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Karen Handel, (R-GA) introduced a bill entitled the Community Safety and Security Act of 2018 to the House of Representatives on August 31st. The bill was placed on the House schedule the following day and was sent to the floor as H.R. 6691. Requiring a simple majority vote, the bill passed by a vote of 247-152.

As might be expected with the current activity of the House of Representative, the passage generally followed party lines with 218 Republicans and 29 Democrats voting in favor of the bill, 4 Republicans and 148 Democrats voting against, and 28 abstentions equally divided between the two parties.

The unlikely-named immigration-oriented bill was introduced to amend the definition of the term “crime of violence” in the U.S. Criminal Code, largely because the term was found to be too nebulous in litigation against legal immigrants under prosecution and for whom the government is seeking deportation.

Representative Handel introduced the bill to deal with situations in which U.S. prosecutors failed to convince judges that alleged charges against lawful immigrants fell within the parameters of the broadly defined “crime of violence.” H.R. 6691 names specific offenses already commonly defined in U.S. law for which conviction on alleged criminal activity could result in the sentencing of revocation of legal residency, whether by Green Card or by naturalization, and deportation.

According to GovTrack, a 2018 Supreme Court ruled that the second clause of the definition of “crime of violence” is “unconstitutionally void for vagueness.” Some authorities have feared that the fallout from that decision could mean that “certain burglary, indecent assault and battery, stalking, and manslaughter convictions may no longer qualify as crimes of violence . . . though they are clearly dangerous crimes.”

The bill proposes adding the following terms under the umbrella of “crime of violence.”

Abusive sexual contact, aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse, assault, arson, burglary, carjacking, child abuse, communication of threats, coercion, domestic violence, extortion, firearms use, fleeing, force, hostage taking, human trafficking, interference with flight crew members and attendants, kidnapping, murder, robbery, stalking, weapon of mass destruction, and voluntary manslaughter.

We cannot predict what the future will hold. However, if you are concerned that your Green Card may expire before your application for citizenship is approved, we may be able to help to eliminate your anxiety and even help move your application along more expeditiously.

The bill will now move to the Senate where it must be approved without a change in order to be forwarded to the President to sign it into law.

Civil rights activists are protesting the bill, positing it as discriminatory to legal immigrants. However, the land of the free does not mean that America is a land where one is free to do whatever one chooses, especially when it comes to crimes of violence. It would serve us well to remember that the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America includes the declaration that

“I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America . . . [and] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

We are pleased to bring regular updates to our readers and clients. As always, we welcome your input and discussions about immigration on our social media.


Published in Immigration
Thursday, 14 June 2018 09:35

Immigrating? Tell the Truth

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on June 8, 2018, that it is expanding its efforts to find, denaturalize, and deport “a few thousand cases” of immigrants who fraudulently obtained their Green Cards and, in some cases, applied for and became naturalized.

Immigrating? Tell the Truth

As the federal government continues its crackdown on illegal immigration, L. Francis Cissna, the Director of the USCIS, explained that the department would be adding several dozen attorneys and officers who will be focused on one particular group of illegal immigrants of which the general public is largely unaware.

Those people are a select group Green Card holders and naturalized citizens who used a specific, fraudulent act to outwit the government. It is the same technique that some continue to use to gain employment fraudulently.

This group is comprised of people who, having been ordered for deportation, reapplied successfully by using fake identities. Poultry processors in the Midwest have experienced this same tactic for job applicants who have been turned away. They return days or weeks later with a new identity. If they are discovered, they are not hired. Or, if hired then discovered, they are terminated. When it comes to those who have used this practice to immigrate, they can expect to be charged with felony fraud and imprisoned prior to deportation.

The USCIS has been aware of this activity for years, but this will be the first time they will have an entire department focused on finding the miscreants. It will take about six months to get the Los Angeles office up and running. Nonetheless, the agency already has a process in place “to get to the bottom of all these bad cases and start denaturalizing people who should not have been naturalized in the first place.”

Why are we sharing this information?

  1. Immigrants who have legally obtained their Green Cards or have become naturalized should not be concerned. The government has a relatively good idea who the perpetrators are. Director Cissna said, “The people who are going to be targeted by this - they know full well who they are because they were ordered removal under a different identity and they intentionally lied about it when they applied for citizenship later on.”
  2. Some undocumented immigrants in the U.S. may be tempted to secure legal immigration using fraudulent activities. We urge these people to contact us to help gain immigrant status legally. We may be able to assist you with gaining asylum so that you can obtain legal status and peace of mind.

Our Immigration Attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and expertise. We are available to review your situation and advise you on the best and right way to resolve your tenuous status.

Published in Immigration

WASHINGTON, DC – The Justice Department announced on Thursday, May 17, 2018, that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ruled to foreclose the practice of Administrative Closure by Immigration Judges.

That ruling has raised the hue and cry from advocates and opponents to the ruling. Our purpose is to neither advocate nor oppose, but to explain what the ruling means and why it was imposed.

What Is Foreclosure?

Most people are familiar with the term “foreclosure” associate it with a practice that lending institutions use when homeowners fall in arrears on their mortgage payments. In a more general legal sense, applicable here, foreclosure means “to hinder or prevent.” In this case, the Attorney General’s ruling prevents Immigration Judges from exercising Administrative Closure.

