English

Recently, we sent all affiliates a notice informing them of the July 17th deadline for returning three-year EADs requested by USCIS in order to comply with the Texas court’s February 16, 2015 injunction. USCIS reports that there are still approximately 900 DACA recipients who have not yet returned their three-year EADs. We have been informed that USCIS has already taken additional steps to direct the return of the three-year EADs and is planning further adverse actions in the near future. These actions may include:

This manual describes best practices used by many of the country's most experienced nonprofit immigration programs and managers.

Welcome to the Community Education Toolkit. The resources here include fliers and information sheets on common immigration law issues of concern to immigrants and communities. We encourage you to consider the many different ways in which these materials may be distributed, including law office reception areas, naturalization and DACA application workshops, and immigration forums, as well as community centers, schools, and religious institutions.   

 

Cover of Notable Quotes document

Modern Catholic social teaching is the body of social principles and moral teaching that is articulated in the papal, conciliar, and other official documents issued since the late nineteenth century dealing with the economic,political, and social order. This teaching is rooted in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as well as in traditional philosophical and theological teachings of the Church.

Image from Pope Quote Document

Pope Francis has spoken out on immigration issues since the beginning of this papacy. CLINIC's "Quotes from Pope Francis" is a compilation of select excerpts from Pope Francis' homilies, messages, and teaching documents on immigration issues.

Newly updated in 2015, CLINIC’s study guide for the U.S. citizenship test explains the naturalization testing requirements and contains 13 study units on U.S. history and civics with many colorful and historic photos and illustrations, as well as maps, diagrams, and timelines. It includes a glossary of vocabulary words and test review questions for each unit. There are also discussion questions for each unit, and additional, optional study questions to amplify the content. It is designed for both classroom use and for self-study.

The Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies. CLINIC believes that efforts to promote immigrant integration are most successful at the local level.

There has been a dramatic increase in unaccompanied children and families with young children fleeing to the United States since the beginning of 2014.

This toolkit contains a variety of resources collected and produced through CLINIC’s citizenship projects. It is designed to assist agencies providing citizenship services and civic participation opportunities for the most vulnerable applicants.

CLINIC has identified seven areas which, when developed fully, are strong indicators of a successful, charitable legal immigration program. CLINIC offers this self assessment tool to identify program strengths and weaknesses so that improvements can be targeted and purposefully undertaken.

The United States is a nation of immigrants united by a common creed and shared values. With 37 million foreign born residents, the United States’ strength and vitality depends on the contributions of its newest members. However, the integration of a population of this magnitude and diversity cannot be assumed. The pressing policy question becomes: what can be done to promote the integration of this record number of immigrants?

 

CLINIC's Advocacy Guide

CLINIC wants to remind members of how its Advocacy Section can provide support and assistance.  This document outlines the advocacy related services CLINIC can provide as well as the channels through which CLINIC works with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve individual case and systemic problems. 

This toolkit is intended to facilitate the process of designing and/or improving the case management system in your immigration program.  In a legal immigration context, case management system consists of: policies and procedures; forms; a database; and files used by legal representatives in a standardized manner for the purposes of delivering professional services and avoiding errors that can result in malpractice and liability.

Have you ever had trouble contacting consular posts or the visa office? Learn what you need and get tips. 

Many people will offer you help – some would like to cheat you, others will offer out of kindness. Either could jeopardize your future immigration status. Even small mistakes can result in severe consequences. Seek only qualified legal help.

Available in English and Spanish

Trying to understand immigration law by yourself can be overwhelming. Figuring out who to trust is just as hard. Beware of notarios and other immigration scammers trying to cheat you out of your money and waste your time.

There are many options out there to file a complaint against illegal business practices and and notario fraud. We've compiled a list to reference should you find yourself in an immigration scam.

A tip sheet outlining five important reasons why you should report unauthorized practice (notarios) each and every time.

A very informative guide on the best ways to avoid immigration scams to protect yourself and not suffer consequences.

2016 CLINIC Pro Bono Award

The Board of Immigration Appeals is currently considering the circumstances under which a person may qualify for asylum if they fear persecution on account of their family relationship to another person. CLINIC and Justice for Our Neighbors have offered an amicus brief arguing that family, standing alone, is a ‘particular social group’ as used in asylum law. 

In just over a year, Dana Davenport has emerged as a standout immigration advocate in Maryland. Driven pointedly by her faith and her genuine desire to help others, Davenport reflects on the 2016 legislative session, specifically highlighting which strategies worked best and how support from CLINIC led to many successes.

With only 12 states in regular session, positive legislative trends related to education and professional licensing have emerged in recent months. North Carolina proposed the Tuition Fairness Act (HB 1081) that would offer in-state tuition rates to students that have either completed three years of high school or obtained high school diploma in the state.

The National Visa Center (NVC) recently offered a preview of the NVC’s new Online IV Module to CLINIC affiliates. In a special session at Convening, participants had the opportunity preview the pages of the online module, learn how an applicant may establish an account, pay fees, and see how civil documents may be uploaded, tracked and submitted to NVC.

In late May- early June, the CARA Pro Bono Project assisted 21 families who were picked up by DHS in the latest round of enforcement actions targeting Central American women the children. The stories of the 21 families and the due process obstacles they have encountered were captured in a report produced by the CARA project.

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its tie (4-4) decision in the United States v. Texas litigation.  The Court’s split decision means that the preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in Texas remains in effect and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) remain on hold while the case is returned to the lower court.

Cover page of El proceso en la corte de inmigración

CLINIC and ASAP created guidance in Spanish for the Immigrant Justice Corps to distribute at the New York City Immigration Court to the Central American asylum-seeking mothers and children in deportation proceedings.

Download the guide.

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives in its network through the creation of resources and trainings and by sharing best practices in CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the Center has several new developments.

 

CLINIC’s texting campaign, Text4Refugees, is now LIVE!

Immigration adjudicators must use a “circumstance-specific” approach in determining whether a conviction for a crime of violence was committed against a person in a protected relationship to the defendant, ruled the Board of Immigration Appeals on May 27.

The analysis is critical in determining deportability under INA § 237(a)(2)(E)(i). Matter of H. Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 749 (BIA 2016).

A new processing procedure for I-730 petitions was announced June 13.

The petition, used by people who have been granted asylum or refugee status who want to have their spouse and/or unmarried children join them in the United States. The petition must be filed within two years of either the refugee's admission to the United States or the asylee’s grant of asylum status.

CLINIC wishes to thank and recognize the staff members at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, for their willingness to share their extensive knowledge of immigration law with other agencies around the state.

Jennifer Clerici, the immigration department supervisor, and Jennifer Zurek, an immigration counselor are both partially BIA-accredited, with years of experience in immigration law. Clerici has been with the program for more than 10 years.

The Matter of L-S-M- has been designated by the Administrative Appeals Office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as an adopted decision. Adopted decisions establish policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees.

Spring 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project with some impressive data to add a bit of hope to the still steady flow of immigrants across the border. The project’s one-year statistics paint a powerful picture of the work being done by volunteers and the limited formal staff at CARA.

To view this month's affiliate newsletter, please log into your affiliate account.

 

 

News from the Catholic Network

BIA partial accreditation

Alejandra Drechsel, legal assistant for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark’s Immigration Assistance Program

Franciscan Sister Andrea Inkrott, Project Hope/Proyecto Esperanza, Archbold, Ohio.

Monica Leigh Callahan and Georgina Pena, Catholic Immigration Services Little Rock, Catholic Charities of Arkansas.

Check out the following flyers below for points on why your community should care about immigration issues and what you can do.

Ways to engage your parish

Ways to engage your Catholic school

Ways to engage your college or university campus

CLINIC is encouraging affiliates and other stakeholders to review the proposed rule that would increase fees for certain immigration and naturalization forms and to submit comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by July 6, 2016. Read our analysis of the rule

 

Brief on the recent apprehension of Central American asylum-seeking 21 families and explanation on the access to justice issues families have faced in the United States.

Download the Brief

The American Federation of Teachers, United We Dream, National Immigration Law Center, and First Focus have put together a comprehensive guide for educators about issues that arise with immigrants. It includes government resources, some material produced by CLINIC and helpful information for school personnel.

Download the Guide

Download this map of U.S. Immigration Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal for your reference.

 

 

 

 

Whether through citizenship mentoring programs, citizenship ceremonies, or positive communications, there are many ways in which refugees and the receiving community can be encouraged to come together to support our nation’s newest members. This webinar featured innovative, localized examples of how citizenship is being leveraged to engage a broader cross-section of Americans and practical advice on how to collaborate with partners on similar efforts in your own community.

 

Speakers

What is the National Visa Center? The National Visa Center (NVC) functions as the centralized processing agent before an immigrant visa application is processed by a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Specifically, NVC handles the following petitions: I-130; I-140; I-730; I-129F; I-600/A; I-800; I-360; and I-526.

 

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives through the creation of resources and trainings and the dissemination of best practices from CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the center has several new developments.

 

CLINIC’s texting campaign, Text4Refugees, is now LIVE!

Texts available in English, Arabic, Nepali, Somali and Spanish.

There is no fixed period of time that will trigger abandonment, but LPRs are treated as seeking re-admission if they have been absent from the United States for a continuous period of longer than 180 days.

Join us for a brief webinar about updates to the Citizenship Navigator project and the newly available texting campaign.

 

Download a copy of the slides.

 

Infographic about fee changes

Fees for more than three dozen immigration and naturalization applications or related services are proposed to increase by as little as $15 to as much as hundreds of dollars for some common categories.

Cover of resource titled "Are immigrants in your community looking for advice? Here’s how you can help."

Check out the flyer with ideas on ways you can support immigrants in your community and share it with your pastor and fellow parishioners.

Available in English and Spanish

USCIS is in the process of updating its existing fee schedule. The new proposed schedule will change some of the fees for immigration and naturalization applications, as well as visa petitions and nonimmigrant applications. USCIS has indicated the proposed regulation is expected to be published in the coming months (May - June).

The Board of Immigration Appeals had welcome news about DNA test results for families that had been unable to establish sibling relationships through other types of evidence alone.

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives through the creation of resources and trainings and the dissemination of best practices from CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the center has several new developments.

 

The State Department recently modified the Foreign Affairs Manual regarding what actions satisfy the one-year filing requirement under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6).

Twenty-one new group exemptions to the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG), found at INA § 212(a)(3)(B), were announced by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on April 13.

Practice tips from U.S. Citizenship and Information Services and other information to help in handling asylum and refugee cases were the highlights of the Seventh Conference on Effective Representation of Refugee and Asylees in Omaha, Nebraska in March.

The State Department’s May Visa Bulletin gives a “final action date” of Jan. 1, 2010, in the EB-4 category for applicants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

CLINIC Comments on I-821D

CLINIC submitted the following comments on the I-821D to USCIS on April 26th, 2016. The comments reflect policy and substantive suggestions to streamline the DACA application process.

 

Model Comments on I-821D

With the release of the May 2016 Visa Bulletin, we are seeing dramatic changes in when certain children with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status will be able to apply for adjustment of status and become lawful permanent residents. This practice advisory provides background on how the visa bulletin works in SIJS cases and offers recommendations on how to proceed to best represent your SJIS clients facing adjustment delays.

 

Miguel Naranjo, director of CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Service, has written a short analysis of the implications of the State Department’s May Visa Bulletin, released on April 12. 

International religious workers in the U.S. and abroad who are in the process of applying for permanent residence may experience significant case processing delays in the next several months, according to the State Department’s Visa Bulletin for May 2016.

CLINIC’s Training and Legal Support staff has written a short analysis of the potential implications for your clients of the State Department’s May Visa Bulletin, released on April 12.

The State Department’s May Visa Bulletin gives a “final action date” of Jan. 1, 2010, in the EB-4 category for applicants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

New USCIS field offices coming soon in the southeast region

After more than 15 years of lobbying by CLINIC and its affiliates, USCIS has announced plans to open additional field offices in the Southeast. Currently, there are only a couple of USCIS offices in the Southeast: Memphis, Tennessee; Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida.

Nearly 200 immigration reform advocates from 27 states gathered outside of Washington Feb. 3-5 for the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI)’s second Ready America Conference. The advocates came from 27 states, representing immigration legal service providers, labor unions, community organizers, consulates, philanthropy and social service providers. CLINIC co-chaired the five-track conference, which included a plenary session with USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez and six open forum sessions organized by CIRI’s Advocacy Working Group.

March marked the one year anniversary of the CARA Pro Bono Representation Family Detention Project, which focuses on ending family detention and ensuring representation for immigrant families who are processed through the family detention facilities. Nearly 8,000 families had a CARA volunteer attorney help them start the process of seeking asylum. More than 700 volunteers from all over the country -- lawyers, paralegals, translators, social workers, medical professionals, teachers and more -- put their lives on hold for a week or more and traveled to Texas to help protect families. Combined, they contributed more than $6.75 million in volunteer hours.

In early January, the Department of Homeland Security began targeting for removal Central American families and unaccompanied children who had turned 18. CLINIC engaged in extensive national and local advocacy, with staff from the Advocacy and TLS offices participating in national webinars about the actions. The CLINIC advocacy team conducted webinars for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, and provided advocacy support for communities in Arkansas, California, Ohio and Virginia. DHS continues to target immigrant families and unaccompanied children who have turned 18 while in the United States.

Leading up to the Supreme Court’s April 18 oral argument in U.S. v. Texas, CLINIC was one of more than 325 immigrant-serving agencies joining an amicus (friend of the court) brief. Selected stories highlighting the benefits of permitting implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA were featured in the brief filed March 8 by CLINIC and civil rights, labor and social service organizations. The brief urged the court to uphold the Obama administration’s executive actions.

This document is about why immigrant families should not be subject to expedited removal proceedings.

Download the Backgrounder

In part two of our series on incorporating parish volunteers into immigration-related services, we move our focus to immigrant integration. Immigrant integration occurs most successfully at the local level, particularly because a community designs its response around the local and immediate needs of its community members.

CLINIC is focused on citizenship for the asylee and refugee population for this grant because CLINIC is interested in promoting civic, economic and linguistic integration with refugees and citizenship has been proven to improve these three pillars. Refugees and asylees as citizens are more likely to participate in their communities and their communities can better serve them. Citizenship can lead to higher salaries, increased feelings of belongings, increased homeownership, and social security income.

The DHS Sensitive Locations Memo is a policy document created in 2011 to outline how and to what extent ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement can engage in enforcement actions in sensitive locations such as schools, places of worship and hospitals. 

Download in English

Download in Spanish

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives through the creation of resources and trainings and the dissemination of best practices from CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the center has several new developments.

 

Announcing the Citizenship Navigators Program!

Question

My client entered the United States illegally five years ago and has never left. On March 22, 2013, she married a U.S. citizen. He filed an I-130 petition for her that year and it was approved two months later.

Beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions who are from Iraq or Syria are now able to qualify to apply for refugee resettlement. The new program is called Priority-2 (P-2) Direct Access Program for Iraqi and Syrian beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy memo March 8 that revised Chapter 30.13 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual relating to employment authorization eligibility for the abused spouses of certain nonimmigrants.

A lot of practitioners have difficulty counseling their clients about how turning 21 may affect family-based immigrant visa processing. A lot can happen after filing the I-130 petition. Some actions could result in the client’s converting to a new category.

 

News from the Catholic Network

BIA R&A Updates:

On March 7, 2016, CLINIC submitted comments in response to proposed changes to USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. The proposals were published in the Federal Register on January 7, 2016. CLINIC’s  substantive comments focused on the proposed changes to the form instructions. CLINIC also requested that USCIS review its policies and procedures for DACA applicants seeking Advance Parole.

