April 15, 2014

US Naturalization 101

US Naturalization 101

US Naturalization 101

What you need to know to apply for naturalization in the United States

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that I have been writing about naturalization quite a bit lately. First, the one about a looming deadline. More recently, the one about my client with a prior denial turned around, and then the one about a noticeable increase in new citizens hailing from Africa. But, what do you need to be eligible for apply for naturalization in the first place?!?

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April 8, 2014

Immigration Marriage Fraud

Immigration Marriage Fraud

Thinking of getting married just for the green card?

ICE is cracking down on fraudulent marriage cases.

My former boss tells his clients "Marriage is the fastest and easiest way to get a green card. However, you need a good foundation. It's like a house. If the foundation is good, then everything that is built on it will be good. But if it's bad, then it will lead to a lot of problems." What kinds of problems exactly? Well,

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April 1, 2014

African Immigrants Applying For US Citizenship

African Immigration to the United StatesWhat is driving this growing trend in immigration?

The reasons are not so different than those of immigrants coming from other countries

This contribution to the blog post comes to you from Phoenix, Arizona.  I’m traveling to assist a client with her claim for asylum. Since I’m currently out of state and because naturalization seems to be a hot topic at my office these days, I wanted to share with you a story from the Boston Globe.

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March 26, 2014

Overturning An Immigration Denial Due To A False Claim To US Citizenship

Immigration Application Denied or ApprovedWas your application denied because of a false claim to citizenship?

If the claim was made before 1996, it may not affect your application for naturalization.

One of the things that gives me immense pleasure as an immigration lawyer is taking a case that had previously been denied and turning it into an approval. It involves a close read of the government’s denial letter, a searching analysis of what errors were made (either by the government, the prior attorney, or the client), and then crafting a strategy towards a different, more favorable outcome.

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March 18, 2014

Immigration Marriage Interview: Hollywood Myths Dispelled

Immigration Marriage InterviewHow the USCIS really handles marriage interviews

The other night, I was watching the tele with my wife.  As regular readers of this blog know, that means I was watching one of my wife’s shows again.  On a recent episode of “Trophy Wife,” Kate (played by Malin Akerman) discovers that her marriage paperwork didn’t go through and she’s in danger of being deported . . . to Canada!  (If you haven’t watched it yet, be advised that spoilers are ahead.)  Now — I’d like to compare the Hollywood marriage interview experience to reality.

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March 11, 2014

Immigrant Winners at the 2014 Oscars


Immigrants are among the 86th Annual Academy Awards’ winners.

I still can’t help but chuckle every time I read something about the Travolta-izing of Idina Menzel’s name at last week’s Oscars telecast.

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February 25, 2014

Protect Yourself When Seeking Immigration Counsel

BUYER BEWARE - Protect yourself when hiring legal counsel

When seeking to hire a good immigration attorney, “buyer beware” applies.

A few weeks ago, I raved about how I enjoy the “camaraderie and professionalism” of my fellow immigration practitioners. This is true . . . for the most part. Unfortunately, as with many things, there are a few bad apples.

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February 18, 2014

Form N-400 Doubles In Size On May 4, 2014

Form N-400 Doubles May, 2014

If you are planning to apply for citizenship, you may want to do so before May 4, 2014.

I have previously discussed the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen in order to “save” one’s children. I still believe that if you want to become a U.S. citizen, you should pursue it as soon as you are eligible. However, I occasionally come across potential clients who have been lawful permanent residents for a long time . . . and want to renew their green cards before the expiration date.

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February 11, 2014

Best Wishes Judge Stephen Sholomson

Immigration Judge Stephen Sholomson RetiresLos Angeles Immigration Judge Stephen Sholomson retires after 43 years of service

One of the reasons that I enjoy immigration law (there are many, but I’ll save those for future blog posts) is the camaraderie and professionalism of its practitioners — on both sides.

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February 4, 2014

A Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

A Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform - Romben Aquino Blog

What do the current discussions on immigration reform mean for immigrants?

Last week, on Tuesday, the President gave his fifth SOTU address (State of the Union for hashtag challenged among us).

In each of his prior SOTUs, the President mentioned the need for comprehensive immigration reform. And so it was again last Tuesday.

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January 28, 2014

Motion to Reopen an Immigration Case

Motion to Reopen an Immigration Case - Romben Aquino Blog

Should you file a motion to reopen your case with the court or with ICE?

Last week, I discussed the use of prosecutorial discretion by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to allow certain individuals in removal proceedings to have their cases taken off the “active docket” of the immigration court. But what about individuals who want to be back in front of the judge?

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January 22, 2014

Prosecutorial Discretion and Immigration

You mean prosecutorial discretion can apply to immigration casesProsecutorial discretion: What it means and how it can affect immigration cases

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that immigration court case closures due to prosecutorial discretion appear to be on the rise. This means more cases are being temporarily closed due to the artful use of prosecutorial discretion.

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January 14, 2014

Immigration Law in 2014

Immigration Law in 2014What changes can we expect to see in immigration law in 2014?

New laws affecting immigrants have already gone into effect as of January 1, 2014.

Previously, under the “Secure Communities” program, many immigrants were placed on an “ICE hold” even for low-level offenses.  Under the California Trust Act, state and local jails will only hold immigrants for ICE if they have committed serious or violent crimes.  Hopefully, this will result in fewer immigrants being placed into removal proceedings.

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December 17, 2013

Same Sex Marriages and Immigration


New laws benefitting same sex couples can assist in immigration cases.

Looking back on 2013, in my humble opinion, the biggest change in immigration law occurred on June 26, 2013. On that day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Windsor v. United States that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Although the case was about estate taxes, the Supreme Court’s decision opened the door for same sex couples to obtain the same immigration benefits as every other married couple.

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December 10, 2013

Immigration of Military Family Members

Immigration Parole in Place Military FamiliesWhat does the recent USCIS “Parole in Place” memo mean for family members of military service people?

I am a military brat.  My father served in the U.S. Navy for 22 years.  While he was in the service, I moved around a lot, I got to fly on some cool military cargo planes through the magic of “Space A”, and I always lived near an ocean.  (I used to wonder why I always seemed to feel a compelling need to move every few years and why I needed to live near water.  Now it all is starting to make sense.)

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