Musings on Immigration

Our Globally Recognized Team of Immigration Lawyers Sharing Knowledge and Providing Counsel on Immigration Issues that Affect You, Your Business and Your Family

TOP 9 DAPA QUESTIONS: And the Answers, as Far as We Know

1.     I am not married to my partner, but we have kids together.  Can I still apply?

a.     Yes.  You do not have to be married to qualify for DAPA.  The only time this would be an issue is if the father’s name is not on the birth certificate because the parents were not legally married.  If that is the case, you can simply have the birth certificate corrected in the county where the child was born to reflect the father’s name.  If the child’s mother will not go along with that, a DNA test may be required.

2.     I don’t have any children of my own, but my wife has children that we have been raising together.  Do I qualify?

a.     Yes.  As long as you were married before the children turned 18, immigration considers them your children for purposes of all immigration applications.  If you are not actually legally married, you cannot count these children as yours.

3.     I was deported before 2010, but I came right back to the U.S. after they deported me.  Do I still qualify?

a.     Yes.  As long as you were not deported or absent from the U.S. after January 1, 2010, you still qualify for DAPA.  Old deportations simply do not affect a person’s eligibility for DACA.

4.     My child has DACA, but I don’t have children that are citizens or permanent residents.  Can I still apply?

a.     Unfortunately, the answer is no.  DAPA only grants work authorization to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.  The president chose not to include parents of DACA children in the DAPA program.

5.     I was arrested and convicted of DUI ten years ago.  Am I eligible for DAPA?

a.     We do not have a solid answer to this question yet.  There are rumors that immigration will still grant DAPA to people who were convicted more than 5-7 ago.  However, there are other rumors that even one DUI will disqualify someone.  We will have to wait and see what guidance immigration gives on this in the coming months.

6.     Do I qualify even if I have not filed taxes during my time working in the U.S.?

a.     As of now there is no requirement that you have paid or filed your tax returns.  This may change, but if it does you would likely only be required to pay from 2010 to now.  What we are safe in assuming is that if you are granted DAPA for three years, and you then want to renew your work permit, you will most likely be required to show that you filed your taxes for the years you worked with your work permit under DAPA.

7.     What happens after Obama is no longer president?  Does the program go away?

a.     We have no way of knowing for sure what will happen once Obama is no longer president.  This will likely depend on two main factors: if a more comprehensive immigration reform is passed in 2015, and if a republican or democrat is elected the next president.  If a more comprehensive reform is passed next year, DAPA won’t really matter too much since people will likely have something even better to apply for.  If reform does not happen and a republican is elected, the new president could cancel DAPA, but even if they do immigration has no way of rounding up 4,000,000 people and deporting them all so at worst, you would have had a work permit for two years.

8.     Can I leave the U.S. once my DAPA application has been approved?

a.     Yes.  You will be able to apply for travel authorization and return to your home countries in most cases. 

9.     I have five convictions for driving without a license.  Will those convictions keep me from qualifying for DAPA?

a.     No.  If you have convictions for traffic offenses such as no license, these convictions will not disqualify you for DAPA.  

Liable for Back Wages After Termination of H1B employee? Maybe Not Anymore!

By Anna Erwin, Associate Attorney

Has your employment been terminated while under H-1B status or have you terminated an H-1B employee? The standards under immigration law for what a previous H-1B employee can receive in back wages after termination are now significantly affected by whether the employee obtains subsequent employment after termination.

H-1B status is of particular benefit to foreign national employees in the U.S. because they can transfer their status to a new employer. An H-1B transfer employee also benefits the employer because that transferred employee does not count against the H-1B visa cap for that year. But if the employer/employee relationship is terminated during the employee's H-1B status, both sides must be aware of back wage eligibility or liability.

The Basis for Back Wage Liability

In Amtel Group v. Florida, Inc., the Administrative Review Board found that for an employer to avoid liability after the termination of an H-1B employee, the employer must: 1) expressly notify the H-1B employee of the termination; 2) notify USCIS that the employment relationship has been terminated so that the I-129 is cancelled; and 3) pay for the H-1B employee’s transportation home. If the employer does not follow these steps, it can be held liable for back wages to the employee, possibly throughout the duration of the employee's H-1B status.

However, a recent case, Batyrbekov v. Barclays Capital, held that employers are not liable for back wages when the employee successfully transfers his H-1B status to a new employer, even when the requirements of Amtel are not met.

In this case, the employee, Batyrbekov, was terminated by Barclays Capital. Barclays notified Batyrbekov of his termination but neglected to notify USCIS of the termination. Barclays also did not initially pay for Batyrbekov’s travel to his home country, but rather reimbursed him several months after he left the country.

Batyrbekov initiated his case to collect back wages, eight months after the termination, because Barclays did not follow the Amtel requirements for termination. Since Barclays did not follow the requirements, Batyrbekov thought he was going to get his back wages.

However, after Batrybekov was terminated, he transferred his employment under his H-1B status to another employer. This subsequent job fell through after Batyrbekov transferred, and Batyrbekov left the United States.

Impact for Both Employers and Employees

The Administrative Review Board found that, although Barclays did not follow the Amtel requirements, and Batyrbekov's subsequent employment to which he transferred fell through, Barclays was not liable for back wages. The ARB stated that when an H-1B employee is terminated but successfully transfers his H-1B status to another employee, the original employer's back wage liability ends once USCIS approves the change in the H-1B's employer.

The only requirement on behalf of the original employer is that the employee be expressly notified of termination. The other Amtel requirements do not have to be met to avoid back wage liability when the employee successfully transfers his H-1B to another employer.

