Many undocumented immigrants who reside in Louisiana struggle to get their affairs in order because there often is no clear path to citizenship. Part of the problem is that many people are allowed to live, study, or work in the U.S. for a set period of time, but their futures remain unclear. Many live under a constant threat of deportation, amidst much confusion about temporary and permanent immigration options.
Developing a path to citizenship has been a priority of recent immigration reform efforts, but new polls show that immigrants are more concerned with deportation relief than obtaining citizenship.
Although most immigrants would like a path to citizenship, avoiding deportation - the immediate threat of removal from the U.S. - is their main concern, according to two surveys recently released by the Pew Research Center.
Hispanic and Asian-Americans were surveyed, and the majority agreed that being able to live and work in the U.S. without the fear of deportation is most important to them. The vast majority of both groups also said that they support a path to citizenship.
These findings are important because earlier this year legislation that would create a 13-year path to citizenship was passed in the Senate, but it has stalled in the House.
The poll's findings are not surprising, however, as deportations have increased significantly in recent years. Since 2009, about 400,000 immigrants have been deported annually.
For many immigrants, there is an immediate need for deportation relief while citizenship remains a long-term goal.
Those who need help understanding citizenship and permanent immigration options may benefit from discussing their circumstances with a skilled immigration attorney. There are many ways to reside in the U.S. permanently, with documentation, but the processes and requirements are complicated, making it important to seek personalized legal guidance.
Source: CBS News, "Poll: Immigrants prize deportation relief over citizenship," Jake Miller, Dec. 19, 2013