Dramatic Reversal on DACA

A federal judge has reversed the Trump administration’s restrictive rule on the DACA program. This Obama administration legislation protected undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation.

“#DACA for #Dreamers Unidos soñamos #dreamact #cir #immigrationreform #cirnow #immigration” by Steve Rhodes is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

According to N.P.R., yesterday “Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn instructed the Department of Homeland Security to begin accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as soon as Monday”

Court documents state that DHS has until Monday to post a public notice “displayed prominently on its website and on the websites of all other relevant agencies, that it is accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA.”

Approximately 640,000 undocumented young immigrants are protected under DACA. As of this July, due to restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on this Obama-era program, about 300,000 young people from other countries living in the U.S. were ready to apply This new decision effectively green lights the process for them.

Read more about this at NPR’s web site.

It’s Official: New York State Will Aid Undocumented Students

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has confirmed he will sign into law a new measure passed by the New York State Senate. The bill offers undocumented students access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

New York Democrats became a majority in the State Senate in November after a decade of being a minority. Immigration protections are now on the front of their agenda. The new bill constitutes a pro-immigrant countermeasure to President Trump’s federal immigration policies that have been seeking to undo the protections of The Dream Act, put into place by the Obama administration over ten years ago.

The provisions of the new law will include allowing undocumented residents to obtain state driver’s licenses and reducing maximum jail sentences for certain misdemeanors that could otherwise lead to deportation.

” The New York bill will affect an estimated 146,000 young people who were educated in New York public schools but have been ineligible to receive financial aid under federal and state law, according to analysis by the New York State Youth Leadership Council and N.Y.U. Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic. ” – notes the New York Times in an article yesterday.

Read the entire article HERE.

The Immigration Offices of Leslie I. Snyder, P.A. strive to keep our clients informed with the latest developments affecting US Immigration policies. We provide assistance on immigration issues ranging from family integration, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, business, employment, adjustment of status, citizenship.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Operation “Second Look” Gains Traction in Trump Administration

For years, stripping naturalized US citizens of their citizenship was reserved for those who committed extreme crimes. A new program started by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has started to take a closer look at existing naturalization cases that might be based on fraud. The problem is that some of these cases might be based on very thin evidence, even downright mishandling of the naturalization documents by government employees themselves. The New York Times article details the case of a Haitian family that found itself in the middle of such a situation, years after their naturalization.

“Second Look” started as “Operation Janus” under the Obama administration. Both programs seek to identify people who obtained US citizenship despite deportation orders or criminal indictments. However, the article outlines other cases that point to an increase in denaturalization cases by the Trump administration, under criminal and civil premises.

“Since January 2017, United States attorney’s offices have filed 107 criminal naturalization fraud cases. Among these cases are a number against people like Odette Dureland, naturalized citizens who purportedly committed fraud but who deny those claims. Many involve people whose histories raise no national-security concerns — an apparent departure from the Obama administration’s priorities. But the number is on par with prosecutions during the Obama era. Where there has been a marked rise in denaturalizations under Trump is in the civil process. Lawyers in the Office of Immigration Litigation filed more than 65 civil denaturalization cases between January 2017 and November 2018, according to data from the Justice Department, twice the total number of civil cases that the office filed in the last two years of the Obama administration. Some of these people would most likely have been denaturalized under any administration, including people who were convicted of serious crimes or were discovered to have participated in war crimes. But the Trump administration’s prosecutions have served another purpose: In news releases and declarations by senior officials, the denaturalization cases have been used as cudgels — tools for attacking the legal immigration process as riddled with fraud, as pathways for criminals and terrorists to enter the United States.”

The full in-depth analysis by the New York Times is HERE.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Family Immigration: Affidavit of Support Will Make or Break Your Case

Family-based immigration is one of the core specialties here at the Law Offices of Leslie I Snyder P.A. We follow closely various matters that help us guide our clients on the right path to citizenship. One of the ways for a non-immigrant visa holder to be naturalized is through marriage. However, contrary to what many might think, this avenue is not always a sure-shot at changing immigration status, and should not be taken lightly. The recent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in the the Matter of Sothon SONG, shows just that.

The petitioner in this case, a native of Cambodia, entered the US on a K-1 non-immigratn fiancée visa on November 25, 2011. All the paperwork needed for naturalization was filed on time. However, subsequent events lead to the denial of the applicant’s petition. The case file shows the following:

“While the application was pending, the marriage broke down, and on July 10, 2012, the petitioner wrote to the USCIS to withdraw his affidavit of support. On November 21, 2012, the USCIS denied the respondent’s adjustment application, finding that she was inadmissible under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4) (2012), as an alien who is likely to become a public charge. The couple divorced on December 20, 2012. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) subsequently initiated removal proceedings.”

On November 19, 2018, inthe Interim Decision #3945, the petitioner’s appeal was denied. According to the Department of Justice web site, “Most BIA decisions are subject to judicial review in the federal courts.”

The .pdf file of the full case is on the Department of Justice web site, under Interim Decision #3945

Immigration Services Available for Those Affected by Hurricane Florence or Typhoon Mangkhut

Re-parole or changing immigration status are two of the services offered now by the USCIS to certain immigration applicants.

USCIS has posted a host of immigration services offered to those affected by the last two hurricanes that hit mainland US this month. This is an effort to afford some flexibility to those that might experience hardships in their immigration process due to these events. Please be advised, these are discretionary services and available only upon request to the qualified individuals. Please read the entire list of services and conditions that apply, HERE

Please familiarize yourself with what USCIS considers “Special Situations” and what exceptions you can benefit from should they apply to you, here: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations

As always, if you feel that you need more clarifications and that your case might benefit your own case or that of someone you know, feel free to contact us as soon as possible.