Detained Immigrant Children Ordered Release by Federal Judge

Judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California found that two detention centers in Texas that the Obama administration opened last summer fail to meet minimum legal requirements of the 1997 settlement for facilities housing detained immigrant children.

Judge Gee also found that migrant children had been held in “widespread deplorable conditions” in Border Patrol stations after they were first caught, and she said the authorities had “wholly failed” to provide the “safe and sanitary” conditions required for detained immigrant children even in temporary cells. (more…)

DACA Young Immigrants Filing Open on February 18, 2015

President Obama expanded deportation protection and issuance of work permit to DACA young immigrants who have no legal status in the U.S., entered the U.S. before age 16, lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, are in school or have H.S./GED degree, are of any age and have no felony or significant misdemeanors. DACA young immigrants can start submitting their applications for a work permit and deportation protection on February 18, 2015. If you need assistance on preparing and filing your DACA young immigrants petition, the Gail Law Firm can help you. Call our office at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.   (more…)

Illegal Children Immigration – Crisis at Border – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Mi casa es tu casa – My house is your house.  This is the courtesy we extend to guess in our home (whether family or a first-time visitor).  At least this was a strong Guyanese valuable instilled in me as a child and observed while living in the United States of America my entire life.  Americans are thought to be the most welcoming and laid back people in the world.

So, why all the political rhetoric about deporting the thousands of unaccompanied illegal children immigration officials stated that have recently flooded the southern U.S. border.  A long-standing principle of the U.S. Government has been to demonstrate global leadership by providing humanitarian options to immigrants who are in the most vulnerable and desperate of situations. One such immigrant group is children who find themselves in this country without parental care due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or another similar situation.

In the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status, the U.S. immigration law provides a method for abused, abandoned or neglected children without legal immigration status to obtain permission to remain lawfully in the United States.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Illegal Children Immigration – Special Immigrant Juvenile

Mi casa es tu casa – My house is your house.  This is the courtesy we extend to guess in our home (whether family or a first-time visitor).  At least this was a strong Guyanese valuable instilled in me as a child and observed while living in the United States of America my entire life.  Americans are thought to be the most welcoming and laid back people in the world.

So, why all the political rhetoric about deporting the thousands of unaccompanied illegal children immigration officials stated that have recently flooded the southern U.S. border.  A long-standing principle of the U.S. Government has been to demonstrate global leadership by providing humanitarian options to immigrants who are in the most vulnerable and desperate of situations. One such immigrant group is children who find themselves in this country without parental care due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or another similar situation.

In the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status, the U.S. immigration law provides a method for abused, abandoned or neglected children without legal immigration status to obtain permission to remain lawfully in the United States.

Processing of unaccompanied minors typically progresses, as follows: within 72 hours of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detaining unaccompanied foreign children, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement places them in federally-staffed facilities with varying levels of security and services. The children are given “Know Your Rights” presentations, provided by non-profit organizations and pro bono attorneys, wherein they learn about a variety of immigration benefits. Those children who appear to meet no criteria for a benefit may elect “Voluntary Departure” and return to their country of origin.

However, the SIJ provisions allow qualifying foreign children to obtain relief from removal, and other important immigration benefits, such as employment authorization. Qualifying foreign children may self-petition for SIJ status by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. SIJ petitioners may also apply concurrently to remain permanently in the United States by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Just think about the sense of urgency and difficult reality that these children are facing – leaving their family and home to enter a country where they know no one, don’t speak the language and don’t have a home.  Where is the American hospitality and humanitarian arm?

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Immigration Lawyer for Children Facing Deportation

President Obama to start program to provide lawyers to children facing deportation –  since October, more than 47,000 children traveling without parents (unaccompanied minor) have been caught trying to cross the southwest border.  There are a few options available for an immigration lawyer for children facing deportation:

Immigration Options for Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant Child – Asylum

You may apply for asylum as an unaccompanied minor if you:

  • Are under 18 years old;
  • Have no parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody.

Asylum officers will decide your case if you are in immigration court proceedings or filed your application with an asylum office. You must attend your immigration court hearings and should follow the Immigration Judge’s instructions.

Immigration Options for Unaccompanied Minor Immigrant Child – Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status

To be eligible for SIJ status:

  • You must be under 21 years old on the filing date of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Application
  • Your state court order must be in effect on the filing date of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Application and when USCIS makes a decision on your application, unless you “aged out” of the state court’s jurisdiction due to no fault of your own
  • You cannot be married, both when you file your application and when USCIS makes a decision on your application

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

FL Senate & Illegal Immigration: Florida college tuition break for illegal students?

This week, the Florida Senate will consider the Post Secondary Tuition bill and decide whether to grant a tuition break for illegal students who are living in the country illegal.  This issue relating to illegal immigration and college students has greatly divided the Republicans in the Florida Senate.

