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Greensboro NC Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

Lawmakers seek to modify proposed N.C. immigration bill

Greensboro is home to many hardworking, active individuals. While some of those people have lived in the city all of their lives, others have come from outside of the country, risking the challenges of immigration in order to find better lives. Their ability to contribute to the successes of Greensboro and North Carolina as a whole is threatened each time the state seeks to modify its stance toward non-residents.

As previously discussed on this blog, a proposed state law would allow law enforcement officials to detain people suspected of illegally being in the country while verifying the individuals' statuses and would prevent non-residents from getting out of jail when arrested for a variety of offenses. While the bill contains other provisions regarding permitting non-residents to apply for restricted driver's licenses, lawmakers are now proposing amendments to lighten the burdens non-residents could face if the bill is made into law without modification.

Proposed North Carolina law would permit immigration checks

In the last few weeks, the federal government in Washington D.C. has been actively working on revising immigration laws. While any changes at the national level would impact the possibility of gaining citizenship for immigrants in North Carolina, state level legislation may pose a greater day-to-day impact on the lives of those seeking legal citizenship in this country.

Four North Carolina legislators have proposed a new bill that would allow law enforcement officers to verify an individual's immigration status when the officers possess reasonable suspicion. The bill is titled the Reclaim N.C. Act and would impose additional penalties on non-citizen immigrants, such as tougher prison rules that would keep non-citizens in jail longer and charging non-citizens for the costs associated with their incarcerations. While the bill also contains a provision that would allow non-citizens to apply for a special driving permit, immigrant advocates have mixed feelings about the proposed law.

New American citizens in North Carolina focus on family

Across the nation, thousands of international citizens are diligently working toward becoming naturalized Americans. Just last week, fifty-one such individuals realized their dreams as they took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America in Charlotte. While many expressed happiness for their personal accomplishments, others turned their focus toward reuniting with loved ones through family immigration.

Working toward American citizenship can be a long and arduous process and in the case of one new citizen, her journey to naturalization took 13 years. While some of North Carolina's newest Americans had the opportunity to undergo the naturalization process with the support of local relatives, others had to work through the process alone.

North Carolina officials to change young immigrants' licenses

People coming to this country to start a new life in a new land face many obstacles. Financial difficulties, language challenges and immigration rules all face those brave enough to come to the United States to build a life. Recently, North Carolina made a change to one relatively small but important challenge to young immigrants.

Previously, North Carolina transportation officials were pushing for the inclusion of a pink stripe on the driver's licenses of young immigrants. The stripe was to be accompanied by the phrase, "NO LAWFUL STATUS." Though that phrase remains in the stripe's absence, the phrase "LEGAL PRESENCE" now also appears on the licenses just above the other phrase.

Former hardliners take a more lenient stance on immigration

Last week this blog noted that real immigration reform appears to be close to reality for the first time in years. One of the main reasons a comprehensive revision of immigration law finally seems possible is that a number of Republican lawmakers have adopted a noticeably softer stance on the issue since their party lost the last presidential election.

In the mid-2000s there was a significant shift among Republicans to a more hard-line stance on immigration. Some believe this was actually contrary to traditional Republican views on immigration. Now a number of GOP politicians appear to have suddenly seen the light.

Senators nearing new immigration law with path to citizenship

As the laws on immigration continue to be debated, Congress will continue to discuss the national immigration policy. A new national immigration law could have a profound impact on all states, including North Carolina.

In fact, several U.S. senators are writing a proposed bill overhauling immigration law. They reached an agreement about the method they want illegal immigrants to take in their path to citizenship. The bill proposes that immigrants would be required to register with the Department of Homeland Security. They also would be required to file and pay income taxes and a fine, in an amount not yet determined. In addition, the immigrants would be required to have a clean criminal record.

Proposed North Carolina law to address immigrant college students

A new law in North Carolina has been proposed to keep young immigrants from attending state and community colleges in North Carolina. As U.S. immigration law becomes a current issue, more states, like North Carolina, are changing their laws based on new policies.

Under current law, immigrant students are only able to attend the university if they also attended high school in the United States. Existing law does not bar immigrants from attending university, but it does require them to pay out of state tuition.

North Carolina's new drivers licenses cause concern

Recently in North Carolina the state Attorney General has directed the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue drivers licenses to children of immigrants who entered the country with their parents as minors. The order comes about following President Obama's implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) law. The law, which allows qualified person temporary work permits, has been hotly debated across the nation With U.S. Immigration Law being debated all across the US and here in North Carolina, many groups have expressed concern over the new laws.

After the Attorney General issued his new opinion, the DMV announced that it would begin issuing licenses to qualified applicants on March 25. Since that announcement, the DMV has released what they expect the licenses to look like. The DMV has announced that the license will have a pink bar across the top and contain the words "No Lawful Status".

ICE steps up efforts to deport immigrants convicted of crimes

As issues concerning U.S. immigration law take center stage in the political arena, federal enforcement actions reflect the debate.

Recently, emails from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) were released regarding their policy on deportation. The emails, many targeted to the situation right here in North Carolina, encourage local law enforcement officials to step up their patrols to find illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in an effort to meet the deportation target set by the federal government. ICE denies that it has deportation "quotas", but merely seeks to meet the removal targets.

North Carolina will issue driver's licenses to deferred action immigrants

As a nation that is truly a melting pot of culture, the topic of immigration has been at the forefront of the minds of many citizens. Recently there has been a lot of debate concerning U.S. Immigration Law in North Carolina and around the nation. Much of this debate has centered on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals law.

In North Carolina there has been a lot of discussion between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Attorney General regarding the legality of issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The Attorney General interprets North Carolina law and the DACA to allow those receiving work permits under the DACA to apply for driver's licenses. The DACA grants those persons who were transported into this country at young age temporary lawful presence in the US for two years, with the possibility of renewal.

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