Tag: deportation

Indian Doctors Face Deportation Due to Paperwork Error

Two Indian physicians who reside in Houston, Texas, face imminent deportation from the United States due to a paperwork error.

Dr. Pankaj Satija is a neurologist who helped found the Pain and Headache Centers of Texas.  His wife, Dr. Monnika Ummat, have resided in the U.S. for many, many years.  Dr. Ummat is also a neurologist.  She specializes in treating epilepsy at Texas Children’s Hospital.  They are the parents of 2 U.S. citizens, 7-year-old Ralph and 4-year-old Zoeey.

The pair faced removal last week after immigration officials refused to extend Dr. Satija’s and Dr. Ummat’s temporary permission to stay in the U.S.  The decision by Homeland Security may cause dozens of Texans who suffer from neurological disorders to be without their doctors.

“I have 50 patients today and 40 patients tomorrow,” said Dr. Satija. “I’m just concerned they’ll be left in a lurch. They could land up in the emergency room.”

The Houston Methodist Hospital System sponsored Dr. Satija for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) in 2008.  Dr. Ummat would be eligible to adjust status as his spouse.  But because the couple are from India and because USCIS has a nearly decade-long backlog for Indian professionals to adjust status, they have not yet received their LPR status.

The couple regularly renewed their travel documents and work authorizations.  But last year, their permission to travel abroad was extended for only one year instead of two years, which had typically been what they received.  Later snafus by Customs and Border Patrol contributed to the confusion.

The couple never noticed the problem.  Then Dr. Satija’s brother called from India to tell him that their father had been admitted into intensive care and was gravely ill.  The entire family flew to India.

When they returned to the U.S., they learned that they had left the U.S. on expired advance parole documents (the formal name for the travel documents).

CBP allowed the couple to enter the U.S. on deferred inspection, which means they were allowed in but would have to explain how they believed they were entitled to stay at a later date.

When they brought their paperwork back to CBP, they were initially told that everything would be okay.  But the next day, they were told “[s]omebody up there has decided you have to leave the country in the next 24 hours.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, in two expansive immigration memos the Trump administration issued in February, it directed the nation’s three main immigration agencies to “sparingly” use the practice of parole, though it hasn’t yet detailed the new regulations.

At the end of last week, DHS did agree to give the couple another 90 days to try and sort out the situation.

This story demonstrates a few themes we talk about at the Hacking Law Practice on a regular basis.

First, it is absolutely ridiculous that we have an immigration system that takes nine years for a pair of super-qualified doctors from India to get lawful resident status.

Second, it is absurd that we are even talking about the possibility of deporting these people who serve sick Americans every day of their lives.

Third, immigrants are awesome and help this country every day.

 

U.S. Army Veteran to be Deported

Miguel Perez is not a U.S. Citizen.

His two children are.

Despite this, he is scheduled to be deported due to a conviction for selling drugs.

Perez served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

He enlisted for not one, but two, tours.  According to his family, Perez “was blown out of his Jeep in Kandahar” and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the blast.

He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He started self-medicating with alcohol and he then turned to drugs.  That led to the selling of drugs.

Sadly, he had the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen after serving in the Army, but he didn’t understand how the process worked.  He thought that simply serving in the military resulted in him automatically becoming a U.S. citizen.

America has done a poor job of taking care of the women and men who fought in George Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/. Problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are legendary.

We provide little funding for treating the psychological injuries of war.

But when a man or a woman volunteers to pickup a gun and defend this country, we should be there for that soldier when they return.  If they make a mistake and commit a crime, go ahead and punish them.

But in this huge political push to see who can out-tough other politicians when it comes to immigrants, real people get caught up in the system.

We abandoned this man to the streets after he fought for us. This is deplorable what the government is now trying to do.

We believe that if you serve our nation honorably and come back to the United States that you should not be deported. A black letter rule that would prohibit us from deporting women and men who put on our country’s uniform.

Miguel Perez is running out of options. He has already been ordered de-or Ted by the immigration judge.  He is seeking relief in the Board of Immigration Appeals and has asked for members of Congress to assist him.

Will we leave this blood brother behind?  After what we a

Don’t Use a Notario or Friend for Immigration Help!

