Immigration Blog

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Agreement Reached in National Class Action Lawsuit

Asylum seekers would often fall into a limbo when they had to wait for months until USCIS's Asylum Office made a decision on their asylum applications. In waiting for the deicision, these potential refugees would not be allowed to work and had to survive for months and in essencewere pushed to work off the books to do so. AILA and its Legal Action Center have chalenged this situation in a class action, demanding that potential refugees who found themselves in such a situation would be allowed to work in the United States. A settlment has been reached in this case.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Where to File Hardship Waiver Applications

Creation of the two separate regulatory systems for hardship waiver applications established recently by the Administration’s promulgation of the Provisional Waiver regulations rendered many people confused as to where to file waiver applications for individuals who are NOT eligible for Provisional Waiver and intent to navigate the ordinary, well-established waiver rout. People are especially confused because they are routinely told now that the U.S. consulate posts do not accept waiver applications any longer. As recently as yesterday, I received a call from a person from Georgia who, sounding very frustrated, complained of this confusion.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Bankruptcy and Citizenship

COMMON MISINTERPRETATION Way too often, I run into a client who asks whether a Legal Permanent Resident is allowed to file for bankruptcy and more importantly, whether doing so would carry negative consequences for their potential bid for the US Citizenship through Naturalization process. This question comes from a common and widespread misconception, which is addressed in this article.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Reckless Conduct Due to Intoxication Can Constitute a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude

Criminal convictions can be detrimental to non-citizens; some criminal offenses make a non-citizen ineligible for immigration benefits while others require an alien to file a waiver. A non-citizen who has been convicted of committing a crime involving moral turpitude (also commonly referred to as CIMT) is ineligible to receive a visa and barred from admission to the United States. See INA §212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). What criminal conduct involves moral turpitude? Neither the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) nor the Federal Regulations define the term “moral turpitude”. The Attorney General has held “moral turpitude” is intrinsic to an offense that necessarily involves ‘reprehensible conduct’ committed with some form of ‘scienter,’ such as specific intent, knowledge, willfulness, or 'recklessness'. Matter of Leal, 26 I&N Dec. 20, 21 (BIA 2012) citing Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I&N Dec. 687, 689 n.1 and 706 n.5 (A.G. 2008).

Wendy Barlow's picture

What is a Serious Non-Political Crime?

An alien who may otherwise be eligible for asylum or withholding of removal may be barred from obtaining asylum and withholding of removal when “there are serious reasons for believing that the alien committed a serious nonpolitical crime”, INA §208(b)(2)(A)(iii), before arriving in the United States. See INA §208(b)(2)(A)(iii). See also INA §241(b)(3)(B)(iii). Neither the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) nor the Federal Regulations provide any further guidance as to what constitutes serious reasons for believing that the alien committed a serious nonpolitical crime.” INA §208(b)(2)(A)(iii). See also INA §241(b)(3)(B)(iii); and 8 C.F.R. §1208.13(c). How does an alien know whether he or she would be barred from asylum for committing a serious nonpolitical crime before their arrival to the United States? The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently provided some guidance as to how to assess whether serious reasons exists to believe the asylum applicant committed a serious nonpolitical crime in the Matter of E-A, 26 I&N Dec. 1 (BIA 2012).

Wendy Barlow's picture

Is Internal Relocation Available to an Asylum Seeker?

An asylum applicant who demonstrates he or she has suffered past persecution is presumed to have a well-founded fear of persecution if forced to return to his or her country of citizenship or last habitual residence. See 8 C.F.R. §1208.13(b)(1). Once the asylum applicant has established he or she suffered past persecution, the burden of proof shifts to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rebut this presumption. The DHS must rebut this presumption by establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that “there has been a fundamental change in circumstances”, 8 C.F.R. §1208.13(b)(1)(i)(A), or the alien “could avoid future persecution by relocating to another part of the applicant’s country of nationality.” 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(1)(i)(B).

Wendy Barlow's picture

Secure Communities - Well Meaning, But Overreaching

I typically post blog entries regarding decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”) and Court of Appeals. However, I recently read an article in Newsday by Victor Manuel Ramos entitled “LI leads state in undocumented-immigrant deportations” and wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities.  This article discussed how the impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (the “ICE”) Secure Communities program had in the State of New York. You can read the article by following this link: “LI leads state in undocumented-immigrant deportations”

Wendy Barlow's picture

The BIA May Use Post-Departure Bar to Deny Motions Requesting Sua Sponte Reopening

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (the “Third Circuit”) recently held the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”) “did not err when it concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider [an alien’s] motion to reopen sua sponte”, Desai v. Attorney General of the United States, No. 11-3229 (August 21, 2012), after the alien’s departure from the United States. Id. The respondent was admitted as a lawful permanent resident in 1980. Id. He was subsequently arrested on numerous occasions and convicted of committing at least twelve crimes. Id. He was placed in removal proceedings in 2008 based upon convictions for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and theft in the third degree. Id. The respondent conceded removability as charged, but sought relief from removal under the Convention Against Torture (the “CAT”). Id. The Immigration Judge (the “IJ”) concluded the respondent failed to establish eligibility for CAT and the respondent was ordered removed. This determination was subsequently affirmed by the BIA and Third Circuit. Id.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

U.S.-Born Kids Of Deported Parents Struggle As Family Life Is 'Destroyed'

I stumbled upon an article with this very name by Helen O'Neill, a New York based national writer for The Associated Press. The article was published in HuffPost's “Latinovoices” section and can be found using the following link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/25/us-born-kids-deported-parents_n_1830496.html. Whether one agrees or disagreed with the author's angle of view, the problem of children of illegal immigrants is a pressing and heartbreaking one. Like many other Immigration-law related issues, the problem of broken illegal immigrant families with US-born children does not have a simple solution. In fact, it is always a tragedy, when children have to be separated from their parents, especially so when they end up in foster care.

Wendy Barlow's picture

K Visa Derivative Can Only Adjust status Based Upon Marriage Between K Petitioner and K Visa Principal

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has unequivocally held an alien who entered the United States on a K-4 non-immigrant visa can “only adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident based on the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) filed by the United States citizen K visa petitioner.” Matter of Jean Ro Saclolo Valenzuela, 25 I&N Dec. 867 (BIA 2012). In the Matter of Jean Ro Saclolo Valenzuela, the respondent’s mother married a United States citizen who petitioned for both the respondent and her mother to receive K non-immigrant visas. Id. at 868. The respondent was issued a K-4 non-immigrant visa, which she used to enter the United States on December 28, 2003. Id. She was authorized to remain in the United States until December 27, 2005. Id.

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