When I first heard about the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), I did not realize the magnitude of the services immigration lawyers provide. But now, as an immigrant and immigration lawyer myself, the importance of this line of work could not be clearer. Thus, it comes as no surprise to me that, as of 2018, AILA has over 15,000 members.
I went through the immigrant visa process as a child of a nurse (my mother) petitioned by the hospital she worked for. After living in the United States for five years, my family and I applied for naturalization, the process of becoming U.S. citizens. Later, I petitioned for my spouse’s legal residency and also helped him with his naturalization process. This was all done without an immigration lawyer. Fortunately, my family and I did not run into any problems.
In today’s world, however, having practiced immigration law and having held an AILA membership for over 20 years, I would not advise anyone to submit any application on their own without at least consulting an immigration lawyer first.
There is no question that an anti-immigrant attitude dominates the current presidential administration’s policies when it comes to immigration law. Immigration policies have become increasingly restrictive, making applicants seeking immigration benefits face more hurdles than ever before. For example, the new “Public Charge” rule requires extensive evidence of an applicant’s financial standing to prove that they are not likely to rely on government benefits.
Additionally, the government wants to see credit scores and credit reports, bank statements and evidence of assets, education degrees, and English fluency. And due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic, the restrictions have been exacerbated. The admission of certain nonimmigrant temporary workers has been suspended, except for those deemed to be “essential workers.”
Yet, U.S. businesses, particularly those in the construction and service industries, are experiencing a shortage of workers during the pandemic, necessitating the recruitment of foreign workers. Furthermore, U.S. businesses need an injection of capital assets from foreign investors wanting to gain permanent residency in the U.S.
So how can someone — be it an employer, business, or potential immigrant — navigate this complicated field? It is imperative to consult a lawyer first to determine the proper course of action. An immigration lawyer can help evaluate a case and walk a client through every step of any given process. Many times, clients have come to me and my colleagues for help after their cases have been marred in the immigration minefield. Sometimes, it is possible to remedy their mistakes, but not always.
To speak to an immigration lawyer about your case, contact Pearson Butler online today.