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Immigration Tag

Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. > Posts tagged "Immigration"

USCIS Policy Alert: Good Moral Character

Policy Alert USCIS

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy alert today to give practitioners guidance on how certain “unlawful acts” could impact a person’s ability to naturalize. A person can become a naturalized United States citizen after establishing 3-5 years as a Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) or through military service. A person must also be eighteen years old and have “good moral character” (GMC) to complete the naturalization process. The policy alert mentioned above concerns the GMC element of the naturalization process. USCIS policy now states that the commission of, or conviction or imprisonment for, an unlawful...

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Domestic Violence & Immigration

Domestic Violence

According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”), on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men across the United States. The prevalence of domestic violence is an unfortunate but real factor for many people. Some of the people experiencing this do not have immigration status in the United States, meaning that they are not lawfully present here. Some people can obtain status in the United States through the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA....

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Master versus Individual Hearing – What’s the Difference?

Master Hearing

Many people in removal proceedings do not realize the different types of hearings that will take place during the removal process. If you appear at an Immigration Court in front of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, chances are you are appearing for your master calendar hearing. These “master hearings” are one of the most common functions of an immigration court and are usually the first hearings a person in removal proceedings has in front of an Immigration Judge. These hearings are typically to check on the status of a case, to review the charges the government is bringing against...

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ICE & Form I-9 Audits

Audit of Form I-9

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents descended on chicken plants and other businesses in Mississippi after an investigation into alleged illegal practices by employers and employees. Part of the raid included the companies Form I-9’s being taken and reviewed by ICE agents to ensure their accuracy and compliance with federal law. Agents from ICE take custody of the employer’s documents by auditing them and assessing criminal charges or monetary fines based on inaccuracies. Employers across the Nation should be familiar with the Form I-9 to protect themselves and their businesses from a potential ICE audit. In 2018, ICE served more...

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Notice to Appear – What’s the Big Deal?

Notice to Appear Immigration

The United States government initiates removal proceedings through a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). The Immigration and Nationality Act governs what the NTA must contain in Section 239 of the Act. The NTA is what alerts someone of the charges the government is bringing against them. All NTAs must state the nature of the proceedings, meaning what conduct the government is alleging that gives them the authority to remove them from the United States. The NTA must also state the legal authority governing the proceedings. This means the government must point to specific sections of the law that describe how the...

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How Do Most People End Up In Removal Proceedings?

Removal Proceedings

At the end of the third quarter of 2019, the Executive Office for Immigration Review released statistics showing that their agency had a backlog of over 930,311 cases. Almost all of these people had dealings with a branch of the Department of Homeland Security at one point or another. DHS has three different offices dealing with immigration and enforcement, and those are U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Each of these sub-agencies serves a different function, but any of the three can issue a Notice to Appear,...

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What To Do After You Missed Your Immigration Hearing

Immigration Hearing

Thousands of people appear for hearings in front of the Executive Office of Immigration Review daily. Many of those people drive long distances requiring them to wake up well before dawn to ensure they make it to their hearing. The importance of attending your hearing cannot be overstated, because if you miss your hearing you may be ordered removed “in absentia.” The term “in absentia” is a way of saying you failed to appear at the hearing, so the Immigration Judge can order your removal. If you miss your hearing, depending on the reason why you missed it, you could have...

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Right To A Lawyer In Removal Proceedings

Right to Lawyer

According to the Immigration Court Practice Manual, the government has no duty to provide a lawyer to anyone in removal proceedings. The government will provide someone in removal proceedings a list of pro-bono legal providers or non-profits that they can contact to ask for representation, but the government will not provide counsel for anyone facing deportation. Also, some state bar associations have sub-committees or sub-sections that offer free legal assistance to those in immigration proceedings. Many people are confused by this because, in the criminal context, you have a right to be represented by a lawyer. This means the government will...

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What Are Removal Proceedings?

Removal

If you or a loved one are in removal proceedings, it means the federal government is trying to deport you from the United States. Deportation means the government will physically remove you from the United States. Sometimes, the proceedings can look and feel like a criminal trial, but removal proceedings are civil in nature. This means that the Immigration Judge cannot sentence you to serve a sentence in federal prison. An Immigration Judge can, however, order you to be removed from the United States after the proceedings. Removal proceedings occur under the administration of the Department of Justice or DOJ. The...

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Social Media & Immigration

Social Media and Immigration

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced in the Federal Register that they would soon begin collecting social media user identifications, such as a person’s usernames, identifiers, or handles. DHS announced in the rule that they would not collect any passwords. Finally, the Applicant would only be forced to disclose any social media user identifications that they have used in the past five years. The Department also stated the reasoning behind this increase in the collection of data was to help validate an applicant’s identity information and to determine whether such travel or grant of a benefit...

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