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.
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.
Of all the stupid, dirty, slimy, no-good, treasonous, villainous, putrid, double-crossing treachery, low life, vengeful, mean-spirited, spiteful, nasty, pin-headed, pathetic, weak, ugly, traitorous, short-sighted, weak-kneed, unbecoming, dumb, awful, smelly, vile, cruel, vicious, unjustifiable, illogical, unfriendly, basic, ungrateful, pig-nosed, trashy, small-minded, ham-handed, mercenary, ruinous, bad, fallacious, godawful, crummy, abominable, bad trip, lame, poor, slipshod, cruddy, wicked, corrupt, mean, discouraging, unpleasant, sulfurous, harsh, rotten, scandalous and just plain uncool things that Donald Trump has done, his elimination of DACA, after promising to treat the Dreamers with “great heart,” has to be the worst, the lowest, the meanest, the weakest and the dumbest thing his administration has done.
Back in November, we made some predictions about what might occur in a Trump presidency as it relates to immigration. Generally, we were very pessimistic and presumed that almost all areas of immigration would become more difficult and challenging for immigrants, families and communities. This has proven to be true, but not in all of the ways we anticipated. In some areas, such as refugees and admission policies, the administration has been as bad as expected.
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.
Our client of the month for October 2015 is Juan Carlos Acajabon Mendez. After receiving an approval of the I-601A provisional waiver, Carlos recently returned from Guatemala, where he received his immigrant visa and entered the U.S. as a permanent resident after more than two decades of living without status in the U.S. Carlos is the most recent BR client to receive an immigrant visa under the I-601A Provisional Waiver program, which permits individuals with approved immigrant relative petitions to seek a waiver of their “inadmissibility” (due to unlawful presence in 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.
The Board of Immigration Appeals has finally given in to the overwhelming weight of the opinions of nine circuit courts of appeals (there are only 12 of them) and accepted the proposition that a permanent resident who received his residence through adjustment of status and was later convicted of an aggravated felony may seek a waiver of inadmissibility under Immigration & Nationality Act sec. 212(h). In Matter of J-H-J-, 26 I.&N.
Last week, we had another I-601A provisional waiver approved. This makes us 6 for 6, so far, with a few more pending. We have learned quite a bit in the past 18 months or so that we have done provisional waivers. Don’t underestimate your own hardship. We think that people endure a lot of hardship and have grown accustomed to it and accepted it as the normal state of affairs rather than recognizing that things could be better.