July 26, 2022 – USCIS Continues with COVID Extensions to Respond – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the main agency that issues immigration benefits in the United States. In addition to possible denials, the agency issues many other notices such as Request for Evidence (RFE) and Notice with Intent to Deny (NOID). Due to the COVID pandemic, the agency has previously provided a 60-calendar day extension for the due date for many of its notices. The agency has recently announced that the extension will now continue for requests or notices issued between March 1, 2020, and October 23, 2022. USCIS Response to COVID-19 | USCIS
Green Card- USCIS denied the petition for a green card filed by the daughter for her mother from Turkey before coming to us due to insufficient documents. USCIS reopened the case where we submitted the appropriate documentation and the petition was approved.
May 20, 2022 – Supreme Court Rules Against Reviews – Many immigration decisions involve discretion by the immigration judge or other official in granting a benefit. In an appeal that originated in the immigration court, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that appeals to the federal courts of discretionary decisions are very limited. In this split 5 to 4 ruling decision, the dissenting opinion stated: “Today, the Court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error, one that will result in an individual’s removal from this country, and nothing can be done about it.”
June 10, 2021– The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, provided the Keynote address today at the multi-day Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has led a distinguished 30-year career in law enforcement and as an attorney. Secretary Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant confirmed to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security and began his career as a federal prosecutor who went on to be appointed the youngest United States Attorney in the nation. While emphasizing that public safety will continue to be a priority, the Biden administration is committed to making the immigration system more just and fairer than the previous administration. For example, the Department has issued new guidance to its attorneys allowing them to have more discretion in allowing stipulations that are true rather than generally resisting every effort on behalf of a noncitizen in Immigration Court. In addition, while the immigration statutes are phrased in the terms of “illegal aliens”, the common language within the government has now been changed to be more respectful by making reference to “noncitizens.” There will be other changes and he also announced that there will be a new pilot program adding specialty attorneys to resolve appropriate cases faster and perhaps in a more informal manner. Secretary Mayorkas address can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZnmqqOVjBU&t=3s
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According to ProPublica, as the coronavirus has ravaged parts of the country, resulting in lost jobs, deaths, and illness, the Trump administration has taken steps to rush the deportations of migrant children. In some cases, the only way that these deportations have been halted is through emergency federal appeals of the deportations. For children who have strong advocates in the U.S., this can potentially stop the deportation from taking place. But for children with no advocates or for those being shuttled through the foster system, deportation for these children can often mean being returned to a country where the children have no one to care for them, where their parents have been killed, and where the children themselves have in some cases been sexually assaulted, raped, or beaten.
The New York Times reports that, in the past, unaccompanied minors would be provided with shelter, education, medical care, and legal protections to either help the children win asylum, get placed with relatives in the U.S. or ensure that the children were returned to someone who would be able to care for them in their home country. However, in recent weeks, it appears that the Trump administration has been using the coronavirus emergency as a rationale for deporting unaccompanied minors at the border and for removing children from government shelters and deporting them to their home countries, often without the assurance that the children will have care in the countries to which they are being returned. A 1994 law allows border guards to refuse admission of immigrants if there is a fear of disease. This seems to be the law being used to return migrant children to their home countries. Unfortunately, it seems like ICE is taking things a step further, choosing to remove children who are already in the U.S.
ProPublica reports that veteran immigration attorneys have been shocked at the rates in which the U.S. government has moved to deport immigrant children, especially during a global pandemic that puts all of us at risk. In some cases, the deportations are in violation of federal law. Many of the children have credible reasons to be seeking asylum and should have the right to asylum protections.
In some cases, children have been returned to their former countries, despite attorneys appealing the case. In other instances, children have not been released to their families in the U.S., especially in cases where the children’s parents have died and their U.S. relatives are the only relatives these children have.
When it comes to cases like this, ProPublica notes that finding a lawyer can be “crucial in winning asylum.” For children who are returned to their countries where they don’t have caretakers, the children’s future is often uncertain. According to the New York Times, since the coronavirus pandemic began, 239 unaccompanied minors have been returned to Guatemala and 183 have been returned to Honduras.
