Benefits for Immigrants - Covered California

Legal US immigrants have rights to benefits

If you are here legally, you may be missing out on benefits you are entitled to receive

Many legal immigrants (whether they are lawful permanent residents or naturalized U.S. citizens) do not apply for benefits for which they are eligible because they fear that they will tip off the authorities about any undocumented members of their families. However, one agency is working with community groups to ensure that people who apply for health insurance are reassured that their family members are safe.

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fingers crossed.jpegPresident Obama’s executive order to provide relief to undocumented immigrants opens up a new opportunity for many who had no options. However, whenever the immigration laws change, it also creates a chance for unlicensed notaries public, unscrupulous “immigration advisors,” and others who see an opportunity to cheat hard-working people. In my offices in Pasadena and Palm Springs, I hear stories all the time about how a notary charged a fortune and did nothing. Even more disturbing, people in the C oachella Valley seeking visa and immigration service and assistance have told me of persons who have provided harmful, incorrect information.

In many of these cases, the agency or advisor may be “accredited” by the Board of Immigration Appeals, but in fact, the consultant’s lack of knowledge about immigration law is staggering. Several clients have come to me with cases that have been MADE WORSE.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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