This Crisis Will Pass – Trump’s Changes Will Stay Longer

by W. John Vandenberg

“A crise vai passar,” the crisis will pass.  Those are the words I hear over and over in the Brazilian and other immigrant communities, and it is true that this pandemic will pass.  However, during the time of COVID-19, there have been many changes in immigration that affect the immigrant community, and these changes are likely to last longer than the pandemic.

covid virus picFirst, all USCIS offices are closed until at least June 4, so no interviews for greencards or naturalization.  The embassies and consulatesare closed as well, so no one is receiving a visa.  Immigration courts for non-detained cases are closed, too, until June 12, which for some immigrants is great news, but for others means they will wait months or even years for their hearing.  Everything will be rescheduled, of course.  But until then, everything is on hold.

Second, USCIS is now requiring the form I-944 Declaration of Self Sufficiency for all adjustments.  This is a huge change.  Before, a sponsor needed only provide an I-864 Affidavit of Support for their family members.  Now, with the I-944, USCIS added a massive burden of time and documentation, requiring tax transcripts for household members, health insurance policies, proof of current income, prior employment history, a credit score and report for the immigrant, proof of English proficiency, education, and more to prove the immigrant will not become a “public charge.”red tape photo

Third, the Trump Administration is using the COVID-19 pandemic to slow and even stop legal immigration.  The April 22 Presidential Proclamation is just the start.  Currently, it only affects immigrants overseas who don’t have an immigrant visa.  The Proclamation is clearly not about protecting American workers; how does banning parents and siblings of U.S. citizens and the spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents save jobs?  Remember also that President Trump said he is going to issue additional measures after 60 days.  And he certainly will.

But now is not the time to be afraid.  Now is the time to be steadfast, keep filing applications, and work intelligently.  Even though USCIS offices are closed, USCIS Service Centers still operating, issuing work cards and processing cases.  For immigrants who were anxious for their day in Court, Motions can be filed to move rescheduled hearings to an earlier date.  Immigrants with weak cases have gained time to build a stronger case, or hope for a favorable change in the law or even a new, kinder President.  Regarding the I-944, our office is already filing these, and it is a good time to do so.  USCIS officers are still learning how to adjudicate these forms, so they are likely to not judge too harshly, and early applicants will be better able to argue their case.  And for the Proclamation, being bold will pay dividends.  With the Trump Administration looking to ban additional classes of immigrants and nonimmigrants over the next few months, the sooner applications are filed, the better.

In this time of change and uncertainty, our team is here to help. We are still scheduling consultations by Whatsapp, Facetime, Skype, and phone.  And once our office is allowed to reopen, we can’t wait to see our current and future clients again and represent you in your immigration journey.

If you need legal advice, or would like to review your immigration options, please contact our office at (610) 664-6271 or visit our website to schedule a consultation. 

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  Readers of this blog should contact our office or their own attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and the law firm of Hogan & Vandenberg or its employees. 

Обновленная информация о Президентской Прокламации (декларации) от 22 апреля о приостановлении въезда иммигрантов

