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Cleveland Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Qualifying for asylum requires high burden of proof

Asylum for refugees is an issue frequently discussed in the news, both nationally and in Ohio. Child refugees in particular garner a great deal of attention, as many come from dangerous areas of the world that are under turmoil due to political upheaval, religious uprisings and illegal drug trafficking. While many argue that these children are innocent victims of circumstances outside of their control, seeking asylum for them is not an easy task.

The burden of proof in an asylum claim is high, states one immigration expert. It is insufficient to show that a persons’ home country is a dangerous place; applicants must establish that they have been specifically targeted due to their membership in a protected group. This expert notes that proving this level of persecution is not always easy, and makes it very difficult to determine at a single glance whether a person will be granted asylum in the United States.

Ohio businesses press for immigration reform

Business leaders, including groups representing agriculture and manufacturing, were active in yesterday’s Day of Action in congressional districts in Ohio and around the nation. Their goal was to push Congress and President Obama to undertake comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The president of the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association noted that in his industry, 80 percent or more of the workers are migrants, many of whom are undocumented. By failing to address immigration reform, including work visas, Congress is putting the nation’s food supply at risk, he said.

New citizens celebrate the Fourth of July early

For U.S. citizens, the celebration of our nation’s independence begins in just two days. But for a group of immigrants who became citizens yesterday, the celebration has already begun.

“I felt the tears come,” an Iranian immigration said of the ceremony at which he raised his right hand became a naturalized citizen of the United States

Are child immigrants at border part of a refugee crisis?

The plight of immigrant children coming across the southwest U.S. border has become not only a fixture in the daily news, but in the nation’s political debate. Politicians and TV talking heads argue about what should be done, with some arguing that the kids should be detained and then deported.

But a recent news article suggests a more humane alternative: granting the children asylum in the United States. A Catholic Relief Services official says the drug wars of Central America are causing children to flee the “epidemic of violence” and that the U.S. should consider the children refugees. 

Father's Day 'miracle' helps Cleveland immigrant dad stay in U.S.

The husband and father went with his wife and children to Cleveland’s St. Casimir’s Church yesterday to worship and to celebrate Father’s Day. Along with supporters, the family was also exulting in a decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials granting the man a one-year stay of a deportation order he faced.

The father of three told a TV station reporter that he tries to be the best person he knows how to be and that all he really wants to do “is stay with my family and work hard.”

Veteran feels betrayed by immigration system

He’s a veteran of the U.S. Army and a former federal and state government employee who has lived in the United States for almost 50 years. But the man who served the nation on many occasions (as a federal prison guard, he kept an eye on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh) only recently found out that he’s not considered a citizen.

The government retiree had come to the U.S. from Cuba when he was just 9 years old. 

Deportation protection for young immigrants extended

There is some irony in the recent announcement that the U.S. government is extending its protection of young immigrants in Cleveland and across the nation. The irony is that the government’s extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects people from deportation by the government.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began taking renewal applications for another two years of protection under DACA. The program is also open to new applications.

Study: immigration attorney program for indigent would pay for itself

What happens when a large American city with a sizable immigrant population discovers that providing public defenders to indigent immigrants is a government program that would pay for itself? The municipality at the heart of the question is not Cleveland, but New York City.

Its immigration courts have tens of thousands of people file through every year to contest deportation, most without an attorney by their side. Immigration attorneys and others interested in protecting the rights of immigrants have long argued that everyone should have counsel to assist them. Now the New York City Bar Association is onboard, arguing that cost should not prevent the city from creating a federally funded public defender program for immigration court.

Cuban-born man vindicated after citizenship questioned

This week, a Florida man native to Cuba was vindicated when he was recognized as a U.S. citizen after having his citizenship questioned by officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to sources, the 58-year-old man had served in Vietnam and worked for many years for the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prison as a security guard. During that time he used a Social Security number he received when he first came to the United States as a child.

Despite all of that, the man was targeted by authorities last year when he applied for a passport to go on a cruise and it was discovered that he was not listed as a citizen. Fortunately, the man’s attorney was able to straighten his situation out, though she expressed concern that there may be many more immigrants in similar situations who are unable to afford an attorney to advocate for them. 

Comprehensive immigration reform has wide support

The political news website Politico today published a poll showing that Americans want it. What no one can yet produce is a political plan that shows how both major parties will come together to bring us what people want: comprehensive immigration reform.

It is no doubt surprising to some in Cleveland that immigration reform has such wide and deep support across the nation, but it is true. A full 71 percent of likely American voters surveyed said they support "sweeping change to immigration laws," Politico says.

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