Miami-based kkwt & Pratt, P.A. is a top Florida law firm with an international reputation for aggressive advocacy and exceptional civil litigation successes. The kkwt & Pratt P.A. blog shares Immigration & Naturalization Law stories and opinions relevant to Miami, Florida residents.
The Trump administration's crackdown on immigration is often in the news these days, but most of the news coverage is focused on the border with Mexico. Getting less national media attention is a crackdown on asylum seekers here in Miami.
Miami's immigration court has been one of the toughest in the nation for asylum seekers. One local publication described the court as a "well-oiled deportation machine."
Critics say immigration officials have targeted asylum-seeking families who are in the United States while waiting for a hearing. According to critics, the court has been putting these families on a "rocket docket," so that their cases move through the court system at an accelerated pace.
Critics say the court quickly orders hearings for these families and then orders deportation if any of them fail to appear in court. The court is required to give written notice to these asylum seekers so that they know when to appear in court, but critics say many of these letters go to the wrong address, or don't give the immigrant enough time to prepare. Some are sent to immigrants in a language they can't read.
In almost 90% of the cases where the immigrant does not show up for a hearing, the Miami court has ordered deportation.
However, an immigrant's chances are much better when they are represented by an immigration attorney. Lawyers can help families understand their rights and the procedures that can make the immigration process easier. These are tough times for people seeking legal immigration into the United States, and it's important for immigrant families to get help from a professional.
When people are injured in an accident caused by another party's negligence, the injured may recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury claim. In these cases, damages can include purely economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages, as well as harder to define non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
But what if the accident is fatal? Who can file suit, and what damages can they recover?
Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of personal injury claim in which the family members of the deceased file a lawsuit. Under Florida law, a representative of the deceased person's estate can file a suit on behalf of the spouse, children and parents of the deceased, as well as any blood relatives or adopted siblings who were dependent on the deceased person. These family members are known as the survivors of the spouse.
The survivors in a wrongful death claim may seek to recover damages for their lost support and services from the deceased, including their loved one's probable future income. The spouse and children may also seek compensation for less-tangible damages, such as lost companionship.
Further, the estate of the deceased itself may recover compensation for damages such as lost income beyond that collected by the survivors. If recovered, this compensation would go to the estate, where it can be passed on to the heirs.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be technically and emotionally difficult. Calculating future income can require extensive financial research. Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of calculating non-economic damages in these cases.
But make no mistake, the loss is very real to survivors when a negligent party robs them of their loved one's support. A personal injury attorney can help survivors learn more about how a wrongful death lawsuit could help.
Miami residents understand how important it is to drive safely. When drivers engage in dangerous behavior, they risk their lives and the lives of every person they meet on the road. Accidents caused by negligent drivers continue to occur in Florida, hurting hundreds of families each year.
A tragic accident recently occurred in Oakland Park. A speeding and out-of-control driver went over the railroad tracks on Commercial Boulevard, lost control of the car and went airborne. The driver crashed into another car going the opposite direction and grazed another car. The driver of the car that was crashed into was an Uber driver with a passenger in his car. The driver was taken to a local hospital, where he died. The Uber driver's passenger suffered serious injuries and was also taken to a local hospital. The Broward County Sheriff's Office stated that the two vehicles collided with such force that the engine of the speeding driver was separated from the vehicle.
Unfortunately, many families have been affected by a serious car accident caused by a negligent driver. These accidents are entirely preventable in many cases. If a family has been affected by an accident due to no fault of their own, they may want to get more information about personal injury legal options to review the circumstances surrounding the accident and get answers as to what happened.
No one expects their loved one will be the victim of a serious car accident. Unfortunately, when drivers engage in dangerous driving behavior, they can cause a serious accident involving death. The victims of these accidents may have the legal right to hold the negligent party responsible.
While immigration has been a hot-button issue in the news for a while now, the focus so far has been on the way the White House is dealing with asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants. However, the Trump administration's policies have caused turmoil in in many parts of the immigration system, including student visas.