What Is Administrative Closure?

Administrative Closure is a procedure by which an Immigration Judge may temporarily remove low-priority cases from the court docket. Typically, a low-priority case is one in which the defendant appealing deportation has been in the United States for an extended time and has not engaged in known criminal activity. Many of the cases also involve situations where the defendant fails to appear for his or her hearing.

Administrative Closure allows the judges to focus on high-priority cases, especially those involving known criminals.

Why Do Some People Agree with the Attorney General’s Decision?

Generally, those people believe that temporarily preventing discretionary Administrative Foreclosure will, indeed, allow Immigration Judges to focus on processing the most-likely candidates for deportation. This aligns with the administration’s agenda to find and return illegal immigrant gang members and law-breakers to their homelands.

In addition, proponents believe that the failure to adjudicate a case temporarily ends up with the case never being heard at all. They believe that using Administrative Closure simply because the respondent fails to appear (which may or may not be happening) may allow some of the criminal element to remain in the U.S. illegally.

Why Do Some People Disagree with the Attorney General’s Decision?

Generally, these people take one of two primary positions. The first is the claim that the administration is trying to turn the Immigration Courts into a “deportation machine.”

The other is that some believe that denying a respondent’s opportunity to move his or her hearing to a later date infringes upon the individual’s right to a speedy hearing.

There may also be some concern that this temporary foreclosure could become permanent.

The Problem Is the Backlog of Cases

It has become apparent that, because of the use of Administrative Closure, the actual number of cases requiring adjudication may be much higher than what had been reported by the previous administration because of failure to accurately report the number of cases in Administrative Closure.

The backlog of cases waiting to be heard was 212,000 at the beginning of 2006. By 2015, the backlog had increased to 437,000 cases with a median processing time of 404 days.

How this falls out remains to be seen. Attorney General Sessions is attempting to get all pending cases adjudicated. The unintended consequences may be that the backlog will, at least statistically, increase and that respondents who have no legal representation may find themselves being unwillingly exited from the United States.

The attorneys at American Corporate Services Law Offices, Inc. understand the complexities of U.S. Immigration Law and are highly skilled at ensuring that our clients are fully equipped to understand the process and prepared to succeed with their petitioning process as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are notified that you must appear before an Immigration Court, we urge you to contact our Law Offices immediately for assistance.

Published in Immigration
Monday, 07 August 2017 15:07

Top 3 Tips For New US Immigrants

For Foreign Investors, the EB-5 Program Is a Great Option

Instead of traditional employment visas, high net-worth immigrants, often from China Mainland, Vietnam, South Korea, and India, are increasingly using the EB-5 visa. For foreign nationals, involving themselves in the investment visa EB-5 can often be the most efficient way to a new American life for their family. With minimum capital investments of $500,000, families of the investors can get conditional green cards within several years after filing their I-526 petitions. Similar programs exist in other developed countries, but they can require up to three-four times as much capital and have more restrictions; the program remains at its most popular in the United States. Prospects for the program look good. Despite Trump’s hard-line talk on illegal immigration, he is a strong supporter of legal routes like the EB-5 Program. Dr. Finkelson has become well acquainted with these EB-5 visa developments, and he has written a book to educate those interested in EB-5: How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services, A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen - http://biz-visa-usa.com/how-to-find-chinese-investors

Seeking Asylum Can be a Complicated Process

Applying for asylum is a route open to many immigrants in their first year of living in the United States, even if they are in the country illegally. However, immigration laws related to asylum are complicated, the system is overtaxed, and the process can take from 3 to 7, and sometimes, 9 years in an immigration court. Asylum seekers can also be subject to detention if they apply on the Mexican-USA border. For these reasons, Dr. Finkelson recommends that any person seeking asylum should speak with an experienced immigration attorney before attempting to apply and enter the process. The best option is to start working with your USA licensed immigration attorney before leaving your country. In such case, your story and your supporting documentation will be prepared well in advance. Gregory Finkelson also stresses the importance of getting an attorney who speaks your language. “Most American attorneys, born in the USA, can’t understand what it means to be fleeing Putin’s dictatorial regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses persecution or LGBT hounding in Russia, a real war in Ukraine, Tibetan refugees, or organ harvesting in China. We do understand, 100%.”

Deportation Prospects Haven’t Changed as Much as We May Think

Under United States Law, any immigrant in the country illegally is technically subject to deportation. The reality for illegal immigrants is quite different. Dr. Finkelson notes that cost of deporting an illegal immigrant can be up to $23,000. With 11,000,000 illegal immigrants in the United States, it is beyond impossible to account for everyone. Despite President Trump’s strong rhetoric, immigration enforcement’s focus has primarily been on immigrants that are deemed to pose a national security risk. This can include those who have committed crimes or abused public benefit programs. For many, the attitude of enforcement may simply be: “We have bigger fish to fry.” Still, the anxiety of deportation can be ameliorated if the proper routes are taken toward a legal residence. Dr. Finkelson leaves us with some words of encouragement to those seeking the American Dream. “Don’t waste your time playing the ‘Green Card Lottery’, don’t wait for the miracle, don’t delay. Contact your experienced immigration attorney today."

Published in Immigration
Thursday, 27 April 2017 13:13

Will I Be Deported?

Will I Be Deported?

Published in Immigration
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