On March 10, 2016, CLINIC submitted comments on the policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual addressing the general policies and procedures of adjustment of status as well as adjustment under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. USCIS announced the new guidance on February 25, 2016.

This toolkit was created to help understand refugee resettlement.

CLINIC’s comments submitted February 29, 2016 in response to USCIS proposed changes to Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, Form I-918, and Supplements A and B of Form I-918. The proposals were published in the Federal Register on January 29, 2016. CLINIC supports efforts to broaden and enhance access to the U visa program and offered comments on the proposed changes to the U petition form, supplements, and instructions.

CLINIC’s comments submitted on February 29, 2016 in response to USCIS proposed rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers.” This rule was published in the Federal Register on December 31, 2015.

Question

My client is an LPR who petitioned for his adult son. The son works as a doctor in Iran. The priority date is now current and it's time to prepare for consular processing. The petitioner doesn't have much income or assets but the son does. Can the beneficiary’s income be included in order to meet the financial eligibility requirements of the I-864?

 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule, effective March 28, 2016, amending its regulations governing medical examinations that non-citizens must undergo before they may be admitted to the United States.

In a 2015 precedent decision, the BIA held that an adoption is valid for immigration purposes – even if the child turned 16 at the time of the final order – if the adoption petition was filed before the beneficiary's 16th birthday and the state court has allowed the order to be backdated.

Since June 2014, the United States has faced a humanitarian crisis of mothers and their children fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Learn what your organization can do to respond to this humanitarian crisis of asylum-seeking women and children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Maximize your resources and service capacity for this population by focusing on the legal service needs of this population as well as essential tasks that are needed which will be highlighted by panelists.

How to get a client’s bond money back, once they’ve been released or deported is just one of the questions arising in the cases of families who have had their asylum merits cases scheduled on a fast track.

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage the development of immigrant integration initiatives through the creation of resources and trainings and the dissemination of best practices from CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the center has several new developments.

 

Affiliate Highlights

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days without a visa. In exchange, U.S. citizens and nationals enjoy the same privileges when traveling to other visa waiver countries.

 

News from the Catholic Network

Accreditations

Frequently Asked Questions About BIA Accreditation and Training

Advocacy for Immigrants by the U.S. Catholic Church

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Catholic institutions advocate in Congress, with the administration and in the states for laws and policies that protect people’s rights, honor human dignity and respect the U.S. history as a nation built by and continually enriched by immigrants.

These issues most recently have included:

The phrase "Sanctuary city" originates from the religious immigration-centered movement of the 1980s...Churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions opposed the return of Central American refugees to the countries where they had been persecuted. This became known as the Sanctuary Movement."

Read five facts about state mandatory e-verify laws.

A wide array of city residents would benefit from eligibility for municipal ID cards, including such vulnerable groups as undocumented immigrants, victims of domestic violence or natural disaster, the homeless, low-income senior citizens, and the formerly incarcerated.

A webinar outlining the recent enforcement efforts in the United States and a call to action for individuals.

National Advocacy Issues

N-400 (Application for Naturalization Form)

CLINIC continues to fight against the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children. CLINIC, through its work in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. CLINIC and CARA have been leading advocacy efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies of DHS. Such advocacy activities have included submitting a complaint to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) regarding inadequate language access for indigenous language speakers and filing a letter to high-level DHS officials about glaring due process violations that have occurred since the court order of October 23rd.

The Obama Administration appealed the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruling from Texas v. U.S. to the Supreme Court on November 20, 2015. The Supreme Court announced on January 19th, that it will take up the case which will likely be argued in April and decided by the last week in June. While the outcome of the case is pending, CLINIC recommends that qualified legal immigration practitioners continue client screenings to assist those eligible for other immigration benefits. Please see CLINIC’s useful timeline on the President’s Executive Action on Immigration

From January 2- 4, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted enforcement actions targeting immigrants who arrived to the United States after January 1, 2014, and had final orders of removal. DHS picked up 121 individuals in local communities in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. CLINIC responded to these action by writing a a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, condemning the targeting of Central American women and children and urging an end to the practice, putting together a a backgrounder explaining the recent actions and what to do in your community, and, through its partnership with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, help receive stays of deportation from the Board of Immigration Appeals in twelve cases, affecting thirty-three women and children. CLINIC continues to monitor this issue and will appreciate hearing what is occurring in your community.

This webinar addresses how States have dealt with immigration-related issues in the past and the anticipated trend for the 2016 legislative sessions. 

According to the National Conference of State and Legislatures, the number of immigration related laws enacted by states increased from 132 in 2014 to 153 in the first half of 2015 alone which is, in part, due to every state being in session in 2015.

 

News from the Catholic Network

  • Mary Torres, En Camino Migrant and Immigrant Outreach, Diocese of Toledo, OH received partial accreditation on 12/9/15.
  • Tina Quesada, Diocese of Lafayette, LA was approved for partial accreditation on 12/16/15.  
  • Yolanda Aurelio, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida (Pensacola) received partial accreditation on 12/18/15.
  • Claudia De La Rosa-Fuller, Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge, LA was approved for full accreditation on 12/22/15.

 

Q. My client is married to a U.S. citizen and wants to adjust status.  She came to the U.S. EWI and was placed in removal proceedings.  When she failed to attend her court hearing, she was ordered removed in absentia in 2002.  What can she do now to become an LPR?  Is she eligible to file an I- 601A provisional waiver application?

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the Center has several new developments.

Affiliate Highlights

Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), there has been much debate concerning the circumstances under which an Immigration Judge may order a permanent resident removed for a criminal conviction.

On January 1, 2016, an important law went into effect in California. AB 1352 eliminated the effect of a deferred entry of judgement disposition on a person’s immigration status or eligibility for an immigration benefit.

In recent years, Immigrant Visa (IV) applicants processing at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez (CDJ) have not been required to provide police clearance letters to the National Visa Center (NVC). In fact, until recently, the Department of State (DOS) reciprocity schedule for Mexico indicated that police records were not available.

Cover of 8 Ways You Can Help Central American Women and Children

CLINIC advocates for the end of the U.S. policy of detaining families who arrive in the U.S. seeking protection from crime and violence in their home countries. It also participates in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Representation and Advocacy Project, working to provide legal representation to these families.

Amid reports in mid-May that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will enact a new wave of enforcement, targeted at recent arrivals who have deportation orders, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. offers an information sheet to help people understand ICE efforts to take into custody and deport families. Similar actions in January in a handful of states led to an environment of confusion and fear in immigrant communities around the country.

This webinar focused on all of the details of planning and hosting a community education and/or screening event including considerations such as confidentiality, volunteer recruitment and training, limited scope agreements, referrals, etc. It was held on December 17, 2015. Slides are available for download below.

This webinar included a mock community education and screening presentation and suggestions for how to answer questions from the community. It was held on December 10, 2015. Slides are available for download below.

The USCIS issued a memo recently that gives nationwide application to a court decision regarding widow(er) benefits.  Under current law, when a U.S. citizen spouse dies, the surviving spouse can self-petition for permanent resident status.  See INA § INA 201(b)(2)(A)(i). The limitations are that the widow(er) must file the Form I-360 petition within two years of the U.S. citizen spouse’s death and the widow(er) must not have re-married.

After fiscal year (FY) 2014’s unprecedented surge, FY 2015 saw a decreased number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehensions of unaccompanied minors at the southern border.  While FY 2015’s 39,970 apprehensions may have felt like a relief compared to FY 2014’s 68,541, this was still a tremendous number of children, most of whom were referred to the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Children’s Services

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the Center has several new developments.

Affiliate Highlights

ACLU Releases Practice Advisory

The Rosary helps to recall significant mysteries in our faith and brings us into prayer around them. With these reflections about the lives of immigrants with whom the staffs of our affiliates have worked, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) invites you to join us in praying for dignity and justice for our immigrant sisters and brothers.

CLINIC and 63 other organizations have asked the secretary of Homeland Security and the attorney general to allow asylum seekers to apply for protection from removal.

On October 30, 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch certified two cases to herself from the Board of Immigration Appeals.  Invoking her power to personally interpret the immigration laws, the Attorney General is using Matter of Chairez & Sama, 26 I&N Dec. 686 (A.G. 2015), to weigh in on a question that has been dividing courts for the past two years: whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct.

On November 9th the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the preliminary injunction that has halted implementation of the Administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expanded version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The outcome was expected, given the political make-up of the three-judge panel and their earlier rulings in the case.

On November 4-5, 2015, CLINIC conducted its 17th annual Family-Based Immigration Law Conference in El Paso, followed by a tour of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez on November 6. The conference included a session on health-based inadmissibility with participation by Ciudad Juarez panel physicians and a Fayetteville, AR civil surgeon. It also included our customary session on consular processing updates with participation by consular officers. Highlights from these workshop sessions, as well as from the tour of the Consulate, are described below.

On November 23, 2015 CLINIC submitted comments to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding its proposed guidance interpreting the term “extreme hardship” as it is applied to certain waiver of inadmissibility applications. CLINIC’s comprehensive comments and suggestions focused on several key areas previously discussed in our summary of the draft guidance and below.

After the 5th Circuit decision on Nov 9th, many communities are unsure about the future implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.  What can we do to help members of our community while we wait?  As we learned from DACA, many people who came forward to apply for deferred action were actually eligible for other (more permanent) remedies.  Why wait to find that out?  Why not address this now through community education forums addressing common immigration remedies?  

 

The Feast of Pentecost is upon us! This is a time to celebrate the missionary outburst to share the evangelii gaudium, the joy of the Gospel, with all people. And, it is at this wondrous time that we join Catholics in prayerful action to repair our disjointed immigration system.

In advocating on behalf of migrants, immigrants, and refugees, it is important to understand that the Catholic position is based on Catholic social teaching, which is derived from the Gospels and the words of Christ; statements and encyclicals of the Popes; and statements and pastoral letters of bishops around the world, including the bishops of the United States.

On September 28, USCIS announced the extension of a comment request period for proposed revisions to Form N-400. USCIS is requesting comments on its proposed updates to Form N-400, Form N-400 Instructions, public-facing guidance, and USCIS's proposed online N-400 form. Initially, USCIS indicated the comment period would be open for only thirty days. However, CLINIC’s Advocacy team worked closely with USCIS to successfully request that the comment period extend for sixty (60) days.

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies. This month, the Center has several new developments.

Affiliate Highlights

 

News from the Catholic Network

Staff Accreditations

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff on receiving partial and full BIA accreditation as noted:

Patricia Maria Soto, Immigration Counselor, for subscriber Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago, IL received initial partial accreditation on September 29, 2015.

Melanie Torres, Immigration Counselor, for subscriber Project Citizenship in Boston, MA received initial partial accreditation on September 18, 2015.

On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 900 into law, and in the process expanded eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status findings to many immigrant youth in the state.

On October 19, 2015, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a removal order, holding that 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), part of the definition of the phrase “crime of violence,” was unconstitutionally void for vagueness.

The USCIS circulated draft guidance on October 7th interpreting the term “extreme hardship” and explaining how it should be applied to waiver applications.

On October 16th, 2015, CLINIC along with more than 140 organizations and individuals, sent a letter to Texas state officials urging them to deny child care licenses to private prison companies operating two family detention camps in South Texas. The letter sent to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner John Specia argued that the family detention facilities, by their nature, do not foster child welfare.

National Advocacy Issues

Calling USCIS’s National Customer Service Center (NCSC) can be time consuming. Here are some tips, for CLINIC affiliates only, on making your communications with the NCSC productive.

CLINIC’s team regularly meets with the DHS, USCIS, ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other related agencies to address problems faced by low-income immigrants and their representatives by resolving policy issues. As opportunities arise, CLINIC facilitates public engagement with key agencies. 

On September 30th, 2015, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR), a stop-gap measure which continues funding the government at current levels and keeps the government open until December 11, 2015. The CR reauthorized the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program as well as three other immigration-related programs, the Conrad 30 Program, the EB-5 Program, and the E-Verify Program until December 11, 2015. Finding a more permanent extension for the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program remains an ongoing issue for CLINIC Advocacy.

Read updates on: Fee Waivers (Form I-912), Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program, Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition & Accreditation, USCIS Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, Draft Extreme Hardship Policy Guidance for Waiver Applications.

In connection with the State of Texas v. U.S. litigation, USCIS began recalling over 2,600 grants of Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) and work authorization in May 2015. USCIS increased its recall efforts dramatically following a Court Order issued on July 7. CLINIC officially registered its opposition to the recall and any resulting terminations. CLINIC worked closely with affiliates to support, advise, and assist them and their clients to understand and take necessary actions as well as to responsibly spread the word in the community. CLINIC and its affiliate efforts helped result in 99.2 percent compliance with the recall. Of the 22 terminations of status issued, 12 were reinstated.

Despite continued efforts by advocates, the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children continues. CLINIC has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. In late March 2015, CLINIC partnered with four other networks to form the CARA Pro Bono Project.Through this project CLINIC has been providing legal services for detained families while leading advocacy and litigation efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies.

This webinar, held on 5/28/15, provides an overview of citizenship for children through acquisition, derivation, and naturalization. The presenters are Kristina Karpinski and Charles Wheeler.

The October Visa Bulletin contains an important change in the timing of when family- and employment-based immigrant visa applicants can apply for adjustment of status.
Check out this month's question corner, see who's newly accredited, and read more about the proposed changes in the standards and procedure for obtaining agency recognition and staff accreditation (R&A) from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). We also feature Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charoltte, North Carolina as our highlighted affiliate.

On September 16, 2015, EOIR also released two final regulations relating to R&A. The first rule changed the regulation relating to appearances before the agency to allow for separate appearances in bond proceedings and other proceedings conducted by EOIR.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has proposed significant changes in the standards and procedure for obtaining agency recognition and staff accreditation (R&A) from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

On September 17, the the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced a new, proposed rule governing recognition and accreditation. When finalized, date yet unknown, the new rule will have a significant impact on the charitable immigration legal field. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the future of your profession and learn how to become involved in CLINIC’s advocacy efforts to make recognition and accreditation benefit low-income immigrants seeking your services.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) submitted these comments to the proposed rule on the expansion of the provisional unlawful presence waiver program, published in the Federal Register on 22 July 2015.

Mantenerse Informado

CLINIC ofrece varias series de correos electrónicos con información actualizada sobre noticias de inmigración, como también oportunidades, recursos y programas de CLINIC. Favor de notar que estos correos se envían en inglés.  Si desea recibir estos correos, visite cliniclegal.org/email para anotarse.

In this toolkit you will find templates you can use and adapt, as appropriate, to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper; submit a brief opinion article for possible publication and to circulate a press release to newspapers, radio and TV stations, including those in Spanish or other languages, in your area. The guide also includes prepared tweets and recommendations for social media.

CLINIC wants to help you celebrate! Visit our Citizenship Day website to download graphics you can use on social media. Participate in our "Swear It and Share It!" campaign by encouraging people to tell their story and use use the hashtag #swearitshareit.

We've created a special version of the above toolkit, just for affiliates. Affiliates must be logged in to access this resource. You may log in and/or sign up for an account at www.cliniclegal.org/user.

On July 6, 2015, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued the first reported decision in Maryland, In re: Dany G., confirming once and for all the standard of neglect applicable to cases seeking a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) factual predicate order.

