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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Romben Aquino at the Filipino Migrant Center

Appreciation and Giving Back

Community service has always been an important part of my life. For me, as someone who has been blessed with many favorable opportunities, it is a way to give back to those who may not have been as fortunate. I can probably trace it back to my parents, who were always seemingly involved in some sort of organization, be it the PTA, the Freemasons, or the Association of Mangatarem Overseas Residents. The bayanihan spirit was something that was espoused by my fellow UCLA Samahangers.
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Immigration Reform in 2013

Will there be immigration reform in 2013?

Every now and then, when a judge is writing a decision, that judge will add a footnote about a question that is NOT being considered by the court. It’s a way of signaling that a particular legal issue remains an open question. Or maybe it’s a way of telling the lawyers “hey, you guys should litigate this issue next! I want to write a decision on it!” Anyway, I digress. Earlier this year, I asked the question: Will there be a new immigration law this year?

I noted that the answer would depend on the House of Representatives.
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The tidal wave of the first same-sex marriage (SSM) cases has passed, and I’d like to share some very brief observations. Fong & Aquino, with offices Hollywood and Palm Springs, fielded over 150 inquiries about SSM and has undertaken representation for some 100 cases this year. Some things I’ve noticed:

* Officers are as interested in how the couple met in the case of same-sex couples, as they are for opposite-sex couples. They have even asked the name of the WEBSITE where some couples have met.

* Some officers are puzzled about why some family members might not know about the marriage.