Archive for the ‘Deportation’ Category

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The New Dream Act/Deferred Action; What Does It Mean for You?

August 12, 2012

Next week the new immigration laws regarding young immigrants will finally be revealed in full.  What does this mean for us? Although these laws may help some, the regulations seem to exclude more people than they help.  They leave a lot of uncertainty and worry amongst potential applicants as well. 

The new laws will be available to those who are in an illegal status at this time, and who entered the US prior to their 16th birthday.  Thus, those who were already 16 upon entry are excluded. Unfortunately, we have come across several clients who missed this deadline by a few days or a few weeks. Should a person be excluded from DREAM because they were 16 years old and three weeks when their parents brought them here?  It seems a bit of an arbitrary cut-off.

The applicant also has to have lived in the US for at least five years continually with only brief interruptions. The burden will be on the applicant to prove they have been present in the US for at least the last five years. This can be proved by showing medical records, school records, phone bills, or other documentary evidence regarding physical presence in the United States.  The rules seemingly indicate that the applicant may have left the US for brief periods of time, yet there is no hard and fast rule as to what will constitute "brief" absences.   Will the old "Fleuti" doctrine of 180 days apply? Or will DREAMERS be held to a stricter standard? Hopefully, more concrete guidance will be released next week with respect to the new laws.

Those applying must currently be between the ages of 15 and 30.  I have had clients cut off by being both too young or by being too old. It’s a shame that someone who fits all the other requirements can miss benefiting from the law because they turned 30 a few months ago or because they are now 14.

The law will also require applicants to  be currently enrolled in a high school program, or completed HS or a GED. They can also be enrolled in college or serving in the military in some instances. We have also come across persons who never finished high school. They had to work to help support their family or to send money back to their family at home. They do not speak English or even know they could attend school here. These persons may too be excluded. Some persons are enrolling  in high school now or starting to enroll in local or online GED programs. I bet the organizations that offer GEDs are seeing a sudden boon in enrollees. But will enrollment in a GED program be sufficient to meet the requirements of this law? The law says persons may be "currently enrolled" in high school to qualify. So will such GED programs suffice? It will be interesting to find this out.

What about those who have been arrested? Those with more than one arrest or any "significant" crime may not be eligible for relief under the law. Then what will happen if they choose to apply and are denied? Will they be placed in removal proceedings? Will they be deported? Presumably not. But I am not yet convinced that this will ultimately be the case. Anyone with more than a traffic ticket should be extremely careful of this law and consult an immigration attorney prior to applying.

So what will the new law provide to applicants? Those who "pass" all these tests will get a work permit for two years. With this permit they will be able to get a social security number and renew or obtain a drivers license.  This relief will need to be renewed every two years. It does not grant residency or lead to a green card. Spouses are not automatically included. Your children are not necessarily included. The law does not legalize a person or permit them to change status. 

The filing free will be $465 total per application.  The forms and filing procedures will be released next week. Those already in removal proceedings may also apply with USCIS

The real question everyone wants to know is whether those who apply are at risk of deportation in case of a change in the administration. While we are told that  applicants who are denied relief are not being turned over to ICE for removal, the effects of the law remain to be seen.  One USCIS officer in Connecticut actually warned us to tell clients not to apply under the law. What does she know that we do not know?  Hopefully she was just being overly cautious.  To be continued after the regulations are released next week.

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Political Asylum

August 8, 2012

One common cause for Illegal Immigration among immigrants is a fear for one’s own safety based on a reasonable threat from their native country. In this situation, it is possible for an immigrant to be granted what is called political asylum.

In order to help immigrants escape the threat of persecution and oppression, The United States enacted "The Refugee Act"; which states that political asylum may be granted to those who have a well-founded fear that returning to their native country will result in persecution, or violence.

Political Asylum does not apply to those that have committed crimes in their native country and wish to evade justice, but instead was enacted to assist those facing persecution related to race, sex, religion or nationality.

Professional Assistance

Obtaining legal citizenship in The United States can be a daunting task, filled with many legal obstacles. If you or a loved one is seeking assistance from an experienced Immigration attorney in New York, contact Susan B. Henner at (914)358-5200 for a free consultation or more information.

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Arizona Immigration Law in the News

June 27, 2012

If you need help with Immigration in NY, contact Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at (914) 358-5200 for more information or an appointment.

