Immigration Blog

Wendy Barlow's picture

Curtailing the Expansion of Crimes Considered Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

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

Alexander J. Segal's picture

In Re Hernandez - New BIA precedent in 2015

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.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Attorney Fees Awarded In An Action Against The Government

In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court out of Washington State has awarded attorney fees in an action against USCIS in a stalled J1 waiver application.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Virginia's Grand Larceny Conviction is NOT an Aggravated Felony

In Omargharib v. Holder the U,S, Court of Appeals for the Forth Circuit overturned BIA decision and remanded the case back to the BIA holding that Virginia's grand larceny statute was NOT an aggravated felony for immigration purposes under the categorical and not modified categorical approach.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

U.S. Department of State changes some fees

On the last day of the last year, U.S. Department of State has published a final rule on fee changes. Annotation to th rule explained that the fees were changed to reduce the burden on Mexican citizens under 15 years of age applying for a Boarder Crossing card as well as to comply with the newly enacted Emergency Afghan Allies Extension Act of 2014.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Gives Birth Abroad

Giving birth is a momentous occasion, but the joy can quickly turn into concern and confusion if an alien is in the process of immigrating to the United States or is a lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card holder) outside the United States at the time of the birth. Our office is frequently contacted by immigrant visa holders and LPRs who have given birth to a child abroad to learn how they can bring their child to the United States. In some situations, the individuals planned in advance to give birth to a child abroad whereas other times emergent circumstances have resulted in the birth overseas. As a general rule, any alien applying for admission to the United States for lawful permanent residence, or a lawful permanent resident returning to an unrelinquished lawful permanent residence in the United States must present one of the following documents to Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Attorney Role at the Adjustment Interview Is Expanded

When called for a USCIS interview, an applicant should make sure to bring a duly qualified Attorney.  Such legal representative will ensure that the interview will be conducted in a professional and business-like manner, and that the rights of the client are protected. According to the Policy Memorandum, published on December 21, 2011, by the Office of the Director of the USCIS, the applicants are entitled to the right to have legal representation before the Service, at no expense to the Government, as defined in 8 CFR 292.1(a). This Policy Memorandum provides certain conduct guidelines for the USCIS officers. It also delineates the appropriate role of the Attorneys.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Obama Administration’s Immigration Policy Changes

Yesterday, November 20, 2014, President Obama announced in his prime time televised address to the nation that he would sign an executive order today, November 21, 2014, which would make some changes to the U.S. immigration policy and provide some temporary relief to estimated five million undocumented immigrants now in the USA. While the action is not a permanent, it is expected to help changing immediate life conditions of many people. It will change immigration policy in several ways. First, it will remove the heavy burden of living under continuous threat of deportation from some individuals with substantial times to the USA. While the policy still fell short of providing any such protection to parents of DACA eligible children, it does offered it to individuals who, on the date of the new policy announcement — November 20, 2014 – had either USC or LPR children in the USA. In the spirit of the same, the new policy also expended the reach of DACA by removing the upper age restrictions on those, otherwise eligible, as well as demanded some liberalization of the legal definitions applicable to many immigration cases which, if implemented, would clarify and expend the reach of the Provisional Waiver program; expend the reach of the National Interest Waiver and improve the utilization of the immigrant visas, allocated annually by the Congress. It will also eliminate the “save communities” initiative, which rendered many people in the limbo of awaiting for ICE detention after serving their time in state custody for relatively minor criminal infractions. Below is the overview of some of the changes.

Wendy Barlow's picture

President Obama’s Expansion of Executive Action on Immigration

Many agree the United States immigration system is broken. It will likely be several years before meaningful immigration reform is even considered by the U.S. Congress let alone actually enacted into law. In the interim, President Obama has indicated his willingness to use executive action to alter U.S. immigration policy. Recent reports indicate President Obama may announce a ten-point plan to modify immigration policy using his executive authority as early as November 21, 2014. This ten-point plan sets forth a wide-range of initiatives from increasing border to security and pay for immigration officers to expanding deferred action. Other initiatives include promotion of the new naturalization process by discounting the filing fee to the first 10,000 applicants, making immigrant visas available for tech jobs, changing removal priorities to target serious criminal offenders, and replacing the Secure Communities program with a new cooperative program designed to assist in immigration enforcement. 

Wendy Barlow's picture

Same - Sex Marriage and Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. See Windsor v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013). Section 3 of DOMA had amended the federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse”; after the enactment of DOMA “marriage” was defined as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife”, 1 U.S.C. §7, and “spouse” referred “only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” Id. DOMA precluded same-sex couples from deriving immigration benefits that were otherwise available to similarly situated heterosexual couples. Immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, a variety of immigration benefits became available to same-sex couples. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Embassies/Consulates now adjudicate petitions and applications for same-sex couples in the same manner as similarly situated heterosexual couples. 

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