Those who enter the United States in Arizona or other recognized locations may request asylum upon arrival. The first step in obtaining asylum is the credible fear interview. This is when an individual shows evidence such as physical wounds to a government agent. However, there is no guarantee that a person will be found credible. One woman was denied despite showing scars and a hand with missing fingers after an attack in Honduras.
Many Arizona residents were shocked to learn that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were separating the children of undocumented immigrants from their parents at the Mexican border, and they may have been relieved when a national backlash prompted the Trump administration to abandon the controversial policy. However, a new outcry ensued when it emerged that reunited immigrant families were being deported without delay.
Non-citizens who visit or work in Arizona sometimes have concerns about overstaying their visas. In general, there can be severe legal consequences for not departing the United States before the visa has expired. There are some circumstances under which overstaying a visa may incur minor penalties.
People in Arizona who are not U.S. citizens but have secured permanent resident status should keep their green cards in good standing. The two main ways that green card holders can jeopardize their permanent residencies are by violating the law or spending extended periods of time outside of the United States.
On May 29, the Trump administration announced that it would soon start fingerprinting parents who attempt to claim custody of unaccompanied children detained for entering the U.S. illegally. However, immigrant advocates claim the move may cause undocumented adults in Arizona and elsewhere to abandon their children for fear of being deported.
Some Arizona residents who came to the United States under the Temporary Protected Status program may be sent back to their home countries even if they have been living in the country for decades and have children who are citizens. The Trump administration is phasing out these programs, and now, Hondurans who are in the United States with TPS status must either return home within the next 18 months or remain in the country as an undocumented immigrant.
Immigrants in Arizona and other states who can't afford an attorney could be tempted to work with "notarios publico," which translates to "public notaries." These notarios tell individuals who are living in the country illegally that they can help them secure work permits and otherwise aid them with the immigration process. However, these notaries could actually put a person's ability to stay in the country in jeopardy.
In Arizona, parties that have certain relationships with others who wish to immigrate to the U.S. may file petitions on their behalf. Immigration petitions are applications that the U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or employers may file on behalf of the immigrants.
Immigrants in Arizona and around the country who have sought protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will continue to be protected for now. On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the Trump administration to a Jan. 9 injunction from a California federal district court judge that put a stop to the administration's efforts to end the DACA program. Around 700,000 people are protected by this program that provides them with work permits for two years and then requires them to reapply.
Immigrants in Arizona and around the country who receive SNAP benefits or other forms of financial assistance would find obtaining permanent residence more difficult under a policy being considered by President Trump. Immigration officers could check whether or not green card applicants have received or sought to receive public benefits for either themselves or their dependents under a draft policy from the Department of Homeland Security. The agency says that the rule change is needed to prevent immigrants from becoming burdens on society.