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Visa program could help some immigrants in North Carolina

Immigration law is a broad and complex subject and some of its lesser-known, though still vitally important, areas can become overshadowed by the emphasis on other provisions and rules. For example, take the special immigrant juvenile status visa program, which is given the acronym SIJS. Under the program, if an immigrant is listed as a dependent of the state, is not married and has not yet reached the age of 21, he or she can become a lawful permanent resident.

Immigration officials use tattoos to evaluate visa applications

Tattoos can be used to express affection, personal identity and group membership, among other things. But it is their ability to signal gang affiliation that is causing problems for immigrants seeking green cards. Applicants for lawful permanent residency are finding it increasingly difficult to convince State Department and immigration officials that their tattoos are nothing more than harmless ink instead of the markings associated with criminal organizations.

Immigrants could be affected by revised version of VAWA

Immigrants in North Carolina and around the country face a number of challenges. Some face the additional obstacle of being in an abusive relationship, but the Violence Against Women Act has provided them with some protection. The Act is up for renewal, and both chambers of Congress have passed competing versions of the Act, but they are vastly different and have distinctly disparate effects on immigrants in this country. The Senate version would increase the protections currently available to immigrants, while the House rendition would curtail a number of provisions of the law that protect immigrants who are the victims of domestic violence.

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