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Carlos Batara - Immigration Attorney

A New ICE Age: 10 Points Of Prosecutorial Discretion Hope

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention

ice-discretion-for-immigrants

To prosecute, or not to prosecute – that is the question.

Soon after the Department of Homeland Security announced a new memorandum on prosecutorial discretion, the telephone calls started.

“Is it true,” the caller wanted to know, “the government is no longer going to try to deport immigrants without documents and I’ll be able to get a work permit?”

He heard this information from an immigration “expert” talking on the radio. He wanted to confirm the details.

As happens so, so often with immigration, potential applicants for benefits do not grasp the full details of “new” programs and policies.

This leaves them vulnerable not only to unsympathetic government officers they may encounter, but also to deceptive immigrant advocates hoping to take advantage of their naiveté.

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

– Posted in: Permanent Residence And Green Cards

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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.

How Changes To U Visa Bona Fide Determination Policies Will Help Immigrant Victims Of Crime

– Posted in: Immigration Agencies 101

expedited-u-visa-work-permits

In a long overdue policy shift designed to help victims of certain types of crimes, the Biden Administration has announced a new process, known as Bona Fide Determinations (BFD) for U Visa applicants.

These procedures will enable the government to speed up the issuance of  temporary work permit applications and grants of deferred action for immigrants who seek protection from perpetuators of domestic abuse.

The program was created by Congress to strengthen the law enforcement community’s ability to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes, while also offering protection to victims.

Supreme Court Rules TPS Grant Is Not A Legal Admission For Permanent Residence. What’s Next?

– Posted in: Temporary Protected Status

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Defeat in law, especially immigration law, should be taken with a grain of salt. It is not uncommon for policies and principles to change over time.

“When one door closes”, Alexander Graham Bell once noted, “another often opens.”

He could have been talking about the Temporary Protected Status program.

On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the eligibility of TPS beneficiaries to seek adjustment of their status to permanent residence without leaving the United States.

Is their hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident now gone forever?

A Tribute To My Father: An Immigrant Success Story

– Posted in: Reflections And Ruminations

frank-batara-my-father-my-hero

He never went home.

He left his native county at the age of 20 to find work. Born in an impoverished area of a poor country, he left home to earn money which he could send back to his mother and eight siblings.

He ventured through, and stayed briefly at, a few countries, eventually reaching the United States.

For the next 25 years, he crisscrossed California, Arizona, and Utah, moving from crop to crop before settling in San Diego where he worked as a dishwasher at one of the city’s most prestigious restaurants.

Haiti Temporary Protected Status Extended To November 2022

– Posted in: Temporary Protected Status

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On May 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status for 18 months.  This designation will enable Haitians who were on TPS to continue living and working legally in the United States, until November 2022.

The program has been on its death bed since the Trump Administration announced its plan to terminate Haiti’s TPS status in January 2018.  Various lawsuits managed to keep the alive, pending the outcome of those cases.

After an exhausting up-and-down legal battle, the extension provides Haitians with the chance to once again breathe a sign of relief.

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

– Posted in: Permanent Residence And Green Cards

special-immigrant-visas-afghan-iraqi-interpreters

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.

Polygamy vs Bigamy: A Battle Over Cultural And Religious Imperalism

– Posted in: Family Immigration

polygamy-vs-bigamy

Immigration law has many quirky rules.

In some cases, this is because laws and customs in other countries do not match up with laws and customs in the United States.

Take polygamy.

Long condemned in the U.S., polygamy has been practiced in over 81% of societies across the world.

As a result, husbands and wives lawfully wedded abroad are often left behind when they seek permanent resident status.