The children of immigrant families born in Florida generally expect their citizenship to protect them from immigration enforcement actions, but being born in the country does not prevent mistakes like unnecessary incarceration. The family of a man who was inappropriately taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has yet to receive any answers about why the agency threatened him with deportation.
When foreign nationals come to the United States seeking asylum, there are two different applications available to them. Which one is right for any particular migrant depends upon whether removal proceedings have begun against them. Some parts of each asylum application are the same, but there are also very important differences that each person must carefully consider.
Undocumented immigrants living in Florida may have a path to becoming a legal resident. However, it involves leaving the country for a decade before return. Those who believe that doing so would cause a significant hardship can ask for that requirement to be waived. This is referred to as a "601 waiver." However, even if it is granted, there is no guarantee that the applicant will be given permanent resident status.
The Justice Department is pursuing its case to stop a program that could affect many people in Florida. Formally known as Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA was launched by the Obama administration to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children. Multiple cases are proceeding in federal courts across the country, including those in California, New York and the District of Columbia. Now, the Justice Department is calling on the Supreme Court to intervene in all three cases, before an expected verdict from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
An immigration court judge may be unable to stop deportation for some immigrants in Florida. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that immigration judges do not have this power and that this can only happen if it is authorized by regulations or if the Department of Homeland Security has been unsuccessful in proving its deportation case.
Many Floridians are likely aware of the government's current hardline stance toward undocumented immigrants. In some cases, however, undocumented immigrants may be granted stays on deportation proceedings. This recently happened in a case involving a man who is living in Connecticut.
Florida residents may be aware of the controversy surrounding recent immigration policy. While the Trump administration wanted to separate parents and children upon entering the country, a judge ordered them to be reunited. On July 16, another judge ordered that those who have been reunified and are seeking asylum be granted a week to pursue their asylum requests. A stay was granted after the ACLU filed a motion arguing that individuals were legally entitled to ask for it.
The separation of children from their parents during immigration detention has sparked awareness and outrage from people in Florida and across the country. Now, parents are being offered voluntary departure orders by government officials, being told it will speed their cases and that they will be reunified with their separated children before deportation. This is raising alarms among immigration attorneys and advocates for the rights of migrants, because they note that many parents may not fully understand what they are agreeing to before signing the document.
Florida readers may be interested to learn that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will soon begin deporting immigrant families who have been ordered to leave the United States according to ICE Interim Director Thomas Homan. Homan made the comments during a House Border Security and Maritime subcommittee hearing on May 22.
Many immigrants have made homes in Florida, but barriers often block their path to lawful residence. An application known as a cancellation of removal could enable a person to attain a status of lawfully admitted for permanent residence instead of able to be deported. A person can submit this application when confronted by a removal hearing and potentially prevent deportation.