Как вы все уже знаете, президент Трамп подписал Президентскую Прокламацию, согласно которой 23 апреля в 23:59 было приостановлено въезд в Соединенные Штаты определенных категорий иммигрантов.
trump at white houseТак что это значит для вас, вашей семьи или вашего бизнеса?  Как и во многих вещах в жизни, некоторым иммигрантам повезло, некоторым не повезло, а некоторым, вероятно, не хватает времени.
Во-первых, кому повезло, он не включен в эту Прокламацию:
  • Все владельцы неиммиграционных виз.  Это означает, что если у вас есть виза H-1B, виза TN, студенческая виза F-1, виза жениха K-1, даже виза для посетителей B-2, вам не будет разрешен въезд.  Потому что владельцы неиммиграционных виз не являются иммигрантами.
   • Люди уже в Соединенных Штатах.
Таким образом, если у вас есть заявка, ожидающая получения семейной или основанной на трудоустройстве гринкарты, вы все равно получите ее, пока человек, который получит гринкарту, находится здесь, в Соединенных Штатах.  И на данный момент Прокламация не мешает вам подать заявку на семейную или основанную на работе гринкарту (и сейчас, вероятно, самое подходящее время).
 • Лица, которые уже имеют гринкарту или уже имеют в своем паспорте штамп иммиграционной визы, действительный по состоянию на 23 апреля.
 • Супруги и дети (в том числе усыновленные) граждан США, в том числе военнослужащие США.
 • Лица (со своими супругами и детьми), которые иммигрируют в Соединенные Штаты, являются медицинскими работниками, исследователями или приезжают для борьбы с COVID-19.
  • Инвесторы-иммигранты EB-5.
  • Определенные иммигранты, то есть переводчики для американских сил за рубежом, которые имеют на это право.
  • Беженцы и просители убежища.
  • Лица, которых определяет правительство, должны быть допущены в правоохранительных целях или в национальных интересах.
Во-вторых, кому не повезло, и они включены в Президентскую Прокламацию:
  • Родители, взрослые дети, братья и сестры граждан США.  Ожидание уже, вероятно, было очень долгим.  Просто стало длиннее.
  • Супруга, взрослые дети и дети законных постоянных жителей США.
  • Лица, которые завершили все для Консульской Обработки и были одобрены, но еще не получили свой паспорт с визовой печатью.
В-третьих, кто занят?  В Президентской Прокламации говорится, что Министры труда и Внутренней безопасности должны в течение 30 дней доложить ему о том, должен ли он ограничить количество неиммиграционных рабочих виз, таких как H-1B и TN.  В Администрации Трампа мы все можем предположить, что эти секретари Кабинета министров, вероятно, сочтут, что ограничение неиммиграционных рабочих виз оправдано, – и попытаются ограничить их въезд.  Таким образом, мы можем вскоре увидеть вторую Прокламацию, очень похожую на мусульманский запрет, который прошел три итерации, прежде чем он прошел рассмотрение Верховного суда.
В это время, если вам повезло, сделайте все возможное, чтобы добиться прогресса в вашем деле.  Если вам не повезло, оставайтесь на месте: иммиграция, как и погода в Западном Техасе, постоянно меняется, и ситуация может улучшиться (или ухудшиться) без особого уведомления.  И если вы заняты, это хорошая идея чтобы оценить ваши варианты и посмотреть, есть ли что-нибудь, что вы можете сделать, чтобы опередить следующую Прокламацию.
Если вам нужна юридическая консультация или вы хотите пересмотреть варианты иммиграции, свяжитесь с нашим офисом по телефону (484) 506-8419, чтобы назначить консультацию.
Информация, представленная на этом сайте, не является юридической консультацией и не предназначена для нее;  Вместо этого вся информация, контент и материалы, доступные на этом сайте, предназначены только для общих информационных целей.  Информация на этом сайте может не являться самой актуальной юридической или другой информацией.  Читатели этого блога должны связаться с нашим офисом или своим собственным адвокатом, чтобы получить совет относительно любого конкретного юридического вопроса.  Ни один читатель, пользователь или браузер этого сайта не должен действовать или воздерживаться от действий на основании информации, представленной на этом сайте, без предварительной консультации с юристом в соответствующей юрисдикции.  Только ваш индивидуальный адвокат может предоставить гарантии того, что информация, содержащаяся в данном документе, – и ваше толкование – применима или соответствует вашей конкретной ситуации.  Использование и доступ к этому веб-сайту или любым ссылкам или ресурсам, содержащимся на сайте, не создают отношений между адвокатом и клиентом между читателем, пользователем или браузером и юридической фирмой Hogan & Vandenberg или ее сотрудниками.

Update on the April 22 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants

by W. John Yahya Vandenberg

As you all know by now, President Trump signed his Presidential Proclamation which, as of 11:59pm on April 23, suspended entry to the United States by certain categories of immigrants.

trump at white house

So what does it mean for you, your family, or your business?  As in many things in life, some immigrants were lucky, some were unlucky, and some are probably on borrowed time.

