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging executive orders designed to create a legal avenue for undocumented immigrants to remain in the country. President Obama's Deferred Deportation for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents have nearly split the nation in half as numerous states participate in the legal action. While the case awaits its date before the Supreme Court, studies indicate that those who would be eligible if the programs are allowed are primarily individuals with deep roots in the United States.
The O-1 work visa is for nonimmigrants to the United States who have exceptional abilities in the subjects of art, athletics, business, education and science. These individuals may be celebrities in the film, music or television industry and have received national or international recognition for their achievements. Some South Carolina residents might not realize that even famous individuals such as filmmaker James Cameron and actress Rachel McAdams need work visas.
Undocumented immigrants who are released from federal prison in South Carolina may be turned directly over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement based on a policy shift. At the end of February, the targeting of so-called "sanctuary cities" began. These are cities that protect immigrants from being deported.
South Carolina residents may have heard some of the controversy about detention centers where immigrants are housed while awaiting word on their cases. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responsible for substandard health care that sometimes leads to death, according to a report prepared by a coalition that include the Detention Watch Network, the ACLU and the National Immigrant Justice Center.