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The Law and You

Legal Advice

Friday, July 21, 2017

Removal Proceedings in the US

Removal proceedings (also called “hearings”) in the US are conducted by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”), Office of Immigration Court (“IC”). An immigration judge is an employee of EOIR and, generally, is a lawyer who has experience in immigration law prior to becoming a judge. Immigration Courts preside over cases within their geographical jurisdiction, i.e., the Baltimore IC handles all cases for persons who live within the State of Maryland; the Newark IC handles all cases for persons who live within the State of New Jersey, etc. If a person decides to move to a location outside of the geographical jurisdiction of the IC handling their case, the case is sent to the IC which does have jurisdiction. This is called a “change of venue” and can be done by a motion to the IC asking for the change from either the person in removal proceedings or by the Office of Chief Counsel.

Rather than calling themselves single, some folks would say they’re in a long-term relationship with action, adventure, and fun! After all, the single life has much to offer. Those of us who are unattached may enjoy a greater sense of freedom, and the chance to sleep uninterrupted by the drone of snoring or the kick of restless legs.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Employment and Immigration Law

There are many ways to get legal permission to work in the U.S. – proof of that permission is an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD” or work permit), which Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) issues. The EAD is issued once CIS approves an application (Form I-765) for the EAD, which must have a basis other than “I want to work in the U.S.” The EAD has a picture of the person, his or her name, date of birth, A-number (the case number assigned by DHS to that person), and the dates of issuance and expiration. It also contains the section of the law under which the person was found eligible to be issued an EAD. Because of this information contained on the EAD, this card is usable as a photo ID for travel purposes within the U.S., as well as entry into government buildings.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Seeking Asylum in the U.S.A.

Asylum is a form of relief from removal that is granted if a person is able to prove that he or she will be harmed on return to their native country. The applicant must file the application (Form I-589) within one year of their entry into the U.S., whether they enter legally or not. The person must prove that they belong to one or more of several groups facing harm, on the basis of political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group or religion. The individual must prove that he or she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution.. Asylum is an evolving area of immigration law and an application that may not have been granted a few years ago may, in fact, be approved now.

Usually, the philosophy of the law in the U.S. is that a person is innocent until proven guilty of any violation of the law. When it comes to marriage to an undocumented person already in the U.S., however, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) has a presumption of fraud until the parties to the marriage have proven that their marriage is not solely for the purpose of obtaining lawful permanent residence – the “green card.” There is a heightened perception that natives of Nigeria and Ghana are more likely than not to engage in marriage fraud and those marriages are examined under a microscope for any indications that the marriage is not bona fide. The reason for such perception can be found by looking at the number of marriage fraud rings that are currently serving time in a federal jail for arranging marriages between citizens of the U.S. and Nigerians or Ghanaians. The citizens are paid to go through the process, not understanding that they could face criminal charges and serve time in prison themselves if the fraud is discovered.

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