Call for Obama to improve the immigration system

The New York Times has called for President Obama to use his powers as President to fix some of the most pressing problems in the immigration system.  Among the issues that President Obama could address are the following:

  • End the “Secure Communities” program, which many law enforcement officials have criticized.  The program was aimed at removing dangerous criminals from the United States, but appears to be used instead to remove many who have clean records.
  • Grant relief from deportation for those individuals who would qualify under the DREAM Act.
  • Allow immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens to become lawful permanent residents without having to leave the United States.

Please click here to read the New York Times editorial.

California moves to opt out of “Secure Communities” program

The Los Angeles Times reports that California officials are taking steps to possibly opt out of the U.S. government’s “Secure Communities” program, a controversial scheme whose stated purpose is to remove dangerous criminal aliens from the United States, but which has been criticized heavily for deporting many aliens who have clean criminal records.

Please click here to read the article.

Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence

Some Lawful Permanent Residents encounter problems with U.S. immigration officials at the border or at the airport when returning to the United States after a trip abroad. Perhaps you took a long trip outside the United States – perhaps one year or more. Or maybe you have spent the majority of your time outside the United States over the past several years.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

Proving U.S. Citizenship

Some people are actually U.S. Citizens, but don’t realize it.

If you were born outside the United States, you might be a U.S. Citizen if one or both of your parents is or was a U.S. Citizen.  The question of whether or not you are a U.S. Citizen is determined by the U.S. laws that were in effect on the day of your birth.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

Cancellation of Removal

If you are required to appear in Immigration Court, there are several options that might be available to you, depending on your specific situation.  One option for some people is a form of relief called “Cancellation of Removal.”

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

We have provided some basic information about cancellation of removal.  Please take a look.

Asylum

You might be eligible to apply for asylum if:

1. You have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in your country by government agents, or by people whom the government cannot or will not control,

AND

2. The persecution is based on one or more of the following reasons:  Race, Religion, Nationality, Political opinion, or Membership in a particular social group.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

We have provided some basic information about asylum.  Please take a look.

Consular Processing: Applying for permanent residence from outside the United States

For some people who wish to become permanent residents of the United States, their best option is to do “consular processing” – attending an interview at a U.S. Consulate in another country.  For example, if you live outside the United States, or if you are not eligible to apply for permanent residence from inside the United States, you might be eligible for consular processing at a U.S. Consulate – most likely the consulate in your own country.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

Naturalization: Becoming a U.S. Citizen

If you have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least 4 years and 9 months, you might be eligible to apply to “naturalize,” or become a U.S. Citizen.  If you have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least 2 years and 9 months, AND you have been, and continue to be, married to a U.S. Citizen during that time, then you might be eligible to apply for naturalization.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

We have provided some basic information about the process of naturalization.  Please take a look.

Removing conditions on permanent residence

If you became a Lawful Permanent Resident through your spouse, and if you were married for less than two years on the day you became a permanent resident, then your permanent residence is “conditional,” which means that it is valid for two years.  You must submit a petition to remove the conditions on your permanent residence.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

Some States Resist Obama’s “Secure Communities” Program

The New York Times has reported that an increasing number of states are expressing dissatisfaction with President Obama’s “Secure Communities” Program, in which the fingerprints of every person arrested by police are checked against databases of the Department of Homeland Security for immigration violations.

Some state officials have criticized the program, stating that, instead of deporting convicted criminals, the program appears to be focusing mainly on removing people with no criminal records.

Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois stated that he was pulling the state out of the program. Concerns have also been raised in other states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, and California.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has called on President Obama to suspend the program.

To read the New York Times article, please click here.