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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2020 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
  Immigration News & Updates              
Immigration How To:
How Do I Answer This Letter That I Received From Immigration?
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Question: Good day do relevant immigration forms pages have to printed on separate sheets of paper or they can be printed front and back (eg: pages 1& 2 on one sheet of paper or it should be page 1 on sheet one etc.)?
Over the past three and a half years, the Trump administration has waged an ongoing war against immigrants on every front, including imposing policies which resulted in deep cuts in family immigration, reduced by nearly 50% in 2020. Heartless policies against innocent Dreamers have left a precious generation of children with no hope or sense of security, as Trump continues efforts to cancel DACA and reduce benefits, in violation of court orders. Under his inhumane administration, children have been caged like animals, families separated and Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) has had free rein to terrorize immigrant communities and arrest otherwise law abiding immigrants just because they lack legal status. 
Job Biden Plans To Dismantle Trumps Anti-Immigration Policies 
Beginning Day One Of His Presidency!

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  POSTING DATE: August 10,  2020
International Travel Can Be Risky For Green Card Holders With Criminal Records

As with all immigration matters under the Trump administration, policies in regard to U.S. Residents (Green Cards holders) with criminal records can be hash for those with unresolved or serious criminal conviction. As a result, residents who have a criminal history should take great care before travelling abroad, since even old criminal convictions can cause difficulties in re-entering the U.S., result in a bar to readmission and in some cases, even removal from the U.S..
Answer: The USCIS accepts forms which are either separate sheets or printed on the front and back. Both are fine.
USCIS Requests For Evidence On The Rise – 
Make Sure You Respond Properly To Avoid A Denial

Once an immigration application is filed and the USCIS issues a receipt for the case, at some point down the road the officer adjudicating the case may issue something called a Request for Evidence (RFE). This request comes in the form of a letter from the USCIS officer to request additional information or documentation on your application. 
Court Orders USCIS To Produce Backlogged Work Permits & Green Cards
Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Continued Attempts 
To Apply The “Public Charge” Rule
For months, USCIS printing delays have left thousands of immigrants without work permits and green cards, accumulating a backlog of over 150,000 by July 2020. The production problems were caused by the USCIS’ cancellation of a contract it had with an outside company to produce employment authorization documents (work permits) and green cards, which ended in June 2020. The agency apparently decided that it could produce the cards in-house, even while it was dealing with a severe financial crisis. As the situation worsened, a class action lawsuit was recently filed in July by several immigrants to force the USCIS to produce the cards. 
Venezuelans in the U.S. in desperate need of temporary protected status (TPS) after fleeing their corrupt and unstable regime have been denied TPS status, simply because it does not suit Trump politically.

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden’s policies towards immigrants are totally different than those of Trump. Biden values  immigrants and understands that they are the backbone of our nation, which gives us our strength and resiliency. According to Biden “… Generations of immigrants have come to this country with little more than the clothes on their backs, the hope in their heart, and a desire to claim their own piece of the American Dream. It’s the reason we have constantly been able to renew ourselves, to grow better and stronger as a nation, and to meet new challenges. Immigration is essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future. Under a Biden Administration, we will never turn our backs on who we are or that which makes us uniquely and proudly American. The United States deserves an immigration policy that reflects our highest values as a nation.” 

As part of his plan to undo the harm done against immigrants by the Trump administration, Biden plans to immediately reverse Trump’s proclamations and executive orders. Major priorities include:

Reverse Trump’s immigration bans which have caused thousands of family members and other immigrants to languish abroad, unable to obtain visas to allow them to immigrate to the U.S.. The current bans prohibit most immigrants and family members from immigrating to the U.S. through December 31st and may be extended indefinitely if Trump is elected for a second term.

Reverse Trump’s public charge rule and health insurance mandate which requires that immigrants provide financial data and health insurance documentation to demonstrate their financial resources and prove that they will not obtain government assistance or need noninsured healthcare in the future. This rule allows USCIS to arbitrarily deny residency to immigrants it deems to become a “public charge” (someone who will need government assistance). Courts have currently blocked the rules, but the administration has appealed.

Restore DACA and protect Dreamers and their families while creating a plan for Dreamers to obtain green cards and the U.S. Citizenship that they so richly deserve! The plan would include legal protections for parents of Dreamers, including work permits and eventual green cards.

Rescind the “Muslim bans” which unreasonably and inhumanely separate family members and target individuals based upon their religious faith and origin.

Restore America’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to provide protections for immigrants fleeing from terror and disasters, including immediately granting TPS status to Venezuelans which will allow them to remain in the U.S. legally and obtain work and travel permits.

Reverse Trump’s cruel policy of separating families at our borders, including ending the caging of children and inhumane treatment of immigrant families, as well as ending for-profit detention centers. 

Biden also plans to immediately implement new humane immigration policies which no longer punish law abiding immigrants, institute pro-immigration programs and help create legislation for immigrants. Major priorities include:

Comprehensive Immigration Reform to modernize our immigration system and enable millions of immigrants to legalize their immigration status and eventually obtain green cards and U.S. Citizenship. Immigrants currently living in the U.S. who contribute to our economy and enrich our communities can come out of the shadows and live and work freely, while working towards residency and citizenship.

