Filing for Asylum Protection from New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan)

I wrote about this recently but I did want to add to this blog due to the heavy talk about Immigration Reform. You may have heard many rumors regarding President Trump’s immigration plans. You may have heard that he plans to get rid of “Chain Immigration”. I’m not sure if it is exactly clear what he means by this. One thing that hasnt yet been addressed by him in detail is the asylum application process. I have many clients filing for asylum from various countries such, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, and various African countries such as Nigeria. These individuals fear returning to their home countries due to past or future persecution. Often times clients will ask me how they could prove these claims. I tell them their sworn credible testimony (at times) can be enough proof. However, ordinarily other evidence is available that they may not be educated about. That is way, clients should seek the advice of an experienced Immigration Asylum Lawyer from New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan) particularly if they live within the jurisdiction.


Importance of Having a Lawyer (Attorney) Represent You in Immigration Court in New York City

Do I need a lawyer (attorney) to represent me in Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza NYC? This is a question I hear all too often. Well, let’s put it this way . . . Does it make sense to go to a doctor when you feel sick or suffered an injury. I think the analogy makes sense. Being placed in removal/deportation proceedings through service of a Notice to Appear commanding that you appear in Immigration Court at 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY is a setback, but it may also be a blessing in disguise. There are certain applications that can be filed only with an Immigration Judge. So, the short answer is you would likely be a fool if you don’t hire an immigration attorney to represent you. The laws, codes, regulations and policies continue to change almost daily. Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer attorney is worth the investment.


Asylum Filing in New York from Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Long Island Nassau, Suffolk

President Trump’s speech at the State of the Union Address hinted at certain immigration agenda and new policies, including DACA and TPS. What about asylum? Many people have been calling and asking whether there a danger that asylum will no longer be available? This has not been at the forefront of discussion. What has taken place however is that the Department Justice has all but warned Immigration Judges about high approval rates, etc. Asylum is available to those who fear returning to their home country . The United States should always remain a safe haven for people who fear returning to their home country. Applying for asylum (if eligible) may not only save you from deportation but can also lead you on a path to permanent residency.


IMMIGRATION COURT DEFENSE IN NYC (MANHATTAN 26 FEDERAL PLAZA)

The Trump Administration through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has stepped up its immigration enforcement of individuals without status, those that may have violated their status and or those with certain criminal records DHS (ICE) may decide to detain such individuals in immigration holding facilities, such as the Essex County Jail, the Bergen County Jail or Hudson County jail all located in New Jersey. If this happens to a loved one, do not lose all hope. There may be various forms of relief available to such individuals. You may be able to seek release on Immigration Bond (Bail), as well as attempting to have an Immigration Judge grant approval of an application for relief. Immigration laws, regulations and procedures are very complex and ever changing and policy driven. You should seek the advice of an experienced Immigration lawyer.


DACA RENEWALS

As of January 13, 2018, USCIS will be accepting requests to renew expired DACA applications. Only applicants who’s DACA was previously approved and expired on or after September 5, 2016 may now renew their DACA application with USCIS. Since DACA has been rescinded on September 5, 2017, USCIS is no longer accepting requests from any applicants who were not previously approved deferred action under DACA. Individuals that are eligible should not waste any time because this may again change.


Temporary Protected Status El Salvador

As you may have heard, the Trump administration has decided to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador.  What does ending temporary protected status TPS mean for people from El Salvador?  Can you be deported since TPS has ended for El Salvador?  That is a real possibility.  What can you do if you are from El Salvador?  There are certain options that may be available to protect yourself depending on your individual situation.  It is very important that you contact an experienced immigration lawyer immediately before Immigration (ICE) (DHS) decides to remove or deport people.  There may be a way to stop your deportation or removal back to El Salvador even when after the end of TPS for El Salvador


What To Expect During Your Asylum Interview in NY

So, you filed for asylum and now want to know that the next steps are and what to expect.

After filing your case, you should receive a receipt notice followed by an appointment for biometrics (fingerprints, etc.).  After that, it is just a matter of waiting for your turn to be called in for an interview.  If you live within New York City, your asylum interview will be scheduled in Bethpage (Long Island) New York.

Once you appear at the USCIS (Immigration Office) located at 1065 Stewart Avenue, Bethpage NY 11714, you will go through security and then check in with the front desk.  Ordinarily, you cannot check in until all parties are present. For example, the applicant, a translator/interpreter and your lawyer.  The front desk will provide you with a ticket number and you will wait until your number is called.  The first call usually will have to do with capturing your biometrics once again.  Thereafter, you will wait to be called by an immigration asylum officer.

