Law Offices of George Giosmas

25 years of experience

Hollywood Florida Immigration Law Blog

Asylum seekers affected as Supreme Court allows rule to proceed

As the legal battle continues over President Donald Trump's asylum-restricting policies, many Florida residents are concerned about the next steps for people seeking asylum. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration's rules to go into effect while the legal challenges work their way through the courts. The administration is directing asylum officers and immigration judges to implement the rules moving forward. While it claims that it is cutting down on false claims, immigration lawyers and other advocates have warned that the policy risks putting highly vulnerable people at greater risk and denying their fundamental human rights.

It is expected by many observers that the legal fight will continue past the 2020 elections and that tens of thousands of asylum claims will be denied in the meantime. There are two ways that people seek asylum after crossing the border from Mexico. Some present themselves at a port of entry, but long wait lists have developed here as harsh limits have been imposed on the number of claims handled each day. People who cross the border extralegally then can turn themselves in to the first agents they encounter, asking for refuge.

Request pending for court to address third-country asylum ban

People seeking asylum in Florida will have to continue to wait to see if the Trump administration's third-country asylum ban goes into effect. A federal court placed a nationwide injunction on the policy that bars people from seeking asylum in the United States if they have passed through a third country without asking for asylum there first. The Trump administration has filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the high court to rule in favor of the ban. The request is pending.

The full nationwide injunction came on the heels of another court ruling that had limited the ban to certain border states. The judge responsible for the most recent decision believed that the ban was at odds with existing asylum laws.

Legal requirements needed for a marriage-based visa or green card

If you’re an immigrant and want to become a United States citizen or permanent resident, you can do so through marriage, but your spouse must be a United states citizen or permanent resident. To be eligible to apply for citizenship or residence, you and your partner must meet four criteria: you two are legally married, your marriage in bona-fide (more information below,) proof that your spouse is a United States citizen or has been provided a green card for permanent residence and proof that neither you or your spouse are currently married to anybody else.

The four criteria are discussed in more detail below.

Would you volunteer for removal to get out of jail?

When you entered the U.S., you may have had many goals in mind. Perhaps you wanted to find work that would offer a future, or maybe you were looking to reunite with your family. However, it is possible you also had many fears and concerns when coming to this country and settling in Florida. Chief among those concerns may have been the potential for deportation, or removal, especially if you entered the U.S. unlawfully.

Deportation may not be the worst scenario for your circumstances. If you are currently facing criminal charges, you may wish you could return to your home country rather than serving a long sentence for a conviction. In fact, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency offers this option to certain immigrants.

White House asks Supreme Court to rule on asylum injunction

Florida residents are likely aware that President Donald Trump's immigration policies have sparked fierce debate in the nation's capital and contentious legal battles in its federal courts. One of the president's most sweeping moves was a rule announced on July 15 that all but eliminated asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border by requiring asylum seekers to submit their petitions in the first safe country they enter.

The rule prompted a swift challenge in the courts from a coalition of civil rights groups spearheaded by the American Civil Liberties Union. In July, a district judge in California issued an injunction that prevented the rule's implementation. However, the administration won a minor victory in August when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit limited the scope of the injunction to the nine states where the issuing court holds jurisdiction. This ruling allowed the controversial rule to remain in place in Texas and New Mexico.

Trump to allow indefinite detention of migrant families

On Aug. 21, the Trump administration announced a new rule allowing U.S. immigration officials to detain migrant families in Florida and elsewhere indefinitely while their asylum cases await a hearing before an immigration judge. Previously, the government was required to release detained migrants within 20 days.

In 1997, a court settlement limited the number of days that the U.S. government could detain migrant children. The agreement stated that children could not be held for more than 20 days, and previous administrations have interpreted that to mean that the parents of the children must also be released within that time frame. However, the Trump administration contends that families can be held indefinitely. It also claims that the rule change, which is the third aggressive immigration action it has taken in recent weeks, is necessary to close immigration loopholes and protect migrant children from abuse.

Deportation and deportation defenses

Immigrants in Florida and around the country may face deportation proceedings when they violate immigration laws or are convicted of committing crimes. Those who are removed could be prevented from ever reentering the United States even as a tourist. However, immigrants facing deportation have legal rights and can mount an aggressive defense. Deportation defenses are generally based on either constitutional or procedural grounds.

Deportation proceedings are generally initiated against immigrants who entered the country illegally, overstayed their visas or violated the provisions of laws like the Immigration and Nationality Act. Common reasons action is taken to remove an immigrant include marriage fraud and providing false documents to U.S. authorities. Green card holders and other legal immigrants can also be deported if they commit certain types of crime, engage in activities that threaten the security of the United States or vote illegally in federal elections.

Lawsuit aims to stop expanded deportation rules

Migrants who have been in the United States for less than two years could be deported without seeing a judge according to a new Trump administration policy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others have filed a lawsuit asking that the new expedited powers policy not go into effect. The suit claims that it could lead to citizens in Florida or elsewhere being deported by mistake. In 2000, a woman was deported to Jamaica despite being a United States citizen.

The woman had just returned home from visiting relatives when she had been taken into custody. If the policy is allowed to stand, migrants caught anywhere in the country could be deported without due process. Currently, only those found within 100 miles of the border can be deported without going to court first. Furthermore, the current policy only applies to those who have been in the country for less than two weeks.

Even noncriminal undocumented immigrants face arrest, deportation

The past few years have been particularly unpredictable for many nonresidents living in the United States. The current administration has ratcheted up immigration enforcement. This has led to many more headlines about raids, arrests and deportations.

Some officials have suggested this crackdown is targeting undocumented immigrants that have a criminal past. A new analysis, however, found that is not the case. Arrests of noncriminal undocumented immigrants have risen dramatically – and in Florida more than anywhere else.

Asylum seekers sent across the border to Mexico

Some Florida residents may have heard about a new policy that involves sending asylum seekers back to Mexico to await a decision on their fate. Thousands of people have been sent back across the border. Many are from Cuba and Central America, while others are from Peru and Cameroon.

Migrants are being sent to Tamaulipas state, which has a high incidence of gang activity, kidnapping and other violence. The U.S. State Department warns against travel in the area. Asylum seekers who are fearful of their safety are leaving the area or camping near a downtown bridge because the National Guard and police are there. There are shelters in the town that are far from capacity, but the word spreading among migrants is that the shelters are full. Others said they were not informed of a shelter's existence or of how to get there.