The shutdown, trump’s proposal, now what?

by José Enrique Perez

We all know that the federal government shut down for 3 days last month. Now, this month the government is in risk of shutting down again. DACA, the Dreamers, immigrants, were at the heart of the shutdown. They will be again.

In response to the shutdown, the President Trump presented (finally) his immigration plan. He supports a 10- to 12-year path to citizenship for not just the roughly 700,000 enrolled in the expiring DACA program but for other “DACA-eligible illegal immigrants” who are in the U.S. illegally and were brought to the country as children. The White House estimates that could cover up to 1.8 million people.

In exchange, the White House wants an immigration measure to include $25 billion for a border wall. However, based on the language of the proposal for the wall, it does not seem it is the coast-to-coast physical structure on the Southern border that Trump promised at campaign rallies, but, it “takes a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, and resources.”

Trump also wants changes to the legal immigration system, including policies that prioritize family members “to spouses and minor children only.” Finally, Trump wants to completely eliminate the visa lottery system, which the memo says “is riddled with fraud and abuse and does not serve the national interest.”

Immigrants and civil rights groups are shocked with this proposal. First of all, the DACA and Dreamers deserve a clean Dream Act not tied to any border enforcement or to be hostage in exchange of the elimination of family based immigration.

Starting with the wall and border security, all the experts agree (Except for Trump and his right wing allies) that expanding the border wall makes no sense, will harm the environment, and is counter to the desires of actual border communities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has met and exceeded all previous “benchmarks for border security” proposed in bipartisan draft immigration legislation. According to DHS’s own reporting, it is more difficult to cross the southern border without authorization today than it has ever been before, with undocumented entries at their lowest since the early 1970s. Since DHS’s inception in 2003, its Customs and Border Protection (CBP) budget has more than doubled and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spending has grown 85%. The number of agents has ballooned. CBP and ICE’s budget is already 24% larger than the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Drug Enforcement Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Secret Service; and U.S. Marshals combined.

It is proven that Family-based immigration leads to successful, strong American families. Adult children, brothers, and sisters, help run small businesses, help each other as they integrate into America, and support each other’s child care needs. One reason our family-based immigration system has been so successful is that extended family members in the U.S. to help immigrants settle, find jobs and housing and integrate and become successful Americans. Under the so-called merit-based plan, many of us would not be here today, except African Americans and Native Americans, our ancestors came to the U.S. with little money, struggling for a better life.

The termination of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which is a small program that allows 50,000 individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to come to the United States each year. Winners of the lottery go through the same intensive screening that all aspiring immigrants to the United States face. The lottery brings a small number of immigrants to the United States, but serves a critical goal of contributing to the rich diversity that keeps the United States vibrant.

These realities lead us to one conclusion: Trump’s proposal must be rejected by Congress and the Senate and a new deal MUST be reached; otherwise, the federal government will shut down again on February 8, 2018.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the current immigration issues and other immigration policies.

I represent individuals in immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the March edition.

What is left of TPS after Hurricane Trump?

Wow…..What a bad year for immigration was the year 2017! First, Trump; then, mass deportation; then, the end of DACA; then, TPS ending; then, family preferences? We will see! 2018 does not look promising, but we will stand firm to fight for the immigrant families.

Now, we have heard a lot of reports that TPS has come to an end. Most of it, in fact did. Honduras is the only designation for TPS still alive after Hurricane Trump devastated the whole concept.

Congress established Temporary Protected Status in 1990 to create a statutory mechanism for granting temporary relief to persons in the U.S. who are unable to return to their home countries due to armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Currently, 10 countries were designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The power to make TPS designations rests with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which in essence means the President. Yes, unfortunately, President Trump.

Just before Christmas, the government of President Trump announced that Nicaragua TPS designation will end in January 2019. But, it was not all bad news as he also announced that Honduras was surviving his relentless attack on immigrant families.

