November 21, 2014

Pres Obama Executive Order Protects Immigrant Families

Obama PrezOrder.jpegWith President Obama's announcement of executive action on immigration issues, the phone has been ringing constantly at both the Pasadena and Palm Springs offices. Fong & Aquino has fielded over 50 telephone inquiries this morning alone.

Although the President announced the executive action yesterday, immigration lawyers are still studying the EXACT requirements and details of the presidential order. It is a very complex, wide-ranging set of orders. I will be posting more information in the coming days.

This is a hopeful development, but it is new. DO NOT try to travel outside the USA at this time. CHECK WITH AN ATTORNEY before filing any papers with the immigration authorities. Remember that many unlicensed paralegals will try to encourage you to sign up with them: PLEASE BE CAREFUL. If you have any questions about your eligibility, or if you're interested in applying for a benefit under the executive order, please contact a competent immigration attorney.

Some highlights of the President's order:

(a) Work permits for certain highly-skilled workers and their spouses, as well as students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

(b) Clarify and improve the ability to travel for those who are waiting for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, including those who are here on Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

(c) Legal status for the spouses and children of US armed forces service members.

(d) Implement new priorities to deport or remove criminal immigrants, while minimizing deportation of non-criminal family members.

(e) Strengthen border security and safety, and increase and reallocate resources for border interdiction.

(f) Expand the eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), to permit more young undocumented high school graduates to get work permits. New DACA work permits will be valid for 3 years, instead of the current 2 years.

(g) Create a Deferred Action program for Parents of US citizens and LPRs who have been in the USA for more than five years. To qualify, applicants will need to register with the government, pay back taxes, undergo fingerprinting and a background check, and pay application fees.

Please check back here in the coming days, for more information, as we learn the details of the new program. If you would like to set up an appointment, feel free to contact the office. --j

November 21, 2014

President Obama Orders An Immigration Overhaul

President Obama Orders An Immigration Overhaul

President Obama takes action to help keep families together

On Thursday evening, President Obama announced that he would issue executive actions in order to fix certain aspects of the immigration system. The executive orders are expected to affect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants inside the United States.

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November 18, 2014

Merits Hearing versus the Master Calendar Docket

Merits Hearing vs. Master Calendar HearingMerits Hearing in Immigration Court vs. Master Calendar Docket

There are two different types of court hearings during removal proceedings involving non-detained individuals. The first is known as the Master Calendar hearing and the other is known as the Individual hearing or Merits hearing.

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November 12, 2014

Republican Majority in Congress and Immigration Reform

Republicans and Immigration Reform

A Republican Congress

What will this mean for Immigration Reform?

This is the new reality: in 2015 and 2016, Republicans will control both houses of Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate. And to that, I say: It’s time for the Republicans to show us — the American electorate — what their ideas for immigration reform are.

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November 4, 2014

Immigration Case Lessons: Matter of Ezra Kibichii Bett

Immigration Court | What You Don’t Say Can And Will Be Used Against You

In Immigration Court, What You Don’t Say Can And Will Be Used Against You

Seemingly Non-Immigration-Related Documents Can Be Used Against You in Immigration Court

The Board of Immigration Appeals recently determined that a seemingly non-immigration-related document can be used as evidence by the Department of Homeland Security to support its deportation case. The case is called Matter of Bett.

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October 28, 2014

Blaming Immigrants for Ebola is Unwarranted

Ebola - Creature from the Black Lagoon

Ebola:  There Are Scarier Things Happening This Halloween

Immigrants from West Africa are Not the Ebola Bogeyman

This week as Halloween approaches, there is all sorts of scary stuff going around. For starters, Ebola! Ebola! Ebola! There isn’t a front page newspaper story or a broadcast news segment that doesn’t involve Ebola. And with all that fear and news coverage comes this: African immigrants face ostracism.

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October 21, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Two Different Immigration Scenarios

U.S. Supreme Court Building

Are there limits to the government’s powers in expulsion of non-citizens and controlling its borders?

The United States Supreme Court recently decided to consider appeals regarding two very different immigration scenarios. One involves a judge’s order of deportation issued inside the United States; the other involves a decision made by a U.S. consulate in a foreign country. However, both cases have a common thread: what is the permissible extent of the government’s powers?

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October 14, 2014

Immigration Client Success Story: Coke brings a smile

Immigration Client Success Story - Coke brings a smile

Not too long ago, I was sitting in jail with my client the night before his first hearing. I told him that once I got him out of custody, I would buy him a beer. He says “But Mr. Aquino, I don’t drink.” “Well,” I asked him, “what would you like to toast with instead?”

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October 7, 2014

Joe Giudice Removal Proceedings

joe-and-teresa-giudice

Felony conviction for actor Joe Giudice will likely result in removal proceedings

Hollywood sit-com writers occasionally air episodes where the storyline has an immigration subplot. But sometimes, you don’t need fiction writers! Joe Giudice, from “Real Housewives of New Jersey”, was convicted on federal charges that will likely trigger immigration consequences.

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September 30, 2014

MAVNI program extended | DACA immigration status ok

MAVNI program expanded to include DACA

MAVNI program extended to individuals granted DACA immigration status

Living amongst us in the United States are hundreds of thousands of children who grew up as Americans but lack immigration status because of the way that they entered the United States. Many of these DREAMers have been given a chance to avoid deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) program. And now, the Department of Defense has announced that the MAVNI program has been expanded to those individuals.

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September 23, 2014

Citibank partners for naturalization of permanent residents

Naturalization of permanent residents

Cities for Citizenship launches in major metro cities

Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago

Occasionally, USCIS will hold group naturalization ceremonies specifically for children. One such ceremony occurred recently at the Los Angeles Public Library. These are really cool events and they are much more exciting than sitting in the waiting room at the federal building for an immigration officer to call your name and bring you the completed certificate.

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September 16, 2014

John Lennon was not the only DREAMer

John Lennon - Not The Only DREAMer
John Lennon’s US immigration case was not won without challenges

The possibility of executive action on immigration (and deferred action for parents of DREAMERs) was in the news recently. Unfortunately, not for the reason that many immigrants had been hoping for.

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September 9, 2014

Avoiding Unscrupulous Immigration Consultants

Beware Unscrupulous Immigration Attorneys

In the past, I have written about people of modest means who have been bamboozled by unscrupulous attorneys, “consultants,” and “notarios.” For example, I wrote about the fraudulent asylum applications submitted by attorneys and paralegals in New York City. Unfortunately, even wealthy investors can be victims of scams.

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September 3, 2014

Immigration Court Overload in 2014

Immigration Court Snapshot

Over the last several months, I’ve been breaking down the process of what happens in immigration courts. This week, KPCC took a closer look at the busiest immigration court in the nation: Los Angeles.

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August 26, 2014

Countries of Origin of Legal Immigrants

Most Common of Origin of Legal Immigrants (2012) - Slate

Where are most legal immigrants coming from?

The research shows some interesting results.

Not too long ago, we took a look at an interesting map of the United States that showed the potpourri of languages that are spoken across the United States when you you look beyond English and Spanish. This week, we take a look at another map:

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