The Batrybekov case is significant for employees and employers:

·         Employees whose termination does not meet the Amtel requirements who are offered other employment will want to be absolutely sure that the new job is stable before transferring status. Otherwise of claim on back wages may not be upheld.
·         Employers will want to investigate a past employee's subsequent employment if asked to pay back wages to ensure the legitimacy of the claim.

If you are an H-1B who has been terminated or an employer who has terminated an H-1B contact our immigration team to discuss your legal liabilities or options. 

Lo Que Debes Saber Sobre La Accion Deferido para Padres--DAPA

El 20 de Noviembre del 2014, el Presidente Obama anunció que estarían brindando acción diferida a ciertos padres de ciudadanos de Estados Unidos o residentes permanentes. se llama DAPA por el USCIS.  La DAPA tiene los mismos beneficios que se les brindó a los llegados en la infancia (DACA- Acción Diferida) que ha sido expandida a otro grupo mayor de personas.

  • Usted debe de tener un hijo (a) ciudadano o residente permanente legal en esta fecha. Hijos      nacidos después del 20 de Noviembre del 2014, no serán elegibles. 
  • Usted tiene que haber vivido continuamente en los Estados Unidos desde el 1º de Enero del 2010.
  • Usted debe de estar físicamente en los Estados Unidos el 20 de Noviembre del 2014 y la fecha que usted aplique para DAPA. 
  • No debe de tener un estatus legal en el 20 de Noviembre del 2014. 
  • No debe de ser una prioridad para ICE por problemas criminales. Esto significa que no puede tener una condena por delito mayor, o un delito menor serio. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta acerca de la gravedad de una condena, comuníquese con nosotros para hablar de ello. 
  • Debe de haber pagado sus impuestos, si ha trabajado (el requisito no es tan claro todavía)

Presidente Obama ha instruido a inmigración para que esté listo para aceptar aplicaciones para DAPA dentro de 180 días, así que la fecha para comenzar a recibir aplicaciones será aproximadamente Mayo del 2015.


Esto es importante. Aunque se sabe mas o menos que formas y que documentación se requiere, si usted aplica antes del tiempo usted se pone en riesgo de perder su pago de aplicación, y su caso va a ser negado o rechazada. Van a ver notarios y abogados sin ética que tomarán su dinero y ofrecerán hacer sus aplicaciones ahora. No se deje engañar!  Obviamente, lo que debe hacer es preparar ahora, inicar el proceso y estar listo de mandar su paquete cuando anuncian las fechas de aceptación.


Preparase ahora por medio de lo suigiente:
  • Debe de ahorrar su dinero, si no lo ha hecho hasta ahora. Las cuotas para aplicar serán alrededor de $465.00 (como en DACA).
  • Haga una cita inmediatamente, si usted tiene algún problema criminal para determinar si estas pueden afectar su aplicación de DAPA.
  • Visite a un abogado para revisar los datos específicos de su caso y obtener información para así usted esté preparado para cuando ya las aplicaciones estén listas para ser aceptadas.
  • Obtenga su pasaporte! Usted lo necesitará en varias etapas del proceso de su aplicación. Haga esto ahora, ya que esto toma tiempo en su consulado
  • Reúna documentos. Usted debe de enviar documentos con su aplicación para demostrar que es elegible para DAPA. La siguiente lista de documentos es un buen comienzo de lo que necesitará brindar:
  1. Dos fotos de tamaño pasaporte;
  2. Copia de pasaporte (página de información biográfica), visas y formas I-94, si la tiene)
  3. Copia de partidas de nacimiento de usted y sus hijos, con traducción;
  4. Copia de certificados de matrimonio o de divorcio, si esto es aplicable;
  5. Copia de todo caso en corte, específicamente condenas criminales, y copias de todo reporte de policía, y prueba de todos las multas de tráfico que se han pagado;
  6. Copias de todo documento de inmigración que usted tenga;
  7. Copias de transcripciones de colegio, grado, y otra evidencia de su asistencia a programas de después la secundaria, si hay alguno;
  8. Prueba de su presencia antes y desde el 1 de Enero del 2010:
  •  Impuestos presentados por usted, o incluyéndolo a usted;
  •  Arrendamientos pasados, recibos de dinero mandado, expedientes, contratos, talones de cheques, que prueben su estadía en los Estados Unidos;
  •  Declaración jurada de parientes, amigos, profesores, empleadores, vecinos, que acredite su presencia en los Estados Unidos; 
  • Fotografías que le coloquen en los Estados Unidos antes del 2010; 
  • Paginas de Facebook, o otra evidencia electrónica de su presencia en los Estados Unidis en el 1 de enero 2010 y el 20 de Noviembre de 2014; y
  • Historial de las escuelas a las que ha asistido en los Estados Unidos

Que Mas Debo Saber?

Al fin del día, la DAPA es un proceso temporal.  El permiso de trabajo que viene con esto será válido por tres años. No sabemos que pasara con un nuevo presidente, o si el Congreso tratará de cambiarla (sin éxito sin la firma del Presidente). Entonces será importante de siempre seguir buscando otras opciones y vías de inmigrar. Por ejemplo, por medio de sus hijos mayores o suesposa  ciudadana o residente, o por medio de su trabajo. 

La DAPA le dará la opción de también pedir un permiso de viajar que se llame "Advance Parole". No hay una guarantia que lo aprueban, pero si lo hace, podrá viajar a su país sin tener miedo en regresar, y tal vez usar esta entrada legal para inmigrar legalmente al país.  

Hay algunos personas con condenaciones criminales.  Si Ud. es una de estas personas, habla con un abogado inmediatamente para averiguar si cualifiques por la DAPA y si tal vez la condenación puede ser arreglado. 

