Despite the varying and often heated opinions over immigration policies in America, immigrants are a crucial part of today’s culture and economy. However, with recent changes to immigration laws in the U.S., many immigrants feel overwhelmed at processes involving green cards and citizenship; some even fear or are already threatened with deportation. Kentucky, like most states, holds an important place for immigrants in a number of regards. Nevertheless, today’s political climate and strict policies can make permanent residence a confusing topic.
Documented and undocumented immigrants alike have followed current changes in the U.S. Immigration System. Center for American Progress shares updated information on immigration in America, noting that many immigrants struggle to adjust their statuses for citizenship, despite being eligible for a green card. According to CAP, roughly 3 million unauthorized immigrants face obstacles in acquiring a green card simply because they have never been admitted or paroled in the country. Those who leave the country and attempt to return could face lengthy re-entry bars; as a result, countless immigrants choose to remain undocumented. Another hurdle many face are the barriers for naturalization: in addition to expensive fees, barriers prevent some residents from becoming U.S. citizens or from exercising their voting rights.
Obtaining a green card and becoming a permanent resident is the goal of many immigrants in the country, yet, as mentioned above, it is not always a straightforward task. USA.gov, an official guide to current U.S. regulations on green cards and permanent residence, shares that green cards can allow immigrants to bring spouses, future spouses and relatives into the country. Permanent residents can even sponsor unmarried children. As for those returning to the U.S., USA.gov states that additional documentation may be necessary. However, the type of document may depend on the length of time an immigrant has been out of the U.S., and immigrants unsure of their current status may choose to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for further support.