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Some immigrants end up detained when seeking family visas

Few people choose whom they will fall in love with, and when it happens, they want to spend the rest of their lives together, which often includes getting married. For some of those people living here in New Orleans or elsewhere in the country, this presents a logistical problem because they did not enter or remain here without the proper documentation. In 2016, regulations were enacted that allow immigrants who married U.S. citizens to seek waivers to remain in the country while they seek family visas and permanent residency.

All these individuals want is to rectify their legal status in the United States. They want to do the right thing, even if they were technically living here outside the law. Obtaining a waiver would prevent them from having to return to their country of origin during the process, which could take a significant amount of time.

Recently, however, the current administration's dictates regarding immigrants has taken yet another turn. Immigrants who are attempting to obtain permanent residency due to marriage to U.S. citizens are now being detained. Some of them are being taken into custody while at their local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of some of the people detained under these circumstances.

Anyone here in New Orleans who ends up detained under similar circumstances may benefit from enlisting the services of an immigration attorney. There may be legal options regarding being released from a detention center and pursuing permanent residency. With the issues surrounding family visas these days, it may be in an individual's best interest to contact an attorney prior to taking any actions concerning immigration issues.

Source: Reuters, "ACLU sues Trump administration for separating immigrant couples", Nate Raymond, April 11, 2018

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