Should I use a notario or friend to help me fill out my immigration forms? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States.

We want to begin this video by talking about what exactly is a notario, or a notary. A lot of time, in immigrant communities, you’ll see people hang out a shingle that says, “Immigration Forms, Forms and Taxes, Taxes and Forms, Immigration Help Here.” The person who hangs out the form is not an attorney. What you should know first and foremost, that this is the unauthorized practice of law. These people are breaking the law by claiming to be able to help you fill out forms. The law is designed to protect you. The law is designed to protect the immigrant from people what claim to know how to fill out forms.

We have seen many, many, many cases, far too many cases get denied or really, really screwed up because of bad advice that a notario, or a notary, or a friend, has given to an immigrant in completing their forms. The first problem is is that immigration is a whole lot more than just filling out form. A lot of people think that it’s just a matter of checking boxes and filling in information. The thing that is important is that each of the questions on most immigration forms, other than the biographical information, each of those questions are designed to address a particular area of the law within immigration. A statue, a law, or a regulation, that sets forth why someone may or may not be entitled to the immigration benefits sought.

Now, notarios, they just want your money. They just want to get your money in their pocket and to fill out the form as quickly as possible. We routinely see and hear about cases in which a notario fills out forms for someone, and the person is clearly not eligible for the benefits sought. The application is then denied, and the immigrant finds themselves not only with a denied immigration form, with the loss of the money that they paid to the notario, but sadly, they find themselves in deportation. This is one of the big ways that notarios can really screw up your case.

Another thing is that because they don’t know the law, they sometimes say things in your application, or they tell you to fill out a form a certain way, and that is bad information. We just got off the chat today with someone who said that the notario told them to lie about the fact that their father had been deported. They told them to check the no box instead of the yes box. They were trying to get the father back to the United States. Well, this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Notarios are not lawyers, they’re not steeped in the law, they haven’t studied the law, and sadly, they make mistakes all the time.

They often prey on the fact that they are of the same immigration background, the same nationality, the same ethnic community as people who are seeking immigration benefits, so very very, very careful in dealing with a notario or anyone that says that they are able to fill out immigration forms. Make sure you see their bar card. Make sure that they’re an attorney. Check out their online reputation. Make sure that they are reputable and that they know what they’re doing.

If you have been screwed over by a notario, or if you feel like you have been taken advantage of, or have given them too much money, or given them money and they gave you bad information, you should really follow-up with your state attorney general. You should really follow-up with your state bar association, because like I said, this is the unauthorized practice of law. These people are taking advantage of the immigrants. They don’t know what they’re doing. They’re going to screw up your case.

I don’t care if you hire me or any other immigration attorney, but you absolutely should not be doing business with a notario. You should instead get competent immigration advice from a good immigration attorney, whether that’s me or somebody else, that’s just fine, but this video is a public service announcement trying to encourage you to stay away from notarios at all costs. They will hurt your chances of staying in the United States. They could get you deported, and they clearly don’t know what they’re doing.

If you have questions about this, give us a call at 314-961-8200, or your can email us infoathackinglawpractice.com. If you like this video, be sure to click the like button. If you want to sign up for our YouTube channel, make sure you subscribe so that you get updates like this video, whenever we send out a new post.

Thanks a lot, and have a great day.

Judge OKs class action for children in deportation hearings

A glimmer of hope for immigrant children has emerged in a relatively dark and messy period for American immigration and deportation policies. This June, U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly of Seattle has approved a class action lawsuit to determine whether impoverished children are entitled to lawyers during deportation hearings.

Brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and immigration advocates, the case challenges the government’s failure to provide lawyers to children during deportation hearings.

A class action suit, or a representative action as some refer to it as, is a type of lawsuit in which one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a specific member of that group. In this case, the group of people represented is thousands of children throughout the West.

For years, the United States of America has encountered many cases in which minors are potentially eligible for asylum or citizenship but can’t afford legal representation. Under current policies, the country has run on a system that Matt Adams says “pits unrepresented children against trained federal prosecutors.” Matt Adams, the legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, is highly involved in the lawsuit and has stated that under the ruling, the merits of the practice will be argued in a single case, and the government will have to defend an unjust system.