También, es importante de recordar que este beneficio es uno cual es basado en discreción. Sería bueno de tener información confirmando que Ud. es una persona de buen carácter. Cartas de familiares, pastores, empleadores, y amigos confirmando esto sería útil en la aplicación.  

Aun los con órdenes de deportación se cualifican por la DAPA.  Si es Ud., es importante de hablar con un abogado y obtener una copia de su expediente de inmigración, para que pueden asegurarse que todo esta en orden. Aun los que fueron físicamente deportados, si regresaron antes de enero 1. 2010, pueden aplicar, si no hay condenas que los precluyen. 

Al final nuestro consejo es de tomar Advantaje de esta oportunidad. No se sabe cuando tendrá la opción otra vez.  Aun si fuera por un corto tiempo, un permiso de trabajo puede cambiar su vida. Toma este chance. 

Muchos preguntan que si el programa se termina, puede venir y arrestarme?  La respuesta es obvio.  Si no puede capturar todos que saben donde viven ahorita con órdenes de deportación, como van a buscar cuatro millones más.  

Si tiene mas preguntas, o le podemos ayudar en su caso de DAPA, favor de llamarnos hoy a las 404-816-8611.


On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he would be granting deferred action to certain parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  Deferred action is the same benefit that was offered to childhood arrivals (DACA) that has essentially been extended to another, larger group of people. 


·       You must have a U.S. citizen child or lawful permanent resident child on this date.  Children born after 11/20/2014 will not make you eligible.
·       You must have lived continuously in the U.S. since before January 1, 2014.
·       You must be physically in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and the date you apply for DAPA.
·       You must not be in lawful status as of November 20, 2014.
·       You must not be an enforcement priority to ICE because of criminal issues.  This means you cannot have a felony conviction or a serious misdemeanor.  If you have a question about whether a conviction is considered serious, contact us soon to discuss.


President Obama has instructed immigration to be ready to accept applications for DAPA within 180 days, so the estimated start date for receiving application will be approximately May, 2015. 

YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO APPLY NOW.  This is important.  Though we know more or less what the forms will be and what documentation will be required, if you file your application before time you risk losing your filing fee, and your case will be denied or rejected.  There will be notarios and unethical attorneys taking money now and promising to file cases now.  Don’t be fooled!


·       You should save money, if you have not done so already.  The filing fees will be around $465 (just as with DACA).
·       Schedule an appointment ASAP if you have any criminal issues to help determine if they will affect your DAPA application.
·       Visit an attorney to review the specific facts of your case and get information so that you are ready to file when applications are ready to be accepted.
·       Get your passport!  You will need this at various stages of the application process.  Do this now, as there will likely be a wait time with your consulate.
·       See an accountant.  Make sure that your taxes are in order for the last several years.  Immigration will be requesting these as part of the application process.  We can provide you the contact information for some trusted and fair accountants who can assist.
·       Gather documents.  You will need to file documents with your application to show that you are eligible for DAPA.  The following list is a good starting point of documents you will need to provide:

1.         Two passport size photographs;

2.         Copy of passport biographical page of passport, visas and forms I-94;

3.         Copy of birth certificates for you and your children;

4.         Copy of marriage certificate or divorce, if applicable;

5.         Copy of every court case on record, specifically any criminal convictions, and copies of all police reports, and proof and that all traffic tickets have been paid;

6.         Copies of any immigration documents you may have;

7.            Copy of college transcripts, degree, and other evidence of you attending post high-school courses, if any;

8.         Proof of presence before and since January 1, 2010:

ü Tax returns filed by you, or including you;
ü Past leases, receipts, records dating to before that date which show living in the United States;
ü Affidavits from relatives, friends, teachers, employers, neighbors attesting to your presence in the United States;
ü Photographs placing you in the US before 2010;  and

ü School records if you attended school in the U.S.


President Obama recently leaked plans to exercise his executive action in revising immigration policy and procedure.  One of his “ten points” involves extending the application of “parole in place” (PIP) to assist people in lawfully immigrating to the United States.

To understand PIP you need to understand that immigration law treats people who entered the U.S. legally differently than people who entered the country illegally.  Specifically, if a person enters the U.S. states with a tourist visa, remains in the U.S. after the visa expires and later marries a U.S. citizen, that person would be allowed to apply for their green card while remaining in the U.S. and without having to risk indefinite separation from their families or pay fines.

On the other hand, a person who entered the U.S. illegally and later marries a U.S. citizen is not able to apply for a green card in the U.S., but instead must leave the U.S. and wait outside the country anywhere from seven days to ten years to return to the country depending on how immigration decides to process the case.

Setting aside the fact that it is silly to treat someone who is unlawfully in the U.S. because their visa expired differently from someone who is unlawfully in the U.S. because they entered the country without documentation to begin with, Obama’s potential extension of PIP to people who entered the U.S. unlawfully and are either married to U.S. citizens or have U.S. citizen children older than 21 is HUGE. 

Now, what is PIP?  PIP is where immigration, in its congressionally authorized discretion, grants permission to treat a case as if an intending immigrant originally entered the U.S. with inspection, or with a visa.  In essence, immigration waves its magic wand and says: “It is now as if you entered with a visa and you can now apply for your green card in the U.S. without risking prolonged separation from your family.”  PIP is not however, something new.  Immigration has used its discretion to grant PIP to family members of people serving in the U.S. military for many years.  This is important to note because it underlines the fact that President Obama is not making new law, he is simply authorizing immigration to use the discretion congress gave it to a broader range of people.

