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Avoiding deportation a concern for Maryland immigrants

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For the roughly 11 million illegal aliens in the United States, the constant threat of being deported is one that affects every aspect of their lives. For the families and friends of those who live and work in Maryland and elsewhere without legal documentation, deportation is one of the biggest fears they have. While the United States Government lingers and debates the details of immigration reform, a new survey sheds light on exactly what immigrants and their families are mostly concerned about.

Much has been made about introducing a pathway to citizenship as part of any comprehensive immigration reform. However, the new survey says many immigrants see the threat of deportation as much more important on their list of concerns. Those who answered the survey say they want to be able to live and work in this country without the worries of potential deportation.

The pathway to citizenship is still strongly supported however. Of both Hispanic and Asian-American immigrants, 89 percent and 72 percent want a pathway to citizenship. But, of the Hispanic immigrants who are in the country legally, only roughly 44 percent actively chose to pursue citizenship. The cost and fear of the tests are cited as reasons some choose to not apply for citizenship.

While each family and each immigrant has their own needs, dreams and fears, the commonalities are helping to shape the immigration debate. National attention has been cast on the plight of many who are in the midst of deportation hearings in Maryland and other states. While the legislation lingers, those caught up in the debate may benefit from staying up to date on the current laws and what reforms may potentially be implemented.

Source: eagletribune.com, Survey finds immigrants favor relief from deportation over path to citizenship, Paul Tennant, Dec. 20, 2013

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