There are good changes on the horizon for Immigration Reform 2014

Immigration reform in 2014 has been issued. There are several items to Parole that are different, expanded and easier to get than in the past. Brian D. Lerner, immigration attorney explains that under immigration reform in 2014, first you would need to understand what exactly is ‘parole’ in order to have an appreciation of the differences.

 

At least three separate DHS memos address various aspects of “parole.” In the immigration context, parole refers to allowing an individual to temporarily enter the United States for purposes of significant public benefit or for humanitarian reasons without technically admitting the person into the country. Although parole is issued on a case-by-case basis, there is a long history of designated categories of individuals who may qualify for parole. “Advance parole” and “parole-in-place” are forms of parole. Advance parole refers to giving an individual currently residing in the United States in a temporary status permission to travel abroad for a short period and return to the United States without jeopardizing the existing status. Parole in-place is parole in which an individual who is already in the United States, but who is here without permission, is nonetheless granted parole without having to leave the country. Individuals granted parole—including advance parole and parole-in-place—may ultimately be able to gain lawful permanent status without leaving the United States, if they are otherwise eligible.

 

Brian D. Lerner states there are issues with this. For example, if somebody who might qualify under the immigration laws to adjust status in the U.S. – except for not being able to show legal entry, they might be able to use the parole. For example, they could qualify for DACA or DAPA under the immigration reform 2014, and because of that, they could apply for Advance Parole, leave the U.S. and then enter again legally. This legal entry would really be an admission to the U.S. states Brian Lerner. Because of that, the person could then adjust status in the U.S. assuming they have no other grounds of inadmissibility.

 

Here there is a specific change to immigration policy per the immigration reform 2014. Under direction from the Secretary of Homeland Security, DHS officials will be instructed to follow a 2012 immigration decision (Matter of Arrabally), finding that a lawfully present individual who travels abroad after a grant of advance parole does not trigger the three- or 10-year bars that ordinarily apply when a person departs the United States after residing here unlawfully for more than six months. Under this decision, individuals who would be eligible for LPR status but for the fact that their last entry into the United States was unlawful may be able to apply for permanent resident status upon their parole back into the United States. The new DHS instruction will ensure consistent application across the department. Assuming that this is actually followed, there will be consistency and a person leaving the U.S. under the immigration reform 2014, will be able to re-enter the U.S. without fear that they have just invoked the 3/10 year bar waiver. Brian Lerner states that prior to the immigration reform 2014, the adjudications of people re-entering the U.S. with the advance parole was inconsistent and different depending which officer you happened to get. Hopefully, this will end and there will be consistent adjudications.

 

Parole in Place adjudications has been expanded to include LPR relatives in the military as well as persons who intend to enter the military (not just personas already in the military.) Also, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has stated that he would like USCIS to grant deferred action to persons who overstayed their visas and who have a relative who is a veteran. Thus, the immigration reform 2014 in fact has good news on the horizon for parole and should be used once the regulations are issued.

President Obama’s Immigration Reform also deals with Parole in Place for the military and inventors

At least three separate DHS memos address various aspects of “parole.” In the immigration context, parole refers to allowing an individual to temporarily enter the United States for purposes of significant public benefit or for humanitarian reasons without technically admitting the person into the country. President Obama’s immigration reform changes somewhat the policy.  Although parole is issued on a case-by-case basis, there is a long history of designated categories of

individuals who may qualify for parole.

 

“Advance parole” and “parole-in-place” are forms of parole explains Brian D. Lerner. Advance parole refers to giving an individual currently residing in the United States in a temporary status permission to travel abroadfor a short period and return to the United States without jeopardizing the existing status. President Obama’s immigration reform also deals with  Parole-in-place. This is a type of parole in which an individual who is already in the United States, but who is here without permission, is nonetheless granted parole without having to leave the country. Individuals granted parole—including advance parole and parole-in-place—may ultimately be able to gain lawful permanent status without leaving the United States, if they are otherwise eligible.

