It’s true that immigration is a complicated area of law. At Your Immigration Angel, we stay at the forefront of changing immigration policy and legislation. Even if your circumstances are complicated, we can answer your immigration questions and create the best strategies for you. For example, if the National Benefits Center still has not granted your Motion to Terminate after your AOS interview, we can help you to make sure that USCIS or EOIR proceeds with the adjudication of your adjustment of status. What about an I-130 petition for a noncitizen who is detained? We can help you with that as well by requesting an expedited action with USCIS and the ICE counsel. There are often options that you may not know exist. That’s when our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys can help you! Contact us for your free initial consultation today! You can find many convenient ways to contact us on our “About Page.”
Did you know that according to 2012 data, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants? This should not come as a surprise if you consider that California is home to one-quarter of the nation’s immigrants! Although some naysayers like to denigrate immigrants as uneducated high school dropouts or worse, statistics show that recent immigrants to California include a large number of highly educated workers. Although it is important to note the wide spread of ages in the Current Population Survey data, let’s look at some of the numbers:
For Californian adults aged 25 to 65:
- 8% immigrants had a high school level education, compared to 23.3% of U.S. citizens.
- 1% of immigrants had achieved a bachelor’s level degree, as compared to 37.2% of U.S. citizen adults.
Even better, among recent immigrants aged 24 and over who arrived in California between 2005 through 2008:
- 41% had at least a bachelor’s degree!!!
Immigrants in California are attaining higher educational levels, and while many still add valuable work to the unskilled labor forces, many are helping the U.S. and California economies by joining the higher skilled workforce as well. And that is good news for all of us!
Did you know that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez introduced and implemented myE-Verify? This new website was designed to meet the needs of both U.S. employers and foreign nationals working in the U.S. Nearly 550,000 employers use myE-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of the people that they hire. With myE-Verify, workers now have a free and secure way to participate in the E-Verify process. They can access features dedicated for employees, including Self Check and the Employee Rights Toolkit. For added security, individuals will have their identities verified through Self Check, in order to create a myE-Verify account.
Using myE-Verify offers the following advantages:
- Free and secure personal accounts to manage the use of your information in E-Verify and Self Check through the available myE-Verify features.
- Ability to lock your social security numbers to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use within E-Verify. You can proactively protect your identity from being used by others to illegally gain employment. Self Lock is available only to myE-Verify account holders.
- Information to learn about your rights as well as responsibilities of employers in the employment eligibility verification process.
For more information on E-Verify, visit the www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
Every hopeful immigrant knows that there are constraints on the availability and issuance of United States Green Cards. The limited availability of U.S. visa creates the main backlog on green card applications. Employment-based green cards for foreign workers and their families are also limited by the United States government, and the 2015 cap has been set at 144,000 per year, world-wide. Family-sponsored preference categories for 2015 are limited to 226,000 visas per year. USCIS also places a total annual cap on the amount of visas that can be issued to foreign nationals from any particular country. For 2015, no country can receive more than 7 percent of the total annual number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas or approximately 25,600 visas.
Will I be able to obtain a work permit from USCIS?
If your TPS application is approved, you may receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if you requested your EAD at the same time as your TPS application. For an EAD, you must submit the appropriate application and USCIS. Applicants who already have or do not wish to receive employment authorization still must submit a completed USCIS form, but without the required fee.
May I travel outside the United States?
If you are granted TPS, you must remain continuously physically present in the United States. The grant of TPS status does not mean that you have permission to travel abroad. In some cases, limited permission to travel may be granted by the district director in accordance with the advance parole regulations.
Failure to obtain advance parole prior to traveling abroad may result in the withdrawal of your TPS. This may subsequently put you at risk of removal or deportation.
How can I check the status of my application?
You can contact the USCIS office that received your application to ask about your case status. Be prepared to provide the USCIS staff with specific information about your application.
If my application is rejected by USCIS, may I appeal?
