Lee & Garasia, LLC
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  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

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  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

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Edison Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Federal Judge Orders Government To Restore DACA Program | DACA Update

In a previous post, we discussed an important US District Court ruling that held the government's rescission of the DACA program to be unlawful. When the Court issued its ruling on April 24, 2018, it stayed its order to restore DACA for ninety days in order to provide the government with an opportunity to better explain its reasons for terminating the program. Just this month, on August 3, to be exact, the Court reaffirmed its order to fully reinstate DACA. The order is currently on hold for a period of 20 days, which will expire August 23, 2018. Up until that time, the government may seek appeal the Court's ruling and ask for a stay pending the appeal. Obviously, this is a very significant development for "dreamers," individuals who were brought to the US at a young age and have lived the majority of their lives here without blemish. If the Court's order goes into effect, not only will the government have to accept renewal applications-which it is currently doing now, under certain conditions-but it will also have to accept new initial applications. In other words, people who originally qualified for the DACA program but for some reason, never applied and subsequently missed out, may soon have a second chance to apply. While DACA does not confer or graduate into permanent residence, it is one of the few legal safe havens left for those without lawful status, especially now that all forms of humanitarian relief are being gutted. For those who qualify, DACA will at least insulate them from the threat of deportation while also enabling them to work with authorization.

What Kind of Issues/Factors Point to Fraud in a Marriage Interview? | I-130 Questions

A few years ago, an internal USCIS fraud referral sheet was leaked online that provides incredibly useful insight into the adjudicatory process and just what types of factors officers are looking at. While the document appears to have been last updated in 2004, it references fraud "indicators" that are timelessly problematic. While the presence of one or more of these factors does not conclusively establish fraud, they are triggers that will likely expose a couple to heightened scrutiny, which can potentially evolve into a "Stokes Interview," site visit, investigation and possible prosecution. A married couple anticipating filing a case should be alert as to whether any of the following red flags applies to their situation. For I-130 family based petitions, the sheet references the following:

Will Divorce Cause My Case To Be Cancelled? | Effect of Divorce on Immigration Marriage Case

In a family-based context, the I-130 is the foundation of any permanent residence case. Whether a person is applying for adjustment of status domestically or an immigrant visa abroad, there must be an underlying approved petition for family member to support the file. Conversely, if an I-130 is denied, any application that is predicated upon its approval will be denied. So, for example, if USCIS denies an I-130 filed by a US Citizen for a foreign national spouse, the I-485 application will also be denied. What is less known is that an approved I-130 does not always stay approved. In other words, there are circumstances and situations under which a relative petition may be automatically revoked.

New Policy Also Affects Citizenship Applicants And Can Cause Deportation

Those managing to keep abreast of the many unpredictable changes affecting our immigration system are aware of the new USCIS policy regarding the issuance of Notices to Appear. In short, the new policy essentially instructs immigration officers to initiate removal/deportation proceedings against applicants who, upon denial of an application or benefit request, are unlawfully present. This is in addition to targeting individuals suspected of fraud, misrepresentation, or abuse of public benefits. What is not as well known is the memorandum's impact on naturalization N-400 cases.

Government Pushing To Take Away People's US Citizenship | Denaturalization Campaign

Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed a sustained effort by the government to implement President Trump's agenda on immigration. Besides organizing a relentless push to ferret out and detain illegal immigrants, the enforcement branch of DHS appears to be slowly co-opting the benefits division. This is reflected in the two recent USCIS policy memoranda quietly released in July. In addition to this, the thehill.com reported recently that there is now a concerted effort to organize a task force of attorneys to review the cases of naturalized US Citizens who may have lied on their applications and start denaturalization proceedings against them. It is unclear just how many applications will be reviewed but it is possible that nearly 17 million cases approved from 1990 to 2016 may be reverified.

New Immigration Policy Eliminates RFEs | Expect More Case Denials and Application Rejections

Last Friday, USCIS quietly released another policy memorandum that sharply reverses previous agency guidance on the issuance of Requests for Evidence (RFE). Numbered PM-602-0163, the update is yet another demarche in realizing the Administration's "zero tolerance" on immigration-but this time, on the interior front. Under prior practice, USCIS officers were instructed to issue RFEs in situations where applications were deemed deficient or lacked required evidence. Only where there was "no possibility" of approval were adjudicators authorized to summarily deny the application. The new memorandum rescinds this practice in its entirety. Effective September 11, 2018, officers are now vested with full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests received after that date without first issuing a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny. (DACA applications, fortunately, are currently exempt from this new policy due to pending litigation.) According to the memo, the change is not "intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirement." However, given that a sizeable segment of the population attempt to file cases on their own, this is exactly what will happen to those who do not have the benefit of experienced immigration counsel. Not only will defective applications be given short shrift, but costly filing fees may be unrecoverable. This is not even taking into account situations where an adjudicator makes an error and wrongly denies a case. In that event, the applicant's only remedy may be an appeal or motion to reopen/reconsider, a highly technical and expensive process.

New Immigration Policy Poses Deportation Risk For Green Card Applicants

During the July 4th break, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a very important policy change that drastically departs from previous agency guidance issued in 2011. Memo 602-0050.1 is titled "Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens" and supersedes previous policy under which people were placed into immigration court by USCIS. Except in very limited circumstances, the revised guidance will now govern when NTAs should be issued, or individuals referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further action.

Supreme Court Opens Door for Cancellation of Removal for Thousands of Immigrants

On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued an extremely important decision with potentially large-scale ramifications for thousands of people in removal proceedings. In Pereira v. Sessions, the Court held that the stop-rule governing continuous presence for cancellation of removal cases is not triggered by service of a notice to appear that does not specify the time and place at which removal proceedings are to be held.

Criminal Arrest Can Also Affect Work Permits | OPT and STEM

Unlike previous versions, the current version of the I-765 application for work authorization specifically asks about arrests. Under question number 23, which pertains to those who are applying under eligibility categories (c)(35) or (c)(36), the form asks: "have you EVER been arrested for and/or convicted of any crime?" (c)(35) relates to a Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition Facing Compelling Circumstances; and (c)(36) is for Spouses or Unmarried Children of a Principal Beneficiary of an Approved Employment-based Immigrant Petition.

New Jersey DACA and DREAM ACT lawyer | Disqualifying Crimes

Pursuant to pending litigation, the DACA program-once thought expired-is still in operation. USCIS is currently accepting renewal applications, and depending on the outcome of a pending case, may soon start accepting initial applications from those who did not apply for deferred action previously. The benefits of deferred action have been discussed previously, the most notable of which are protection from removal and employment authorization. That being said, not everyone with DACA status will necessarily qualify to renew it. It is not uncommon for those who have been granted DACA to commit acts which will jeopardize their ability to renew. And contrary to popular belief, DWI and criminal felonies are not the only means by which an individual will be denied.

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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