Nevada Family Visa and Immigration
Services | Attorney John Carrico
Immigration Court Hearings
An Alien is entitled to a court hearing when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seeking their removal or deportation from the United States. There are three separate methods to defend deportation:
1. Cancellation of Removal for Aliens or Lawful Permanent Residents
2. Adjustment of Status for Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens.
3. Asylum or Suspension of Deportation for those fearing persecution in their home country.
Contact us toll free at: 877-659-3771 for experienced legal assistance in immigration court hearings.
Illegal and Married to a U.S. CItizen?
I-601 WAIVER OF INADMISSIBILITY
FOR THOSE WHO ENTERED THE U.S. WITHOUT A VISA and have remained here for more than one year it is possible to apply for Permanent Residence with an application for Waiver of Pardon. This Waiver is only available if married to a U.S. citizen and waives only 1 illegal entry; not more than one. It is not recommended to anyone with a criminal record or serious arrest record.
This is a 3 step process where the attorney files with the USCIS here in the United States for you, then obtains a visa appointment, followed by an appointment in the home country to apply for the Pardon.
CAUTION THERE IS A RISK OF DENIAL OF THE PARDON AND A DELAY OF REENTRY FOR MANY MONTHS AND POSSIBLY AN OUT RIGHT DENIAL AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE 10 YEAR BAR OF REENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES.
Contact us toll free at: 877-659-3771 for experienced legal assistance in I-601 Waiver's of Inadmissibility.
Supreme Court Rules Against Government on Identity Theft
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the federal government has been improperly using identity-theft laws to prosecute undocumented workers who use fake identification in order to seek employment.
In limiting the use of a law enacted in 2004 that has been utilized by authorities in seeking to prosecute illegal immigrants, the Court ruled that in order to use the law, the prosecution must prove that a defendant knew that the identification he used actually belonged to another person.
Monday’s ruling in Flores-Figueroa v. United States, No. 08-108, was written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer and relied heavily on the wording of the statute. Justice Breyer argued that a defendant can only be properly accused if he/she “knowingly” used another person’s identification.
The ruling was a victory for Ignacio Flores-Figueroa, a Mexican citizen who was able to get a job at an Illinois steel plan in 2000 by using a false name and a fake Social Security number, one that did not match that of any real person.
In many cases, identification documents may be fraudulent but are not actually stolen from another individual and so, following this ruling, these cases should not constitute identity theft. Cases like these may include the use of social security numbers that are pulled out of thin air or fraudulent documents that are not taken from another individual but are created with fake names and identification numbers or information.
When Mr. Flores-Figueroa’s situation came to light, he pleaded guilty to several immigration offenses, resulting in a 51-month sentence. But he contested the identity-theft charges, asserting that the government showed no evidence that he knowingly used numbers assigned to other people. Cases like Mr. Flores’ have become more prevalent and similar charges have been used to deport illegal and undocumented immigrants.
ICE to Crackdown on Employers Hiring Illegal Workers
In an attempt to crackdown on illegal immigrant labor, the Department of Homeland Security looks to step up enforcement on employers that knowingly hire illegal workers according to the New York Times.
Orders are expected to be handed down to Immigration and Customs Enforcement field offices soon instructing immigration agents to investigate employers and supervisors for illegal hiring practices “through the use of carefully planned criminal investigations.”
Under the Bush administration, officials said, most raids were conducted largely on the basis of tips that an employer was hiring illegal workers, rather than on information gleaned from audits of employer records or undercover investigations. As a result, agents rounded up thousands of illegal immigrants but rarely developed the evidence necessary to show whether businesses were knowingly using illegal labor.
A crackdown like this shows that the Obama Administration takes the issue of immigration seriously but with reforms most likely a year or two away, workers using false social security numbers or other documentation should consult an attorney in order to get their documents in order. Without proper documentation the right to work and live in the United States can be revoked.
Immigrants without proper documentation including a work permit, green card or naturalization certificate are able to adjust status, especially if they have spouse who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; or the immigrant has been in the US for 10 years.
Labor Supports Immigration Reform
The push for Immigration Reform took a major step last week as two leading labor organizations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, agreed to unite to support a major overhaul of the United States’ immigration system.
