Immigration Policy: 4 Things You Need To Know
By: Harlan York
January 19, 2014

Gandhi was once famously asked if he was a Hindu.

His answer:  “Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.”

This perspective is very important when representing immigrants.

As lawyers who help immigrants, we must look at all of our clients with truly global perspective.

Here are four essential points that you must remember in reviewing immigration policy:

  1. In asylum law, a claim of persecution may be made on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.  We recognize many classifications of “social group,” including a federal court just identifying persons suffering with mental illness as a particular group.
  2. In family immigration law, immigration policy dictates that qualifying relationships are defined by parentage, marriage (including same sex marriage), and sibling petitions.  We know that in some of these categories, you may wait a few months for a green card.  In others, the time to receive legal status may be a decade or more.  Talk to a top immigration lawyer before doing it yourself.
  3. In deportation (removal) defense, there are a host of waivers available to immigrants.  Our immigration policy is very strict in the enforcement of these waivers.  It is not easy to win a removal case. There have been about two million deportations under the Obama Administration as of this writing in January 2014.  The best way to have a good chance of winning is to locate the best immigration attorney that you can.
  4. In citizenship law, immigration policy controls your eligibility to naturalize in very unusual circumstances.  Just one such example:  registration in the Selective Service program is a requirement for citizenship.  Failure to register may affect your “good moral character.”

You need outstanding immigration counsel before taking on the government.

It does not matter how easy you think your case is.

Don’t fool yourself.

Our immigration policy is extraordinarily complicated.

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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