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Louisville Immigration Law Blog

Immigration Services

Federal judge rules to reinstate DACA, preventing deportation

Many young undocumented immigrants were lawfully residing in the United States through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, the Trump administration has decided to end that program. This has made these young adults in Kentucky and elsewhere fear the very real possibility of deportation and removal.

In what is good news for "Dreamers" across the nation, a U.S. District Judge has ruled that the Trump administration did not provide adequate justification for deciding to do away with the DACA program. The judge stated that the policy to end DACA was unconstitutional. Therefore, the judge ruled that the DACA program must be reinstated. The government has until August 23 to appeal the decision.

Have you been ordered to appear at a Stokes interview?

When you married a U.S. citizen and relocated to Kentucky from your country of origin, you likely assumed you might encounter various challenges as you adapted to a new culture, new home, new language and more. You were hopeful that your spouse, extended family members and friends would provide a strong support system to help you overcome any obstacles that might arise. You knew it wouldn't be easy but you were sure it was worth it because you had met the love of your life and were happy. 

If the U.S. government thinks your marriage is not legitimate and you are using marriage to a U.S. citizen to obtain permanent legal residence status, you may wind up facing your biggest challenge of all: A Stokes interview. Even if those who know you believe that your marriage is a bona fide union, you will still have to convince immigration officials of the same or face possible deportation. Knowing where to seek support before attending your interview may be key to staying in the United States. 

What are the steps in the deportation and removal process?

Many people from other countries flee their homelands for the U.S. in hopes of having a better life. However, non-citizens in Kentucky and other states may, for a variety of reasons, face the possibility of deportation and removal. Therefore, it is important that they are familiar with the deportation process, so they can understand their rights and know what to expect.

First, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will serve an immigrant with a Notice to Appear (NTA). This document will have information such as the immigrant's name, where the immigrant came from and the reason the immigrant is being deported. After that, a hearing will be held in immigration court where the judge will ask the immigrant if they are able to move forward with the case or whether the immigrant needs more time to obtain a lawyer. If the immigrant wants a lawyer an individual hearing will take place later on in the process.

Somalis in U.S. will keep protected status, will not face removal

Not every country is safe to live in. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes or man-made disasters, such as war, can threaten the lives of those living in these countries. Therefore, many people from countries, such as these, may choose to seek a safe haven in Kentucky and other states in our nation. One way some immigrants were able to lawfully reside in the U.S. was through a government program that was meant to help those seeking refuge from unsafe countries.

The Trump administration has stated that roughly 500 people from Somalia who are currently living in the United States are permitted to keep their protected status granted to Somalis in 1991 through a government program. Under this program, Somalis may lawfully remain in the nation and work until March 17, 2020.

Supreme Court ruling could help those facing deportation

Sometimes, immigrants come to Kentucky and other states in the nation and reside there for many years, even if they do not have authorization to do so. These immigrants can be productive members of society, but they do face the threat of deportation. However, they still have rights when it comes to removal proceedings that must be protected.

A recent Supreme Court ruling could affect thousands of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled that if an immigrant is in the U.S. without authorization, and receives a "notice to appear" in court, the notice must contain the exact time and place of the removal proceedings. Without this information, the notice will not "stop the clock" when it comes to the unauthorized immigrant's "continued physical presence" in the nation.

Immigrant reservists could face discharge, possible removal

Many service members from Kentucky and nationwide bravely serve in the United States military to protect the country they now call home. However, this service does not always last until retirement. Sometimes, a person is discharged from the military before retirement. When a person is discharged from the military, there will usually be a reason given (good or bad). But, some members of the U.S. military are being discharged without explanation or an opportunity to defend themselves.

Per an AP report, the U.S. military is discharging immigrant reservists who were told that if they enlisted, they would eventually become U.S. citizens. According to some, they received no warning or reason for the discharge. At least one immigrant reservist, who has been in the U.S. since age 12, sued the Army claiming he was not given an explanation for why he was discharged or the opportunity to defend himself.

Will parents sign away other options for remaining in the U.S.?

The issue of immigration continues to be a source of confusion and chaos for many here in Kentucky and elsewhere. For this reason, it probably wouldn't surprise anyone to know that those struggling to remain in the country now have another potential roadblock to staying in the country.

Government officials separated many children from their families as they attempted to enter the country, and many of their parents are now under final orders of removal. They may choose whether to take their children with them and must sign a new form to do it.

What happens if my application to renew a green card is denied?

If a person is a permanent resident of the United States, and their 10-year green card is set to expire within the following six months, they will need to apply for a renewal of their green card, if they wish to stay in the US as a lawful permanent resident. However, not every application for renewal is accepted. Sometimes, a green card renewal request is denied. People in Kentucky and elsewhere who find themselves in such a predicament may feel distressed, but they should know that there are options available.

First, it is important to understand that it is technically not possible to appeal a negative decision. But, one's options include filing a motion to reconsider or a motion to reopen with the office that denied their green card renewal application. In these motions, a person is requesting that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that made the decision reconsider or reexamine the application.

We help people with family immigration matters

Sometimes, one member of a person's family will immigrate to the United States and obtain permanent residency or even citizenship. That person may wish to petition for their spouse, parents, children or siblings to reunite with them in the United States. Family immigration is important to many in Kentucky and around the nation.

However, for those seeking to bring a loved one into the country, the entire visa process may seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to determine what paperwork needs to be filed and what other requirements must be met. No one wants to make a mistake that slows down the process of family immigration or halts it altogether. That is why it can help to have legal guidance.

Could new USCIS policy lead to removal of international students?

Many students from abroad come to Kentucky to attend college or other institutes, such as graduate school, law school or medical school. These students general do so through a lawful visa. After graduating from college, graduate school or law school, a foreign student may want to seek work or continue their education. If they are able to do so with the proper visa, they can lawfully continue living here. But, per a new policy by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), this may become harder and could even lead to deportation and removal.

The new policy will affect those students with F, J and M non-immigrant visas. Starting August 9th, if a student stays in the U.S. after their purpose has passed, and they do not have another visa, that student will be considered an unlawful presence. They will have to leave the country, and may not be able to return for as many as 10 years.

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