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Tag Archives: Immigration

Gov. Rick Perry on Immigration

Rick Perry (Photo from Wikipedia Page)

I do not support the majority of Gov. Rick Perry’s policies; however, I do admire his support for in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants in Texas. It is clear, that Gov. Perry understands more about immigration than his fellow republican candidates. At a recent republican presidential candidate debate, Rick Perry said the following in regards to in-state tuition. ““If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought there through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children, because they will become a drag on our society.” The U.S. constitution requires that all school age children who reside in the U.S. be given access to public school in the U.S. regardless of immigration status. The U.S. Supreme Court case which finally decided on this ruling actually originated in Texas. However, there is no such requirement that these same children be allowed to attend public universities and receive in-state tuition. Those who argue against the practice say that it is unfair to U.S. Citizens from other states. What these individuals do not realize is that those U.S. Citizens already have the right to in-state tuition in their own state, while undocumented children are without any option. The majority of these children, know only the U.S., they were educated in U.S. public schools, speak English, act in every way like an American and generally know very little of their birth country. They had no choice in the way they entered this country. To deport them to a country they never knew would be cruel and provide no benefit to the U.S., but to allow them to become educated legal residents with the opportunity to be U.S. Citizens would provide tremendous benefits to the U.S. as educated productive members of society.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Immigration Law

 

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How to Get a Green Card through Marriage

One of the quickest and most common ways for a foreign national to obtain lawful permanent resident status or “greencard” in the U.S. is through marriage to a U.S. Citizen, in a process called Adjustment of Status. As with much of Immigration Law, marriage-based adjustment of status can be quite complicated. The process begins with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The same petition can be used for a parent, child or sibling. The petition is necessary to establish the relationship between the U.S. Citizen and the relative, in this case, the foreign national spouse. In addition to form I-130, the U.S. Citizen and foreign national spouse must each complete form G-325A which provides general biographical information. Immigration Law, requires that the U.S. Citizen petitioner prove that the marriage was valid at the time it was performed, that the marital relationship is bonafide, and that it was not entered into solely for procuring an immigration benefit. The mere existence of a marriage certificate will not be enough to establish a bona fide marital relationship. A strong filing will also include many or all of the following: signed affidavits from friends and relatives attesting to the authenticity of the relationship; love letters, holiday cards and photos. In cases where the marriage is arranged, it is important to include evidence that the arrangement is part of the cultural norm.

In cases where the foreign national is already in the United States, it may be expected that the couple live together. USCIS will expect to see commingling of funds through joint bank accounts, joint tax filings, joint utility bills and joint leases or mortgages. The birth certificate of children born into the marriage will also be strong evidence of a bonafide relationship. If the foreign national spouse of a U.S. Citizen is in the U.S. , under most circumstances , the couple can concurrently file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and the I-485 Adjustment of Status to the of a Lawful Permanent Resident. In addition to the I-130, G-325A and supplemental evidence, the U.S. Citizen and his or her spouse would generally need to file form I-485 along with forms I-864, Affidavit of Support, I-131 Application for Travel Document, I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record which can be obtained from a USCIS approved Civil Surgeon. Upon receipt of these documents, USCIS will issue a receipt notice, followed by an ACS appointment notice in order to collect biometrics for the foreign national. The biometrics will be used to conduct a background check on the foreign national before any work authorization or adjustment of status can be granted.

The final step of the marriage-based adjustment of status application is the adjustment of status interview. At this interview a USCIS Officer will interview the couple, go over any questions or concerns regarding the application packet and determine whether or not the couple’s marriage is bonafide. If the officer believes that the foreign national is admissible and that the marriage is bonafide the officer may grant the adjustment of status application right there by stamping the foreign national’s valid passport with an I-551 stamp indicating that they are a lawful permanent resident, or more commonly, the officer will decide at a later date usually within 30 days, and the I-551 Lawful Permanent Resident Card or “greencard” will be sent to the foreign national by mail. If the couple has been married for less than two years, the Lawful Permanent Resident Card will be a two year conditional card. The foreign national must again prove that the marriage was bonafide after two years by filing form I-751 with proof that the marriage was bonafide within 90 days of the card’s expiration. If the couple has been married for more than two years prior to the adjustment of status, the foreign national will be issued a Lawful Permanent Resident Card without conditions. The card itself will need to be renewed every 10 years, but the foreign national will be eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship in three years if they remain married.

The above description is the most common procedure for individuals who have no other issues that might complicate matters. Some of these issues include but are not limited to those who entered without lawful admission, those who are currently out of status, those with visas that require that they return to their home country, those with certain medical conditions and those whose U.S. Citizen spouses do not meet the financial requirements. No article can substitute for a legal consultation with a competent attorney. This information is general in nature and not legal advice. Each case is different and should be reviewed by an immigration attorney as an improperly filed adjustment of status application could lead to loss of thousands of dollars, lengthy delays or even deportation.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Immigration Law

 

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Refugees from Asia, Africa, Mideast sworn in as US citizens

Refugees from Asia, Africa, Mideast sworn in as US citizens

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday joined immigration officials and well-wishers in welcoming 27 refugees from the world’s trouble spots as they were sworn in as US citizens.

“This is now officially your country,” Obama said in a televised message that was beamed into the black-glass headquarters building of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington.

“In America, no dream is impossible. Like the millions of immigrants who have come before you, you have the opportunity to enrich this country through your contributions to civic society,” Obama said before a technical glitch cut short his address to the brand new US citizens.

Moments earlier, the 27 men and women who years ago had fled wars, oppressive regimes and persecution in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, had raised their right hands and pledged loyalty to the United States.

The mass naturalization ceremony was held almost 30 years to the day that president Jimmy Carter signed the Refugee Act into law on March 17, 1980.

“This ceremony speaks of our country as a refuge for people who are fleeing despair or circumstances that our country does not tolerate within its borders,” Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the USCIS, told AFP after the ceremony.

The new citizens came from Bhutan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Vietnam.

Around three quarters of all refugees resettled every year come to the United States, said Lori Scialabba, associate director of the refugee, asylum and international operations directorate at USCIS.

Since the refugee act became law, the United States has offered protection to approximately 2.5 million refugees and 500,000 asylum seekers. Last year alone, USCIS processed 110,000 refugee applications from 109 countries and completed 33,867 asylum applications.

In the past decade, some 5.6 million people have taken the oath to become become US citizens.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Refugees

 

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Visa Bulletin for March 2009 [Family Sponsored]

VISA BULLETIN FOR MARCH 2009

**Family-Sponsored Categories Only.** To see the full bulletin including Employment-Based Visas and Diversity Lottery go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4427.html

If you have a pending family-based visa, your visa will be available when the date on your I-130 approval notice matches or is before the date listed in your preference category. The visa bulletin is updated monthly.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

 Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

 Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

5.  On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

  All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed  CHINA-mainland born  INDIA   MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family          
1st  22JUL02 22JUL02 22JUL02 08OCT92 15JUL93
2A  01JUL04   01JUL04   01JUL04 15OCT01  01JUL04
2B 22JUN00 22JUN00 22JUN00   01MAY92 01DEC97
3rd   08AUG00  08AUG00  08AUG00 15OCT92 08JUN91
4th    01MAR98 15NOV97 01MAR98  08APR95 15MAY86

*NOTE:  For March, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15OCT01.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15OCT01 and earlier than 01JUL04.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2010 in Immigration Law

 

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