In August 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reached an important class action settlement with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over unlawful and coercive voluntary returns, a form of deportation carried out by ICE or CBP without a hearing before an immigration judge.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of reforms modifying immigration policy (“Executive Action”). On the same day DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued agency-wide memoranda providing specific and more detailed information regarding the proposed changes. One of these memos concerned the agency’s plans to expand eligibility for the provisional waiver for unlawful presence.

On July 24, 2015, Judge Dolly Gee of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a long-awaited decision applying the Flores Settlement Agreement of 1997 to the minors currently detained in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, and in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

Check out this month's question corner, see who's newly accredited, and read more about provisional waivers. We also feature Hogar Immigrant Services as our highlighted affiliate.

Are you interested in creating or strengthening an English as a Second Language or citizenship test preparation program? Are you wanting to use volunteer teachers yet are unsure of how to train and retain quality instructors? Join us for this webinar as we learn the nuts and bolts of staffing your program along with tricks and tips to effectively train and keep high-quality teachers.

We are called to show hospitality to newcomers. Placing non-criminals in detention is not in line with that value, nor does it realize refugees’ God given human rights.

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Visa Bulletins for June 2016

Application Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

CLINIC’s Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

 

The response of the Catholic Church to the continued arrival of Central American children and families seeking protection in the United States has been tremendous.

The BIA has held that an adoption is valid for immigration purposes – even if the child has turned 16 at the time of the final order – if the state court has allowed the order to be backdated.

The laws regarding acquisition and derivation of citizenship have changed frequently over the years, resulting in different requirements that must be satisfied in order for a U.S. citizen to pass citizenship on to children born abroad.

The USCIS published a proposed rule in the Federal register on July 22, 2015 that would expand the current provisional waiver program in two significant ways. The agency is allowing the public 60 days to comment on the proposed regulatory change.

Learn more about the proposal to expand the current provisional waiver program and the effort by USCIS to retrieve erroneously issues three-year EADs, We also spotlight FaithAction International House in our affiliate profile and list out our new subscribers/members for the month, as well those who received BIA accreditation.

During July, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) undertook a number of extraordinary actions to urgently retrieve approximately 2,600 three-year work permits it claims were erroneously issued or mailed to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and to replace them with two-year permits.

The non-minister permanent residence program that includes religious brothers and sisters (religious vocations) and other non-minister religious positions (religious occupations) is scheduled to expire on 09/30/2015 unless it is renewed by Congress. If past experience is an indicator, we have every reason to believe that the program will be extended as it has been renewed several times.

On July 5, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a policy memo declaring that the “lawful status” requirements of the immigrant regulations for religious workers would no longer be considered when adjudicating the I-360 immigrant petition. In addition, USCIS will amend Title 8 CFR Sec. 204.5(m)(4) and (11) and remove the lawful status requirements from the immigrant regulations for religious workers. Prior to this change, to be eligible for permanent residence a religious worker needed to demonstrate that he/she had at least two years of experience (as a religious worker) and if that experience was gained in the U.S., the religious worker must have shown that he/she maintained lawful status (and work authorization) during that time. With this announcement, the lawful status requirement is eliminated and USCIS will not deny religious worker I-360 petitions on this basis.

An important part of the immigration process of sponsoring international religious workers to the U.S. involves a site visit from USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). This is required per the immigration regulations and is used to verify the elements of the petition filed by the sponsor (including sponsor and beneficiary information, work location, etc.). These site visits may occur with advance notice or without any notice at all. Also, a successful site visit is a prerequisite for the sponsor’s ability to file I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant religious workers via premium processing.

The USCIS published a proposed rule in the Federal register on July 22, 2015 that would expand the current provisional waiver program in two significant ways. The agency is allowing the public 60 days to comment on the proposed regulatory change. The provisional waiver program is currently open only to immediate relatives who, upon leaving the United States to consular process, will trigger the three- or ten-year bar for unlawful presence.

Starting July 16th, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin home visits to certain DACA recipients who have still failed to return their three-year employment authorization documents (EADs) that were received in error.  In addition to these home visits, USCIS has begun issuing Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIDs) warning that individuals who do not return their three-year EAD by July 30th, 2015 will have their DACA and EAD terminated.

What do I do when the only BIA representative on staff decides to leave our program without anyone else authorized to practice and continue representing the existing caseload? What’s involved in hiring our nonprofit’s first attorney on staff? What needs to be done if the new Program Director doesn’t know immigration law? What can be done proactively or reactively if we lose our one big grant?

Many states and localities are considering and enacting laws and policies that welcome undocumented individuals and enhance their ability to live, work, and participate as contributing members of society.

On this webinar, panelists analyze the new FAQs in light of the original enforcement priorities memo and discuss what this guidance means for clients and community members. Some of the issues covered in the FAQs that will are discussed include: DUIs, identity-theft offenses, significant misdemeanors, and the type of immigration violations that trigger enforcement for “significant visa abuse.” Time was also reserved for questions.

Family Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed China-Mainland Born India Mexico Phillipines
F1 01OCT07       01OCT07 01OCT07         15NOV94 15MAR00 
F2A 08NOV13 08NOV13 08NOV13 15SEP13  08NOV13
F2B 15OCT08 15OCT08 15OCT08 08APR95 15MAY04
F3 15MAR04  15MAR04 15MAR04

Are you looking for a sample cover letter for the application you are filing or a checklist to help your client know what documents to gather? Or maybe you wish you had some community education materials in your office reception area to advise your clients about issues of concern.

CLINIC is pleased to announce the launching of two new toolkits to help you in your work as a practitioner and as provider of community education.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Center for Migration Studies recently released a report titled Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Reform the U.S. Immigration Detention System. The report discusses many of the problems with immigration detention and makes recommendations for detention reform and greater use of alternatives to detention.

By Louise Maria Puck

CLINIC’s new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

 

Q.  Your client is married to a U.S. citizen and is ineligible for adjustment of status because he entered without inspection. The I-130 has been approved and the client has paid the immigrant visa fee with the NVC. The couple wants to file a provisional waiver to remedy the unlawful presence bar when the husband leaves to consular process. The couple has plenty of hardship equities, but there are a couple troubling facts in the case. The husband used a fake social security number to get his current job and has been working without authorization.

Learn more about what's happening with DACA, sample this month's question corner, and find out who's now accredited. We also spotlight our affiliate Su Casa Hispanic Center.

By Susan Schreiber

The concept of admission is central to many critical issues in immigration law. If your client was “admitted,” he or she may qualify to adjust status under INA § 245(a). If your client was “admitted,” he or she is subject to the grounds of deportability, not inadmissibility, and the government will have the burden of proof. And if your client was “admitted,” this may impact on available remedies for relief from removal.

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff who received initial and renewed credentials as Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives:

By Jen Riddle and Jill Bussey

This month marks the 3-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since DACA launched in 2012, over 664,000 individuals have been granted temporary reprieve from deportation and a work permit.  All 50 states now permit DACA recipients to apply for driver’s licenses, following policy reversals in Nebraska and Arizona due to legislative action (in NE) and litigation (in AZ). 

Expanded DACA and DAPA are on hold, but you can still apply for DACA under the original guidelines.  Find out who qualifies and how you may be able to take steps to become DACA eligible.  CLINIC immigration attorney Ilissa Mira and BIA Accredited Representative Maciel Jacques share some tips on learning about your immigration options and preparing for the future.

Do you know how to help your clients with disabilities to naturalize? Watch this free recorded webinar on the special provisions in the law for people with disabilities such as reasonable accommodations, disability waivers, and oath waivers. Topics covered include eligibility, the application process, and practice tips. We also provide case examples and answer some frequently asked questions. 

On May 26th the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government’s emergency request to “stay” the current injunction placing DAPA and expanded DACA on hold. On this affiliate-only webinar, we reviewed the details of the Fifth Circuit decision in addition to talking about the current work each affiliate can continue to do.  Time at the end of the webinar was reserved for questions.

On Tuesday, May 26, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the government’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction issued by a Brownsville judge in February.  That injunction stopped implementation of the expanded DACA and the DAPA programs that were already set to begin. The district court found that the plaintiffs – 26 states – had standing to bring the lawsuit and it found that the government had violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in failing to publish regulations before implementing the programs.

CENTER FOR IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION

By Louise Maria Puck, Intern

CLINIC’s new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

 

CLINIC congratulates the following affiliates and staff upon receiving BIA recognition and accreditation, respectively:

Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP), Montrose, CO received agency recognition on April 15, 2015, and on the same date two staff received partial accreditation:  Nicole Bernal Ruiz, Program Director, and Marketa Zubkova, Legal Worker.

 

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff who received initial credentials as Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives:

New Members!

African Cultural Alliance of North America, Inc. (ACANA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ACANA’s Philadelphia office is a BIA-recognized agency with two attorneys and one BIA partially- accredited representative on staff.  ACANA’s Capitol Heights,Maryland sub-office is not recognized.

Association for Africans Living, Burlington, Vermont. The agency was granted BIA recognition on February 4, 2015.

By Ilissa Mira

Unlawful voting has serious consequences for noncitizens.  The BIA confirmed this in a precedent decision finding that a noncitizen is removable under INA § 237(a)(6)(A), regardless of whether the alien knew that he or she was unlawfully voting in violation of 18 USC § 611(a).  Matter of Fitzpatrick, 26 I&N Dec. 559 (BIA 2015).

Find out about the five most common mistakes individuals make when completing the I-8644, check out the Center for Immigrant Integration's updates for the month, and learn more about Project Hope - Proyecto Esperanza in our affiliate spotlight.

Twenty-six states (the “states”) are challenging the government’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (“DAPA”) as violative of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and the Take Care Clause of the Constitution.

 

 

Religious Organization Support for the Special Immigrant Non- Minister Religious Worker Visa Program

May 14, 2015

 

 

 

Honorable Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC  20510

 

Honorable Harry Reid Senate Minority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Senators:

 

May 11, 2015

 

Laura Dawkins,

Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division

USCIS Office of Policy and Strategy

20 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20529-2140

 

Submitted via email to: USCISFRComment@uscis.dhs.gov

 

RE: Revisions to Form I-485, OMB Control # 1615-0023, Docket ID USCIS-2009-0020

 

Dear Ms. Dawkins,

This webinar is for educators, counselors, and others working in schools and adult education programs who want to learn more about immigration relief for undocumented students and their families.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for the Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs protect undocumented students and parents from deportation so that they can work legally and pursue their educational goals.

By Leya Speasmaker

 

CLINIC’s new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

 

Marta is an LPR who is married with three children.  She is eligible to naturalize, but wants to know whether to proceed. She filed an I-130 petition for her husband, Pablo, and named their three children as derivatives.  The I-130 was filed on November 12, 2010 and was approved on April 13, 2011.  The F-2A priority date became current in September 2013, and everyone filed for an immigrant visa within one year. The eldest child, Diana, was born on November 24, 1992.

Carlos Jovany Medina-Rosales is an LPR who obtained his residency through adjustment of status in 2001.  Twelve years later, in 2013, he was convicted of grand larceny and was placed in removal proceedings in Tulsa, OK, charged with deportability for an aggravated felony offense.   Conceding the charge, Mr. Medina-Rosales sought to re-adjust, and to waive his inadmissibility under INA § 212(h). The immigration judge, however, found him ineligible for relief based on the Board's decision in In re Rodriguez, 25 I&N Dec.

By Susan Schreiber

When you read the words "marriage fraud,” you probably think of a marriage entered into for purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit.  Such marriages, among other things, trigger  INA § 204(c) consequences,  i.e. a bar against petition approval where the  beneficiary has previously sought status  based on a fraudulent marriage or "has attempted  or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws."

The DOS has amended the Foreign Affairs Manual to clarify that children under the age of 15 cannot act “willfully” and therefore cannot be found inadmissible for committing fraud or misrepresentation pursuant to INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i). 9 FAM 40.63 N5.3 Minors. For aliens between the ages of 15 to 16, the consular officer will need to determine if the child was acting at the direction of an adult or whether the child was acting on their own. Aliens aged 17 and over are presumed to act willfully unless they can establish a lack of knowledge or capacity.

The DOS has recently announced that it will start a pilot program involving persons applying for an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulates in Cd. Juarez, Mexico (CDJ) and Montreal, Canada.  The National Visa Center will be conducting its standard review of the forms and documents submitted by the applicant, including a review of the affidavit of support, civil documents, and police certificates.  If a case file is incomplete or lacks proper documentation, the NVC will send a checklist to the petitioner or designated agent indicating what changes are needed.

The Department of State (DOS) recently confirmed that it will accept payment of the immigrant visa fee as satisfying the one-year filing requirement under the Child Status Protection Act.  In order for a child in the preference category to retain the “under 21” age status, and thus remain in the F-2A or derivative category, he or she must has “sought to acquire the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence within one year of such availability.”  INA § 203(h)(1)(A).  The USCIS and DOS have consistently held that this could only be satisfied by filing one of three forms: a

CLINIC congratulates the following affiliates and staff upon receiving BIA recognition and accreditation, respectively:

  • The SER Corporation of Kansas, in Wichita, Kansas received BIA agency recognition with Director Richard Lopez receiving BIA partial accreditation on March 27, 2015.
  • New member Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana received agency recognition and partial accreditation for staff Sister Joan I. Scheller on March 27, 2015.

 

Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) in Montrose, Colorado.  HAP has a BIA recognition and accreditation application pending before the Board.

Tacoma Community House, Tacoma, Washington. The agency is BIA recognized with five accredited representatives.

By Jeff Chenoweth

Across the country CLINIC and its 260-plus affiliates strive to welcome newcomers who seek to reunite with long-separated family members, work for fair wages with dignity, and find legal protections in the United States from persecution in their countries of origin. Helping our country, state, or local community to be welcoming to immigrants isn’t always easy, but it is the right thing to do. Indiana is a case in point.

Get updates on family detention and information on CSPA's one year filing requirement. Sample the question corner and view the visa bulletin for the month. In addition, learn about our new rapid e-learning opportunities.

On February 20, 2015 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia responded to the desperate pleas of detained Central American women and their children. The women had been found to have a credible fear of future persecution by an Asylum Officer or the Immigration Judge yet they remained detained on account of the U.S. government’s national security-based deterrence strategy of sending a message to other women and children considering fleeing to the United States for safety.

Happy, diverse people waving American flags

CLINIC is updating this self directed e-learning course to reflect form changes by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. CLINIC anticipates the updated course will be available for use by September 30, 2016. In the meantime, you may continue to access the older version of the course

 

CLINIC has created a self directed e-learning course to help train new immigration legal staff and volunteers on completing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The course is interactive and incorporates text, images, audio, and video along with opportunities for the participant to check his or her progress in the course through quizzes and a final test. At the end of the course participants may complete a course evaluation. Participants who successfully complete the final test and then complete the course evaluation will receive a certificate of course completion.

This toolkit contains a variety of resources collected and produced through CLINIC’s citizenship projects.  It is designed to assist agencies providing citizenship services and civic participation opportunities for the most vulnerable applicants.

By: Megan S. Turngren

RIS Attorney

 

At this time of the year, many of our clients are searching for supply priests to help with additional coverage during the summer months.  With many clergy members planning vacations, there is always a need for additional help between May and September.  However, it is always important to consider the immigration consequences of hiring foreign-born priests for even a short period of time.

 

On Monday, March 9, 2015 CLINIC hosted its annual Board Breakfast at the Silver Spring Office.  In celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, the Religious Immigration Services Section invited a few of our local clients to meet with the members of CLINIC’s Board and CLINIC Staff.  The breakfast was a success, with all CLINIC Staff, eight Board members, and twenty RIS guests in attendance.  The breakfast was followed by a presentation given by RIS Director, Miguel Naranjo, about the work of RIS and also the work of CLINIC as a whole. 

