Our May 2018 clients of the month are Marcelle de Lima and Luciano da Silva. Marcelle and Luciano are from Brazil and they came to the United States after the Brazilian economy started to decline in 2001 and they lost their jobs. When they came to the U.S., neither could speak English and they had to start their lives over from scratch. They were resourceful and determined to build a stable and happy life for themselves and their future children.
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.
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.
A couple of months ago, I got to enjoy my fifteen minutes of fame when my client became the poster child for problems caused for immigrants in immigration court by the government shutdown. I wrote a blog piece, wrote another for the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association and, next thing I know, I am speaking to Robert Siegel of NPR’s All Things Considered and people I have not heard from in decades called me to say they heard me on the radio.
The air is noticeably crisper, the baseball playoffs have begun, I have started to see decorative gourds, but the traffic got a whole lot lighter today. It is October 1, 2013, the first day of the fiscal year 2014 (FY2014), and the federal government has shut down over the inability of Congress to pass a budget that does not seek to undo the Affordable Care Act.
This morning, we had a chance to review the five page blueprint for immigration reform produced by a bipartisan group of eight Senators. There is a lot to discuss on the blueprint, but one thing specifically jumped out at me: “Once the enforcement measures have been completed, individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants, pass an additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency.
Over the last few weeks we have answered dozens of questions about the provisional waiver. One group of questions keeps appearing- questions about how people in removal proceedings or with a removal order can qualify for the provisional waiver. Whereas, the initial rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security indicated that the provisional waiver would be unavailable to people in removal proceedings, the final rule is somewhat more forgiving.
It is very true that the immigration laws need a wholesale revision. Congress needs to make substantial changes, regulations need to be re-written, precedent decisions scrapped and new guidance forthcoming. But another change is needed and this change may the hardest of all. It is a change of attitude within the agencies. We have written in this space on multiple occasions about the hostility that elements within ICE have for their political leadership and the “culture of no” within CIS has been well-documented.
The rumors flew wildly on Wednesday. The cap has been reached! No, not that cap. The H-1B cap of 65,000 visas for FY 2013, which began on October 1, 2012, was reached in June 2012. No new H-1B visas would be available until October 2013, the beginning of FY 2014. But anyway, this is not about the H-1B cap. Turns out there is another cap. There is a cap on the number of people who can be granted cancellation of removal in any given fiscal year.