I-601 Waiver Approved for Client

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Last Updated: June 2, 2016
by admin

I-601 Waiver Approval process

Filed: September 4, 2015
Request for Evidence Issued: February 1, 2016
Filed Response to Request for Evidence: March 7, 2016
Approved: March 30, 2016
Country: Mexico

History of Procedure

  • Client entered the U.S. illegally in 2004
  • Married a U.S. Citizen – together the couple had two U.S. citizen children
  • Client returned to Mexico in 2010 to care for a sick relative
  • Client’s U.S. citizen spouse filed an I-130 immigrant petition for client and as soon as client was denied at his immigrant interview abroad (had previously entered and remained in the U.S. illegally)
  • We filed client’s I-601 waiver
  • Client’s wife has a family history of cancer
  • Client’s family had been having a very hard time financially since his departure relying on payday loans and barely getting by

All of this extreme stress was taking a serious toll on the mental health of client’s U.S. citizen wife. Also, client’s wife could not relocate to Mexico to be with her husband because she has other children from a prior relationship who live in the U.S. USCIS issued a request for evidence and we replied in great detail with additional paperwork supporting the case we already established.

Client will finally be able to reenter the U.S. legally as a lawful permanent resident to be with his wife and children. Even if a client previously did not have legal advice, we can help client’s correct previous mistakes. Although it is best to hire an immigration attorney from the beginning, we have experience working with clients at all stages of the I-601 waiver approval process – our results speak for themselves.

| Comments

A Dream on Hold: DAPA and Expanded DACA in Legal Limbo

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Last Updated: May 12, 2016
by admin

Although often controversial, executive actions have been used since the 1950’s by every president to cure immigration problems in this country.

In September 2014, through a series of executive orders President Obama sought to address the immigration issues faced by millions of illegal immigrants. His Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, immigration directives, included a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DAPA is expected to provide relief to approximately 3.8 million immigrants living in the country illegally, who have U.S. citizen children. Similar to DACA, DAPA would provide recipients security from deportation and grant them a work authorization. Moreover, the DACA expansion would give up to 300,000 more immigrants the opportunity to apply for relief. The expansion would eliminate the age cap requirement that an applicant be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2010; change the mandatory date of entry to January 1, 2010; allow for a 3 year grant instead of 2; and allow advance parole to travel.

Since September 2014, 26 states have filed lawsuits to block DAPA and DACA leading to a federal injunction placing the executive orders on hold while awaiting a court decision. On April 18, 2016, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments from the opposing states including Texas. Texas argued that the president does not have authority to make or pass immigration laws as that’s Congress’s job. President Obama has consistently contended that he is exercising his discretion in enforcing existing immigration laws; because the executive branch does not have the resources to simply place all illegal immigrants in removal proceedings, he is using the limited resources to go after “high priority” illegal immigrants, such as felons and terrorists, while granting parents of US citizens and young teens brought to the US as children deferred action regarding their illegal status.

After the passing of late Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court has been divided between four conservative and four liberal justices which could cause a 4-4 tie. Unless one of the conservative justices sides with liberal, the injunction will remain and millions of immigrants will remain without relief.

Optimistically, at least one of the conservative justices will reason that Texas has no legal standing or basis to oppose President Obama’s executive actions, thus upholding DAPA and DACA and granting relief to millions of hopefuls. Having peace of mind from being deported and being able to work lawfully to provide for themselves and their families is a dream to many of these immigrants—a dream that has been on hold for too long.

If you have immigration questions call our office at 916-613-3553 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com.

| Comments

The Biggest Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Last Updated: May 4, 2016
by admin

Why would someone want to apply for U.S. citizenship? There are a lot of reasons, but for many immigrants, one of the most compelling is that it ensures they can stay in this country. Even green card holders with permanent immigration status can be deported if they commit a serious crime.

Another major advantage given to citizens of the United States is the ability to vote. Permanent residents and green card holders aren’t granted that right, but citizens can vote in all national elections and in state elections as well, except in cases where they’re convicted felons in states that bar felons from voting.

If you’re interested in participating in politics more than by simply voting, becoming a U.S. citizen allows you to run for public office. This is a right only afforded to citizens, and it’s what allows them to represent constituents and affect change in state and national laws and policies. The only instance where this isn’t possible is in becoming the U.S. president, which requires you to be a natural born citizen.

That fact segues nicely into an interesting case. Ted Cruz is currently a presidential candidate, but he was technically born in Canada, which would seem to prevent him from becoming a United States president. But because his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born, Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen as well, even though he wasn’t born within U.S. borders — and that’s why he’s allowed to run for president. Recent state court cases that disputed his eligibility for election have ruled in his favor, including a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling. To learn more, check out the article “U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Wins Citizenship Lawsuit Case” on Lawyerherald.com.

If you have immigration questions please call 916-613-3553.

| Comments

What you must know when you have a visa and travel outside of the United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Last Updated: May 2, 2016
by admin

I was recently reminded of the importance of taking a family vacation. To celebrate my wife’s 40th birthday, we decided to go down to San Diego. We went to the beach, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld. We had an awesome time everywhere we visited.

As it happens, it’s been over a year since our last trip together as a family. We usually try to take a family trip at least once a year, but for one reason or another, it didn’t happen last year. So now we’re making up for that lost time.

While I was out of the office, with my family by the ocean, I realized how refreshing it is to have this time with my family. We’re together, relaxing, having a great time, and not worrying about our everyday lives back home. While I was away, I was thankful to know that our legal team was making sure that all of our clients were being taken care of.

Being that we were in San Diego, the weather was perfect for spending time on the beach and exploring the parks. It also made me realize how much I missed the ocean, living in the Sacramento area.

On the topic of travel, and with the summer travel season coming up in a matter of months, I wanted to take some time to talk about a situation travelers need to be mindful of if they are in the U.S. on a visa.

Before traveling out of the U.S., either on a return visit back home, for vacation, or for any other reason, be sure to check the expiration date on your passport. As a general rule, it’s always important to know when it expires so that if you need to renew it, you can take care of it ahead of your travel plans.

In this case, however, while you want to be aware of your passport’s expiration, you also need to be sure your passport is valid for at least as long as the validity of your visa and authorized stay in the U.S. Otherwise, when you return to the U.S. — without extending the validity of your passport — your I-94 will only be issued up until the point your passport expires.

It’s a confusing situation to be in. Let’s say your passport expires in 2019, but your visa expires in 2021. When you re-enter the U.S., the port of entry officer will not provide you an I-94 that is valid beyond the date that your passport expires. This can lead to situations where people think they’re in the U.S. legally when they’re not — and it’s because they didn’t check the validity of these documents.

Not being aware of the valid dates of your passport, visa, or any other immigration document can lead to a lot of legal issues. These issues can then lead to lost time, money, and other complications as you try to correct the problem.

So as you plan your next vacation or trip back home to visit family, check your document and expiration dates. That way, when you return to the U.S., you can be sure you’re here legally and you don’t have anything to worry about.

If you have immigration questions please call 916-613-3553

| Comments

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

Wednesday, June 29, 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: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/18/11058038/ted-cruz-court

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

| Comments

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

Wednesday, June 29, 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).

| Comments

The Secret of Standing by Your Immigration Goals

Wednesday, June 29, 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!

| Comments

California first state to pass legislation to expedite U Visa Certifications

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 | Last Updated: December 22, 2015
by admin

Background
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

| Comments

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

Wednesday, June 29, 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.

| Comments