Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we discuss a little-known law called LIFE Act 245(i) which allows certain undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent residence.
Want to learn more? Keep on watching.
What is 245(i)?
Section 245(i) is a provision of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE) which allows certain persons, who entered the United States without inspection (unlawfully), or otherwise violated their status, to apply for adjustment of status in the United States, if they pay a $1,000 penalty.
To be eligible, the applicant must have an immigrant visa immediately available. Immigrant visas are immediately available for spouses of U.S. Citizens, unmarried children under 21 years of age of a U.S. Citizen, and parents of U.S. Citizens (if the U.S. Citizen is 21 years of age or older).
The Trump administration recently announced new rules for expedited removal, the process of apprehending undocumented immigrants and removing them from the United States, without the opportunity to see a judge or attend an immigration hearing.
What is Expedited Removal?
Expedited removal refers to the fast track process of deporting an undocumented immigrant from the United States without an immigration hearing. This fast track removal process has been in effect since July 23, 2019.
Prior to this date, individuals apprehended within 100-miles of a U.S. border, present in the United States for less than 14 days, were not entitled to an immigration hearing prior to removal from the United States.
Under the new rules, a person who is unlawfully present anywhere in the U.S., for a period of less than 2 years, can be placed under expedited removal. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 2 years, then you must provide documentary evidence of your physical presence during that time to avoid expedited removal.
Expedited removal is part of a larger effort to deter illegal immigration and prevent American employers from hiring undocumented immigrants.
For more information about expedited removal please click here.
Don’t forget to download our free e-book, the Five Ways to Get a Green Card in the United Stateshere.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses recent immigration raids in the state of Mississippi that led to the arrests of 680 undocumented immigrants at several worksite locations across the state.
ICE was able to obtain search warrants prior to the raids, which enabled them to conduct these raids and arrest undocumented workers.
These raids occurred ahead of stricter compliance standards announced by USCIS penalizing employers hiring undocumented workers. These raids come as a sign that USCIS will be getting tougher on employers, and on employees working unlawfully in the United States.
What will happen to the employees that were arrested?
These individuals will be questioned to determine whether they are undocumented and whether they are working in the United States illegally. If an individual is determined to be in the United States illegally then that individual will go through the normal process of being removed from the United States.
What’s the difference between someone who is undocumented in the United States and someone who is here illegally?
What does it mean to be “undocumented”?
When someone is in the United States “undocumented,” that means that the person entered the United States without inspection (without the proper documentation), and as a result are currently living in the United States without the proper documentation, hence the term “undocumented.”
What does it mean to be in the U.S. “illegally”?
On the other hand, someone who came to the United States on a valid visa (such as a student visa, tourist visa, etc.) and then lost their status, either because they did not renew their visa, or their visa expired, or for some other reason, are in the United States “illegally.” These individuals were legally in the United States at some point but are now in the United States “illegally” because they are now out of status. This is also referred to as a visa overstay. That is because the individual has now stayed in the United States past the time authorized by their initial visa.
In both cases, the individual is in the United States without authorization because they do not have the proper visa.
Path to Residency
A person who is “undocumented” meaning that they entered the United States without proper inspection, cannot adjust their status to permanent residency so easily even where married to a U.S. Citizen. Undocumented parties married to U.S. Citizens must file a waiver of inadmissibility and in some cases will have to leave the United States before applying for residency.
By contrast, a person who entered the United States with proper inspection, but who is now in the United States illegally because of an overstay, can apply for permanent residency more easily, where married to a U.S. Citizen. These individuals do not have to leave the United States before applying for residency.
The key difference between the two is in whether the person entered the country with inspection. If you entered without inspection, you would be undocumented. If you entered with inspection, but have overstayed your visa, you are in the country illegally.
If you have questions about relating to your status and legalization, please contact us.
In this live stream, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent topics in immigration including the new USCIS policy giving immigration officers ample discretion to deny an application or petition filed with USCIS without first issuing a RFE or NOID, suspension of premium processing, fraudulent H-1B schemes, and more.
Beginning September 11, if you do not provide sufficient evidence to establish that you are eligible for the immigration benefit you are requesting, USCIS may exercise their discretion and deny your petition without first issuing a request for evidence or RFE. This new policy applies to all applications and petitions filed after September 11th, with the exception of DACA renewal applications. The decision to deny your application or petition without issuing a RFE or NOID will ultimately be up to the discretion of the officer reviewing your petition. An officer may in his discretion continue to issue a RFE or NOID according to his best judgement.
