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Kentucky Immigration Law Blog

District court rules on travel ban definitions

The controversial travel ban imposed by the White House has seen a number of adjustments since it was first proposed earlier this year. Indeed, legal challenges have softened its initial approach and intent and the number of demonstrations and protests have certainly garnered media attention. But for foreign nationals who seek to enter the country, it is important to know how the definitions included in the directive should be interpreted.  

This post will highlight the latest developments on the travel ban. 

How does a child acquire U.S. citizenship at birth?

For many, it is a priority to ensure that their children enjoy all the benefits of U.S. citizenship as they grow up in Kentucky. If you are currently expecting a child, you may wonder what conditions would confer this right to him or her at birth.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains.

The benefits of being granted asylum in the United States

Regardless of the reasons that brought you to Kentucky, if returning to your home country could compromise your safety, the circumstances could be such that you are granted asylum. This allows you to stay in the United States to protect you from the threat of persecution based on factors such as your political opinions, race or religion. We at the Vickerstaff Law Office have counseled many clients about the advantages of being granted asylum.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notes that settling in a new country often comes with challenges. If you qualify, there are local programs funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement that may provide you with financial and medical assistance, language instruction and help finding a job. One-Stop Career Centers is another organization through which you can get help with your job search, including career counseling and job skills training.

Navigating the process of obtaining a K-1 visa

Getting engaged is an exciting time, but making plans for a wedding and a life together can be quite complicated if your fiancé does not live in the country. In addition to planning for everything that comes with a wedding, you must also apply for the appropriate visas if you intend for your fiancé to travel to the United States and reside with you here in Kentucky on a permanent basis.

If you need a fiancé visa, also called a K-1 visa, you would be wise to secure the appropriate legal help needed to successfully navigate this process. Applying for a visa can be complex and fraught with legal challenges, but it is not something that you must traverse alone.

What do I need to know about submitting a petition?

Submitting a petition in Kentucky and having it approved is one of the first steps toward being awarded an immigrant visa in the United States. If you are attempting to gain legal access into the country, there are several things you need to keep in mind. The U.S. Department of State details the factors that will affect whether or not your application is approved.

 

Are immigrants protected from domestic violence?

People immigrate to the U.S. for an array of reasons, whether they are offered a job opportunity or plan on marrying a U.S. citizen. If you have moved to the U.S. for marriage, it is pivotal to understand your rights and handle any challenges that arise correctly. For example, you should know what to do if you or your children are ever subjected to domestic violence.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, immigrants are given protections under criminal and civil law against domestic violence. In fact, these protections are ensured without regard to immigration status. Those who have been through domestic violence can pursue protection orders for their themselves and their children. In some cases, they may be entitled to marital property, in the event of a divorce. Furthermore, immigrants who have endured intimate partner violence can file for divorce without informing their spouses. Child support and child custody can also be sought after by immigrants in this position.

Immigration enforcement expected to fuel prison boom

The Wall Street Journal reports that the population in the federal government's prison system is expected to see a surge next year. The expected upswing is due to the Trump administration's efforts to arrest undocumented immigrants and drug offenders.

The changes in policy will reverse a trend toward reducing prison populations under former President Barack Obama and in many states across the nation, according to The Crime Report, an online publication for criminal justice journalists.

U.S. visas for immediate family members of citizens

There are many people in the United States who have achieved citizenship but who may have immediate relatives who are not U.S. citizens. These relatives may not even currently live in the U.S. but may wish to. Fortunately for them, there may be a way of obtaining a visa to enter the country legally through the citizenship of their family member as explained by the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. 

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there are five different situations in which a person may qualify for an immediate relative visa. One of these is when the non-citizen is the parent of a citizen who is over 20 years old and another is when the non-citizen is the spouse of the U.S. citizen. Any child who is 20 years old or young of a person with American citizenship may also qualify for an immediate relative visa.

Scam artists selling "legal residence" to immigrants

News reports from around Kentucky and the nation have documented the increased fear of detention and deportation pervading immigrant communities. That fear has been spun into gold by scam artists who promise immigrants legal resident status and more.

The fraudsters cannot deliver or change an immigrant's legal status and are not qualified to offer legal services, but that does not stop them from preying on immigrants' fears, according to a recent news article.

Do you qualify for temporary protected status?

Immigration has been a hot topic in the United States, including here in Kentucky, for some time now. Refugees from certain war-torn or otherwise unsafe countries may find it difficult to enter the country at present. Those who are already here, however, may reach a point where their time in the country is ending.

Returning to your country of origin may put your life in danger, and you need to know if there may be a way to stay in the United States, at least temporarily. If your country of origin is recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as one in which the unrest practically guarantees harm to you based on your return, you might qualify for temporary protected status.