What does the immigration reform proposed by President Biden include?

On Day One, Biden targets Trump policies on climate, virus

President, Joe Biden, signed the following executive orders on day 1:

  • Added protections to DACA to prevent any future attacks against Dreamers,
  • Has called on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for immigrants,
  • Halted former President Trump’s efforts in excluding nonresidents/noncitizens from the census,
  • Overturned President Trump’s executive order that pushed aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorized immigrants,
  • Blocked the deportation of Liberians who have been living in the United States,
  • Ended the Muslim Ban,
  • Ended the construction of Former President Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

What is President Biden planning to propose on his immigration reform?

Here are a few points that we know about the proposed law, “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021”:

  • Immediate eligibility for legal permanent residence (green card) for those with DACA, TPS, and agricultural workers who meet certain requirements
  • Path to citizenship for the individuals without legal status. Eligibility for green card after 5 years. Applicants will have to complete a background check, provide proof that they pay taxes and proof of physical presence in the United States on or before January 1, 2021
  • Temporary status for anyone with an approved family petition
  • Citizenship after 3 years, instead of 5 years
  • Elimination of one-year rule for political asylum
  • Increase annual U Visas from 10,000 visas to 30,000 visas
  • Eliminate waiting lists for immigrant visas
  • Eliminate penalties of 3 and 10 years

**Please remember that the points above are points that the Biden administration is considering for their proposal. There will be negotiations and changes before Congress is able to vote. It is not yet a law and there are still many unknown questions and details.

Recommendations

If you have have been detained at the border, arrested by the police or submitted an application with immigration in the past, please see below:

In case there is an immigration reform that is passed in the future, here are some recommendations on how you can prepare:

  1. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney that specializes in immigration law.
  2. Request all of your records (criminal and immigration) to have them ready. Such as:
    • Border Detention Records (If you have been detained at the border or have a deportation order)
    • Criminal Record (if you have been arrested or cited by the police)
    • Immigration Record (If you have submitted an application with immigration in the past)

The records mentioned above need to be requested from several agencies which can take anywhere from 9 months to a year to receive. Which is why it is important to start requesting them now.

If the above does not apply to you, please see below:

If you have never been detained at the border, don’t have a deportation order, don’t have a criminal record or you have not submitted an application with immigration in the past. You can start gathering documents to prove: 

  1. Your physical presence in the United States and, 
  2. Good moral character letters or recognitions such as awards/certificates.

If you would like to consult with one of our attorneys, please contact our office at 213.200.1505 to schedule an appointment.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is Fully Restored!

Today, December 4, 2020, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn announced that he is fully restoring DACA to when it was first implemented by the Obama administration.

 

This means that individuals can apply for DACA for this first time, renew their DACA for 2 years and apply for advance parole.

 

His decision comes after finding that the acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was given his position unlawfully, which vacates the memo he drafted in July.

 

Judge Garaufis has ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to announce publicly on Monday that they will be accepting first time applications and ensure that work permits are valid for 2 years.

 

The past couple of years have been dark for our immigrant community under the Trump administration and it is exciting to see that things are finally turning around.

 

Today we celebrate and tomorrow we continue the fight!

 

If you have questions about DACA, we are more than happy to help. We will be offering FREE consultations with an attorney from December 7- December 11, 2020. This is the time to take action. Call us at 213.200.1505 to schedule your appointment.

 

 

What are the requirements to apply for the U Visa?

The U Visa – A Pathway to Residency for Certain Crime Victims and Their Family Members

For many undocumented immigrants in the United States, living in the shadows involves fearing the police due to the possibility that a police officer may call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to report them. As a result, immigrants that are victims of crime are afraid to report the crimes against them. Consequently, criminals are not punished and the crime goes unpunished.

In 2000, Congress decided to create and pass the U Visa to motivate immigrants to report crimes to the police without fear of being reported to ICE in order to reduce crime in their communities. An immigrant who is granted the U Visa as a principal applicant or as derivative will be granted legal status and a work permit for a period of four years. After three years of continuous physical presence in the US with the U Visa, the immigrant will be eligible to apply for legal residency.

How can you qualify?

To qualify for the U Visa, the immigrant must first prove the following:

  1. That you have been the victim of one of the eligible crimes.
  2. That you have suffered physical or mental abuse as a victim of the crime.
  3. The immigrant must have information about the crime (police report).
  4. Cooperate with the investigation.
  5. The crime must have occurred in the US, or it must have violated US laws.

