Victory for Young Immigrants in NY: Judge Upholds Age Requirement for Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) Status
March 15, 2019
The law states that individuals under 21 years old may be eligible to receive Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status, but many young immigrants were still denied at the age of 18-20. While the law did NOT change, the Trump Administration changed the way it was interpreting the law.
In a major class action lawsuit in New York, the plaintiffs alleged that DHS, USCIS, and individual officers of those agencies adopted a new policy without notice, and that prior to this policy change, the plaintiffs’ SIJ applications would have been granted.
The Court agreed with the plaintiffs and found the new policy was in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and summary judgement was granted.
As a result, SIJ applicants that are 18-20 years old will no longer be denied due to age.
If you were recently denied SIJ status or interested in applying, please contact us online or call 800-223-2814 .
DHS Preserves, Extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Four Countries
March 1, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Federal Register notice titled, “Continuation of Documentation for Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status Designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador.” These countries were previously scheduled by DHS to lose TPS designation.
The validity of TPS-related documentation for nationals of the four countries will be automatically extended through January 2, 2020, which includes employment authorization documents.
TPS for the four countries will remain in place until further notice and the DHS will not terminate the TPS designations of the four countries until there is a final, non-appealable judicial order that would permit DHS to do so.
Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP will continue to provide updates on TPS designations and related developments.
USCIS Announces Updates to Civics Test Answers
January 4, 2019
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced updates to four answers on the U.S. history and government (civics) test for those seeking naturalization as U.S. citizens. The updated answers to the following questions are effective immediately.
Question 20 – Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?
- Answer – Give the name of one of your state’s current U.S. senators. For a list of current members, please visit senate.gov. Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. senators.]
Question 23 – Name your U.S. Representative.
- Answer – Give the name of your current U.S. representative. For a list of current members, please visit house.gov. Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting delegates or resident commissioners may provide the name of that delegate or commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) representatives in Congress.]
Question 43 – Who is the Governor of your state now?
- Give the name of your state’s current governor. For a list of current governors, please visit usa.gov/states-and-territories. Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a governor]
Question 47 – What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
- The House of Representatives generally elects the speaker of the House on the first day of every new Congress. The answer may change after the election. Give the name of the current speaker of the House. Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the speaker of the House of Representatives.
If you have questions on the updated answers or would like to meet with a lawyer, please contact us online or call 800-223-2814 .
Source: READ MORE >>
Public Charge Proposed Regulations Summary
October 10, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security has issued proposed regulations that would redefine the meaning of the legal term “public charge” to reject immigrants applying for an immigrant visa (green card), or a temporary visa if they have previously accessed or are deemed likely to rely on certain forms of public assistance in the future. This proposed rule would make it more difficult for legal immigrants coming to the U.S. and likely will continue to have a chilling effect on immigrant families, who are eligible for assistance, and are contributing to America every day at work and in their communities. The proposed rule was published on October 10, 2018, with public comments accepted until December 10, 2018.
If you have questions about the proposed “public charge” rule and want to speak with a skilled New York immigration attorney, please contact us online or call 800-223-2814 .
Source: READ MORE >>
USCIS Using Tablets to Administer the English Reading and Writing Tests for Naturalization
October 3, 2018
On October 1, USCIS began using digital tablets to administer the English reading and writing tests during naturalization interviews as part of the agency’s ongoing business modernization efforts. Although USCIS applicants already use digital tablets to sign or verify parts of their applications, this new approach expands tablet usage, allowing the device to be used for a greater portion of the application process. USCIS will be able to continue using the paper process on a case-by-case basis.
While the eligibility requirements and the subject material of the naturalization test have not changed, applicants are now using a stylus on a digital tablet instead of a paper application. Immigration Services Officers (ISO) will carefully instruct applicants on how to use the tablets before administering the tests:
- For the reading test, a sentence will appear on the tablet and the ISO will ask the applicant to read it.
- For the writing test, several lines will appear on the tablet, replicating the appearance of a piece of blank paper. The ISO will read a sentence aloud and ask the applicant to write it on the tablet.
Applicants will continue to take the civics test verbally, without the tablet.