Arizona Immigration Law: Local Police Step Up Immigration Enforcement
by Elliot Spagat
June 27, 2012
ESCONDIDO, Calif. — State and local police across the country didn’t need the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Arizona’s "show me your papers" immigration law to begin turning people over to the federal government for deportation.

Since late 2007, they have helped identify nearly 20 percent of the nation’s 1.6 million deportations – a trend that will likely accelerate.

The Obama administration plans to expand to every jurisdiction a program in which local police share fingerprints of those accused of breaking the law for federal officials to identify those they want to put into deportation proceedings.

The administration is making clear that federal authorities have always had – and will continue to have – the final say on who gets deported.

As debate has raged over the provision of the 2010 Arizona law, the federal government has been increasingly tapping the vastly superior presence of state and local police to identify undocumented immigrants for deportation.

State and local police made about 150,000 arrests that resulted in deportation from late 2007 to late 2011 under a program that empowers specially trained local officers to enforce immigration laws. Deportations under that program peaked in 2009 but are falling sharply as the federal government phases it out.

In the fingerprinting program, state and local agencies are responsible for the vast majority of another roughly 150,000 deportations during that time. ICE scans prints of everyone booked into jails for non-immigration crimes and tells local police when they want someone held for deportation proceedings.

Read more HERE

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DHS to offer deferred action to DREAMers

June 15, 2012

DHS will formally announce this morning that it will offer deferred action to DREAMers.
Preliminary information indicates that eligible applicants must:

  • Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
  • Have maintained continuous residence
  • Have not been convicted of one serious crime or multiple minor crimes
  • Be currently enrolled in high school, graduated or have a GED, or have enlisted in the military

The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings as well as to those who apply affirmatively.
The White House is expected to make a formal announcement this afternoon at 1:15 EST.
AILA will provide further details today.

If you need assistance with an Immigration matter in NY, contact Susan B. Henner at (914) 358-5200 now for a free consultation and more information.

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Immigration Appeals

April 25, 2012

New York Immigration attorney Susan B. Henner is ready to represent individuals facing a variety of immigration issues such as removal, visa overstay, and deportation.

The highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws is The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). With up to 15 Board Members, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman who share responsibility for BIA management, the BIA decides appeals by conducting a "paper review" of cases.

Generally, the BIA does not conduct courtroom proceedings, but will hear oral arguments of appealed cases on special occasions at its headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. The Law offices of John E. MacDonald Inc,. will assist you in presenting your Immigration Appeals against any decisions rendered by immigration judges regardless of whether you are an alien, a citizen, or a business firm.

How an Immigration Appeal works

The Board of Immigration Appeals generally reviews cases that involve orders of removal (deportation) in addition to applications for relief from removal. The majority of cases are reviewed by a single selected board member, although there are certain types of cases that are handled by special panel of three. Most appeals are the result of:

  • A need to clarify the meaning of a law or procedure, which will be followed in future cases

  • An inconsistency between the law and a decision made by an immigration judge or DHS officer.

  • A nationally relevant or controversial case widely considered to hold national importance

  • A mistake, or factual error made by an immigration judge

  • An inconsistency in the rulings between two or more immigration judges

If you wish to Appeal

The most typical of appeals that reach the BIA involve orders of removal and applications for relief from removal, and has standardized the process to some degree. If you or a loved one is an immigrant in the state of New York and are now facing deportation, you have the right to appeal the BIA. Please contact New York Immigration attorney Susan B. Henner today at 1-888-733-0141 or (914) 358-5200. If you wish to contact Susan by email please write to: Susan@sbhenner.com.

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IT Companies in India Claim Difficulties Getting Work Visas for Employees

April 18, 2012

If you need help with a work visa or any other Immigration matter in NY, contact Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at (914) 358-5200 for more information and assistance now.

Indian, U.S. firms urge Obama action on visas
USCIS is giving consideration to the idea
By Patrick Thibodeau
March 23, 2012

Computerworld – WASHINGTON – Some of the largest IT companies in India and the U.S. are complaining to President Obama that it has become increasingly difficult to get work visas for their employees — and they want him to take action.

