There is a growing community of immigrants throughout North Carolina, currently making up 8 percent of the state’s population. And, according to a Gateways for Growth study from 2019, almost one in six Mecklenburg residents was born outside the US. In representing a significant proportion of the local labor force, immigrants make a positive economic contribution and have become an integral part of Charlotte’s increasingly diverse community. However, many are at risk of expulsion, and, while the government is gradually introducing more humanitarian changes to its policies, deportation cases based on outdated legislation can be distressing. By providing access to legal representation for all immigrants and practical care for unaccompanied children, the local community can help to retain indispensable workers and keep immigrant families together.
Legal Representation Essential for Immigration Cases
There are currently 34,000 pending immigration cases in North Carolina but only 23% have a chance of legal representation, the lowest odds in the country. There is currently a shortage of immigration attorneys in the state, and as immigration cases are civil proceedings, clients are expected to organize their own legal representation. Improving access to legal representation can help clients with a variety of immigration matters from applying for family visas to hiring essential immigrant workers. US immigration procedures are complex, but with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, clients can be reassured that they are fully compliant with regulations and have the best chance of remaining lawfully in the country.
Foster Families Required for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children
In the five months since the beginning of the year, more than 65,000 unaccompanied immigrant children have arrived at the Mexican-US border. An executive order in February on the “Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families’ shows that the government understands that more work needs to be done to keep children from being separated from their relatives. In the meantime, Charlotte is one of many cities that has been selected to find foster carers to take in unaccompanied children while they wait to be reunited with their own families. Without taking resources away from North Carolina children, the fostering process is being accelerated so that more families can help with urgent requests for accommodation.
Although the government is now taking steps to amend outdated and unfair immigration policies, more support is needed to deal effectively with ongoing cases, and keep lawful immigrants In North Carolina.