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Immigration law in the United States is perpetually changing. This blog is meant to serve as a resource for current updates in law and policy that affect immigrants and immigrants' rights. This blog should not be construed as legal advice; it is the author's opinion on relevant news in the immigration context. If you have any questions about how the changing law and policy may affect you, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.

Tuesday
Jun052012

KEEPING IMMIGRANT FAMILIES TOGETHER

On June 1, the formal public comment period ended for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) "Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives" rule. The proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2012, introduces new filing procedures for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, children and parents) who seek a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence in the United States.

The provisional waiver will allow applicants to remain the the U.S. with their U.S. citizen spouse, child or parent while USCIS processes their waiver requests. This should dramatically reduce the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatves who must obtain an immigrant visa abroad to become lawful permanent residents of the U.S. Currently, the process for obtaining a waiver for unlawful presence can take several months to more than a year. The intent of the new rule is to keep families together while their relatives obtain lawful immigrant status.

As of June 1, 2012, the USCIS is considering the comments received as part of the federal rule making process and will likely publish a final rule in the coming months.

Please note, the proposed procedures are not in effect, and will not be until the USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date.

The above comment should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation if you believe this proposed rule may affect you or your loved one.

Thursday
May172012

DEFEND VAWA AND UPHOLD PROTECTIONS FOR IMMIGRANT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 4970, a harmful bill that rolls back nearly 20 years of bipartisan efforts to protect immigrant victims of violence in the United States.

HR 4970 is a bill that threatens to put immigrant's lives at risk and significantly undermines longstanding protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and other violent crimes.

The Senate and House bills must now be reconciled in conference, one final opportunity for members of Congress to ensure that protections for immigrant victims of violence are strengthened.

This bill, however, is not yet law. Until Congress passes a final VAWA reauthorization bill and President Obama signs it into law, the vital protections VAWA has long provided remain available to victims of violence.

As legislators approach conference on HR 4970, we must call on Congress to ensure a final VAWA reauthorization bill that advances protections for immigrant survivors and upholds the intent of VAWA. 

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