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Immigration Reform

Monday, July 20, 2015

Democrat Martin O'Malley Unveils Immigration Plan

Democrat Martin O'Malley Unveils Immigration Plan

Martin OMalley

 

Railing against what he described as a broken immigration system that tears families apart and stifles economic growth, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley said Tuesday he would use aggressive executive action to limit deportations if elected to the White House.

The former governor of Maryland unveiled his immigration platform at an event in Manhattan, where a handful of immigrants shared their personal stories.

"As Americans, we are good people. And we can do better than this backward, broken immigration process that rips families apart," O'Malley said.

The relatively little-known Democrat is working to gain traction in a race dominated by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

As part of his platform, O'Malley vowed to close detention facilities and press Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would include a pathway to citizenship for millions who entered the country illegally. He also vowed to expand health care for immigrants and create an independent agency that would work to refine immigration policy.

The moves, he said, would go further than President Barack Obama, who has put into place a series of executive actions aimed at deferring deportations for millions of immigrants in the country illegally, including those who arrived in the United States as young children.

"I believe that every president moves the ball down the field as much as much as they possibly can. And I would move it further," O'Malley said. "We cannot stop until we achieve comprehensive immigration reform."

The event came as the crowded Republican field continues to grapple with comments about immigrants made by businessman Donald Trump, who, during his campaign announcement speech, portrayed Mexican immigrants as criminals.

O'Malley said it was "disturbing" that not all of the other Republican presidential candidates had denounced the comments.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Immigration and Criminal Activities

There is a lot of hype and dramatization in the news regarding crime and undocumented immigrants.  Donald Trumps made unconscionable comments several days ago on this topic.  While he is getting a lot of attention, immigration reform conversations have always been been accompanied recently by speculation about immigration and the correlation of crime rates.

Last week, a tragic shooting in California gave rise to many pundits making comments about whether there are connections between crime and immigration, and whether undocumented immigrants are high-risk for committing crimes.

Thankfully, the Washington Post pointed out that Mexican-born immigrant males between the ages of 18 and 39 who do not have a high school diploma had a LOWER rate of incarceration  in 2010 than all native-born males of the same age regardless of education level – and a much lower incarceration rate than native-born American males without high school diplomas. In general, the Post reported, immigrants are one fifth as likely to be incarcerated for crimes, and analysts have found this difference is due to a lower propensity for crime overall.

The conversation and debate surrounding immigration reform will continue to be a topic of conversation in the media, especially as we move close to the 2016.  It is important that all people take the time learn the facts about immigration and criminal activity.


Friday, July 17, 2015

USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

USCIS is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would expand eligibility for provisional waivers of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence. The proposed rule would expand eligibility to all foreign nationals who are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and for a waiver of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence.

Read the advance version of the notice of proposed rulemaking: Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility. Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days from the date of publication to comment. To submit comments, follow the instructions in the notice.

The changes, proposed in the interests of family unity and to enhance customer service, would take effect on the date indicated in the final rule when the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allows certain immediate relatives – specifically certain parents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens -- who are in the United States to request a provisional unlawful presence waiver before departing for consular processing of their immigrant visas. The waiver currently is only available to those immediate relatives whose sole ground of inadmissibility would be unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and who can demonstrate that the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

Under the proposed rule, USCIS may grant a provisional waiver to foreign nationals if they are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and for a waiver of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence. The proposed rule also would expand who may be considered a qualifying relative for purposes of the extreme hardship determination to include lawful permanent resident spouses and parents.  

These proposed changes do not take effect with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. When the final rule is published, the final rule will indicate the date on which foreign nationals may begin to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers under the changes.

At this time, foreign nationals should not submit applications requesting provisional unlawful presence waivers based on the proposed changes. USCIS may deny any such application filed before the effective date indicated in the final rule, once the final rule is published.

