Jan
3

Employment Authorization Document Renewal is Changing

Many immigrants with employment authorization documents (EADs) must renew their cards every year or two.  Because the Department of Homeland Security is inconsistent in adjudicating EAD renewals, some immigrants’ EADs expire while they desperately wait for their renewal applications to be approved.

In an attempt to cure this problem, the Department of Homeland Security will soon begin automatically extending the validity of certain EADs when the immigrant files a renewal application.  This means that a person who files a renewal application before his or her EAD expires will be able to...

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...

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

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...

Feb
14

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The debate around comprehensive immigration reform has long had many detractors decrying earned legalization as “amnesty” for people who should instead head “to the back of the line.”

What is little understood is exactly what is meant by “the line;” who is eligible to wait in it; and how infinitely long this line can be.  Surprising to many is the fact that not every intending immigrant can simply jump into the line.  Currently, aside from certain humanitarian-based cases such as asylum, U Visas or Temporary Protected...

Feb
14

When Is a Conviction a Crime of Violence - the evolving interpretation of 18 USC Section 16

Challenging the Use of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) in Deportation Proceedings.

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA) is a federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons in possession of a firearm, if the felon has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” The term “violent felony” includes any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). This portion of the definition, known as the “residual clause,” is unique in that it is not focused on the elements of a conviction...

Feb
14

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

Wilson Law Group recently commented on the new 2015 H-2B Interim Final Rules and how they impact the H-2B program and employers, including a new requirement of registration, recruitment procedures, and the crucial need to navigate the various phases of the process with meticulous attention to detail to timelines and requirements.  The H-2B program is continually evolving, and now is moving towards paralysis.  

The H-2B registration process is not yet operational.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not...

Dec
27

Proving Extreme Hardship - Holding the Government to a Standard of Law

Extreme Hardship doesn’t have to be so hard.  On October 7, 2015, USCIS shared its draft "extreme hardship" policy memo, created with the goal of better defining the standard applied to various types of waivers.  The draft memo was happily received more than ten months after President Obama announced the endeavor with various other, more popular strides like the expansion of DACA and proposed creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA.”

An extreme hardship waiver may be required where someone has been in the US unlawfully for more...

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