Immigration Law Attorneys in Corpus Christi & Dallas, Texas
During the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of refugees admitted to the United States decreased by 53% over the same period in 2019. Approximately 4,000 refugees were admitted in the last quarter of 2020 compared to more than 9,000 refugees the previous year. The stark disparity indicates the severity of the problems within the immigration system.
Immigration law is complex, complicated, and often unpredictable. Language barriers and cultural differences add to the confusion. Those who seek to immigrate to the United States and those here who want to change their status should not navigate the process alone.
Our team at The Torres Law Firm helps individuals and families seeking a new life in the United States and those stuck somewhere in the immigration process as they enter the country legally or illegally. We represent clients in Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas.
The Immigration Crisis at The Texas Border
Nowhere else in the U.S. are the problems with immigration policies and procedures more evident than the southern border of Texas. In May 2021, encounters between migrants and border enforcement exceeded 180,000 at the southwest land border, the highest number in 20 years.
Migrants, emboldened by rumors of the southern border opening under the Biden administration after near-closure under the Trump administration, have flocked here, hoping to find refuge in the U.S. Instead, they have been met with confusion among even veteran border enforcement officers. No one, it seems, knows who should be able to cross and who should not.
The Torres Attorneys believe our job is to keep up with the policies and laws that are constantly changing so we can help those who want to enter the U.S. legally — as well as those who may be threatened with deportation.
What You Need for Permanent Residency and Citizenship
There are three ways immigrants may seek to legally remain in the United States:
A green card (or permanent resident card) is granted to lawful and permanent residents of the United States. There are paths for green card eligibility through family relationships, employment, asylum or refugee status, being a victim of crime or abuse, religious or international workers, those who have resided in the country continuously since prior to January 1, 1972, or other special circumstances.
Naturalization offers a way for certain people to become U.S. citizens. If you are 18 years of age or older and have been a permanent resident for at least five years, you can apply to become a U.S. citizen. You can also apply if you are 18 or older, have been a permanent resident for three years, and are married to a U.S. citizen.
Consular processing occurs while living outside the United States. You must apply for immigration via petition. If approved, you will receive an immigration visa number and you may apply for a green card through the U.S. consulate. If you are already in the U.S. and are eligible to apply for a green card, you may be able to do so without returning to your home country by applying for an adjustment in status.
Family Members Petitioning for Legal Status
U.S. citizens may petition for family members to achieve legal status. Visas are always available to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents if the petitioning U.S. citizen child is 21 or older.
U.S. citizens may also petition for “preference relatives,” but the availability of these visas is limited to a set number annually. Preference relatives include unmarried adult children ages 21 and older, spouses of green card holders, unmarried children, and adult children of permanent residents, married adult children of U.S. citizens, and siblings of adult U.S. citizens.
U.S. citizens may petition for a green card for any immediate family members. If the immediate family member is already living in the country, they may be eligible to receive an adjustment of status and obtain a green card without needing to leave the U.S. during the processing of the petition.
They may also file a petition for visas for a spouse or fiancé residing outside of the U.S. and their children under the age of 21.
Removal Defense For People Facing Deportation
Removal defense is legal representation or advocacy for someone facing deportation and appearing before an immigration judge in court.
There are ways cancellation of removal may be granted by the judge, including qualification for an adjustment of status and a green card based on family relationships or if you have resided in the country for 10 years or more.
Asylum is another way to avoid deportation. Asylum offers protection to people who fled persecution in another country. If granted, the grantee may obtain a work permit and later be eligible for a green card and permanent residency.
Individuals who are deported may submit an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission After Deportation or Removal. If successful, a deportee may receive a waiver that permits them to go through the process of admission to the U.S. legally.
The Importance of Legal Representation
The best chance for success for people who wish to enter the U.S. legally, people without legal status who want to obtain it, and people who want to become U.S. citizens, is to retain the services of experienced immigration attorneys. Language barriers, cultural differences, and the complications of U.S. law and presidential policy make it nearly impossible for residents to obtain the status they want without the help of a lawyer.
Immigration Law Attorneys Serving Corpus Christi, Texas
At The Torres Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping immigrants facing residency, deportation, and citizenship challenges. We understand the desire you have to find your piece of the American dream and a better life for you and your family. We are prepared to fight for you in Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas. Schedule a consultation today!