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Special Immigration Programs – Humanitarian, Abuse Protection, Country Specific

DO YOU QUALIFY FOR A GREEN CARD
THROUGH A SPECIAL PROGRAM?

We Can Help Open Doors For Your Success . . .
Many Immigrants Don’t Even Know Exist

Every year, we help immigrants qualify for benefits under special programs.

Some of these programs, like asylum or NACARA, allow our clients to move directly to permanent resident status.

Others, such as temporary protected status, offer only short-term benefits.

A temporary visa, however, can often protect you from deportation, allow you to work legally in the U.S, and become a springboard to earning green cards for you and your family.

Even if you’re never heard of certain programs, at the offices of Immmigration Lawyer Carlos Batara, we’re ready to evaluate your eligibility.

And more than that, we’re ready to guide you through any program which benefits you and your family.

HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION PROGRAMS

  • Asylum
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

ABUSE PROTECTION PROGRAMS

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Temporary Visas For Trafficking Victims

COUNTRY SPECIFIC PROGRAMS

  • NACARA
  • Cuban Adjustment Act
  • Visas For Iraqi Employees

OTHER PERMANENT RESIDENT PROGRAMS

  • Registry
  • Diversity Lottery

Often these types of immigration programs can be used for your defense against deportation and removal.

At many Immigration Court hearings, deportation trials, and immigration appeals, the main issue becomes whether you meet the qualifications for one of these special programs.

The stakes are high.  You win, you earn a green card.  You lose, you face deportation.
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HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION PROGRAMS

For some immigrants, leaving their country is a life or death situation. Some immigration programs offer assistance to these individuals.

Asylum

To qualify for asylum, clients must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Examples of such social groups include women subjected to female genital mutilation and people with the HIV virus.

Tawfik escaped Lebanon shortly after Israel disbanded its buffer zone and stopped supporting the buffer zone’s peace-keeping force. As militant groups started capturing, torturing, and killing former peace-keeping employees, Tawfik fled for his safety.

At the U.S. – Canadian border, Tawfik tried to claim a French identity using documents he obtained when he was a French college student. He came to the U.S. instead of going back to France because he feared the militants could find him there. He was arrested and placed in removal proceedings.

When we meet with Tawfik at our San Diego immigration lawyer office, we explain few asylum cases are successful. To show legitimate fear of persecution, he would need to provide evidence of membership in the peace-keeping force and the deliberate torturing of former peace-keeping employees.

Temporary Protected Status

TPS allows immigrants from countries in turmoil to live and work temporarily in the United States. The turmoil may be due to a huge national disaster, a major civil war, or other severe conditions. When the home country’s conditions improve, the right to stay in the U.S. ends.

Currently, only immigrants from El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen qualify for Temporary Protected Status benefits.

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ABUSE PROTECTION PROGRAMS

Since immigrants are easy targets for criminals, some programs have been designed to protect victims of abuse and cruelty.

Violence Against Women Act

Sometimes U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents take advantage of their status and abuse their immigrant spouse and children. The abusers withhold petitions to immigrate their family members. If we can prove the history of extreme cruelty, under the Violence Against Women Act, clients will be allowed to obtain permanent resident status on their own, without the abuser’s consent.

Claudia’s father, a lawful permanent resident, physically and verbally abused her mother and older siblings.

Claudia had observed the abuse since she was a small child. Her anxiety attracted the attention of school officials. They placed her in special counseling programs. She hid the family abuse.

Richard never filed papers to help his family become legal residents. Since they lacked immigration documents, Richard knew they were afraid to seek help from the police. They saw no way out of the abuse.

Just before Claudia graduated from high school, her father deserted the family. A few months later, Claudia was apprehended by immigration officials and threatened with removal from the  U. S.  Seeking deportation defense, Claudia contacted our Riverside immigration lawyer office.

Claudia asked us if there was any way she could remain in the United States, where she had lived for 18 years. We explained she might be eligible for immigration benefits under the Violence Against Women Act. To win her case, she would have to overcome her reluctance to talk about her experiences. She would need to work closely with us to present strong evidence of Richard’s extreme abuse and cruelty.

U and T Visas For Trafficking Victims

Trafficking is the use of coercion, deception, or force for the purpose of placing men, women, or children in slavery or slavery-like conditions. An estimated 14,500 to 17,5000 persons are trafficked into the U.S. each year. About 70% of the victims are women, 50% are children. For such immigrant victims of trafficking, the government has created special “U” and  “T” visas.

Dora, age 17, was born and raised in a poor village in Honduras.She fell in love with Julio.

Julio convinced Dora to travel to the United States, live with his relatives, and earn money until he could join her. Once they were together in the U.S., he told her, they would get married.

Julio’s relatives helped smuggle Dora into the U.S. They subjected her to frequent beatings. She was forced to work as a prostitute.

One evening she was arrested. Because she did not have proper immigration documents, she was sent to Immigration Court to be deported. Knowing the truth about Julio, Dora feared going home where she would have no protection.

After consulting with our San Bernardino immigration attorney office, Dora was surprised to learn she might be able to remain in the United States until things cooled down. We explained she might qualify for a special temporary visa. She would have to provide the government with credible evidence about her story of abuse.

 

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COUNTRY SPECIFIC PROGRAMS

From time to time programs are created to benefit immigrants from specific countries due to political, social, or economic reasons.

NACARA

Generally, there are two parts to NACARA. The first part is for immigrants from Nicaragua and Cuba. The second part pertains to immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador, as well as to immigrants from former Soviet Union bloc countries: Russia, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

Cuban Adjustment Act

Under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, immigrants from Cuba apply for permanent resident status if they have been present in the United States for “one year and one day,” if they have been admitted or paroled by the U.S. government.  Nearly all Cubans are allowed admission or parole if they reach the shores of the U.S. and they express fear of returning to Cuba.

Visas For Iraqi And Afghan Employees And Translators

In July 2008, the United States government implemented a new program to help Iraqi employees of the U.S. obtain visas and U.S. citizenship. To qualify, Iraqi immigrants have to prove they worked on behalf of the U.S. for at least one year and face threats due to their assistance to the United States.

In the following year, a similar program was approved by Congress for Afghan immigrants who assisted the U.S. government and military abroad during certain periods of hostilities.

However, only a small percentage of visas approved by Congress have been actually issued under the Iraqi and Afghan Translators And Interpreters Program to date.

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OTHER PERMANENT RESIDENT PROGRAMS

Because immigration law is tied to international events, various programs emerge over time to meet special concerns of the U.S. government.

Registry

Immigrants who have lived in the United States since 1972 may qualify for permanent resident benefits. It does not matter how you arrived – whether you crossed the border from Canada or Mexico without proper documents or you entered on a tourist visa and decided to remain here.

You must prove that you have been a person of good moral character for the entire period. In many cases, a harder challenge is proving you have lived in the United States continuously since 1972. Typically, you need to provide housing, employment, income tax, vehicle registration, driver license, medical, and school records.

The best news is that when you are granted permanent residence under registry, your green card is backdated to January 1, 1972. This allows you to immediately apply to naturalization and become a U.S. citizen.

Diversity Lottery

To qualify as a diversity immigrant, you must have been born in a country with a low rate of immigration to the United States. Each year, 55,000 visas are made available by the Diversity Lottery Program. The program randomly selects from among the applicants those who can apply to get a green card.

Since no ties to relatives in the U.S. are required, the program is intended to allow a more diverse group of people to qualify for permanent residence. The time frame to apply and submit your paperwork is very short, so clients need to get ready in advance. If selected, you will be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.

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