On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed several executive orders on immigration that has given rise to much controversy throughout the country. It seems that media outlets and social media have much to say about Trump’s actions, on all sides of the argument. Some of the topics that Trump has covered include building a wall on the U.S./Mexican border, stronger enforcement within the U.S. on people who have been convicted of a crime, and probably the most infamous – the ban on 7 enumerated countries, which happen to be predominately Muslim countries. Needless to say, these past several weeks have been a whirlwind of change.
It seems that there are updates everyday on our immigration laws, so it is difficult to say what is the status of our laws today. However, what is easy to say, is that now would be the time to take action on fixing your immigration status. From the last several weeks of drama, we can learn that even Lawful Permanent Residents, or green card holders may not even be safe from the Trump administration’s policies.
So, what are your options? If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, now would be a good time to think about becoming a citizen of the U.S., or naturalizing. There are certain benefits to naturalizing. Most relevant at the moment is that becoming a U.S. citizen gives you the power to vote in your local, state, and federal elections. Further, it allows you to petition other family members to come to the U.S. immediately, have your children born abroad derive citizenship, receive government assistance while traveling abroad, and qualify for federal jobs. Further, it is a way to show patriotism, and even shield yourself from any possibility of future removal or deportation.
If you do not have any status in the U.S., the most important action to take right now is to know your rights. Although President Trump makes it seem like deportation can happen overnight, there is a process involved with deportation, and you have rights during those proceedings. It is important to understand you may have relief from deportation in Immigration Court, or that maybe you already qualify for relief! So speak to an immigration attorney to learn what remedies may be available to you, before it is too late.