Some people who are seeking asylum in Florida may face an additional hurdle under a new rule from the Trump administration. This rule states that if a person passed through another country en route to the United States, the person must have applied for asylum in that country.
People in Florida with friends or family who are applying for visas to the United States may be concerned about updates to visa applications requiring additional social media disclosure. On May 31, 2019, Forms DS-160 and DS-260, used for immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications, were updated to request a range of information about social media accounts. People applying for visas are being asked to provide all the names and handles they have used on various platforms in the last five years. The social media sites listed include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sites popular in other areas of the world, like VKontakte and Sina Weibo.
Many religious workers and their families in Florida may be concerned about planned changes to a special immigrant visa program, especially if they are not ministers. Over the years, people coming to the U.S. to work full time in religious occupations or vocations have been able to take advantage of an employment-based, fourth-preference visa program known as EB-4 for religious workers. While there is no annual cap on the number of ministers who are able to make use of the program during each year, there has been a cap of 5,000 visas each year issued for religious workers who are not ministers.
Undocumented immigrants who live in Florida or any other state are not allowed to purchase or possess guns. This is true even if the individual originally came to the country on a valid visa that later expired. However, if an immigrant doesn't know that what they are doing is illegal, the government may not be able to get a conviction. That was what the Supreme Court ruled in a case involving a man who spent time at the Florida Institute of Technology.
If President Trump gets his way, it may be harder for immigrants to make their way to Florida or other states to seek asylum. Under a "safe third country" plan, immigrants would be required to first apply for asylum in Mexico or another country. The president also wants immigrants to wait in Mexico until their cases are resolved, which can take months or years to occur.
For some migrant children entering the United States alone in states like Florida, special protections will no longer be available. This new policy means that some children will no longer get to make claims in front of a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officer instead of an immigration judge. U.S. immigration authorities, under direction from the Trump Administration, continue to implement further restrictions on immigration in an effort to reduce the amount of people coming over the southern border.
Many people in Florida are concerned about how proposed immigration reforms might affect their own status, especially people waiting on long-backlogged lists. One plan proposed by the Trump administration would eliminate the applications for over 4 million people currently waiting for green card approval in family-based and employment-based immigration categories. Even people who have been waiting for years to have their applications reviewed would have them canceled. They would be required to resubmit their applications under a new system, based on points.
Many employers in states like Florida with economies that are heavily dependent on tourism have been petitioning Congress for years to increase the annual H-2B visa quota. Due largely to a surging economy and plummeting unemployment rates, the departments of Labor and Homeland Security supported increased H-2B allocations in 2017 and 2018, and 15,000 visas were added to the 66,000 yearly cap. On May 8, a temporary rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register that increases the 2019 H-2B visa quota by 30,000.
Florida residents may be aware that President Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a top priority. Recently, the Trump administration has called for changes to the way that asylum seekers are processed. Among those changes include a proposal to charge individuals seeking asylum a fee as well as not allowing some to work in the United States. This has drawn criticism from immigration advocates as well as some lawmakers.
Immigrants who call Florida their home may have some understanding of how deportation works. Generally speaking, anyone who is not in the country legally could be sent back to their country of origin. This may be true even if the individual is a child. One case involving an 11-year-old was reopened after a judge initially ordered her to be sent back home without her mother or sister. It is believed that a clerical error resulted in the order to sent the child home alone.