If your relatives are facing the threat of being returned to their home country without due process, J. Joseph Cohen is a deportation lawyer in San Antonio, Texas that may be able to help you. Our attorney can help you appeal the decision which could potentially put a temporary halt to the deportation proceedings. If you have questions about your rights, reach out to J. Joseph Cohen or get connected with USAttorneys.com today.
If you meet one of the many eligibility categories for immigration to the U.S. as a permanent resident (under a Green Card), and currently reside in the U.S. either as a legal visitor, a student, or under another legal status, you may be entitled to adjust your status without having to return to your home country. If you have gotten married, if you were employed under another visa and now qualify for a green card, or if you are now eligible for a green card due to meeting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services eligibility criteria, you may be eligible to apply for an adjustment of status.
If you are currently legally in the U.S. under a temporary immigrant status or as a temporary visitor and now are eligible for a Green Card, you may be able to apply for an adjustment of status. Before applying for an adjustment of status, it is important to consider your legal rights and to make sure you meet all requirements. The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen are immigration attorneys in San Antonio, Texas who can review your situation and help you understand whether an adjustment of status is right for you. Applying for an adjustment of status when you aren’t eligible can be risky, so it is important to make sure you meet all criteria before applying.
Assistance with the Petition to Adjust Your Status
In order to adjust your status to a Green Card holder or permanent resident, you may need to have a petition filed on your behalf. The kind of petition you’ll need to fill out, and who will be required to fill out the petition, will depend on the type of Green Card for which you qualify. If you are applying for a Green Card through marriage, for example, your U.S. Citizen spouse may be required to file a petition to adjust your status on your behalf. If you are applying to adjust your status through employment, your employer may be required to fill out the petition on your behalf. If you are applying for a Green Card for humanitarian reasons or through another Green Card classification, you may need to fill out the petition yourself.
In order to adjust your status as quickly as possible, it is important that all petitions be filled out thoroughly and correctly and that all documentation be provided. If you are considering filing a petition to adjust another person’s status because you are a spouse, an employer, or if you need to file a petition on your own behalf, consider speaking to the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas today. Our lawyers can review your petition, help you understand your rights, and ensure that all documentation you send is complete and accurate.
Preparing for an Adjustment of Status Interview in San Antonio, Texas
Before your petition for adjustment of status is accepted, you may need to attend an interview. In some cases, you may not need to undergo an interview. The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio who can prepare you for the kind of questions you might encounter during this interview and who can help you gather documentation you may need to show during your interview. Generally, a great deal of preparation isn’t needed, but it can offer peace of mind to understand what you can expect during your interview.
Issues with Adjustment of Status Applications
Adjustment of status applications can be denied for many reasons. If you don’t qualify for the Green Card category to which you are applying, your adjustment of status could be denied. The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen are immigration attorneys who can review your situation and help you understand which immigration categories are right for you.
Other situations could impact your adjustment of status application. If you overstayed your visa, your adjustment of status application could also be denied. If you have overstayed a visa or entered the U.S. illegally, you may not be eligible for an adjustment of status, and you could face deportation if you apply for an adjustment of status in this circumstance. Another situation where an adjustment of status can be denied is if the person who is seeking the adjustment has committed a crime that would render him or her inadmissible.
There are other circumstances where an adjustment of status could be denied, where having a lawyer can be helpful. For example, if you have a medical condition, you could face a denial based on your medical history. In order to protect your rights and avoid discrimination, the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen are immigration lawyers in San Antonio, Texas who may be able to assist you. In recent months there has also been increased concern that individuals who accessed certain federal aid programs or government assistance could be denied Green Cards. If you have accessed assistance for food, housing, or even accepted subsidies for medical care, you may want to speak to the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, immigration lawyers in San Antonio, who may be able to help you navigate the application process and prove that you are self-supporting. Another issue that can arise is when immigration officers suspect marriage fraud during an interview. If you are being wrongfully accused of marriage fraud, contact an immigration lawyer as soon as possible. The Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen are immigration attorneys in San Antonio, Texas who can help you appeal the decision or who can help you put together a strong application so that your adjustment of status will be more likely to be accepted.
