Domestic Violence-How to Protect Yourself

When law enforcement, government agencies, and people generally think of domestic abuse an image of a heterosexual couple is immediately cast. It’s traditionally assumed that the abuser is the male partner and the victim is the female partner. The ugly truth is that domestic violence occurs at similar rates among LGBTQ as heterosexual people. According to 2012 Center for American Progress study, one in four same-sex couples have experienced domestic violence– the same for heterosexual females.

First Comes Marriage Equality, Then Comes… Divorce Equality?

Everyone has the right to marry which means everyone also has the right to divorce. The divorce process for same-sex couples is identical to that of a heterosexual couple. And for each family there are different circumstances, causes, and results that lead them to divorce. A divorcing couple falls into to broad categories: divorcing with an agreement or divorcing with a judge order.

The RAISE Act

Or how not to reform immigration laws of the US On February 13th, 2017, two Republican Senators introduced Senate bill 354 – the “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act” or the RAISE Act – to the Senate, which referred it to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. It has not been voted on by the full Congress nor has it been sent to the White House for signing into law. So, nothing that follows is currently the law and anyone who says otherwise is just trying to frighten people. Senate Bill 354 is a proposal of what these two […]

Travel in the Trump Era (July 2017 Update)

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on the preliminary injunction by the US District Court for the District of Maryland against enforcement of both the first Executive Order (“EO-1”) and the second Executive Order (“EO-2”) on May 25th, 2017, and then amended the decision on June 15th, 2017. The Fourth Circuit stated that the main issue in the case was whether the US Constitution “protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” The court found that the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]