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  1. Air Force Sergeant's Wife's Immigration Nightmare


    http://shusterman.com/images/magana.jpg
    Attorney Amy Prokop, Karina Magana, Staff Sgt. Luis Magana, Attorney Carl Shusterman


    Air Force Staff Sergeant Luis Magana immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Now a proud U.S. citizen, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    After he returned, his wife Karina, a permanent resident of the U.S. applied for naturalization. However, the government examiner at her naturalization interview told her that her application would be denied, and that she would be deported from the U.S.!

    Why? What had she done? Had she committed a crime?

    According to the examiner, Karina had obtained her green card by fraud, and his accusations brought her to tears. It also caused great concern to Sgt. Magana who was scheduled to be deployed once again. Would Karina really be deported? What would happen to their U.S. citizen children while he was serving his country?

    The couple drove to my office that same day where Karina told me her story. She was sponsored for a green card at a tender age by her U.S. citizen step-father. Somehow, the process dragged on past her 16th birthday. At her interview, the examiner was insulting: "Are you pregnant? Are you married?" "Neither", she replied, "I'm only 16 years old!" Finally, the examiner informed her that she needed a fingerprint check.

    The process dragged on two more years, and the USCIS informed Karina by mail that they needed to take her fingerprints once again. By this time, she was married and she asked the USCIS to postpone her fingerprint appointment because she was "pregnant".

    The government did so. Karina took new fingerprints, and eventually, USCIS sent her a green card in the mail. Of course, as any immigration attorney knows, Karina was no longer eligible to immigrate as an "immediate relative" of her father because she was married. Karina, however, did not know this, and one has to wonder what the USCIS was thinking. Probably just another bureaucratic mistake.

    Rather than admit that the government had made a mistake, the examiner at her citizenship interview accused her of fraud in obtaining permanent residence, denied her application for naturalization and threatened her with deportation. The nightmare begins.

    Although I assured them that the mistake was on the government's part, and that she would not be deported, Karina and her husband were to spend the next two years worrying about what would happen to her. Their fear intensified after the government ignored our pleas and issued her a Notice to Appear in removal proceedings which alleged fraud on her part.

    The matter dragged on and on. We denied the charges, and requested a change of venue to Los Angeles which was granted. However, the ICE Assistant District Counsel refused to drop the fraud charge. The matter was only resolved after Attorney Amy Prokop approached the ICE District Counsel in Los Angeles and an agreement was reached. The government would withdraw the fraud charge, and we would apply for a waiver of removal before an Immigration Judge. The government did not oppose the waiver which the Judge granted, and the threat of deportation evaporated into thin air.

    Victory at last!

    Next step: Naturalization

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    Updated 12-02-2013 at 07:14 PM by CShusterman

  2. H-1C FAQ

    by , 08-04-2011 at 03:08 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
     
    MU Law has had a few follow-up questions about the H-1C visa that waspassed by the House of Representatives. We've put together this FAQ to answer a few common questions:
     
    Q1. When does the new H-1C come into effect?
    A1. The Senate must still pass the H-1C reauthorization into law and then the President must sign it. There is no set timetable for this to happen. In fact, the H-1C reauthorization may never come into law.
     
    Q2. Will individuals who hold current H-1C visas be able to extend their H-1C status?
    A2. They will provided that they have not used up their allotment of H-1C time. Approved nurses will be eligible for to be in H-1C status for 6 years.
     
    Q3. Why are only 14 hospitals eligible?
    A3. The H-1C law was crafted in a way to limit sponsorship to certain hospitals that meet a strict set of criteria established in the 1990s. The hospital must be located in a "Health Professional Shortage Area" as of March 31, 1997, have "at least 190 acute care beds," at "least 35 [percent] of [the facility's] acute care inpatient days reimbursed by Medicare," and "at least 28 [percent] of [the facility's] acute care inpatient days reimbursed by Medicaid." Other hospitals may be eligible; however, the list of the 14 hospitals that qualify has not been updated in recent years. In a meeting with USCIS and CIS Ombudsman (Oct. 28, 2008), USCIS indicated that, to date, only one hospital that is not on identified on the list of 14 HPSA hospitals has applied for an H-1C nurse and that case is currently pendingadditional review.
     
    Q4. Is there any H-1C cap, like the H-1B visa?
    A4. Yes. The H-1C is limited to 300 nurses. However the cap has never been reached. According to USCIS, no H-1C visas were approved in FY 2006, 49 were approved in FY 2007, and, approximately 110 were approved in FY 2008.
     
