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.
Para conocer mas sobre los servicios que ofrecemos, visite nuestro sitio de web.
It is our great pleasure to announce that on January 12, 2018, our office successfully negotiated the release of Orr Yakobi from the Otay Mesa Detention Center. As previously reported, Orr Yakobi was detained by the United States Customs and Border Protection on January 8th, after he and a friend made a wrong turn that led their vehicle out of the United States and into Mexico.
Yakobi, an Israeli national, was brought to the United States at a young age by his parents and was under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Under the conditions of the program, a DACA recipient may not leave the United States unless they have applied for and received a special travel permit from USCIS known as “advance parole” which allows the individual to re-enter the United States without issue. Failure to present an advance parole document will result in the questioning and likely detention of the individual.
Unfortunately for Yakobi, CBP officials refused to consider that his departure was purely accidental. Although Mr. Yakobi explained that he and his friend intended to take the 805 Northbound which would have taken them on their way home, instead of the 805 Southbound, officials still decided to detain him.
With the help of our outstanding community, members of Congress, and the media, our office had the unique opportunity to advocate for Mr. Yakobi, a soon to be graduate of the University of California, San Diego. We are proud to represent Dreamers like Orr Yakobi, who contribute enormously to our economy, and make our country a better place.
For more information about his release please click here.
For more information about the services we offer please visit our website.
In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick sits down with two sisters, one who is a US Citizen, and the other who is a DACA recipient with a renewal request pending with USCIS. Although these clients are related they have very different immigration options available to them. Alicia explains how her DACA status has allowed her to obtain a driver’s license and legal employment in the United States, as well as the advantages these benefits have created for her as a mother of three US Citizen children. Alicia echoes the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who felt heartbroken when they heard that the President was ending the DACA program, a program that provided relief for so many undocumented immigrants who have no other place to call their home. Alicia fears being sent back to a country she does not know, where she has no relationships, and of being torn from her family. This is the unfortunate reality that many Dreamers face, and illustrates how important it is for Congress to pass the Dream Act or other legislation that would allow more than 800,000 Dreamers to remain in the United States legally.
IMPORTANT: Although USCIS will no longer be accepting new initial requests for DACA, current DACA recipients with permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 can apply for a final 2-year renewal of their DACA status and obtain employment authorization. These applications must be properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017.
To learn more about the termination of the DACA program please click here.