This lawsuit is coming late in the game, but it is needed now more than ever for the immigrant community. Since 2013, more than 7,000 immigrant children have been deported without appearing in court. What was originally a border crisis for the United States has now become a due process crisis. Wendy Young’s advocacy group Kids in Need of Defense, as well as many other advocacy groups, have been pushing for a system more supportive of minors when it comes to court proceedings.

While it is an alarming thought that America’s fundamental due process right has been repeatedly abused with regards to immigrant children, the class action suit is one of the first steps of many in improving immigration policy that has for a long time been due reformation.

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Supreme Court Kills Off Obama’s Deferred Action Program for Parents of U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked in its review of a lower court’s decision on President Barack Obama’s controversial Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

DAPA would have temporarily halted the deportations of undocumented immigrants and allowed them to work in the U.S. legally.

The 4-4 tie was expressed yesterday in a single sentence “the judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”

Texas and twenty-five other states challenged the DAPA program which would have shielded as many as 5 million undocumented aliens from deportation. Those eligible included the parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. The states argued that Obama exceeded his jurisdiction in adopting the program.

A federal judge in Texas ruled against Obama and halted the program a week before it was set to begin in 2014. The feds argued that Texas and the other states lacked standing to bring the action and the judge agreed. An appellate court also agreed which meant that when the Supreme Court tied, the lower court ruling stayed binding.

This ruling deals a harsh blow to many mixed-immigration-status families throughout the U.S. It is expected that deportations will increase following this ruling.

The decision also stresses the importance of federal elections. Republicans have refused to allow comprehensive immigration reform to come to the floor of Congress for a vote. President Obama acted only after years of inaction on the part of Congress.

Republicans also refused to allow Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Elections have consequences.

In his comments yesterday, the President said, “If you keep on blocking judges from getting on the bench, then courts can’t issue decisions.  And what that means is then you are going to have the status quo frozen, and we are not able to make progress on some very important issues.”

Hopefully, voters will remember these things in November.

Supreme Court

Old School Rapper Slick Rick Beats Deportation, Becomes U.S. Citizen

British rapper Slick Rick became a  U.S. citizen last week after a decades long battle with the immigration service over his possible deportation.

Slick Rick, whose real name is Ricky Walters, became famous for his work with fellow old-school rapper Doug E. Fresh and for his multi-colored eye patches.

INS and then USCIS tried to kick Slick Rick out of the country several times after he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in 1991 and spent five years in prison.

“I am so proud of this moment — and so honored to finally become an American citizen,” Rick said Friday in a statement.

In the 1990 incident, Slick Rick fired a gun several times, although he claimed it was self defense. He claimed that a cousin who ended up injured in the gun battle had threatened Slick Rick and his mom on a prior occasion.

With the violent felony conviction, he faced deportation back to Great Briatin. He fought the deportation for many years.

On one occasions, Walters was arrested in Florida while trying to return from a Caribbean concert cruise with singer Erykah Badu.

It was less than a year after 9/11, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service was operating in an era of heightened security.

Def Jam founder Russell Simmons , along with Actors Will Smith and Chris Rock, tried to help and encouraged fans to push for his eventual release.

“This has been a long time coming for me, and I am relieved to finally put this long chapter behind me,” Walters said after he was sworn-in Friday in an official ceremony alongside dozens of other new citizens in New York.

“I want to thank everyone — my family, friends and fans — who have supported me and stuck by me over these 23 years. I am truly blessed, and stay tuned, I will have more to announce soon.”

He later posted a picture to Instagram of an American flag-themed eye patch with the caption, “#SlickRickVictory.”

Slick_Rick

Congressman proposes private bill to keep Irishman from being deported

Malachy

Congressman Joe Crowley of New York will introduce a private bill in support of Malachy McAllister, an Irishman who is subject to deportation from the U.S. on April 25.

At the same time, the Ancient Order of Hibernians is mobilizing members around the U.S., asking them to contact their Congressional representatives to ask for relief for McAllister.  The Irish native has lived for 20 years in the U.S. after fleeing Northern Ireland with his family after their home was shot at by Loyalist paramilitaries in 1988.

