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Carlos Batara - Immigration Attorney

Is The Utah Compact The Beginning Of An Immigration Reform Solution?

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Immigration Reform

utah-immigration-compact-balancing-act

Can a middle ground be found for immigration reform?

On the surface, the art of diplomacy seems permanently lost in Congress. Compromise appears impossible.

Far too many immigration opponents have adopted a rigid law and order stance against undocumented immigrants.  They refuse to negotiate on any issues remotely related to comprehensive immigration reform. In their view, the southwest borders must be locked down in order to stop the hijacking of America.

Immigrant advocates, on the other hand, assert that piecemeal solutions are measures too distasteful for rational consideration. Immigrants arriving at the border, regardless of the strength or weakness of their asylum claims, must be granted full access to immigration courts and constitutional protections.

A New ICE Age: 10 Points Of Prosecutorial Discretion Hope

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Deportation And Detention

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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: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Permanent Residence

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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 Law, Policy & Politics | Immigration Agencies 101

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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: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | 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?

Haiti Temporary Protected Status Extended To August 2024

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Temporary Protected Status

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On Dec. 5, 2022, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension of Haiti for TPS for 18 months, from Feb. 4, 2023, through Aug. 3, 2024.  This will enable Haitians who were had TPS status earlier to continue living and working legally in the United States for the duration of the designated period.

By virtue of the re-designation, Haitian immigrants who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 will be allowed to apply for TPS benefits for the first time during the new registration period.

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 temporary sign of relief.

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

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Permanent Residence

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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.

Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Program

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Immigrants In The United States

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On December 20, 2019, immigrant advocates celebrated the birth of the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program.

In their view, the precarious nature of laws which had kept Liberians in the United States had come to an end.  Seven months later, Liberian immigrants began to worry about the program’s termination.

On December 30, 2020, shortly before a new year was ushered in, the program was extended to December 20, 2021.