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March 2016 Archives

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Changing face of immigration

Many Maryland residents mistakingly believe that the majority of immigrants, both legal and illegal, come from Mexico. The reality is that immigration from Mexico has dropped substantially since its peak in 2007. Instead, more immigrants are arriving from India and China, and many new arrivals from both countries are highly educated.

Convictions for marijuana and naturalization

While the use of marijuana is now viewed with much less stigma in Maryland and across the rest of the country, convictions for possessing it may still present problems for permanent residents who wish to apply for naturalization. A conviction may result in a person's facing deportation proceedings even if they have lived in the U.S. for years.

Making naturalization easier in Maryland

A program called Citizenshipworks developed by the Immigration Advocates Network aims to make it easier for immigrants to become naturalized citizens. The program is similar to ones commonly used to help individuals complete their tax returns, and it is free to use. An increasing number of permanent residents have sought citizenship over recent months as anti-immigrant rhetoric from presidential candidates has become stronger.

Immigration detainees may have died due to negligence

Observers allege that conditions at U.S. immigration detention centers have led to the death of numerous detainees. One incident, which began with the June 2011 detention of a 54-year-old, resulted in the man waiting to be treated for 22 days and eventually dying from heart disease after suffering from painful symptoms for about three months. Internal reviews by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined that the death could have been avoided with proper treatment, and advocates in Maryland and around the country say the incident highlights major problems with the way ICE operates.

Spending bill proposes H2-B visa expansion

The U.S. House of Representatives is reviewing a spending bill that includes an extension of the H-2B visa program. Immigrants and companies in Maryland may benefit from low-skilled temporary workers being allowed to stay longer in the United States under the proposal.

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