Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Naturalize, Naturalization, Citizenship, Voting, Presidential Elections, DAPA, immigration Law, Green card lawyer, Immigration Denver, Immigration Law, Immigration lawyer, Immigration attorney
Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Naturalize, Naturalization, Citizenship, Voting, Presidential Elections, DAPA, immigration Law, Green card lawyer, Immigration Denver, Immigration Law, Immigration lawyer, Immigration attorney, seattle immigration attorney, seattle immigration attorneys, washington state citizenship lawyer, washington state citizenship lawyers, immigration and citizenship law, carol l edward, immigration attorney

Immigration Quicksand: A finding of Willful Misrepresentation for Some Non-Immigrants Who Decide to Immigrate Too Quickly

Many immigrants enter the United States as non-immigrants – as tourists on a B2 visa, through the Visa Waiver Program, as students, etc. Often, those “non-immigrants” will meet an U.S. citizen, fall in love, and decide to get married. Sometimes the non-immigrant has a long history with their new spouse, but didn’t decide to get married until shortly after entering the country on their non-immigrant visa. In other cases, a student may move to the U.S. for the purpose of continuing their education but due to changes in their financial situation, they may decide to look for employment instead, thereby violating the terms of their student visa.

U.S. immigration law draws a distinction between “non-immigrant intent,” which is the intention to remain in the U.S. temporarily before returning to the foreigner’s permanent residence, and “immigrant intent,” or the intention to reside in the U.S. permanently.  Many non-immigrant visa are only provided to those who swear to or can demonstrate non-immigrant intent.

Previously, the government applied what is known as a “30/60 day rule”: when a non-immigrant entered the country with a non-immigrant visa and within 30 days took steps that were not in line with their non-immigrant status, a presumption was drawn that the non-immigrant misrepresented their intention upon entry.  If, however, the steps were taken between 30 and 60 days after arrival, there was no such presumption.

If, for example, an exchange student came to the U.S. for the purpose of spending a semester at a U.S. university, but married a U.S. citizen just two weeks after arrival and then applied for lawful permanent residency (a “green card”), the government would presume that the student’s true reason for entering the country was to get married and adjust status.  Applying the 30/60 day rule, the government might determine that thee student had made a material misrepresentation by entering the country for the stated purpose of studying but with the actual purpose of applying for lawful permanent residency.  The government would then ask the student to either rebut that presumption with evidence to the contrary or they would require a waiver of the student’s misrepresentation, assuming they were eligible for such waiver.

Unfortunately, on September 1, 2017, the Department of Status (DOS) updated it’s manual to eliminate the “30-60 day rule.”  Instead, the Department of State is now applying a “90 day rule.”  The Department’s manual now states that if a non-immigrant “violate or engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status within 90 days of entry” the Department of State may presume that the person’s previous representations regarding their nonimmigrant intent, either at the time of application or at the time of entry, were willful misrepresentations.  (See 9 FAM 302.9-4(B)(3)).  A finding of willful misrepresentation can result in the revocation of a visa, or in a finding of inadmissibility to the United States as an immigrant.  In some circumstances, such a finding could result in lifetime inadmissibility to the United States.

The good news is that the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (DOS) Policy Manual has not yet been updated to reflect this change. Additionally, two decades-old cases issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals state that even a finding of “preconceived intent” to immigrant is, by itself, outweighed by a citizen’s interest in their immediate relative’s application being granted. Some immigrants will have the option of departing the United States and applying for an immigrant visa from a U.S. consulate in their home country in order to avoid a presumption of immigrant intent and a determination of inadmissibility on misrepresentation grounds.

This change highlights the fact that immigration policy can change much more quickly than the law, and many immigrants will struggle to keep up with policy changes without the help of a competent immigration attorney.  Given the shifts described above, it would be wise for any non-immigrant who has taken steps toward U.S. residency within 90 days of their arrival to speak to a U.S. immigration attorney.

The new immigration order: A disaster in the making | Aretz and Chisholm Immigration LLC | 303-495-2013

Some of the darkest chapters in U.S. history have involved forcibly relocating minority populations: the slave trade, the Trail of Tears, Operation Wetback and the internment of citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during World War II. Each was considered legal and justified in its time. Now they are condemned as assaults on the values that define our nation.

