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February 2015

US Government Tries to Continue expanded-DACA and DAPA roll-out despite injunction

A Texas federal district court issued an injunction against the US government from implementing its expanded-DACA and new DAPA programs. In response, the US governmentn filed an emergency request to stay that injunction. If the US’s order is granted, then it would be able to begin to receive expanded-DACA applications.

AILA maintains frequent updates about this issue. Check out AILA’s website for more information about this issue and other immigration issues.

Marijuana Law at AILA Conference

This week, I’m working on final drafts of an article that will be presented at the AILA National Conference in Washington, DC in June. The article and the June presentation discusses how, and if, non-US citizens in the US can exercise their state rights to use marijuana medically and, in Colorado and Washington, recreationally. This is a fascinating example of conflict of laws that has drastic, if not devastating, effects on immigrants who choose to use state-legal marijuana.

Any non-US citizen immigrant should think carefully before using marijuana in states where it is legal. Remember that state-legal marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Violations of federal drug laws can result in loss of immigration status, revocation of US visas, removal from the US, and denial of applications for adjustment of status (green cards) and citizenship.

Hopes Dashed for Work Permits and Legal Status

Many immigrants and supporters of the immigrant community received a wonderful 2014 Thanksgiving gift from President Obama–expanded DACA, the new DAPA program, and other changes in immigration policies. However, this week, hopes were dashed for many immigrants in Massachusetts and throughout the country. See a recent Boston Globe article about Boston immigrants’ responses to this dramatic court order.

As the week wraps up, I have files on my desk containing applications that cannot be filed. My clients, their families, and I are all disheartened by this unjust turn of events. I have hope that the application process will open up again soon. Until then, immigrants can still prepare applications, but must not submit them until USCIS provides further guidance on its response to the injunction against filing expanded DACA applications.


Federal District Court Blocks USCIS Implementation of Expanded DACA

The USCIS website recently reported: “Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 as originally planned. The court’s temporary injunction, issued February 16, does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012.”

This means that President Obama’s executive action on immigration is being challenged by the courts, and that those challenges are delaying some immigrants’ ability to access immigration benefits that have lawfully been made available to them. If you planned on applying for expanded DACA, please check USCIS frequently for updates and/or consult your immigration attorney about this unfortunate turn of events.

Tips: What to Wear to Court

It is common knowledge that when attending court, you should dress respectfully. What isn’t common knowledge is what dressing respectfully entails. In general, respectful clothing for court includes clothing that is modest, clean and that fits you well. The goal is to allow the judge to notice you and your message, not your appearance. Below are court attire tips for anyone attending a court hearing or USCIS interview.
You should wear business attire, such as a suit, dress pants with a formal shirt and blazer, dress, or skirt with a blouse, sweater or button-up shirt. If you decide to wear a skirt, make sure that it is no more than two inches above your knee. You should match your outfit with business casual, clean shoes.
Other general tips:
  • Do not wear heavy make up
  • Wear a shirt with a modest neckline
  • Steer clear of distracting jewelry
  • Pull your hair back so that it is out of your face
  • Tuck in your shirt
  • Keep cologne to a minimum
  • Remove visible piercings
  • Cover up visible tattoos

You Should Never Wear:

  • Shorts
  • Hats
  • Sleeveless, see-through, or halter tops
  • Flip flops, sandals, or sneakers
  • Clothing that exposes your midriff
  • Ripped or torn jeans
  • Baggy pants that fall below your hips
  • Clothing that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity

Remember that you are trying to convince the judge or officer that you respect the importance of hearing or interview. Let your appearance reflect that respect.

© 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