The March 27th webinar was the fourth webinar in the series, where we reviewed a few new legal developments regarding DAPA and DACA, talked about good client screening techniques, shared some advocacy updates, and highlighted a few affiliate preparation and service delivery models.

This webinar focuses on immigration issues and describes how other areas of social justice such as safety net programs, education, and transportation can include an immigration component.

By Tessa W. McKenzie

Our commitment to supporting newcomers is personal and at CLINIC, we are inspired by friends who have overcome numerous obstacles to become naturalized US citizens.  Saba Hailu is one such friend, who journeyed from aspiring citizen to new American.  Saba’s determination strengthens our resolve to ensure that the foreign-born have access to opportunities for citizenship and civic participation.

Father and Son

CLINIC has created a number of resources explaining the CAM program and which families may qualify:

 

Articles:

March 17, 2015

 

President Barack Obama The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC  20500

 

Dear Mr. President,

By: Leya Speasmaker

 

CLINIC’s brand new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

Question: Your client Francisco recently naturalized after becoming an LPR in 2007 through Life Act legalization.  Now he wants to petition for his wife Lorena, to whom he has been married since 1999.   Lorena first came to the U.S. EWI in 2002, but Francisco has been living in the U.S. since 1980.    Francisco tells you that his USC brother petitioned for him in 2000, but he was able to adjust status sooner through LIFE legalization.   Francisco and Lorena are wondering if Lorena may be eligible to adjust status. 

United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries (UMMAM), Garden City, KS. The organization is not staffed with an attorney.  It is seeking BIA recognition for four offices in Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal and Ulysses.

Saathi of Rochester, Inc., East Rochester and Danville, NY.  This nonprofit focuses on serving South Asian survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  It does not have an attorney on staff practicing immigration law.  It is seeking to re-accredit a staff person who has returned to practice immigration law.

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff who received credentials as Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives:

 

Sister Doretta D’Albero, ACSJ of member Apostle Immigrant Services in New Haven, CT received approval of her partial BIA accreditation renewal on 2/11/2015.

 

CLINIC congratulates Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, Migration and Refugee Services on its selection as the AILA Pro Bono Hero for its region.

By Jen Riddle

This month, USCIS published revised versions of Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, and the accompanying instructions. Beginning on April 13, 2015, all applicants and representatives must submit the new version of the G-28 form (edition date: 3/5/2015). 

By Martin Gauto

On March 4, 2015, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and Public Counsel (both based in Los Angeles) reached an important agreement with the DHS that allows certain applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and SIJS-based adjustment of status to request that the USCIS reopen their cases. Perez-Olano v. Holder, Case No. CV 05-3604 (C.D. Cal. 2005).  SIJS is an immigration benefit that allows children who have been the victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect to become lawful permanent residents.

Learn more about the revised G-28 form, review the Center for Immigrant Integration's updates for the month, and see who's newly accredited. We also highlight Catholic Charities of Central Texas in our affiliate profile.

Did you know that public libraries in your community can help with your program’s naturalization efforts? Join us for a free webinar to learn how libraries are prepared to support the immigrant community. We will discuss how and why libraries make a strong partner in citizenship efforts; what resources and programmatic support are available to libraries; things to consider when your program is pursuing a partnership with a library; and what efforts exist at the federal level to promote this partnership.

Find out more about expanded DACA, read the minutes from the NSC Teleconference on Refugee/Asylee Issues, and learn about HICA!, our affiliate profile for the month.

CLINIC’s new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

This month, the Center has several new developments.

Request for Proposals Announced!

Document Production

Q.  Can you please clarify whether refugees, because they are statutorily exempt from having to pay the I-485 filing fees, are eligible to file an I-131 and/or I-765 at no additional charge when filed concurrently with an I-485 application to adjust status? Please also clarify whether a refugee may file an I-131 or I-765 at no additional charge after the I-485 initial filing, but while the I-485 remains pending.

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff who received credentials as Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representatives:

 

CLINIC is pleased to announce the launch of our new self-directed e-learning course, "Getting the Facts: Criminal Records in Immigration Cases"  that is designed to help you learn how to obtain criminal records and understand and interpret those records. Immigration advocates know that every aspect of immigration law may be impacted by having a criminal record; a client's criminal history may prevent eligibility for a benefit, subject a client to removal, or lead to a negative exercise of discretion. 

In this third webinar in the series, we review the preliminary injunction announced in the Texas vs. U.S. case, the new FAQs and I-821D form instructions, and the possible consequences of a DHS shutdown. In addition, we give helpful tips on the work that your program can be focusing on now while waiting for the new programs to start.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) had planned to begin accepting applications for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on February 18, 2015 and for the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program on May 19, 2015. Unfortunately, DHS has delayed the launch of both expanded DACA and DAPA due to a federal court decision temporarily halting their implementation.

Click the State in Which You Would Like to Locate a Program

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The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA!), the brain-child of Executive Director, Isabel Rubio, opened its doors in 1999. Ms. Rubio, a long time Birmingham resident, recognized the need for an immigrant-integration focused organization in the state of Alabama, and she has worked hard to ensure that immigrant integration is the cornerstone of their mission and the primary goal of all of their services.

In this second webinar in the series, we review new legal developments regarding DAPA and DACA as well as budgeting strategies for your program. We also discuss the anticipated effects of the President’s announcement on states and localities.

By Martin Gauto

One of CLINIC’s core functions is to boost legal capacity in underserved areas in the United States. An area experiencing a severe shortage in low-cost, professional immigration legal service providers is the Inland Empire (or the “IE” as it is known) region of Southern California.  It is home to over one million foreign-born persons. Fortunately, Training Occupational Development Education Communities (TODEC) is a service provider assisting newcomers with quality, charitable legal help in the IE.

By Susan Schreiber

Under California Penal Code § 261.5, a person who has sexual intercourse with someone who is at least three years younger and under age 18 commits the offense of unlawful intercourse.  This means, for example, that a 20-year-old who has consensual sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend may be prosecuted under this statute.  In this type of offense, commonly referred to as statutory rape, lack of consent is presumed where there is sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of consent specified in the statute.

Salvadorans who have already been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to live and work in the United States for an additional 18 months and continue to maintain their status.  The extension of TPS for nationals of El Salvador is effective from March 10, 2015 and through September 9, 2016.  Nationals of El Salvador who have been granted TPS previously must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which began on January 7, 2015 and will remain in effect through March 9, 2015.

By Sarah Bronstein

On January 8, 2015, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a decision in Matter of O.A. Hernandez, 26 I&N Dec. 464 (BIA 2015), finding that the offense of “deadly conduct” under the Texas Penal Code is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).  The analysis of CIMTs is an area of the law that has evolved significantly in the last few years.  This decision gives us one more indication of how the Board of Immigration Appeals is viewing CIMTs.

CLINIC welcomes the following new member/subscribers:

Esperanza Social Service in Rio Grande City, Texas.  Sandra Hernandez, M.S.W., Executive Director, advises that the agency is seeking BIA recognition with one partial accredited representative.

Agency Recognition and Staff Accreditation

CLINIC congratulates member agencies and program staff on receiving Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) agency recognition and accreditation credentials.

BIA Agency Recognition:

Read about the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, see who are our new affiliates, and check the monthly Visa Bulletin.

On December 1, 2014, the Department of State launched a new in-country refugee and parole program for children residing in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Watch a free webinar to learn more about the process permitting certain parents in the United States to request that their children be admitted to the United States as refugees or granted parole. What are the eligibility requirements for a parent to apply? Which Central American children will be eligible? How does the process work?

The clock is ticking towards opening day for expanded DACA eligibility and the new DAPA program, and we want to help you get ready to serve your clients. Starting on December 19, CLINIC staff will sponsor a monthly one-hour webinar to provide legal updates on executive action implementation, as well as program management tips to help you stay on task to be ready to provide new services in your community.

By Minyoung Ohm

RIS Attorney

 

Rita Dhakal joined the Religious Immigration Section of CLINIC in June 2009.  She currently works with Attorney Megan Turngren to help to provide legal services to RIS clients.  In addition, Rita volunteers with Legal Services of Northern Virginia, where she interviews clients for case intake and placement for the Uncontested Divorce Clinic. 

By Minyoung Ohm

RIS Attorney

 

By Miguel Naranjo

RIS Director

 

At this time of the year I always find myself reflecting on the past 11 months.  I look back at the things we accomplished, the things that did not turn out so well, and on how we might do things differently in the New Year.  In addition, I also feel grateful for many things in life, including how fortunate I am to be working at CLINIC with the Religious Immigration Services (RIS) section

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a major immigration policy change that would grant millions of individuals (without legal status in the U.S.) temporary stay from deportation and the opportunity to apply for work authorization.   This administrative relief would be valid for three years.  The executive action contains several initiatives including:

 

Read about the government launching an overseas processing program for certain central american refugee children, find out who's accredited for the month, and see the study that indicates a significant percentage of unauthorized immigrants may be eligible for permanent status.

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) has released the results of a survey on unauthorized immigrants who were found to be potentially eligible for permanent immigration status during screening for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The study found that 14.3 percent of immigrants screened for DACA eligibility were potentially eligible for some other immigration benefit or relief.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions to change immigration policy.  One of these reforms will expand the existing “parole in place” program for the spouses, children, and parents of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  That program was officially recognized and implemented by a November 15, 2013 memo that described eligibility and filing procedures for parole in place.  This FAQ summarizes that memo and the proposed expansion.

What is parole in place? 

By Tessa McKenzie

CLINIC values the dedication and commitment to service demonstrated by our affiliate agencies in their work with their communities. We wish to highlight outstanding individual agency staff in a series of profiles appearing monthly.

 

Ryan Patterson

Assistant Director

CLINIC has accepted a new subscriber, UNO Federation Community Services, Inc. in Clearwater, Florida. Ralph A. Emmanuelli, Executive Director lists staff William Sanchez and Luiz Irizarry.

CLINIC congratulates program staff and member agencies on receiving BIA accreditation and agency recognition.   

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, California, received agency recognition from the Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition and staff Alondra Ortiz  received partial accreditation  on 11-25-14.

Good moral character is a requirement for naturalization applicants. Paying taxes is one way to establish good moral character, and immigration legal service programs and their agencies can easily assist their clients with this important task. In preparation for the 2015 tax season, attend this webinar to learn quick and easy ways to establish this service within your own agency. Learn how offering tax assistance preparation services promotes immigrant integration within your agency and community.

On November 20th, the President announced changes to immigration policies that could impact close to 5 million people. Hear experts from CLINIC and USCCB discuss a new Deferred Action policy for parents, expansion of the DACA program, changes to federal immigration enforcement, and additional immigration executive actions, as well as what you can do in your communities to share accurate information and access qualified legal services.

 

Held December 2nd, 2014

 

On, November 20th, the President announced updates to the DACA process, a new Deferred Action process for parents, and additional immigration executive actions. We are still waiting for more details on how this program will be implemented.

Learn more about the Haitian family reunification program to be implemented in 2015, peruse the FAQs on the USCIS updates to DACA, and meet our affiliate Mi Mujeres in this month's profile.

Question:

You just agreed to represent an F-2A beneficiary in her application for residency through consular processing.  You learn that she has a 20-year-old unmarried daughter who wants to immigrate as a derivative beneficiary. The priority date is current – in fact it's been current for almost two years.  The daughter will turn 21 in February.  Do you have any reason to worry about her aging-out, as long as she starts the consular processing in her case before her 21st birthday?

 

 

NVC and Original Documents:

By Ilissa Mira

By Susan Schreiber

CLINIC held its annual two-day family-based immigration law conference in El Paso, Texas on November 12-13, 2014.  In the afternoon of the second day, representatives from the consulate and USCIS spoke and answered participants’ questions.  On an optional third day, participants toured the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez.  The following is a summary of updated information from the conference and the tour.

 

The Consulate and How to Contact Officers

CLINIC congratulates the following agencies and staff:

The Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center, Silverdale, Washington, received BIA agency recognition in mid-October and staff Anita Smith and Ray Garrido received partial accreditation. This group is almost entirely a volunteer effort serving immigrants on the peninsula across Puget Sound from Seattle, Washington. 

Health Care Access, located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, received BIA agency recognition and partial accreditation for staff Marjorie Arias on October 28, 2014.

CLINIC Welcomes a New Membe

CLINIC welcomes a new member agency, Sisters of Saint Benedict Immigration Outreach, in Ferdinand, Indiana.  This is a reconstituted immigration legal program previously known in our network as Guadalupe Center Immigration Services in Huntingburg and Washington, Indiana.  This is a different Catholic immigration program than the one recently established  by Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Evansville, the same diocese where Ferdinand, Indiana is located.

Why is the mission of Mil Mujeres so important?

Looking for ideas to promote and encourage immigrant integration within your community? The General Integration Resources page is a great place to find information on integration program planning, training and tools on how integration can be promoted locally, and performance measurement strategies. CLINIC offers model programs that spotlight agency-wide immigrant integration initiatives across our network. Additionally, tools and trainings provided can increase the impact of immigrant integration programs at the local level.

Download the PDF of These Talking Points

 

  •  The administration’s decision will improve the lives of nearly 5 million people who are already here, building communities and supporting families.
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Held November 12th, 2014

Is evaluation a component of your program?  This webinar offers various recommendations on what to evaluate and how.  CLINIC will feature how DACA services, past and present, are important lessons learned when planning to implement even larger-scale services. 

Nearly 600,000 DACA applications have been approved out of an estimated 1.7 million eligible.  Is this success?  What outcomes have occurred in the lives of DACA recipients? 

Robyn McCormick joined the Religious Immigration Section of CLINIC in June 2014.  She is working with Attorney Kate Kuznetsova to help provide legal services to RIS clients.

As you may be aware, part of the immigration process of sponsoring international religious workers to the U.S. involves a site visit from USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).  This is required per the immigration regulations and is used to verify the elements of the petition filed by the sponsor (including sponsor and beneficiary information, work location, etc.).  These site visits may occur with advance notice or without any notice at all. 

By Angelia Amaya

RIS Legal Assistant

 

In 1990, I was born in Mexico into a staunchly Roman Catholic family. When I was twelve years old, my immediate family illegally migrated to California.  We have lived there ever since.

This summer, several attorneys in the Religious Immigration Section of CLINIC had the opportunity to travel and meet with their clients.  The funding for this special endeavor was provided by a grant from the Open Society Foundation.  These trips provided the attorneys with the chance to meet with clients, provide information regarding religious worker immigration and the need for immigration reform, and also help to foster understanding of CLINIC’s mission.

 

Attorney Kate Kuznetsova

By Minyoung Ohm

RIS Staff Attorney

 

Read about the announcement Obama gave about in-country processing for Central American children. Also, check out this month's question corner to see if you know the answer.

Q:  A lawful permanent resident files an I-130 for his spouse in 1994 with his daughter (DOB September 28, 1978) named as derivative.  The priority date is July 15, 1994.  The daughter ages out in 1999 before the F-2A category for Mexico becomes current.  The LPR dad files second I-130 for aged-out derivative daughter in the F-2B category and is able to retain the original priority date. The LPR father subsequently naturalizes in 2012 converting the F-2B petition to the F-1 category.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, beginning January 5, 2014 and ending July 6, 2016.

