Sep
28

Expanded Provisional Waiver Program: the Good, Bad, and the Uncertain

The final rule expanding the I-601A provisional waiver process went into effect on August 29, 2016.

The most significant and most publicized change in the rule allows applicants with U.S citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouses and parents to qualify for provisional waiver processing. Accordingly, USCIS estimates that an additional 44,061 newly eligible provisional waiver applicants and their family members will benefit from this expansion of this rule within the next ten years. While this is a positive development in provisional waiver processing, other provisions in the final...

Sep
28

When is a Search not a Search? Police Use of GPS in Minnesota

When is a Search not a Search? One way in which the United States protects its people from being subjected to random whims of the State and errant police is by protecting our right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”  This right is established in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and...

May
18

Tax Benefit

There are multiple tax benefits associated with parenting including the minor child tax dependency exemption (dependency exemption), the child tax credit, head of household status, child and dependent care tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and benefits associated with Health Savings Accounts.

When the parents of a child are together and filing taxes jointly, the parties do not have to think about who is entitled to the tax benefits of claiming the minor child or children. However, when couples divorce, who claims the child or children for tax proposes can become a source of...

Apr
9

Initiating Minnesota Wage Claims

The vast majority of employers pay employees on time and using proper calculations. Of course, problems can and do arise in this area. When an employer fails to pay, or calculates pay incorrectly, the consequences can be rather severe if the employer does not take quick action to correct the problem. This post will briefly outline a few of the most common ways an employee may initiate wage claims against an employer in Minnesota.

Informal Notice and Demand for Wages

For a terminated or laid-off employee, wages earned at the time of discharge are immediately due to an employee upon demand....

Apr
9

Justice Scalia's Death: What It Means for United States v. Texas

The Supreme Court of the United States is set to decide United States v. Texas, the case regarding the constitutionality of President Obama's new immigration policies, in June 2016. When Antonin Scalia---one of the nine Justices on the Supreme Court---passed away, the outcome of this monumental case became more uncertain.

President Obama proposed a new immigration policy in November 2014. The name of these programs is expanded DACA (expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents). These programs would allow...

Apr
9

Counting Hours Worked for Child Support - Not All Hours Are the Same

In Minnesota, the child support amount the court orders a person to to pay is a function of several economic factors. These factors include both parent’s gross monthly income, the costs of medical and dental insurance for your joint child(ren), any non-joint children living in either home, the cost of child care, and the amount of time that the joint child(ren) spends with each parent. A judge or child support magistrate enters these factors into the Minnesota Child Support Calculator to determine a child support obligation. Although plugging numbers into the Minnesota Child Support...

Apr
9

Expungement – once a felony, always a felony

In January 2015, a new expungement standard came into effect in Minnesota. The law expanded the types of crimes eligible for expungement.  It also gave courts broader power to seal records of State agencies instead of limiting the court to sealing its records anymore.

As with any new law, there were some gaps that left lawyers and judges with questions. The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently answered one of the big questions: how should the court treat felony convictions later deemed misdemeanors under Minn. Stat. § 609.13, subd. 1(2).  The question was how should the court treat the...

Apr
9

Solicitation of Prostitution – Morality Meets Deportation

Solicitation of Prostitution –  Morality Meets Deportation

The immigration consequences of a conviction for solicitation of a prostitute for several decades was not considered categorically a crime involving moral turpitude (hereinafter “CIMT”), although Wilson Law Group cautioned that it was potentially such a crime.  Recently, the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion in Gomez-Gutierrez v. Lynch definitively categorizing the 2006 version of the Minnesota solicitation of a prostitute statute as a CIMT. No. 14-3374, 2016 WL 362427, at*4 (8th Cir. Jan. 29, 2016).

Gomez-Gutierrez means that...

Mar
19

The Effect of Special Findings in Protection or Harassment Cases on Immigration Status

Most attorneys are aware that a finding of guilt in a criminal matter may create a consequence for his or her client if he or she is not a U.S. citizen.  For certain crimes, pleading guilty or being found guilty at trial will cause loss of lawful status, denial of a future application of citizenship, deportation, and/or denial of eligibility for relief from removal.  What about a judicial or administrative finding, or adjudication outside of the criminal court? This is an area that is not as clear cut, and understandably creates apprehension for both parties and attorneys. 

Whenever...

Feb
14

Crimes Triggering Visa Revocations while Traveling in the US

Wilson Law Group recently became aware of a disturbing new trend relating to non-immigrant visa (NIV) holders.  Those in the United States with student (F), employment-based (H-1B), exchange (J-1) visas, and investor visas (E-2), among others, are affected.  Those NIV holders who, during their stay in the US, are arrested for a minor criminal incident are receiving correspondence from the Department of State, often via email or phone, indicating their visas have been cancelled while they are still traveling in the United States.  The revocation messages indicate a foreign national may...

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