ACLU warns ‘immigrants and people of color,’ against travel in Florida – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs “sanctuary cities” ban

Effective June 14, 2019, all law enforcement agencies in Florida will have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a travel advisory for “immigrants and people of color to use extreme caution” in Florida.

The Florida law would require local law enforcement to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in detaining undocumented immigrants.

Florida’s undocumented immigrant population is estimated to be greater than 700,000. The legislation prohibits local governments from enacting “sanctuary” polices that protect undocumented immigrants from deportation — which no Florida cities had actually done. Local law enforcement will be required to honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers for undocumented immigrants who are arrested or convicted of a crime. The bill exempts crime victims and witnesses.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has urged law enforcement officials in cities and counties to cooperate with immigration officials.

For more information on undocumented immigrant, 

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What is Marriage Fraud?

Any non-citizen of the U.S. who enters a marriage to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident for the sole or primary purpose of obtaining permanent residence (a green card) is deemed to have engaged in marriage fraud and is subject to various immigration law consequences.  Marriage fraud is included in the grounds of deportability at Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) § 237(a)(1)(G), or 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(G). To be deemed to have engaged in “marriage fraud,” the person must enter into a marriage for the sole or primary purpose of evading U.S. immigration law.  Also, once you have fraud or misrepresentation on your record, you are inadmissible under I.N.A. § 212(a)(6)(C)(i), which means to be barred from eligibility from virtually any sort of U.S. visa or green card.

U.S. immigration law requires scrutiny of new marriages. Under the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986 (“IMFA”), an applicant whose marriage is less than 24 months old when he or she receives approval for a green card will receive only “conditional,” not permanent residence. This status expires after another two years. Within the 90 days before that two-year expiration date, the immigrant must apply to have the condition removed (on USCIS Form I-751) to become a full-fledged lawful permanent resident.

Since marriage fraud in the U.S. is prevalent, petitioners and beneficiaries have the burden to prove their marriage is a bona-fide good-faith marriage based on love and not for an immigration benefit.  When trying to overcome a marriage fraud assumption by an officer, applicants should remember that three types of evidence may be gathered by the officer to ascertain whether it is a real marriage.

There will be an in-person interview with the immigration officer, beneficiary and petitioner.  There are two types of evidences presented at the interview: (1) oral testimony by the petitioner and beneficiary, and (2) documentary evidence.  When oral testimony is taken from the petitioner and beneficiary, the officer may separate the two during questioning or may interview them in the same room.  If applicants have an attorney, the attorney shall be present during questioning by the officer.  Documentary evidence are bills, statements, insurances, leases, etc. that prove the petitioner and beneficiary are living together and commingling finances.  The third type of evidence the officer may examine is “bed checks” or on-site investigations an officer conducts at the home of the petitioner and beneficiary.

Lastly, an officer may cite fraud indicators or red flags such as cultural differences between the petitioner and beneficiary, language barriers, significant age difference, prior marriages when immigration benefits were obtained, etc. Marriage fraud is a serious allegation with lifetime consequences, do not the risk denial, deportation proceedings and future inadmissibility.  Seek legal representation from an attorney who can prepare you for the interview, attend your interview and has experience dealing with possible marriage fraud allegations – contact Immigration Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram for your FREE consultation.

For more information on marriage fraud, 

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Immigration Court system “on the brink of collapse.”

American Bar Association (ABA) calls on Congress to make sweeping changes in order to fix the immigration court system “on the brink of collapse.” – currently face backlogs of over 855,000 cases. In 2018, former Attorney General Sessions stripped judges of their ability to administratively close cases, restricted asylum for victims of domestic violence, and limited judges’ ability to dismiss cases.

ABA’s solution to this problem would be make the immigration court an “Article I” court, similar to federal tax court or bankruptcy courts. Under this new system, the Attorney General would have no authority to directly overrule judges or set precedent, and judges could not be disciplined for failing to meet case completion quotas. The lack of independence in the immigration court system is so dire that the ABA is making an unprecedented call for the government to suspend the hiring of all new immigration judges until the immigration court have been made more independent.

For more information on Immigration Court, 

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TPS Extended to 01/02/2020 for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador

USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the automatic extension of #TemporaryProtectedStatus (TPS) documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador until January 2, 2020, in order to ensure continued compliance with the preliminary injunction in #RamosvNielsen, which required the government to maintain #TPS for #immigrants from these countries.

Temporary protected status (also called “TPS“) is a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States. The status, afforded to nationals from some countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster, allows persons to live and work in the United States for limited times. Currently, persons from ten countries-Haiti, ElSalvador, Syria, Nepal, Honduras, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Nicaragua; and South Sudan—have temporary protected status. About 320,000 people have TPS as of 2017, the majority from El Salvador (195,000), Honduras (57,000), and Haiti (46,000).

For more information on TPS extended, 

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End to Self-Scheduled InfoPass Appointment – Scheduling Only with Pre-Authorization

The new Information Services Modernization Program is replacing the current self-scheduled InfoPass appointment system that allows anyone to make an appointment on-line or at their local USCIS office to speak to an immigration officer regarding their pending case, get immigration resources or get answers to immigration questions. The new program is suppose to improves the timeliness of information and emergency services. Additionally, the new program should improve information efficiency for all classes of immigration applicants.

Effective March 4, 2019, the new Information Services Modernization Program will be rolled out to the Tampa and Orlando Field Offices. This means that in order to get information in-person, you first have to call 1-800-375-5283 and after speaking to an agent then you may or may not meet the guidelines to get “pre-authorized” for an appointment at your local immigration office to speak to an officer in-person.

Based on internal surveys, USCIS found that many users of the InfoPass self-scheduled appointment program could have saved time by calling the USCIS Contact Center or checking the USCIS website. In the long term, the new modernization efforts will help applicants save time by limiting the hassle of scheduling an in-person appointment. USCIS additionally hopes that by limiting in-person appointments, the service can better allocate resources and staff towards processing and adjudicating applications. For those who require in-person assistance, USCIS states that applicants will still maintain the right to schedule an appointment, and can receive assistance to do so through the new modernized information service program.

The new Information Services Modernization Program is basically replacing in-person customer support with over the phone assistance that involves long hold times on the phone and generic scripted answers to applicants. Instead of customer support modernization, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is going back to an antiquated system of navigating telephone prompts before speaking to a live person who has no background on immigration law and reads from a computer screen telling you your “case is pending” or “go to our website for more information”.

For more information on InfoPass or Information Services Modernization Program,

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Orlando Immigration Lawyer | Immigration Attorney Orlando | Best Lawyer | GailLaw – Janell Turner Google Review

Gail made the process effortless. She’s very efficient and is confident because she knows what she is doing. Just listen and follow her guide. I’m so happy God Lead my husband and I to her firm. I appreciate you Gail!!!! Nothing but UP FROM HERE. Double blessings to you and your amazing God given gift. Best immigration attorney in Orlando.