Current Honduran and Nicaraguan beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from October 16, 2014, through December 15, 2014. The USCIS encourages beneficiaries to register as soon as possible.

An LPR was convicted of a Nevada statute for possession of marihuana and placed into removal proceedings.  He was charged with violating INA § 237(a)(2)(B)(i), which is the ground of deportation for violating any controlled substance law.  That section contains an exception, however, for a “single offense involving possession for one’s own use of thirty grams or less of marihuana.”  The question before the Board was whether the IJ erred in applying the “categorical” approach set forth by the Supreme Court in Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S.Ct.

The BIA recently clarified that a person is ineligible for cancellation of removal if he or she is inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(2)(B) due to convictions of two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence were five years or more.  That form of relief is not available to those who were convicted of an offense under section 212(a)(2).  The question before the Board was whether multiple criminal offenses were meant to be covered in the statutory preclusion.  The BIA looked at the plain language and concluded that it was not ambiguous.  It concluded that “convicted of an offense under

By Ilissa Mira

The Ombudsman’s Office met with CLINIC and other immigration advocates to discuss developments regarding DACA and reports from the field.  This article provides updates on a variety of issues related to DACA eligibility and adjudication.

USCIS Statistics

On October 9, 2014 the Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference on refugee/asylee issues.  The following is a summary of the discussion.

 

I-765

Q. Can a refugee who has been to immigration court for a felony charge, but has not been removed from the U.S. because his homeland refuses to admit him, apply for authorization to work?   The latest official word on his documents is “voluntary departure.”

By Tatyana Delgado

With over 6,000 unaccompanied children released from juvenile detention facilities to sponsors in Texas from January through August 2014, many legal service providers have shifted into high gear.  Over 3,000 unaccompanied children have been released to parents, relatives, or other caretakers living in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston. 

By Sarah Bronstein

On September 10, 2014 Chief Immigration Judge Brian M. O’Leary issued a memorandum to all Immigration Judges entitled “Docketing Practices Relating to Unaccompanied Children’s Cases in Light of the New Priorities” (hereafter EOIR Docketing Memo).  This memorandum was issued in response to concerns raised by CLINIC and other agencies working on unaccompanied children’s issues at a meeting with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) on August 18, 2014. 

BIA Accreditation

CLINIC congratulates Truc Tang, Immigration Specialist at the Office of Immigration and Refugee Services - Catholic Social Services of Camden, New Jersey, who received renewed partial BIA accreditation until 9/26/2017 for both the Camden and Atlantic City offices.

 

CLINIC has accepted two new subscribers:

By Ilissa Mira

On September 30, 2014, President Obama announced a plan to allow certain children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to apply for refugee status within their own countries.  In fiscal year (FY) 2014, over 68,500 unaccompanied children fled violence in Central America, undertaking a long and dangerous journey to the United States.  As a response, in-country processing is aimed at stemming the surge of unaccompanied children by offering a safer alternative to traveling north alone.     

Do you serve a large region with one office and wish to expand using sub offices or other spaces? Are you planning to expand your service delivery models to other locations once President Obama announces administrative relief before the end of the year? Perhaps you’ve considered expanding to an additional location but aren’t quite sure where to start.

 

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Immigration is personal; it impacts all of us. That message resonated throughout the Cambia tu Vida launch. In immigration there is no “us” and “them.” As many speakers expressed: we are all in this together, we are here to help, and we are part of this community.

As we celebrate our country’s birthday and independence on the Fourth of July, many of us will contemplate what it means to be Americans. Being an American for the foreign-born goes beyond the ability to vote in elections or obtain a U.S. passport. Many immigrants already feel American at heart long before they take their first step to becoming naturalized U.S. citizens – a pre-requisite to vote and obtain a passport. Many of them have integrated into their communities long before – going to weekly church services, volunteering in their children’s schools, and paying their taxes.

The Midwest has a history as a gateway for immigrants even if not as heralded as port cities in the east and west. Think of Chicago with its diverse ethnic population as early as the late 1800’s, especially among Eastern Europeans, that continues today with the largest Bosnian refugee population in the country. Think also of Detroit, Motor City, at the turn of the last century when Ford Motor Company attracted immigrant workers from Southern Europe and the Middle East to build the earliest automobiles. Detroit now has the largest Middle Eastern population in the United States, most recently welcoming tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees.

Since its inception two hundred years ago, the story of the Archdiocese of New York is an immigrant story – a tradition which continues today. For more than 30 years, the Archdiocese of New York has provided services to the foreign-born, including refugee resettlement and immigration legal services, through Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS). As the immigrant and refugee population in the area has grown and changed, so has CCCS.

Each year on September 17, we come together as a nation of immigrants to celebrate Citizenship Day. This is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of being a U.S. citizen and recognize the many lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in our communities who are on their journey to becoming U.S. citizens.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Maura Moser, Director of Communications

(301) 565-4830 or Email: mmoser@cliniclegal.org

 

 

House Bill 1436 was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on February 19, 2014 and is currently on the House floor.  Sponsored by Rep. Mike Turner, this omnibus immigration bill would go into effect on January 1, 2015 and would do the following:

 

Are you interested in partnering with law schools? Join us for this free webinar on ways to form successful partnerships with law schools that both increase legal capacity for your organization and train the next generation of legal advocates. This webinar will present actual partnership models. Topics to be discussed are: summer internships, externships for school credit, short term projects, alternative breaks, clinical courses, and working with student-run public interest groups.

The webinar will include presentations from:

The following webinars are from CLINIC's elearning course: Representing Unaccompanied Children: What To Do and How To Do It.  Check back October 29th for a link to the full course, including all reading materials.

 

 Representing Children in Removal Proceedings

 

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

This webinar addresses advocacy on behalf of unaccompanied children residing with sponsors and relatives across the United States as they await their immigration hearings. Panelists  provide updates on where the children are living, their impact on local communities, and steps you can take to welcome them.

Topics include an article on the updates to the fee schedule by the state department, as well as a new network profile.

Thomas J. Shea, former CLINIC attorney, compiles a weekly migration digest for pastoral workers that highlights key developments nationally and internationally. It is designed to educate faith leaders regarding vulnerable immigrant populations, developments in the immigration field, pastoral resources and the religious touchstones of diverse faith traditions on migrants and newcomers. Information on how to subscribe (for free) can be found at http://cmsny.org/publications/cms-migration-update/.

Earlier this summer, at the height of the crisis involving unaccompanied children arriving on the U.S. southern border, Congress considered legislation that would strip the protections created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008.  Talk of changes to this important piece of legislation was tied to the President’s request for emergency funds needed for the border crisis.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created a chart that provides links to resources for working with unaccompanied children.  This resource includes general information on working with and representing children, immigration options for unaccompanied children, practice advisories on different forms of relief, immigration consequences of delinquency, overview of the immigration detention and deportation process for immigrant children, legal know your rights for children, the intersection of child welfare and immigration, and juvenile justice and immigration.

Q:  A U.S. citizen petitioned for his over-21-year-old, unmarried daughter with her two minor children being named as derivatives.  The daughter immigrated and moved to the United States. Six years later the unmarried daughter now wants to immigrate her minor children.  Unfortunately, the U.S. citizen petitioner passed away.  What can be done?

The Department of State recently published an interim final rule changing the fees that it currently charges for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, in addition to other forms and services. 79 Fed. Reg. 51247 (August 28, 2014).  The agency is authorized to establish fees for consular services and to set them based on the cost of the services it provides.  The agency recently completed a fee review using its activity-based Cost of Service Model. The new fee schedule took effect on September 12, 2014.  The agency will accept comments from interested parties until October 21, 2014.

By Tatyana Delgado

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently issued a landmark decision that impacts domestic violence victims who are seeking asylum in the United States.  Asylum applicants must show that the persecution they have or will face is on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  It is the last ground that has received the most interest and litigation.  

CLINIC values the dedication and commitment to service demonstrated by our affiliate agencies in their work with their communities.  We wish to highlight outstanding programs in a series of profiles appearing monthly in Catholic Legal Immigration News.

Catholic Charities of San Bernardino/Riverside Readies the Inland Empire

Martin Gauto, CLINIC Attorney and Field Support Coordinator

CLINIC has accepted a new member agency and two new subscribers:

Catholic Charities of Harrisburg Immigration Legal Services.  CLINIC has accepted a new member agency, Catholic Charities of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  The organization was a previous member but is in the process of reconstituting its immigration legal program.  The organization is pursuing BIA recognition with one person to be accredited first.  John Leedock, Jr. is the program director of Catholic Charities of Harrisburg Immigration Legal Services.

This webinar addresses the trend of law enforcement agencies across the country deciding not to detain individuals to hand over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for possible deportation.

On September 9, 2014, Most Reverend Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, Chairman of board of directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) implored Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to work with the President to authorize deferred action for deserving groups.

May 13-15, 2015
Sheraton Hotel
Salt Lake City, UT

  

Looking to expand your knowledge of immigration law hot topics and best practices in program management?

CLINIC's annual Convening is the premier event for those seeking to deepen their capacity to support immigrants. Gather with fellow advocates and service providers, share strategies, and enhance your expertise to build welcoming communities!
 

Topics include information on how to advocate locally on behalf of unaccompanied minors.

By Charles Wheeler

The BIA has issued two recent unpublished decisions shedding some further light on how the agency interprets eligibility for the unlawful presence and the prior deportation waiver.  Both involve the effect of the person’s presence in the United States and whether that time can count toward the running of the three-year bar (unlawful presence) and the ten-year bar (prior order of removal).  We stress that these two decisions are unpublished and thus cannot be used as precedent in other cases.

By Susan Schreiber

If you practice within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit – Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington – a recent class action settlement concerning 245(i) adjustment applicants may affect your clients.  Under the settlement, certain applicants for adjustment of status under 245(i) who filed I-212 waiver applications to overcome inadmissibility under 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(II) will be eligible to proceed with their applications.

The Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) went into effect on July 14, 2014. It requires that all persons or agencies providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents of immigrant children must be accredited, or be a supervised or exempted provider.  These providers are a necessary part of the application process for immigrating the child. The accreditation requirement applies regardless of whether the adoption falls under the jurisdiction of the Hague Convention or not.

Section 805(d) of VAWA 2005 amended the definition of adopted children to include an important exception for abused adopted children.  Congress removed the two-year legal custody and the two-year residency requirement for adopted children who were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their adoptive parent(s) or household family members. The USCIS issued a policy memorandum on July 14, 2014 that provides guidance to officers adjudicating I-360 self-petitions filed by these abused children. The guidance is incorporated in the Adjudicators Filed Manual at Chapter 21.14(d).

CLINIC values the dedication and commitment to service demonstrated by our affiliate agencies in their work with their communities.  We wish to highlight outstanding individual agency staff in a series of profiles appearing monthly in Catholic Legal Immigration News.

 

CLINIC Affiliate Staff Highlight:  Julissa Pineda, “Help for today, Hope for Tomorrow”

New Member and Subscriber

CLINIC has accepted a new member agency, Faith Action International House in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is a multi-denominational nonprofit with Catholic participation.  As such, the Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte has approved Faith Action as a Catholic member agency in CLINIC’s network. Rev. David Fraccaro, Executive Director, lists his staff:  Marina Castillo Gomez, Esq., Staff Attorney; Nidia Mercedes, Legal Assistant; and Ezequiel Cazanetz-Dick, Legal Assistant.

Volunteer Training Part 1 - DACA Overview and the Eligibility Guidelines

 

 


Volunteer Training Part 2 - How to Complete the Application Forms

 

 


Volunteer Training Part 3 -  Overview of the DACA Workshop Model

 

Are you interested in providing more comprehensive citizenship and immigrant integration services? Join us for this free webinar on citizenship education programs. We discuss how and why legal service providers are well-positioned to offer citizenship classes; present key components of a successful citizenship education program; provide resources and next steps for implementing a program; and hear from a local affiliate with recent experience in starting a citizenship education program.

Since October 2013, more than 57,000 children have entered the United States along the Southern border. This is twice the number that entered in all of last year. Read the questions and answers below to learn more about why children are fleeing their homes, what they experience when they arrive in the United States, what the Catholic Church is doing, and how you can help.

The interim guidance recently issued by USCIS provides much needed security for immigrant crime victims and their families.  However, as the advocates note in comments to USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez, issues still remain related to the agency’s interpretation of the two new U visa qualifying crimes -- stalking and fraud in foreign labor contracting.  Additionally, the advocates request that USCIS provide more detail on implementation of age-out provisions and grant parole to conditionally granted U visa derivatives after the U visa cap has been reached each year. 

As a response to the humanitarian crisis of children arriving at our Southern border, Congress considered legislation that would strip the protections created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. These changes would allow the United States to return Central American children to their home countries without meaningful screening to determine whether they are victims of trafficking or fear persecution.

 

 

This webinar provides an overview of the DACA renewal process and highlights other updates to DACA guidance.  We share practice tips and respond to common questions about the renewal process and the new Form I-821D. 

By Jen Riddle

CLINIC is happy to announce an important new resource for affiliates concerned about the ways in which state and local governments may be participating in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. There are a number of programs through which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and other federal agencies recruit state and local law enforcement officials to help conduct immigration enforcement.

If your program is a CLINIC  affiliate,  you  have access to free technical assistance  through our toll-free hotline 888-399-2546 to consult with expert immigration attorneys who train and mentor affiliates. Contact our  CLINIC attorneys who are available five days a week at the hotline and online to answer all your immigration-related questions.    

By Tatyana Delgado

The BIA recently issued two asylum-related decisions focused on access to merits hearings and evidentiary burdens within the context of asylum terminations based on fraud. 

Merits Hearings in Immigration Court

On June 12, 2014, the BIA issued Matter of E-F-H-L, 26 I&N Dec. 319 (BIA 2014).  The BIA held that, in removal proceedings, asylum or withholding or deferral of removal applicants are entitled to merits hearings without first having to show prima facie eligibility for these forms of relief. 

Topics include an update on the USCIS changes to a policy on medical examination reports and a network profile.

By Susan Schreiber

On June 27, 2014, USCIS released an interim policy memorandum addressing the legislative changes made by VAWA 2013 to U nonimmigrant status and related applications for adjustment of status.  Each of the four issues addressed by the memorandum is described below.

1. U Nonimmigrant Status and New Qualifying Crimes

By Kristina Karpinski

USCIS recently announced a change in its policy on the validity of the Medical Certification on the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693).  The Form I-693 is used to determine if an adjustment of status applicant is inadmissible under the health-based grounds of inadmissibility found at INA § 212(a)(1).  The medical exam must be performed by a USCIS authorized civil surgeon and must be in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Kelly Kidwell Hughes, Advocacy Intern

CLINIC values the dedication and commitment to service demonstrated by our affiliate agencies in their work with their communities.  This month we highlight an outstanding agency:      

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of the East Bay (JFCS/East Bay)

By: Holly Taines White and Caryn H. Crosthwait

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga's adress at the National Migration Conference, co-hosted by CLINIC, Migration and Refugee Services, and Catholic Charities USA on July 7, 2014 in Washington, DC.

CLINIC welcomes the following new subscribers:

Erie International House, Chicago, IL

Erie International House has BIA recognition with one partially-accredited representative.  Celena Roldan Moreno, Executive Director, advises she has the following staff: Jane Lombardi, Program Director; Viviana Mendez, Esq., Immigration Attorney; and Jennifer Mason, Assistant Coordinator/BIA partially- accredited representative.

 

International House of Metrolina, Inc., Charlotte,North Carolina

By Ilissa Mira, Training and Legal Support Attorney

Back to Legal Challenges to Arizona's SB 1070

 

In a decision in June of 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that three of the four contested provisions of Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070  could not be upheld because they were pre-empted by federal immigration law.