    Q5. Which 14 hospitals qualify for sponsorship?
    A5. Here are the 14 hospitals:
    1. Beaumont Regional Medical Center, Beaumont, TX
    2. Beverly Hospital, Montebello, CA
    3. Doctors Medical Center, Modesto, CA
    4. Elizabeth General Medical Center, Elizabeth, NJ
    5. Fairview Park Hospital, Dublin, GA
    6. Lutheran Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
    7. McAllen Medical Center, McAllen, TX
    8. Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD
    9. Mercy Regional Medical Center, Laredo, TX
    10. Peninsula Hospital Center, Far Rockaway, NY
    11. Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Lumberton, NC
    12. Southwest General Hospital, San Antonio, TX
    13. St. Bernard Hospital, Chicago, IL
    14. Valley Baptist Medical Center, Harlingen, TX
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
  3. Bloggings: Police State racist anti-immigrant laws: are the states the only problem? By Roger Algase

    There have been several excellent posts by other ID bloggers analyzing details of the recent draconian anti-immigrant laws in Alabama and Georgia, two states that were at the heart of the Old Confederacy, slavery, racial segregation and lynch mobs. While the targets of the recent laws have changed from African-Americans to Latinos, the spirit of these laws remains the same.
    So far, opposition to these attempts to bring back the deep South's long and shameful history of legalized racism with a Latin beat has been focused on the doctrine of federal supremacy, as it should be. But what if the Alabama and Georgia laws, as well as similar ones in Arizona and other states outside the old South, turn out one day soon to be not only not in conflict with federal immigration policy, but actually preludes to an even more racist and totalitarian anti-immigrant act of Congress?
    As I have mentioned before, HR 3447, which passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in late 2005 but fortunately never made it to the Senate, was as bad as anything in the Alabama and Georgia laws, if not even worse. The House is now back under Republican control, including a large bloc of right wing anti-immigrant Tea Party extremists who are hoping to take away birthright citizenship from millions of US born Latino, Asian and black children, even those whose parents are here legally, but in temporary non-immigrant status.
    Who who knows what will happen in next year's election? Could a time come when the only defense against legalized anti-immigrant racism in America will depend on state sanctuary laws? If this happens, as it easily could, will those of us who are now so strongly in favor of federal supremacy over immigration one day have second thoughts about what we were wishing for?
  4. House Passes Bill to Ease CPR Removal Requirements for Active Duty Military Families

    By Richard M. Green
    On Monday, August 1, 2011, while the House of Representatives was welcoming Representative Gabrielle Giffords back to the floor and voting on the debt deal, the House also passed a bill that will ease the immigration process for members of the armed forces. 
    With a vote of 426 to 0, the House of Representatives passed HR 398.  If enacted into law, this bill will toll the 90 day filing period for conditional permanent residents to remove conditions from permanent residency while either the US citizen or non-citizen spouse is serving abroad in active-duty military or naval service.  This bill will also suspend any interview on a petition to remove conditions from residence until the service member returns from an overseas deployment.
    After passage by the House, this bill was sent over to the Senate.  It will it will be heard in September after the summer recess.  If passed by the Senate, HR. 398 will be sent to President Obama for his signature.
     
  5. Obama Administration has More Prosecutions for Illegal Re-Entry than any other Crime

    by , 08-03-2011 at 11:14 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has reported that from October 2010 through March 2011, federal prosecutors filed 18,552 illegal re-entry cases nationally.   This officially has resulted in illegal re-entry being the number one most prosecuted crime by the Obama administration. In fact, nearly 50% of all federal criminal prosecutions under the Obama adminsitration are for illegal re-entry.
    The following excerpt was taken from the TRAC website, and summarizes the data analyzed:

    Illegal reentry under Title 8, Section 1326 of the United States Code was the most commonly recorded lead charge brought by federal prosecutors during the first half of FY 2011. It alone accounted for nearly half (47 percent) of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed. It accounted for just under a quarter (23 percent) of overall criminal prosecutions, surpassing illegal entry (Title 8, Section 1325) as the most frequently cited federal lead charge.
    The latest available data from the Justice Department show the government reported 18,552 new prosecutions for illegal reentry during the first six months of this fiscal year. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of prosecutions will be 37,104 for this fiscal year. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this estimate is up 3.5 percent over FY 2010, when the number of prosecutions totaled 35,836.

    A substantial percentage of the aliens being deported by this President are criminals merely for the act of attempting to be reunified with their family. After these people are convicted for illegal re-entry they are turned over to ICE for deportation as "criminal aliens."  Many others are labeled "criminal aliens" for having committed minor traffic violations for the offense of driving while brown.
    Obama has spun his swollen deportation numbers by saying that he is targeting "the most serious criminals" for deportation. Plain and simply, this President is lying to us.
    Criminal Prosecutions for Illegal Reentry (8 USC 1326)

    Chart courtesy of TRAC Immigration.
     
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