“Time is of the essence. We all need to act now,” Crowley told the Irish Voice on Tuesday.

“Malachy meets all the requirements to avoid deportation. He is absolutely no threat to the United States. He is one of the former hard men who took risks for peace in Northern Ireland, and his case needs to be seen in that context. We do not want to give reason for the dissidents to say their campaign should continue, and deporting Malachy would do that.”

McAllister is a former member of the Irish National Liberation Army.  He spent three years in prison in Belfast in the 1980s.  McAllister and his family fled Northern Ireland in 1988 after their home was attacked with gunfire. They first went to Canada and then to the U.S., where they have been fighting for asylum ever since.

Recently declassified British intelligence documents indicate collusion between the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in the attack on the McAllister home, making him even more worried about deportation.

“I’m just worn down,” McAllister told the Irish Voice on Tuesday morning. “So many years we’ve had to go through this. All I want is closure. Questions have to be asked as to why this is happening now.”

His case for political asylum has been on appeal at the Board of Immigration Appeals.  McAllister has received deferred action from ICE in 12 month increments every year since 2006.  In March of 2015, Immigration & Customs Enforcement reversed their prior course of action and ordered McAllister to report for deportation.  McAllister’s prior arrest in Belfast has been flagged by ICE, though the complete context of the political unrest in Northern Ireland at the time is being ignored, his supporters say.

McAllister, a resident of Rutherford, NJ owns a successful stone mason business which has employed several U.S. citizens.  He also owns an Irish bar and restaurant in Manhattan called Wolfe Tone’s Irish Pub and Kitchen. He has had no arrests since his arrival in the U.S., and he has long disavowed paramilitary activity in the North, staunchly advocating for the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement.

“Everybody here knows who I am and what I stand for, all the Irish groups and organizations. I am very grateful for their support,” says McAllister, who is father to a 4-year-old U.S.-born son and grandfather to five U.S. citizen grandchildren.

The special bill that Crowley is proposing is a legislative mechanism whereby Congress can literally pass a piece of legislation designed to solve one person’s immigration issue.  It is a rare form of immigration relief.

ICE deports former Serbian police sergeant after lies discovered

Janko Branko Jankovic, who had been residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been deported from the United States after it was discovered that he lied to gain entry to the U.S. in 2003 and that he had served in the Serbian army during the Bosnian war.  Jankovic arrived in Sarajevo last Wednesday while being escorted by officials form Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

An ICE investigation revealed that Jankovic failed to disclose his extensive service in a Serbian para-military group during the war.  A federal immigration judge ordered Jankovic deported in June of 2014 and his appeals finally ran out.

Serb military man

The immigration judge had found a pattern of deceit by Jankovic.  The court found that Jankovic’s wife would not face extreme hardship if he were deported and that, even if she would, his repeated lying to immigration officials – both in order to enter the country and at various times thereafter – rendered him ineligible for discretionary relief like a waiver of his deportation.

What happens if the asylum officer denies my case?

You may be wondering, what happens if the asylum officer denies my case?
Someone who applies for asylum may not appeal a decision of the asylum officer.  The law does not provide for a direct appeal of a denied asylum claim.  If the asylum officer made an error or failed to consider certain evidence, you may file a motion to reconsider or reopen.  These motions are rarely granted and should only be filed when the officer has made a serious mistake in your case.  The motion to reconsider or reopen is filed with the asylum office that handled your interview.  In essence, you are asking that office to reverse the decision of the individual asylum officer who originally handled your case.  As you may understand, the asylum office is usually very reluctant to reverse one of its own officers.
USCIS Asylum_0
So if I can’t appeal, what happens next?
If USCIS denies the case and the applicant has no other legal basis to be in the United States, the asylum officer is required to refer the case to an immigration judge for adjudication of the claim in removal proceedings.  The asylum officer is also required to issue a referral notice to the immigration judge which includes a list of the reasons for the referral.  The officer also issues a notice to appear to the asylum applicant which begins the deportation process.  You are allowed to raise asylum as a defense to deportation and have the immigration judge conduct their own assessment of the claim.  However, unlike the asylum interview which is supposed to be non-adversarial, in immigration court, there will be a government attorney whose job it is to challenge your asylum claim, poke holes in your story and try and convince the judge to deny you asylum.  Being sent to deportation court makes getting asylum a whole lot harder.

