Best Immigration Lawyers San Antonio Of 2024 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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The immigration process is neither quick nor easy. Make sure you have an attorney who is familiar with both federal immigration laws and Texas laws. This field is changing quickly, so it’s important to have an experienced guide.

Who Is Covered By Immigration Laws in San Antonio, TX?

Federal immigration law covers all noncitizens who enter the United States. Those who wish to work or live there permanently need to apply for a document called a green card. This card grants permanent residency, but not citizenship.

Those visiting for temporary work, education or tourism might require a visa to stay in the United States legally.

Here are a few groups that are particularly impacted by immigration laws:

  • Tourists and business travelers. Many foreign visitors are required to have visas before entering the United States. There are several types of visas that cover people who are visiting, working or living in the United States. Residents of Canada, Bermuda and countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are not required to get visas for short-term tourism or business trips.
  • Job seekers. A tourist visa does not give a noncitizen the right to work in the United States. Instead, job seekers must have a work visa. This process is easiest for people who have a job offer or whose company has sponsored them. It’s much more involved for those without a job offer, advanced degree or special skills.
  • Family members. Immediate relatives of United States citizens may have special pathways available to them if they wish to immigrate.
  • Asylum-seekers. The United States has specific visas for asylum-seekers. However, this process can be long and convoluted, and there is no guarantee that an asylum visa will be issued.

Immigrant Rights Under Texas Immigration Laws

Texas is a convenient entry point to the United States for those from Mexico, Central America and South America. However, the political climate surrounding immigration in Texas is fraught, with laws continually changing and evolving. While many people have no option aside from Texas, it may be worth investigating immigration laws in other border states to see if they have different policies.

Texas Laws That Impact Immigrants

There is a section in Texas Government Code that concerns immigration and border crossings. This code was amended in a controversial bill called Senate Bill 4 (SB4). The law is making its way through the American judicial system. The bill has been passed, but it’s currently blocked by the courts. For this reason, we will look at the current Texas Government Code and SB4 separately.

Texas Government Code Title 7, Chapter 752

This is Texas’s current immigration law. Here are its primary effects:

  • Creation of the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs. As part of the Texas Department of Human Services, this department handles the federal funds allotted for support services for immigrants and refugees. The law also includes the appointment of a refugee coordinator within this office.
  • Creation of an advisory board. This law is the basis for the creation of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Immigration and Refugees.
  • Prohibition against discrimination. Texas law prohibits discrimination in the immigration system based on race, color, religion, language or national origin and provides guidance on how to file related complaints with the Texas Attorney General.
  • Removal from public office for violations. Additionally, there are provisions of the law that cover the removal from office of public officials who violate immigration law.

Senate Bill 4

Although the battle over the future of SB4 is still ongoing, the law was actually passed and signed into law in 2017. However, it has been held up in court for years. If this bill determined to be constitutional, it will make the following changes to Texas immigration policy:

  • It will limit the ability of local law enforcement agencies to enforce their own immigration-related policies and instead mandate that federal immigration law is followed. For example, this would limit cities from enforcing local policies that prohibit law enforcement from asking about someone’s immigration status.
  • It will criminalize illegal border crossings (as a Class B misdemeanor) and allow Texas to return people who have crossed the border illegally back to Mexico. Local law enforcement would be responsible for transporting migrants to the border.

Filing Process for Immigration in San Antonio, TX

The filing process varies depending on what type of visa you are applying for. In general, here are the steps:

  • File the appropriate petition with documentation for the visa.
  • Wait for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to review your application.
  • Attend a biometric interview, which involves fingerprinting, a photo and a signature.
  • Attend an in-person interview, if required.
  • Receive a decision on the visa application.

If a visa is denied, it may be possible to appeal the decision or reapply. If you have received a denial, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to explore your options.

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