In a letter Thursday to Obama, the companies said that the U.S. is creating “unprecedented delays and uncertainty” around L-1 visas, which are used for intra-company transfers of employees from foreign offices to U.S. offices. They claim that U.S. immigration authorities are exceeding the law in rejecting their visa applications.

The White House letter sheds light on just who is behind this push to change how the U.S. treats visa applications.

Although the L-1 visa is different from the H-1B visa, they are part of the same debate concerning the displacement of U.S. workers by foreign labor. Critics contend that offshore companies, in particular, use the L-1 for the same reason they use the H-1B visa: to help move work overseas.

In recent years, the U.S. has toughened enforcement of its H-1B and L-1 program through rejections of visa petitions and increased demands for paperwork that can lengthen the wait, and cost, of a visa.

Complaints about the visa processes have been growing in recent years, and the undertone of the letter to Obama is one of frustration. “Such delays or denials do not enhance compliance or enforcement and do nothing except disrupt carefully-laid business plans and create significant costs to the company and the American economy,” the companies told Obama.

Among the companies listed on the letter are major Indian offshore firms, including Wipro Technologies and Tata America International Corp. — a subsidiary of offshore giant Tata Consultancy Services — as well as firms that rely heavily on India and other countries for offshore labor, including U.S.-based Cognizant Technology Solutions and Accenture.

Other firms signing it included eBay, EMC, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, as well as a number of firms in other industries, including Boeing, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar and Chevron USA. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with numerous tech-related groups, signed it, too.

The lobbying effort has been largely behind-the-scenes, but its goal was outlined in a letter released earlier this month by the two leading congressional critics of work visa policies, U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

In their letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas, Grassley and Durbin said they were aware that the agency was considering making it easier for companies to transfer workers to the U.S. under the L-1B rules. The L-1 is the visa most commonly used.

“We are concerned that the L-1B program is harming American workers because some employers, especially foreign outsourcing companies, use L-1B visas to evade restrictions on the H-1B visa program,” wrote Grassley and Durbin.

Read more HERE

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Immigrant Visa Program Phishing Scam

March 30, 2012

If you need assistance obtaining your Visa, or any other Immigration matter in NY, contact Susan B. Henner at (914) 358-5200 for a free consultation or more information.

Green card phishing scam preys upon visa hopefuls

By Perry Chiaramonte
March 28, 2012
A cruel new email phishing scam preys on visa holders with the phony promise of a green card in return for cash, FoxNews.com has learned.

The emails, under an official-looking U.S. State Department letterhead, tell recipients they are among 50,000 winners drawn at random from more than 12 million entries in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, known more commonly as the green card lottery. But the elaborate emails are just a scheme to bilk money from recipients, authorities confirmed.

“We always advise people that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” a spokeswoman for the FBI told FoxNews.com. “We have received complaints about this particular scam that claims to be from the U.S. government.  If someone receives these emails unsolicited, they should be treated with a healthy amount of skepticism.”

Ian Jopson, an Australian citizen living in the U.S. with a work visa, received one such email as recently as Monday and figured out quickly that it was a sham.

“The header said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve won!’ I was overwhelmed because I’ve been in the [green card] lottery for years,” said Jopson. For a fleeting moment, he thought it was legitimate. Then he saw a request for nearly $900 in "processing fees," to be sent to an "embassy representative" in London through Western Union.

“It was a red flag," said Jopson, a web designer for FoxNews.com. "It’s general knowledge that Western Union is used for these things."

Another signal that something was amiss was a request that after payment, he send a confirmation message of the transfer to the email address, “lottery[at]usa-green-card-dv-lottery.com.”An email from a U.S. government agency would likely end in ".gov."

Jason Stern, a New York-based attorney who specializes in Internet issues, told FoxNews.com the scam is similar in many ways to the most famous cyber hoax of all.

"The green card lottery scam is really no more sophisticated than your garden-variety Nigerian Bank email phishing scam, except that it specifically targets immigrants — who are particularly vulnerable to a message bearing the official looking seal of the US Department of State," Stern said.

A spokesman for the State Department told FoxNews.com the scam has been making the rounds, prompting the agency to stop sending emails out for the visa lottery altogether. The spokesman said that the government only asks for fees when applicants first apply for visas.

“You actually have to log onto the system to check the status," the spokesman said. "We do this specifically to prevent the issue of fraud.”