If you have questions about the new digital tablets during naturalization interviews, please contact us online or call 800-223-2814 to speak to an immigration lawyer today.
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Trump’s Travel Ban
June 26, 2018
In a 5-to-4 ruling today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries. This is the Supreme Court’s first major ruling on the Trump administration policy.
The travel ban has been in place since December 2017 and today’s ruling lifts the legal cloud surrounding the travel ban policy.
The ban prevents travel to the U.S. from the following 5 Muslim countries and 2 non-Muslim countries:
- North Korea
- Venezuela (government officials and their families)
A sixth majority Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list in April after improving “its identity-management and information sharing practices,” Trump said.
The travel ban has created a lot of concern and uncertainty in the immigrant community here in New York City and across the nation. If you are planning to travel internationally or you are preparing for a visit from people who live in a country listed above, you should consider reaching out to a lawyer first.
If you have questions about the ban and what it means for you and your family, contact us online or call 800-223-2814 to schedule an appointment with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer.
Source: READ MORE >>
Recent Supreme Court Decision Affects Non-citizens’ from Deportation/Removal
June 21, 2018
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision that will benefit many thousands of persons who are in removal/deportation proceedings, who have been ordered to leave the U.S., or who have already been deported. Persons who are subject to a prior removal order or who have been found deportable from the U.S. may be eligible for various forms of relief from deportation pursuant to this decision, including Cancellation of Removal (“10 year law”), Adjustment of Status and Voluntary Departure. Because of this decision, even those with long-standing orders of deportation may be able to reopen their cases to apply for relief.
If you believe this applies to your case, or you have relatives who might be eligible, you should contact our firm for further information.
Source: READ MORE >>
Jeff Sessions Ruled Immigration Judges to End Administrative Closures
May 21, 2018
On May 17, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ruled that immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals do not have the general authority to indefinitely suspend cases through administrative closures. The decision applies nationwide – though we can expect it will be challenged in the federal courts.
Immigration judges use administrative closures to indefinitely pause lower-level deportation cases and help manage their caseload. With Session’s decision, judges will be forced to keep long-pending cases on their active dockets that will contribute to the already massive backlog of immigration cases. Although Sessions ended administrative closure for future cases, regulations will permit the practice in a limited number of cases. As for the current 350,000 administratively closed cases, we can expect these cases to gradually make their way back onto court dockets in the next few weeks and months through motions by the government. READ MORE >>
Filing Initial DACA Applications May Be Allowed
April 24, 2018
AILA updated its practice alert on filing DACA applications in light of an April 24, 2018, district court ruling that held that DHS’s decision to rescind DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and vacated the termination of the program. This decision differs from previous court rulings because it would affect new applications, but it is on hold for 90 days. As a result, there are no new changes to the program as of now.
Please contact our New York DACA attorneys if you have any questions regarding the latest DACA development at 800-223-2814 .
A Rule is Changed for Young Immigrants, and Green Card Hopes Fade
April 18, 2018
As a child, Y. says she was beaten by her father with ropes and cables in Honduras.
J. says he was forced into labor in Burkina Faso.
R., who was born in the Dominican Republic, says she was neglected by her mother and abandoned by her father.
All three applied for something known in immigration law as Special Immigrant Juvenile status, which lets children under the age of 21 who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both parents obtain a green card. But in the last several weeks, all three, living in New York, were denied because of an unannounced policy reversal by the Trump administration.
Under the new interpretation, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said that applicants in New York who were over 18, but not yet 21, when they began the application process no longer qualify. READ MORE >>
For legal assistance, contact our New York Special Immigrant Juvenile Status lawyers at 800-223-2814 .
USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Cap
April 6, 2018
USCIS has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.
The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the FY 2019 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
If you have any questions, please contact our office at 800-223-2814 .
Supreme Court Ruling Means Immigrants Could Continue To Be Detained Indefinitely
February 27, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.
It’s a profound loss for those immigrants appealing what are sometimes indefinite detentions by the government. Many are held for long periods of time — on average, 13 months — after being picked up for things as minor as joyriding. Some are held even longer. READ MORE >>
If a loved one is detained, contact our elite New York deportation lawyers at 800-223-2814 .