The most common eligible U Visa crimes are domestic violence, assault with a weapon, and sexual assault. However, there are 28 crimes eligible for the U Visa.

What crimes qualify for the U Visa?

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes*†

*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.

†Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above.

What is the first step to start the U Visa application?  

  1. The first thing is to get the police report.
  2. Next, you must request the signature from the police department that took the police report for the U Certification. The police department checks to see if the crime is under the list of crimes that qualify for the U Visa and if you cooperated with the investigation.
  3. Upon obtaining the signature for the U Certification, you have 6 months to submit your application for the U Visa. It is very important to gather all the necessary documents to submit your application on time. We recommend that you speak with an immigration attorney.

If you would like to know if you qualify, don’t hesitate and call Franco Law Group. Our attorneys have experience submitting strong U Visa applications. With that said, for the month of November and December we are offering 25% off if you retain our office to request the U Certification if you have the police report. Call us today at 213.200.1505 to schedule your appointment.

300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan at the brink of losing their Temporary Protective Status (T.P.S) in the United States

Recent News

On Monday, September 14, 2020, a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came to the conclusion that the Trump administration has the right to end the Temporary Protective Status for over 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan. This means that 300,000 immigrants are at risk of deportation in 2021.

What is TPS?

Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990. It is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of specifically designated countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. It provides a work permit and stay of deportation to foreign nationals from those countries who are in the United States at the time the U.S. government makes the designation.

For decades each administration has allowed and extended the TPS designation to individuals living in the United States from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan due to the current country conditions. In doing so, immigrant families have been able to remain legally in the United States while establishing their lives and roots here. They have contributed to society and not to mention they have started their families here.

Now the question is, what happens next?

It is possible that the Trump administration may automatically deport those that have had a prior deportation order or have been detained at the border.

For those that have not been detained at the border nor have a prior deportation order, may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

Another possibility is that a TPS beneficiary can possibly be eligible to apply for their residency (“adjustment of status”) via a child that is a United States Citizen, 21 years or older or are married to a United States Citizen spouse. They may be eligible only if they live in the 9th circuit or 6th circuit, which includes the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

If you have TPS and are from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, or Sudan, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney to determine how you can prevent your deportation.

At Franco Law Group, we have experienced attorneys that are ready to help. For the month of September we are offering free consultation for individuals that have TPS. Call us today at (213)200-1505 to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys.

FAQ: REQUEST FOR FURTHER EVIDENCE/ INTENT TO DENY

What is Request for Further Evidence (RFE)? 

Typically, USCIS requests further evidence when the applicant has not submitted enough evidence to establish that they are eligible for the relief they are applying for or additional evidence is needed. 

This has been a very common response from the department of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for immigrants submitting residency, U-Visa, and citizenship applications. This administration has been using this tactic to delay even more the application process.

What is Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)?

If you receive a letter from immigration titled Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), USCIS is informing the applicant that USCIS intends to deny the application, but will give the applicant the opportunity to submit additional evidence or arguments to try to convince USCIS that a denial should not be issued.  

How will immigration notify me if I need to provide further evidence?

An RFE or NOID is usually in the form of a letter and is very specific as to the additional evidence USCIS requires.  Further, the letter will provide a specific deadline by which the additional evidence or arguments must be submitted.

What do I do if I received a letter from immigration titled Request for further Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)?

You must consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible as these notices have strict and short deadlines. During the consultation with an immigration attorney, the attorney can determine the specific evidence that is been requested, if any other evidence that was not requested that should also be submitted, and also to determine if any legal arguments must be made in support of the initial application or in response to the RFE or NOID.

What happens to my immigration case if I do not respond in time to the request for further evidence or notice of intent to deny from immigration?

A response to a RFE or NOID that is deemed insufficient or that is not filed by the required deadline will result in the denial of the immigrant’s initial application.  Further, under the guidelines of the administration of President Donald J. Trump, a USCIS denial will also likely result in the applicant being placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.  For these reasons, it is imperative that an immigrant consults with an immigration attorney if they receive a RFE or NOID from USCIS.

Who is the best attorney to hire to respond to USCIS’ request for further evidence or notice of intent to deny?

The attorneys at Franco Law Group are experienced in responding to RFEs and NOIDs and are available to assist you with your case. Call us today at 213.200.1505 to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. They will explain in detail what immigration is requesting, the process step by step, and what to expect.