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Prior Sham Marriage Can Jeopardize Later Bid For Residence

A Lebanese man came to the United States lawfully in 1999 under a H-1(b) work visa to work for his sponsoring employer, Carolyn Pickett. Subsequently the man, Elias Eid, married Ms. Pickett and lived together. But when, after Ms. Pickett and Mr. Eid filed the applications for him to be granted permanent residence in the United States, they withdrew the applications after immigration officers questioned the legitimacy of the marriage. Both Eid and Pickett then gave…

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Independence Day Brings Naturalization Ceremonies Across The Country

For thousands of immigrants who soon will be able to call themselves “American citizens this Fourth of July will be remembered as the time in which they finally achieved that vaunted and highly desired status. After months, and in many cases, years of awaiting action on petitions, submitting to interviews by immigration officials, hoping to hear good news from their attorneys and studying to take the examination necessary to become a citizen in this country, scores…

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Avenue For President To Issue Orders Reducing Deportations Arises

Political leaders in Washington have apparently slammed the door on any chance for achieving comprehensive immigration reform in 2014.  Last week John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, reiterated to the President that the House would not be passing an immigration reform bill because he does not believe the President was “faithfully executing the laws. The Speaker does not view the record number of deportations as proof that President Obama will enforce the laws…

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U.S. To Provide Legal Counsel To Kids Found Crossing The Border

The Obama administration announced a plan last week to establish a program to provide legal counsel to the children who have recently crossed over the southern border of this country. Over 47,000 children have fled their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, at their parents’ behest to avoid the persecution facing residents in those Central American countries. When they arrive across our border, few can speak English, most have not bathed in days or…

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DACA Renewal Announced

On June 5, 2014 Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)program. This coincides with the submission by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to the Federal Register for approval of a revised form for application to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA, to renew their deferral for a period of two years. USCIS will immediately begin accepting renewal requests. USCIS will…

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California Supreme Court Grants Admission To Practice Law

In a landmark decision issued earlier this year, the Supreme Court of California affirmed a decision of that state’s Committee of Bar Examiners – a part of the State Bar of California – to allow an undocumented immigrant to practice law in that state.  In making its decision in In re Garcia, that Court noted that section 1621 of title 8 of the United States Code (hereafter “section 1621) generally restricts an undocumented immigrant's eligibility to obtain…

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Program To Work In North Mariana Islands Extended

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has for the last five years maintained a guest worker program of employment for foreign workers to work in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. One of five island territories of the United States, the North Mariana Islands was exempt from American immigration laws until November 28, 2009. The USCIS implemented the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program. Until earlier this month, that program…

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Immigration Activists Suggest Primary Election Loss Should Speed Clock

Rarely does a single primary election for one seat in the House of Representatives where less than 75,000 voters cast ballots seem to have such large reverberations in the political realm. The recent defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia may shift the dynamics of the debate over comprehensive immigration reform.  Prior to the June 10, 2014 election, conventional wisdom in Washington DC suggested that, after Mr. Cantor vanquished his relatively unknown opponent in…

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Deportee Must Show Counsel Provided Ineffective Assistance Before Plea

The United States District Court in New York refused Charmaine Brown’s pro se plea for extraordinary relief seeking a vacation of her 2011 conviction for importation of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The Court, in Brown v. US, No. 11-cv-3443 (SLT). (Dist. Ct. ED NY 2014), rejected her writ of error coram nobisunder the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a) on the ground that she did not prove…

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Conference Of Bishops Gets Behind Immigration Reform

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is lending its voice to the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform by urging Congress to pass such reform before it takes its annual August recess. "Our strength as a nation is drawn from our diversity and the unique talents of persons from around the world. Under our current immigration system, we weaken our country, not strengthen it. By not acting, we alienate a generation of young persons, who are the…

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