Interpretation of Natural Born Citizen will determine Ted Cruz’ eligibility as President

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: February 19, 2016
by admin

The term natural born citizen has never been clearly defined in Immigration Law.

The issue with the Ted Cruz case is whether being born outside the United States to a US Citizen mother disqualifies him as a presidential candidate.

In order to run for president of the United States you must be a natural born citizen.

Read more here:

If you have questions regarding whether you qualify for citizenship contact us at 916-613-3553 or email us at

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ICE Home Raids: What you need to know to protect your Constitutional rights

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: February 18, 2016
by admin

Recently in the Sacramento and Stockton California area we have observed a sudden increase in immigration raids by Immigration Customs Enforcement.

Created in 2003, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the agency responsible for enforcing immigration laws inside the United States. Since its inception, ICE has used several tactics to locate and apprehend those suspected of violating immigration laws. ICE tactics range from basic coordination with local criminal justice systems to identify illegal immigrants who have been arrested on criminal charges, to controversial swat-style raids at places of work and private homes. While the agency was criticized for its swat-style raids during the Bush administration, little scrutiny had been focused on the ICE home raids until recently.

On December 23, 2015, The Washington Post broke the news that the Department of Homeland Security was preparing for a series of mass scale raids that would target hundreds of families and unaccompanied minors who had entered the United States the previous year fleeing the violence in Central America. The article estimated that more than 100,000 families with adults and children would be targeted. Since then, media focus has shifted to ICE agents’ use of intimidation, coercion, threats, and sometimes even force to enter people’s homes. Some reports claim ICE has threatened individuals with charges of obstruction of justice if they refuse to open doors and search their home and even lying by claiming they were looking for another individual when they were in fact there to arrest the resident of the home.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects a person against unreasonable searches and seizure. A person’s home has the highest level of protection when it comes to government intrusions and consequently the government cannot enter without a proper search warrant. The Supreme Court has held that in the absence of consent from a resident-adult[1] or exigent circumstances[2], a search executed without a warrant issued by an impartial magistrate[3] has presumptively violated an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Generally, ICE agents are only in possession of an administrative arrest warrants issued by an immigration official, rather than a judicial or search warrant issued by an impartial judge. ICE’s Detention and Deportation Officer’s Field Manual states that warrants of deportation and removal are administrative and do not grant authority to breach doors[4]. Administrative warrants do not authorize agents to enter homes without consent because they are not issued by impartial magistrates[5]. Consequently, ICE officers must obtain informed consent prior to entering a private residence.

It is your right to refuse permission to enter your home unless agents can present an arrest warrant with your name on it. You can ask agents to put the warrant up to the peephole or to slide it under the door for you to inspect. If agents do not show you a warrant with your name on it, you should keep your door closed and refuse to interact with them. Even if agents present a warrant with your name, you still have the right to remain silent. You can say something like, “I wish to remain silent until I talk to an attorney.” Do not sign anything without first talking to a lawyer as you will likely be presented with an Order for Voluntary Departure.

[1] United States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164, 171 (1974).
[2] Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 509 (1978) (citing Warden v.Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 298-99 (1967)).
[3] Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 357 (1967).
[4] “Revisions of Chapter 10 Title and Realignment of the Section, Titles of the Detention and Deportation Officer’s Field Manual,” August 21, 2008 (emphasis added); see also Chertoff Letter, June 2007 supra note 25. See generally See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1963);
[5] Camara v. Municipal Court of City and County of San Francisco, 387 U.S. 523 (1963).

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The Secret of Standing by Your Immigration Goals

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: February 16, 2016
by admin

It’s another new year! Now that we are in February, have you kept up with your goals? As we take our first steps into 2016, we’re setting goals and looking forward to the busy year ahead. You too may have already started planning for the year, mapping out where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. Setting goals can be tricky. It’s not a secret that many of the goals and plans we make at the beginning of the year go unfinished or forgotten. We may become busy with other things, or we need to turn our attention to other matters, so our goals get pushed to the side.

