Law Offices ofJan Joseph Bejar A P.L.C.
Resolving Immigration Problems In An Honest & Responsible Manner

San Diego Immigration Law Blog

What are residence and presence requirements for naturalization?

Immigrants in San Diego who are seeking citizenship in the United States must understand the various requirements that must be fulfilled for naturalization. Some are basic, but no less important. Residence and physical presence requirements fall into this category. Those who have all the other requirements but do not meet the criteria for residence and presence could find themselves unable to be naturalized.

With continuous residence, the applicant must show that he or she has resided continuously in the U.S. for at least five years prior to the application or that he or she resided continuously in the U.S. for three years if the person is a qualified spouse of a U.S. citizen. Continuous residence means that the person has maintained a residence in the U.S. for whichever amount of time is applicable based on the situation, either five years or three years. If a person is absent from the U.S., the process could be disrupted. An absence of more than six months but less than one year could affect the continuous residence requirement unless the person is able to prove otherwise. If there is an absence of one year or more, it might disrupt the continuous residence requirement.

What are the citizen at birth rules for a child born in wedlock?

It is not unusual for people in San Diego, throughout California and across the U.S. to have a situation in which a child being a citizen at birth is a concern. There are certain general requirements for a child to be considered a U.S. citizen when they are born. For a child born in wedlock, it is important to understand the rules from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the child was born of two U.S. citizen parents outside the U.S., the child is a U.S. citizen if, when he or she was born, both the parents are U.S. citizens; and at least on parent has lived in the U.S. or one of its outlying territorial possessions. If the child is born of a U.S. citizen parent and a U.S. national, the child will be a citizen if one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is a U.S. national; and the U.S. citizen was in the U.S. or one if its outlying possessions for one year continuously.

If the child is born of a U.S. citizen parent and a foreign national parent, the child will have U.S. citizenship if one parent is a foreign national and the other parent is a U.S. citizen; and the parent who is a U.S. citizen was physically in the U.S. for a minimum of five years, at least two of which came after he or she was 14. If the person spent time abroad, that time will be considered physically present in the U.S. in the following circumstances: the person was an honorable member of the U.S. armed forces; the person was employed by the U.S. government or another qualifying organization; or the person was a dependent or unmarried child of people who fall into these categories.

ICE targeting undocumented immigrants with no criminal records

A former San Diego Union-Tribune reporter recently wrote about an immigration flashpoint in northern California. She reports that the case of two undocumented immigrants taken into custody by ICE agents contradicts the stated immigration goal of targeting people with criminal records.

The two men are long-time U.S. residents employed in the construction industry. Supporters say the men are being unfairly detained and are in an expedited deportation process.

Children pushing immigration trends higher

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported recently on a pair of parallel immigration trends on the rise. As more and more immigrant children are arrested at the U.S. border, the number of minors granted legal immigration status under the Special Immigrant Juvenile program is also climbing.

The little-known program might soon undergo changes, however, as the House of Representatives considers tightening eligibility.

San Diego-area immigrants celebrate new citizenship

In an area rich with ethnic diversity, El Cajon stands out. The city of approximately 100,000 sits just a few minutes northeast of San Diego. It recently celebrated its ethnically diverse population with a citizenship ceremony that transformed immigrants into U.S. citizens.

The ceremony featuring immigrants from more than 54 different countries was part of the “America on Main Street” fest that features food and music from around the world, and respect and appreciation for diversity here at home.

San Diego to help city workers apply for citizenship

Immigrants who work for the San Diego city government or at the airport are getting a nice, new benefit. Thanks to a partnership formed by the city, the airport, the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce and the Chamber of Commerce, legal immigrants will receive help at work in their efforts to become U.S. citizens.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said immigrants are important parts of the city's economy and culture. "Legal permanent residents deserve help along their path to citizenship so they can take part in the American dream,” he said.

Differences between refugees and immigrants seeking asylum

Persecution or fear of persecution because of religion, nationality, political beliefs, race or social status are motivations for both groups to cross borders into the United States. Members of the two groups often settle here in San Diego, but there are some important differences between them.

Some of the differences between refugees and asylum-seekers include sheer numbers (refugees outnumber immigrants seeking asylum) and where the two groups begin the immigration process (refugees begin it abroad; those seeking asylum do it at the border or inside the U.S.).

LAPD: 911 calls by Latinos are down. Fear of immigration hassles?

The reason the State of California and many of its cities and counties have passed so-called "sanctuary laws" is a strong belief that immigration enforcement and local law enforcement do not mix.

When local police are actively involved in immigration enforcement, the theory goes, they will naturally wish to address any immigration irregularities they encounter while responding to calls. If they do, however, the effect is likely to be that people who have immigration irregularities, or who fear they do, will avoid calling the police altogether.

That effect seems to be real, as we recently discussed in regards to San Diego. Now we have more evidence that, when a 911 call could bring an immigration hassle, 911 won't be called.

The science of opposition to immigration

Here in San Diego, we are not only close to the border, we are near the center of many national debates over immigration issues. Not only would we be next to a wall, if one is built, but we have detention facilities here, as well as ICE offices and many immigration activists.

In the effort to broaden understanding of immigration issues, a trio of political scientists has released their research into the cause of opposition to immigration. Their study suggests that opposition has a biological genesis rather than a philosophical one.

The cost of deportation in dollars and cents

Deportations of undocumented immigrants continue their frenetic pace in the 100+ days following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. A campaign promise to remove all 11 million has narrowed to a focus on the approximately two million with criminal histories.

To bolster those targeted efforts, the president has asked Congress for another $1.15 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain, transport or remove unauthorized immigrants with criminal histories from the United States. He also requested another $76 million to recruit and hire an additional 10,000 ICE agents.

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