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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. USCIS Introduces Redesigned Form for Green Card Applicants

    by , 06-26-2017 at 01:46 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Agency Publishes Revised Form I-485 and Instructions

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today published a revised Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). The new Form I-485 and instructions have been substantially updated to reduce complexity after collecting comments from the public and stakeholders.

    The revised version gives applicants better information to accurately complete Form I-485, including clear navigation to the parts of the form and instructions that are relevant to the applicants’ specific situations. These updates should increase the efficiency of the adjudication process by reducing errors and requests for evidence.

    Applicants living in the United States file Form I-485 to adjust their immigration status and become lawful permanent residents, which allows one to live and work permanently in the United States. Adjusting status is a critical step for those seeking U.S. citizenship.


    USCIS also revised the Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J (as well as each supplement’s instructions), to provide applicants with more detailed information about how to properly complete, file, and submit evidence if those supplements are applicable to their situation.


    Beginning today, there will be a 60-day grace period during which USCIS will accept both the 01/17/17 and 06/26/17 editions of Form I-485 and Supplement A and J. Beginning Aug. 25, USCIS will only accept the revised Form and Supplement A and J of Form I-485 and will no longer accept earlier versions of either form.


    What’s New? USCIS improved Form I-485 to include:


    • Better flow and organization of questions to make it user-friendly for both the applicants and USCIS. In addition, readability has significantly improved due to new spacing, columns, flow, white space, and formatting.
    • The questions about biographic information (Form G-325A) so applicants will no longer need to file a separate form;
    • A list of 27 immigrant categories, which allows applicants to identify the specific immigrant category under which they are applying; and
    • A comprehensive, updated list of admissibility-related questions. The added questions to ensure USCIS officers have the necessary information to better assess the applicant’s admissibility and eligibility.


    What Remains the Same

    While both Form I-485 and its instructions may look different from earlier versions, the process for filing Form I-485 and Form I-485 Supplement A and Form I-485 Supplement J remains the same. Applicants must still submit their paper applications to the location listed in the form instructions.

    Further information

    Visit the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status page and the Form I-485 Supplement A page for further information about the new forms and instructions.
    Applicants can visit the USCIS Green Card Eligibility Categories page for information on eligibility requirements for each immigrant category.
    All USCIS forms are free on our website at www.uscis.gov/forms.
    For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and Instagram (@uscis).

    - USCIS -
  2. DHS Statement On SCOTUS Decision On Trump's Executive Order

    by , 06-26-2017 at 01:38 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Release Date:
    June 26, 2017

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    Contact: 202-282-8010

    WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court today has allowed the Department of Homeland Security to largely implement the President's Executive Order and take rational and necessary steps to protect our nation from persons looking to enter and potentially do harm. The granting of a partial stay of the circuit injunctions with regard to many aliens abroad restores to the Executive Branch crucial and long-held constitutional authority to defend our national borders.

    The Department will provide additional details on implementation after consultation with the Departments of Justice and State. The implementation of the Executive Order will be done professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.
  3. SCOTUS Rules on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

    by , 06-23-2017 at 10:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    JAE LEE v. UNITED STATES, 582 U. S. ____ (2017)

    Held: Lee has demonstrated that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s erroneous advice. Pp. 5–13.(a) When a defendant claims that his counsel’s deficient performance deprived him of a trial by causing him to accept a plea, the defendant can show prejudice by demonstrating a “reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s errors, he would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted on going to trial.” Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U. S.52, 59.

    Lee contends that he can make this showing because he never would have accepted a guilty plea had he known the result would be deportation. The Government contends that Lee cannot show prejudice from accepting a plea where his only hope at trial was that something unexpected and unpredictable might occur that would lead to acquittal. Pp. 5–8.

    (b) The Government makes two errors in urging the adoption of a per se rule that a defendant with no viable defense cannot show prejudice from the denial of his right to trial. First, it forgets that categorical rules are ill suited to an inquiry that demands a “case-by-case examination” of the “totality of the evidence.” Williams v. Taylor,529 U. S. 362, 391 (internal quotation marks omitted); Strickland,466 U. S., at 695. More fundamentally, it overlooks that the Hill v. Lockhart inquiry focuses on a defendant’s decisionmaking, which may not turn solely on the likelihood of conviction after trial.

