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Archive for March, 2012

Obama Announces Plans to Halt Deportation Court Cases

March 30th, 2012 No comments
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced its plans to expand backdoor amnesty.  Beginning in late April, DHS will suspend all non-detained dockets for illegal immigrants in four additional jurisdictions, as it previously did in Baltimore and Denver, for two weeks.  These jurisdictions include Detroit, New Orleans, Orlando, and Seattle.  In May, DHS will partially suspend the non-detained docket in New York City and then in July, it will implement the same procedures in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This means that DHS intends to solely focus on detained cases in these jurisdictions, meaning those who come to the attention of law enforcement.  But if the illegal or criminal immigrant bonds out of jail, they can be put on the non-detained docket and could potentially remain in the U.S.  This decision is just another part of the Obama administration’s plan to grant administrative amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.

If you or a loved one is in immigration court in Los Angeles or San Diego, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation.

Proposed Georgia Anti-Immigrant Law Would Bar Undocumented Immigrants from Marrying

March 29th, 2012 No comments
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Georgia legislators are considering a proposal that would bar undocumented immigrants from receiving marriage licenses or access to water and sewage.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, has gotten a lot of attention because it would also bar undocumented immigrants from the state’s public colleges, universities and technical schools. But another provision that’s generated very little discussion removes foreign passports from a list of identification documents that government agencies can accept for certain transactions. To be acceptable, foreign passports would have to be accompanied by federal immigration documentation proving someone is in the country legally.

“It’s very interesting that the reliability of foreign passports is being questioned by the Georgia Legislature when the Transportation and Security Administration has considered the passport to be a very secure form of ID,” said Azadeh Shahshahani, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. “I think my worry is that perhaps some legislators might not be aware of the implications of this because it seems so innocuous. It doesn’t say on its face that undocumented immigrants can’t get water or can’t marry.”

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/03/26/georgia-immigration-law-would-bar-targets-marriage-licenses-sewage-service/#ixzz1qFFRyqwP

March 26, 1790: United States Enacts First Immigration Law Ever. 222 years later, reform is needed

March 26th, 2012 No comments
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On this day in 1790, the second session of the first Congress approved the nation’s initial effort to codify the rules under which foreign-born persons could become U.S. citizens.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 specified that “any alien, being a free white person,” could apply for citizenship, so long as he or she lived in the United States for at least two years, and in the state where the application was filed for at least a year. The new law also provided that “children of citizens of the United States that may be born … out of the limits of the United States shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Men and women aliens were covered, as were their children younger than 21. However, citizenship could devolve only through the father and did “not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.” The law also excluded indentured servants, free blacks and slaves, who were regarded as “property” and not “persons.”

When these requirements were met, an immigrant could file a naturalization petition with “any common law court of record” where he or she lived. The applicant would have to make “proof to the satisfaction of such court that he is a person of good character” and take an “oath or affirmation … to support the Constitution of the United States.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74438.html#ixzz1qFGif1Dt

Newport Coast Client is Granted Conditional Permanent Residency Based on Marriage to US Citizen

March 20th, 2012 1 comment
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A Newport Coast Client was approved for her conditional resident status by USCIS based on her marriage to a US citizen. She is originally from Korea, and she met her US Citizen husband while living in the United States on an F-1 visa and attending Church in Orange County. After her F-1 expired, she returned to South Korea to work, but the couple stayed in contact and visited each other multiple times per year.

During her last visit to the United States, they decided they did not want to live apart any longer and they married. Originally, the plan was for them to marry in summer 2012, but they wanted to start their lives together immediately. In late summer 2011, they married in a simple courthouse civil ceremony in Santa Ana. We assisted them in putting together all the necessary evidence and forms (including the I-130 and I-485) and filing for her green card.

Everything went smoothly and she received her work authorization within a couple months. About 4 months after we filed, we attended our adjustment of status interview and everything was approved at the end of the USCIS interview in Santa Ana. Because the marriage is less than two years old, she will be a conditional permanent resident for the next two years. During the 90 days leading up to her two year expiration date, she will need to file the I-751 to have the conditions removed from her residency. At that time, USCIS will want an abundance of evidence to show that the marriage was entered into in good faith and the couple remains living as a married couple.

They are happy to have the immigration issues resolved, so she can begin working and helping to provide. If you are considering the adjustment of status process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will explain the process and how we can help.

Adjustment of Status and Green Card Granted for Wife of Fountain Valley Man After Entering on Fiance Visa

March 16th, 2012 No comments
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Adjustment of status was approved for the wife (and her son) of a US citizen. The couple married in mid-2011 after she entered on an approved K-1 Fiance Visa. She is originally from South America, and the husband was born in the United States. They met through a mutual friend in 2010.

The husband approached me in late 2010 because they were considering marriage, but they were not sure about the immigration process. I explained that the first step was the K-1 visa process which would allow his fiance to come to the United States with her son for the sole purpose of getting married within 90 days of arrival.

It took them a little while to gather all the necessary documents and save the money to pay the processing fees, but we filed the paperwork and evidence with USCIS in early 2011. We received an approval within several months and the K-1 visa was processed at the US consulate in Colombia.

After the K-1 visa was approved, his fiance and her son came to the US and the couple married within 90 days of her arrival. Then, we filed for the adjustment of status and everything went smoothly after that. The interview was held in Santa Ana and the officer was respectful and thorough asking questions about how the couple met and when they decided to marry. The officer was satisfied with the evidence we provided proving the marriage was entered into in good faith. Because the marriage is less than two years old, they will need to file an I-751 to have the conditions removed from her residency status in two years. Three years from now, she will be eligible for naturalization.