 

Thus, Brian Lerner states that the PIP – Parole in place will be somewhat expanded.  Parole in place to protect military families  is where it will be expanded under President Obama’s immigration reform. Secretary Johnson announced new policies to protect unauthorized families of the U.S. military and of those seeking to enlist. In November 2013, DHS issued guidance permitting parole-in-place for unauthorized family members of military personnel and veterans. The new guidance will expand the availability of parole-in-place, as well as deferred action, to family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under President Obama’s immigration reform, the Secretary also asked USCIS to consider granting deferred action to family members of current military personnel and veterans who have overstayed their visas.

 

A very interesting development according to Brian D. Lerner is that DHS officials will be instructed to follow a 2012 immigration decision (Matter of Arrabally), finding that a lawfully present individual who travels abroad after a grant of advance parole does not trigger the three- or 10-year bars that ordinarily apply when a person departs the United States after residing here unlawfully for more than six months. Under this decision, states Brian Lerner, individuals who would be eligible for LPR status but for the fact that their last entry into the United States was unlawful may be able to apply for permanent resident status upon their parole back into the United States. The new DHS instruction will ensure consistent application across the department. This might be a very good way for somebody to adjust status in the U.S. Brian Lerner explains that they could get the parole, come back into the U.S. and under certain circumstances adjust.

 

President Obama’s immigration reform also adds a completely new parole for investors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises. Brian Lerner states there are currently no new regulations on this, but USCIS has been directed to draft regulations for a new category of parole to enable certain inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up businesses to enter the United States before they become eligible for a visa. Parole would allow these individuals to temporarily pursue research and development of promising ideas and businesses in the United States, rather than abroad. Thus, President Obama’s immigration reform has lots of good news on Parole for differing categories of persons and hopefully will get the regulations issued soon

Immigration Reform: The new Prosecutorial Discretion Memo and Priorities for Apprehension

Under immigration reform USA, here are exceptions to the priorities of deportation

The immigration reform USA has made specific reference to three priorities and how they are to be deported and put into removal proceeding and deported. However, the same memorandum, explains Brian D. Lerner, goes into exceptions of what you can do in order to not be deported or placed into deportation proceedings, even if you fall under one of the priorities.

Priority 1 Exceptions:

Brian D. Lerner reminds that Priority 1 targets are the highest level of targets, such as terrorist suspects, national security, various felonies, aggravated felons and various gang related crimes. The immigration reform USA exceptions to priority 1 are as follows: Of course, if you qualify for asylum, then it does not matter if you are in priority 1 as you can apply and stay if granted asylum. However, the immigration reform USA states that if you do not qualify for asylum and are under priority #1, that you can request that under prosecutorial discretion, you are not placed into removal proceedings and/or removed if in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, CBP Sector Chief, or CBP Director of Field Operations, there are compelling and exceptional factors that clearly indicate you are not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety and should not therefore be an enforcement priority.

Clearly, the immigration reform USA is quite strict on allowing an exercise of prosecutorial discretion if you are under Priority #1. It also allows a variety of levels of personnel to make the decision. It might be best, states Brian D. Lerner, to apply with the top official, rather than the lowest level official who might not have as much sympathy or knowledge or procedure. However, it is possible explains Brian D. Lerner if you have a packet put together that is persuasive and that shows that there are compelling and exceptional factors to grant the request for prosecutorial discretion to not be removed. In the memo itself, in the immigration reform USA, it does not discuss what is defined as ‘compelling’ or ‘exceptional’, and therefore, there is lots of room to properly argue relief from deportation.

Priority 2 Exceptions:
Brian D. Lerner reminds that Priority 2 is the mid level priority to deport people. In summary, Priority #2 deals with persons who have 3 or more various misdemeanors, or a significant misdemeanor of which deals with specific crimes such as domestic violence, gun crimes, drug crimes, burglary, or other crimes where there was 90 days or more in custody. The immigration reform USA also included in Priority #2 includes people entering illegally or re-entering illegally and cannot prove they have been in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2014 and finally those people who have abused the visa waiver or other visa programs and in their discretion should be deported.