New York City Council Approves Municipal Identification Card Program

Currently, seven states and the District of Columbia grant driver’s licenses to residents who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States. Four additional states have passed legislation to that effect and will begin granting licenses to undocumented residents within the next year. However, only two of these states offer undocumented residents the standard driver’s license available to individuals lawfully present in the country.

 This webinar discusses why unaccompanied children are coming to the United States, where they are staying, what services the Church is providing, and how you can help.   Panelists include experts on the root causes of migration from Central America and the emergency, social, and legal services available to these minor children. 

Panelists:

CLINIC has created a self directed e-learning course to provide guidance to new attorneys, fully accredited representatives, and pro bono attorneys representing and assisting immigrant children in removal proceedings.  The 90 minute course covers several topics including:  the notice to appear; who’s who in immigration court; the master calendar hearing; motions before immigration court; and merits hearings.  The course is interactive and incorporates text, images, audio, and video along with opportunities for the participant to check his or her progress in the course through exercises.

Topics include an article on the BIA issuing three decisions examining the Adam Walsh Act. A listing of BIA accreditations for the month is also included.

Upcoming Trainings.  See the 2014 Training calendar at our website:  www.cliniclegal.org under the Trainings tab. 

2014 National Migration Conference – Monday, July 7, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.  Join us in 2014 when CLINIC and USCCB/MRS co-sponsor this grand event that joins members of these networks and others to share information and hear from experts regarding services to immigrants and refugees, as well as public advocacy.

By Jeff Chenoweth

Director, Capacity Building Section

 

CLINIC congratulates program staff of member agencies on receiving BIA accreditation.

Akami Marquis, Catholic Social Services, Fall River, Massachusetts, received BIA partial accreditation on June 9, 2014.

By Matthew Seamon

Advocacy Intern

 

On June 4, 2014, USCIS hosted a “listening session” teleconference regarding U nonimmigrant status visas. U visas provide immigration protection for victims of qualifying crimes who aid law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. USCIS is engaging in rulemaking to modify the U visa application and eligibility rules and sought comments and feedback from immigration advocates and other stakeholders.

June 20 is World Refugee Day -- an occasion to raise awareness about the 10.4 million individuals who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a social group and celebrate their contributions. Some refugees seeking protection make their own way to the United States and apply for asylum. Others are selected overseas for permanent resettlement to the U.S. How much do you know about refugees and asylees in the United States? Test your knowledge by taking our brief quiz!

 

This webinar for affiliates discusses the newly revised I-821D and USCIS guidelines for DACA renewal.  We provide updates on DACA policy and advocacy issues and also share program management tips on preparing for DACA renewals.  Finally, we consider how lessons learned from the initial DACA phase can be applied to the renewal process and to future immigration reform.

The presenters for this webinar were: Tatyana Delgado, Ilissa Mira, Allison Posner, Jen Riddle, Nathaly Perez and Michelle Sardone

By Ilissa Mira, CLINIC Training and Legal Support Attorney

 

On June 5, 2014, USCIS released the much anticipated revised Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The new dual-purpose form will be used to file both initial and renewal DACA requests.  As of the release date, USCIS will not accept DACA requests submitted on the old form.

The Supreme Court has now weighed in and answered one of the last remaining questions regarding the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA): do derivative children who age out before the principal beneficiary immigrates retain the original priority date when their parent becomes an LPR and files a new petition on their behalf in the F-2B category?  The answer has been no, based on a Board of Immigration Appeals decision, Matter of Wang, 25 I&N Dec.

In order to pass comprehensive immigration reform, increased awareness among the public, particularly voters, is essential.  These materials are provided to help the reader in gaining more awareness and being a public voice promoting immigration reform.

By Donald Kerwin and Laureen Laglagaron

 

Summary:

While comprehensive immigration reform may have moved to the back burner politically, Congress ultimately will need to reform US immigration policy as immigration enforcement alone will not prove effective in dealing with the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants.

By Peggy Gleason

As you know, the House and Senate are scheduled to negotiate a compromise that could produce a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  For the first time since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, legalization may become law.  Without knowing exactly what will pass, it is difficult to plan for our programs.  However, we know the rough outlines of the possible legislation and we can mine our own experiences for concrete preparation steps we can take now.

By Peggy Gleason

 

Regardless of what legalization program is eventually enacted and implemented, applicants will need to submit supporting documents to establish that they qualify. What documents are likely to be needed? What is the best way to organize them? How should clients now be counseled on ways to gather these documents? By looking at the prior legalization under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, and at the current proposals, we can estimate what may be required once a new legalization program is enacted.

By Donald Kerwin and Charles Wheeler

 

This article originally appeared in Issues in Immigration, Vol. 1 (Center for Migration Studies, 2004). It was reprinted by Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Feb. 1, 2007).

 

Mary Gautier, Ph.D. from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) will highlight the results of CLINIC's 2013 Affiliate Survey with a general overview of membership, services provided, staffing, client characteristics, and use of training and support services. Affiliates will learn how they can access the survey information online and generate reports for a variety of purposes.

 

 

Back to State and Local Immigration Project Page

 

Florida Becomes 20th State to Offer In-State Tuition to Undocumented Students

Upcoming Trainings.  See the 2014 Training calendar at our website:  www.cliniclegal.org under the Trainings tab.  

2014 National Migration Conference – Monday, July 7, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.  Join us in 2014 when CLINIC and USCCB/MRS co-sponsor this grand event that joins members of these networks and others to share information and hear from experts regarding services to immigrants and refugees, as well as public advocacy.

The USCIS Asylum Office has recently revised its Lesson Plan regarding “credible fear” of persecution determinations.  This is the standard that those fleeing persecution and seeking safe haven in this country must first meet if they are arrested and subject to expedited removal.

By Allison Posner

 

On May 8, 2014, the Nebraska Service center held a teleconference on school/student issues.  The following are the minutes from that discussion in Q and A format.

 

CLINIC congratulates program staff and member agencies on receiving BIA accreditation and agency recognition.  Telamon Corporation of Raleigh, NC, received BIA agency recognition and partial accreditation for Frank Sanchez on May 2, 2014.

 

CLINIC welcomes the following new member agencies:

Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  

This webinar is for current and aspiring immigrant advocates on a grassroots level. This webinar provides an overview of the role each level of government plays in regulating the lives and livelihoods of immigrants.

Topics include notes from the NSC teleconference on student issues and an update on waiver adjudication from the NSC.

This webinar is for legal service providers helping Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients apply for permission to travel abroad using advance parole.

Taking the opportunity to submit further comments to USCIS about the DACA application and renewal process, CLINIC commended the agency for the changes it did make, including extending the DACA renewal application window to 150 days, simplifying the education-related questions, and streamlining the application requirement for renewal applicants.  CLINIC also encouraged USCIS to make additional changes to the form and instructions to help both initial and renewal applicants better navigate the application process.  Among the chief concerns for CLINIC and its affiliates is ensuring that DACA

A strong case management system is key to a healthy immigration legal program. A strong case management system helps ensure consistency, uniformity, and a high quality of work. It balances the interests of the client in getting the best and speediest representation with those of the agency in providing services efficiently. Join us for Part II of this series. It will focus on case file organization standards, case notes standards, a filing system, case closing procedures, and a tickler system to ensure important deadlines are not missed.

S1696 would establish driving privilege cards for New Jersey residents who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States. It was introduced in the New Jersey Senate on March 17, 2014 by Senators Joseph Vitale and Teresa Ruiz and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. It is identical to A2135, introduced in the New Jersey Assembly on January 16, 2014.  

In 2011, CLINIC and seven national organizations received a multi-year and multi-state grant to increase the number of eligible Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to become U.S. citizens by assisting them with the naturalization process through the development of innovative approaches and technologies and exchanging best practices. 

On February 4, 2014, USCIS released its long-awaited revision of the Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). A draft of the new form was published in the Federal Register for comment on December 20, 2012 and again on March 20, 2013. CLINIC submitted comments on the draft together with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) on February 15, 2013. The comments are posted on the CLINIC website at https://cliniclegal.org/resources/revisions-to-application-for-naturaliz....

CLINIC's National Capacity Building Project, funded by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Citizenship, has provided technical assistance and funding to four local affiliate agencies to establish new programs in English as a Second Language (ESL)/citizenship education and/or naturalization application assistance.

On Election Day, it can seem like a burden to wake up early and stand in line at your local polling place, but the ability to vote is a prized benefit of citizenship and an important step in the journey to full integration in the United States. The benefits of citizenship are numerous and the CLINIC network has long advocated naturalization for all eligible permanent residents.

Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the Majority of Counties in Oregon Limit Local Police Involvement in Enforcing Immigration Laws

CLINIC is working hard to bring new players into the immigration and naturalization service mix to supplement the substantial but inadequate resources that exist now.

Dear affiliates,

 

USCIS recently revised its form N-400, Application for Naturalization.  The agency will now only accept the newest version of Form N-400, dated 09/13/13.

Br. Peduru Fonseka

My immigration story started in 2002 when I decided to come to United States from Sri Lanka to do my higher studies. Even applying for a Student visa was not easy. There was much paperwork and proofs of financial support and so many other documents I had to present to the embassy to get my F1 visa. I remember sitting there in the waiting room very nervous for the first time for the visa interview. Out of the thirty or so people who showed up that morning for visa interviews, there were only three of us who got their visas.

Father Gustavo

 I believe that dreams come true and that a good dream becomes true life. Without dreams, all we have is reality. Sometimes on our most important dreams, all we can do is give them our best shot, hope for the highest good, and let go. Knowing I could use all the help available, I contacted CLINIC to fulfill my dream in becoming a Citizen of United States of America. 

By: Megan S. Turngren

 

With multiple agencies issuing different immigration paperwork for the R-1 process, it can often be difficult to understand the importance of each document.  However, even though it may seem complicated, it is always very important to note the expiration dates of the I-129 approval notice, the R-1 visa, and the I-94.  In many cases, these three items will each have different expiration dates.  This discrepancy is due to the fact that each of these documents is issued by a different government agency. 

I was born in Managua, Nicaragua, the second of 5 children. I was about 15 months old when I had my first contact with the United States of America. This happened through my father returning home after spending a year at the University of Florida, Gainsville in a graduate course of Sanitary Engineering. He admired this country and its people and he taught his wife and children to love and admire it too.  I remember that he used to shave early in the morning while listening to Good Morning America and the voice of the United States of America.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) Update

With the Senate passing its immigration bill last June and the House currently working on its own legislation, comprehensive immigration reform is a likely reality.  Although legislation is far from final, the expected overhaul will certainly have a monumental impact on all facets of immigration law.

 

What Are You Doing to Prepare for CIR?

Join us  for CLINIC's second quarterly webinar of the year. CLINIC staff will report on our ongoing legalization work; advocacy on immigration detainers; and developing and using program policies and procedures to  strengthen your program. We will also review developments in immigration law and procedure including DACA renewal; the new N-400 ; recent BIA and federal court cases on asylee adjustment and U visa waivers; new guidelines on credible fear determinations; and updates and practice tips from the NSC on waiver adjudications.  

It is estimated that 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the United States every year. These graduates face various financial barriers to pursuing a college education, including the fact that a social security number is required to qualify for federal financial aid.

A naturalization group application workshop is a one-day community event that brings professionals and trained volunteers together to assist Lawful Permanent Residents in completing the Application for Naturalization (N-400). The workshop is an essential tool for efficiently and effectively providing naturalization assistance to large numbers of people. The success of the workshop model depends on careful planning, thorough training of staff and volunteers, and high quality services. The purpose of this toolkit is to help charitable immigration programs achieve a successful workshop.

Topics include an article on advocating for in-state tuition for all residents, as well as a listing of all BIA accreditations for the month.

 

If you represent U visa and U status applicants, you already know that immigration judges have no jurisdiction over applications for U status or for applications for adjustment of status under INA § 245(m).  By statute, USCIS has exclusive jurisdiction over theses applications, including waivers of inadmissibility under INA § 212(d)(14), the waiver provision that exclusively applies to the U status applicants.

 By Susan Schreiber

 

What if your asylee client became deportable for conviction of a crime after adjusting status?  Can you client re-adjust under INA § 209(b), along with seeking a waiver under § 209(c)?   In Matter of C-J-H, 26 I&N Dec. 284, the Board said “no” because asylees who adjust status to lawful permanent residence no longer qualify as asylees.

By Debbie Smith

There have been significant changes to and delays in the processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests at the three DHS sub-agencies over the past months.  On March 12, 2014, USCIS and ICE implemented an online FOIA request system, joining CBP in offering a web-based FOIA procedure.  The online request system is intended to improve the FOIA processing.  Nonetheless, the online CBP FOIA procedure continues to experience the same serious delays that plagued the paper-filed FOIA process.

Benefit of FOIA

By Jen Riddle

 

How many undocumented students could benefit from in-state tuition?

ICE detainers are simply requests. It is not mandatory for local law enforcement to honor immigration detainers; when and whether to do so is discretionary.

By Ilissa Mira, CLINIC Training and Legal Support Attorney

 Join us for a free webinar on fee waivers for naturalization applications as we discuss the following topics.

Supreme Court Leaves Lower Court Decisions on Anti-Immigrant Housing Regulations Intact

Would you like to know more about how your nonprofit agency and staff can become authorized to provide immigration legal services? Join us for this webinar training on Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) agency recognition and staff accreditation.

Citizenship Day (September 17) is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of U.S. citizenship and to recognize the new Americans who once immigrated to the U.S. from all corners of the world.

Topics include an article on the BIA Pro Bono Project's success and resources from the Capacity Building section of CLINIC.

By Susan Schreiber

If you represent LPRs in removal proceedings, you will want to take a close look at the Board's recent  decision in Matter of Abdelghany, 26  I&N Dec. 254 (BIA 2014), which presents a new framework for analyzing LPR eligibility for INA § 212 (c) waivers.  It will likely result in more LPRs qualifying for this relief.

The Department of Homeland Security has extended its designation of Haiti for TPS for 18 months.  The extension will begin on July 23, 2014 and last through January 22, 2016.  The 60-day re-registration period for those who currently have TPS began on March 3, 2014 and will end on May 2, 2014.  Those who are eligible and timely re-register will be granted an EAD with an expiration date of January 22, 2016.  In addition, the agency will automatically extend the validity of current EADs for six months, through January 22, 2015, for those who timely re-register.

By Leya Speasmaker

Immigrant integration is the ultimate goal of the work the CLINIC network does each day as our affiliates assist eligible immigrants to pursue immigration benefits. CLINIC announces the creation of new tools designed to help your program promote and encourage immigrant integration within your community.  Two new self assessment tools are now available on our website.

CLINIC congratulates the following agency and staff:

Kyaw  Kyaw and Sue Phommaniraj-Lee, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County (Syracuse), NY, received partial BIA accreditation on 2/7/14.

Colonias Development Council, Las Cruces, NM,  a CLINIC subscriber,  received agency recognition on 2/27/14 and partial accreditation for two staff on the same date: Elva Varela and Erika Contreras.

Toolkit cover - image of cross in the desert

The Justice for Immigrants campaign, of which CLINIC is a part, has put together this Lenten toolkit (also available in Spanish) for parishes and communities to use during Lent. It offers weekly resources to accompany you through your Lenten journey. The resources are designed to help you reflect on the biblical call for immigration reform, and act to impact our current political reality.

