As of January 2015, there were 13.2 million lawful permanent residents in the US. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a five-year estimate determined that 52.9% of Florida’s population was foreign-born.
Despite the prevalence of immigration, there are many misconceptions about immigrants and the processes they use to come into the country. Take a look at some of the myths surrounding immigration and learn what the facts say.
Myth 1 – The Majority Of Immigrants Are In The Country Illegally
In recent years, the government has taken a strong stand against illegal immigration. However, most immigrants are not here illegally. Rather, the majority of foreign-born people in the U.S. have the necessary documentation to remain in the county.
It’s impossible to say exactly how many immigrants are undocumented. But there are statistics on the amount of documented immigrants. In 2014, approximately 44% of the foreign-born population consisted of naturalized citizens. About 27% of the immigrant population had green cards.
Myth 2 – It’s Easy To Immigrate To The U.S.
Although some people believe it’s easy for an immigrant to enter the country, this is far from reality. In fact, many immigrants need to rely on immigration lawyers to help them get into the country.
There are many obstacles keeping immigrants away. For instance, the visa process can be difficult to understand. If someone chooses the wrong visa, they will be denied. They also need to complete the paperwork and provide all of the required documentation.
Some visas require long waiting periods. Specifically, family sponsorship visas come with a waiting list. Depending on your relationship with your sponsor, you could be waiting years for your chance to immigrate.
Myth 3 – Immigrants Can Take Jobs Away
Only select immigrants can take their pick of jobs. When someone has a green card or is a naturalized citizen, they don’t have limitations on which jobs they can work. However, other immigrants have serious barriers.
For example, someone on a student visa cannot be a regular part of the workforce. While they can work a part-time job that meets certain qualifications, they are very limited. People on business visas are even more boxed-in.
If an American employer wants to hire someone from another country, they need to go through a lengthy process. Before the visa will be approved, they need to prove that there are no Americans who are qualified or willing to take the job.
Myth 4 – Immigrants Escaping Persecution Don’t Undergo A Screening Process
It is possible for someone to flee to the United States and seek asylum. However, this process isn’t as simple as some people imagine. For an individual to obtain asylum, they need to meet specific criteria.
For one, they need to demonstrate that they were persecuted in the past or they fear persecution. The government does not take this requirement lightly. If there is no evidence supporting their statement, the individual will be turned away.
Before approving a request for asylum, the USCIS does a thorough screening. They run background checks, test fingerprints, and do face-to-face interviews. Additionally, they run health screenings. Often, it takes months and even years to complete the process.
An individual who applies for asylum through the defensive process needs to wait for a significant backlog of cases to make it through the immigration court system. Due to the many challenges associated with immigration, people often choose to work with legal professionals. A Florida immigration lawyer can help you with all of your immigration needs.
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