Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Ask the Attorney: I had an interview on my naturalization application eight months ago, and still have not received a decision. What can I do?
Some people worry that by suing immigration they are in some way angering the individuals who are deciding their case. This is not true. Immigration will not take “revenge” on you for suing them by denying your application. They cannot deny your application unless they have a valid reason for doing so. If you or someone you know are in this situation, contact zwaik.com for more information.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The report reported that 58 percent of detainees did not have criminal records. This is surprising considering mandatory detention laws are intended to apply largely to criminal aliens. The report found that the most serious convictions for 20 percent of detainees were for traffic related offenses, and that more than 400 detainees without criminal records had been held for a year or more. The report also found that 950 persons had been detained for more than six months after receiving a final removal order, despite a Supreme Court decision holding that removal in most cases must occur within six months. Also, and equally surprising is that ICE is detaining these non-criminal detainees at an average cost of $141 per night compared to the $13 per night it costs to hold detainees at an alternate detention program.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Center’s report is a result of several months of investigations on Long Island. The report not only relied on news media accounts and public records, but also extensive interviews and statements from local residents. Based on this extensive investigation, the report found that “Latino immigrants in Suffolk County live in fear, and that political leaders in the county have done little to discourage the hatred, and some have actively fanned the flames.” The Report cited disturbing instances of immigrants being beaten with baseball bats, attacked with BB guns, and being run off the road while riding bicycles.
Monday, August 31, 2009
New Guidance for Surviving Spouses of U.S. Citizens Who are Eligible for Deferred Action and Work Authorization
USCIS today issued guidance for surviving spouses of
The program allows for the surviving spouses to include their qualifying children in their deferred action request. To be considered a “qualifying child” of a surviving spouse, the child must be younger than age 21, or otherwise qualify as a child when the deferred action request is submitted; currently reside in the
Eligible Applicants will need to submit the Form I-360 with the requisite $375 filing fee as well as the Form I-765 with its $340 filing fee. For help in determining if you qualify for this benefit, go to www.zwaik.com to contact your local immigration lawyer.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
In this announcement Morton stated that their top priority in the fugitive operations program will be to concentrate on convicted criminals. This announcement is a break from the policy in recent years which lead to the widely publicized home arrests, and sweeps which were often accused of violating individual’s constitutional rights. A report by the Migration Policy Institute shows that 74% of the nearly 97,000 people arrested by those teams between 2003 and 2008 did not have criminal records.
Morton stated in his announcement that hard quotas don’t make sense, and that he is not signaling in any way that we are not going to enforce the law against noncriminal fugitives.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A “no match letter” is a notice sent by Social Security when their records show a discrepancy between a person’s name and social security number submitted by employers on their W-2 Forms and the information in SSA databases. If Social Security finds the combination is not a match, then they send no match letters in order to inform the employer of the mismatch. There are many reasons why a person’s information my not “match-up” including name changes, clerical error’s, or invalid social security numbers.
In August of 2007, DHS took the position that receipt of these letters required the employer to undertake verification procedures or risk criminal prosecution. Two weeks after DHS announced their now policy, the district court granted a restraining order, preventing DHS from enforcing the policy. The Court found that these notices were unduly prejudicial, and that DHS exceeded its authority in their interpretation of the anti-discrimination laws.
As a result of the Court’s decision, and due to DHS’s improvement of their online verification system, DHS has announced they will rescind their August 2007 No-Match Rule. This means employers should no longer feel obligated to respond to these no match letters, but should instead concentrate on orientating themselves with these new online verification programs.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I have a girlfriend in Brazil and we are thinking about getting married. What is the best way to bring her to the United States?
U.S. immigration law permits a U.S. citizen to obtain a fiance visa for a foreign national to come to the U.S. The visa (a "K-1") requires the individual to come to the U.S. and marry the sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The procedures call for the filing of an application with the USCIS, which when approved is forwarded to the U.S. consulate in the fiance's home country. The fiance is interviewed by the consulate and issued the visa to come to the U.S. After the couple are married in the U.S., the foreign born spouse files an application for a green card in the U.S. It generally takes about 6-8 months between the filing of the initial application with USCIS and the issuance of the K-1 at the consulate. After arrival in the U.S., it will take another 4-6 months to obtain approval of the green card.
For more information about obtaining a fiance visa visit us www.zwaik.com
Friday, July 24, 2009
In order to qualify for asylum, abused women will need to show not only that they were abused in their home country but that their country either has a culture of tolerating abuse, or that the government is incapable of protecting them. The women will also need to prove that they are unable to escape the abuse in their own country.
If you or somebody you know who falls into this category, please contact zwaik.com for further guidance.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter stunned the political world on Tuesday by announcing he was switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democratic. The switch may create a “filibuster proof” Senate that will allow President Obama to more forward on key issues including health care reform, climate change and immigration reform despite possible Republican objections. Senator Specter has long been considered a friend to Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR.) He helped draft the doomed reform bill that died in Congress in the summer of 2007 and he renewed his support for CIR at a recent Spring Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA.) To that extent, the party switch will not likely change the number of votes in favor of a reform package.
Nevertheless, Spector’s switch will permit the president to move aggressively on an immigration bill this year, as he has promised. And perhaps most importantly, it will likely encourage those who see CIR as the only realistic means of solving our current immigration mess.
Overall, Senator Specter's decision to switch parties is a good for CIR and good for immigrants.
For more information please visit us www.zwaik.com
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers who have a minimum of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and will be coming to the U.S. to perform professional caliber work at a prevailing wage established by the U.S. Department of Labor. Congress has established an annul numerical limit (or cap) of 65,000 for new H-1B visas and an additional 20,000 for foreign workers with an advance degree from a U.S. university. The government’s fiscal year begins October 1 and the law permits applicants to file petitions no more than 6 months in advance of the commencement date, thus resulting in an “earliest” filing date of April 1.
For each of the past two fiscal years, more than the maximum number of applications was filed during the first days of April, resulting in H-1B petitions “capping out” immediately. This year, due to the economic downturn, less than the maximum number of applications was received.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The new rule requires applicants to mail the paper Form I-90 to:
The Phoenix Lockbox address is: USCIS, P.O. Box 21262, Phoenix, AZ 85036.
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Express Mail/courier deliveries, use the following address: USCIS, ATTN: I-90, 1820 Skyharbor, Circle S Floor 1, Phoenix, AZ 85034.
Applications sent to the wrong address will be forwarded to the Phoenix Lockbox facility for the first 30 calendar days after this notice is published. Forwarded applications will be considered properly filed when received at the Phoenix Lockbox facility. After the 30 calendar-day transition period, the application will be returned with a note explaining that it must sent to the correct address.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I was a visitor to the U.S. and forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S. What should I do?
The I-94 is the small card (usually white) that is stapled into the passport of most non-immigrants coming temporarily to the U.S. It is the principal means by which DHS can track the people who enter and leave the U.S. If you failed to surrender that card when you left the U.S. , it means your departure was not properly recorded and DHS thinks you are still in this country. That can have dire consequences, including the fact that DHS may prevent you from re-entering the U.S. in the future, under the mistaken belief that you have previously violated U.S. immigration laws by overstaying.
If you failed to submit the I-94 when you left, you should send it to the following address:
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744
With the I-94, you should send proof of your timely departure from the U.S. This proof should include airline boarding passes, photocopies of passport stamps, and any relevant proof of your return to your home country -- including banking, school or employment records, credit card receipts, and other verifiable transactions. Your explanation should be written in English and you should keep copies of everything to show DHS officials when you return to the U.S.