U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") recently published a troubling memorandum that will place more people in removal proceedings. This will be done by USCIS issuing what's known as a Notice to Appear ("NTA"), the government charging document that initiates removal proceedings.
In a decision issued today, Attorney General Sessions has upended over thirty years of precedent allowing immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals to administratively close proceedings. Now, there administrative closure is no longer available, with very limited exceptions. "Administrative closure" allows immigration courts to suspend cases in their discretion, for reasons such as pending applications outside of the court, grants of Temporary Protected Status, and when the ICE agreed to close the case because it was not an enforcement priority. Some cases have been administratively closed only a few months, others for decades.
Exciting news for certain children whose parents petitioned them who are waiting for a visa to become available! On February 14, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came down with an important decision in Rodriguez Tovar v. Sessions. The Ninth Circuit rejected the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA")'s decision in Matter of Zamora-Molina, 25 I. & N. Dec. 606 (BIA 2011), which held that when a Lawful Permanent Resident ("LPR") parent petitions his minor child, and that parent later naturalizes, the child's age is his biological age, not his statutory age. The Ninth Circuit in Rodriguez Tovar held the contrary, specifically that USCIS will calculate the child's age on his parent's naturalization date based on the Child Status Protection Act ("CSPA"), when deciding whether he is an immediate relative of his naturalized parent (meaning under 21 child of a U.S. citizen).
As Northern Californians begin to recover from recent fires, many immigrants will face additional hurdles including losing important immigration documents and potentially missing vital appointments. While these problems may not be the same as the loss of life or a home, we have seen clients harmed tremendously by the loss of documents or failure to maintain a current address with immigration agencies. For immigrants who have lost their homes or been forced to relocate, here are some key things to know.
On January 27, 2017, Donald Trump issued an executive order regarding immigration and national security. The order temporarily halts all entries of noncitizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States for 90 days. The government will then develop new permanent policies that may prohibit individuals from certain countries from entering the United States; however, as of now, it is unclear exactly what these policies will look like and which countries they will affect.
On September 22, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced that it would terminate Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for individuals from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone on May 21, 2017. Now is a good time for individuals from these countries who currently have TPS to explore their immigration options before their TPS protection ends next May.
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.
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.
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.
Last month, the Ninth Circuit held in Toor v. Lynch that a noncitizen can still move to reopen or reconsider his or her removal proceedings after departing the United States voluntarily while the proceedings are still pending.