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Showing posts from April, 2014

ICE ERO To No Longer Require Detainees’ Signatures on G-28s

The American Immigration Lawyers Association announced yesterday that ICE will no longer require a detained foreign national’s signature on Form G-28s, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative. This is a welcome announcement as some local offices were refusing to speak to a detained individual’s attorney under the excuse that the detained individual had not signed a Form G-28. 

Detained foreign nationals are routinely moved during their first few days of detention with no notice to their families. For example, in Georgia, detained foreign nationals are commonly moved between two rural locations (Lumpkin, Georgia, and Irwin, Georgia). This constant movement, combined with the rural locations and lack of notice, made it effectively impossible to obtain a signed G-28 in the first few days of a foreign national’s detention. Thus, detained foreign nationals were denied the benefit of an attorney and their families were unable to obtain legal updates on the case…

Bieber Update – Back By Popular Demand

Justin Bieber can finally stop holding his breath.The White House has finally responded to the “Deport Justin Bieber and Revoke His Green Card” petition.As I’m sure you all remember from my previous post, “angry” citizens had petitioned the White House to have Bieber deported following his arrest in Miami on DUI and resisting arrest charges.As I pointed out in that post, the petition was misguided in that Bieber is in the United States on an O visa, not as a green card holder.I also boldly predicted the White House would pass the buck saying they don’t comment on specific cases.I don’t get tired of saying, “I was right.” Though the White House statement was a typical non-answer, it was at least amusing, which is not typical of the White House.After saying that they were “sorry to disappoint, but [they] won’t be commenting on this one,” referring to the petition, the White House used the opportunity to push for immigration reform.This is where the White House got witty.In support of the…

Just When You Thought Your Old Conviction After a Jury Trial Would Leave You with a Permanent Inability to Seek Relief in Removal Proceedings, Think Again!

On February 28, 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a precedent decision opening new avenues of relief for many individuals with old criminal convictions they otherwise
thought would forever prevent them from seeking relief before an Immigration Judge.  See
Matter of Ezzat H. Abdelghany, 26 I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 2014).  This BIA Decision held that "[a] lawful permanent resident who is otherwise eligible for relief under former section
212(c) of the Act may apply for such relief in removal or deportation proceedings
without regard to whether the relevant conviction resulted from a plea agreement or a
trial and without regard to whether he or she was removable or deportable under the
law in effect when the conviction was entered".  Id.
Until this Decision was issued, those who were found guilty of a crime after a jury trial entered before April 24, 1996, were not eligible to apply for discretionary relief under former section 212(c) of the Act.  Former 212(c) relief is a s…

Yasiel Puig’s Exceptional Yet Typical Immigrant Story

A story recently came out about Los Angeles Dodger star Yasiel Puig, detailing his defection from Cuba and immigration to the United States.The account details how Puig escaped Cuba with the help of Los Zetas, one of the most well-known narco-trafficking organized crime groups in the world, how he was held captive in a shady hotel in Mexico and threatened with dismemberment by machete by the Zetas while the group negotiated a ransom with a corrupt businessman in the U.S.The U.S. businessman purportedly arranged Puig’s defection with the help of the Zetas in exchange for twenty percent of all of Puig’s future earnings. A couple of things about the story stood out to me.First, the story of Puig is not news in the sense that this is typical of many people who immigrate to the U.S. from different countries every year.Nearly everyone who tries to immigrate to the U.S. without authorization employs what are commonly known as “coyotes,” smugglers connected to organized crime groups (like the …

USCIS Announces new DACA Renewal Rules and Form . . . Are Coming Soon!

USCIS has finally posted an update on the renewal process for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The notice is preliminary and subject to change, but it does  it offers over half a million DACA recipients vital information about what they should do to prepare for the road ahead. The update clarifies DACA renewal issues regarding adjudication procedure, evidence and timing. USCIS will release the updated DACA application form in late May.  No one may file a renewal before that date on the current form (other than those granted Deferred Action by ICE).  As it pertains to required evidence for the renewal, applicants will only be required to submit new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that were not been previously submitted to USCIS.  Because USCIS anticipates adjudicating renewal requests within 120 days, we recommend DACA recipients file for renewal approximately 120 days before the expiration date of their initial DACA grant, but no ear…

Good News - Potential Employment Authorization for Spouses of H-1B Workers

On April 7, 2014, the White House announced that “The Department of Homeland Security will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.  These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers.”
This is big news for the spouses of H-1B employees who are in the United States.Under current rules, spouses of H-1B workers are allowed to accompany their husband or wife but cannot work in the United States.This lack of work authorization for spouses has long been a complaint of high-skilled H-1B employees, particularly as H-1B employment can last up to 6 years (and in certain cases, even longer).Many talented workers are put off by …

Ignorance on Both Sides of the Debate

With deportations at record levels, both sides of the immigration debate are blaming each other. Congress is accusing the president of ignoring the law, while the President and his advisers maintain their hands are tied because of Congress. Both sides are talking at each other when they should be talking to each other. Several quotes in a recent New York Times article are perfect examples of the ignorance that plagues those who should be the most informed on the issue and demonstrate why it is just so hard to get something done.
     This, from one of the more powerful Republican senators running off at the mouth demonstrating how ignorant he is on one of the more important economic issues of our day: “The administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law. Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as…

Asylum Backlog - Tips While You Wait

The most common question that clients ask when they are considering filing an application for asylum is how long the process takes.  The response to this question has changed over the years.  Most recently, however, my response has been:  I wish I knew.  Two or three years ago my estimate of 9-12 months was fairly accurate and consistent. However the processing times of recently filed asylum applications have ranged widely, some taking as little as several months for a decision and others have taken years.  Currently there is a documented backlog in affirmative asylum applications of around 40,000 cases and the numbers continue to increase.  A majority of these backlogged cases were filed last year alone.  
The main reason for the backlog is simply an issue of supply and demand. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2012, the number of credible fear and reasonable fear interviews, which take priority in scheduling over asylum interviews, began to increase exponentially. Meanwhile, affirmative asylu…

"SAVE" me. How USCIS Corrects Errors In Its Database to Permit Legal Foreign National to Obtain Driver's Licenses

If I have heard it once, I have heard it 50 times in the last year.  A foreign national is denied a driver's license at the Department of Driver's Services ("DDS") because their immigration status cannot be confirmed through the "SAVE" database.  SAVE is the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program run and administered by USCIS. In Georgia, all public benefit applications, like a Driver's License, must be verified as properly given only to legal and documented foreign nationals.   Even though an applicant has presented a valid document, like a permanent resident card, work permit, or a valid visa and I-94 card, sometimes the "SAVE" database does not show the person as properly documented.  Usually, this is because of a USCIS error in their database.  Most times DDS tell the foreign national to "go to USCIS to "fix" the problem."  Not exactly the most helpful advise.  So, how does a person actually fix this pr…

Stop Blaming the Undocumented

I'm relatively new to the social media game so I'm still surprised by some of the nonsense that permeates the twittosphere. It's easy to see how public ignorance is perpetuated with all the obfuscation out there. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the Facebook page of a politician who shall remain nameless. Note - If you really want to know who it is, Google "Florida politician Iraq interrogation incident" and read up on him.
Anyway, he posted a picture to his page that showed some colorful text written on the back of a van. The text was in Spanish and urged people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare); informing them that it was totally free. The post was accompanied by the following:
Unbelievable. Guess where Obamacare navigators are signing up enrollees now. Who needs amnesty when you can get free healthcare anyway?
There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. First, just because an advertisemen…