Employed immigrants, regardless of status or documents used to acquire employment, are required to file taxes. Service providers working with the foreign-born can offer tax assistance preparation and support as their clients work to fulfill this federal requirement. Those without a Social Security Number can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to use when filing taxes. Please see the federal government’s resources on applying for and using the ITIN below.

 

Offering in-state tuition rates to all residents benefits the state’s economy.

Employed immigrants, regardless of status or documents used to acquire employment, are required to file taxes. Service providers working with the foreign-born can offer tax assistance preparation and support as their clients work to fulfill this federal requirement. Those without a Social Security Number can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to use when filing taxes. Please see the federal government’s resources on applying for and using the ITIN below.

On February 14, 2014, CLINIC submitted comments to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about the agency’s proposed changes to Form I-821D, the form used to request Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The proposed changes to the form establish procedures for individuals to demonstrate continued eligibility for deferred action – extending the two years of deferral originally granted to them. 

 

The webinar will discuss changes in the format and content of the new N-400. Held on February 26, 2014.

Click Here to access CLINIC's Citizenship Test Preparation Program Self Assessment

In a published decision, BIA shields mentally incompetent detainee from unfair removal proceedings.

Join CLINIC for a conversation about the top most common program management issues and how program managers resolve them. Topics will range from the equipment and tools needed for an immigration legal service program to tracking cases data and deadlines to setting a budget for staff professional development. Capacity Building director Jeff Chenoweth and Field Support Coordinator Leya Speasmaker will be presenting.

Topics include notes from a NSC teleconference, a listing of BIA accreditations, and an article on provisional waivers.

Upcoming Trainings.  See the 2014 Training calendar at our website:  www.cliniclegal.org under the Trainings tab. 

2014 National Migration Conference – Monday, July 7, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.  Join us in 2014 when CLINIC and USCCB/MRS co-sponsor this grand event that joins members of these networks and others to share information and hear from experts regarding services to immigrants and refugees, as well as public advocacy.

By Susan Schreiber

Three recent circuit court decisions provide some good news for immigrants related to immigration consequences of criminal offenses. These decisions, summarized below, address (a) analyzing when an offense is a crime of moral turpitude; (b) LPR eligibility for an INA § 212(h) waiver; and (c) conviction finality.

By Tatyana Delgado

On February 5, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) announced two new exemptions from the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG) found at INA§ 212(a)(3).  

TRIG aims to exclude individuals who have or will engage in terrorist activities, such as providing material support to terrorist organizations or their members.  Material support includes providing transportation, communications, funds, explosives, or training, among other activities. 

Ouranitsa Abbas
Pro Bono Coordinator

Esperanza Center - Catholic Charities of Baltimore

We recently asked program directors to recommend outstanding staff for a series of affiliate highlights and Ouranitsa Abbas was identified for her extraordinary work immediately! 

BIA Accreditations

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff on receiving BIA accreditation as noted:

Brother Jim Lewandowski, osc, Crosier Community of Phoenix, received his partial accreditation.  His organization returned as a member agency in December 2013.

Jossy Rogers and Jessica Bernal, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Assistance Services, Omaha, NE, received full BIA accreditation on January 31, 2014.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this month that it has launched a new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to provide customers with streamlined access to immigration information, case status, and customer service representatives. On February 1, callers began hearing a new series of messages when calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center number at 1-800-375-5283.

By Allison Posner

On January 16, 2014, USCIS’s Nebraska Service Center (NSC) held a stakeholder engagement on issues related to processing of refugee and asylee petitions. Select questions and answers from the teleconference are below.  Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

By Allison Posner

The following are the unofficial minutes from a teleconference with the Nebraska Service center on February 13, 2014. Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

I-131 RP/RTD

By Jen Riddle

Did you know that CLINIC has recently created two new resources related to states permitting undocumented residents to apply for driver’s licenses?

Why States Should Provide Access to Driver’s Licenses to All Residents

 

Granting driver’s licenses to all residents improves public safety on our roads.

Bill/Statute: Wash. Rev. Code § 46.20

Year Law Enacted: 2004

Effective Date: June 10, 2004

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

Bill/Statute: 23 V.S.A. § 603

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Operator's Privilege Card

 

Bill/Statute: UT ST § 53-3-207

Year Law Enacted: 2005

Effective Date: July 1, 2005

Name of Document Issued: Driving Privilege Card (DPC)

 

Bill/Statute: P C0900

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: August 7, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Licencia de conducir provisional (Provisional Driver's License)

 

Bill/Statute: SB 833

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: December 4, 2014 (assuming that Oregon voters decide to uphold the law in the November 2014 ballot measure seeking to repeal the law)

Name of Document Issued: Driver Card

 

Bill/Statute: NM ST § 66-5-9

Year Law Enacted: 2003

Effective Date: 2003

Name of Document Issued: Driver's License

 

What are the eligibility requirements?

Bill/Statute: SB 303

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver Authorization Card (DAC)

 

Bill/Statute: MD TRANS § 16–122

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver's License

 

     Driver’s licenses play a critical role in American society and enable us to participate more fully and productively in our communities. Most of us rely on cars to get ourselves and our families to work, school, the hospital, the grocery store, and church.  In addition to facilitating transportation, driver’s licenses enhance public safety by ensuring that all drivers are trained, tested, and qualify for automobile insurance.

Bill/Statute: SB 957

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: November 28, 2013

Name of Document Issued: Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)

 

Bill/Statute: Public Act No. 13-89

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2015

Name of Document Issued: Motor Vehicle Operator's License

 

Bill/Statute: SB 13-251

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: August 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

Bill/Statute: AB 60

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2015 (Possibly sooner if DMV is ready)

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

CLINIC released a DACA Public Service Announcement (PSA) Radio Campaign funded by Our Sunday Visitor. Through this campaign, CLINIC hopes to educate DACA-eligible individuals and encourage them to apply for and receive the help they need to stay and work legally in the U.S.

GENERAL

 

1. Can DACA recipients travel abroad? 

Yes, but only if they receive permission from the government. 

January 16, 2014

 

The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Secretary

Department of Homeland Security

 

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Deputy Secretary

Department of Homeland Security

 

Dear Secretary Johnson and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas:

CLINIC has accepted a new member agency, Catholic Charities Diocese of Evansville. 

Catholic Charities Diocese of Evansville, Evansville, INSharon Burns, Ph.D. is the Executive Director and Ceselie Cordovilla is a prospective candidate for BIA partial accreditation.

CLINIC has accepted the following  new subscribers:

Topics include an update on DACA and an article on the interpretation of habitual resident.

By Tatyana Delgado, CLINIC Training and Legal Support Attorney

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum allowing individuals who entered the U.S. as children and meet certain guidelines to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting DACA applications in August 2012 and issuing DACA approvals in September 2012.  This article provides updates on a variety of issues related to DACA eligibility and adjudications. 

By Bradley Jenkins*

On December 31, 2013, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) released guidance to the nation’s immigration judges entitled “Phase I of Plan to Provide Enhanced Procedural Protection to Unrepresented Detained Respondents with Mental Disorders.”  This guidance is the latest chapter in EOIR’s ongoing effort to reform how the agency handles the cases of persons with mental disorders who are placed into removal proceedings.

Citizenship for Us is a comprehensive guide to the naturalization process that provides detailed information on citizenship eligibility, requirements, and benefits and a step-by-step explanation of the N-400 (Application for Naturalization).  The guide includes 13 study units on U.S. history and civics, historic photos, timelines, a sample naturalization interview, and a chapter on civic participation.  It is geared for immigrants, community leaders, ESL teachers, and other non-attorneys.

Topics include advocacy updates, information on adjustment for visa waiver entrants, and a network profile.

Upcoming Trainings.  See the new 2014 Training Schedule at our website:  https://cliniclegal.org/training/calendar

 

2014 National Migration Conference – Monday, July 7, 2014 through Thursday, July 10, 2014, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.  Join us in 2014 when CLINIC and USCCB/MRS co-sponsor this grand event that joins members of these networks and others to share information and hear

By Kristina Karpinski

On November 14, 2013, USCIS issued a policy memorandum on adjudication of Form I-485, Application to Register or Adjust Status, filed by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  This long awaited guidance clarifies USCIS's position on adjudication of adjustment cases filed after the applicant's 90-day period of admission has expired and outlines when a case should be referred to ICE.

CLINIC values the dedication and commitment to service demonstrated by our affiliate agencies in their work with their communities.  We wish to highlight outstanding individual agency staff in a series of profiles appearing monthly in Catholic Legal Immigration News.       

Sandra Sanchez

Case Manager, BIA

American Friends Service Committee, Des Moines, IA

CLINIC welcomes a returning member agency, Crosier Community of Phoenix.  As stated on its website, "The Crosier Fathers and Brothers are an 800-year-old international Catholic religious order dedicated to lives of prayer, community and service.  The Crosiers have U.S. communities in Phoenix, Arizona  and Onamia, Minnesota."  Rev. David Donnay, osc, is the Community Superior. The organization is recognized and Brother Jim Lewandowski, osc, is returning as well as an immigration legal representative.

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff on receiving partial BIA accreditation:

Madelyn Hennessy and Robert Cronin of Catholic Charities of Worcester, MA were both approved for partial BIA accreditation in October 2013.

By Allison Posner

 

On November 6, 2013, USCIS held a stakeholder engagement on its new 2D barcode technology.  The new technology is part of the agency’s Forms Improvement Initiative, intended to enhance the agency’s ability to conduct intake at the lockboxes quickly and accurately.

There are several ways to establish a partnership and many tools to use that can help organize and manage the operations. This toolkit includes sample materials for managing a partnership, guidelines for working within a partnership, and tips on what to look for in a potential partner.

Welcome to CLINIC

Lobby Area

I received my Green Card last week and this is a good time to recall the whole process. I came to the United States in 2011. I was born in Poland. If someone told me a few years ago that I would be living in the United States, I would not believe them.

By Nicole Bonjean

RIS Staff Attorney 

 

Once an extension of stay is denied, a foreign national must make plans to immediately depart the United States.  The Customs and Border Protection website offers guidance regarding how long a person can remain in the U.S. following the denial of the extension

By Megan S. Turngren

RIS Staff Attorney 

 

Beginning in May 2013, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped issuing paper I-94 cards and instead began requiring that the foreign national access the I-94 information on the CBP website.  For the past six months, both attorneys and foreign nationals have been working diligently to try to understand the new electronic I-94 system.

 

By Minyoung Ohm

RIS Staff Attorney 

 

By Miguel A. Naranjo

Director, Religious Immigration Services

 

By Susan Schreiber

 

CLINIC conducted its fifteenth annual family-based immigration law conference in El Paso on November 12-14, followed by a tour of the US consulate in Ciudad Juarez (CDJ) on November 15.  Justin Williamson, Deputy Immigrant Visa (IV) Chief, U.S. Consulate, CDJ, gave a presentation and answered questions from participants.  The following unofficial minutes represent some of the highlights of Mr. Williamson’s presentation. 

Click Here to Download the PPT Slides

This webinar will address immigration detention, including the federal mandate requiring the detention of certain immigrants, the recent rise of immigration detention, and alternatives to detention. Additionally, the panel will include local perspectives on the effects of detention facilities on communities and how local stakeholders can help combat this national phenomenon.

Held 11/15/13

Presenters:

Topics include a victory for Alabama immigrants, an update from Ciudad Juarez, and a list of BIA accredidations.

With the support of the Four Freedoms Fund, and in conjunction with other immigrant right organizations,[1] CLINIC is tracking trends in immigration enforcement abuse in order to form a litigation strategy.  To support this goal, CLINIC is asking affiliates to share information about cases that may be in need of litigation before state, local, and federal court systems. 

This guide is designed to give service providers the tools and information needed to address the barriers to resettlement and integration faced by asylees and to better assist their clients.  It contains crucial and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible, including job placement assistance, English language classes, health screening, temporary cash and medical assistance, social security cards, employment authorization cards, adjustment of status, I-94s, travel authorization, petitioning for immediate relatives, and federal student financial aid.

CLINIC's Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court

The above document is a copy of the amicus brief that CLINIC filed with the US Supreme Court in a case challenging the government’s interpretation of a part of the CSPA.

CLINIC offers this brief webinar to help affiliates (members and subscribers) prepare a response to an increase in naturalization inquiries caused by the campaign aired in your community. Held on November 4, 2013.

Webinar held on 11/1/13
This webinar will look at the legislation and politics which will shape the debate on immigration reform in the House of Representatives, explaining the Church’s position on individual bills and the strategy for winning final legislation the Church can support.

Topics include provisional wavier updates, USCIS workload transfer, and a new policy on minors and false claims to U.S. citizenship.

New CLINIC Member

CLINIC has accepted and welcomes a new member, Lafayette Urban Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana.  LUM is “an ecumenical organization of 42 church congregations following Christ’s mandate to love and serve.” Six Catholic congregations are members of LUM.  As such, Bishop Timothy L. Doherty wrote CLINIC asking that LUM be recognized as a Catholic member to CLINIC’s network. LUM is preparing itself to apply for BIA recognition and accreditation.   

By Allison Posner

USCIS recently began transferring Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by U.S. citizens for their eligible immediate relatives (spouse, child, or parent) from the National Benefits Center to the Nebraska, Texas, and California Service Centers to balance the agency’s overall operational workload.

 

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference.  Please see CLINIC’s notes from the call that touched on the following topics:

I-765:

1.  Can you please cover reinstatement and STEM OPT?  The specific scenario is this – Student on OPT forgot to mail the application for STEM OPT extension in a timely manner (the application was one week late).  USCS denied the STEM OPT extension.  Is there such a thing as reinstatement of OPT status?

On September 26-27, 2013, CLINIC conducted a two-day training in Kansas City on provisional adjudication of unlawful presence waivers. The training included a presentation by Robert Blackwood, Assistant Section Director for Adjudications at the National Benefits Center (NBC), who gave an update on the waiver adjudication process at the NBC and answered questions from training participants. A summary of the information he provided appears below.

BIA Addresses Asylum Grant as Admission

By Susan Schreiber

Update on Provisional Waivers Adjudication

By Charles Wheeler

New Policy on Minors and False Claims to U.S. Citizenship

By Sarah Bronstein

BIA Affirms Effect of Entry with False Claim of Citizenship

By Charles Wheeler

Recent Circuit Court Cases on Derivation and Acquisition

By Jennie Guilfoyle and Debbie Smith

Derivation of Citizenship

Derivative citizenship under former INA § 321(a) does not require LPR status prior to turning 18, as long as the individual was residing in the United States before age 18, the Second Circuit held on August 12, 2013.  Nwozuzu v. Holder (2d Cir. 2013)

CLINIC 's third 2013 quarterly webinar of the year includes updates from the affiliate survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research; CLINIC's ongoing legalization implementation work; and state trends relating to immigrant eligibility for drivers licenses.
Held on 10/10/13

This webinar training covers how to develop and use partnerships effectively and what resources you can use to manage them. Held on April 22, 2013.

On September 26-27, 2013, CLINIC conducted a two-day training in Kansas City on provisional adjudication of unlawful presence waivers. The training included a presentation by Robert Blackwood, Assistant Section Director for Adjudications at the National Benefits Center (NBC), who gave an update on the waiver adjudication process at the NBC and answered questions from training participants. A summary of the information he provided appears below.

In recent years, more than 24,000 people from over 100 nations have been granted asylum in the United States. Asylees have often suffered from persecution in their country of origin, forced migration, detention in the United States, and the uncertainty of the asylum adjudication process. Most confront systemic and bureaucratic barriers to resettlement and integration, and need well-coordinated and prompt social services to ease their transition.

