If you're one of thousands of immigrants who live and earn an income in New Jersey, you may relate to various challenges and obstacles that those who share similar experiences often face throughout the nation. Although your individual circumstances are unique according to your own background and status, etc., you may find that you have certain things in common with other immigrants, especially the anxiety and stress that often accompanies life in the United States after emigrating from another country of origin.
Although your life may be very rewarding in many ways, you may also understand what it's like to feel worried or concerned about potential legal status problems, especially if you have heard stories of others who were separated from their families or watched immigration officers lead their loved ones away in handcuffs.
Stay a step ahead and be proactive
Even though you may have faced (or may still currently struggle with) a language barrier or other challenges when you began life in New Jersey, you are in control of many aspects of your situation and may be able to avoid legal trouble by being diligent and well-organized regarding your status. The following tips may also come in handy through the years:
- Keep all documents on hand: If you entered the United States under a particular visa status, you will want to make sure you always have your status information at the ready in case you need to quickly access it to avert a problem.
- Seek clarification of U.S. immigration law: Whether your papers are in order or you live as an undocumented immigrant, you may want to gain as much understanding as possible about immigration laws in general, as well as those that directly pertain to your particular status. It's easier to obey the law if you're 100 percent certain what the law is.
- Be prompt when attending official meetings: If you are called to appear at an immigration hearing or are meeting with an official at a U.S. consulate or embassy, it's crucial that you be on time. Tardiness can negatively affect your status and may even lead to deportation.
These are just a few ideas to keep in mind as you strive to keep U.S. immigration law trouble at bay. There's still no guarantee you will not face status challenges at some point. Let's say police pull you over in a traffic stop and ask to see your paperwork but you don't have any. Things may get a lot worse before they get better.
Even in what may seem like dire circumstances, you may be able to tap into advocacy resources that can help you avoid deportation. One of the best assets to have on hand at such times is an experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney, who can plead your case for you and help you protect your rights.