The agreement calls for the legalization of the status of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. but opposes any large new program that allows employers to legally admit temporary immigrant workers.
The agreement is a major step since in 2007, the last time Congress considered comprehensive immigration reforms, the two groups could not agree and so the legislation failed.
Although many fear that American workers will lose jobs to immigrants who may accept lower wages, as the current system stands, American workers may be taking a worse hit. Since the system is more unregulated than it should be, immigrant workers may be taking American jobs at wages below the Federal or State minimum wage. Immigration reform can help solve this by ensuring that wages remain at the minimum and by legalizing illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Immigration reform is long overdue in the United States and could help aid the current state of the ailing economy. Many critics fear that reform will turn into amnesty for those who have illegally entered the country but illegal aliens would most likely have to pay a fine for their previous illegal entry and with 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. a mass deportation would be nearly impossible and would most likely spark problems that have already come to light given the border crises with Mexican drug cartels and the problems Mexico currently faces. These problems would only escalate the situation for America and its southern neighbor.
The fact that labor and President Barack Obama last week have agreed to make a push soon for immigration reform shows that both agree that reform will help the economy and American workers if it is done right. Moreover, it shows that reform is essential to confronting to ailing economy.
Proposed reforms of U.S. Immigration Law for Illegal Aliens
President Obama has announced a legislative proposal he will be sending to Congress this year that among other things would permit illegal aliens who are married to U.S citizens or who have employers willing to sponsor them to apply for legal status in the United States.
If approved by the USCIS the alien would be given work authorization and allowed to apply for permanent residence after passing a security clearance and FBI background check.
If the alien is married to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident they should contact an experienced Immigration Lawyer to determine if any petitions can be filed at this time.
April 9, 2009
Obama to Push Immigration Bill as One Priority
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.
“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.
But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight.
Opponents, mainly Republicans, say they will seek to mobilize popular outrage against any effort to legalize unauthorized immigrant workers while so many Americans are out of jobs.
Democratic legislative aides said that opening a full-fledged debate this year on immigration, particularly with health care as a looming priority, could weigh down the president’s domestic agenda.
Debate is still under way among administration officials about the precise timing and strategy. For example, it is unclear who will take up the Obama initiative in Congress.
No serious legislative talks on the issue are expected until after some of Mr. Obama’s other priorities have been debated, Congressional aides said.
Just last month, Mr. Obama openly recognized that immigration is a potential minefield.
"I know this is an emotional issue; I know it’s a controversial issue,” he told an audience at a town meeting on March 18 in Costa Mesa, Calif. “I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."
But, he said, immigrants who are long-time residents but lack legal status “have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows.”
The White House is calculating that public support for fixing the immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken, will outweigh opposition from voters who argue that immigrants take jobs from Americans. A groundswell among voters opposed to legal status for illegal immigrants led to the defeat in 2007 of a bipartisan immigration bill that was strongly supported by President George W. Bush.
Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.
Opponents of legalization legislation were incredulous at the idea that Mr. Obama would take on immigration when economic pain for Americans is so widespread.
“It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.
“It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.
In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.
But administration officials emphasized that many details remained to be debated.
Opponents of a legalization effort said that if the Obama administration maintained the enforcement pressure initiated by Mr. Bush, the recession would force many illegal immigrants to return home. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said it would be “politically disastrous” for Mr. Obama to begin an immigration initiative at this time.
Anticipating opposition, Mr. Obama has sought to shift some of the political burden to advocates for immigrants, by encouraging them to build support among voters for when his proposal goes to Congress.
That is why Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Mr. Obama’s hometown, Chicago, has been on the road most weekends since last December, traveling far outside his district to meetings in Hispanic churches, hoping to generate something like a civil rights movement in favor of broad immigration legislation.
Mr. Gutierrez was in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Iglesia Internacional, a big Hispanic evangelical church in a former warehouse, the 17th meeting in a tour that has included cities as far flung as Providence, R.I.; Atlanta; Miami; and San Francisco. Greeted with cheers and amens by a full house of about 350 people, Mr. Gutierrez, shifting fluidly between Spanish and English, called for immigration policies to preserve family unity, the strategic theme of his campaign.