The couple was very happy with the outcome, and they look forward to living together in Fountain Valley. If you are considering the adjustment of status process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you during a confidential consultation and help you better understand the options available to you.

Republican Candidates Losing Ground to Obama Among Latino Voters

March 12th, 2012 No comments
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Despite growing disappointment in his handling of immigration issues, Latino voters favor President Barack Obama by six-to-one over any of the Republican presidential hopefuls, showed a Fox News Latino poll conducted under the direction of Latin Insights and released Monday.

The national poll of likely Latino voters indicated that 73 percent of them approved of Obama’s performance in office, with over half those questioned looking favorably upon his handling of the healthcare debate and the economy, at 66 percent and 58 percent respectively.

Released on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries in the race for the GOP nomination, the Fox News Latino poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 35 percent of Latino voter support, to Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s 13 percent, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s 12 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s 9 percent.

But the poll shows that the overwhelming choice among likely Latino voters is President Obama. In head-to-head match-ups none of the GOP candidates would garner more than 14 percent of the Latino vote come November, the poll said.

It is widely known that the Latino Vote is becoming more crucial with every year that passes.

L-1B Visa Approved for Specialized Knowledge Employee from Europe

March 10th, 2012 No comments
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We received good news that our premium processing of an L-1B application was approved without a request for additional evidence. The employee is currently working for the employer in one of their offices in Europe. He has been working at that office for the past several years, which is more than the required 1 year of employment necessary for the L-1B intra-company transfer.

Because of his specialized knowledge of the company’s product, the company wants to transfer him to the corporate headquarters in the Southern California. Although we were confident that the case was approvable, we were afraid that USCIS might issue a request for additional evidence, which has been a growing trend with the USCIS California Service Center. The California Service Center has been issuing cumbersome and overly broad requests for evidence for L-1B cases in the last few years. We were happily surprised when we received the approval notice.

The employee will schedule his consular interview and we will prepare all the documents. Assuming all goes well at that interview, he will be able to move to the US before April.

If your company is interested in pursuing visas for foreign-born employees, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. If you company plans to pursue multiple L-1 visas, The Nunez Firm can assist in preparing a Blanket L Petition as well. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally discuss your company’s employment needs and help you better understand the process involved.

Immigrant Family Forced to Live Apart Due to US Immigration Policy

March 8th, 2012 No comments
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TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Agustin Portillo checks the oil in his wife’s car, stores her luggage in her trunk and then drives her from his apartment in Tijuana to the U.S. border entry port because she is too afraid to maneuver the twisting streets of this sprawling, violent city by herself.

As they wait in the hours-long checkpoint line, he kisses and holds her hand. A romantic ballad comes on the radio and he sings to her softly. She responds with a smile.

When they are nearly at the border checkpoint, Agustin signs. He kisses his wife and steps out of the car. This is as far as he can go. After 20 years of living with his wife in Los Angeles, he is stuck here, on the wrong side of the fence.

Love, it turns out, does not conquer all, especially when it comes to U.S. immigration law.

“To see your family go and you can’t go with them, it breaks your heart,” he said.

It’s a common misconception that an illegal alien married to a U.S. citizen is immediately granted “green card” status or citizenship. But Ana and Agustin, and thousands of couple like them, know the truth.

Ana, 60, is an immigrant from El Salvador who was allowed to become a U.S. citizen because of her homeland’s war-torn past. She has a son who is a legal resident in Las Vegas and another son who is an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles. Her three grandchildren were born in the United States.

Agustin, 49, is an illegal immigrant from Mexico without much money, an unattractive candidate for legal status under U.S. immigration law.

They can live together in one of the poor, violence-plagued nations that they fled decades ago, or they can live like this, divided by a man-made border, desperate for the U.S. government to bless their marriage and unite their lives once again.

Read more at Associated Press here.

Catholic Church Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Denounces Secure Communities

March 7th, 2012 No comments
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The Catholic Church’s concern for the welfare of migrants stems from its belief that immigration is ultimately a humanitarian issue because it impacts the basic human rights and dignity of the human person. The Church believes this dignity is undermined by this program’s alleged channeling of immigrants into the criminal justice system through racial profiling and pre-textual arrests for the purpose of vetting them for their immigration status. Because Secure Communities is operated at the point of arrest, rather than post-conviction, it casts a wide net over virtually any immigrant who has come into contact with the criminal justice system.

In other parts of the country where Secure Communities is being operated, some law enforcement officers have denounced the program because it creates a lack of trust between immigrant communities and local police, affecting their ability to investigate crime, assist crime victims and ensure the safety of those communities.

High School Valedictorian Avoids Deportation . . . For Now

March 7th, 2012 No comments
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A Miami high school valedictorian who gained national attention with her fight to avoid deportation back to Colombia has been granted a two-year reprieve by federal authorities who now say that their bigger goal is going after illegal immigrants who are criminals — and not dutiful students.

Daniela Pelaez, and her sister, Dayana, were ordered to leave the country just last week by a federal immigration judge. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday issued a statement saying the agency would defer carrying out the court order for at least two years.

The decision, which elated many in South Florida, followed growing local protests aimed at keeping the two teens in the United States, not to mention a steady din of news coverage about the family’s plight. Several lawmakers also interceded on the girls’ behalf, including Republican congresswoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Thousands took to the streets just last week in North Miami to protest the court ruling. They held banners and chanted “Justice for Daniela.” The Miami Herald said it was the single largest immigration demonstration in the area since then-President George W. Bush proposed legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants back in 2004.

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