USCIS to Reissue Receipts to EAD Renewal Applicants 

On February 16, 2017, USCIS began reissuing receipts to individuals who applied to renew their Employment Authorization Document between July 21, 2016 and January 16, 2017, and whose applications remain pending in the following categories: 
(a)(3) Refugee

(a)(5) Asylee

(a)(7) N-8 or N-9

(a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau

(a)(10) Withholding of deportation or removal granted

(c)(8) Asylum application pending

(c)(9) Pending adjustment of status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act

(c)(10) Suspension of deportation applicants (filed before April 1, 1997), cancellation of removal applicants, and special rule cancellation of removal applicants under NACARA

(c)(16) Creation of record (Adjustment based on continuous residence since January 1, 1972)

(c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending Form I-700)

(c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending Form I-687)

(c)(24) LIFE Legalization

(c)(31) VAWA self-petitioners

The reissued receipt notices will contain: 

The applicant’s EAD eligibility category;

The receipt date, which is the date USCIS received the EAD renewal application and which employers must use to determine whether the automatic EAD extension applies;

The notice date, which is the date USCIS reissued the receipt notice; and

New information about the 180-day EAD extension.  

POTUS Immigration EO Coming This Week

Multiple sources have indicated that the POTUS will be signing a new executive order concerning immigration this week, a bit delayed from the anticipated time of his order last week.

This order will be in direct response to the President’s initial travel ban, which prevented refugees from 7 predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. It also restricted entry for green card and visa holders from those countries. Supporters hailed the order as a protective measure for national security while opponents suggested it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. Attorneys nationwide challenged the order in Federal Court and the Ninth Circuit ultimately struck down the ban. President Trump appealed the decision on the grounds that he as the President has broad discretion to preserve national security interests. On appeal, the Court maintained their original position and the ban has been eliminated.

The new executive order will likely eliminate the permanent Syrian refugee ban as well as entry for visa and green card holders. However, there are indications that the list of 7 predominantly Muslim counties will remain affected.

Check back often for more information re: this order and how it may affect you or your family.  Contact us at 978-905-9992.

Visa Bulletin for March 2017

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during March for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

For more information, please refer to the Department of State’s Website at the following linkhere.

ICE Enforcement of POTUS EO

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, effective immediately, ICE will direct its personnel as well as its state and local partners through the 287(g) program to apply the enforcement priorities outlined in President Trump’s recent executive order. Under this Executive Order, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. DHS plans that within 180 days, ICE will carry out a number of actions to implement the enforcement priorities stated in the executive order. Some of those actions include, but are not limited to, conducting targeted enforcement operations and allocating resources to work in jurisdictions with violent crime tied to gang activities.

POTUS Executive Order Coming this week

Multiple sources, including the President himself, have indicated that the POTUS will be signing a new executive order concerning immigration this week. 

This order will be in direct response to the President’s initial travel ban, which prevented refugees from 7 predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. It also restricted entry for green card and visa holders from those countries. Supporters hailed the order as a protective measure for national security while opponents suggested it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. Attorneys nationwide challenged the order in Federal Court and the Ninth Circuit ultimately struck down the ban. President Trump appealed the decision on the grounds that he as the President has broad discretion to preserve national security interests. On appeal, the Court maintained their original position and the ban has been eliminated. 

The new executive order will likely eliminate the permanent Syrian refugee ban as well as entry for visa and green card holders. However, there are indications that the list of 7 predominantly Muslim counties will remain affected. 

Check back often for more information re: this order and how it may affect you or your family.  Contact us at 978-905-9992. 

Naturalization Eligibility 

Permanent residents may apply for citizenship upon being a permanent resident for 5 years, or upon being a permanent resident for 3 years if they have been married to a U.S. citizen spouse for at least 3 years.
The following requirements must be met for individuals holding a green card for at least 5 years:

Be 18 or older

Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400

Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application

Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the the application

Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization

Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law

For more information about these services, please schedule a consultation at 978-905-9992.

Japanese Internment Remembrance

75 years ago on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order authorized the Secretary of War to prescribe certain areas as military zones, clearing the way for the internment of Japanese Americans to internment camps in the United States. More than 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes and placed into detention centers with unlivable conditions, all in the name of national security. 