Current beneficiaries of TPS under Honduras’ designation who want to maintain that status through the current expiration date of July 5, 2018, must re-register between Dec. 15, 2017 and Feb. 13, 2018. Re-registration procedures are similar to the ones in the past.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

USCIS will issue Employment Authorization Documents with a July 5, 2018 expiration date to eligible Honduran TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for work permits with this extension.

Given the delays in processing and timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications and other forms, however, the government recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new work permits before their current expiration date on Jan. 5, 2018. Accordingly, the government has automatically extended the validity of the work permits issued under the TPS designation of Honduras for 180 days, through July 4, 2018.

In November, former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced that she was not making a determination on Honduras’ TPS designation at that time. By operation of the TPS statute, this postponement automatically extended the current TPS designation for Honduras for six months – through July 5, 2018. Duke concluded that additional time and information was necessary to make a determination on extension, redesignation, or termination of Honduras’ TPS designation.

During this six-month extension, individuals with TPS have been told to be “encouraged”: to prepare for their return to Honduras in the event Honduras’ designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Honduras.

At least 60 days before July 5, 2018, the Secretary will assess the country conditions in Honduras to determine whether to extend, redesignate, or terminate TPS for Honduras. Hondurans with TPS should determine whether they qualify for other types of relief in case termination becomes imminent. Notwithstanding how disastrous Hurricane Trump is, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the current status of TPS and other immigration policies.

About the author Jose Enrique Perez – I represent individuals in immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the February edition.

Immigration protections for Nepalese Citizens!

Temporary protected status or “TPS” is a temporary immigration status to the United States, granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. The following countries are currently under TPS: Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan. 

TPS is an immigration status granted to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. In the case of Nepal, it received TPS designation resulting from the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent aftershocks.

As a result, Nepalese nationals residing in the United States may apply for the second time for TPS with USCIS.

The TPS designation for Nepal became effective on the day of the announcement in 2015 and the extension that was approved just a few days ago, October 26, 2016, will be in effect through December 27, 2016. The registration period ends on December 27, 2016. 

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We are at War, so Syrians…

 

We are at War, so Syrians also have temporary protected status if they were already in the United States!

Temporary protected status or “TPS” is a temporary immigration status to the United States, granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. The following countries are currently under TPS: Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan.

TPS is an immigration status granted to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Syria was designated as TPS country in 2012.

Last month, the Obama Administration announced the extension that allows TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 31, 2018, so long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS. The re-designation of Syria allows additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since August 1, 2016 to obtain TPS, if otherwise eligible. The government has determined that an extension of the current designation and a re-designation of Syria for TPS are warranted because the ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the 2015 TPS re-designation have not only persisted, but have deteriorated, and because the ongoing armed conflict in Syria and other extraordinary and temporary conditions would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to their country.

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If you got money, you got Visa!

New Potential Policy? If you got money, you got Visa!

Just last month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (known as USCIS) proposed a new rule, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses in the United States of America.

But please keep in mind that it is JUST A PROPOSED RULE, not the law yet.  The way it works is that once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. Anybody can submit comment and you should follow the instructions in the notice to do so.

The federal government says that the idea behind this proposed rule is to create jobs, attract investment and generate revenue in the United States of America.

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NEW EXTENSION OF TPS

SALVADORIANS JUST RECEIVED NEW EXTENSION OF TPS

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (hereinafter referred to as “USCIS”) announced on July 8, 2016, that President Obama’s administration is extending the temporary protected status (hereinafter referred to as “TPS”) for eligible nationals of El Salvador from the current expiration date of September 9, 2016.  The extension is for eighteen months.  Therefore, the new expiration date is March 9, 2018.  As you may recall, El Salvador was designated for TPS in 2001 following a series of severe earthquakes.  The USCIS has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions persist and temporarily prevent El Salvador from handling the proper return of its nationals.

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DAPA and Expanded DACA

DAPA and Expanded DACA… 4 – 4 tie  in the supreme court. Now what?

Last month, the United States Supreme Court in a two-sentence decision destroyed the dreams of more than 5 million immigrants.  The split decision from the Supreme Court’s on U.S v. Texas, the case against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, allows the block on DAPA and the expansion of DACA to continue.

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