Obtaining legal residency in the United States can be very challenging, even for Louisiana families who have spent decades in the country. One married couple, who has lived in this country for over 20 years, has struggled to become legalized. They came to the U.S. on tourist visas, and the husband got a temporary work permit, while the family tried to adjust for residency status. The couple enrolled their Mexican-born children in school, and, while they qualified for the Millennium Scholarship, their father refused the assistance.
There have been a number of recent news stories that deal with the issue of citizenship. Many Louisiana immigrants are confused about their citizenship or permanent resident status and what it actually means. One woman came to the United States when she was a young child and later assumed that she derived citizenship from her step-father who was a U.S. citizen. She therefore never applied for citizenship. Unfortunately, she was never a citizen in the first place, just a legal resident with a green card. She later received an order from an immigration judge, which took away her permanent resident status and subjected her to deportation at any time.
Immigrants to relocate to the United States often seek to remain in the nation with their family members who traveled with them to the country or who later joined them. In order to accomplish this, immigrants seek to obtain employment. Because some immigrants are unable to enter the country through the proper legal channels, this could make it difficult to obtain or maintain a job. Even if the proper paperwork is filled out, it could still be challenging to work in the field of expertise the immigrant has due to competition.
At a recent call-in session in New York, thousands of people all across the United States got their immigration questions answered by volunteers. Some questions came up repeatedly during the session and the answers may help non-citizens in Louisiana get through the citizenship process much more quickly. One of the most common questions had to do with how well one has to speak English in order to become a U.S. citizen. Some wondered that if being a permanent resident for a number of years would make up for their inability to speak English well.
The Obama administration has made it known that they are making criminals a priority when it comes to the deportation of illegal immigrants. However, many activists have noted that undocumented immigrants from Louisiana and other states have been swept up by the system and deported for what many see as minor crimes.