 

 

First, who got lucky, and is not included in this Proclamation:

  • All non-immigrant visa holders. That means if you have an H-1B visa, a TN visa, an F-1 student visa, a K-1 fiance visa, even a B-2 visitors visa, you are not barred from entry. Because non-immigrant visa holders are not immigrants.
  • Persons already inside the United States. So if you have an application pending for a family or employment-based greencard, you will still receive it, so long as the person who will get the greencard is here in the United States.  And as of now, the Proclamation does not prevent you from applying for a family or work-based greencard (and now is probably a good time).
  • Persons who already have their greencard, or already have the immigrant visa stamp in their passport, valid as of April 23rd.
  • Spouses and children (including adopted children) of U.S. citizens, including members of the U.S. military.
  • Persons (with their spouses and children) who are immigrating to the United States who are a healthcare professional, researcher, or coming to combat COVID-19.
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investors.
  • Special Immigrants, essentially meaning interpreters for U.S. forces abroad who qualify.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Persons who the government determines should be admitted for law enforcement purposes or in the national interest.

Second, who didn’t get lucky, and are included in the Presidential Proclamation:

  • Parents, adult children, brothers, and sisters of U.S. citizens.  The wait has already likely been very long.  It just got longer.
  • Spouse, adult children, and children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents.
  • Persons who had completed everything for Consular Processing, and were approved, but didn’t get their passport back yet with the visa stamp.

Third, who is on borrowed time?  The Presidential Proclamation states that the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security must report back to him in 30 days on whether he should restrict the number of nonimmigrant work visas, like H-1B’s and TN’s.  In the Trump Administration, we can all surmise that these Cabinet Secretaries will likely find that the restriction of nonimmigrant work visas is warranted – and try to limit their entry.  So we may soon see a second Proclamation, much like the Muslim Ban that went through three iterations before it passed Supreme Court review.

At this time, if you got lucky, do everything you can to make progress in your case.  If you didn’t get lucky, stand by: immigration, like the weather in West Texas, changes constantly, and things may get better (or worse) with little notice.  And if you are on borrowed time, it’s a good idea to evaluate your options and see if there is anything you can do to stay ahead of the next Proclamation.

If you need legal advice, or would like to review your immigration options, please contact our office at (610) 664-6271 to schedule a consultation. 

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  Readers of this blog should contact our office or their own attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and the law firm of Hogan & Vandenberg or its employees. 

DACA is Dying: What You Need to Know

By W. John Vandenberg

It hurts to write this title.  But we also need to be honest about where we are now.  Because DACA is dying.

In case you missed it, on September 5, Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions 08-daca-dreamer-w710-h473announced the “winding down” of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”).  There are a lot of sources of information directly from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service.  Here is a summary of what you need to know about the announcement NOW:

  1. No new initial (first ever) DACA applications will be accepted after September 5, 2017.  If you didn’t already mail out your initial DACA application so that it arrived on September 5 – no DACA for you.  That said, maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world.  At least you didn’t give Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) your home address — there has been some concern that ICE could use this information to find and deport DACA’s after the program ends.
  2. DACA expiring before March 5, 2018?  You have until October 5 to renew.  Don’t wait til the last minute!!!  If you’re short on cash for the filing fee, the Mexican Consulate can assist you if you are a Mexican Citizen.  Other non-profits may help.  Or maybe even your employer.  Ask!  Because you got less than 30 days to get this done.  If you’re in the Philadelphia Area, the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, HIAS, and the Nationalities Service Center are all scrambling to help DACA’s who need help and even money for the filing fee.  This is a deadline.  Got it?
  3. If your DACA expires after March 5, 2018, then you’ve got what you’ve got.  Which may be 6 months or longer.  Make good use of it!  And pray for a legislative fix, or at least an extension.
  4. If you lose your Employment Authorization Document (“EAD,” or Work Card), don’t panic!  You can get a new one.  Though you won’t get a new expiration date.
  5. No new Advance Paroles will be issued.  If your application is pending, it will be administratively closed and you’ll get your money back.
  6. Do you currently have Advance Parole?  Good for you!  It’s still valid for the period of time given.  Recent reports of post-September 5, 2017 DACA Advance Parole entries have been fine.
  7. When your DACA/EAD card expires: that’s the end of your Deferred Action.  If and ICE officer arrests you, they can detain you.  Even with DACA, if ICE arrests you – especially for criminal matters – they can ask USCIS to cancel your DACA.  And they will.  So PLEASE do not get into trouble!

