Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

Will The U.S. Honor Its Permanent Residence Promises To Iraqi And Afghan Interpreters?

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A few weeks ago, President Biden signed an executive order mandating a comprehensive review of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) programs for Afghan and Iraqi translators.

The announcement was overdue.

After risking their lives to help the United States, many loyal interpreters have been left stranded in an visa processing limbo and remain stuck in increasingly vulnerable living situations.

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What You Need To Know About Remarriages And Green Cards

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All that is gold does not glitter. Not even wedding rings, especially from second spouses.

Because marriages are one of the easier paths to winning permanent residence, they invite close immigration scrutiny.

An immigrant’s second marriage prompts extra caution.  Besides assessing the authenticity of the current union, government officers probe the first marriage and divorce for indicators of marriage fraud.

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What Every Immigrant Needs To Know About Hostile Divorce Cases

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For immigrants, a divorce is not always the worst aspect of divorces. In many instances, a divorce has no impact on immigration status.

On the other hand, navigating the issues of family court proceedings is often like tip-toeing through a field of landmines. One misstep and permanent residency or citizenship dreams are shattered. [continue reading…]

A Jamaican Immigration Story Of Family Unity Persistence

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The road to permanent residence for Jamaican immigrants in the United States can take two decades to complete. Even for parents who have earned naturalization status,  the process requires navigating a family unity visa system with a long and growing backlog. Such waits are not uncommon for immigrants from Jamaica. This article shares the story of one mother and daughter who survived the ordeal. It also calls for fixing the green card system now in place.

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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…]

Green Card Applicants Beware: The Danger Of USCIS Social Media Rules

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It’s your choice.

You can engage in social media discussions responsibly.

Or you can share whatever images of yourself that you fancy.

Just be aware others are paying attention.

Some may be immigration officers. [continue reading…]

ICE Cold Heart: The Danger Of Love Under The Visa Waiver Program

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Love happens.

More often than not, love happens unexpectedly.

For immigrants who have entered the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, love can lead to deportation – and a ten year to permanent separation from their spouse and children.

Despite years of battling this issue as a green card attorney, I’m still saddened every time government agents fail to grasp love and marriage deserve a second look before family ties are destroyed and immigrants are blindly sent back to their country of origin.

Policy makers, it seems, should grasp that love can happen, instantly, and innocently, even for tourists.
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What Is The Cuban Adjustment Act?

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The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) of 1966 is one of our most unique immigration programs helping immigrants earn green cards and win permanent resident status.

Like many immigration programs, the Cuban Adjustment Act was created in response to our political policies.  Back in 1966, the U.S. was furious at the Cuban government.  As a result, the Cuban Adjustment Act was passed to help Cubans fleeing their country due to political dissension. [continue reading…]

The Impact Of Deportation On Lawful Permanent Residents And Their Families

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For immigrants, the day they become lawful permanent residents is one of the happiest moments of their lives.

For some, the day they lose their green card holder status is one of their worst.

When immigrants win permanent residency, a future with great promise lies ahead.

The ability to live, work, and go to school legally in the United States opens many opportunities for the new green card holders and their family members.

Yet, even while my clients are celebrating, as their immigration lawyer, I have to remind them that these privileges are not absolute. [continue reading…]

The STEP Act: Misguided Pursuit Of The Iranian Bogeyman

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Mahmoud and Minoo were my best friends during my days at the University of Southern California.

They taught me about Persian culture, traditions, and history. I explained American football and why Trojans and Bruins were bitter rivals.

This type of international camaraderie could be nearing an end.

If South Carolina Congressman J. Gresham Barrett’s recent legislative proposal is passed, Iranians will not be allowed to attend U.S. colleges any more. [continue reading…]