Will the Supreme Court Kill Immigration Reform?

immigration reform

immigration reform

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a sweeping plan for executive action on immigration reform.

His program would shield an estimated 5 million immigrants from deportation, including young immigrants known as “Dreamers” who were brought here illegally as children.

The measures would also allow the parents of United States citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for work permits and secure a reprieve from deportation.

Shortly after the announcement, 26 states filed a lawsuit claiming the program constitutes an impermissible overreach of Obama’s executive authority as president.  The states won an injunction which blocks the President from moving forward with his plans.

The immigration reform measures remain on hold while the states and the executive branch fight it out in court.

This month the U.S. Supreme Court finally decided to take up the case.  Oral arguments will begin this spring and a ruling should be issued in June.

The Supreme Court’s decision will either clear the way for immigration reform to go forward this year or effectively kill any chance of reform being enacted before a new president takes office.

The fate of over 11 million immigrants hangs in the balance . . . .

Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan

temporary protected status

South SudanDHS has redesignated South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for that country from May 3, 2016, through November 2, 2017, due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in South Sudan that prevent its nationals from safely returning.

These actions will allow eligible nationals of South Sudan (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the notice published today in the Federal Register.

To extend your TPS, you must re-register during a 60-day re-registration period that runs from January 25, 2016, through March 25, 2016.  Beneficiaries should re-register as soon as possible.

To obtain TPS, you may apply for TPS during a 180-day initial registration period that runs from January 25, 2016, through July 25, 2016.

 

 

How To Prepare for (and Get the Most Out of) Your Immigration Assessment

Immigration Assessment

Immigration AssessmentTo help you prepare for (and get the most out of) your Immigration Assessment, you should take the following five steps:

1.  Take Care of the Basics

If your appointment is on Skype, be on the lookout for our contact request and confirm it prior to our start time.  If your appointment is in our office, the address is 5601 Democracy Drive, Suite 200, Plano, TX 75024.  We are on the second floor, Suite 200 (shared with Reimbursement Counselors).  If your appointment is by telephone, I’ll call you at the designated start time.

2.  Prepare a List of Questions

Write down a list of questions you want to ask us about your immigration situation.  Bring the list to your appointment and be ready to take notes.  Questions that most people ask include:  How long will make case take?  What are the legal fees?  Are there any government fees I need to pay?

3.  Gather Your Case Documents

If this is your first immigration case, you may not have any documents to gather.  If you are a foreign national, you’ll need to bring your passport if you have one.  If you would like me to review a problem with a case you already filed, you’ll need to bring a copy of any petitions or applications you filed and all correspondence from the government immigration agencies.

4. Set Aside Time for Your Appointment

Add your appointment to your calendar and be sure to allow enough time to get to our office if you are appearing in person.  Traffic is insane in Plano during rush hour, so give yourself extra time if you are arriving around 8:00 AM or 5:00 PM.

Your Immigration Assessment will last for up to 50 minutes only, so please be on time and ready to go at your appointment start time.

5.  Relax

For many of you, this will be your first meeting with a law firm.  Remember we are here to help you.  To get the most out of our meeting, you should relax.  Do not be afraid to ask questions and take notes.  We will need to ask you a number of questions to determine your best course of action.  Be honest and upfront.  It is important that you feel comfortable with us in order for us to work together.

We look forward to meeting you!

Wendy

Houses Passes Visa Waiver Program Overhaul

visa waiver program

visa waiver programToday the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would overhaul the federal visa waiver program and bar those from Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Sudan, or those who have visited those countries in the last five years from travelling to the United States without first receiving a visitor visa.

 Because the visa waiver program is based on reciprocal legislation, this could affect the ability of American citizens to travel to European nations without a visa.

The House bill also excludes from the program anyone who traveled to countries alleged to be supporting terrorism within the past five years, without sufficient authority to waive revocation for those who clearly pose no threat.

This bill is over-broad and unfairly targets American citizens with family and ethnic ties to the Middle East.

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Haiti

TPS_Haiti_En

TPS_Haiti_En

The Department of Homeland Security has announced Temporary Protected Status extended for Haiti.  The extended designation will be effective on January 23, 2016 and will expire on July 22, 2017.

Current TPS Haiti beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day period that runs from August 25, 2015, through October 26, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Haiti beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 22, 2017. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Haiti EADs bearing a Jan. 22, 2016, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through July 22, 2016.

Don’t delay in submitting your re-registration application, as cases filed after October 26, 2015 may be denied.   If your TPS expires, you will lose the ability to remain in the United States.