• 05/22/20

    A Step-by-Step Guide to Completing FOIA Requests with DHS

    A FOIA request can be an invaluable tool in immigration law to help an immigrant and their representative. This guide details how to complete a FOIA request for USCIS, ICE, OBIM, and CBP. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete Form G-639, and also includes tips about alternatives to Form G-639, such as online submission options.

  • 05/22/20

    Fee Waivers: Status of Proposed Changes

    Recent attacks on the current fee waiver system threaten the access of low-income individuals to immigration benefits they are otherwise eligible to receive. This practice advisory provides an overview of the proposed changes as well as some practice tips for how to fight these harmful changes and best support low-income clients.

  • 05/22/20

    Public Charge Exemptions and Considerations

    **After rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 27, 2020 and February 21, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was able to implement its new rule relating to the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility nationwide. The DHS rule went into effect for adjustment of status applications filed on or after February 24, 2020. On February 24, 2020, the Department of State (DOS) also implemented a new rule related to public charge inadmissibility. The DOS rule generally follows the same provisions as those in the new DHS rule. Consular processing applications with interviews on or after February 24, 2020 will be evaluated under the new DOS rule.

    We are working rapidly to update our resources in light of the new DHS and DOS public charge rules. When reviewing our resources, please note the date on which they were last updated, because the legal content may not be current.**

    It is important to remember that immigration law and regulations exempt some categories of immigrants from public charge inadmissibility and provide many types of immigration status that are not subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility. This advisory provides an overview of the exemptions to public charge inadmissibility and the forms of relief a client may seek without being subject to a public charge test. It also discusses public charge issues to keep in mind when advising immigrants who may be considering adjustment of status or consular processing through a family or employer petition after having a status that is not subject to public charge inadmissibility. Understanding these considerations will help advocates best counsel their clients and prepare applications in the current climate of uncertainty surrounding public charge policy.

  • 01/17/19

    Legal Summary: Controlled Substances

    Drug offenses can cause extremely serious immigration consequences, including making the person deportable, inadmissible, convicted of an aggravated felony, and barred from eligibility for relief. This note summarizes California law and defense strategies. Written for criminal defense counsel, it is also a useful summary for immigration advocates.

  • 01/17/19

    Naturalization Field Guide: Resources for Red Flag Screenings and Application Reviews

    It has always been important to screen naturalization applicants thoroughly to ensure that they are, in fact, eligible for naturalization, and to assess any potential issues that could cause them to denied or deported. While the laws governing how and when someone is eligible to naturalize and how and when someone is deportable have not changed, the importance of screening applicants has increased in light of the new NTA Memo. This packet is meant to assist practitioners in screening naturalization applicants for any issues that may cause them to be denied and deported. It includes a Red Flag Checklist, an Annotated Red Flag Checklist, a Guide for Legal Reviewers, and a Review Cheat Sheet for Workshops.

  • 01/17/19

    Responding to Inappropriate RFEs and NOIDs in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Cases

    In July 2018, USCIS issued a new policy memorandum that limits the circumstances in which it will issue Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). This practice advisory provides an overview of the law governing RFEs and NOIDs, outlines the changes to USCIS policy announced in the July 2018 policy memo, and sets forth a six-step process to follow when responding to requests for additional evidence. The advisory also includes sample arguments to make when responding to common RFE and NOID scenarios in the SIJS context.

  • 01/15/19

    California Immigrant Policy Center: Freedom to Drive

    Four years ago today, thousands of undocumented community members lined up to DMV offices across the state to apply for driver’s licenses. After twenty years of unjust exclusion, the community’s hard work had paid off, and AB 60 was finally in effect.