MODULE 5UNDERSTANDING LEGAL ISSUES OF NEW POPULATIONS Unit 1:Immigration & Legal Issues of New Populations in Your Communities.
Introduction Unit 1 - Immigration and Legal Issues provides a broad overview of the topics and issues that will be elaborated on in the subsequent units in this module.
Topics Covered in Module 5 • Unit 1 Immigration & Legal Issues of New Populations in Your Communities • Unit 2 Understanding Cultures - Building Bridges Across the Cultures in Your Communities • Unit 3 Accessing Public Benefits
Topics Covered in Module 5 • Unit 4 Life Skills & Challenges • Unit 5 Work Permits, Green Cards, Permanent Residency, Citizenship & Deportation • Unit 6 Sources for Basic Immigration & Legal Information
America Is a Melting Pot America is a melting pot of races, cultures and religious groups that have come from many points on the globe. In fact, the United States is often referred to as a “nation of immigrants”.
Major Immigrant Groups In the U.S.Historical Trends (1820-2002) Top 10 Largest U.S. Immigrant Groups • Germans • Mexicans • Italians • Britons • Irish • Canadians
Largest Immigrant Groups In U.S.Historical Trends (1820-2002) • Former USSR Citizens • Austrians • Hungarians • Filipinos
Major New ImmigrantsFiscal Year (FY) 2002 While the aforementioned groups represent the largest immigrant groups in the U.S. over the past century, Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service data (FY 2002) indicates that the majority of new immigrants in the U.S. come from: • North America - Mexico • Asia - India & China
People Immigrate to America for a Number of Reasons The Most Common Reasons Include: • Seeking Economic Opportunity & a Better Way of Life • Reuniting with Loved Ones • Fleeing Political Persecution • Pursuing Religious Freedom
Legal Versus Illegal Immigration • On average, approximately one million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year; • Of these, 700,000 enter as lawful permanent residents; • Another 100,000 to 150,000 enter legally as refugees or others fleeing persecution; and • Undocumented immigrants constitute 1% of the total U.S. population.
Illegal Immigrants Contrary to popular belief, most immigrants who are here illegally (6 out of 10) enter the U.S. legally with a student, tourist, or business visa and become illegal when they remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.
U.S. Priorities for Legal Immigration Most legal immigrants, about 8 out of 11, come to join close family members.
Family Reunification Family-sponsored immigrants enter as either immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as: • Spouses • Unmarried minor children, or • Parents
Family Reunification • Relatives of permanent residents, and • Siblings of U.S. citizens Enter through the family preference system.
An Important Aspect of U.S. Immigration Policy Family reunification is a key aspect of U.S. immigration policy and is based on the premise that strong families build good communities.
Admission of Skilled Workers The second priority of the U.S. legal immigration system is to allow U.S. employers access to a small number of skilled workers from other countries when qualified Americans are not available.
Religious & Political Freedom U.S. immigration policy acknowledges our support of religious and political freedom and ensures our commitment to advocate and provide a haven for individuals fleeing oppression and persecution.
Overview of Common Immigrant Issues Obtaining an Immigrant Visa • Definition of Immigrant • Who Is Eligible to Apply for the Visa? • How Can the Applicant Determine When the Visa Number Will Be Available?
Common Issues Becoming a Permanent Resident • Who is Eligible to Apply? • What is the Process? • Where To Apply?
Common Issues Obtaining a Work Permit • Who Is Eligible? • What is the Procedure for Applying?
Common Issues Public Benefits • Who Is Eligible? • What Type of Benefits are Available? • Where To Go For Services?
Legal Resources For Immigrants Needing Legal Guidance • What are the Resources In Your Community? • What National Organizations and Groups Can Provide Support?
Building Bridges Across Cultures Overcoming Barriers of Language & Culture • How Does the New Entrant Cope With the New Society? • Are There Local Support Groups that Can Help?
Building Bridges Across Cultures How Can the Extension Educator Enhance the New Immigrant’s Assimilation Into the Community? • The Extension Educator Bridging Services to Needs • Educate Potential Employers About the Skill-Pool Available Through New Immigrant Groups • Promote Cultural Awareness & Acceptance Through Cultural Community Activities Developed In Partnership with Local Support Groups.