The time and politics we live in have a way of causing stress and confusion for just about everyone in the United States, with few things as stressful and confusing as trying to keep up with the ever-changing immigration landscape. Whether you’re trying to stay on top of things as an immigrant seeking a work visa or green card, someone who entered the country as a refugee or with Temporary Permanent Status (TPS), or are a lawyer looking for a way to help out, there are ways to keep your finger on the pulse.
For Those Seeking Work Visas, Green Cards, Fiance Visas, etc
The processes for permanent residency and work visas are getting more complicated by the day. Waitlists are long and it feels like the rules might be changing as you’re trying to keep up. This is where the assistance of a good immigration lawyer can help. Immigration lawyers are paid to keep up with the US government and understand the intricacies of each type of visa.
If you are more interested in keeping up with laws on your own time (and are a bit of a policy wonk), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a news page that keeps track of all press releases, policy updates, and news related to the organization.
For Refugees/Asylum Seekers/DACA Recipients, etc
Refugees and those living with TPS are among the most vulnerable when it comes to the effects of changing immigration laws. If this describes you or your family, you probably already know how hard it is to remain on top of what’s going on in Washington D.C. If this is your situation, you could probably also use an immigration lawyer, one with specialties in refugee/asylum claims, non-permanent residency, and status renewal. Immigration lawyers often have resources on their websites about recent developments in immigration law, usually explained in simpler terms than in the news or on government websites.
If you want more immediate updates on immigration news, the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) has a regularly updated feed of news stories explaining recent developments. This feed collects stories from NPR, The Hill, The Washington Post, and more.
For Lawyers Looking to do More
Whether your an immigration lawyer or a lawyer with an interest in immigration, there are things you can do to help. Throughout the zero-tolerance family separation act at the Southern Border, multiple law firms offered pro-bono work for both the families and government workers who refused to comply with the policy. Due to your understanding of the law, you are able to comprehend much of the USCIS website, which is full of policy manuals and administrative decisions. If you haven’t already, consider starting a blog in your spare time and become another resource people can use.
It’s unlikely that immigration policy will become any less complicated in the coming months/years, and until the point that it does it will probably only become more tangled. In the meantime, the best we can do is try and keep up.