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San Diego Immigration Law Blog [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Homeland Security adds asylum seekers to apprehension numbers

Millions of people have emigrated from foreign lands, often enduring much suffering on their way to California and other states. Many come seeking, stating that to remain in their homelands would pose imminent risks of violence, extreme poverty and even death. Typically, those seeking urgent permission to reside in the United States would not be categorized the same as those crossing the borders illegally.

Many seeking asylum never make it to the United States alive

Many areas in the world are filled with violence, extreme poverty and other unsavory living conditions that make survival difficult. Millions of people have fled their lands of origin, in quests to seek asylum in the United States. Their journeys to California and other states are often arduous. In fact, many die before they cross the border.

In another state, where the border lies adjacent to a desert, many immigrants find themselves facing tremendous challenges as they travel in search of better lives for themselves and their families. People of various ages, including minor age children and elderly persons, too, take on the glaring sunlight, heat and dry climate of the desert in the hope that U.S. officials will grant them permission to permanently reside within the nation's borders. Often, those who arrive seek support and guidance as they attempt to lay down roots and create successful lives.

Get help with your deportation defense

Numerous immigrants residing in California are facing deportation. These individuals are granted the ability to fight removal from the country through court proceedings. However, many may not realize that they are entitled to have legal counsel present to offer a deportation defense. If you are facing deportation, you do not need to go through this alone. Help is available to you.

For those facing the threat of removal from the United States, there are actually a variety of deportation defense options that may apply. Some of these may help one in achieving the right to remain in the country, while others may still result in one's departure. Common deportation defense options include applying for a cancellation of removal, applying for certain waivers and applying for asylum. Every individual's circumstances are unique, so it will be necessary to review all the facts of one's case before determining which defense option best fits one's personal situation.

Accusations of fraud after citizenship and naturalization granted

Over 800 immigrants who reside all across the country -- possibly even in California -- were supposedly granted U.S. citizenship by accident. Now, after successfully achieving citizenship and naturalization, many of these individuals are facing accusations of immigration fraud. Those facing such accusations can seek legal assistance in the effort to maintain their citizenship status and avoid deportation.

According to a recent report, a fingerprinting error resulted in approximately 858 immigrants being granted citizenship. Many of these individuals are believed to have had pending deportation orders or have come from countries with which the United States has concerns and questions regarding national security. The inspector general of the Homeland Security Department claims that the lack of fingerprints and discrepancies over names and birth dates led to the granting of citizenship.

California citizenship and naturalization: Requirement exceptions

There is a lot about the immigration system that seems pretty strict and straightforward. However, there is some leniency offered to those who qualify. For example, for immigrants currently residing in California or elsewhere, there are requirement exceptions and accommodations that may be made when applying for citizenship and naturalization.

For numerous immigrants, the language barrier can be a significant concern when it comes to getting through the citizenship application process. It is certainly intimidating to have to go through testing if the English language is still a struggle. There are those, though, who may be exempt from the language testing. To qualify for this, one must either be 50 years of age or older and must have lived in the United States as a permanent resident for at least 20 years, or be 55 year of age or older and lived in the country as a permanent resident for a minimum of 15 years.

Things to know about temporary work permits

Numerous immigrants enter the United States every year for employment purposes -- many coming to California. Some are looking for permanent positions, while others are only wanting temporary jobs. In either case, these individuals must obtain the appropriate visas or permits for their employment needs. This column will try to address some things that immigrants and employers need to know about temporary work permits.

Certain permits may be sought by immigrants themselves; however, there are others that must be obtained directly by employers. The most commonly sought after temporary work visa is called the "H" type. An H-1A applies to those who are registered nurses responding to a shortage in their field. An H-1B is meant for those in specialty fields, such as those that require a college degree or specific training. Finally, an H-2 is meant for those coming for agricultural work.

It is possible to appeal asylum decisions

A man in northern California was recently granted the ability to reopen his asylum case. This is something that many immigrants coming to the state dream about, but struggle to achieve. With the right help, however, it is possible to appeal asylum decisions.

It was recently reported that, at the end of August, an El Salvadoran native currently living in the San Francisco area was able to have his denied asylum request re-opened for consideration. This individual was moved to the country when he was a teenager. His parents were apparently pro-government, and he was personally threatened and even shot by those who disagreed with his family's political stance.

California immigration: How detention is hurting families

Sadly, it is pretty common practice to place California immigrants in detention centers while they await deportation hearings and/or decisions. To immigration authorities this is often deemed as necessary. Unfortunately, this practice isolates detainees from their families. It also leaves these individuals feeling that they have no right to seek legal assistance -- which is not the case.

A researcher at University of California Davis conducted a survey of nearly 500 immigrants who were detained for six or more months. They were held in detention centers that included jails, a private facility and a for-profit campus. It was found that, those held at the private center were less likely to see their families during their stays.

Citizenship and naturalization: Applying for naturalization

Foreign nationals who would like to obtain citizenship in the United States must fulfill very specific requirements. Unfortunately, nothing about the citizenship and naturalization process is simple. There is a lot that one must go through in order to complete the process. How do immigrants residing in California or elsewhere apply for naturalization?

The process which a foreign national must go through to achieve citizenship in the United States is called naturalization. A formal application for naturalization must be submitted and an interview may be required. Before this can be done, though, those who wish to go through this process generally must meet certain residency requirements and pass the necessary exams.

Need and employment visa? Things to know

Obtaining the appropriate visa for work purposes would seem like a fairly simple task; however, it actually can be quite challenging. When one needs an employment visa, there are a lot of steps involved in the process, which can make the whole thing rather confusing. This column will try to address some of the things immigrants who are looking to come to California or elsewhere in the United States for work may need to know about employment-based immigration.

It is believed that approximately 140,000 employment-based immigration visas are made available every fiscal year. These visas are given to those who qualify under one of five preference categories: E-1 through E-5. In some cases, spouses and children may also be granted visas as well.

Immigration and Nationality