Enforce Sensible immigration priorities which target criminals, not law-abiding immigrants.

Institute humane asylum policies for immigrants fleeing political persecution by restoring our asylum laws designed to protect rather than persecute immigrants.

Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by streamlining and improving the naturalization process, remove roadblocks to naturalization and ensure applications are processed quickly, for reasonable fees. 

​Biden’s Immigration Plan 

The 20 page complaint claimed that the USCIS had significantly slowed or stopped providing workers’ Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) due to a “deliberate and intentional decision” to terminate its printing contract with a third party “without having any intention or plan to replace that printing contract” or otherwise produce the documents.

Success came only days later, on August 3rd, when the federal district court sided with the immigrants and ordered the USCIS to issue the cards within seven days. In issuing his order, Judge Marbley found that those waiting for their cards to be printed suffered “an immediate threat of harm” being unable to provide for themselves and their families and being forced to rely “on the mercy and kindness of others for basic necessities such as shelter and food.” The USCIS has requested a review of the order and further hearing are scheduled in the case. Stay tuned…
Background of the lawsuit against USCIS
On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) issued a ruling to block the Trump administration from applying the Public Charge policy, (which had been in effect since February 2020) during the coronavirus pandemic. The order prevents the USCIS and State Department from continuing to apply restrictive policies which forced immigrants to demonstrate they had financial resources or risk residency denial. 

Under the rule, immigrants filing for residency were required to submit form I-944 inside the U.S. and form DS-5540 (for consular processing outside the U.S.). The Trump administration appealed the order to the federal appeals court. 
On August 4th the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Trump administration, siding with the lower court which found that application of the public charge rule during the pandemic was against public policy. The Trump administration is expected to file yet another appeal, but so far has issued no comment on the matter.
ABC News
Question: My cousin who has a conditional 2 year Green Card has applied to remove the condition for some time now. He got his green card on 12.18.2017 which makes him qualify early citizenship under the 3+3+3 rule. Does he have to have the 10-year green card in hand to apply for his naturalization seeing that fees are slated to increase in October? Thanks
Answer: Once your cousin has been a conditional resident for 2 years and 9 months, he is eligible to file for his early naturalization and does not need to wait until the I-751 permanent residency case is approved. In these cases, we provide extensive documentation to the USCIS to prove that the resident qualifies and is still happily married to the U.S. Citizen spouse.
Question: I got my social security number many years ago when I was working as a server under the H2b worker visa. After my visa expired I just stayed her and could not renew it. I recently lost my social security card and I need to get another one. Can you please tell me how I can go about that. Can I call and request to get a duplicate one? What kind of documents will they ask me for? Thanks.
Answer: Unfortunately, under current policies, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is not authorized to issue you a social security card replacement unless you are authorized to work or otherwise qualify to obtain one. Generally, the SSA requires that an immigrant provide a work permit (called employment authorization document) in order to obtain either a new or duplicate social security card. After you make your application, they will normally check your immigration status through the USCIS system before issuing the card. 
Under the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement priorities the government’s application of strict Immigration enforcement laws have been steadily tightening. This of course also means more scrutiny of both foreign visitors and U.S. Residents seeking to enter the U.S. from abroad as well.

This is particularly a concern for U.S. Residents with certain criminal convictions who travel abroad, even for brief periods, since they will now be more fully vetted upon returning to the U.S.. Many Residents are unaware of the immigration implications of old, seemingly insignificant criminal convictions. Under the regulations, many crimes are considered Crimes of Moral Turpitude, which fall into three categories:

1) those involving fraud, larceny (i.e. theft), 
2) crimes against persons or 'things', and 
3) governmental authorities. 

Alone, many crimes do not have negative consequences for Residents, however, if a person has two or more such offences, no matter how old, depending upon the circumstances, they run the risk of being inadmissible to the U.S. or of being deportable. And while waivers are available in some cases, there is never a guarantee of approval and new border policies may require such individuals to remain in detention until the case is resolved. Note that many crimes committed by juveniles before age 18, may be excused, and under some circumstances, a pardon will be recognized, but for immigration purposes, expunged criminal convictions remain convictions and may still have consequences.

Therefore, the best advice for Residents with a criminal background who wish to travel, is to have their particular circumstances reviewed by a criminal immigration attorney first, before making any plans to travel abroad. Better to be safe, then sorry….

RFE requests are frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility and are often very cryptic, frequently appearing to request information which was already provided and can often be quite frustrating. 

For instance a request may say that you are required to submit a complete copy of your 2019 tax return with all the schedules. 
You may think you submitted the return, but look again, since maybe you only submitted the first or second page and left out any supporting schedules for instance the Earned Income Credit for Qualifying Child, etc.  

Responding to an RFE from the USCIS:

The first step is to read the RFE letter very, very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine exactly what the officer is requesting. For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document(s) requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the departmental authority in your country of birth.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?

Depending on the type of case, you may have from 33 days to 87 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. The RFE request will state exactly how many days you have to respond. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the USCIS has provided an additional 60 days to respond for a request or notice issued from March 1st through September 11, 2020.

After I respond what happens next?

Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter. 

We can assist you in properly responding to a USCIS RFE, give us a call at 954-682-7509.