If your adjustment of status is denied, you could face deportation proceedings. If you are facing deportation due to a denied adjustment of status application, consider speaking to the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen, immigration lawyers in San Antonio, Texas today. Our firm may be able to assist you.
If you or loved ones are facing deportation, the stress might be immense. Many individuals facing deportation have not been to their home countries for many years. Others face the prospect of returning to home countries where they could face prosecution, human rights violations, or even death. Yet, other individuals have the legal right to remain in the U.S., but may be facing deportation due to technicalities or because paperwork is incomplete or inaccurate. If you are worried about being deported or if you have been issued a Notice to Appear in court, you may want to contact Joseph Cohen, an immigration attorney in San Antonio, Texas today.
The best deportation defense is one that is built before you receive a Notice to Appear and before deportation proceedings begin. In some cases, you and your loved ones may have options to prevent deportation by either adjusting your status, applying for deferred action, or applying for Green Card status to prevent deportation in the first place. Or, you may qualify to apply for protections under asylum. For many of these categories, your chances of success are better if you seek these remedies before deportation begins. This is why it is important to be proactive and to take steps now if you are concerned that you might face deportation.
What are some possible deportation defenses you may be able to use if you are facing deportation in San Antonio? Every individual’s situation is unique. Here are some possible defenses you may have available:
- Adjustment of Status. If you qualify for a Green Card through family or because you have gotten married, you may be able to receive relief from deportation. If you get married to a U.S. Citizen after deportation proceedings have begun, you may need to prove to the court that you are in a bona fide marriage to the U.S. Citizen. If you plan to use adjustment of status to defend yourself against deportation, consider speaking to Joseph Cohen today. An immigration attorney can help you provide the proof and documentation that immigration officers will want to see when determining whether your marriage or adjustment of status claim is valid.
- Fix Errors and Omissions. Sometimes individuals who have every right to be permanent residents face deportation proceedings because they forgot to submit documentation or forgot to remove conditions from their Green Card. For example, under the family-based Green Card, the permanent resident status is conditional at first and individuals must file forms after a period of time has passed to remove conditions.
- If you will face persecution due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or because of your political opinion when you are returned to your home country, you may be able to apply for asylum and therefore prevent your deportation. The best way to apply for asylum is through affirmative asylum, which is when a person seeks asylum within one year of entering the U.S. However, there are situations where individuals may qualify for exemptions. If a Notice to Appear has been issued, you may need to apply for the defensive asylum process, which can be different than the affirmative asylum process. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who can assist you if you fear prosecution in your home country should you be deported. If you believe you will be tortured should you return to your home country, you may be able to fight your deportation in court by asking for protection under the Convention Against Torture.
- U Visas and the Violence Against Women Act. If you have been a victim of a crime, like human trafficking, or employment violations, and if you are able to assist law enforcement with the prosecution of criminals, you may be entitled to receive a U Visa, and have deportation proceedings cancelled. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you may also have the ability to apply for relief under the Violence Against Women Act.
- DACA status. If your application for DACA is pending approval, if you have applied for DACA, or if you currently hold DACA status, you may be able to defer action on your removal proceedings.
- Cancelation of Removal. If you have been living in the U.S. for many years and are now facing deportation, you may be able to apply for a cancelation of removal. If you can show that you have been living in the U.S. for ten years, show that you have not committed any crimes and that you have a good moral character, and also show that your removal would cause undue hardship on your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members, you may qualify for cancelation of removal. Imagine a person facing deportation proceedings who is a single mother who has U.S. citizen children, who has worked hard, paid her taxes, and who has otherwise contributed to U.S. society. In this case, this woman may have the ability to apply for a cancelation of removal because her removal would leave her children orphaned or without a caregiver.
- Voluntary Departure. At any time during your deportation, you can stop proceedings if you choose to leave the U.S. of your own free will. However, if you do this, you give up your rights to mount a deportation defense, and if you want to return to the U.S., you may need to find other means.