President Trump’s first executive order on immigration and the draft enforcement memos signed by Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly promise to similarly tarnish our nation’s character. The memos call for expanding the nation’s deportation forces by 15,000 to round up, detain and deport the undocumented immigrants living among us. Instead of focusing on criminals, they make all undocumented people priorities for enforcement, and through a process called “expedited removal,” they severely reduce due process protections.

The policy is based on falsehoods about the threat and costs of undocumented immigrants. “The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” stated Kelly’s memorandum.

Read More: Washington Post

RMIAN Statement on 2016 Presidential Election

We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all.

November 11, 2016

In the face of the election of a presidential candidate who has promised devastating

changes to our nation’s immigration policies, the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy

Network (RMIAN) stands more committed than ever to working for justice for all. RMIAN

will continue to fight tirelessly to advance the legal rights of our fellow Coloradans with

immigrant backgrounds, particularly children throughout the state and adults in

immigration detention. We stand in solidarity with immigrant communities throughout

Colorado and the United States. We stand for inclusion, equality, and justice and will fight

for due process and equal access to justice for all.

“RMIAN’s commitment to the dignity and rights of the most vulnerable immigrant

populations in Colorado, including children and detained adults, has never wavered,

regardless of the political climate. This election will only deepen that commitment,” said

Founding Board Member Hiroshi Motomura.

Although the RMIAN community staunchly opposes the anti-immigrant measures

advocated by the incoming administration, RMIAN is gratified by the resounding support of

Coloradans who reject an agenda of hatred. Community members from all walks of life

have stepped up in unprecedented numbers since the election to support RMIAN’s mission

of ensuring justice for immigrants, and fighting the hatred, racism, misogyny and

xenophobia it generated.

RMIAN Attorney Elizabeth Zambrana states, “We are working tirelessly to ensure

that our clients and immigrant communities everywhere are protected and prepared for

the challenges that lie ahead. RMIAN will educate current and former DACA clients, service

providers, community organizations and the general public to ensure that Colorado

communities receive accurate information about their rights and how to protect

themselves and others. We will use all legal tools at our disposal to secure the rights of the

most vulnerable, as we always have. We stand in solidarity with immigrant communities,

not only as legal allies, but as neighbors, friends and essential community members. ”

Apart from the harsh agenda the new administration has vowed to bring to

Washington in January, 2017, RMIAN already is responding to an immediate immigration

detention crisis. The number of individuals detained at the for-profit GEO Group

immigration detention center in Aurora has nearly doubled since the beginning of October.

RMIAN is struggling to stretch existing resources to serve a vastly larger number of

vulnerable asylum seekers housed there, including hundreds of Haitians who have fled

unspeakable hardship.

Please consider supporting RMIAN’s work during this extraordinarily difficult

time. You can help in the following ways:

1) If you are an attorney, contact RMIAN’s Pro Bono Coordinator Alex Gavern at

agavern@rmian.org to request a pro bono case for a detained asylum-seeker or for

a child who will face complex immigration proceedings alone because they cannot

afford a private attorney. The need for volunteer attorneys is enormous. RMIAN

will provide you with a screened referral, detailed memorandum, professional

liability insurance, and a mentor.

2) Voice your support for humane immigration policies that represent RMIAN’s values.

3) Support RMIAN financially so we can fulfill our values statement, “We believe that

justice for immigrants means justice for all.” Donations may be mailed directly to

RMIAN at 3489 West 72nd Avenue, Suite 211, Westminster, CO 80030 or via

RMIAN’s website www.rmian.org

For additional information about RMIAN and ways you can help, please see

www.rmian.org or contact Executive Director Mekela Goehring at mgoehring@rmian.org

or (720) 370-9102.

 

WHAT THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION MEANS FOR IMMIGRANTS AND ADVOCATES

Today marks one week since we learned that Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Most of us did not expect this result, and many of us feared it. Over the past year, Mr. Trump has said many hurtful and aggressive things against immigrants. He has talked about building a wall, banning Muslims, deporting millions of people, further limiting the already unworkable employment-based visa system, and cancelling DACA. As the Chair of the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), I am concerned for the futures of my clients, their families, and their employers, but I also see the incredible talent and heart of the immigration lawyers and community activists I work with in Colorado and across the country. In this time of insecurity, this is my message of hope and unity.

