DISCLAIMER: Comments posted on this blog are NOT legal advice. Please seek counsel for your legal questions.

Our administration appears hellbent on making sure some version of the travel ban is in place. Unfortunately, with the Supreme Court's ruling on Monday, that time is now here.

Here's what the ban does: it allows the Department of Homeland Security to deny permanent and temporary visas - and thus entries - to the U.S. for individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, as well as North Korea, and a small set of Venezuelan government officials. It would not affect green card holders, or people who had visas at the time of the Executive Order (September 24, 2017).

There is a waiver available, however, which Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will consider on a case-by-case basis. If the person trying to enter the U.S. can show (i)...

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The results are in!

In 2017, 43% of companies on the Fortune 500 were founded by immigrants or their children - a total of 216 out of 500 companies. Within just the top 25, it's over 50%.

Read more to find out about the research behind the numbers:


In another unsurprising move by our beleaguered Attorney General, a memo was released earlier this week outlining future goals for the Immigration Court system known as EOIR:


First, notice how this Administration - rather than using its resources to compile data and create a bottom-up solution to the problem of backlogged courts - issues a top-down directive in the form of a memo, again treating this country and its policies like a corporation.

But the real problem is the text of the memo. There are 2 glaring problems.

(1) The memorandum calls for a quota system to be used by judges, which the memo refers to as "performance measures." Justice and a blanket policy of deciding c...

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This morning, on Monday November 20, 2017, the Santa Cruz Police Department is announcing changes in its policy regarding the grant of U-Visa requests.

U-Visas are available to undocumented victims of crime who suffer as a result of being victimized and cooperate with police in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. In the past, many police departments have struggled from lack of internal policies that were consistent with the law and fair to victims. Santa Cruz PD is one department committed to fixing the mistakes of the past.

For the Santa Cruz Sentinel piece on today's program launch, please see: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/general-news/20171118/santa-cruz-police-address-problems-with-immigrant-u-visa-requests

In it, our ...

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In another unsurprising move from this administration, the acting secretary of DHS recently announced the end of the TPS program for Nicaragua, which will terminate after one year. In addition, the DHS will revisit in 6 months the question of whether to end TPS from Honduras. For now, it seems TPS from other countries, such as El Salvador, will continue.

See the announcement here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/11/06/acting-secretary-elaine-duke-announcement-temporary-protected-status-nicaragua-and

If you have TPS and are worried about your future status in this country, contact our office for a consultation now. You may be eligible to adjust your status through a relative and stay in the U.S. permanently!

In yet another move to uphold a cantankerous campaign promise, the current administration has announced that the Department of Homeland Security will screen the social media of all immigrants entering the United States.

As required by law, the DHS has announced the policy publicly, here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/18/2017-19365/privacy-act-of-1974-system-of-records

Here's what you need to know:

  • The order takes effect October 18, 2017 - the date the administration's third travel ban is set to take effect.
  • It will collect - for the first time - "social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results" on an involuntary basis
  • It includes not just the entering immigrants, but the legal guardian of all disabled immigrants, as well as the immigration-appointed doctors who conduct medical exams
  • It also targets law enforcement agencies who certify U-Visas, who can now be questioned regarding applicants
  • green card holder and even naturalized citizens are also subject to this data collection, although the administration is unclear on the details regarding these immigrants
  • Keep in mind: these orders have been subject to numerous legal challenges and may be blocked by the courts, so check back for any updates!

Ultimately, we have another attempt by this administration to target immigration. Let's be clear: this is not about border security or national security. The immigrants subject to this new data collection have already undergone stringent background checks, fingerprint data collection, and interviews with law enforcement or immi...

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This year, the Ninth Circuit has made numerous decisions valuable to immigrants - including leading the stand against the current administration's Travel/Muslim ban. Perhaps one of the more unnoticed decisions was Ramirez v. Brown, a case which allows TPS holders to adjust status in the United States if they qualify for all the other requirements for a green card.

A bit of brief background to orient you about TPS and the green card process: with some exceptions, immigration law generally allows individuals who entered the U.S. lawfully upon inspection to apply for a green card in the United States. Anyone who enters without inspection generally has to leave the U.S. to obtain a green card, which can create all sorts of problems - anything...

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In another sad decision by the current administration, today the acting head of DHS has announced an end to DACA in 6 months unless new legislation is enacted. DACA is an Obama-era program that gave young immigrants work authorization and legal protection from deportation.

Specifically, September 5, 2017 will be the last day to submit initial DACA applications. DHS also announced that October 5, 2017 will be the last day to submit DACA renewal applications. Any applications submitted past these days will not be received by immigration services. Anybody whose DACA is currently pending will have their applications processed normally.

We recommend applying to renew DACA for all those whose benefits will expire between today September 5, 2017 ...

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Trump today issued his list of priorities for deportation. They include any person who has been convicted of "any" criminal offense, charged with "any" criminal offense, or committed "any" criminal act. Is he serious? Littering? Jaywalking? Driving without a license? What he really means is that anybody who comes in contact with law enforcement is a priority. In other parts of his plan he announced today he instructs the federal government to try to deputize local law enforcement to become immigration officers. This will lead to distrust with local communities and law enforcement.

The main thing is that criminal defenders must preserve client's eligibility to fight their case in immigration court. Immigration law is very technical....

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Are you a noncitizen in Santa Clara County? Do you have a conviction which puts you in danger of deportation or prevents you from getting a green card? Do you have a conviction which prevents you from naturalizing? Or, are you a permanent resident and are afraid to travel outside the country because of a conviction?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, call my office for a consultation. We have special experience in Santa Clara County Post-Conviction Relief for noncitizens. There are special procedures and policies in place. We can let you know if you have a reasonable chance of obtaining post-conviction relief.

The process is simple. First you consult with us about the case. We do a thorough intake. We also gather all the co...

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