In North Carolina and other states, debates about immigration laws and policies will play an important role in the upcoming presidential election. The recent case of a Salvadoran man perhaps signals a change in the way the United States will handle immigration issues.
Even though the war in Iraq is formally over, everyone in North Carolina knows that the situation there is not entirely peaceful. There is still some fighting and one group that remains under threat of persecution and violence are the Iraqi Kurds who worked with the United States military during the Iraq war. While some Kurds have family in the United States, they are having trouble getting the necessary visas to immigrate.
For anyone in Greensboro with a sick family member knows just how important it is to get the appropriate medical care. When that family member is so ill that stopping medical treatment could mean death in a few weeks, families will do whatever they can to ensure that health care does not stop. Unfortunately, if the family member has a deportation order against him or her, the government may not take into account what effect deportation may have on his or her health.
Throughout North Carolina and the rest of the country, there are thousands of Americans married to people living in the country without legal permission. In order for these North Carolina families to be truly "legal" in the eyes of the federal government, the non-American spouse must return to his or her country of citizenship, obtain a visa and receive a green card. Unfortunately for many of the people who are living here without legal permission, leaving their family and the country could mean years of separation waiting to be readmitted into the country.
North Carolina protestors recently took to the streets of Asheville to protest a raid conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. The protest, held on December 18, was to support 12 employees of a local restaurant who were rounded up in the immigration raid. Nine of the 12 are currently out on bail, although the remaining three continue to be held at a regional ICE center.Under the stated policy of the Obama administration, immigration enforcement is supposed to focus only on those undocumented immigrants who have engaged in criminal behavior or otherwise pose threats to the public. Yet, on December 1, ICE conducted a raid on Shogun Buffet and took into custody many people who have no previous criminal record. Many of the workers have families that they have established here.