If your application for TPS is denied, you may have the option to appeal. You will receive instructions telling you whether or not you are allowed to appeal the decision. These instructions will be included in the notice of denial.
Did you know that in 2012, USCIS naturalized 757,434 LPRs in 2012? According to 2012 DHS data, of the 40.8 million people who comprise the foreign-born U.S. population, 18.7 million immigrants are currently naturalized U.S. citizens. This sounds like a lot, but accounts for only 6 percent of the total U.S. population!
So where did our newly naturalized citizens come from, you ask? Immigrants from the following countries accounted for approximately 49 percent of all naturalizations that year:
- 13 percent were born in Mexico (102,181)
- 6 percent each in the Philippines (44,958) and India (42,928)
- Dominican Republic (33,351)
- China (31,868), Cuba (31,244)
- Colombia (23,972)
- Vietnam (23,490)
- Haiti (19,114)
- El Salvador (16,685)
USCIS estimates indicate that 13.3 million LPRs were residing in the United States as of January 1, 2012. This means that 8.8 million or more people may be eligible to naturalize currently! Are you among them?
To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, LPRs must meet a number of criteria, including being at least 18 years of age, having resided in the United States with LPR status continuously for at least five years, and passing a basic English and civics exam. For any questions about naturalizing, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel!
In a memorandum on Immigration, President Obama said up to 70,000 refugees may be admitted to the U.S. during the 2015 fiscal year. The President stated that this number was well justified due to humanitarian concerns and national interest.
The number of people eligible to receive refugee status is split into an uneven quota by region. The slots available to people from various regions is as follows:
- the Near East and South Asia region received the highest allocation with 33,000.
- Africa received 17,000
- the East Asia region was allocated 13,000
- the Latin American and the Caribbean region was assigned a total of 4,000 available slots
- Europe and Central Asia was allotted 1,000
- the “Unallocated Reserve” has 2,000 slots, to be allocated as needed
The State Department can allocate the 2,000 unallocated refugee numbers to another region if the need is warranted but only after notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress.
Immigration is not just a hot topic in the United States. All around the world, countries struggle with the balancing act of meeting the needs of both citizens and immigrants. In France earlier this month, government officials honored the heroic acts of 24-year-old Malian immigrant, Lassana Bathily. Mr. Bathily is credited with saving many lives during a terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in January. Four were killed during the horrific ordeal.
Bathily was working at the kosher store on January 9 when Islamic extremist Amedy Coulibaly carried out his assault. Putting his own life at risk during the attack, Bathily helped customers by ushering them to safety, hidden in a back storage room. He not only saved their lives, but was able to escape himself and aid French police to end the attack. French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve along with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, honored Bathily with a medal and also granted him French citizenship. Cazeneuve praised Bathily’s bravery in saving the customers, and noted that it was an “act of humanity [which] has become a symbol of an Islam of peace and tolerance.” For his part, Bathily was humble about his actions and expressed his happiness at being granted dual citizenship.
Numbers of Central American Refugees Allowed into the United States is Decreased, but President Obama wants to Promote the Development of New, Safer Options for Those in Need
International and United States immigration law states that refugee status “may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” The freedoms and opportunities the U.S. offers has made America the country of choice for many refugees. The Presidential 2015 fiscal year memorandum stated that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are eligible to be considered refugees “for the purpose of admission to the United States within their countries of nationality or habitual residence.” These countries, known as the “Northern Triangle” are the only Latin American countries, along with Cuba, to be part of the list. However, President Obama also noted in the memo that the number of 2015 allotments for refugees from South America was being decreased to 4000, which is 1000 slots fewer than in 2014. The President did encourage the development of new programs that would allow individuals to apply for refugee status from within their own countries. This type of program was implemented successfully in countries like Haiti and Vietnam, with the goal of preventing dangerous trips to the United States. If you have questions about whether you qualify for refugee status, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today!