The Supreme Court has ruled that undocumented immigrants in Illinois and around the country cannot be deported for possessing a gun if they were not aware of their illegal status. The 7-2 decision, which was handed down on June 21, was made in the case of an Emirati man who entered the United States on a student visa and faced deportation proceedings after being expelled by the Florida Institute of Technology.
Longer visa processing times at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services have left many international students in Illinois searching for solutions. Graduates and students from some of the most prestigious institutions nationwide have been forced to delay summer job start dates, and some have missed out on educational or career opportunities because their visa applications have been delayed. Some say they have lost money on housing and transportation.
Dreamers in Illinois and throughout the country will have a pathway to citizenship if the American Dream and Promise Act becomes law. It was passed in the House of Representatives by a count of 237-187, and the vote was largely along party lines. It is unlikely to be passed by the Senate unless the legislation includes more funding for border security. Republicans also expressed concern that the proposed law would undercut those who have attempted to gain legal status properly.
Children in Illinois who are migrants and applying for asylum may lose some of the protections they have. When children enter the country unaccompanied, they have the right to a non-adversarial interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services instead of being required to go to court. They are also allowed a court appeal.
Foreign nationals who wish to live in Illinois on a non-immigrant student visa may qualify for one of two types depending on the educational program they plan to pursue. One visa is for people attending high schools, colleges, universities, language programs or other educational institutions. Students doing vocational programs or nonacademic courses must apply for the other type of visa.
Illinois residents who have been following events at the U.S.-Mexico border will likely know that President Trump has called the situation a national emergency. Thousands of migrants have already fled desperate conditions in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and made their way to ports of entry in California, Arizona and Texas. Media reports suggest that an even larger group is planning to make the perilous journey in the coming months.
Immigrants in Illinois whose spouses have H-1B visas may lose their right to work in the United States on their H-4 spousal visas. While the Obama administration granted spouses the right to work if the H-1B visa holder was working toward permanent residency, the Trump administration is considering removing this right. This leaves many families in limbo as they wait to see what will happen.