Currently it is estimated that there are about 3,000,000 people who are in the U.S. unlawfully, having entered the U.S. without documentation, are married to a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. citizen child older than 21, who simply are not immigrating under the current system because they would likely be separated from their families for an indefinite period of time while the complicated, expensive, and lengthy immigration process is pending.  Extending PIP to this category of people would make it possible for 3,000,000 people to come out of the shadows and immigrate to the U.S. lawfully without fear of prolonged separation from family, thus it would be HUGE for these people, and a huge step in bringing sense to an immigration system that currently lacks common sense.  

Refugee Status to Be Granted to Some Minor Children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras!

There is a lot going on with immigration law these days.  President Obama is reportedly set to move on taking executive action soon to help reform immigration policy.  This is no doubt the biggest hot-button immigration topic right now, as the shift couple help several million currently undocumented individuals.  However, another lesser-known change is on the horizon that could help some children in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Starting December the U.S. government will launch a program that would grant refugee status to minor children (under 21) who live in one of the listed countries, but have parents that reside in the U.S. with valid status.  As has been reported over the last year, many youth from these three countries have arrived at the U.S. border seeking to escape extreme violence in their home countries.  In recognition of the fact that these three countries lead nearly the entire world in murder and overall violence, the U.S. government is taking steps to grant reprieve to these children and grant them safe haven with their parents in the U.S.

Refugee status would give these children the opportunity to come to the U.S. and ultimately be granted permanent resident status.  As details of this program are released, please contact us to discuss whether this is a program that could assist you or your family member.

Realmente Que Significa la Acción Ejecutiva para Inmigración de Obama

A través de Fox News nos enteramos de que el presidente Obama está considerando una acción ejecutiva de 10 puntos sobre la inmigración. Vamos a repasar cada uno de estos 10 artículos y darles una perspectiva practica de cada uno, a quien puede afectar y realmente que bueno puede ser.  Pero, ten en cuenta, lo más importante que puede hacer no está en esta lista - sólo contar principales solicitantes en lugar de todos los miembros de la familia cuando se trata de cuotas totales por familias solicitando legalización de estatus migratorio.  Esa opción parece estar fuera de la mesa, por ahora.

Los 10 puntos del proyecto de plan, como se reporta por Fox News, son los siguientes, con mi comentario de cada artículo.

Expandir "Acción Diferida " Para Los Inmigrantes Ilegales Jóvenes
Esto ampliaría un importante paso dado por Obama en junio de 2012 cuando se ofreció un alto a la deportación – también conocido como la Acción Diferida - para los inmigrantes indocumentados que llegaron a los EE.UU. cuando eran menores de edad antes de junio de 2007 y tenían menos de 31 años a partir junio de 2012.

El cambio expandiría esta opción para cubrir a cualquier persona que ingresó antes de cumplir los 16 años a EE.UU. y cambia la fecha de junio de 2007 al 1 de enero de 2010.  Obama estima que esto ayudaría a casi 300.000 inmigrantes indocumentados.  Yo dudo que sean tantos y ya sabemos después del primer decreto sobre DACA que solo un tercio de las personas elegibles para este beneficio lo aprovecharían, ya que lo mismo ha pasado con el beneficio actual, bajando el número de beneficiados de 300,000 mil estimados por el presidente a 100,000 en actualidad.  Esto parece ser una solución fácil probable para el presidente, ya que el tribunal ha declarado que el presidente tiene autoridad para hacer esto.

Expandir "acción diferida " a Los Padres de Ciudadanos y Residentes Legales 

Esto ampliaría significativamente el programa anterior dando un respiro a los inmigrantes ilegales que han estado en los EE.UU. por más de cinco años y tienen hijos que son ciudadanos estadounidenses o residentes permanentes.  Esta es la primera de las tres grandes propuestas .

Esto podría permitir que más de 4,5 millones de adultos inmigrantes ilegales puedan permanecer en el país según las estimaciones.  Eso suena bastante bien, pero la realidad es que se estima que solo la mitad de los elegibles aplicaran una variedad de razones incluyendo los costos, las pruebas, y el miedo.

El senador Jeff Sessions , R - Ala ., Expresó su preocupación de que los inmigrantes ilegales podrían simplemente mentir con el fin de cumplir con los criterios de este programa.  Además, dijo que millones de personas entonces tendrían "derecho" a los privilegios de los Estados Unidos, incluyendo el plan de salud recién pasado por la administración de Obama.  
Por supuesto Jeff Sessions está mintiendo, pero eso no impide que FoxNews publique la información sin haber investigaciones para comprobarlo.  Los inmigrantes que aplicarían para este beneficio no son elegibles para estatus legal, solo una suspensión de deportación, igual que los jóvenes amparados por DACA.   Ellos no serían elegibles para beneficios públicos, ni mucho menos para  Obamacare, que excluye de forma expresa cualquier persona que es residente permanente. Además, el USCIS es excelente en la detección del fraude desde el 2014, algo que el departamento de INS nunca pudo hacer en acciones previas, como la amnistía de 1986.  ¿La gente ira a mentir para tratar de obtener este beneficio - sí , al igual que en todos los programas de beneficios del gobierno . ¿Van a tenner exit, no es probable.

Dar Prioridad a las Deportaciones de Delincuentes Graves

Esto sería una política del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de dar prioridad a las deportaciones de criminales graves y otros individuos considerados una amenaza - incluyendo miembros de pandillas.

ICE ya hace esto en gran medida.  No hay duda de que existen casos de criminales graves que se salvan de la deportación, pero que es poco frecuente.  Gastar más dinero en este tipo de programas en vez de a personas con infracciones de tránsito será un gran éxito para el ICE.