According to the New York Times, a backlog of visa applications has left hundreds of international students unable to pursue the internships they had planned for this summer. Many of these are graduate students are in the United States on visas that are only valid as long as they are taking classes, and when they were accepted for summer internship programs they had to request work authorization. The unexpected delay in getting authorization has forced students to scramble. Some have had to give up prestigious internships and go home for the summer. Others have had to delay internships and register for summer classes instead.
The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services says a surge in applications has created a small backlog, but the delays can be substantial.
One work authorization program known as Optional Practical Training allows students to work in their field of study for up to a year. They must apply for the program 90 days before their job is scheduled to begin. University officials say ordinarily the wait time for approval is less than 60 days, but the USCIS estimates that the waiting time now will be as much as five months.
Visa problems can be a nightmare for people who are just trying to pursue work and education opportunities in the United States. An immigration attorney can help people understand their rights and legal options, and represent them at hearings and more.
Many people in Miami have a bicycle that they use regularly. Bikes are a great way to get around our community, whether for recreation or transportation. Most of the time a person is able to safely bike on our roads, but occasionally a serious accident occurs.
A bicyclist was recently killed in Southwest Miami Dade. The bicyclist was crossing US-1 near SW 260 Street when he was hit by a car. The driver drove away from the accident. Witnesses of the accident gave police the information they needed to track down the driver who was later arrested. He is facing several charges including DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and property damage.
No family can anticipate the loss of their loved one due to another person's negligence. This situation is unfortunately one that many families have had to deal with in the Miami area. A legal professional who is skilled in wrongful death can help a family who is facing this unbelievable reality. An attorney understands both the emotional and financial trauma that a family is dealing with. An attorney can figure out what happened to cause the accident and get the answers a family deserves. They can hold the negligent party responsible for their mistake and compensation may be available for medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
The loss of a loved one due to another person's negligence is a nightmare no one should have to go through. A family has the legal right to hold the negligent party responsible for their mistake.
Many residents of Miami and Florida are aware of Temporary Protected Status for some groups of immigrants. Some, in fact, are under this immigration status themselves. TPS immigrants are currently living in the U.S. wondering how much longer they will be able to stay in the U.S. legally.
Temporary Protected Status was initially given to immigrants from many countries including El Salvador, Haiti, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sudan, among others. The status is given to immigrants who are not able to return home because of war, an environmental disaster or other temporary conditions. The TPS status is a temporary status and does not lead to permanent resident status on its own. Those whose parents came to the U.S. under the TPS status are referred to as DREAMers, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This group has been the target of many legislative and presidential actions over the past few years.
This past week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure to give a path to citizenship to holders of TPS status and DREAMers. This is good news for the 2 million immigrants in the U.S. with 325,000 living in Florida who fall under this status. Although President Trump ended the program for several countries, there have been several lawsuits around the country challenging the actions of the president.
Immigrants in the Miami area are constantly under scrutiny from the government. Those who have been in the country for several years are still facing challenges. A legal professional who is skilled in immigration can help their client navigate the immigration legal system and help them understand their options. An attorney understands how important it is for their client to stay in the U.S. with their family and will work hard to make sure that happens.
Many Miami area residents spend time going to warehouse clubs to purchase items for their family. Stores like Sam's Club and Costco are popular among Miami residents. When shoppers spend time in stores, they expect that the store management and employees keep the stores clean and free from hazards. Most of the time this is true, but occasionally a shopper suffers a serious slip and fall accident.
A man who was visiting the Fort Myers Costco store says that he slipped and fell on ice cream that had melted on the floor and is suing the store alleging negligence. The man who had finished his weekly shopping with his wife and was going to enjoy a slice of pizza when he fell on the ice cream. Costco's employees who are in charge of store safety along with a cashier who saw the incident said they were not aware of the melted ice cream. Costco believes they should not be held responsible as they do not believe the dangerous situation existed long enough for them to be aware of it. The defendant's motion for summary judgement was denied since the court did not believe the plaintiff needed to see the ice cream to prove that is what caused him to fall.
