AILA Policy Brief Summary on USCIS Notice to Appear Guidance Released

On July 17, 2018, AILA released “AILA Policy Brief: New USCIS Notice to Appear Guidance.” This document provides an overview of recent policy shifts regarding USCIS, as well as how this policy shift will impact immigrants in the U.S. On June 28, 2018, USCIS announced a new policy regarding the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). According to this new policy, NTAs will be issued if an applicant or beneficiary is not lawfully present at the time an application or petition is denied. NTAs are the charging documents that initiate removal proceedings. Various DHS personnel, including USCIS, ICE and CBP officers, have the authority to issue these documents and initiate removal proceedings. USCIS released a memorandum on July 5, 2018 that significantly altered DHS policy as to when USCIS, as opposed to ICE, will issue NTAs and expanded the categories of people who will be issued NTAs. Essentially, this mandates USCIS issuance of an NTA when an application or petition for immigration benefits is denied and the applicant or beneficiary is deemed removable. Most significantly, NTAs will now be issued in cases where the applicant, beneficiary or requestor is “not lawfully present” in the U.S. at the time of application, […]
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Present and Future Implications of Trump v. Hawaii Ruling

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of President Trump in Trump v. Hawaii, 5-4. This was one of the most highly publicized cases the Supreme Court looked at this term. In addition to the immediate importance of its ruling, this case will also have lasting implications.  The immediate and perhaps most obvious result of the Trump v. Hawaii holding is that the travel restrictions created by President Trump’s September executive order have been found to be constitutional. This means that travel restrictions from that order can now take effect for nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The restrictions prevent most immigrants, refugees and visa holders from these countries from entering the United States. A waiver program is available on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who cannot afford an attorney to assist with the waiver process will likely face extreme difficulties trying to immigrate to the U.S.  Besides the more immediate impacts of the ruling, there will also be some long-lasting impacts as well. This case sets two major precedents for future Supreme Court cases. First is the precedent that it is a lawful exercise of the president’s authority to suspend entry of aliens […]
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Deportation/Removal from the United States

The Immigration and Nationality Act contains several provisions regarding the deportation of non-citizens. Non-citizens may be deported for a variety of reasons including criminal issues or illegal entry/employment issues. Long-time “green card holders” or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. are also subject to such provisions. Rosanna Berardi is a former Trial Attorney for the Immigration & Naturalization Service. She has personally litigated over 400 removal-related proceedings on behalf of the government. As such, she is intimately familiar with immigration court proceedings and has devised effective strategies for her clients to remain in the U.S. Ms. Berardi can assist you with: Removal Proceeding appearances at any Immigration Court in the U.S.; Applications for Political Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Actions against the Citizenship & Immigration Services for stalled naturalization petitions; Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals. There are several ways to remain in the U.S. and fight a deportation proceeding. Our office will carefully examine your immigration history, family background and other positive equities in the context of analyzing your deportation/removal proceeding. Remaining in the U.S. is a top priority for most non-citizens. You cannot depend upon an inexperienced lawyer to handle your case. Your future is too important. […]
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Immigration Court Scheduling

The first hearing in Immigration Court is called the Master Calendar hearing.  At this hearing the person summoned to court (the respondent) pleads to the government’s allegations.  The respondent, with or without an attorney, also states the forms of relief he or she plans to seek in regards to the allegations.  Examples of relief include: asylum, withholding of removal, voluntary departure and relief under the Torture Convention. The judge usually has a number of appointments scheduled for the same time frame.  Typically, respondents sign in and are called in the order in which they sign in.  Some judges will hear the cases of respondents who are represented by attorneys before hearing the other cases.  The hearing will usually only last a matter of minutes. Once an individual has entered his or her plea, the Immigration Judge will set a date for an Individual Calendar hearing.  This hearing is specific to the case at hand and may last for several hours.  The respondent will have an opportunity to present his or her case, including relavant witnesses and evidence.  The respondent (or his or her attorney) also has the ability to object to the government’s evidence and cross-examine the government’s witnesses. After the respondent and […]
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Removal Proceedings Basic Terms

Apprehension: The arrest of a removable alien by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Each apprehension of the same alien in a fiscal year is counted separately. Cancellation of Removal: A discretionary benefit adjusting an alien’s status from that of deportable alien to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Application for cancellation of removal is made during the course of a hearing before an immigration judge. Deportable Alien (INA §237(a)): An alien in and admitted to the United States subject to any grounds of removal specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This includes any alien illegally in the United States, regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation or entered legally but subsequently violated the terms of his or her nonimmigrant classification or status. Immigration and Naturalization Act: The Act (INA), which, along with other immigration laws, treaties, and conventions of the United States, relates to the immigration, temporary admission, naturalization, and removal of aliens. Immigration Judge: An attorney appointed by the Attorney General to act as an administrative judge within the Executive Office for Immigration Review. They are qualified to conduct specified classes of proceedings, including removal proceedings. Inadmissible Alien(INA §212(a)): An alien seeking admission at a […]
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