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Baton Rouge Legal Blog

US government working to appeal block of asylum policy change

The current climate regarding immigration has numerous people in Louisiana and elsewhere on edge. In particular, individuals hoping to obtain asylum in the United States are undoubtedly focused on the series of proposal changes, blocks to those changes and appeals currently affecting this area of immigration law. Unfortunately, it does not appear that a set outcome regarding certain policies is happening soon.

It was previously reported that the current presidential administration is attempting to have asylum seekers stay in Mexico while their cases are being processed in the United States. More recently, a judge ruled that this change could violate U.S. laws because it does not take into consideration the dangers that asylum seekers face while waiting outside the country. However, that ruling was recently put on hold while it is being appealed in federal court.

US immigration law scam swindled over $300,000 from families

Trying to obtain citizenship or otherwise adjust one's immigration status is difficult. As a result, many individuals in Louisiana and across the country who hope to reach this goal often look for help in completing the process. Though U.S. immigration law is certainly complicated, if individuals do not receive help from legitimate professionals, they could wind up worse off than before.

It was recently reported that at least 42 families were cheated out of more than $300,000 after a man in another state claimed to have connections with federal agencies that could help speed up immigration proceedings. The man claimed to be part of an official organization, and in order to receive assistance, individuals had to pay $5,000 to join the organization and another $3,000 to have their applications filed. Unfortunately, the man's actions were deceitful, and rather than helping, he simply swindled vulnerable individuals out of money.

US immigration law: Several international field offices may close

When individuals in many countries are looking for immigration assistance relating to the United States, they can sometimes utilize field offices set up in those countries. These offices act as an extension of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of their International Operations Division. Though these field offices can help with various aspects of U.S. immigration law, closures of several of these offices could soon take place.

Louisiana readers may be interested in a recent report regarding the possible closure of over 20 international field offices. Apparently, the current presidential administration hopes to make these closures as a cost-saving effort, but many have concerns that the closures would cause additional and unnecessary immigration-related delays. In particular, military citizenship applications, refugee processing and family reunification petitions could all face lengthened processing times.

Understanding the U-visa cap

It's hard to believe, but there is a cap on the number of people who can come into the United States as refugees from criminal violence. Usually, people come to the U.S. on U visas, which are set aside for those who are victims of crimes such as abduction, murder, kidnapping, stalking, torture and others.

The United States cannot take everyone who applies, and there is a limit that applies to U visas each year. The total number allowed to be granted yearly is 10,000. However, that number only applies to the first member of up to 10,000 families. For example, if you are the mother of three children, you only count as one out of 10,000, and your children do not count toward the U-visa limit.

Release date given to flight attendant in immigration detention

Immigrants in Louisiana and across the country face many uncertainties. Even if they believe that they are safe and secure from immigration detention, deportation or other similar possibilities, they may be shocked to find themselves in such scenarios. As a result, they may need assistance to find the best ways to handle their ordeals.

It was recently reported that a 28-year-old woman found herself in such a serious predicament. According to reports, the woman from Peru with her family when she was 3 years old. She was living in the United States and working as a flight attendant under the privileges provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. However, the current presidential administration ended new enrollment for the program and no longer promised that those currently protected would gain legal reentry into the United States if they left.

US immigration law allows for marriage-based green cards

Most people hope that they will one day find the loves of their lives. Fortunately, numerous Louisiana residents are able to do so. Of course, if that love involves a person who came to the United States as an immigrant, there may be additional barriers to address. For instance, if a person wants to obtain a marriage-based green card, he or she will need to follow the procedures under U.S. immigration law.

Falling in love can often feel like whirlwind, and before many people know it, they are ready to get married. When the marriage involves an immigrant, the union could allow for an adjustment of status. However, if the application for a marriage-based green card is not filed correctly, it is highly likely that it will be rejected.

US immigration law changes put U-visa applicants at risk

Being an immigrant in Louisiana and other parts the United States can be a frightening experience at times, especially if a person did not enter the country through proper channels. As a result, if a person suffers as the result of a crime, he or she may feel worried about coming forward. Though U.S. immigration law allows crime victims to qualify for U-visas in special circumstances, their cases may face delays.

It was recently reported that there are concerns regarding U-visa cases due to rule changes regarding continuances of cases. Because a considerable backlog of immigration cases exists, the rules have reportedly changed in efforts to decrease that backlog. The report indicated that immigration judges must close 700 cases per year in order for their ratings to be satisfactory.

Asylum is not granted to just anyone

Many people often have mixed feelings about leaving home. They may feel sad or guilty about leaving their loved ones behind, or they may worry about leaving the security of what they have always known. On the other hand, some individuals may need to leave home due to the possibility of facing persecution, and as a result, they may choose to seek asylum in Louisiana and other parts of the United States.

For many people, asylum can help them escape the dangers of their native countries and gain protection elsewhere. However, there is no guarantee of protection, and people cannot request and obtain asylum ahead of time. As a result, they must leave everything they know behind and hope that they will be accepted within the borders of the United States.

You may be able to waive inadmissibility as an immigrant

The United States immigration system is very complicated, and even those who work hard and play by the rules may find it difficult to gain legal admission to the country. For many people, applying for admission is a long and frustrating journey, only to be told that they are inadmissible.

If your visa application or application for some other immigration benefit gets denied, you may still have the opportunity to obtain the visa or benefit by using an I-601 waiver. The I-601 waiver is also called the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.

Most Americans fail civics test required by US immigration law

As most people know, there are a number of steps that immigrants must complete if they want to become naturalized citizens. Under U.S. immigration law, applicants must pass a civics test as part of the naturalization process. However, while this may be a requirement for those who want to obtain citizenship, the majority of those who are already citizens cannot pass the test.

According to a recent report, a poll was conducted to see how many participants could pass the civics test given to citizenship applicants. Louisiana came in last place with the lowest pass rate at only 27 percent. The state with the highest rate reached 53 percent. Overall, the national average was approximately 40 percent passing. While these outcomes may not have much impact on Americans, failure can be devastating for citizenship applicants.

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