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Heartbreaking Deportation of Connecticut Mother

The Trump Administration continues its senseless and arbitrary deportations of longtime members of our communities, of people who have contributed to our neighborhoods, our schools, our restaurants, our shops, and our diversity. The administration forgets, or likely refuses to admit, that our economy and our culture depends on people who are willing to work hard at jobs that are difficult or impossible to fill, whether those jobs are high-tech jobs or home-cleaning jobs. US workers should not be displaced, however the reality is that US workers are not able to fill some jobs, such as high-tech jobs or rural physician jobs, or are unwilling to take other jobs, such as low-paying, grueling jobs such as cleaning our homes.

Read the story at http://wnpr.org/post/without-documentation-or-criminal-record-immigrant-mother-faces-deportation?utm_source=Recent%20Postings%20Alert&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=RP%20Daily.

I-751 Facing Lengthy Delays

In my practice, I represent many couples on removing conditions on residency, a requirement for conditional permanent residents who are married to US citizen less than two years at the time that they adjust status based on that marriage. To remove the conditions, clients must file Form I-751 with extensive supporting documents.

Currently, my clients are experiencing lengthy delays on their pending Forms I-751. Some of my clients face wait times of over one year, which is well over the published USCIS processing times for the form. The processing times are at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do;jsessionid=bacXD1OC9RCyFagQNRyeu

If you need to file Form I-751, remember to file it BEFORE the expiration of the current green card. If not, your case becomes much more complicated and you risk facing removal proceedings in immigration court.

Please contact me at ellen@ellensullivanlaw.com or 617-714-4375 if you would like to consult on your current pending I-751 or if you would like to discuss my representation on new cases relating to removal of conditions on residence.

Trump Cancels DAPA Plans

The current president’s Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, recently rescinded President Obama’s plan to extend protections to certain parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. See https://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/DHS_DAPA_061517.pdf. This change in policy is not a surprise. Instead it is another assault on immigrants who live long, lawful and productive lives in the United States of America and who are fundamental parts of our communities.

If you would like to discuss your current immigration status with an immigration attorney, please contact Attorney Ellen Sullivan at ellen@ellensullivanlaw.com or 617-714-4375.

 

US Embassies and Consulates To Ask For Social Media Information

For years, I have asked my clients about their social media. What names are listed on the social media? What countries, states, towns of residence are listed on social media? What employers are listed? Which friends and photos are connected to them via social media? All of that information can be, and has for years, been used by various US government agencies to determine a person’s eligibility for immigration benefits in the US or to the US.

The current administration is ramping up the government’s effort to use social media to “vet” immigrant and nonimmigrant applicants to the US. Sometimes this makes sense because social media can provide true information about a person. On the hand, often times, social media statements are hyperbole, exaggeration, or just plain misstatements. In those cases, it is unfair for the US government to use free-speech statements (intentional or not) and associations with others as bases for denying a truly eligible individual’s application for immigration benefits.

The Washington Post recently published an article about the current administration’s plan to use social media as a basis for vetting immigration applicants.

USCIS Extends Haitian TPS for Six Months; Re-Registration Required

USCIS extended TPS for eligible Haitian for six months. All currently enrolled Haitian TPS recipients MUST RE-REGISTER by July 24, 2017. The new registration will allow the applicant to apply for a new work permit (employment authorization document).

USCIS’s notice regarding the extension warns Haitian TPS recipients to “prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Haiti.” By November 22, 2017, USCIS “will re-evaluate the designation for Haiti and will determine whether another extension, a redesignation, or a termination is warranted” and will “determine whether Haiti’s TPS designation should continue.”

See USCIS notice (quoted above) at https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/temporary-protected-status-haiti-extended-six-months.

Proposed “Extreme Vetting” Topics

AILA recently posted the following information about DOS’s proposed supplemental questions for visa applications from certain nations:

 

The proposed questions includes (quoting from AILA below):

“[T]he new ‘extreme vetting’ questions for certain non-immigrants applying for visas through the consulates. State is requesting emergency review and approval from OMB by May 18, which would be valid for 180 days. Comments on the emergency request are due May 18th. Some key language from the notice is below:

The Department proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in an application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel;
  • Address history during the last fifteen years;
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years;
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant;
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings;
  • Name and dates of birth for all children;
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners;
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.

 

Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi).

Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation.” Quote from AILA.org, May 4, 2017.

Immigrants Successful In Challenging ICE Detention

Nationally, ICE is detaining immigrants who under previously administrations would not have been detained. For instance, spouses of US citizens who have filed for certain immigration benefits, for which they are eligible, are being detained at USCIS marriage interviews. While ICE has a legal argument for initial detention of these individuals, it often does not have a basis for continued detention. Moreover, in prior administrations, ICE did not detain individuals with valid immigration options for humanitarian reasons and also for economic reasons (that is, the wasted money of detaining an individual who will seek and win relief in bond proceedings).

Locally, three spouses of US citizens were detained in recent months at USCS in Lawrence. The New England Chapter of AILA reports that all three have been released through different means (one through attorney advocacy; another through a bond hearing in immigration court; and the final individual through a habeas corpus petition in federal court).

It is always smart to consult with an immigration attorney about your status. However, the current administration’s policies against immigrants makes it even more important that you talk with an immigration attorney about your status, especially before filing any applications with any government agency, before appearing at any hearing before a government agency, and before leaving the United States.

© Copyright 2014 Law Office of Ellen Sullivan, P.C. This website does not constitute a representation agreement with Attorney Sullivan or anyone else at the firm. The information on this website is not intended to, nor does it in fact, replace legal advice provided by an attorney in an attorney-client consultation. Please contact our office or another immigration attorney if you would like legal counsel. Sitemap

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