"Nuestra seguridad nacional sufre cada vez que nos gastamos los recursos medidos en perseguir a familias inmigrantes que trabajadoras  y no en los criminales y aquellos que buscan hacerle daño nuestras comunidades. . . . "

Terminar con el Programa de ‘Comunidades Seguras’ y Empezar uno Nuevo 

Obama suspenderá el programa de "Comunidades Seguras".  Bajo este programa, I.C.E. toma información de huellas dactilares que se obtiene de las cárceles locales y las compara con las  bases de datos de inmigración.  Inmigración y Control de Aduanas luego le coloca un "Hold" a ese inmigrante y esto con conduce a la deportación.  Desde el comienzo de su presidencia, se han deportado más de 2 millones de personas bajo este programa, con la mayor parte siendo personas sin cargos criminales.  

Cientos de miles de "extranjeros criminales" han sido deportados de esta manera.

El nuevo plan propone remplazar este cono otro programa no especificado.  Obviamente, él tendrá que reemplazar esto con otro programa, pero el seguimiento informático de los criminales reales es mucho más fácil hoy que nunca antes. Busque una versión menos agresiva "Comunidades Seguras".

Incremento de Salarios Para los Funcionarios de ICE

Esta propuesta requiere de un aumento de sueldo para los funcionarios de Inmigración y Aduanas con el fin de "aumentar la moral."  A principios de este año, el Consejo Nacional de ICE - el sindicato que representa a los trabajadores del ICE - pidió una mayor financiación para la agencia.  Yo no sé de dónde Obama se va a sacar ese dinero si el Congreso no se lo asigna.  

Expandir Visas Para Trabajadores en el Sector de Tecnología
El plan pide a trabajar con el Departamento de Estado para ampliar las visas para trabajadores extranjeros con habilidades de alta tecnología con el fin de apoyar a las empresas estadounidenses.  Esto se proyecta poder ofrecer un camino a la ciudadanía a otro medio millón de inmigrantes.
Esto es un poco ambiguo.  Una manera de hacer esto realidad es no contar los miembros de la familia de nacionales extranjeros cuando el principal inmigrante que está solicitando la visa de empleo.  Esto prácticamente elimina la acumulación de visados ​​para todas las naciones.  Obama también podría permitir a los cónyuges de portadores de visas H-1B obtener visa de trabajo, también puede modificar la definición de "habilidad extraordinaria para O-1 visas, y pude ampliar la cantidad visados ​​H -1B para empresas que estén afiliadas con una Universidad.  Lo que Obama no puede hacer es aumentar el número de visas H-1B sujetas a la tapa cada Abril. No espere cambios en el sistema de loterías para las H-1B normales; este punto es muy ambiguo.

Fortalecer la Seguridad Fronteriza

El plan sería comprometer recursos adicionales para la frontera México-Estados Unidos para afrontar el tráfico de inmigrantes, en parte como respuesta a la oleada veranear de niños indocumentados de América Central.  Por supuesto, estos niños estaban solicitando asilo, que es una obligación de tratados que tiene el país.  No es permitido ni se permitió darle la espalda esos niños. 

Esto suena muy bien en la práctica, pero esta es la parte del plan de Obama tiene que vender y, de hecho realizar a detener lo que algunos dirán que será otra gran ola de migración de personas indocumentadas que pueden venir en respuesta a la acción ejecutiva.  Es evidente que encarcelar a niños no funciona como táctica de disuasión.  El mayor elemento disuasorio sería un sistema de inmigración legal que funcione y que permite a familiares de inmigrantes y ciudadanos a inmigrar rápidamente, reduciendo líneas y permitiendo la inmigración de trabajadores dispuestos con empleadores que necesitan sus servicios en una forma lógica y funcional.  ¿Estará escuchando alguien en el Partido Republicano?

Expandir Exenciones Provisionales a Los Cónyuges e Hijos de Residentes Permanentes Legales

Esta sería la segunda de las tres grandes partes de este plan.  Se expandiría un programa de exención provisional exitoso que está funcionando desde marzo del 2013 para los cónyuges e hijos de los indocumentados residentes permanentes y ciudadanos estadounidenses.  Este cambio es fácil, es simplemente una actualización de una línea a la nota de la política ya existente.  Cientos de miles de personas calificarían para finalmente, reunirse de forma segura, sin tener que gastar más de un año fuera del país en la espera de su visa en el extranjero.  La extensión se procesa aquí, el sujeto viaja al consulado para su entrevista con su exención aprobada en la mano, y vuelven a entrar en los EE.UU. por lo general, 10 días después.  Obama no puede eliminar el requisito de que la persona salga de los EE.UU. para el proceso de visado, a menos que - ver más abajo!

Expandir 'Parole'

En la actualidad, el gobierno permite "la libertad condicional " para los padres indocumentados de y los cónyuges de militares de Estados Unidos - con eficacia haciéndoles cambiar al estado de "libertad condicional " en los Estados Unidos si ya están en el país.  Estos, con lo que ahora es considerada una entrada legal, pueden ajustar su estatus en los EE.UU. para la residencia permanente como familiares inmediatos, si su hijo (militar) tiene 21 años.

Obama está considerando la posibilidad de ampliar el programa para los inmigrantes indocumentados cuyos hijos son ciudadanos.  Este es la propuesta más tenebrosa del plan.  Esto permitiría a casi 3 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados a obtener la residencia permanente a través de sus hijos, no necesariamente de inmediato, pero cuando el niño cumpla 21 años. Esto resuelve un problema importante con nuestra ley, que hoy requiere el proceso consular para personas que entraron indocumentados, pero que no pueden solicitar una exención a través de sus hijos, ya que no existe esa posibilidad bajo la ley actual.  

