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Showing posts from January, 2014

Securing Immigration Bonds in Atlanta – Tips for Out-of-Town Attorneys

Lately, ICE has been moving many individuals picked up at the southern border to Ocilla, Georgia. This means that individuals with families in other states are now forced to request bond in Atlanta, Georgia.These families often go to attorneys in their states who then file the bond request in Atlanta.After watching several out-of-town attorney request bond for their recently arrived clients, I have come up with a list of tips:

1. Get Your Evidence Together
Judges in Atlanta want to see evidence that a client is not a danger to the community and evidence that he/she is not a flight risk.You cannot file a Motion for Bond with no evidence and expect that a Judge will grant your Motion.Relevant evidence is a must!

2. Do Not Assume Your Motion for Telephonic Hearing Will Be Granted

We are often called by out-of-town attorneys only one or two days before a bond hearing.The attorneys are frantic because they have just discovered that their Motions for Telephonic Hearings have been denied.Judges …

Did the definition of Orphan just change?

I had to abandon my car on the side of the road on Tuesday night due to the (2 inches of) snow “storm” so I’m stuck in my house with time on my hands. I’ve read a few blogs over the past couple of days (some from very reputable sources) which state that the definition of orphan has changed. Oh no it hasn’t! 
Everyone who is adopting from a Non-Hague country knows that it is very important that the child they seek to adopt falls under the definition of orphan i.e. that the child was abandoned, deserted, the parents disappeared or there is only one parent who cannot care for the child. This has not changed.
What has changed is the requirement that both parents see the child prior to the adoption proceeding if they want that child to enter as a United States citizen as opposed to as a lawful permanent resident. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 has changed the requirement as follows:
“PREADOPTION VISITATION REQUIREMENT - 16 SEC. 7083. Section 101(b)(1)(F)(i) of the Immigration and N…

Privacy at the Border – Do We Have Any?

Our right to privacy is under assault. One need only look at evening news casts to see the increased state intrusion of our personal lives. Everyone is aware of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping and massive meta data storage, but most people probably aren’t aware of what happens at our ports of entry each and every day. If you thought that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is constrained by things like warrants, probable cause, or articulable suspicion you would be wrong. Even if you are aware that CBP has carte blanche to search and confiscate your property, you probably think that it doesn’t really apply to U.S. citizens. You would be wrong.
A recent court case in the Eastern District of New York is a perfect example of why we should be concerned about CBP’s broad power to invade your privacy. I’ll try and keep this as free of legal jargon as possible, but basically a photojournalist (with the help of an army of privacy advocating lawyers) sued the U.S. government over the confiscatio…

Five Ways to Prepare for Immigration Court if You’re Undocumented and You Get Arrested – You Never Know When It Might Happen to You!

No one ever plans to get arrested, so you need to be prepared if you are undocumented and find yourself arrested for Driving Without a License or for any other reason.Knowing that it’s a potential risk every day that you get into your car, you need to know what you can do to prepare for the worst case scenario!You can do very little once you’re inside a local jail cell or moved to a detention center, so here are the five things I would suggest doing now that will also help your court case in the long run:
First – make sure that you and your family members have the contact information for a reliable and knowledgeable immigration attorney that you can reach quickly – every single day we receive emergency phone calls and do emergency consultations because families must act fast when their loved ones are detained.You can’t afford to waste time looking for an attorney you can trust.It’s also important that clients are advised correctly from the beginning as to when/when not to post a local …

USCIS Expands Worksite Inspection Program to L-1 Employers

The Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate created and implemented the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program in July 2009 as part of its ongoing enhancement to the integrity of the immigration benefit process. Under the Verification Program, Inspectors conduct unannounced pre- and post-adjudication site visits to verify information contained in certain visa petitions.  Recently, there has been increasing talk about USCIS Inspectors performing unannounced workplace visits to L-1 employer worksites. It is expected that unannounced workplace visits will increase in number and frequency this year. Inspectors may perform any of the following tasks at worksite visits: Verify the information submitted with the petition, including supporting documentation submitted by the petitioner, based on a checklist prepared by USCISVerify the existence of a petitioning entityTake digital photographsReview documentsSpeak with organizational representatives to confirm the beneficia…

7 Ways to Prepare for Your I-601A Provisional Waiver (While the I-130 is Still Pending)

One of the questions I'm most often asked by clients these days is, "What's going on with my I-130?" Up until about a month or two ago, I-130's (even those filed by US citizen spouses) were taking a year, or sometimes longer, for USCIS to process. Things are finally moving a little quicker now but we're still looking at 7-8 months processing time.
The next question I'm inevitably asked is usually, "What will happen after the I-130 is approved?" Most, but not all, of my I-130 clients will be filing a Form I-601A Provisional Waiver and then Consular Processing. 
It's important to know that USCIS focuses on certain types of hardship to the qualifying relative (US citizen spouse or parent) when considering whether a Form I-601A Provisional Waiver meets the extreme hardship requirement. The main types of hardship are financial, emotional, psychological, medical and physical. While the main focus is on direct hardship to the qualifying relative, we …


According to recent reports, Justin Bieber faces charges of DUI, drag-racing, and resisting arrest stemming from an encounter with police in Miami, Florida last night that resulted in his arrest. The arrest reportedly took place after a day of partying that included Bieber’s admitted consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.Just last week, Bieber was involved in an alleged egging incident that resulted in police executing a warrant on Bieber’s home that uncovered evidence of widespread drug use.Charges have not yet been brought in that case. While people realize that recent events could affect Bieber’s physical freedom if he is convicted of a crime, and his overall popularity, many people (including possibly Bieber himself) overlook the affect these events could have on Bieber’s ability to live in or travel to the United States. Though I have no personal knowledge of Bieber’s immigration status, I understand from reports that he is in the United States on an “O” visa.Th…

Help! I got a Notice of Intent to Deny my orphan visa. Now what?

It’s every adoptive parent’s nightmare.  They have obtained legal custody of a much longed for baby; filed the immigration work and are eagerly awaiting their little one’s arrival only to receive a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) on their I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.
Here are some things you should consider if you have received a NOID.
USCIS uses boiler plate NOIDs. Even if the NOID you received is pages long, chances are, it has been copied and pasted by the adjudicating officer from another NOID that the officer previously issued. Most NOIDs comprise of legal jargon that has nothing to do with your case. Even if the NOID seems insurmountable, there is a good chance that you can overcome the NOID and still have your child’s visa approved.Read the NOID carefully and determine what exactly it is that USCIS is looking for. In my experience, USCIS almost always wants proof that the child is really an orphan.Do not respond to the NOID by re-submitting the doc…


Our office routinely deals with clients who are detained by immigration and hire us to help obtain a bond so they can be released from immigration custody.Most clients are hyper-focused on actually getting a bond set, but our job as experienced attorneys is to make sure that clients understand five important facts about immigration bonds so that they can be fully prepared for the process. 1.The immigration bond is separate and apart from any criminal bond paid in relation to an arrest by the police.Do not confuse a bond paid at a jail prior to a person being passed to immigration custody.In most cases, a person is first arrested by the police for an offense such as no license.Many times an immigration hold is placed on that person.This means that once the criminal bond is paid, immigration often comes and takes the person from police custody to immigration custody where another bond amount will hopefully be set.One of the main differences between a criminal and immigration bond is that…