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Articles Posted in Appeals

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Following a recent surge in apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the Southwest border, the Department of Homeland Security announced that, beginning January 1st Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) engaged in a concerted nationwide crackdown, taking adults and some children into custody, who have evaded their orders for removal. In a recent press release, the Secretary of DHS, Jeh Johnson indicated that the crackdown occurred as a result of President Obama’s November 2014 executive action on immigration, which put in place new priorities for removal, including the removal of convicted criminals, individuals posing a threat to national security, individuals apprehended at the border or who were found to have entered the United States unlawfully after January 1, 2014. In November 2014 President Obama had implemented these new priorities in an effort to secure the border. In the press release, Jeh Johnson added, “as I have said repeatedly, our borders are not open to illegal migration; if you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values…individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children will be removed.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Central American migrants were removed and repatriated at an increasing rate since the summer of 2014. During this time, there was a surge in the number of families and unaccompanied children from Central America attempting to cross the southern border illegally. In response to this surge, DHS collaborated with the Mexican, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Salvadorian governments to decrease these numbers. According to Jeh Johnson the collaborative efforts were temporarily successfully. In 2015 the number of apprehensions by the U.S. Border Patrol decreased dramatically to 331, 333. Fiscal year 2015 experienced the lowest amount of apprehensions on the southern border since 1972. Recently, an increased rate of apprehensions resurfaced. This sudden spike resulted in the January 1st crackdown prompting ICE to action. As part of the crackdown, dozens of female agents and medical personnel were deployed to assist with the apprehension and removal process. According to DHS, in cases involving medical urgency or other reasons, ICE exercised prosecutorial discretion. As stated by DHS, enforcement operations will continue as needed in collaboration with state and local law enforcement.

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Yesterday night, in a 2-1 vote the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted to uphold the lower court’s decision in Texas v. United States blocking President Obama’s extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs from going into effect.

The expanded DACA and new DAPA provisions were announced November of last year as part of Obama’s executive actions on immigration giving eligible undocumented individuals a legal status in the United States. The expanded DACA program would have made millions of law abiding undocumented aliens (with no criminal history) eligible for employment authorization and social security benefits. To qualify, expanded DACA applicants would need to provide documented evidence proving their continuous physical presence in the United States from January 1, 2010 onward. In exchange, the United States government would recognize these individuals as law abiding residents and safeguard them against deportation. The move was significant since it would mean that undocumented individuals would no longer need to live on the fringes of society. By granting these individuals an immigration classification, insurance companies would become accessible to them for the first time ever.

Similarly, Obama’s DAPA program would have extended eligibility of deferred action to parents of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents born or or before November 20, 2014 the date of the DAPA program’s announcement. As part of the application process, DAPA applicants would be required to undergo extensive background checks and prove continuous residence since January 1, 2010 among other provisions. Click here for more information on DAPA.

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It is our pleasure to bring you the latest in immigration news including recent USCIS announcements, workload updates, tips, and important reminders to avoid delays in application processing or rejections. For more information please contact our office.

Comment Period for Proposed USCIS Form Revisions:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have proposed changes to the following USCIS forms. DHS and USCIS invite the general public, organizations, and federal agencies to submit comments on the proposed revisions by the deadlines outlined below:

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In this blog we are answering 5 of your frequently asked questions in detail. Please remember that every case and every story is different and unique. You should not compare your situation to anyone else’s. We hope that our answers will provide you with further guidance while you embark on your immigration journey. For any further questions call our office for a free legal consultation. We thank you for your continued trust in our law office.

Q: I would like to understand if my case has any possibility of success. I am a Mexican citizen, my mother is a US Citizen. Years back she began the immigration process for me, but lost a notification due to a change of address. The whole process stopped. We both talked and would like to reinstate the process, can you please assist?

A: Thank you for your question. Did you save a copy of the case file that was mailed to CIS? It is important for an attorney to first evaluate your application to make sure you sent all necessary documentation along with your application. You will also need to provide copies of your receipt notices with your corresponding receipt numbers. It may be that you may have received a request for additional evidence. If you failed to change your address with CIS or if you failed to respond to CIS within the required timeframe you will need to reinstate your application. Our office has experience reinstating applications with CIS however the process can be time consuming. In some cases it is better to re-file to save time. If you have criminal history, have been deported, or detained these factors will have a profound impact on the success of your application. To determine the best strategy for you please contact our office.

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By Yingfei Zhou, Esq.

Today, June 09, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that children who waited for years with their parents to obtain immigrant visas still have to go to the back of the line when they turn 21.

BACKGROUND: The case, Mayorkas v Cuellar de Osorio, began as two separate suits, one joining many individual plaintiffs, and the other certified as class action.  One of the respondents involved in this case is a Salvadoran family-sponsored immigrant who was in line for a visa along with her 13-year-old son.  But after years of waiting, her son turned 21 and government officials said he no longer qualified as an eligible child.  The aged-out son was then placed at the back of the line, resulting in a wait of several more years.

By Ekaterina Powell, Esq.

In the recent case Caremax Inc. v. Holder (N.D. Cal., 2014), the court granted the government’s motion for summary judgment and ruled that Public Relations Specialist offered to the beneficiary is not an H-1B caliber position.

The H-1B employer and the employee filed a declaratory relief action asking the District Court to determine whether the position of PR Specialist offered to the beneficiary constitutes a “specialty occupation” under the INA and if so whether the employee meets the qualifications to be employed in the position.

So you hire a lawyer to file your immigration petition and your case gets a Request for Evidence on it. You provide all of the documentation in the request to your lawyer to file with immigration so that your case will be approved, relying on your lawyer’s advice for what documents you need to provide so it will be successful. Unfortunately, your case is denied, but the denial says that immigration never received your Request for Evidence and denied it for failure to respond to it. As a client, this can be both disheartening and confusing since you relied on your lawyer to help get your case approved. What can you do?

Our office had a client come to us with this very situation at hand, wondering what they could do to get their case approved. The consequences would be pretty severe because it was a family petition and the denial could potentially split up a family that recently had a new member born. Understanding the sensitivity of the circumstances, there were a few things we could do while the period of time to file an appeal was open.

The first thing we did was follow up with the Immigration Field Office who had the case on file and issued the denial to see if the case could be reopened on their own motion. For anyone that is unfamiliar with dealing with the Immigration Field Offices, one must generally have an appointment made with them to discuss the case. When faced with a denial of a case, that timeline is more sensitive since the time is limited to file an appeal with USCIS. We were fortunate enough to bring this case to the attention of a supervisor to address our matter, and she provided us the opportunity to bring her the documents on the case. Despite these efforts, we did not hear back from the Immigration Field Office soon enough so that we would not have to file a Motion to Reopen the case. When faced with this whether to file a Motion to Reopen or not, the safest thing to do is to proceed with filing the motion to ensure that right has been probably submitted for the case.

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