Promover el proceso de naturalización

En la actualidad, el coso para la ciudadanía es $680.  Para animar a la gente a comenzar el proceso de ciudadanía, DHS descontaría a la mitad la cuota para los primeros 10.000 solicitantes. ¿Qué puedo decir más que ya es hora?  La tarifa actual es demasiado alto para muchas personas.  Obviamente va a estar ligada a los ingresos, y con razón.

Esto es todo por ahora.  Hay muchas otras cosas que Obama puede hacer, y hemos explicado que él tiene esta autoridad.  Ahora tenemos que ver si tiene el coraje para hacer algo por los inmigrantes, porque sabemos que haga lo que haga, se desatara una ola oposición del Partido Republicano anti-inmigrante.

Finalmente,  por favor comprenda que nada es definitivo.  No contrate o page a nadie por  hacer nada relacionado a estos informes.  Lo que SI deben hacer es prepararse por si se da, así que a comenzar a reunir sus declaraciones de impuestos de los últimos 10 años, a obtener evidencia de su presencia física en el país, tomar fotos de ti mismo en los EE.UU. con periódicos publicados HOY, envié mensajes de Facebook y documente en donde trabaja, a que iglesia asisten, y con quien comparte tiempo.  Guarde sus recibos de pagos como los de renta, utilidades y giros de dinero.  Por supuesto, ahorrar su dinero porque esto no va a ser gratis. Como se espera que el Congreso se niega a financiar esto los costos los tendrán que afrontar ustedes.  Cuente con costos alrededor de $ 1.000.  Llámenos con cualquier pregunta al 404-816-8611.

Obama Immigration Executive Action and What it Means, Really

From FoxNews we learn that President Obama is considering a 10 point Executive Action on immigration.  We will walk through each of these 10 items and give you a real life perspective of what they mean, who it would affect, and how "good" it is.  But, to note, the most important thing he can do is not on this list--count only principal immigrant applicants, rather than all family members when it comes to family legal immigration quota totals. That appears to be off the table, for now.

The 10 points of the draft plan, as outlined by FoxNews, are as follows, with my commentary on each item.
Expand ‘deferred action’ for young illegal immigrants
This would expand a major step taken by Obama in June 2012. In June 2012, Obama offered a deportation reprieve – a.k.a., deferred action -- for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, entered before June 2007 and were under 31 as of June 2012.
The change would expand that to cover anyone who entered before they were 16, and change the cut-off from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010. Obama estimates this would make nearly 300,000 additional undocumented immigrants eligible. I doubt this many more would eligible, and, only a third of those legible under the current deferred action have applied. Look for around 100,000 to apply for this. This seems a likely easy fix for the president, and court has already held that the president has authority to do this. 
Expand ‘deferred action’ for parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents
This would significantly expand the above program by also giving a reprieve to illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than five years and have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. This is the first of the big three proposals.
This could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults to stay, according to estimates.  That sounds about right, but could on less than half applying, for a variety of reasons, including costs, proof, and fear.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., voiced concerns that illegal immigrants could simply fib in order to meet the criteria for this program. Further, he said millions more people would then be “entitled” to U.S. privileges including health care. 
Of course Jeff Sessions is lying, but that does not stop FoxNews from printing it without fact checking him. The immigrants who apply under this proposal do not receive any legal status.  They would merely have a stay of deportation, like the kids who have DACA. They would not be eligible for any public benefits, and would lot be eligible for Obamacare, which specifically excludes anyone who is it a permanent resident.   Also, USCIS is excellent at detecting fraud in 2014, something that Legacy INS was not so good at in 1986.   Will people lie to try to get this benefit, yes, like in all government benefit programs.  Will they be successful, not likely. 
Prioritize deportations for serious criminals
This would be a Department of Homeland Security-wide enforcement policy to prioritize deportations for serious criminals and other individuals deemed a threat – including gang members.
ICE already does this to a large extent.  There is no doubt that the random serious criminal is not deported, but that is infrequent.  Spending more money on this type of program because they are not focused on traffic infractions will be a huge success for ICE. 
“Our national security suffers whenever we spend precious enforcement resources on hardworking immigrant families, rather than on criminals and those who mean our communities harm, . . . .”
End ‘Secure Communities’ and start a new program
Obama would discontinue the “Secure Communities” program. Under this program, ICE takes fingerprint information that it gets from local jails and checks it against immigration databases. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then places a "Hold" on the immigrant, which frequently leads to deportation, more than 2 million times since Obama has been President, and frequently of non-criminal foreign nationals.
Hundreds of thousands of “criminal aliens” have been deported this way.
The plan calls for replacing this with another, unspecified program.  Obviously, he will have to replace this with another program, but computer tracking of actual criminals is much easier today than ever before.  Look for a "Secure Communities" light.
Boost pay for ICE officers
This calls for a pay raise for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, to “increase morale.” Earlier this year, the National ICE Council – the union representing ICE workers – called for more funding for the agency.   I don't know where Obama is going to get this money, if Congress does not allocate it. 
Expand high-tech visas
The plan calls for working with the State Department to expand visas for foreign-born workers with high-tech skills, to support U.S. businesses. This is projected to offer another half-million immigrants a path to citizenship.
This is a little vague.  Once way to do this is to not count foreign national family members when the principal is immigrating through employment. This would virtually eliminate the backlog of visas for all nations.  Obama could also allow the spouses of H-1B visas to work, he could modify the definition of "extraordinary ability for O-1 visas, and he could expand the ability of a company to obtain cap-exempt  H-1B visas for companies at or affiliated with  a University.  What Obama cannot do is increase the number of H-1B visas subject to the cap each April. Expect continued lotteries for the standard H-1B. This point is very vague. 
Strengthen border security
The plan would commit additional resources to the U.S.-Mexico border to deal with uncoudme red immigrant traffic, partly in response to the surge over the summer of undocumented children from Central America.  Of course these children were applying for asylum, which is a treaty obligation we have. We were and are not allowed to turn these kids away.  
This sounds great in practice, but this is the part of the plan Obama needs to sell and actually perform on to stop what some will say will be another large migration of undocumented people, coming in response to the Executive Action. Clearly putting children in jail is not working as a deterrent.  The biggest deterrent would be a functioning legal immigration system that lets family members come quickly, reduces lines and matches willing workers with employers who need their services in a logical functional way. GOP Congress, are you listening?
Expand provisional waivers to spouses and children of legal permanent residents
This would be the second of the big three parts of this plan.  He would expand a wildly successful provisional waiver program in place since March 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of permanent residents and U.S. citizens. This change is easy, it is simply a one line update to the already existing policy memo.  Hundreds of thousands of folks would qualify to finally, safely reunite, without spending more than a year apart waiting for a waiver abroad.  They would process the waiver here, travel to the consulate for their interivew with their approved waiver in hand,  and reenter the US usually less than 10 days later.  Obama cannot eliminate the requirement that the person leave the US to visa process, unless--see below!
Expand ‘parole’
The government currently allows “parole in place" for undocumented immigrant parents and spouses of U.S. military members – effectively letting them change to “parole” status in the United States if they are already in the country. This, with what is now a legal entry, they can adjust their status in the U.S. to permanent residence as immediate relatives, if their child is 21 years old.  
Obama is considering expanding the program for undocumented immigrants whose children are citizens.  This is the 900 pound gorilla in this proposal. It would allow almost 3 million undocumented immigrants obtain permanent residence through their children, not necessarily right away, but when the child turns 21.  This solves a major problem with our waiver law, which requires consular processing for folks who entered undocumented, but who cannot apply for a waiver through the children, as there is no waiver in the law.  
Promote the naturalization process
Currently, the naturalization fee is $680. To encourage people to begin the citizenship process, DHS would take 50 percent off the fee for the first 10,000 applicants.  What can I say besides, it's about time.  This fee is far too high for many folks.  Obviously it will be tied to income, and justifiably so.
And, that is it, there are many other things Obama can do, and we have explained how he has this authority.  Now we need to see if he has the spine to make it happen, because it will relese a torrent of vitriol from the anti-immigration portion of the GOP.
Finally, please understand, NOTHING is final.  Do not Hire or pay anyone to do anything.  But you need to prepare for this, so begin gathering your tax returns for the last 10 years, get evidence of your physical presence, take pictures of yourself i the US today with today's papers, send facebook messages and document where you work, where you go to Church, and who you spend time with.  Save your receipts of rent, payments, and money transfers.  And, of course, save your money, because this will not be free.  Since Congress will likely refuse to fund this, these changes will all need to be self-funded.  Expect filing fees of around $1,000.  Call us with any questions, ask 404-816-8611.

