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June 2011 Archives

South Carolina immigration bill signed into law

As many people probably already have heard, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the controversial immigration bill we have been talking about for weeks into law Monday.

New deportation guidelines may also apply to gay couples

There have been many stories in the news about bi-national gay couples who have been torn apart because they are not eligible to apply for green cards because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). And even after the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend DOMA in courts last February, bi-national gay families have received little relief and a lot of gray area remains.

New ICE guidelines good news for undocumented immigrants

Late last week, the director of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a memo that tells field directors, agents and attorneys working for the organization to consider a non-exhaustive list of 19 circumstances and use prosecutorial discretion before making arrests or going forward with deportation cases.

Government warns immigrants of phony lawyers

Immigration attorneys are known for providing vital help to immigrants. However, some people are taking advantage of the trust people have for immigration attorneys as part of a scam. Luckily, a new campaign is underway designed to protect the rights of immigrants and shield them from scam artists posing as immigration lawyers.

Poll: Immigration most important political issue for Latinos

It is a stressful time for many immigrants in the United States right now who fear that strict anti-illegal immigration laws being adopted in many states could tear their families apart. Not surprisingly, yesterday it was announced that a recent poll of Hispanic voters found that immigration tops the list as their number one political issue.

Non-marriage by K-1 Fiancé(e) bar to adjustment of status

DID YOU KNOW that a K-1 fiancé(e) visa holder who fails to marry his or her U.S.-citizen spouse after entry to the United States is barred from seeking an adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The relevant statutory scheme and regulations require that a K-1 nonimmigrant must marry his or her U.S.-citizen fiancé(e) spouse within ninety days after admission. Strict compliance with this requirement will enable the K-1 and dependent minor children to adjust status as conditional residents, which conditions will be removed upon filing a timely petition to remove conditions of residence (within 21 to 24 months after the granting of the conditional residence). Adjustment of status is permissible even if the marriage takes place outside of the ninety days as long as the marriage is to the U.S. citizen who originally filed a petition for the K-1 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Many South Carolina farmers oppose immigration bill

As we recently discussed, the fate of South Carolina's controversial immigration bill that would require law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they suspect could be illegal immigrants and would punish businesses for hiring undocumented workers will not be decided until lawmakers return for a special session on June 14.

Adjustment of status not available to aliens in transit without visa

DID YOU KNOW that adjustment of status is not available to foreign nationals who have layovers in the United States before traveling to their final destination out of the country if they choose not to leave the country unless they have secured a "C" visa prior to entry into the United States. Our office receives inquiries from time to time asking if aliens entering the United States in transit to another country may adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident (holder of a green card) if they decide not to leave the United States during a brief layover or wait for their flight to a destination out of the country. The simple answer is no. Without a visa, the immigration laws of the United States will not permit an alien to circumvent the normal immigrant visa process by entering in transit without a visa ("TWOV"). No adjustment of status is available to such aliens even if they are or become eligible for permanent residence. Aliens who enter as TWOVs must return to their country of origin or to the country where they last resided to secure immigrant visas and will not be allowed to remain in the United States while their immigrant visa is processed abroad.

Lawmakers seek permanent resident status for soldier families

In America, we greatly appreciate the sacrifices that our servicemen and women make for our country and our freedom. Many of these servicemen and women have relatives who are not United States citizens, who could soon be made permanent residents if a new bill is passed.

Temporary Protected Status not necessarily pathway to green card

DID YOU KNOW foreign nationals granted Temporary Protected Status (pursuant to a designation by the Attorney General of the Untied States that their country of origin is engaged in an ongoing armed conflict that poses a serious threat to their personal safety or has undergone an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic or other environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions) may not adjust status to that of lawful permanent residents (holders of green cards) unless they were inspected, admitted or paroled at the time of entry into the United States. In essence, immigration officials, supported by United States court decisions, have once again determined that illegal entry into the United States is not a pathway to a green card.

What the South Carolina immigration bill means for businesses

The legislative session in South Carolina ended yesterday with the Senate postponing the illegal immigration bill vote until lawmakers return for a special session on June 14. However, the governor has required lawmakers to return to the capital on Tuesday, so action could happen sooner.

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