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Adapting to life in Texas as an immigrant

Before arriving in Texas, you might have dreamed of that moment a thousand times as you prepared to leave your country of origin behind and start life afresh in the United States. Then again, you might be one of many immigrants whose entrance across a U.S. border was rather unexpected and hasty due to a high-risk situation in your life.

Either way, once you lay the groundwork for a new lifestyle, you may begin to worry about becoming acclimated in a new culture. If you traveled to Texas on a marriage-based visa, you may already be proficient in speaking, reading and writing English. That doesn't necessarily mean you won't encounter language challenges, however, especially when people talk fast or use dialects with which you are not familiar. A key to success when adapting to life in America is building a strong support network from the start.

How does your foreign future spouse enter the United States?

Whether you met online, in your future spouse's country of origin or here in Houston, you fell in love and decided to marry. The two of you decided to have the wedding in the U.S. and live here.

The question is how your intended can legally enter the country for the ceremony and what happens thereafter. Fortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a form for that.

Immigration court is not the same as a criminal trial

If you are a foreign national living in the United States, the one thing you may fear most is the threat of deportation. Whether you are lawfully present or you entered the U.S. without inspection, it is important to understand that your status in the country can change rapidly, especially if you have encounters with law enforcement.

Deportation, also called removal, can be devastating. It may mean leaving behind family and loved ones. You may have a steady job in Texas and a circle of friends who support and love you. You may have plans for a future you could not attain in your home country. For this reason, it is critical not to underestimate the severity of an immigration trial and the potential consequences you face.

Have these issues caused you obstacles as a skilled immigrant?

The lack of skilled workers in Texas and throughout the nation has sparked an opportunity for skilled workers from other countries. Perhaps, you possess skills that you know U.S. employers are seeking and have taken steps to apply for a visa. Understanding that life in America will be quite different from life in your country of origin, you may have begun studying and researching as much as you can to make adapting to your new lifestyle less stressful.

No matter how well-prepared, you will likely still encounter numerous challenges along the way as you leave everything familiar to you behind and work toward accomplishing your goals in a totally new and foreign environment. The stronger a support system you build around yourself, the better able to overcome problem situations you might be.

You got married. Now officials want you to prove it's legitimate

Adapting to life in Texas as an immigrant can be quite challenging. If you married a U.S. citizen, your spouse is likely helping you master the English language, become accustomed to new foods and traditions and otherwise embrace your new culture as you build your life together. Every immigrant encounters challenging situations at some point; the ability to rise above and succeed in achieving ultimate goals often lies in type of support system you have in place.  

What if problems arise that are far more serious that the typical everyday challenges of adapting to a new lifestyle? For instance, what do you do if federal officials suspect that your marriage is fraudulent? If so, you can expect to receive a notification by postal mail that instructs you to appear at a Stokes interview. How well you prepare and how well you answer the questions at the interview may determine whether you can stay in the U.S. and apply for a green card.  

Who gives voice to separated immigrant infants?

If you are unsure of what's going on with the reunion of immigrant children separated from their parents, you are not alone. Despite a court's order to reunite thousands of families by July 26, government officials offer only vague ideas of how they intend to comply.

Even as those reunion expectations hang in the balance, civil rights advocates in Texas say children are still being taken away from parents who are suspected of entering the country illegally. Additionally, reports continue to surface of the government summoning youngsters to court in response to efforts to deport them.

Federal Judge Reinstates DACA – At Least Temporarily

A federal judge ruled that protections provided to undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy must remain in place and the government must resume accepting new applications. Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said the Trump administration’s reasoning for terminating the program was based on the “virtually unexplained” grounds that the programs was illegal.

Bates stayed his decision for 90 days in order to allow the Department of Homeland Security time to further explain its thinking. The department must accept and process new and renewal DACA applications. If it does not adequately explain its reason for canceling the DACA program in the 90-day window, the rescission will be vacated entirely.

Undocumented Workers Have Workplace Rights

The growth of the gig economy continues to change the relationship between a large percentage of the U.S. work force and employers. In 2014, approximately 34 percent of workers were independent contractors. Surveys indicate that total is expected to push 50 percent by 2020.

The freelance structure that permeates all types of industries has pros and cons for most workers. On the plus side, by becoming their own boss, many workers are able to choose the types of projects they work on and create more flexible schedules in order to control work-life balance.

Understanding What Green Cards Accomplish

The Trump administration continues to recommend legislation that will limit the number of immigrants who can come to the U.S. annually and be more restrictive about who is allowed to immigrate to the U.S. Obtaining a green card is the first step to gaining U.S. citizenship. It is important to understand what a green card provides and what it doesn’t. These facts about green cards are compiled from information published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

What is a green card?

Your Job May Determine The Success of Your Marriage

It may feel like marriage is a bigger leap of faith than ever before, but the truth is the divorce rate in the U.S. peaked at about 40 percent around 1980 and has declined ever since, according to data from the National Survey of Family Growth.

That’s the good news for newlyweds. There is less encouraging news if you or your spouse serve in the military or work as an automotive service technician, logistician, chemical technician, or in food preparation or service. An analysis of U.S. Census data shows that workers in these fields have higher divorce rates by age 30 than those who work in other jobs.

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