Immigration and Firm News

CNN reports on a heartbreaking story Dangerous path to legal status about a young woman, Tanya Nava, who applied for her immigrant visa or green card at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, and now regrets that she ever did. Her husband, Jake Reyes-Neal, an American citizen and father of their child, had sponsored Tanya, only to be killed in the process while waiting with his wife to get her visa. Because Ms. Nava evidently had been in the U.S. illegally since she was a young girl, her physical … [Read more...]

Washington State appears poised in the next few days to be the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. It would go into effect on June 7, 2012. Assuming expected legal and referendum challenges fail, what would that mean for immigrant couples? Visas and Green Cards for Binational Couples Unfortunately, it will still be impossible to obtain a green card or permanent residence through sponsorship by a gay or lesbian US citizen or permanent resident spouse until Congress … [Read more...]

Today, I attended a USCIS Public Engagement Teleconference at which USCIS and State Department officials provided further details about the January 6, 2012 USCIS Notice of Intent to issue regulations, discussed in my earlier blog post, USCIS Proposes Stateside Processing of I-601 Waivers: Know Before You Go?. Recapping briefly the USCIS proposal, regulation will be issued for public comment describing new procedures for how and where immigrant visa applicants will file their waiver applications … [Read more...]

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a "Notice of Intent" that it is considering issuing a rule change to allow a narrow class of specified immigrant visa applicants to process their I-601 waivers of inadmissibility in the U.S. This means that they would have a provisional decision about their waiver eligibility BEFORE they leave the U.S. to complete interviews at U.S. consulates abroad. The rule itself has not been issued. There will most likely be a period for … [Read more...]

Most people are confused about green card quotas and how they impact application processing times. Permanent immigration through a relative or work can take many, many years. This is because our legal immigration visa allocation system was established in 1965 and has only been amended a few times since, mostly dealing with how unused numbers spill into other categories. In 1965, Congress changed the visa allocation system from race based to country based calculations, designed in part to … [Read more...]

How do our immigration laws help (or hurt) our members of the military and their families? There are several programs that expedite citizenship for those who have honorably served in the military. Other programs help families with lawful permanent residence (green cards) and expedited citizenship. This firm has had the honor to handle a number of military related immigration and citizenship cases. Even the show "Army Wives" has an episode devoted to the issue of immigration problems of a … [Read more...]

On February 23, 2011, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, indicating the Administration's decision not to further defend Section 3 of the Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA) in two pending cases, Windsor v. United States, No. 1:10-cv-8435 (S.D.N.Y.) and Pedersen v. OPM, No. 3:10-cv-1750 (D. Conn.) Although the general rule in immigration law is that the U.S. must honor the laws of the place where marriages (deaths, births and divorces) take … [Read more...]

In a few earlier posts, I discussed how the permanent immigration quota system works, or doesn't work because of its impact on illegal immigration. In my recent post, Why Don't They Just Come Legally? - Myths Part II, I mention that two of the causes of illegal immigration are due to there being no lines for legal visas to get into in the first place because there are no categories for certain employment and family categories. And, in cases where there are applicable categories, the lines can … [Read more...]

The U.S. State Department announced today that the family-based permanent legal immigration quota will retrogress in January. The State Department makes monthly estimates about visa use around the world through an extremely complex formula that hardly anyone understands. Although the State Department posts a brief explanation online, it does not adequately reflect the true complex nature of calculating when visas are available. Not only does the State Department have to monitor how many … [Read more...]

Anchor Babies - The Myth "Anchor Baby" is a derogatory term and a figment of imagination. Anchor for what? Nativists believe that immigrants come to the US to "drop babies" so they can bestow an immigration benefit upon the parents. This is pure nonsense and not the law or fact! There are no immigration categories in our present system that allow a U.S. born child under 21 to sponsor his or her parents! Under current law, whether the parents entered legally or illegally, they will have to … [Read more...]