Thus, Brian Lerner states, that under immigration reform USA, it is in the memorandum that in order to try to apply for prosecutorial discretion so that you are not deported or put into deportation proceedings if you are in Priority #2, the following must be done: First, as with Priority #1, if you qualify for asylum, explains Brian D. Lerner, then you will not be deported here. However, assuming that is not the case as under the immigration reform USA, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, CBP Sector Chief, CBP Director of Field Operations, USCIS District Director, or USCIS Service Center Director, there are factors indicating the alien is not a threat to national security.

Brian D. Lerner, explains that the procedure and requirements to qualify for a Priority #2 exception, might look the same as Priority #1 under the immigration reform USA, it is not the case. First of all, you do not need to show ‘compelling’ or ‘exceptional’ circumstances. Brian Lerner states this is huge. The burden of proof needed to show why prosecutorial discretion should be exercised is much less with a Priority 2 request. Additionally, in Priority 2, you must only show that you will not be a threat to national security, whereas under Priority 1, you must show not only you will not be a threat to national security, but to border security or public safety. Thus, the immigration reform USA makes it abundantly clear that it will be easier to get prosecutorial discretion granted under Priority 2, rather than Priority 1.

Priority 3 Exceptions
As you might already guess, Brian D. Lerner explains, Priority #3 is the least priority given to deporting people. The immigration reform USA states that Priority #3 which basically consists of persons issued a final order of removal after January 1, 2014, but do not fall under the other priorities.

In order to be issued prosecutorial discretion if you fall under Priority 3, it must be shown that in the judgment of an immigration officer, the alien is not a threat to the integrity of the immigration system or there are factors suggesting the alien should not be an enforcement priority. Thus, Brian D. Lerner states that under immigration reform USA, this burden is even less than Priority 2. No arguments need to be made about national security. Rather, it must be shown that there is no threat to the integrity of the immigration system, or in the alternative, you are not an enforcement priority. Brian Lerner states it is a bit ambiguous what exactly is meant by ‘integrity to the immigration system’, but the fact it is listed on Priority 3 exceptions, would mean it has the least amount of burden to prove.

Therefore, there are ways to argue that prosecutorial discretion should be exercised in each and every priority. Brian Lerner reminds you that you should have the packet for prosecutorial discretion exercised in a very persuasive manner and get a qualified immigration attorney to help comply with the requirements of the immigration reform USA.

Immigration Reform News Makes new Policies for deportation

The immigration reform news has made new policies states Brian D. Lerner, for who will be targeted for deportation. There are three different priorities with the first priority being the highest level of deportation and the second priority being the middle level priority and the third priority given the least preference and lowest priority for deportation.

However, the immigration reform news makes clear that there are issues and policies that apply to all of the priorities. Brian D. Lerner explains that prior policy memos were specifically revoked per the immigration reform news. The memorandum by Jeh Johnson states as follows: Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to prohibit or discourage the apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens unlawfully in the United States who are not identified as priorities herein. However, resources should be dedicated, to the greatest degree possible, to the removal of aliens described in the priorities set forth above, commensurate with the level of prioritization identified. Immigration officers and attorneys may pursue removal of an alien not identified as a priority herein, provided, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, removing such an alien would serve an important federal interest. Unfortunately, Brian D. Lerner, immigration attorney, states that this is a rather wide open policy. It certainly allows an ICE official to simply claim that deporting a particular individual is in the ‘federal interest’ of the U.S., or deporting somebody who entered illegally would serve the ‘federal interest’ by not encouraging others to do the same act. The immigration reform news certainly has delineated the different policies, but this particular paragraph, explains Brian D. Lerner is problematic. It would seem that the ICE official which is essentially on the bottom of the enforcement hierarchy should not be given the authority in her own individual opinion what is and is not in the Federal interest of the U.S. This is exactly what the memorandum on the ‘policies’ of deportation spells out.

