Individuals all across the U.S. have come together to protest in honor of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. While many of the protests that have been held have been peaceful and civilized, many others have turned violent. Innocent bystanders, journalists, and even news reporters have suffered serious injuries just for attending these protests.
Aside from police firing less-lethal weapons into crowds of innocent and calm protestors, officers are also making arrests—and this scares many of the immigrations who are currently living or working in the U.S. on a visa. While there are plenty of legal immigrants in the U.S. who want to stand up against racism and support the Black Lives Matter movement, many are having to weigh their options.
Visa holders are asking themselves, “should I attend a protest and put myself at risk of being wrongfully arrested or stay at home and help from the sidelines?”
For some, the risk these protests carry is far too high, and for others, it’s one they are willing to take. The fact is, while a foreign national is allowed to participate in a peaceful protest, they could lose their status if they were to be arrested and convicted of a crime. It is for this reason that many immigrants have chosen to support the movement in other ways aside from taking part in a protest.
CNN spoke with a few individuals who are currently living in the U.S. on a visa and shared their take on the matter.
Divyansh Kaushik, who is an international student working towards a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University, says he won’t be joining the protests as he not only fears the threat of the COVID-19 virus but also that he could risk losing his visa status. Kaushik told CNN “If things turn violent and someone points a finger at you, what would you do? There aren’t any legal protections.” In an effort to protect themselves, many other individuals have also decided to take the same stance as Kaushik.
If you are worried that protesting could put your visa status at risk, it is important that you weigh your options carefully before taking any sort of action. In the event you or a family member have recently learned that you lost status, contact the Atlanta, GA immigration lawyers at Kuck | Baxter Immigration as soon as possible. The Atlanta immigration attorneys at this firm can determine what form of action needs to be taken to ensure your stay in the U.S. is not interrupted.
Kuck | Baxter Immigration can be reached at:
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350