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Oakland CA Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Expanded provisional waivers bring new opportunities- and dangers

USCIS announced a major expansion of its provisional waiver program for immigrant visa applicants beginning August 29th. The good news- many more people will be able to apply for provisional waivers. The bad news- the provisional waivers process will be riskier, especially for those who do not get proper legal advice.

TPS extended for El Salvador- must re-register by September 6, 2016

Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for El Salvador has been extended for another 18 months through March 9, 2018. The filing window for extension applications has already begun, and will continue until September 6, 2016. People who timely apply for the TPS extension are also eligible for automatic extensions of their work permits until March, 2017.

New California Law Will Help Many Avoid Harsh Immigration Consequences Of Drug Possession.

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new California law giving certain immigrants the right to withdraw a former plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) for possession of a controlled substance. To do so, defendants must prove that they successfully completed a deferred entry of judgment program and had their charges dismissed on or after January 1, 1997. They must also show that they will suffer the loss of certain benefits, such as immigration relief, because of the original plea. The law becomes effective January 1, 2016.

Coming Soon: Parole For Certain Family Members of Filipino World War II Veterans

On October 2, 2015, the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced that it is currently creating a new parole program that will help certain family members of Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans who are now United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. This program will allow eligible family members to request parole to come to the United States temporarily and provide support and care to our Filipino World War II veterans.

Visa bulletin changes- early filing, greater CSPA benefits too?

UPDATE- On September 25, 2015, the government moved the previously-announced application filing dates for several preference categories, reducing the number of people who can take advantage of this new system in October. While employment-based preference categories had the largest changes, first and third preference family-based categories for Mexicans also moved substantially.

Even Trump's immigration plan shows mass deportation will not work.

Much has been made of Donald Trump's statement that all non-citizens in the United States illegally "must go", an apparent call for mass deportations. It is hardly surprising, but I object to the proposal of mass deportations for many reasons. The humane, economic, legal, and societal damage of mass deportations would be huge.

El Noveno Circuito invalida "el límite de salida reglamentaria"

El mes pasado, el Noveno Circuito sostuvo en Toor v. Lynch que alguien que no es ciudadano todavía puede hacer algo para reabrir o reconsiderar su proceso de deportación después de haber salido de los Estados Unidos voluntariamente mientras que los procedimientos estén todavía pendientes.

DHS Announces TPS Nepal

The Department of Homeland Security has designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to assist citizens of Nepal affected by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 25, 2015. The designation will last 18 months, with potential for extension.

Socks, drugs, and removal: Supreme Court did NOT hold a sock cannot lead to deportation

This week's Supreme Court decision Mellouli v. Lynch has received a lot of media attention, likely because the premise- possession of sock as a deportable drug offense- sounds ridiculous at first. Because the Supreme Court overturned Mr. Mellouli's removal order, many stories have reported that a sock (or presumably any other innocuous item) will no longer lead to removal. Headlines on the case include, "Your Socks Can No Longer Get You Deported" (, "U.S. top court sides with immigrant deported for drugs in sock" (Reuters), and "SCOTUS rules sock not drug paraphernalia, not deportable offense" (MSNBC).

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