What should an F-1 student do if they get arrested in the United States?

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States and out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. International students who come to the United States on an F-1 student visa sometimes get into criminal trouble. We see this a lot with shoplifting, DUIs, little petty offenses. Obviously, more serious things can happen. We recently handled a case where a fellow had broken into his girlfriend’s apartment and assaulted her. Just like anybody else, international students are not the only ones who get into criminal trouble, but when an international student gets into criminal trouble, there are special concerns and considerations that have to be taken into account.

What am I talking about? An F-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa. This means that there’s no long-term, immigration benefit to someone on an F-1. They may later switch to an immigrant visa, but when you’re in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, I like to tell people that you’re barely here. You are in the United States physically, but you’re here at the good graces of the United States. If the United States decides that you’re going to go, you’re going to go. There aren’t a lot of protections available to kids here in the United States on an F-1 visa who get into criminal trouble.

The first thing that you have to take into account is that you need to talk an immigration attorney. You want to make sure that when you talk to your criminal defense attorney that the two attorneys are talking back and forth because sometimes a deal that is good for a US citizen or green card holder would not be as good for the international student. A lot of times, the most serious consequences of a criminal offense are to have the international student deported. There aren’t a lot of protections available. One of the things that you have to keep in mind is that the international student could face what’s called expedited removal. Expedited removal is sort of a summary dismissal of the individual from the United States. You don’t have a lot of due process, you don’t even get the chance to go in front of a judge.

If you’re placed into expedited removal, you’re going to face serious trouble. You want to make sure that you are taking in account all the immigration consequences of any guilty pleas that the criminal defense attorney might be recommending. You’re going to get arrested and you’re going to get fingerprinted, and then you’re probably going to get a court date. You’re most likely going to be allowed out, unless the offense was particularly serious. You might have to stay in jail while the criminal charges are pending, but if you’re allowed out you need to make sure to talk to an immigration attorney. If you’re stuck in jail, you need to find a friend or a family member to contact the immigration attorney.

One of the things that we see a lot of is that the international student is ashamed or worried about talking to their family. We had a student recently who got caught shoplifting at a Wal-Mart and she was very reluctant to deal with the situation because she was going to have to face her parents. She was able to get a friend to help her pay for the legal fees and the criminal charge fees so that she can try to handle this on her own, but we don’t necessarily recommend that. If you can, you should tell your parents, you should tell your family and explain to them the situation because you don’t want to be making decisions on your own that could have long-term consequences for you from an immigration perspective.

When you get arrested, don’t say anything to the police. Tell them that you want to talk to a lawyer. Tell them that you’re not going to give them a statement. Don’t give them any kind of additional evidence to use against you. They will use it against you. Once your criminal proceedings are over, if you’ve taken a guilty plea, you could be placed under removal proceedings, deportation proceedings, even if your criminal defense attorney told you that you weren’t going to. If you have questions about what to do if you get arrested or what to do if you’re facing criminal charges as an F-1 international student, make sure to talk to an immigration attorney. We handle these cases here at our office pretty frequently, but where ever you are in the United States, you do not want to do this alone. You should not rely solely on the advice of your criminal defense attorney. A good criminal defense attorney is going to tell you to consult with an immigration attorney. We’re always very happy when international students come to us from criminal defense attorneys because that tells us that the criminal defense attorney know what’s going on.

It’s so complicated to figure out what’s going to happen to the immigrant based on the criminal charges. Every time we get a case like this, we start at the beginning and we look at all possible defenses and all available relief. We encourage you to contact an immigration attorney if you’re facing a criminal situation like this. Don’t be ashamed, don’t be worried, it’s just a mistake, it’s not your whole life. It doesn’t define you. You really need to make sure that you do what you can to protect yourself from an immigration standpoint so hopefully you can continue going to school, complete your studies, and go on about your life. If you have any questions, give us a call. 314-961-8200. You can email us at jim@hackinglawpractice.com. Thanks.