OK, info and warnings over.  What next?  Lawyer up. Now.  For three really good reasons.

keep calm and lawyer up graphicFirst, an experienced and trustworthy immigration lawyer might be able to figure out a way to get you something better than DACA. Maybe you or a DACA you know has been a victim of crime, or trafficking.  Or maybe they qualify for Amnesty through a parent or family member.  If you just filled out DACA forms, you don’t know.  Because DACA appears to be coming to an end, now is the time.  To get an idea, answer our 27 questions.  Then call us to see how we can help.

Second, it’s time to lawyer up because you may need a good immigration lawyer sooner than you think.  To help you or a family member or friend who gets placed into deportation proceedings. To file a Stay of Removal.  To try to bond you out if you are detained and eligible for a bond. Or just to help you make sense out of all the info you’re getting from Googling it (yea, I know you are). And you might just note that Google actually hires immigration lawyers for their Immigration Specialist positions – it doesn’t Google for immigration answers.  They’re smart people.

And third, lawyer up because we can be really helpful.  I reached out to everyone I represent to answer questions personally.  All the good immigration attorneys I know did the same thing. DACA is special, and DACA’s are special people.  You have a lot of allies cheering for you – don’t forget that.  I want to make sure none of my DACA clients quit schotumblr_o13hq5RjSe1qaedvuo7_r2_250ol (don’t do it), that they realize they have options out there (everyone does, some more, some less), and reminding them that if Immigration Law has one maxim, it’s this: be here. As long as you are in the United States, you have options.  And everyone DACA has been here for at least 10 years, so they know what it takes to make sure they are here when we get a DREAMER bill, or DACA gets extended, or something good happens to the person (like a loving marriage to US citizen, which can lead to a greencard), or something bad happens (like being a victim of a violent crime , which can give you a chance for a U visa that can lead to a greencard).

So, make the most of the time you have, DACA’s.  Stay out of trouble, of course.  And lawyer up!  Hogan & Vandenberg is here to help you.  Our office number is (610) 664-6271 if you’re in Philadelphia, and (302) 225-2734 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Hogan & Vandenberg or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

 

The Day After Trump, For Immigrants

by W. John Yahya Vandenberg

November 9, 2016

Trump’s election is likely going to change a lot of things, especially for immigrants, and most certainly for undocumented immigrants. So let’s walk through what happens now and the following days.

First, not much will change until Trump actually is sworn in in January. So there is some time to figure out who should be concerned, and why.

Second, there are some immigrants who have less time than others to take steps to work on their status. I’m especially thinking about DACA recipients. DACA’s – you guys rock. You are working, you are studying, you are making your communities better places. If you are near or close to 180 days til expiration, NOW is the time to file to extend your DACA. If there is more than 6 months, I think it would be worthwhile to file to extend no later than the end of December. This is about getting as much time as possible.

For persons eligible for DACA who didn’t yet make an initial application, you have a choice to make.  If you apply now for the first time, you are giving Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) your address and contact information.  If they want to detain you, they could.  At the same time, if you are granted DACA – well, a Social Security Card is a very handy thing to have, even if it’s only for two years.  So any new DACA’s should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits.

Third, there are some immigrants who don’t have much to worry about. If you have status article-2147783-133851e5000005dc-611_468x302in the United States – I’m thinking immigrants with work visas, or greencards, or you are petitioning for a relative who is overseas – you should be OK.

Finally, there are some immigrants who have a reason to worry. I’m thinking about immigrants who are undocumented. There is a good chance that after Inauguration Day on January 20, 2017, we’ll go back to the days when ICE could arrest anyone who is undocumented, detain them if they want to, and seek to deport them. It is also quite likely that those persons whose cases are Administratively Closed will see their cases reopened.

To those immigrants without status, our lawyers have been here before, and we know what to do: fight for you in the courts. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we saw this: immigrants targeted for detention and removal proceedings. Those who fought often won. Those who gave up, lost, and were either deported or left.

To those immigrants without status, we want you to know that America has been here before. Tonight I am reminded of my law school, the Villanova University School of Law. It is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, which is a suburb of Philadelphia.