The immigration reform news then goes on to state that its policies on detention. It is actually quite fair states Brian D. Lerner. Specifically, the immigration reform news states as follows regarding the detention policies: As a general rule, DHS detention resources should be used to support the enforcement priorities noted above or for aliens subject to mandatory detention by law. The immigration reform news states that absent extraordinary circumstances or the requirement of mandatory detention, field office directors should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness, who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, or nursing, who demonstrate that they are primary caretakers of children or an infirm person, or whose detention is otherwise not in the public interest. The Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner states it is about time. There has been years of detaining pregnant mothers, elderly, mentally infirm and persons with physical disabilities. It has taken a toll and not looked very humane to the rest of the world. However, the immigration reform news per this memo seems to put an end to this type of detention. The immigration reform news goes on to state that to detain aliens in those categories who are not subject to mandatory detention, DHS officers or special agents must obtain approval from the ICE Field Office Director.Brian D. Lerner explains this is very fair as it does not put all the decision making ability in the front-line officer and will make a more uniform execution of this policy If an alien falls within the above categories and is subject to mandatory detention, field office directors are encouraged to contact their local Office of Chief Counsel for guidance.

Brian D. Lerner explains that this immigration reform news shows how the Obama administration priority is to not deport or to detain persons who are not in the listed priorities of deportable persons. What is interesting, explains Brian D. Lerner, is that on other parts of this memo, broad discretion is given to officers to decide whether or not to place one in removal proceedings. However, here, if the person is in detention, in accordance with the immigration reform news, they are not given that discretion, and in actuality, must go to a supervisor to keep the person detained if they fall under this category. Thus, the immigration reform news is good, but there are parts that could use clarification states Brian Lerner.

The Notice to Appear and Removal Proceedings

Deportation and the Notice to Appear

I’m in Deportation Proceedings. Now What?

Question: I have been served with a Notice to Appear and been put into Removal Proceedings. What do I do?

Answer: The Removal Proceedings begins with issuance of a Notice to Appear and there are very specific requirements that must be included in Notice to Appear. If they are not included, you can try to ask for proceedings to be terminated.

Question: What type of requirements are supposed to be in the Notice to Appear?

Answer: The following items are required: In removal proceedings under section 240, written notice (in this section referred to as a ‘notice to appear’) shall be given in person to the foreign national (or, if personal service is not practicable, through service by mail to the alien or to the alien’s counsel of record, if any). Thus, the first item is that it must be properly served on the foreign national in order to give notice of the hearing.

It must specify the following:
“(A) The nature of the proceedings against the alien.
“(B) The legal authority under which the proceedings are conducted.
“(C) The acts or conduct alleged to be in violation of law.
“(D) The charges against the alien and the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated.
“(E) The alien may be represented by counsel and the alien will be provided (i) a period of time to secure counsel
“(F)(i) The requirement that the alien must immediately provide (or have provided) the Attorney General with a written record of an address and telephone number (if any) at which the alien may be contacted. The requirement that the alien must provide the Attorney General immediately with a written record of any change of the alien’s address or telephone number and the consequencesof failure to provide address and telephone information.

Next, there must be the time and place at which the proceedings will be held and the consequences of the failure, except under exceptional circumstances, to appear at such proceedings.

There must be listed the time and place of the proceedings.

Question: Will an attorney be appointed for me?

Answer: No. However, you do have the ‘right’ to have an immigration attorney of your choosing. Therefore, the first hearing will usually be continued in order to give you an opportunity in which to obtain an immigration attorney to help you.

Question: Should I admit the crimes listed on the Notice to Appear?

Answer: You should never admit the crimes. It is the burden of the government to prove that you are removable by clear and convincing evidence and that burden cannot be shifted because you simply admit to the crime.

Question: What about the grounds of removability? Should I admit to those as well?

Answer: First, you should make certain that you have an immigration attorney who is familiar and an expert in deportation and removal proceedings. In any event, some items of removability you could not realistically deny. However, many you can deny. For example, if you are being charged as an aggravated felon, there is a possibility that you can fight this and show you are wrongfully being classified as an aggravated felon.

In any event, it is very important to plea properly to the Notice to Appear and to fight the issuance or contents of the Notice to Appear if they are not properly served or placed in the Notice to Appear.

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