This day is particularly important to us as our President seeks to ban an entire religious group from our country.  

The following is a poem written by an unknown Japanese American inprisoned in an internment camp reflecting our shared humanity. 
THAT DAMNED FENCE

By Anonymous

They’ve sunk the posts deep into the ground

They’ve strung out wires all the way around.

With machine gun nests just over there,

And sentries and soldiers everywhere.

We’re trapped like rats in a wired cage,

To fret and fume with impotent rage;

Yonder whispers the lure of the night,

But that DAMNED FENCE assails our sight.
We seek the softness of the midnight air,

But that DAMNED FENCE in the floodlight glare

Awakens unrest in our nocturnal quest,

And mockingly laughs with vicious jest.
With nowhere to go and nothing to do,

We feed terrible, lonesome, and blue:

That DAMNED FENCE is driving us crazy,

Destroying our youth and making us lazy.
Imprisoned in here for a long, long time,

We know we’re punished–though we’ve committed no crime,

Our thoughts are gloomy and enthusiasm damp,

To be locked up in a concentration camp.
Loyalty we know, and patriotism we feel,

To sacrifice our utmost was our ideal,

To fight for our country, and die, perhaps;

But we’re here because we happen to be Japs.
We all love life, and our country best,

Our misfortune to be here in the west,

To keep us penned behind that DAMNED FENCE,

Is someone’s notion of NATIONAL DEFENCE!

Weekly Immigration Update 

This week marked yet another turbulent one for President Trump and his administration. After having his travel ban struck down in Federal Court, he has vowed to keep Americans safe from “bad guys.” His administration has prioritized removal to include all those with minor criminal records, including even using fraud or misrepresentation to obtain a work benefit. 

This has been done through the more extreme enforcement efforts of ICE and now through a proposed deployment of National Guard troops for the round-up of undocumented people. While the White House has denied reports of this proposal, a draft memo exists outlining it. Also this week we have seen the arrest of a DACA Dreamer, who has no prior criminal record. ICE has maintained that he has gang ties, which led to the arrest. And we cannot forget about Jeanette Vizguerra, a mother of 3 U.S. Citizens who has been in the country since 1997. She used fraudulent papers to obtain a work benefit and entered the country twice without inspection. Her motion to stay her removal was denied this week and she has sought shelter in a church to avoid deportation. 
Despite these troubling cases of questionable immigration enforcement, we have also seen signs of progress. Over 25,000 people became U.S. Citizens this week, pledging their allegiance to our great country. Further, the Day Without Immigrants was a stark reminder that our nation is built on the backs of immigrants and without them, not only do we not have fully functioning restaurants or entertainment, but our entire infrastructure suffers without their positive presence and productivity. 

As always, ALO supports our immigrant community and will continue to do the work of uniting families in the U.S. 

DHS Statement on DACA arrest

The Department of Homeland Security released the following statement in regards to the DACA male who was arrested. DHS alleges gang tie. 
“Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy, aliens granted deferred action from deportation who are subsequently found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time and DHS may seek their removal from the United States. This includes those who have been arrested or convicted of certain crimes, or those who are associated with criminal gangs. Since the start of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012, approximately 1,500 recipients have had their deferred action terminated due to a criminal conviction, gang affiliation, or a criminal conviction related to gang affiliation. 
On February 10, Daniel Ramirez-Medina, a gang member, was encountered at a residence in Des Moines, Washington, during an operation targeting a prior-deported felon. He was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center to await the outcome of removal proceedings before an immigration judge.   
This case illustrates the work ICE fugitive operations teams perform every day across the country to remove public safety threats from our communities when they encounter them. ICE officers, along with their law enforcement partners, have and will continue to enforce our nation’s laws to protect public safety, national security, and to preserve the integrity of our immigration system.”

USCIS 25k New USC During President’s Week

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will honor Presidents Day by welcoming more than 25,000 new U.S. citizens during 162 naturalization ceremonies across the country from Feb. 14 through Feb. 22, 2017. 

USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba comments: “These new U.S. citizens will be given rights, responsibilities and opportunities that will strengthen and shape the future of our great nation, just as generations of immigrants have done before them. By choosing to naturalize, they are confirming their commitment to our country and furthering our legacy as a nation of immigrants.”