Arreglando Condenaciones Ya Es Un Poco Mas Facil En Georgia

En las últimas décadas, las leyes de inmigración de Estados Unidos han cambiado en forma que tienen más parecido a las leyes criminales.  Hay exigencias extremas que se deben cumplir para permanecer en los EE.UU., sin importar los vínculos familiares en el país o la cantidad de tiempo que se pase aquí, y es aún más difícil de permanecer en los EE.UU. con antecedentes penales.

Debido a la naturaleza extrema de nuestras leyes actuales, la Corte Suprema de Justicia en el caso de Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 EE.UU. 356 (2010), decidió que los abogados de defensa criminal deben aconsejar a sus clientes sobre las consecuencias de inmigración de sus convicciones con el fin de cumplir con la norma de " la asistencia efectiva de un abogado".  Este fue un paso audaz por la Corte Suprema; históricamente, los abogados defensores no tenían que asesorar a nadie sobre consecuencias fuera de las de la misma convicción, como su sentencia y sus términos.

La ley de inmigración es muy compleja y requiere años para los abogados que aprender. Como resultado, incluso después de la sentencia Padilla, no todos los abogados de defensa criminal han estado aconsejando a sus clientes correctamente y acusados inmigrantes continúan siendo condenados  crímenes sin entender las posibles consecuencias en sus estatus migratorios.  Durante años, abogados de inmigración y defensa criminal han estado luchando para volver a abrir los caso de personas inmigrantes, convictas sin haber sido adecuadamente advertidos de las consecuencias migratorias de sus convicciones.  Sin embargo, los tribunales de Georgia son extremadamente resistente, negando constantemente peticiones para reabrir convicciones que deberían haber concedido.

Recientemente, la Corte Suprema de Georgia tomó la decisión de hacer cumplir Padilla v. Kentucky en Encarnación v. Estado, Nº S14A0690, slip op. (Ga. 22 de septiembre 2014). Esta decisión requiere que los abogados de defensa criminal, independientemente de su experiencia, aconsejan a los inmigrantes con la mayor claridad posible sobre las consecuencias de inmigración reales de sus declaraciones y convicciones.  El Tribunal deja claro: "No basta con decir 'tal vez', cuando el consejo correcto es "casi seguro que lo hará."  Encarnación, Nº S14A0690, 8.

