Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

Renewing The Battle For The Reuniting Families Act

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For several years, fixing our immigration system has been a hot political topic.

Building a border wall has been at the forefront of most Congressional proposals.  Several  representatives tout it as the primary cure for an overflow of immigrants trying to enter our country without legal documents.

This approach is short-sighted.

It negects the main component necessary for constructive immigration reform. [continue reading…]

How To Understand Visa Preference Categories: Green Cards From Abroad

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Sponsoring family members to live in the U.S. has been a central tenet of immigration law for over 50 years.

Contrary to chain migration rhetoric, immigration rules do not facilitate expedited passage of unlimited numbers of distant relatives through America’s ports of entry.

Rather, family-based applicants from abroad experience a slow and tedious process.

Over 28% of immigrants granted green cards from abroad last year had been waiting 10 years or longer for their interviews. [continue reading…]

The Painful Plight Of Satellite Babies: Family Separation And Reunification

Asian American Female Satellite Baby

Like many immigrants who visit my office, Danny had run into problems when he tried to enter the United States.

It wasn’t the lack of entry documents.

It wasn’t due to an expired visa.

It wasn’t the result of a criminal history.

Rather, it was the lack of his ability to speak English fluently. [continue reading…]

International Adoptions: Another Crack In The U.S. Family Unity System

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I recently read a news article updating and sharing yet another sad tale of how small quirks of fate can lead to disastrous immigration consequences.

As a naturalization lawyer, I know the separation of immigrants from their U.S. citizen family members and removal to a country they don’t remember is not uncommon in immigration law.

It’s a dismal aspect of our nation’s immigration policies.

Despite the obvious pain and suffering for mixed status families trapped in these situations, Congress has not shown any sense of urgency to address immigration reform.

[continue reading…]

Filipino Family Reunification: A Battle To Restore A 75-Year Old Promise

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A friend in need is a friend indeed. But it’s what happens after the need subsides that the real quality of friendship is determined.

Take the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP) implemented by the Obama Administration on June 8, 2016.

The new program, noted UCSIS Director Leon Rodriguez, “honors the thousands of Filipinos who bravely enlisted to fight for the United States during World War II.”

The commentary both overstated and understated the reality. [continue reading…]

Trapped In The Politics Of The 1960s: Immigrant Relative Visas

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It started at the grill.

Trapped In The 1960s: Immigrant Relative Visas

Like every summer.

I, along with a few friends, sponsor an annual day-long neighborly celebration. A community-wide barbeque. (I’m the master chef. It’s my Bobby Flay imitation.) [continue reading…]

Lessons From 1965: Why Skills-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

Politics is a game of unintended consequences.

One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act.

Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual.

Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress. [continue reading…]

Deferred Action For Immigrant Families Derailed?

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When one is caught up in the details of day-to-day skirmishes, it is not uncommon to lose sight of the greater battle being waged.

After bathing in the warm glow of political delusion, following the president’s announcement last fall that he was setting the stage for immigrants to come out from the shadows, many advocates act astonished by the recent news that his executive orders are likely to be derailed by a federal court ruling.

In reality, this development is no surprise. [continue reading…]

A Brief Look At Proposed Changes To The Family Visas System Under S.744

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If and when reform legislation is passed, many aspects of immigration law will undergo major transformation.

None will change more dramatically than the family-based immigration system for aspiring permanent residents. [continue reading…]

Down The Green Card Rabbit Hole: A Journey To The Back Of The Line

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Despite Congressional smiles when cameras are turned on, a meeting of political minds on the contours of immigration reform may not take place anytime soon.

In the meantime, most elected officials agree on at least one issue. Immigrants who seek lawful status must “get in the back of the line”.

Unfortunately, colorful political rhetoric often does not reflect legal realities.

And it’s not a solution. [continue reading…]