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Philadelphia Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers: What’s the difference?

Immigration is a perennially hot topic in the United States. We often hear buzzwords from politicians and the media that we don’t fully understand. With so much muddled language around the issue, it’s important to understand the terms used surrounding it.

Immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are all people who leave their home countries seeking a better future. While we hear all three in the same context, each has a very different meaning.

Overcrowded detention centers and the health risks for immigrants

El Paso, Texas recently experienced a surge of immigrants crossing the border from Central America. An estimated 10,000 immigrants illegally crossed the U.S.- Mexican border over the month of March. Unfortunately, both U.S. and undocumented immigrants are suffering negative consequences as a result.

Nearly all immigrant travelers are suffering from some type of medical issue, including dehydration and influenza. Many others other types of medical conditions requiring immediate medical attention. In some instances, an infant will be suffering from a high fever, a person may have a pre-existing heart condition, and injuries sustained from their travels north.

Know your rights if an ICE officer shows up at your door

 

Recently under the Trump Administration, more and more undocumented people have become detained if not deported, sending fears across the country. You may be one of many undocumented individuals who has not encountered immigration officers but may be worried about your safety, even in your own home. Although you may not be able to predict when an immigration officer might show up at your home, it is important to be aware of your rights early on so that you know what to do in such an event:

Know your rights when approached by immigration officials

The fluctuating state of immigration enforcement in the United States continues to bring new questions and challenges to those living in the country without citizenship. For non-citizens worried about your status in the country, it’s important to know your rights if approached by immigration enforcement officials.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have taken to approaching, questioning and even detaining individuals in nearly every setting from courtrooms and schools to workplaces and homes. If approached by ICE officers, keep a few important considerations in mind.

What are the types of work visas in the U.S.?

You want to live and work in the United States. It is part of a dream or goal for many people. A work visa is one way to achieve that goal. There are different work visas that may be available to you.

The type of work visa you need depends on the type of work you do. It can be anything from working on a farm to a more skilled occupation.

Many Welcome Immigrants While Some Get Deported

If you’re unsure about your status as an immigrant and feel uncertain about your future, you’re not alone. Many people are in your situation as the state of Pennsylvania is caught up in the changes brought about by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Conflicting Viewpoints

Philadelphia And Federal Government Face Off Over Immigration

The Trump administration has made no secret of its quest to crack down on illegal, and, many argue, legal immigration. From promises of a border wall along the U.S. and Mexican border to stripping Dreamers of DACA protections, in the 10 months since taking office, the current administration has made several sweeping attempts to keep immigrants from both coming to and staying in the country.

Sanctuary cities like Philadelphia have also come under fire by both the Trump administration and officials at the Department of Justice for refusing to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency when it comes to enforcement actions.

With DACA Revoked, Dreamers Face Uncertain Futures

In an effort to solve one piece of the complex problem of illegal immigration in the United States, a program known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was enacted in 2012. The program aimed to assist those individuals who came to the U.S. as children by allowing them to obtain legal work authorization and defer any removal actions for a 24 month renewable timeframe.

At the time, DACA was praised by many for being a shining path to bring many so-called Dreamers out of the long shadows cast by their illegal immigrant status. While some Dreamers worried about making their identities and whereabouts known to government immigration officials, the program grew to include nearly 800,000 Dreamers.

Out of fear, Philly says 'Adios' to Cinco de Mayo festival

This is a nation of diversity. In Philadelphia alone, various cultures are celebrated throughout the year, including the Mexican culture. Cinco de Mayo takes place in a few weeks. The holiday has become a day here and across the country during which not only those of Mexican descent celebrate their heritage, but Americans of all backgrounds get together and honor the culture.

Recognizing Cinco de Mayo usually means attending parades and festivals while enjoying mariachi music and Mexican treats. Philadelphia historically has held a large celebration on the holiday. This year, however, the plans have changed. More specifically, El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelphia has been cancelled.