Democrats, many Republicans, Gov. Rick Scott, several former governors including Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist and many news media outlets have piled on — Scott and Crist once opposed the idea, but now support it.

Some Florida colleges and universities already allow in-state tuition for students in the US illegally. Florida International University, for example, was the first to do so. But the University of Florida doesn’t allow in-state tuition for illegal immigrants because it’s against federal law.

READ MORE….

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

DACA Renewal of Deferred Action for DREAMers (Young Immigrants)

Those individuals granted DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may submit their renewal request about 120 days (4 months) before their current period of deferred action will expire. If renewal request are submitted more than 150 days (5 months) before your current period expires, immigration authorities may reject it and return the petition with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Child Status Protection Act Help “Aged Out” Children Over Age 21

Many families who have been waiting six to twelve years for their immigrant visas to be available often face the problem of children who “aged out” or turn age 21 and no longer qualify for the immigrant visa.  The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) amended the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) by changing who qualifies as a child for purposes of immigrant.   This permits certain beneficiaries to retain classification as a “child,” even if he or she has reached the age of 21.  A “child” is defined as an individual who is unmarried and under the age of 21.  Before CSPA took effect on August 6, 2002, a beneficiary who turned 21 at any time prior to receiving permanent residence could not be considered a child for immigration purposes.  This situation is described as “aging out.” CSPA is designed to protect a beneficiary’s immigration classification as a child when he or she ages out due to excessive processing times.  CSPA can protect “child” status for family-based immigrants, employment-based immigrants, and some humanitarian program immigrants (refugees, asylees, VAWA).  

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Child Status Protection Act Helps Eligible Immigrant Children Over Age 21

There are several issues faced by immigrant children who are beneficiaries of a pending family-based immigration petition.  One of the major issues is when a child turns age twenty-one before the issuance of the immigrant visa.

Family-based sponsorship petitions in the United States can take from one year to ten years depending on the relationship between the petitioner and beneficiary.  In these cases, a child that is listed as a beneficiary may be under age twenty-one when the petition was filed but is over age twenty-one (or has aged-out) when the visa is being issued at the Embassy.  Generally, if a child is being sponsored by a lawful permanent resident parent or U.S. citizen parent, when the child turns age twenty-one, the visa preference category is changed from a child under age twenty-one to a child over age twenty-one and the processing can take longer.  However, if the child is a beneficiary listed under a petition filed for their parent by a U.S. citizen brother or sister and the child is over age twenty-one when the visa is ready to be issued at the Embassy, then generally the child will not be eligible for a visa since the child is over age twenty-one (or has aged-out).  The exception to the general rules just stated is that the child may be eligible for the visa even though the child is over age twenty-one if the child meets the requirement of the Child Status Protection Act.

Under the Child Status Protection Act, a child beneficiary of a petition filed by a U.S. citizen parent, who was under age twenty-one when the petition was filed will not “age-out” if over the age of twenty-one when the visa is issued.  In this situation, the child’s age freezes at the time of the filing.  Also, a lawful permanent resident parent who filed a petition for a child, who was under age twenty-one, on the date the lawful permanent resident parent became a U.S. citizen will not age-out.  Further, the child beneficiary of a petition filed for their parent by a U.S. citizen brother/sister is eligible to have his/her date of birth recomputed under the following formula: subtract from child age when visa available the amount of days it took Form I-130 to be approved after initial filing.  Note, this has been simplified for the reader’s basic understanding of immigration.  A more detailed case analysis by an immigration attorney would be required to determine a child’s eligibility for the Child Status Protection Act.

Question #1:            My sister, who is a U.S. citizen, filed a petition on July 2, 2002 for my wife, three children and me.  The petition was approved on August 5, 2003.  My daughter was 15 when the petition was filed but now she is 23.  The visa became available in November 2010.  Will my daughter be able to get her visa for the U.S. even though she is over age 21?

Attorney Answer #1:            In applying the Child Status Protection Act to your case, your child’s age of 23 would be recomputed to age 22 – making her ineligible for a visa under your sister’s petition as your daughter is over age 21.  Basically, from her current age at the time the visa is available (23 yrs), you subtract the time between the filing and approval of the petition (1yr) and you get a recomputed age of 22.  Upon your entry into the U.S. and receiving your green card, you can then file a petition for your daughter if she remains unmarried.  A lawful permanent resident can only file a family-based petition for an unmarried child.

Question #2:            I was sponsored by my parents and became a green card holder and entered the U.S. in July 2007 but left my son in Guyana with his mother.  My son was age 20 when I became a U.S. citizen.  I would like to file a petition to sponsor my son but he is now age 25 and still unmarried.  Can I still sponsor him since he is over age 21?

Attorney Answer #2:            Under the Child Status Protection Act, since your son was under age 21 when you became a U.S. citizen he is considered a child under age 21 even though he is 25 at the time of your filing.  He will be considered an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and a visa is available immediately (no backlog) but processing time may be 9-12 months.