Immigration Blog

USCIS expands signature waivers for new Green Cards

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Prior to February of 2015, every I-551 card (also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) card or Green Card) was generally required to be signed by the card-holder. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would generally only waive the signature requirement for Green Cards if the beneficiary was a child under the age of consent to provide a signature, or if the recipient was physically unable to provide a signature. However, this rule appears to now be changing rapidly.

Silva-Trevino is Vacated

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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The Attorney General’s controversial decision in the Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I. & N. Dec. 687 (A.G. November 7, 2008), substantially expended the ability of an immigration judge to look beyond the record of conviction and  “consider any additional evidence deemed necessary or appropriate to resolve accurately the moral turpitude question.” The judge enjoyed wide discretion in determining what is “necessary and appropriate”. As a result, often irrelevant and/or prejudicial information was allowed into the record in order to determine removability of the noncitizen convicted of a crime, the judge was to determine to be a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) or not. This often made people who had committed minor criminal infractions to carry the disproportional burden in removal proceedings of being removed for a conviction, which could not be found to be a CIMT had the traditional analytical approach been used. For years – since November of 2008 when the new analytical framework was introduced – immigration advocates have been trying to convince the AG to retract the decision. Finally, it happened today.

H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants May be Eligible to Work Authorization

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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On May 26, 2015, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be extending employment eligibility for certain nonimmigrants in valid H-4 status. H-4 Visas are issued to dependent spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants. This extension will allow eligible dependent spouses in valid H-4 status to receive employment authorization. This change comes as part of President Obama’s immigration-based executive actions that were proposed back in November of 2014. This employment availability is intended to serve several purposes: First, this benefit should result in more actively-employed nonimmigrants in the Unites States. This creates a positive impact on the economy. Furthermore, many would-be entrepreneurs can make the leap into small business ownership. This allows for the creation much-needed jobs.

New Jersey / New York Asylum Liaison Meeting

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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A regular liaison meeting between NY and NJ asylum office leadership and representatives of the New York and New Jersey legal community took place at the offices of the Immigration Coalition in NYC on February 4, 2015. Susan Raufer, Director of the Newark Asylum Office and a staffer for the NY Asylum Office appeared at the meeting. Members of various non-for-profits representing immigrants in immigration cases in NYC area and some members of the private bar including Wendy Barlow and Alexander J. Segal of the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C. appeared for the meeting.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

Written by Wendy Barlow on

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The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C. is proud to announce the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has recently accredited our company. Accreditation is only given to those businesses that show a commitment to building trust, advertising honestly, telling the truth, being transparent, honoring promises, being responsive, safeguarding privacy, and embodying integrity.

Birth Certificates Will Now Be Issued At Mexican Consulate

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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American Lawyers' Association (AILA) announced on January 15, 2015, through Its InfoNet that, Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. informed the public, it had instructed Mexican consulates in the U.S. to start issuing verified copies of birth certificates registered in Mexico. To apply for the copy, Mexico born individuals should contact a Mexican Consulate closest to them and comply with the consulate's rules for making such application. The announcement is a big deal since prior to that, it had been a problem getting a birth certificate from Mexico, expecially for individuals who had no relatives or restricted access to Mexico to make an application.

U.S. DOS Immigrant Visa Decisions Should Be Reviewable By Courts

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American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) announced yesterday on InfoNet that several former consular officers have argued for judicial review of the consulate made decisions in their Amicus brief filed in Kerry v. Din, the ongoing case, arising out of the Ninth Circuit, about reviewability of the decisions made by consulate officers. The Amicus brief argues that judicial review “should be available for visa adjudications denied on grounds extending beyond consular discretion, with appropriate restrictions to prevent release of classified information.”

Curtailing the Expansion of Crimes Considered Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

Written by Wendy Barlow on

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In Cisneros-Guerrerro v. Holder, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit curtailed the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) expansion of what crimes involve moral turpitude. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the BIA’s decision that all criminal conduct proscribed by Texas Penal Code §21.07 were categorically crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs). The Immigration Judge (IJ), without reviewing the record of conviction, pretermitted the alien’s application for cancellation of removal concluding “an offense under Texas Penal Code § 21.07 was categorically a CIMT

In Re Hernandez - New BIA precedent in 2015

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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The offense of “deadly conduct” in violation of §22.05(a) of the Texas Penal Code, which punishes a person who “recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury,” is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude, the Board concluded, because of the imminent danger component of the crime.

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