Not many people know that Villanova University is in Villanova because in 1844, “Nativists,” persons who hated immigrants, burned down the St. Augustine Church in South Philadelphia. The Nativists did so because of a rumor that Catholics – then mainly Irish and Italian immigrants – were going to take the Bible out of Philadelphia public schools. The Augustinian Fathers literally were burned out of Philadelphia.

 

325px-riots1844staugestine

Lithograph of the old St. Augustine Church burning in 1844.

But you should also know that times change for the better. The Augustinian fathers founded Villanova University from that terrible incident, and the University served, and still serves, the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those Irish & Italian Catholics who lost their church. The Augustinian fathers sued the city of Philadelphia, and they won compensation for the loss of their church. And they rebuilt St. Augustine’s, which still stands today at 243 N. Lawrence Street in Philadelphia.st-augustines-church

The children of those Italian and Irish immigrants got jobs that counted. They served as police, as members of the military, and members of the media. They organized themselves politically and they learned how to make their votes count. Now is the time to work, not to falter or become disheartened.

The sun will rise at 6:40am this morning. I’ll be in the office all day. If you’re worried, know that we’re here for you, and we’ll fight for your rights.  We might even sue.

3 Year DACA Work Card? You gotta give it back….

by W. John Vandenberg

Because of the quirks of USCIS administration, some DACA recipients received a 3 year work card because of President Obama’s Executive Action announcement.  However, it seems that that gift just got a massive recall.

frustrated man

USCIS is sending letters to everyone who got the three year card.  Here is a sample 3 year daca return letter.   You must return your 3 year work card by July 17, 2015.*    You must also return the approval notices.  The reason for the recall is the lawsuit filed to stop President Obama’s Executive Action in Texas.

I guess the good news is that USCIS is happy to give you a normal two year card.

But try to stay positive, folks.  Perhaps some of you have been in deportation proceedings.  Remember that government attorney, who fought to get you deported?  Well, government attorneys are now fighting in that Texas courtroom for your right to stay and get a three year DACA work card after all.  And if you’re a parent of U.S. citizen children, they are fighting for the Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA“) program.  And a lot of other great ideas from President Obama’s Executive Action.  I personally am happy that my colleagues across the aisle are fighting for immigrants — it’s a nice change, and I genuinely wish them success. At least in this case!

* However, if your EAD card was issued on or before February 16, 2015, then you can keep it in your pocket. Judge Hanen only issued the Injunction on that date.  Be sure to check!

Executive Action: Good for Everyone

This morning, the Philadelphia Inquirer had a great article about the Executive Action announced by President.  It is important to remember that this Executive Action is good for everyone.

Think of the benefits to all, both immigrant and native born, including:

– Deferred Action adults will have work cards.  This means they can get Social Security Cards, and pay into the Social Security fund that helps many elderly Americans pay their rent and put food on the table.  Social Security already was receiving $13 billion a year from undocumented workers; this new Executive Action will be a significant boost.

– Deferred Action adults are going to be paying taxes.  Think about the numbers: if the Administration is right, there are going to be more than 4+ million new taxpayers; that sure could fix a lot of bridges, and give the Head Start and other programs a much-needed boost.

– Road safety.  So, once these Deferred Action adults obtain Social Security Cards and Employment Authorization Cards, in most states they will be eligible for Drivers Licenses.  We have already had some discussion on this with the original DACA program; most states allow them to obtain drivers licenses.  That is a good thing!  Because legal drivers can get insurance.  Makes me feel safer already.

– It helps ICE catch the bad guys, and leave the good guys alone.  We all know that law enforcement officers have discretion.  Ever got a warning instead of a ticket?  Police officers decide every day who to arrest, and who to let walk free.  The new Executive Order clarifies that ICE is supposed to focus on the terrorists, the criminals, and the recent border crossers.  And not the immigrants who are hard-working and law-abiding.  The background checks required by the Deferred Action program will also allow ICE to ensure that immigrants here are good folks.  It ensures that our communities are safer in every way.

– Money and investment.  We all benefit when entrepreneurs and high-tech industries make the United States their home. This new Executive Action is going to make it easier for investors to come here and invest, and build their technology in the USA.  This keeps our country competitive on the world market.

Every one of these benefits is important to Americans, whether new, native, or en route.  We can bicker about the politics both pro and con.  But at the end of the day, we believe this Executive Action is a net plus for the United States!