Welcoming the Stranger through Immigrant Integration discusses five state-level legislative initiatives that promote the integration of immigrants into our states and communities.  The integration measures discussed include legislation that creates tuition equity for all; strengthens human trafficking laws; invests in English language instruction; uses the budget process to integrate immigrants; and enhances access to financial aid and protection against immigration consultant fraud.

This webinar is for non-immigration lawyers, community organizers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and others who would like to learn about how DACA recipients can travel abroad.

DS-260 Online Application Now Used Worldwide
By Kristina Karpinski

As members of Congress prepare to return to Washington, D.C. from the summer recess, the future of U.S.

Overview:  HB 1175 creates state-level penalties (suspending and revoking business licenses) for state employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers; it also requires employers in the state to use E-Verify starting July 1, 2013.

 

Section 1

Overview:  HB 1159 creates state-level penalties relating to identity theft and employment.

An Analysis of Montana’s House Bill 297 (2013)

Overview: This bill creates state-level penalties (suspending business licenses) for employers in Montana who knowingly hire undocumented workers; it also requires employers in the state to use E-Verify six months after the passage of the bill. 

 

Section 1:  Definitions

Overview

House Bill (HB) No. 50, introduced by State Representative David Howard, prohibits local government from enacting, adopting, implementing, enforcing, or referring to the electorate immigration sanctuary policies.  It also allows state agencies to withhold funds to local governments that do not comply with the provisions of the bill.  Additionally, a person domiciled in Montana can seek a writ of mandamus to compel compliance with the bill. 

In 2013, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University to complete a study estimating the size, characteristics, and geographic distribution of the U.S. undocumented (i.e., non-citizens who are not temporary migrants such as students, diplomats, short-term visitors, etc., those who are legal permanent residents, or refugees or asylees). This is similar to a study conducted by CARA for CLINIC in 2006 using 2005 data. CARA used current data from the U.S.

This webinar is for legal service providers and others helping DREAMers apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). One year after DACA’s launch, we will review important DACA developments and explore ways we can continue to improve DACA-related services.

Advance Parole for DACA Recipients

By Emily Creighton, Mary Kenney, and Patrick Taurel (American Immigration Council)

and Susan Schreiber and Tatyana Delgado (CLINIC) 

Introduction

A new edition of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application (Form I-821D) and instructions, dated June 25, 2013, is now available on the USCIS website. After September 9, 2013, USCIS will only accept this version of the DACA application form.

A new edition of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application (Form I-821D) and instructions, dated June 25, 2013, is now available on the USCIS website. After September 9, 2013, USCIS will only accept this version of the DACA application form.

States Voice Support for Federal Immigration Reform 

Download as PDF

Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform 

BIA Clarifies When Derivatives May Adjust under 245(i)

By Charles Wheeler

In a recent decision the Board of Immigration Appeals held that after-acquired derivatives are not eligible to be considered “grandfathered” for purposes of eligibility for section 245(i) adjustment of status. Matter of Estrada, 26 I&N Dec. 180 (BIA 2013).  This decision clarifies but is consistent with prior USCIS memos interpreting this provision.

Court Strikes Down Regulation Limiting K-4 Adjustment

 By Charles Wheeler

Updates on Family-Based Immigration from the VSC and NVC

By Jennie Guilfoyle

On August 5, CLINIC sent a letter to Director Mayorkas regarding what we believe to be the improper implementation of USCIS's regulations governing the provisional waiver for unlawful presence.

Click Here to read the letter.

Circuit Court Split on Constitutionality of Local Anti-Immigrant Housing Ordinances (August 2013)                                                         

Board Rejects Stand-Alone 212(h) Waiver

By Susan Schreiber

 Supreme Court Revives the Categorical Approach

By Sarah Bronstein

Appointed Counsel and Bond Hearings for the Mentally Disabled

By Debbie Smith

Sixth Circuit Finds that TPS Creates Eligibility for Adjustment Under Section 245(a)

By Jennie Guilfoyle

CLINIC staff addresses the current status of pending immigration reform legislation, planning on the national level for legalization implementation, and service delivery models for legalization drafted by various CLINIC affiliates.  We also review developments in immigration law and procedure including EOIR registration requirements, updates relating to G-28 and I-94 forms, implementation of U visa age-out protections, and the recent BIA case addressing requirements for accredited representative status.

Held on July 10, 2013.

This webinar is for legal service providers, immigrant advocates, educators, faith leaders, employers, community organizers, and others helping DREAMers apply for DACA or navigate work, school, and life after receiving DACA. Have you had issues helping DACA applicants meet the education eligibility requirements, obtain juvenile records, or access scholarships or loans?

Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

By Jennie Guilfoyle and Susan Schreiber

Last August, the Obama Administration began implementing its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – a policy through which certain undocumented individuals receive temporary permission to stay in the U.S. for two years as well as the right to apply for employment authorization. After some initial resistance to issuing driver’s licenses to DACA grantees, most states eventually decided to do so. At this time, only two states – Arizona and Nebraska – continue to deny state driver’s licenses or identification cards to DACA recipients.   

More than eight months after hearing testimony in the civil trial, a U.S.

June was an important month for a small group of Washington D.C.’s residents. On June 6, 2013, at a public library in Mt. Pleasant, 20 immigrants from 11 different countries became U.S. citizens.

Many tasks in an immigration legal services program can be completed by volunteers. Using volunteers when possible frees up staff time that can be devoted to offering more services to clients. This toolkit contains helpful information on how best to use volunteers in your program, how to recruit and retain volunteers, and how to incorporate them into your program’s plan for the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Sample forms are included as well as sample volunteer job descriptions.

Advocacy Day is Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

Get ready for your day on Capitol Hill!  Kevin Appleby, Director of USCCB's Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs and Allison Posner, CLINIC's Director of Advocacy will speak about the Church's position on immigration reform and how to frame your "asks" when speaking with your representatives.  We will also review the agenda for Advocacy Day and provide practical tips about getting around the Hill and what to expect from the day.   

Held on May 7, 2013.

On Saturday May 4, 2013, nearly 150 immigrants and their families from all over the world trekked to southern Los Angeles County and eagerly waited in line for their chance to take the crucial next step to becoming an American citizen. The huge Inglewood church quickly filled with the sounds of many languages, from Spanish to Vietnamese to Hindi, as volunteers and immigrant service providers smoothly filtered and ushered groups of eligible legal permanent residents through a step by step journey through the naturalization process.

Held on May 6, 2013.

This webinar training focuses on how to obtain a fee waiver for a naturalization applicant who is unable to pay the USCIS application fee. We discuss the fee waiver eligibility criteria, the application process with the Form I-912, and the documentation requirements. We also discuss problems or pitfalls that may arise and how to avoid these, as well as special considerations for completing fee waiver applications at naturalization group processing workshops.

Legislation was introduced in the Senate today that would create a pathway to citizenship for most of the undocumented persons living in the United States.  It would also overhaul the family-based immigration system, create new opportunities for guest workers and other nonimmigrants, and impose heightened border, interior, and workplace enforcement.  Listen as CLINIC staff summarizes the most important parts of the proposed legislation on this free, one-hour webinar.

Early planning and preparation for CIR implementation includes budgeting and resource development.  This webinar introduces resources to help CLINIC affiliates in these processes.  Included in the webinar is a newly-released CIR Preparation Checklist for program directors to guide their planning, webinar slides on budgeting decisions and several resource development tools including a proposal template, budget narrative and work plan to seek external funding.

Join us for CLINIC’s kick-off webinar for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) preparation in 2013, the first in a series. This free webinar training covers the application process and requirements for Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recognition and accreditation. We also discuss the latest BIA developments, including the new FAQ sheet released by the BIA, training requirements for staff, and issues the BIA is analyzing before submitting proposed changes to recognition and accreditation regulations.

Legislators in New Hampshire have introduced HB 474 and an Amendment to HB 474 that extends in-state student status to individuals without lawful status.  As shown below, HB 474 standing alone is more generous than it would be with the Amendment.  That said, HB 474 still provides an avenue for students without lawful status to gain in-state student status in New Hampshire’s post-secondary education system.   

Overview of HB 474:

With Citizenship Day on September 17th, I would like to reflect on my experience working with a national multi-organizational initiative to encourage the country's lawful permanent residents (LPR) to become U.S. citizens. In every facet of society, immigrants are integral members in the economy and the political discourse. With this in mind, CLINIC has pursued steps to reach the approximate 8 million LPRs who are eligible to become citizens.

The purpose of the webinar is to educate charitable immigration legal staff on the unique differences of planning and implementing a large, "mega" group application workshop for naturalization and deferred action. Held on September 12, 2012.

On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, a case involving the legal challenge to Arizona's restrictive state immigration enforcement law "SB 1070."  The U.S.

Citizenship for Elders is a unique handbook for teachers and administrators on creating and managing a citizenship program for the older learner. This handbook brings together the observations and insights of teachers from across the country on older learners from a wide range of cultures.

Citizenship for Elders is a unique handbook for teachers and administrators on creating and managing a citizenship program for the older learner.  This handbook brings together the observations and insights of teachers from across the country on older learners from a wide range of cultures.  It is based on a nationwide survey of 200 programs.  It identifies the issues in teaching elders and makes recommendations for instruction and program design.  The recommendations are practice-based, with a focus on innovative and promising practices.  The suggestions on learning activities, c

This toolkit contains a variety of resources collected and produced through CLINIC’s citizenship projects.  It is designed to assist agencies providing citizenship services and civic participation opportunities for the most vulnerable applicants.

The Need for Charitable Legal Immigration Services

Current capacity does not meet current demands for low-cost legal representation in immigration matters. For instance, immigrants eligible and soon-to-be eligible to naturalize as U.S. citizens have less income, education, and English language ability than immigrants who naturalized in previous decades.

CLINIC Capacity Building staff address the top ten most frequent challenges facing immigration legal service programs across the nation. Topics include how to develop a fee schedule, how to minimize risk, and how to create an efficient and effective case management system. Resources will be provided for each issue, and staff will provide tips for tackling these common challenges.  

Leya Speasmaker and Helen Chen are the presenters for this webinar.

Held March 3, 2011.

A good case management database contains both immigration forms and client-specific information.  The database may be software for stand-alone or networked computers or it may be web-based with the server off-site.  Either way, the choice and utilization of a database is an important investment for your immigration program.  In addition to completing forms, the database helps staff manage the caseload and facilitates the writing of data-rich reports and funding proposals.

When you are thinking of developing or changing your case management system, solicit your immigration staff to get their feedback, or even better is if they participate in the development or revision of that process.    The system works only if it makes sense to those who have to adhere to, carry out, and manage it.  Once you determined your case management system, document it in a policies and procedures manual.   The rationale behind having a case management policies and procedures manual is the same as having an operating and human resources manual in your agency.  You want to document

The design and implementation of immigration case management systems will vary among immigration programs since every program is different.  However, a program whose case management system works for staff members and meets the needs of clients are the most effective.

Held Nov. 16, 2010

Due to an increasing need for quality English as a Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship Test Preparation classes, many community-based organizations are interested in starting their own language learning programs. Combining CLINIC’s key components for program management and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages’ (TESOL) Standards for Adult Education ESL Programs, this Webinar will provide a foundation for interested organizations to plan and implement a language learning program. Instructor: Leya Speasmaker.

The documents below are designed to provide you with a template that can be used when applying for immigration funding, specifically in preparing your local community for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).  It can also be adapted for other immigration-related funding prior to CIR.

Held October 21, 2010

This is part 2 of a 3-part series on language access.

Nominal fees for immigration legal services are a core source of funding to start and sustain charitable programs.  By charging nominal fees you can retain a great deal of control over the financial viability of your program.  Conversely, to not charge fees is to put your program at risk of closing or drastic downsizing.

Language Access: Effectively Serving Limited- and Non-English Speakers

This is part 1 of a 3-part series on language access.

What if your asylee client has an error on his/her I-94 card?  Do you know how to get it corrected? What if Social Security won’t issue your asylee client a card?  What if an employer demands documentation from your asylee client that he or she doesn’t have? Documentation problems can impede asylees’ employment, access to public benefits, and integration.  

How do you set up intake? Which cases should you accept for representation? What is a client services agreement? How do you track deadlines and cases? What goes into a case file? What are your responsibilities when you close a case?

CLINIC trainer Jack Holmgren along with Robert Yates, director of Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County present on fees and revenues.

Held June 2010.

The manual, Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship and Beyond offers recommendations from “veterans” of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

The following letter was sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on April 15, 2010.

Nonprofit immigration legal programs have a range of staffing options. Programs may employ licensed attorneys, law graduates, fully accredited representatives, partially accredited representatives, non-accredited immigration counselors, support staff, interns and volunteers. In this third of a seven part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will explore how to optimize your program's performance with careful staffing.

While staff is the heart of an immigration program, several other resources are required to keep a program functioning. These include: physical space, computers, software, law library materials, and malpractice insurance.  In this second of a seven-part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will discuss the different resources needed to support an immigration legal services program.

While staff is the heart of an immigration program, several other resources are required to keep a program functioning. These include: physical space, computers, software, law library materials, and malpractice insurance.  In this second of a seven-part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will discuss the different resources needed to support an immigration legal services program.

This webinar was presented by CLINIC's Center for Citizenship and Immigrant Communities.

Presenters: Jeff Chenoweth, director of CLINIC's Center for Citizenship and Immigrant Communities and Rose Alma Senatore, executive director, Catholic Charities of Hartford, CT.

This webinar discusses ways to recruit more leaders and financial donors in order to grow and sustain charitable legal immigration services for the challenges of today and a new environment for tomorrow.

Held Jan. 13, 2010.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has dramatically stepped up enforcement in the interior of the country. DHS agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Division are arresting immigrants at their homes, workplaces and on the streets in communities all across the country.

The translations listed here were completed by USCIS and community organizations throughout the country. For translations completed by community organizations, the organization's contact information is included on the translation.

Created by Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development & Pluralism in partnership with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. under a project funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, “Technical Assistance to Promote Refugee Citizenship & Civic Participation.” This
guide was developed through a collaboration between Mosaica and the Temple University Center for Intergenerational Learning’s “Civic Engagement for All” initiative. It is a companion piece to a webinar conducted on March 9, 2009. The webinar presented a report by the

The purpose of this guide is to assist organizations that represent, serve, and advocate for refugees1 to think through various approaches to increasing civic participation in refugee communities, and to choose approaches and strategies that will work best for them. It provides
an overview of civic participation definitions, offers example of successful approaches, and identifies barriers to civic participation for refugees. Lastly, it offers suggestions for where to start, including questions to ask in planning a civic participation effort.

 

Refugees and immigrants strongly desire U.S. citizenship. Yet, many of them, especially those who are elderly, disabled, low-income, low-literate, and limited English proficient, face serious challenges in the naturalization process. These challenges can impede their integration and their civic participation in U.S. society.

The United States is experiencing historically unprecedented levels of immigration. As of March immigrantorganizersvoice2005, there were 37 million foreign-born persons in the United States, making up 12 percent of the population. Approximately 14 million immigrants arrived during the 1990s.2 From the early 1990s to 2000, the number of immigrants increased by 61 percent.

In 2000-2001, CLINIC published a series of reports on immigration issues based on numerous case studies. These are not current reports.

The reports identify, track, and examine the impact of our nation's laws and immigration policies on at-risk immigrants. They illustrate particularly compelling problems faced by immigrants, clear explanations of the law at the root of such problems, and other research.