At each meeting, speakers from the community, mainly citizens, tell stories of loved ones who were deported or of delays and setbacks in the immigration system. Illegal immigrants have not been invited to speak.
Mr. Gutierrez’s meetings have all been held in churches, both evangelical and Roman Catholic, with clergy members from various denominations, including in several places Muslim imams. At one meeting in Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, officiated.
One speaker on Saturday, Jill Flores, said that her husband, Felix, an immigrant from Mexico who crossed the border illegally, had applied for legal status five years ago but had not been able to gain it even though she is an American citizen, as are their two children. Now, Ms. Flores said, she fears that her husband will have to leave for Mexico and will not be permitted to return for many years.
In an interview, Mr. Gutierrez rejected the idea that the timing is bad for an immigration debate. “There is never a wrong time for us,” he said. “Families are being divided and destroyed, and they need help now.”
THE DREAM ACT
A question from the realm of the unanswerable: How will this country be a better place once we force Benita Veliz to leave it?
Ms. Veliz is an illegal immigrant facing deportation, but she is nobody’s idea of a criminal, social undesirable or drain on the public till.
She is a 23-year-old college graduate from San Antonio who works in a church office. She is smart, self-sufficient and hard-working. She is bursting with academic and professional ambitions — dreams that she has set aside because her paths to achieve them have all been closed. Immigration lawyers have told her that she has no hope of avoiding expulsion. She can only postpone it.
Ms. Veliz is here illegally, but not by choice. She arrived from Mexico with her parents in 1993 on a tourist visa. She was 8. She had never lived in the United States before but has lived nowhere else since. By all detectable measures, she is an American, a Texan.
And an impressive one at that. She was valedictorian at Jefferson High School, graduating at age 16. She went to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio on a full scholarship. She doubled majored in biology and sociology and fully deployed herself beyond the classroom in clubs, student government, choir. She volunteered in a children’s hospital. And she waited tables 45 hours a week in a Mexican restaurant.
Her honors thesis was about the Dream Act.
A quick digression about that. The Dream Act is a Congressional bill that would allow children of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship after going to college or serving in the military. The idea is that America should not expel but assimilate dedicated young people who are not at fault for their illegal status. The Dream Act seeks to make citizens out of people, like Benita Veliz, who are longing — and fighting — for its passage. Bipartisan Dream Act bills were introduced in the House and Senate just this week, their future uncertain.
Ms. Veliz wanted to go to law school, but couldn’t afford tuition and didn’t qualify for federal loans. So she started a photography and design business, taught piano and tutored in math and science. She now works in a regional office of a Pentecostal church in San Antonio, doing payroll and other administrative tasks.
Her fateful encounter with the law happened on Jan. 21. A police officer pulled her over, saying she had rolled through a stop sign. She says that is not true, but acknowledges driving without a license. She had a Mexican consular identity card, and after a series of questions, the officer called immigration authorities. She was jailed overnight and released on bond.
Nancy Shivers, an immigration lawyer in San Antonio whom Ms. Veliz has consulted, said she met some of the requirements that might have allowed her to stay in the United States. She has been here more than 10 years and is demonstrably of good moral character. But without a qualifying parent, spouse or child to petition on her behalf, she cannot stay.
Ms. Shivers says Ms. Veliz is a poster child for the Dream Act, but hardly the only one. For every Benita Veliz, she said, there many others who dropped out because they saw no point in getting a college degree. They are working in low-wage jobs, off the books, their bright futures prematurely dead-ended.
Ms. Veliz’s voice cracks when talking about her case, but she gets excited when asked about her dreams. The words just tumble out:
“I would like to go to law school and be an attorney for a few years, and then after that get into politics on a Congressional level, either senator or representative. I’ve actually always wanted to do international relations, get a master’s in international relations, with a law degree. I would want to do international law, or immigration law, but not really just that, but that’s just one small sort of thing in the long spectrum of things.”
For Ms. Veliz, the long spectrum of things might involve a long or permanent stay in Mexico, a country that she does not know or belong in anymore.
As for the country she knows and loves, if it were smarter and kinder, more like the country we see in fuzzy old documentaries, where hopeful families cluster on the decks of ships passing the Statue of Liberty, it would find a way to let her stay. It would let her go to law school. It would accept Benita Veliz as the American she is.