Si usted cree que fue erróneamente aconsejado en cuanto a las consecuencias de inmigración de sus convicciones, por favor llame a Anna Erwin al 404-949-8165 para que te pueda ayudar con su caso. Sé que las leyes que necesita para arreglar sus vidas

The GOP and Immigration Reform, and Obama and Executive Orders


The GOP will control both the Houses of Congress come January 19, 2015.  Mitt Romney, in a massive shift from his 2012 presidential campaign position, says that one of the first things the GOP will do is pass some sort (unclear what exactly) of "immigration reform" and put it on the President's desk in 2015.  Two things about this.

First, if Mitt Romney had said this during the campaign in 2012, we would be calling him President Romney today.  It is rather off of Romney to say this now, particularly since he is taking heat from the likes of Glenn Beck in doing so.  If Romney really believed this, one has to ask, did he have a change of heart? Or, is he cynically duping people into supporting GOP candidates, with no real intention to address a key part of our economic future as a country?

Second, what does "immigration reform" mean when used by Mitt Romney and the GOP today? Inspired by the classic line uttered by Inigo Montoya to Fazini in "The Princess Bride" when Fazini kept misusing the word "inconceivable," "I do not believe that word means what you think it means."

"Immigration Reform" to the many members of the GOP means exactly what Ted Cruz says it means, as reflected in his proposed amendment to the bi-partisan Immigration Reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013;
Cruz’s amendments would have (1) eliminated the legalization-first, security-later structure of the Gang of Eight bill while still creating a way to legalize those now here illegally; (2) increased certain types of legal immigration; and (3) removed what might be called the moral hazard of rewarding those who came here illegally with citizenship and federal benefits.
So, when the GOP talks about passing an "immigration reform," it must be uunderstood that it will not be far-reaching, it will be punitive, it will create a second class of person in the U.S., and it will be a slow process to even obtain a work permit.  Because, anything other than deporting everyone is "amnesty."


As to President Obama and his approach to immigration reform, we can only say two words:  "screwed up."  This phrase applies both to to his "plan" for executive action, and his delay in implementing executive action to "save" Democratic Senators from having to defend it on the campaign trail.

First, while it is always easy to have 20/20 hindsight, it is quite clear that Democrats lost the support of large numbers of Hispanics because of Obama's failure to act, and what was seen by many Hispanics as a betrayal of their support for Obama in 2008 and 2012.  There were actually billboards in North Carolina (where Kay Hagan lost re-election by a very small percentage and where Obama won in 2008 and 2012 with massive Hispanic turnout), paid for by Hispanic advocacy groups urging Hispanics NOT to vote for Hagan.  To say the entire election turned on Obama's betrayal of the Hispanic and Asian immigrant communities of his failure to press reform or executive action before the election would not be completely accurate, but it clearly played a part in a dismal turnout for what was an historical Democratic voting base.

Second, his plan for "executive action" is hardly an "amnesty"for 11 million people as some politicians have claimed, and more importantly, it is clearly still not ready for prime time.  In his first press conference post-election, Obama was clear that he WILL (Really This Time) issue "some" executive action on immigration, which he would be happen to undo if Congress passes "immigration reform."  Do you see the problem here.  Neither side is actually using "immigration reform" in the same way.  And, Obama cannot actually "legalize" anyone to actual immigration status in the U.S.  He can give work permits based upon the parole authority Congress has given the executive branch (and which numerous president's have used before), but he cannot give "amnesty."


What do I think Obama will do?

Despite all the false starts, Obama has no choice but to issue an executive order or amend regulations, but he will do so AFTER budget discussion are resolved and Congress departs for they year, likely after December 11, when it appears the Congress will go home for the holidays.

First, I believe (and this is based on my analysis not actual administration promises) that Obama will give a limited work authorization to a relatively narrow group of undocumented workers.  He will do this by using the existing law, and if were smart it would go something like this.  The GOP wants all undocumented immigrant to go home. Of course, if they were all arrested by ICE and put into removal (deportation) proceedings, they would be allowed to go through the immigration court system.   At least 62% of undocumented immigrants have been in the U.S. for 10 years or longer. Current U.S. law, passed by a GOP Congress in 1996, says that if you have lived in the U.S. longer than 10 years, have a US citizen child, spouse or parent, and are a person of "good moral character, then you can apply for "cancellation of removal," which comes with a work permit. They would NOT get any status, but the work permit could be used to get drivers licenses in most states.  People would come out of the shadows for the first time in 28 years.   Now, you are not likely to win that case (only 4,000 people a year can be approved), but the cases drag on for years because of the nightmare that is the immigration court system.  If Obama gives people who fit this definition a work permit (not status), he is doing EXACTLY what the GOP would do if they could arrest each of these folks, and Obama is getting their biometrics and data from them with no effort.   Now, I doubt Obama could spin this as good as me, and for sure the GOP would call this amnesty, but, it is the easiest win for Obama with the Hispanic community, and it is the easiest to justify.

Second, I believe that Obama will also issue regulations that will recapture unused immigrant visa numbers from past years for employment based immigrants waiting in the proverbial "line."  This recapture will involve adding another 200,000 or so immigrant visas and making them immediately available. This would pay off big for businesses, particularly in high tech, whose employees wait more than a decade for a green card.   Again, this is defensible, as the visas were made available by Congress already and were only not used because of USCIS incompetence in handling immigrant (legal) visa processing.

Of course, he could do a lot more, but do not expect a President who has shown so little backbone on a HUGE variety of issues to do more than that.

And, finally, don't forget that if Obama does these two simplest things, which he is legally allowed to do, the GOP will scream "impeachment" at the top of their lungs.