For more information, see the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers page.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

California Pushes To Expand Health Care For Immigrants - Huffington Post

California Pushes To Expand Health Care For Immigrants

Posted: Updated:
JERRY BROWN
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Governor of the State of California Jerry Brown presents onstage at the ADL Annual Meeting on November 6, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage) | Michael Kovac via Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama's executive order to spare some immigrants from deportation has galvanized Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates in California to push for expanding health coverage to a segment of the population that remains uninsured.

The president's action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for federal health benefits. But California has its own policy of providing health coverage with state money to low-income immigrants with so-called "deferred action" that allow them to avoid deportation. Immigrant and health care advocates say that means Obama's executive order will enable hundreds of thousands of low-income immigrants in California to apply for Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid.

Read the full article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/30/california-health-care-immigrants_n_6243850.html


Monday, April 20, 2015

President Obama's Executive Order and How it May Help You!

Introduction

President Obama's Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will affect up to 4.9 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The highlight of the announcement is the Deferred Action for Parents program, which includes:

  • Parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible if their child was born on or before November 20, 2014.
  • They will benefit from having any deportation action deferred for them and they will also receive

     employment authorization.

  •  Other requirements include continuous residence since January 1, 2010 and not being a priority for removal.

Contact our office if you have questions or concerns about removal priority (deportation priority to the Department of Homeland Security) 

People impacted by this history-making executive order from Barack Obama should prepare themselves for the coming months and get ready to send in their applications. Here are some things that you will need to know and prepare for:

  1. Start saving for application costs
  2. Collect documents that you will need to submit with your application 
  3. Put together your reasons for why you should benefit from this executive order 
  4. Pay attention to new developments because new information comes out every day! 

If you are one of the 4.9 million undocumented immigrants who will benefit from this executive order, the time to start collecting documents and making your case is now!

Deferred Action

In 2012, Barack Obama issued an executive order that would quickly be known as “DACA,” which is a type of administrative relief where a qualified individual can ask the USCIS for the right to work and avoid deportation. The qualifications of the program stated that in order to receive deferred action the applicant would have to show that they arrived in the U.S. as a child and therefore faultless in their undocumented status.

DACA has been expanded by President Obama's newest executive action to include the following groups of people:

  1. Undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children who are over the age of 31.
  2. Applicants can now apply even if they have not resided in the U.S. continuously since 2007.However, new applicants need to have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010.

The newest iteration of DACA allows applicants three years of relief instead of two and will be avail- able in about 90 days from the President's announcement.

How to Sign Up for DACA

Many undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for DACA did not sign up for the program      previously for fear of outing their relatives who were not covered by Deferred Action.

Now parents of DACA recipients are to receive relief as well and it’s a good idea for those DACA hopefuls to look into applying for deferred action.

Call our office at 855-636-3889 for more information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals pro- gram and to even fill out the USCIS form for this kind of administrative relief, Form I-821D.

A Few Things You Need To Know

Because the circumstances of this executive action are so similar to those of the executive action that created DACA, it is DACA that offers the best guidance on what to expect. These are the things you should know before you submit your application when it becomes available.

Documents for your application

 The federal government will probably request documents that explain why you should be allowed to receive the benefits outlined in the executive order. These documents may have to do with your residence history, your travel history and status in the United States.

 Documents you might be able to use for this purpose include: 

  1. Birth Certificates
  2. Plane tickets 
  3. School records 
  4. Bank records 
  5. Tax records 
  6. Immigration and customs documents 
  7. Other documents that show that you were in the United States for the relevant period of time.

Translations

 The USCIS typically requires that documents submitted as evidence for immigration applications be in English these new applications will be no  different.

 If the documents that you need to submit with your application are not in English, you can have them translated in advance to be better prepared. Keep in mind that it’s important to keep translated documents as a group of documents, including:

 The original document, which is in a language other than English

  1. An Affidavit signed by the translator that says that they translated it to the best of their ability, and 
  2. The English translation of the document

     

Know your education or military history

Being able to show that you were educated in the United States will provide that you are involved  in

U.S. society and can be an asset if granted some sort of immigration status. Military records that show that you served in one of the U.S. armed forces also works in the same   way.

