These are uncertain times for any foreign-born person in the United States or trying to get in. As we noted in a post earlier this year, there are many reasons someone might be entering the U.S. and specifically coming to Kentucky. These can include such things as working for a local religious denomination – perhaps as an educator at a seminary or as a minister at a church.
The current environment regarding immigration is unpredictable. Whether you live in Kentucky or any other state, if you are an undocumented immigrant or know someone who is, what could happen next is one big question mark. Even when your legal status is solid, the desire to avoid deportation can cause worry. In uncertain times, fear only increases.
Immigrants in Kentucky who have permanent residency may be interested to hear that on Feb. 27, the Supreme Court heard a case that had to do with a permanent resident who was facing deportation. The man had been convicted in California after having sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend. He was 20 and 21 at the time, and according to California law, if an individual is under 18 and there is more than a three-year age difference with the person they are having sex with, the act is criminal.
Some people in Kentucky may be concerned about recent changes to immigration law and wonder if they or their loved ones could be deported. In February, hundreds of immigrants were detained in several cities across the country. On Feb. 16, three Democratic senators introduced a bill that would overturn an Executive Order that called for the deportation of many more immigrants and the withholding of funding for sanctuary cities. Some employers may be concerned as well since the deportations could result in a labor shortage.
No one in Kentucky would argue that U.S. policy on deportation of undocumented immigrants hasn't undergone a change. Raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency across the country resulted in the arrests of nearly 700 individuals. Many are calling it a mass enforcement operation.
There is a great deal of emotional upheaval in Kentucky and the rest of the country over the state of federal policy on immigration. The Trump administration has suffered a setback from the courts on its efforts to curtail travel by individuals from majority Muslim countries. At the same time, the president has issued a warning that his administration is prepared to cut federal funds to local jurisdictions identified as so-called "sanctuary cities" and step up action on deportations.
This is a tough time for immigrants in Kentucky. One big reason for this is the confusion that has reigned since the president signed his executive order suddenly restricting movements of individuals from seven Muslim countries. The order doesn't specifically speak to possible efforts to deport individuals already in the U.S., but it would be naïve to suggest that there's no reason for them to be concerned.
Last Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that severely limits immigration from seven countries. These countries include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen.
In our last post, we discussed a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue is whether any misstatement during an immigration petition, even a small one, is enough to render someone's immigration status invalid. Even naturalized citizens are vulnerable.
Once you've become naturalized U.S. citizen, you have all the rights and responsibilities as any other citizen, right? While that equality between citizens is the bedrock of our naturalization system, there is at least one important exception.