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.

Help for Immigrant Families During COVID-19

We are currently living during uncertain times due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people have been affected by falling ill, losing their jobs, and overall the uncertainty of not knowing when everything will get better. Amongst the ones affected are immigrant families who have been struggling to receive medical assistance due to the financial burden it will cause and also not having access to financial resources due to their immigration status. Many have lost their jobs leaving them without any financial resources to stay afloat. They find themselves in desperate times not having the funds to buy food, pay their bills or their rent, just like many of us. 

Stimulus Check

In April, millions of Americans received a stimulus check of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. However, this stimulus bill did not include immigrant families or spouses of Unites States Citizens even though they pay billions in taxes each year. According to Americas Voice Education Fund, immigrants paid $405.4 billion in taxes in 2017, including an estimated $27.2 billion in taxes paid by undocumented immigrants. Immigrant families have found themselves at a loss and alone with the lack of resources they have to aid them during this pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the lack of resources the immigrant community has access to, California Governor Gavin Newsom, made a decision to help the immigrant community by providing financial assistance through the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI).  California is providing state funded assistance one time to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. 

The California Department of Social Services has selected twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household.

This assistance means a lot for immigrant families. It is rewarding to witness our governor and many non-profit organizations coming together to aid the immigrant community during this pandemic crisis.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by California’s Department of Social Services

Who do I contact to apply for the disaster relief assistance for immigrants?

If you live in the County of Los Angeles/Orange please contact:

  1. CHIRLA (213) 201-8700 or (213) 395-9547
  2. CARECEN (213) 315-2659 (LA County ONLY)

If you live in the County of San Bernardino/Riverside please contact:

  1. San Bernardino Community Service Center (909) 521-7535 or
  2. TODEC Legal Center (888) 863-3291

If you live in San Diego County please contact:

  1. Jewish Family Service Center of San Diego (760) 206-3242

If your county is not listed please visit this page to see the full list of organizations based on your county https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesou…/immigration/covid-19-drai.

How can I apply for assistance if I am undocumented?

CDSS published the list of the nonprofit organizations that were selected to administer the disaster relief assistance in the various regions of California here: COVID-19 Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants. Individuals who are interested in applying for this assistance should contact the nonprofit organization listed for their county from May 18- June 30th

Interested applicants must contact the organization for their county directly to inquire about assistance availability. The nonprofit organization will assist individuals with the application process, confirm their eligibility, and deliver a payment card to approved applicants. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis.

Funding is limited, and disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed.

How do I qualify for the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)?

Eligible individuals must be able to provide information that they:

(1) are an undocumented adult (person over the age of 18)

(2) are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like the CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits; and,

(3) have experienced a hardship as a result of COVID-19.

What documents do I need to apply for DRAI?

You must provide information/documents to verify your:

  1. identity,
  2. home/mailing address,
  3. and show you have been affected by COVID-19. 

Contact the organizations listed for your county or region for more information about the application process and the documents required (CHIRLA).

Will receiving assistance from DRAI affect my possibility in obtaining my residency (green card) in the United States?

This disaster relief assistance is not means-tested and is one-time assistance. The federal government does not list this assistance as a public benefit for a public charge consideration. However, USCIS has not issued specific guidance related to this assistance.

If there are questions about immigration status and this assistance project, please contact Franco Law Group at 213.200.1505 to schedule your consultation with an immigration attorney. Consultation is offered at a discounted price of $25.

If I am approved for DRAI how will I receive the funds?

If a person is found eligible and their application is approved, the nonprofit organization that helped them apply will provide additional information on how they will receive their payment card either through in-person pick-up or through the mail.

When is the last day to apply for DRAI?

Applicants will be considered on a first come, first served basis. The $75 million in direct assistance will be distributed to individuals with approved applications beginning on May 18, 2020, until the funding is spent or until June 30, 2020, at the latest.