Some documents that you can use for this part include:

  • A certificate of completion from a U.S. high school
  • A diploma from a U.S. high school
  • A General Education Development Certificate
  • Transcripts
  • A  schedule that shows that you are currently in school
  • Honorable discharge documents from one of the U.S. armed forces or the U.S. Coast Guard

Prepare to pay

 The cost of the applications may fall between $500 and $1500 so it is incredibly important to save over the coming months.

 The application is likely to become available in six months and you will need to save enough for yourself and anyone else who you are helping to apply so that you can apply first.

 When the USCIS starts receiving applications, there’s a good chance that a backlog will form and if you are the first to apply, you can be sure to be one of the first to receive your   benefits.

 

Know your criminal history

You may be subjected to a background investigation to show that you haven’t been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, more than one less significant misdemeanor, and that you don’t pose a threat  to U.S. national security or public  safety.

If you do have a criminal conviction, you should contact the Law Offices of Keith R. Campbell to discuss your rights and to protect your residency in the U.S.

Stay up to date with the news

New information is being revealed all the time about this new relief program and you want to be sure that you are among the first who apply. Stay up to date with the relief program and you won’t have to wait as long to receive immigration benefits.

Sign up for our Blog to receive the latest news on the President’s Executive Order and what is next or call the Law Offices of Keith R. Campbell at 855-636-3889 for more information.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

New York Leaders Pioneer Immigration Reform in Their State

New York has great news for advocates of comprehensive immigration reform. Several high powered individuals in New York state have begun to put together a program aimed at protecting the rights of undocumented immigrants currently residing in the state of New York. The Washington Times reported that the state has launched a new task force aimed at keeping predatory parties from taking advantage of immigrants in the area. Formed jointly by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the task force is set to take effect nearly immediately and should have an immensely positive impact on undocumented immigrants in New York.

The Purpose of the task force.
The task force has been established with the purpose of combating private parties and entities that routinely prey on individuals within the immigrant community

In essence, these organizations contact undocumented immigrants who are attempting to gain citizenship through the proper, established channels. The fraudulent organizations then offer false promises of expedited timeframes for citizenship applications, which come at a cost and never materialize. Though rates vary, multiple outlets have indicated that undocumented immigrants are regularly scammed out of amounts varying between several hundred and several thousand dollars.  Because there is no accountability for these organizations such as a state bar association, as it is with attorney’s, these organizations easily take advantage of the vulnerability and fears that many undocumented immigrant have. 

The Task Force
The group being put together will include several individuals, state agencies and parties among the most powerful in New York State.   Amongst these groups leading the task force with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Office of the Attorney General and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. Although the task force will undoubtedly need to recruit other individuals and private contractors to aid in their efforts, these three parties are committed to undertaking the vast majority of the work. The group's efforts will correlate well with President Barack Obama's recent efforts at comprehensive immigration reform.

"As the president's executive action goes into effect, New York is taking the lead to root out fraud against those looking for a better life. Through this strategic partnership, we will hold accountable those who take advantage of vulnerable immigrants and help make the goals of the president's actions a reality for thousands of New Yorkers," said Schneiderman.

Impact and strategy
While the true impact of the task force remains to be seen, it's an extremely promising sign in an
area where immigration services fraud runs rampant. It is important to note that not all immigration services in New York are fraudulent.  However, one of the greatest difficulties in prosecuting these fraudulent parties is that they move around frequently to avoid detection, often taking the money of undocumented immigrants with them. The task force intends to make faster, more expedient prosecution and action against these agencies a priority.

Even with this task force in place, it will be impossible to find and prosecute all of the agencies.  However, hiring an attorney, such as the attorneys and associates of the Law Offices of Keith R. Campbell, is the most secure way to ensure that your immigration matters are being handled with honesty, integrity and with a vast amount of immigration experience.  In addition, all attorneys are held accountable by the state bar association of the state where they hold their license. 

The Law Offices of Keith R. Campbell can assist you with any of your immigration needs in all 50 states.  Call us today at 855-636-3889 to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 





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