If you look back on 2015 and find that you still have goals you want to accomplish, that’s okay. You can continue to work toward them in 2016, right alongside the new goals you’re ready to pursue. As you set goals and work toward completing them, there are steps you can take to keep yourself on track and not lose sight of them. When you’re thinking about what you want accomplish, remember that your goals should have a positive influence on your life, your family’s life, and even your career. Your goals should make you happy. Then, think about what type of goals you want to set. There are two major types of goals. There are goals that are down to earth and completely realistic. Then there are goals that are much loftier and harder to achieve.

The way you set goals should match your personality and the way you do things

If you’re a person motivated by big, ambitious goals, go for it. If you need smaller, more manageable goals with detailed steps, take that approach. Do what is right for you. Then, write down your goals. Always write down your goals. Putting your goals down on paper is a great way to hold yourself accountable. When you can see and reference what you want to accomplish, you’re much likelier to see it through to the end. When you’re writing down your goals, be as specific as possible. Many people want to lose weight in the new year, so they come up with a simple goal to “lose weight” or “get in shape.” You can’t hold yourself nearly as accountable with vague goals.

Instead, add specific details that will help you realize your goal. “Lose weight” should become “Lose 15 pounds by May 15.” And be sure to include details of how you will accomplish the goal: “Go to the gym every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday,” or “Bike to work.”However, make the process fun and do not let deadlines stress you out.

Once you start working toward your goals over the next few months or years, keep coming back to what you wrote down. Don’t let it leave your mind. Look back over the progress you’ve made and look ahead at what you have left to do to reach your goal. It is very important to integrate your success and acknowledge the progress.

If you have immigration goals, right now is the perfect time to starting planning out your year

Do you want to reunite your family? Take the next step in the migration process? Apply for naturalization? Put together a plan of action, and follow through.

It may take some time to reach your goals, but when you do, you will feel amazing!

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California first state to pass legislation to expedite U Visa Certifications

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: December 22, 2015
by admin

Most illegal immigrants come to the United States to escape a life of poverty and violence. Unfortunately, once they are here they fail to report even the most heinous crimes committed against them for fear of being deported. This fear makes illegal immigrants particularly vulnerable to victimization. In October of 2000, congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act. The U visa was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute crimes, while also protecting those victims who are so vulnerable due to their legal status.

The Requirements
In order to qualify for U nonimmigrant status an immigrant must meet certain requirements:

  • she must be the victim of a qualifying criminal activity: domestic violence, sexual assault and rape are amongst the qualified crimes;
  • the immigrant must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse;
  • she must possess information about the criminal activity;
  • the crime must have occurred in the United States or violate U.S. laws;
  • the immigrant must be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime

The first obstacle: Proving helpfulness to law enforcement
After having gone through the traumatizing experience of being victimized and providing assistance in the investigation of the crime; a victim must then obtain law enforcement certification—certifying that in fact she was helpful in the investigation.
One of the biggest obstacles in obtaining a U visa is not necessarily proving helpfulness to law enforcement but getting certification of that helpfulness. A certifying agency, such as a police department, sheriff’s office, a judge or district attorney must sign Form I-918, Supplement B, U nonimmigrant Status Certification. The purpose of this certification is to testify that the immigrant has been helpful or is likely to be helpful in the investigation of the criminal activity. The victim can submit form I-918 to the certifying agency to request certification. Even if the immigrant meets all the other requirements to obtain a U visa, without this signed certification she unable to receive the benefit.

Regrettably, an agency’s decision to sign a certification is entirely discretionary. Neither the Department of Homeland Security nor other federal agencies have authority to request or demand certification. Thus, until now, qualified victims have been at the mercy of the designated certifying agency —sometimes waiting over a year for a signature and often being denied for arbitrary reasons. Current processing times for Stockton are particularly slow, taking up to seven months for a response; while their denial rate is unusually high. Sacramento’s current processing time, for both the police and sheriff’s department, is also fairly slow taking anywhere from 4-6 months. Appealing a denial in Stockton and Sacramento is nearly impossible as officers are difficult to reach and unresponsive.