If you are filing for a change of status or extension of your status, we recommend that you file early, so that you are not out of status in the case that USCIS denies your request for an immigration benefit. This will give you the opportunity to either re-file or to consider changing your status to another visa type. In addition, if you have the ability to apply for premium processing service, you should take advantage of that service.
Suspension of Premium Processing
At the moment premium processing services have been temporary suspended for cap-subject petitions until February 19, 2019, with the exception of cap-exempt petitions filed exclusively at the California Service Center, because the employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution.
In this video, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent immigration updates regarding the calculation of unlawful presence for F-1 international students and other topics.
Memorandum Policy Updates for F-1 Students
Per a new policy memorandum released by USCIS, if you are a student who is out of status, you will begin to accrue unlawful presence on August 9th. Students have at least 5 months to file a reinstatement to avoid falling out of status and accruing unlawful presence.
What is happening with DACA?
On August 3, 2018, a federal judge from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld a decision from the lower courts, ordering the complete restoration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This new ruling gives the Trump administration a 20-day deadline to either implement the complete restoration of the DACA program or file an appeal. The Trump administration plans to appeal the decision. In a separate lawsuit filed by Texas and other states, a judge will hear arguments challenging the restoration of the DACA program. A decision in that case has not yet been made. We will notify our readers once a decision has been made.
For the moment, DACA holders may continue to seek a renewal of their DACA benefits, but new requests for DACA will not be accepted.
In this video, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano join a live session on Facebook and Youtube to cover the latest in immigration, E-2 visa changes, TN visa updates, as well as tips, tricks, and advice on how to protect yourself amid this changing immigration climate.
Revised NTA Policy and Delayed implementation:
USCIS has revised its NTA policy expanding the class of individuals who may be referred to ICE and issued a Notice to Appear. Under the revised policy, USCIS may now refer cases “with articulated suspicions of fraud to ICE prior to adjudication.” The implementation of this policy has been placed on hold until operational guidance is implemented by immigration.
What will the new policy do?
The new policy prioritizes the removal of aliens who are removable based on criminal or security grounds, fraud or misrepresentation, and aliens subject to expedited removal.
Prioritizes the removal of individuals who:
(a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;
(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
(f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but have not departed; or
(g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security
In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks all about the state of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and what you should know as a recipient of DACA.
In September of 2017 the Trump administration announced that it would be ending the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke on behalf of the administration and said that USCIS would not accept new requests for DACA but would allow DACA recipients with work permits expiring between September 2017 and March 5, 2018 to apply for a final 2-year renewal of their status including employment authorization.
This announcement put considerable pressure on Congress to pass legislation before March 5, 2018 to protect Dreamers from deportation.
The I-601 waiver is an application that is filed by individuals who are ineligible to gain admission to the United States as an immigrant, or who cannot adjust their status in the United States to become a permanent resident, because they are barred from the United States. The I-601 waiver is essentially a form that is filed to gain permission to apply for permanent residence in the United States or gain admission through an immigrant visa. This form will allow individuals to obtain relief from the following grounds:
Health-related grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(1))
Certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(2))
Immigration fraud and misrepresentation (INA section 212(a)(6)(c))
Immigrant membership in totalitarian party (INA section 212(a)(3))
Alien smuggler (INA section 212(a)(6)(E))
Being subject to civil penalty (INA section 212(a)(6)(F))
The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States (INA section 212(a)(9)(B))
Who is Eligible?
Not everyone is eligible. To qualify, you must have what is called a “qualifying” relative who will be the focus of the petition. A qualifying relative includes a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent. In cases where a waiver is filed for certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility a qualifying relative may also include a child who is a U.S. citizen.
En este video, el abogado Jacob Sapochnick habla sobre la detencion de nuestro cliente Orr Yakobi, quien fue detenido tras tomar la autopista equivocada, que lo dirigio hacia Mexico donde oficiales de la aduana y proteccion de fronteras lo detuvieron despues de tratar de entrar de nuevo a los Estados Unidos. Yakobi es un estudiante de la Universidad de California en San Diego y es uno de los 700,000 “Dreamers” viviendo en los Estados Unidos bajo la proteccion de el programa. Nuestra oficina logro liberarlo despues de estar detenido por cinco dias gracias a nuestra comunidad, los medios de comunicacion, y con el apoyo de miembros de el Congreso. Es nuestro orgullo proteger y defender a Dreamers como Orr Yakobi.
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