Once you are called in for the interview, you will be taken to an individual office and given some instructions and disclosures.  You will be sworn in to tell the truth and you will be informed that all information provided will be confidential.  The officer will also go through the information contained in your asylum application that you filed.  Thereafter, the asylum officer will conduct the interview.  The format will usually vary from officer to officer.  Naturally, you should make sure you know the details of your case, especially as it is written on the application, affidavit/declaration, etc.

After the interview, you will be asked to return 14 days later to pick up the decision, which usually will be either an approval or a referral to the Immigration Court.

Of course, I simplified this entire process.  There is no substitute for representation by an experience immigration lawyer who can hold your hand through this process and inform you of potential evidence that you can provide to strengthen your case.


Finding an Immigration Lawyer in Brooklyn, NY

What is the best  way to find a lawyer/attorney to represent you with your immigration case???

Great question . . . . The answer is usually not as easy as it may seem, as it may be somewhat time consuming.

The selection of a lawyer can often make the difference with how your case turns out.    I often ask myself a similar question when it comes to researching the services of a professional.  I can tell you that most people (myself included) often used the internet as a starting point.  Thereafter, it’s usually a wise idea to then look for reviews online pertaining to the services.  However, you may want to keep an open mind when perusing through these reviews.  You should be on the lookout for positive reviews of course.  However, I am skeptical about any product or service where there are nothing but positive reviews (100 % five star reviews for example and not a single disappointed customer/client) .   One begins to wonder about whether these reviews are made up.  In fact, the NY Attorney General has even sued certain business for having posted fake reviews and/or reviews that were bought.  Some critique in reviews is actually comforting.   Let’s put it this way  . . . .  Perhaps as much as you love your iPhone and think that it is a impeccable product, there are likely many  (perhaps Android lovers) that would disagree with you.  That doesnt mean that one is right and the other is wrong.  However, one should evaluate a service or product based on the totality of the factors and then weigh such factors with your individual need.  Keep an objective mind.  Naturally, if there are 100 reviews with 95% positive reviews and 5% that may be disappointed, I would likely pick that over 50 reviews which are all positive.

After narrowing your search, you should then schedule an appointment to see the lawyer and discuss the details of your case through a consultation.  Some lawyers may charge for a consultation.  My office does not charge for consultations just because some people may not even qualify for any benefits.  Naturally, these can be over the phone and at times, an in-person consultation is necessary.      

My opinion is that one should only make a decision after meeting with the lawyer and his support staff.  Make no mistake about it, one should also get a feel for the support staff as many communications will likely be through the lawyer’s support staff.  The support staff of a law firm is a very important factor to consider.


Criminal Record Causing Immigration Issue

Although you may have resolved a criminal matter many years ago, this does not mean that it will not come back to bite you down the road when it comes to immigration enforcement (unless you are a U.S. citizen of course).

I have clients that have criminal convictions from decades ago that come to learn that immigration is only now enforcing such immigration consequences of criminal convictions.  As a result, these clients are being placed in removal (deportation) proceedings (immigration court).  Can you imagine that the government is now trying to remove these good people (who simply made a mistake) from the U.S.  We are not talking about hard core criminals.  We are talking about a good citizen who a brush or two with the law.

The discovery of the criminal conviction usually occurs during a trip outside the U.S. and then the reentry into the U.S. , during the process of a naturalization application or renewal of a green card since both require biometrics (fingerprints) to be processed.

The best option for individuals who are currently dealing with a criminal case is to have an immigration attorney work hand in hand with the criminal attorney.  If you previously went through criminal proceedings, then before you file any additional paperwork with immigration (whether naturalization or renewal of a green card), consult an attorney regardless of how minimal you think the criminal conviction is.  All too often clients seem to think immigration law draws a clear distinction between felonies and misdemeanors.  This is just not true.  If you value living in the U.S., then make the right decision and investment and consult an attorney before you go any further.


Green Card Through Marriage But Divorcing

So, you married your sweetheart but the marriage did not work out.  What can you do?  Can you still get your green card?

The answer is  . . . it depends.

If your spouse has been abusive toward you, you can continue the process on your own and without your spouse being involved in the process.   This abuse can take many forms, including physical, mental and emotional.

How do you prove that?  Do you have to have a police report, etc….?

The answer  is no.  Police reports are useful but not required.  This abusive behavior can be proven through many other ways.  In some case that our office has filed, we did not have any dispositive documentary evidence but we were able to show that the applicant did in fact suffer abuse (even solely mental and emotional) through reliable detailed sworn statements.

Also, remember that this application is confidential and the information is not disclosed to your spouse.

However, you must act fast!!!!  Time is not on your side.  So, if the marriage is failing due to the abusive behavior of  your spouse, then act quickly and speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  Do not let the opportunity pass you.