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Showing posts from October, 2013

Detained by Immigration? What You Need to Know

While talks of immigration reform continue there is little spoken of the marked increased number of detained foreign nationals by ICE- the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) enforcement arm.   Congress’ expansion of the immigration detention system has created a profitable market for both private prison corporations and local governments.
In fiscal year 2013 almost 244 state and county jails were contracted to house immigrant detainees on behalf of ICE (nearly 70 percent of the detained immigrant population). Private correctional corporations have gotten in on this boom as well.  These corporations have built facilities strictly to house immigration detainees. Currently, ICE utilizes seven Contract Detention Facilities (CDF). 
Considering this reality below is a summary provided by ICE regarding ICE detainers.
Q: What is an immigration detainer?
A: An immigration detainer is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to inform the LEA that ICE…

DIY Immigration Lawyer: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not

The most common question I get from people with immigration issues is the question not being asked. When they realize they are talking with an immigration lawyer what they really want to know is: "Why do I even need a lawyer? Aren't you going to charge me an arm and a leg for something I can just do myself?" Coming from a non-professional baker who still prefers to knead her own bread, I can understand why people who are not lawyers consider this. Especially because when you seek quality legal representation you can expect it will not come cheap. But here are some reasons why hiring an immigration lawyer can be priceless (take my word for it, after all I am a professional advice-giver):
1.First, good immigration attorneys can actually save you money.  I don't know how many times I've consulted with people who took the time to file forms or applications that were not necessary. They lose time and money and then some more money when they have to correct their mistak…

What Do You Do When the Face Staring Back at You from behind the Glass Says No?

written by PartnerDanielle Conley
Probably the most frustrating part of dealing with immigration, whether it’s USCIS, ERO, ICE, or any other immigration agency, is when the person at the front window tells you no and makes you feel like you have no options.It’s bad enough when it happens to an attorney, so I cannot imagine what it’s like for immigrants and their families to try and push through this seemingly impenetrable barrier.
I will tell you from experience, there is something you can do.Even if you don’t know the law and don’t know what to say, you can ALWAYS demand to see a supervisor.Every front line employee has a supervisor they report to, and a supervisor is always on duty.Chances are, the answer to your question may change when a supervisor gets involved.

Perfect example: three weeks ago, I attempted to file an emergency motion to keep someone in the country who was detained and on the verge of removal.Someone from our office was trying to file the motion at the ICE window in…

Immediate Relative Petition Delays

A few months ago, my clients and I began to notice a disappointing trend.USCIS, which has generally been approving immediate relative petitions in approximately 6 months, was now taking 9 months to a year before issuing an approval.
This slow-down was confirmed on October 16, 2013 when USCIS released its updated processing times, showing that processing times for immediate relative petitions are now over one year!
Today, USCIS released more information on immediate relative processing times, this time stating that they are transferring some Immediate Relative Petitions to various locations around the country in an effort to balance the overall workload.While my hope is that this will speed immediate relative processing times, the actual results of this transfer have yet to be seen.
As immediate relative petitions are filed for close family members (spouse, children, and parents) and individuals are often not allowed to immigrate to the United States until the petitions are approved, I f…