These are just some of the legal defenses you may have if you are facing deportation. Sometimes individuals face deportation because they have criminal records. But, if your attorney can get your criminal record expunged (if you qualify for an expungement) you may have the right to remain in the U.S. Joseph Cohen is an immigration lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who may be able to assist you if you are facing deportation. Getting a Notice to Appear or being detained by ICE can be an incredibly traumatic and difficult experience for individuals and families. Fortunately, you are not alone.
In some cases, individuals choose voluntary departure from the U.S. to avoid receiving a deportation order. In other instances, individuals may be permitted to choose voluntary departure at any stage of their immigration case. While there are certain situations where a person may want to choose voluntary departure, it is important to understand that immigration officers, when detaining individuals, may sometimes offer individuals who have been detained the option of voluntary departure. Those who may not fully understand their rights or their immigration situation may sometimes choose voluntary departure to avoid detention. What they don’t realize, is that choosing voluntary departure means that they may be waiving your right to a hearing, a court date, and may be giving up their right to defend themselves and stay in the country. Voluntary departure is not the best option in all cases, and in some cases, it can even harm a person’s case. If you are facing an encounter with immigration officers in which you are being asked to voluntarily leave the country or to sign documents, ask to speak to your immigration lawyer first. J. Joseph Cohen is a deportation lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who may be able to help you.
Individuals who have been detained by ICE may be given the option to voluntary depart the U.S. Before choosing voluntary departure, however, individuals should always consult with their immigration lawyer, like J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio, Texas. Choosing voluntary departure is essentially “self-deporting” yourself from the U.S., which can still carry serious consequences. You may not be able to re-enter the country if you choose voluntary departure, even if you were never issued a deportation order.
Consequences of Formal Deportation
If you’ve been given the option of voluntary departure, in some cases, it can help you avoid an order of deportation being issued against you. Having a deportation order on your record can have serious consequences. You could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a period of time, which can vary from five years to life. If you try to re-enter the country after you have been removed on an order of deportation, you could face more serious charges and consequences for attempting an illegal re-entry into the U.S. You could also face unique challenges if you want to apply for a visa after you’ve been issued an order of deportation. Some individuals may choose to voluntary depart to avoid the issuance of a formal deportation order. However, leaving the U.S. voluntarily when you would otherwise have had the right to remain in the country, could also have serious consequences to your immigration or visa case. Individuals may want to consider whether they have exhausted all their other options before they voluntarily depart the U.S., and it may be wise to speak to a deportation lawyer before taking steps to leave voluntarily.
Before you sign any paperwork or agree to anything, if you have been detained or threatened with deportation by immigration officers, it is important to speak to an immigration lawyer first. J. Joseph Cohen is a deportation lawyer in San Antonio, Texas who can review your situation, help you understand your rights and options under the law, and help you understand the best course of action going forward. J. Joseph Cohen may be able to help you.
Are There Benefits to Voluntary Departure?
If you choose to leave the U.S. before immigration officers issue a deportation order, you could potentially avoid facing any bars to re-entering the U.S. Voluntary departure also may give you more time to get your affairs in order if you need to leave the U.S. For example, those with a deportation order may only have 30 days to leave the U.S., while those with a voluntary departure may have as long as 120 days to get their affairs in order. However, voluntary departure means that you could face challenges should you ever choose to try to immigrate to the U.S. later. Furthermore, you could still be denied entry at the U.S. border, at the discretion of immigration officials. Unlawful presence in the U.S. can still result in bars to re-entry at the border.
Before making the decision to self-deport or voluntarily depart the U.S., consider speaking to J. Joseph Cohen, a deportation lawyer in San Antonio, Texas today. Our firm can review your situation, help you understand your rights and options under the law, and help you map the next steps for your immigration case. Immigration law can be complex. If you have been detailed by border officials or ICE, you might be frightened, confused, and not know what to do next. You do not have to agree to self-deport or to a voluntary departure. Ask to speak to your immigration lawyer first.