Certain law enforcement agencies simply refuse to sign any certifications at all, while others create impossible requirements completely unrelated to whether the victim was helpful. This unpredictability is in essence defeating the purpose of the U visa and keeping qualified immigrants from receiving the benefits they were intended to get.

October 2015: Governor Jerry Brown signs Bill SB 647- Victims of Crimes: Nonimmigrant Status
On October 9, 2015, Governor Jerry brown signed Bill SB 647- Victims of Crimes: Nonimmigrant Status, designed to help qualified victims obtain a certification from law enforcement. Where there is a qualified crime, the bill requires law enforcement and other designated agencies to fill out and sign the certification request within 90 days, unless they can prove the victim was uncooperative. If the victim is in deportation proceedings the time limit is only 14 days. The bill further establishes a rebuttable presumption that victims who have

“not refused or failed to provide information and assistance reasonably requested by law enforcement”

have met the helpfulness requirement for certification.
Furthermore, certifying agencies will be held accountable for reporting to the legislation annually, the number of victims requesting certification, the number of those certifications that were signed, and the number that were denied. Expectantly, this accountability requirement will keep agencies from arbitrarily denying certifications to qualified victims.
This bill will become effective January 1, 2016 and will help many qualified victims of crimes obtain certifications and receive the benefits of the U visa nonimmigrant status. Optimistically, we can expect other states to soon follow California and enact their own legislation to assist qualified victims obtain certifications.

Author: Yesenia Rosas

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J Waiver Hardship Approval Based on U.S. Citizen Child

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: November 30, 2015
by admin

A Success Story from the Ranchod Law Group

A J Hardship Waiver Approval for a Middle East Client

Filed: May 26, 2015
Approved: November 9, 2015
Client and his family are from a Middle Eastern country. Client entered the U.S. on a J visa with his wife on a J-2 visa. While in the U.S. the couple had their first child. The child is now a healthy well adjusted preschool age child and the client did not want to return to his home country. We focused our arguments on conditions in the home country including safety issues, the poor educational system, and the unavailability of comparable medical care. Also, in his home country client would barely be getting by financially but here in the U.S. client commanded a very good salary. Our firm worked very hard researching and writing the legal brief to present the very best case possible. Now client can continue his career with his family in the U.S.

Read more of our success stories on J Visas here.

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J 1 Visa Waiver Customer Review

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: November 16, 2015
by Alex Achille

The Ranchod Law Group has a great team. They helped me get a J-1 visa waiver, which is usually a complicated and long process. They walked me through every step, and with their help I was able to get a positive decision in a record time. Also, throughout the entire process Melissa, and Kaushik were very open and transparent about everything, which helped me gain an understanding of how these things work, which I appreciate. Thanks to Ranchod Law Group I was able to stay in the US with my family, and be there for the birth of my first daughter. I will forever be thankful for that.

– Michael S

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Approval of Another Hardship Based J Waiver

Sunday, May 01, 2016 | Last Updated: November 17, 2015
by Alex Achille

Approval of a Hardship Based J Waiver
Filed: April 9, 2015
Approved: October 15, 2015

Client was out of status by the time she came to our office for help with her j waiver. Client is married to a U.S. Citizen and had just given birth to the couple’s first child. We were able to successfully argue hardship because client’s husband could not practice his profession abroad and client’s husband owns a home in the U.S. and leaving his job in the U.S. would mean defaulting on his financial responsibilities. Also, client’s husband could not afford to care for his infant while his wife completed her home residency requirement abroad and client’s home country, for many reasons, was not a good a safe place for their child. We worked extensively to argue each aspect of the case and were pleased to see the positive decision.

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