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Federal court in North Carolina hears important immigration case

An important immigration case has reached the federal court system. It involves the application of new immigration rules to an illegal immigrant who has resided in this country after he arrived here with his parents as a young teenager. He has been living and gainfully employed in the United States for a number of years, and is now a married father of two.

But he has failed to obtain a driver's license, and has been convicted a number of times on charges of driving a vehicle without proper registration and driving without a license. Despite having only those misdemeanor-level offenses on his record, Immigration and Customs Enforcement had slated him for deportation until advocates intervened on his behalf.

Now the matter stands before an immigration judge, whose decision has the potential to confirm whether the immigration system will follow the new rules announced by the federal government. Those rules, as we have mentioned before, have stated that immigration officials should devote resources to pursuing illegal immigrants who have committed grave offenses and who are deemed a threat to national security.

The judge's decision will not occur for some time, however. The man's next hearing on the matter is not scheduled until next February. But the major development in the case was that he was allowed to have the hearing. Advocates for the man requested the hearing, which the immigration judge in his case granted this week.

The man's attorney has said that he will argue that immigration authorities should not deport the man because it would place too great a burden on his two young children, who were both born in the United States. The attorney also said there are many other similarly situated illegal immigrants. The outcome of this case is vitally important because of the wide-ranging implications that it could hold for them.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "S.C. man gets hearing in test of deportation guidelines," Carmen Cusido, May 16, 2012.

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