Immigration Law

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS MAY BE FORCED TO LEAVE THE UNITED STATES

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that if F1 or M1 visa holders’ institutions changed to a fully online format in the fall, these visa holders would need to leave the country or risk removal. ICE has offered that they could switch to an institution with in-person classes. If they are not currently in the country, they will be barred from entry. An F1 visa is issued to students who are attending a university…

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DRIVE-THRU NATURALIZATIONS

Naturalization is the way in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. A person is eligible to apply for naturalization if he or she is at least 18 years old when filing the Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) and has been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen). There are other eligibility requirements, such as good moral character.…

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PRIMER – UNLAWFUL PRESENCE

Unlawful presence under U.S. immigration law is defined as the period of time that a person is in the United States without being admitted or paroled, and are not in a “period of stay authorized by the Secretary [of Homeland Security].” A person accrues unlawful presence if they are in the United States without being admitted or paroled or if they have remained after the expiration of their authorized period of stay. The law provides exceptions…

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PRIMER – K-1 VISA

The K-1 visa, otherwise known as the fiancé(e) visa, allows U.S. Citizens to legally bring their foreign-born fiancé(e) to the United States to get married and eventually establish permanent legal residency. To obtain this visa, the marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival into the United States. Furthermore, the marriage must be of good faith, in order words, a bona fide marriage with the intent to spend the rest of their lives…

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PRIMER – DEPORTATION AND REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

Under current U.S. immigration law, an important distinction in defining whether certain laws will apply to an alien in removal proceedings is if the person has ever been officially admitted to the United States. Admission is generally defined as “the lawful entry of [an] alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.” In other words, if you arrived in the U.S. lawfully and were inspected by an officer, you have been…

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PRIMER – REMOVING THE CONDITIONS ON PERMANENT RESIDENCE

The immigration form I-751 is otherwise known as the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. If you have a conditional Green Card, you must file the I-751 form to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove the conditions on your Green Card. You receive a conditional Green Card if you have only been married to your U.S. citizen or legal resident spouse for less than 2 years when your petition for a Green Card…

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PRIMER – IMMEDIATE RELATIVES AND PREFERENCE RELATIVES

In U.S. immigration law, immigrants can gain legal resident status through relatives who are either green card holders or U.S. citizens. There are two classifications of relatives: immediate relatives and preference relatives. An immediate relative is the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 or older). Therefore, if you are any of these…

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SUPREME COURT HEARS IMPORTANT CHALLENGE TO REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

Agusto Niz-Chavez, a citizen of Guatemala, arrived in the United States unlawfully in 2005. In 2013, he received a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). An NTA is a document an immigrant may receive placing him or her in Removal Proceedings.  The NTA instructs the intending immigrant to appear before an Immigration Judge at a certain place, date and time. When one receives this document, it commences removal proceedings. However, in Niz-Chavez’s NTA, no time or place for…

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TRUMP IMPLEMENTS INITIATIVE TO DEPORT NON-MEXICAN ASYLUM SEEKERS AT SOUTHERN BORDER

The Trump administration, in a joint effort between the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, has been in the process of implementing an experimental pilot program along the Southern Border of the United States designed to fast track the processing and deportation of asylum seekers from all over the world. The goal is essentially to render non-Mexican immigrants ineligible for asylum when they reach the United States. Reportedly, this new initiative is part of…

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JULIAN CASTRO EMERGES AS THE MOST PASSIONATE PROPONENT OF IMMIGRATION REFORM DURING FIRST OF DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

Political pundits and commentators are not only touting Julian Castro as the winner of the first Democratic presidential debate, but the most informed and outspoken proponent of comprehensive immigration reform among the large field of candidates. Noteworthy is the fact that Castro was the first presidential candidate to put forward a comprehensive immigration plan and to define immigration as central to his campaign. In fact, when asked about what he would do in his first hundred…

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