Everyone needs to go to the store to purchase groceries, clothes, tools, etc. No one expects their store visit will result in them falling and getting injured. When this occurs, a person may want to speak with an attorney who is skilled in premises liability. An attorney understands the embarrassment, shock, and trauma a person may feel as the result of the slip and fall event. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the fall, research the company's safety training, and help their client understand what happened. If negligence is believed to be the cause, they can hold the company responsible. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages.
A slip and fall accident can be dangerous for a person. A victim can suffer broken bones, torn ligaments, cuts, scrapes, bruising, and other injuries due to the accident. It is important to hold a company responsible for their negligence so that no one else gets hurt.
There are many companies in Miami and across the U.S. that rely on foreign workers. Many of these companies use highly skilled tech workers for their important business needs. Lately it has become more difficult for these workers to enter the U.S. and become foreign workers for these companies. And companies have had a harder time finding qualified workers for their growing needs.
Despite many companies in Miami needing skilled tech workers, they are having a harder time getting the workers they need. Recently it appears that foreign interest in tech jobs in the U.S. has declined with foreign workers beginning to have more interest in Canadian tech jobs. In May, 14 percent of Canadian tech jobs clicked on in the Indeed website were from foreign workers where just 9 percent of American tech jobs clicked on in Indeed were from foreign workers. Experts believe the decline of interest in American jobs among tech workers is due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining an H-1B visa.
U.S. companies are certainly feeling the effect of having a harder time finding qualified workers. Companies rely on skilled foreign workers to keep their business current and grow their business into the future. With the U.S. policy continually changing toward immigration it can be hard for businesses to find the employees they need. A legal professional who is skilled in immigration can help their client with their employment needs. An immigration attorney understands how hard it can be for companies to obtain the foreign tech workers they need. An attorney can help companies get the visas they need and represent their foreign employment needs and help their company look attractive to foreign workers.
As the U.S. continues to make it harder for immigrants to enter the U.S., companies can have problems finding qualified employees. An attorney can help these companies work through the immigration system to obtain the employees they need for their business.
It seems like every week there is another new immigration policy in the U.S. Although many Miami area residents are immigrants themselves, they understand how hard it can be for new arrivals to get their feet on the ground. The State Department recently announced a new policy that will apply toward those who are applying for a visa.
A new visa application has been issued by the U.S. State Department. As part of this application, additional information is requested, including social media identifiers for almost all applicants. The change will affect nearly all immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications, including those who are coming to the U.S. for education or business reasons. The number affected could reach into the tens of millions. The application requests phone number histories for the past five years, email accounts and social media information. The State Department says they are requesting this information in order to improve their screening process for terrorists.
Those who are coming to the U.S. for work, education or to move here permanently need to have a visa. A legal expert who is skilled in immigration can help their client with their visa needs. There are several different types of visas available and it can be confusing to determine which visa to get and how to apply for it. An attorney can help their client navigate the complicated visa immigration system and get them the visa they need.
Immigrants to the U.S. are important members of our society in both Miami and across the U.S. They play vital roles in businesses, enhance our education system and give their families a fresh start. Although it may seem like immigrants are constantly affected by rule changes in the government, there are still ways to make it happen for those who want to live and work in the U.S.
Although most of the time pedestrians are able to safely share the areas near roadways with vehicles, Florida is still the number one state for most pedestrian deaths. A tragic example occurred in an accident recently in Miami.
According to the reports, a driver was recently arrested for hitting and killing a pedestrian in Miami. The accident occurred at NW 173 Drive and 47th Avenue when a man was attempting to cross the street. A driver hit him and then drove away without stopping. A tip received by the Miami-Dade police led them to the suspect, who has now been charged in the death of the pedestrian.
Losing a loved one in a tragic accident is something no family should have to go through. Unfortunately, these situations play out again and again in South Florida. If a family is facing a situation in which their loved one died due to no fault of their own, they may want to get more information about personal injury legal options. Doing so can help the family review the circumstances surrounding the accident and get the information they need as to what happened. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, funeral expenses and other damages.
Pedestrian accidents continue to occur in Florida. Far too many people are dying because drivers are not paying attention when they are behind the wheel. It is important for families left behind to understand that they may have the legal right to hold negligent drivers responsible for their mistake.