To the immigrant community: Many of you already have an AILA member as your lawyer, but even if you do not, know that we advocate for all of you. For more than 70 years, AILA has worked with leaders from both parties to promote a fair and just immigration system, one that reflects the values on which our country was founded. We will continue to do this by working with any federal, state, or local government that is developing policies that affect you. AILA has more than 14,000 members, and the hundreds of members in the Colorado Chapter are prepared to stand up against any laws or policies that violate our fundamental principles of fairness and due process. We will oppose any rhetoric that denies the important role immigrants have played in building this great nation. Our shared prosperity relies on the innovation and creativity of immigrants from all over the world, from all walks of life, and from all faiths and cultural traditions.

During the next few months, there will be many questions and few answers. While we wait to see what changes the next administration will make, I offer these practical suggestions:

  •   remain calm – do not make any important decisions based on fear;
  •   do not believe anyone who calls you claiming to be from ICE;
  •   beware of “notarios” or other “immigration experts” trying to benefit from the current uncertainty – only

    a licensed lawyer can give legal advice;

  •   if you have a lawyer, keep in touch and make sure he or she has your current contact information;
  •   if you have DACA, there is currently no change to the program, but you should consult with a reputable

    immigration lawyer before making any future decisions.

    To immigration advocates: We have faced challenges before, so we know the invaluable and unlimited resources at our disposal: the talents, ingenuity, passion, and persistence of over 14,000 AILA members and the community organizations and elected leaders with whom we collaborate. Looking forward, we must continue to support one another as we always have, coming together to share stories and inspiration, and taking every opportunity to advocate for fair and just treatment for all immigrants. Together we must promote this message of unity and perseverance to the federal immigration agencies, to Congress, to the courts, and to the public at large.

    Whatever challenges we might face in the next four years, AILA Colorado will continue to live our mission: to promote justice and advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy.

    Sincerely,
    Katharine Speer Chair, AILA Colorado

Expansion of the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

Today, July 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will publish in the Federal Register a final rule expanding eligibility for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, filed on Form I-601A.  The new rule will take effect on August 29, 2016.

Since its launch in March 2013, many immigrants have utilized this waiver to minimize the time that they are separated from friends, family, work, and their community because they are able to apply for the waiver and receive approval before traveling abroad for consular processing.  For certain applications, the process that often results in many months of separation now can be completed in less than two weeks.  Additionally, because the waiver is discretionary, immigrants benefit from the knowledge that DHS has determined that they warrant a positive exercise of discretion before they leave the country, making their journey and application process far less risky.

Until the passage of this new rule, however, the provisional waiver was only available to immigrants who were the spouses, children, and parents of certain U.S. citizens, otherwise known as “immediate relatives.”  The waiver was further limited because the applicant had to prove that a U.S. citizen spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship upon denial of the immigrant’s admission to the United States; in other words, hardship to a spouse or parent who was a lawful permanent resident (“LPR” or “green card” holder) was not taken into consideration.

Beginning August 29, 2016, the rule will be expanded to include all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the unlawful presence waiver and who can establish extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent.  The expanded group of individuals includes the beneficiaries of family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa petitions, and Diversity Visa selectees, so long as they have a qualifying relative under the statute for purposes of the extreme hardship determination (a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent).  Some additional changes were made to the regulation, including the elimination of a denial based on a “reason to believe” that another ground of inadmissibility exists.

DHS comments associated with the publishing of the final rule make it clear that this expansion is a benefit to the entire nation: it encourages the efficient use of government resources by streamlining a process that has previously been fraught with problems, it encourages eligible immigrant visa applicants to proceed forward with their visa processing and therefore integrate more quickly and fully into their U.S. community, and, most importantly, it minimizes the time that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are separated from their loved ones.  DHS estimates that approximately 100,000 individuals will become eligible under the new rule during the rule’s 10-year period of analysis.  The expansion is a welcome addition to our immigration system, and comes at a time when change is desperately needed.

seattle immigration attorney, seattle immigration attorneys, washington state citizenship lawyer, washington state citizenship lawyers, immigration and citizenship law, carol l edward, immigration attorney