    The decision whether to plead guilty also involves assessing the respective consequences of a conviction after trial and by plea. See INS v. St. Cyr, 533 U. S. 289, 322–323. When those consequences are,from the defendant’s perspective, similarly dire, even the smallest chance of success at trial may look attractive. For Lee, deportation after some time in prison was not meaningfully different from deportation after somewhat less time; he says he accordingly would have rejected any plea leading to deportation in favor of throwing a “Hail Mary” at trial. Pointing to Strickland, the Government urges that “[a] defendant has no entitlement to the luck of a lawless decision maker.”466 U. S., at 695. That statement, however, was made in the context of discussing the presumption of reliability applied to judicial proceedings, which has no place where, as here, a defendant was deprived of a proceeding altogether. When the inquiry is focused on what an individual defendant would have done, the possibility of even a highly improbable result may be pertinent to the extent it would have affected the defendant’s decision making. Pp. 8–10.

    (c) Courts should not upset a plea solely because of post hoc assertions from a defendant about how he would have pleaded but for his attorney’s deficiencies. Rather, they should look to contemporaneous evidence to substantiate a defendant’s expressed preferences. In the unusual circumstances of this case, Lee has adequately demonstrated a reasonable probability that he would have rejected the plea had he known that it would lead to mandatory deportation: Both Lee and his attorney testified that “deportation was the determinative issue” to Lee; his responses during his plea colloquy confirmed the importance he placed on deportation; and he had strong connections to the United States, while he had no ties to South Korea.

    The Government argues that Lee cannot “convince the court that a decision to reject the plea bargain would have been rational under the circumstances,” Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U. S. 356, 372, since deportation would almost certainly result from a trial. Unlike the Government,this Court cannot say that it would be irrational for someone in Lee’s position to risk additional prison time in exchange for holding on to some chance of avoiding deportation. Pp. 10–13.825 F. 3d 311, reversed and remanded.

    ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY,GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ALITO, J., joined except as to Part I. GORSUCH, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 10:06 AM by MKolken

  4. Immigration Court Backlog Nears 600,000

    by , 06-23-2017 at 09:37 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    (16 Jun 2017) The latest data from the Immigration Courts show that the number of cases waiting for a decision continues to climb. As of May 31, 2017, the Court's backlog had risen to 598,943, whereas one year ago, at the end of May 2016, the backlog stood at 492,978. This is an increase of more than 100,000 cases just in the past 12 months.

    Most new cases filed in Immigration Court this fiscal year involve noncitizens charged by DHS with committing an immigration violation rather than involved in any criminal activity. For example, in only 1.7 percent of all cases were individuals charged as having committed an aggravated felony, while an additional 4.1 percent were charged with engaging in less serious criminal activity that allegedly made them deportable. Not a single person so far this year has been charged as being deportable because the individual endorsed or espoused terrorist activity, or were alleged likely to engage in terrorist activities.

    So much for Trump's pledge to deport bad hombres.

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 09:42 AM by MKolken

  5. Warning Advisory to Border Patrol of Gunbattles and Grenades on Southern Border

    by , 06-23-2017 at 09:33 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the National Border Patrol Council:

    Recent events in Tamaulipas, Mexico, specifically in and around the city of Reynosa, pose a special risk to U.S. Border Patrol agents working in the region.

    The Reynosa faction of the Mexican Gulf Cartel recently lost its leader and the group is engaging in open warfare with Mexican authorities and possibly with rival factions or other transnational criminal groups. Open source reports indicate gunbattles and use of grenades and other explosives in the fighting.


    Border Patrol agents working the line in any station's area of operations immediately across the largely open border from Reynosa, Mexico, are advised to employ extra caution in the performance of their duties. Stray rounds from firearms have previously injured U.S. law enforcement personnel on the border.
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