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Contact Us: (617) 714-4375

June 2019

Maine ACLU Obtains US Border Patrol Training on Transportation Checks

Maine ACLU Obtains CBP Training on CBP Transportation Checks

The US Border Patrol routinely uses “transportation checks” as a means for investigating the immigration status of individuals it accidentally or purposefully encounter. The document above describes the law that arguably allows for stops anywhere within 100 miles of a US border. In Maine and other states along the Canadian border, much of the state is within 100 miles. Because of this, the US Border Patrol can set up transportation stops on highways for the purpose of conducting “consensual” checks of drivers’ and passengers’ immigration status. Also, as discussed in the attached document, the US Border Patrol can enter buses and conduct “consensual”  checks of identity and immigration status. The training manual states that the US Border Patrol does NOT have to inform individuals of their right to refuse to answer questions, and most people do NOT know of this constitutional right. Individuals without immigration status are in a Catch 22. Regardless of their constitutional rights including the right to refuse to answer questions, if they do not answer questions, it is likely that the US Border Patrol will find a way to change the encounter from “consensual” to probable-cause based, and thereby will require cooperation and disclosure of identity.


If you have questions about your immigration status, about ways to possibly fix your immigration status, or about your constitutional rights in encounters with law enforcement officials, contact my office to set up a consultation with Attorney Ellen Sullivan. The initial consultation is scheduled for 55 minutes, with a charge of $200 that you may pay by cash, check or credit card.


Uncertain processing times of I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization

Many of my clients feel frustrated right now because of the uncertain and often slow processing times for USCIS benefits. One of the most significant problems is with I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, aka “work permit.” Many of my clients file for “work permits” in conjunction with I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status (“green card”). Historically, the work permit took under 90 days to process, and if it did not, I could advocate on behalf of my client to get the card processed. Now, the cards are taking three, four, five months and even longer. Importantly, I can no longer go to the local USCIS office to request that the work permit application be expedited due to slow processing or due to a client’s offer of employment. In many cases, work permits are not decided before my clients “green card” interviews. Last month, two clients received the actual work permits in the mail AFTER they received their green cards! (The work permits are not necessary and in fact are invalid once the “green card” is approved.)


USCIS publishes “processing times” on its website, but in the past year or so, I have found that information to be unreliable. In addition to publishing processing time dates, the USCIS website publishes a “case inquiry” date, which if often months or a year after the processing time date. That means that even if a case is outside the normal processing time, we cannot complain until the case reaches the “case inquiry” date.


If you have questions about your current pending case/s, consult an immigration attorney. I meet with new clients on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in my Cambridge office or via telephone. The charge for the initial 55-minute consultation is $200.

© 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