We get a lot of questions about what it is like to be an immigration lawyer in Washington DC. After all, immigration is a federal matter and Congress and the executive branch are just blocks from our office. In addition to the White House and Capitol Hill, there are the headquarters of the Citizenship & Immigration Service, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Customs & Border Protection, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
What just happened in the 5th Circuit? The U.S. Court of Appeals formally upheld Judge Hanen’s injunction prohibiting the administration for implementing DAPA & DACA. The injunction prohibited the administration from implementing DAPA and expanded DACA until the litigation brought by Texas and twenty six other states was resolved. Injunctions are sought to preserve the status quo while the legality or proposed actions is resolved. Judge Hanen ruled that Texas presented evidence of the possible injury if DAPA or DACA went forward and that Texas was likely to succeed in challenging DAPA and expanded DACA.
For September 2015, we are proud to present Aura Carrera of Heber City, Utah as our client of the month. Her green card arrived last month and she is heading home to Guatemala for the first time in over twenty years, a resident returning to visit family after nearly a quarter century. Aura’s case was a fight from the beginning. When she came to Ava Benach, Aura had a removal order from an immigration judge in Salt Lake City, Utah and a determination for the U.S.
Last week was one of those weeks that makes us happy to be immigration lawyers. It ended with several families relieved that their personal journeys to legal status in the U.S. are ended and their lives as U.S. residents have begun. Here are their stories: YA and EF are a married couple from Bolivia, who have lived in the U.S. for well over a decade. YA quit working because her son, Joshua, has microcephaly.
After a years-long battle, a client of ours was recently sworn in as a United States citizen after his naturalization victory. Why is this significant? Because in 20 years of practicing immigration law, it’s difficult to recall the government being so fiercely opposed to naturalizing someone. Over a decade ago, our client – a U.S. lawful permanent resident – was engaged in serious criminal activity. In 2003, he was arrested and pled guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
VM is our Client of the Month for May 2015. VM became a client of Benach Collopy attorneys starting in 2008, when she was detained upon her arrival at the airport from Brazil. Today, after seven years, fights with four immigration agencies, and three immigration applications (asylum, adjustment of status, and naturalization), VM is now a United States citizen. VM fled terrible violence in Brazil because of her gender and sexual identity, and arrived in the United States in search of protection.
Our March 2015 client of the month is no stranger to readers of BR’s blog. The Immigration Judge’s grant of D-R-‘s residency in February 2015 ended a saga that began in 2009, when the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service put her and her brother into removal proceedings. Both had entered as young children to live with their adoptive parents away from the violence and poverty of their home country, Guyana.
The President’s executive reforms to the U.S. immigration system make a number of very positive changes that have the potential to help millions of people. Although we have written about various components of the reforms individually, we have summarized six major portions here in one place. Benach Collopy will be offering several free community meetings throughout December and will be offering reduced fee consultations for people who may benefit from these reforms.
The package of reforms introduced by the President includes new policies on the U.S. of parole-in-place or deferred action for the family members of those seeking to enlist in the military. Parole in place is a function of the Department’s discretionary authority to parole anyone into the U.S. Parole in place is a mechanism to allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole an individual into the U.S., providing that individual with legal status and the ability to seek adjustment of status.
Another positive development included in the President’s administrative reforms to U.S. immigration laws is the proposed expansion of the provisional waiver program, which the President initiated in 2013. The provisional waiver, as initially introduced allowed the spouses and children of U.S. citizens to seek a waiver of inadmissibility for the three and ten year bars due to unlawful presence to seek a waiver in the U.S.