Obama's immigration announcement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Boyle   
Friday, 21 November 2014 12:08


Information on President Obama’s November 2014 announcement

Deferred Action for Families

This is the new program for people who have U.S. children. The program offers work authorization and limited protection from deportation for three years. Travel permission may be available for humanitarian circumstances like visiting a dying relative. The requirements are:

  1. Arrived in the U.S. by January 1, 2010

  2. Children, born before November 20, 2014, who are U.S. citizens or have a green card

  3. Show good moral character by passing a background check and paying taxes

What to do now

The program will not start until May 2015. For now, please:

  1. get copies of your U.S. children’s birth certificates

  2. find at least two pieces of proof showing you have been in the U.S. for every year from 2010-2014

  3. make a list of every address you have lived in and the dates you lived there from the day you arrived in the U.S to now (if you ever left the U.S., we need to know that);

  4. get copies of your federal tax returns;

Additions to DACA

The DACA program has been expanded. Anyone who was under sixteen years old when they arrived in the U.S. and who arrived here prior to January 1, 2010, will be eligible for DACA. There is no longer an upper age limit to qualify. Approvals will be for three years, not two.

What to do now

The changes will not take effect until February 2015. For now, please:

  1. get school transcripts showing your are in school or graduated high school or have a GED

  2. if your school records do not make it clear, find at least two pieces of proof showing you have been in the U.S. for every year from 2010-2014

  3. get government-issued photo ID, if you do not have it yet

  4. if you came with a visa, get your passport and I-94 card

  5. make a list of every address you have lived in and the dates you lived there from the day you arrived in the U.S to now (if you ever left the U.S., we need to know that);

Additions to the provisional waiver program

Spouses and children of green card holders will be eligible to apply for provisional waivers. If your spouse or parents have a green card, contact us for more information.

Positive changes for some students, entrepreneurs, and spouses of Indian and Chinese business green card applicants

We will post more information on these changes soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 11:08
Senate Votes For Immigration Law PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Boyle   
Sunday, 30 June 2013 17:30

On June 27, the US Senate passed an immigration reform bill by the wide margin of 68-32, which is very good news for millions of immigrants and their families. However, any immigration bill will also need to pass the House of Representatives before it can become law. The House has a Republican Party majority, so passing a bill through the House will be a major challenge. Still, there is a good chance that there will be a new immigration law later this year. For now we have to wait and build pressure on the Republicans in the House of Rpresentatives.

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 June 2013 17:52
Ding Dong DOMA’s Dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Boyle   
Saturday, 29 June 2013 10:16

The Supreme Court's Windsor decision overruled Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and opened great, new possibilities for gay and lesbian couples. Same-sex couples will finally have the same rights as heterosexual married couples.

If the noncitizen spouse is in lawful status or is a simple overstay with no special complications, the prospects for the case are now very good. If the noncitizen spouse was lawfully admitted but has been arrested, or has gone out of status and traveled outside the US or used false documents, we can still pursue the case, but may need to file waivers (immigration pardon applications) to overcome the problems. Usually these waivers require proof of extreme hardship to the US citizen spouse. Because of bad Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) case law, this process can be very challenging.

In every case we will need to show evidence that the marriage is bona fide, not simply to get immigration benefits. For Connecticut couples just marrying now, it will be especially important to document your relationship with care, since same-sex married couples have been free to marry in Connecticut for several years. Same-sex marriage issues aside, working with the Hartford USCIS office can be difficult. While many cases go off without a hitch, other meritorious cases need good lawyering, firm pressure (and in rare cases a federal lawsuit) to reach a good conclusion.

Processing a “clean” marriage application in Hartford is normally rapid, about four months from the time of filing. The upper levels of USCIS and the Obama administration are saying very positive things about the Windsor decision, and we hope that the typical four month schedule will hold for new same-sex marriage cases.

If you think you are interested in going forward, email us or call 203 239-2299 and speak to Attorney Boyle or Attorney Barreira, we can review your case quickly, review the charges and likely timing of the case, and email you a list of what we would need to go forward.

We also represent noncitizens who crossed the border. While their situation is more challenging, the Windsor decision and the Obama Administration’s provisional wage program have opened new possibilities for gays and lesbians who crossed the border too.

Good luck!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 17:34
Driver's license law passes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Boyle   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:34

Connecticut's legislature has passed a bill that will allow immigrants without legal status to apply for driver's licenses starting in January 2015. The licenses will say 'for driving only' and will not be valid as identification, and will need to be replaced every three years rather than the usual six. Governor Malloy has said he will sign the bill.

Because the new bill will not come into effect until January 2015, the only steps a noncitizen resident can take are to gather the proof of identity and address that will be needed to get the license.

Someone getting one of these licenses will need two forms of ID. The primary form of ID needs to be either a passport (valid, or expired for less than three years at the time of application) or a consular identification document. If your consulate can issue both a passport and a second ID document, like a photo ID card, you should be in good shape. You will also need some kind of proof of address for the 90 days prior to applying– bills or letters addressed to you at home, a pay stub, or a tax receipt are good examples.

As an additional security measure, the DMV will run a background check to make sure any illegal applicant has never committed a felony in Connecticut. If the background check comes back clear, they will mail your permit to the address you gave them. The permit will let you make an appointment to take the driver's test, at which point the license would be issued.

If you'd like to read more news about this new bill, you can see the Hartford Courant's coverage, or the Connecticut Mirror's article.

The law is being passed to try and ensure that all Connecticut drivers are licensed and qualified, and while the delay before it takes effect is a little frustrating, it's still a step in a the right direction

We all owe tremendous thanks to people and groups like United Action, CONECT and Unidad Latina in Acción, who worked hard for many years to convince the legislature to treat driver’s licenses as a safety and insurance issue rather than an anti-immigrant political issue.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:43
DACA has worked well for our clients PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Boyle   
Sunday, 26 May 2013 14:27

In June 2012, President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows young people of good moral character who came to the United States before they turned 16, are enrolled in school or have graduated from high school or have a GED, who were in the U.S. and under 31 on June 15, 2012, and who have been here at least five years, to receive employment authorization and protection from removal.

The program has been a real success for our clients. We have filed about thirty applications and all but one has been approved. Most were approved in 3-4 months; the slowest took about 7 months. We tried to work closely with clients to make sure they obtained the proof they would need to convince Immigration that they qualified. (The applicant in the one case that has not been approved came to the U.S. via the Mexican border a few months before he turned 16, but has not been able to find good proof of his presence in those early months.)

USCIS has done a good job in processing our cases timely and reasonably. The program has gone more smoothly than we expected and has improved the lives of a lot of young people.


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