Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses some breaking news in the world of immigration. On January 26, 2021, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s 100-day pause on deportations.
Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information.
The Biden administration is facing its first legal challenge. We recently learned that a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has granted a 14-day nationwide temporary restraining order that immediately blocks the Biden administration’s efforts to put a 100-day pause on deportations.
How did this happen?
The federal judge’s decision came after the Attorney General of Texas filed a lawsuit requesting a temporary restraining order to stop the Biden administration from pausing deportations.
Judge Drew B. Tipton, appointed by former President Donald Trump, ultimately agreed with the State of Texas that Biden’s suspension of deportations violates the Administration Procedure Act (APA), as well as key provisions of the INA which mandate that aliens with final orders of removal be deported within 90 days.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks about President Biden’s newly signed executive orders on immigration and his administration’s new legislative bill.
Want to know more? Keep on watching for more information.
On January 20, 2021, in his first day in office, President Biden signed a series of executive orders relating to immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what these executive orders will mean for you and what we may expect to see from the Biden administration in the months ahead with respect to comprehensive immigration reform.
Fact Sheet on Immigration
The Biden administration unveiled a brand new immigration reform bill entitled, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which proposes to overhaul the United States immigration system.
The bill includes a number of new reforms designed to streamline the immigration system and create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. To become law, the bill must still pass both houses of Congress including the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
These reforms are as follows:
Offers an 8-year path to citizenship for millions of people who were living in the United States unlawfully on Jan. 1, 2021. They would be eligible to apply for a green card after 5 years in a temporary status if they pass background checks and pay their taxes and could then apply for citizenship 3 years later.
Allows people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection, a group known as “Dreamers”, who were brought to the United States illegally as children, farmworkers and people with Temporary Protected Status to immediately apply for a green card if they meet specific requirements. They would have a 3-year path to citizenship.
Permits certain immigrants who were deported during the Trump administration and had previously lived in the United States for three years to return to reunite with family or for other humanitarian reasons.
Raises annual per-country limits on family-based immigration and eliminates them for employment visas.
Introduces changes to ease the U.S. citizenship application process.
Increases the diversity visa lottery program visa quota from 55,000 to 80,000.
Exempts spouses and children of green card holders from employment-based immigration quotas, expanding the number of green cards available to employment-based immigrants.
Scraps multi-year bars to re-entry for certain people who lived in the United States illegally and then left.
Clears family-based and employment-based visa backlogs.
Provides work permits to dependents of H-1B visa holders.
Authorizes regional processing centers in Central America to register and process people for refugee resettlement and other legal migration programs.
Authorizes funding for legal counsel for vulnerable populations of migrants, such as children.
Increases the number of immigration judges working in the court system.
Eliminates the 1-year filing deadline for asylum applications.
Changes the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in U.S. immigration laws.
Immigrants with approved family-sponsored petitions (I-130) can join family members on a temporary basis while they wait for their green cards to become available.
New immigration protections for widows and children of second World War veterans.
For more detailed information about the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 please click here.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares very exciting news for Dreamers. On June 18, 2020, the United States Supreme Court handed down a ruling blocking the Trump administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program that grants young undocumented immigrants temporary employment authorization and shields them from deportation.
Keep on watching for more information.
For nearly 8 years, the DACA program has helped thousands of undocumented young adults live and work in the United States without fear of deportation. Aside from having formal legal status in the United States, Dreamers are by all accounts American. Many have lived in the United States for most of their lives, attended American schools, established deep ties to the United States, and adopted the American way of life.
Unfortunately, since the beginning of his campaign, President Trump has targeted the DACA program promising to dismantle “the illegal” DACA program once and for all. President Trump long criticized the DACA program because it was created unilaterally by former President Barack Obama by executive order. President Trump has called the program illegal because it was not created by Congress.
As you may recall, on September 5, 2017, the President announced his controversial decision to rescind the DACA program which was met with great resistance by American universities, several states, and other pro-immigrant groups. Soon after, several states filed lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security to stop the government from rescinding DACA. In all lawsuits, the lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering the government to keep DACA in place. The lawsuits were merged and finally came to the Supreme Court in November of 2019.
Today, the Supreme Court handed down a final ruling in favor of plaintiffs finding that although the Trump administration has the power to end DACA, it did not follow the procedural formalities required under the Administrative Procedure Act when it sought to rescind the DACA program. The Supreme Court majority agreed with the plaintiffs that the Trump administration did not provide a good reason for its decision to end DACA and violated the APA.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new and exciting bill proposed by the House of Representatives known as the HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) that would provide financial relief for undocumented immigrants, employment authorization for undocumented essential workers, and expedited visa processing for doctors, nurses, and other essential workers.
Please keep in mind that to become law, the HEROES Act still needs to be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the President.
Keep on watching for more information.
HEROES Act Overview
The new HEROES Act addresses some of the shortcomings of the previous CARES Act, which excluded undocumented immigrants from receiving stimulus checks from the federal government. The HEROES Act is a $3 trillion federal relief package that authorizes a second round of stimulus checks for those who qualify.
Here are the five takeaways of the HEROES Act:
The HEROES Act would provide cash payments to immigrants and their families previously excluded under the CARES Act
The HEROES Act would shield essential workers from deportation and create opportunities for some undocumented immigrants to obtain employment authorization (much like DACA)
THE HEROES Act calls on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release low-risk immigrants from detention facilities where detention is not mandatory and where the detainee is not a national security risk
The HEROES Act would allow expedited visa and green card processing for foreign medical professionals fighting Coronavirus and grant flexibility for medical professionals as to where they can work and how they can work
THE HEROES Act would grant health care benefits for undocumented immigrants who do not have health insurance, including free testing, vaccines, and treatment relating to Coronavirus
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this important video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected U.S. immigration law and what you should expect going forward.
COVID-19 Firm Update
In compliance with government directives, our office remains temporarily closed for any in person meetings with clients and prospective clients. However, our firm continues to be fully functional on a remote basis.
All meetings with current and future clients will take place via phone, Zoom, Facetime, or other remote conferencing medium. At this time, we are not scheduling in-person appointments to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our focus remains the health and safety of our clients and our employees, while providing the highest quality of service.
If you are a prospective client, you may contact us by phone or schedule a video conference for a free discovery call to determine your immigration needs.
Our Message to Our Current Clients
Our Firm has been hard at work these last few weeks to avoid any disruptions in service as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, while at the same time acting responsibly to do our part to contain the spread of this virus.
To achieve business continuity, our office will be engaging an Alternate Work Schedule Program that will allow us to remain fully functional and continue our business with the use of remote working technology.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a frequently asked question: can someone who is in the process of getting divorced overseas re-marry in the United States before that divorce is final?
In many foreign countries the process of getting divorced is a very long and tedious process with many divorces taking many years to come to a final conclusion.
Many clients are left wondering whether they can lawfully re-marry in the United States while their divorce process is pending overseas, so that they can move on with their lives and apply for adjustment of status based on their marriage in the United States.
Unfortunately, you may not lawfully re-marry in the United States until all prior marriages have been terminated. A prior marriage is terminated when divorce proceedings come to a conclusion. A prior marriage is terminated by a government order or decree of dissolution of marriage issued by the appropriate authority in the country where your divorce proceedings took place. If you have not received a final order or decree of dissolution from such an authority, your prior marriage has not been terminated.
Filing a petition for adjustment of status while you remain married to someone else, even in a foreign country, carries with it very serious legal consequences.
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.