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MMPA News Release: Supreme Court issues major 8-1 decision in favor of immigrants.

On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a major decision that could affect hundreds of cases filed in immigration courts. The case involved an immigration benefit called cancellation of removal, which is sometimes called “la ley de 10 años, ” and allows immigrant to gain resident status.

In the specific case before the Court, Wescley Fonseca Pereira arrived in the United States in 2000 and overstayed his visa. In 2006, the government served Pereira with a “Notice to Appear” in immigration court but did not specify a time or place. Pereira sought to defend himself by filing an application for cancellation of removal.

One requirement of this law, among others, is that immigrants establish physical presence in the United States for 10 years. Pereira argued that the notice to appear was defective and did not trigger what is known as the stop-time rule. The stop-time rule would have prevented him from accruing the necessary 10 years in the United States.

Asylum: What You Need to Know. You must be very careful to get it right the first time.

Filing a basic asylum application can be simple; however, understanding the complex consequences of your answers will likely determine the fate of your asylum case from the outset.  If you misstate a simple fact in your original application and you wish to correct it at a later time, immigration authorities are likely to accuse you of lying on your asylum application.  Many immigration “notaries” or questionable processes can help you complete the required forms, sometimes at an exorbitant cost, but they are seldom competent enough to warn you about the dire consequences of not analyzing every legal aspect of your asylum application. Sometime notaries charge for simple forms, even though they are well aware that the government provides these forms at no cost. If you are considering filing for asylum, it is immensely important that you understand the overall asylum process to avoid being steered down the wrong path.

Supreme Court  Sessions v. Dimaya. Can legal immigrants be deported if they are convicted of certain crimes?

On April 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a provision of U.S. immigration law requiring that legal immigrants convicted of violent crimes be deported even if they have lived in the U.S. for decades. The particular provision in question before the Court pertained to people who are convicted of certain crimes that present a “substantial risk of force against the person or property of another.” The case involved an immigrant from the Philippines, James Garcia Dimaya, who became a legal U.S. resident when he was a young teenager. Later, Dimaya was convicted of first-degree burglary in California. An immigration judge ordered him deported, declaring that the burglary was “an act of violence.” 

H-1B Visas: The Fight to Save Spousal Work Permits

The Trump Administration’s plan to scrap an Obama era rule permitting the spouses of H1-B visa holders to be legally employed is causing a lot of anxiety in the immigration community, but there is hope. For years, spouses of immigrants who came to work in the U.S. were themselves prohibited from seeking employment because of the way the H1-B laws were written. The situation strained the marriages and finances of many couples who sought to build lives and careers in America. President Obama tried to remedy the situation by allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders with pending green card applications to be issued temporary work permits. The new permits, called H-4 visas, allowed approximately 100,000 women to find work. 

MMPA News Release: Attorney General Sessions moves to add thousands of non-priority cases closed by the Obama administration back on Immigration Court Calendar

May 19, 2018 Orlando, Florida On May 17, 2018, United States Attorney General Jeff sessions issued an order overruling immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The move concerns Immigration Judge’s authority to manage their dockets and “administratively close” cases over the objections of government attorneys. Sessions essentially stripped the judges of their independent authority to close cases, and potentially grants ICE attorneys unfettered discretion to place thousands of cases that were previously administratively closed during the Obama administration because they were considered low priority. While there are significant questions and potential procedural violations in the way Sessions referred the matter to...

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MMPA News Release: Trump administration adds Honduras to unprecedented list of 6 countries denied TPS protection.

On May 4, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency managed by a Trump appointee, announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for Honduras effective January 5, 2020. Temporary protected status is a temporary reprieve against deportation that can be authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security to persons of countries affected by strife or humanitarian catastrophes. While hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998, and the Country remains in turmoil, somehow the DHS secretary concluded that the situation in Honduras has improved to the point that it warrants seeking the return of nearly 60,000 Hondurans who have...

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White House Immigration Proposal Pits Dreamers

MMPA News Release: White House Immigration Proposal Pits Dreamers (DACA) Children Against Their parents and siblings.

January 26, 2018,
Orlando, Florida

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration released a bullet point list of requirements for a limited immigration reform.  The plan limits family based petitions to just spouses and children, doing away with long-ago establish visa petitions for siblings, parents, and adult sons and daughters. The plan also does away with the diversity visa categories, also known as the visa lottery. Additionally, the plan provides $25 billion in funding for border security measures. In exchange for all of this, the Trump administration would allow dreamers or children presently protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to gain resident status and possible citizenship in 10-12 years.