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Untouched file causes stress for North Carolina immigrant

Many North Carolina immigrants are people who fled their homelands to escape physical danger, extreme poverty and/or political oppression. Some have been in the United States for many years and have raised families, opened businesses and contributed to the marketplace and economy of the nation. It is not uncommon, however, for an immigrant to face potentially serious legal issues when circumstances become complex and complicated due to legal status or matters concerning visas, green cards or other documents. One immigrant recently lamented that she is very worried about her future due to a delay in her application for a renewal of her work permit.

The woman has lived and worked in the United States for nearly 20 years. She obtained a work permit and opened a cleaning service with her brother. The work permit is needed in order to have a license to operate a business. She filed for renewal of her work permit in Jan. 2015 but says she has never received a response. The woman stated that she is very worried because her work permit is set to expire in the near future.

While waiting for a phone call or letter in the mail, the woman has repeatedly called the appropriate offices to inquire about her application status. She says that she has been told that her file has not yet been reviewed. Because time is running out and her work permit will soon expire, she now fears that she might be deported and worries what would become of her children under such circumstances.

Statistics suggest that close to one in four residents in the county where the woman resides is Hispanic. Another immigrant, age 38 and a combat veteran of the U.S. military, stated that when government and society turns it back on undocumented immigrants, it is turning its back on 25 percent of the population. He and others are working to implement programs that help those facing situations like the woman in the above-mentioned case. In North Carolina, an immigrant might wish to discuss the details of his or her case with a legal professional who has experience in immigration and naturalization law so as to seek clarification of state and federal laws and obtain advice about how best to proceed in a specific situation.

Source: fayobserver.com, "In Sanford, where 1 in 4 is Hispanic, a different view on immigrants", Paige Rentz, Sept. 5, 2015

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