Hours before he takes the oath of office, President-Elect Joe Biden released details of the immigration bill his administration will send to Congress. The fact sheet distributed by his office reveals a bold bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in the US, with priority for Dreamers, TPS holders and immigrant farmworkers. The bill seeks to make more visas available and expand migration opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics graduates.
Outstanding reporting by Tanvi Misra in Roll Call last week uncovered memos that state that U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service has “stopped” processing applications for residence. While we have not seen the memos at issue, we are going to try to piece together what it means. In our opinion, it is not as nefarious as it seems, though it sure is bad. Let’s start with this basic premise: this administration is resolutely and completely anti-immigrant.
We are thrilled with our April 2018 Clients of the Month, Aldemar Segundo and Susan Matos Segundo. Aldemar became a permanent resident in March 2018 and can live securely with his U.S. citizen wife, Susan, and their two children. Aldemar’s improbable journey is one of the most inspiring cases we have been a part of. When DACA was announced, Aldemar was like lots of other Central American immigrants without status in the U.S.
For March 2018, we want to highlight our clients, Yovanny Soto and Heidi Andrade, and their really cute kids. On February 7, 2018, Yovanny was admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident after living in the U.S. without status for 18 years. Since he was a child, Yovanny has worked while going to school to help his elderly parents provide for his 16 siblings. After his father was murdered in Guatemala, Yovanny fled his home with the hope of safety and a better life.
Nearly every discussion I have with someone who is opposed to immigration eventually includes my opponent saying something like this: “I am not against immigration. I am against illegal immigration. I have no problem if immigrants come here legally.” I have always had a strong skepticism of this particular position. Most anti-immigrant people are unaware how limited the options for legal immigration are. Most anti-immigrant people are unaware of backlogs, priority dates, age-outs, one year filing deadlines, stop-time rules, and the fact that, for many people, THERE IS NO LINE.
This one makes us so happy. Reina Mercado is a catracha (native of Honduras) who arrived to the U.S. undocumented in the early 90s. Following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, the Attorney General designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans on January 5, 1999 and Reina was eligible for it. The government may designate a country for TPS when there is a catastrophic situation in that country, such as war or natural disasters, that makes it inhumane to remove individuals to that country at that time.
Angela and Omar Totti Ramirez are our clients of the month for April 2017. Omar, a Bolivian citizen, recently received his residence based upon his marriage to Angela, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Bolivia. We thought we had seen it all before we handled this case. It started off as a simple marriage-based application for residence, the type we have done thousands of times. Angela had been married before.
Our December 2016 Client of the Month is another member of the “Dreamers out of Trump’s reach” club. Andres St. Claire and Jazmine St. Claire are clients of the month after Andres was granted residence seven years after marrying Jazmine Andres St. Claire is a Dreamer who got protection under DACA. But before that, he was in love with Jazmine St. Claire, with whom he shared an immigrant experience and a love of video games and dogs.
Our January 2017 Client of the Month is part of our ongoing series of: “Dreamers that Trump can’t touch!” Danieca Bugarin landed in San Francisco, CA on December 30, 2016, presented her immigrant visa, and was admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident. Her admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident looked so improbable for the past two years because Danieca was snake-bit when it came to immigration.
The proposed expansion of the I-601A provisional waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence has finally become a reality. The President announced the expansion of the waiver as part of his November 2014 suite of executive actions designed to ameliorate the harsh results of strict enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Of course, the heart of those reforms was deferred action for the parents of U.S. citizens, which remains delayed by an injunction imposed by a Texas judge which the Supreme Court punted on.