Articles Posted in Seeking Asylum

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designates certain foreign countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in extreme cases of war, natural disasters, and epidemics.  A country can be TPS designated for any type of disaster that could potentially prevent its citizens from returning, but the decision to assign TPS is cVenezuela-300x200ompletely at the discretion of the U.S. government. TPS allows certain citizens who are currently in the United States to stay because their countries have been deemed unsafe for return.  It does not, however, grant permanent legal residency in the United States. Under TPS, people can temporarily remain, live, and work in the United States until DHS ends the designated period.

Recently, using “fast track” congressional procedures, Congress considered but ultimately voted against extending TPS to Venezuelans, with the bill facing significant Republican opposition. Venezuela has been entrenched in an economic and humanitarian crisis that has since worsened under its current president, Nicolas Maduro. Many Venezuelans see Maduro’s rule as illegitimate because of an allegedly rigged election in May 2018 and have taken to the streets in protest.  Leading the opposition is politician Juan Guaido, who claims he is the rightful president of Venezuela.  The Trump administration has condemned Maduro and his socialist government and formally recognized Guaido as the only legitimate Venezuelan ruler, but the House Republican’s refusal to grant TPS tells a different story.  Republicans voiced concerns that if granted TPS, Venezuelans would be allowed to stay in the United States for years while relying solely on welfare programs (although there is no evidence to support this).  Condemning Maduro’s rule while refusing to grant Venezuelans TPS in the United States shows the Trump administration’s hypocritical stance towards Venezuela and ultimately reveals a persistent anti-immigrant sentiment.

TPS initially emerged in response to the ongoing civil war in El Salvador during the 1990’s (a war that pitted the communist guerrilla insurgents against the U.S. backed Salvadoran government).  El Salvador has been designated since 2001 because of various natural disasters, and Salvadorans now constitute the largest number of TPS beneficiaries living in the United States.  TPS recipients have been in the United States for over 10 years, an issue that Republicans fear will happen to Venezuelans granted TPS.

IMG-2235-e1542224158367-225x300In my third year of law school, I had a small bit part in a talent show skit that parodied the lyrics of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.”  The gist of the skit was that Professor Lucy Williams’s Federal Courts course was the most difficult class on the schedule.  So brutally rigorous that it reduced the 2L and 3L students into feeling “like a first year.”

Why this trip into Romben’s law school past?  Although the course had a textbook, the not-so-secret-supplemental-hornbook-that-you-had-to-read-if-you-wanted-any-chance-of-passing was “Federal Jurisdiction” written by one Professor Erwin Chemerinsky . . . who is now Dean Chemerinsky at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Dean Chemerinsky recently wrote an op-ed praising now-former Attorney General Jefferson Sessions’ upholding the rule of law by recusing himself from the Mueller investigation and allowing it to continue. 

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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Immigration Due Process - Romben Aquino Blog

Recent cases involving unaccompanied children are being expedited, some without sufficient notice

Immigration judges across the country have been instructed to prioritize the cases involving unaccompanied children who have recently entered the United States through Mexico.
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Immigrant Children 2014

“I brought Hassan’s son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty.”
– Khaled Hosseini, “The Kite Runner”

Rather than speculation about whether there is going to be a new immigration law this year, the recent headlines about immigration have been about the surge of unaccompanied minor children from Central America who have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. This mother’s statement to a reporter reflects a common misperception: “If she gets across [the U.S. border] she can stay here. Now they say all children need to do is hand themselves over to the Border Patrol.”

What information are parents and guardians missing?
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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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I was dismayed (but not particularly shocked) to read about the arrests and indictments of persons involved in fraudulent schemes to obtain asylum for clients in New York City’s Chinatown and Flushing neighborhoods. You can read more about it in the New York Times or in the U.S. Attorney’s press release.
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