Immigration Law

Uncertainty Over Executive Action For Immigration Reform

Earlier this summer President Obama indicated that, if Congress fails to act on immigration reform as they had one year earlier, he would be forced to use his executive powers to provide some relief for immigrant families fearful of potential deportation and exasperated by the weight of constantly living “in the shadows.  At the time it was viewed as a final plea to the majority caucus in the House of Representatives to craft a bill which…

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Domestic Violence Recognized As Basis For Asylum For First Time

The Board of Immigration Appeals broke new ground last week as it recognized for the first time that the fear of domestic violence can serve as a basis for granting asylum to a foreign national seeking to stay in the United States.  The case of Aminta Cifuentes from Guatemala provided a compelling, yet tragic, basis for the Board of Immigration Appeals to find that a foreign national facing potential deportation could assert that her fear of…

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State Of New York Prepares For Slew Of Cases Of Minors Taken In At The Border

Under new procedures established by federal courts in the State of New York, unaccompanied minors and families with children who entered the United States in recent months during a surge of illegal migration from Central America will be moved to the front of the line to go before immigration judges for their removal hearings or deportation cases. Court administrators spent the last several weeks working with the Department of Justice to design a modified system to…

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Colorado Joins Other States In Allowing Driver’s Licenses To Immigrants

The State of Colorado has joined ten other states plus the District of Columbia which allow for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The measure is likely to permit as many as 150,000 individuals the opportunity to get a valid license in that state. The action flies in the face of those who argue that this practice will unfairly normalize the presence of those who qualify for such licenses. But advocates for the measure insist the…

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Lack Of Agreement In Congress Leaves Border Crisis Unaddressed

Since 2011 tens of thousands of children from Central American countries, particularly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have trudged across Mexico seeking to be taken in to custody by United States Border Agents when they reach this country’s southern border. The apprehension and placement of these children – some of them accompanied by their mothers or other adults – in various facilities across the country has sparked numerous calls to either have these youngsters sent back…

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USCIS Highlights Convictions In Marriage Fraud Cases

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is touting two convictions, it obtained against defendants for marriage fraud in federal court.  In one case, a Jamaican national named Erica Harrison came to the United States on a temporary work visa in 2007. According to prosecutors, she offered Robert Kenneth Cruz, an American citizen, the sum of $6,000 to marry her. They were married on August 15, 2011, and subsequently petitioned for Harrison to receive lawful permanent…

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Tragic Consequences Facing Juvenile Refugees Returning To Central America

As discussed frequently in previous blogs published on this site, foreign nationals citing fear of persecution or violence if they are sent back to their home country, have the right to request asylum or  Convention Against Torture (CAT) in the United States.  In order to establish a viable claim for asylum in order to avoid removal from this country, petitioners must establish that they have a reasonable fear of being harmed physically or persecuted under five…

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Immigration Activists Pushing President To Take Executive Action

With President Obama poised to issue executive orders by the end of the summer to address unresolved immigration issues, a group of immigration activists are convening a press conference on August 20 to spotlight the plight of certain undocumented immigrants who have lived here for many years. The ultimate goal is to push the President to take broad action to allow individuals who did not qualify for DACA relief in 2012 when it was first implemented.…

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Jamaican Woman Wins, Then Loses, Her Fight Against Removal

An appeal of several lower court immigration decisions concerning whether a woman from Jamaica who came to the United States legally could stay in the country eventually turned out unfavorably for her. Four years after she came to the country in 1985, she was charged with certain retail theft offenses in Pennsylvania for which she received a sentence which could range from three to twenty-three months as a repeat offender when she tendered a plea to…

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The High Standards Necessary To Work In The United States Via An O-1 Visa

As part of a general policy to attract the “best and brightest “to the United States to ply their trades, foreign nationals can apply for an O visa to secure entry to work in certain fields. These O visas possess several attractive features.  They can be acquired in a fairly short time frame. Holders of these visas can travel in and out of the country for as long as the duration of the visa which often…

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