Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
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Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
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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

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "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

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

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New Immigration Laws Archives

New Bill To Allow Illegal and Undocumented Aliens To Apply for New Jersey Driver Licenses

Driver licenses for undocumented immigrants in New Jersey has always languished in the New Jersey legislature, but with a new Governor receptive to the idea, there are some new bills that appear to be gaining traction. Ironically, the impetus is New Jersey's need to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. Currently, New Jersey driver licenses do not conform; and if not addressed by October 10, 2019, residents may soon find themselves unable to board planes or enter federal facilities, since federal officials will only accept REAL ID compliant documents. Information about REAL ID can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

NJ State Police May Not Inquire Into Immigration Status

On November 29, 2018, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal drew a proverbial line in the sand by issuing a new directive that clearly demarcates criminal law enforcement from federal civil law compliance. Under Directive 2018-6, which supersedes Attorney General Ann Milgram's obsolescent 2007 directive, law enforcement is essentially instructed to limit cooperation with federal authorities unless such assistance furthers state criminal law enforcement. As the Attorney General makes clear: "New Jersey's law enforcement officers protect the public by investigating state criminal law offenses and enforcing state criminal laws. They are not responsible for enforcing civil immigration violations except in narrowly defined circumstances. Such responsibilities instead fall to the federal government and those operating under its authority." As such, the directive sets forth important new parameters under which law enforcement may or may not interact with the Department of Homeland Security when dealing with foreign nationals in New Jersey.

Denied U Visa Applicants and Battered Spouses May Be Placed Into Immigration Court

Earlier last month, we wrote about USCIS implementing the new Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum released on June 28 of this year. According to a bulletin released late last week, the second phase of expansion is scheduled to take place November 19, 2018. On and after this date, USCIS will begin applying the new policy to the following types of applications upon denial:

Section 8 Housing, SNAP, and Medicare Part D May Disqualify Immigrants for Green Card

On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security promulgated new rules regarding the public charge ground of inadmissibility that may have a tremendous impact on immigrants who have accepted public benefits. Under our immigration law, most applicants for permanent residence must demonstrate that they will not become a "public charge"-that is, someone who is likely to become "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense." If the proposed rule is finalized without any alterations, the final rule will reach beyond cash assistance and long-term care to include health, nutrition, and housing programs as well. Some programs implicated include:

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.

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.

Transferring to New School Will Cancel OPT Work Permit | F-1 Student Alert

Last week, we alerted our readers about a forthcoming USCIS policy change for foreign students. Under the new guidelines, scheduled to take effect August 9, 2018, unlawful presence will begin to accrue immediately under a series of triggering events. For more information on the unlawful presence bar and the new policy, please click here.

How Does Trump's Presidency Affect Illegal Immigrants in New Jersey and Elsewhere?

Now that we know who the next President will be, the immigrant community's attention has turned largely to what will happen in President-elect Trump's first 100 days in office. There is a lot of widespread fear and apprehension, and understandably so, but whether one's worst fears will come to materialize has yet to be seen. From what he has already indicated, there are certain segments of the immigrant community that may be in imminent jeopardy. One prominent aspect of President-elect Trump's platform was to repeal or cancel all of President Obama's Executive Actions on immigration. As a result, "Dreamers"--in particular, those who applied for and have deferred action under the "DACA" program-may soon lose their protection and work authorization. Some wonder whether this means that renewals will not be entertained, or worse, that those who already have DACA protection will immediately lose it.

New Changes to Provisional Waiver Rule Allows More People to Apply

Late last week, USCIS published a final rule incorporating proposed changes from July of last year to the I-601A process. Many of proposed changes are now final and will become effective August 29, 2016. Of the many changes, the most significant are that the class of eligible applicants has been opened up to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the unlawful presence waiver, not just immediate relatives of US Citizens. This means that immigrants in other preference based categories-family and employment-may now potentially apply for the I601A. Secondly, up until now, the provisional waiver was limited to immediate relatives who could demonstrate extreme hardship to a US Citizen spouse or parent. Under the new rule, extreme hardship may now be shown to a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse or parent. Another change worth noting is that USCIS will no longer deny I-601A applications based on a "reason to believe" that the applicant may be inadmissible on other grounds, although, of course, it retains the right to deny cases as a matter of discretion. There are also some important technical changes pertaining to individuals with final orders of removal, exclusion, or deportation. How these changes will play out practically remains to be seen once implementation starts. Nevertheless, given the current state of immigration affairs and dwindling hope of immigration reform, these measures may open up alternative avenues of relief to thousands of immigrants currently in limbo due to the unlawful presence bar.  

DAPA and Expanded DACA Still on Hold Due To Supreme Court Ruling

With the Supreme Court deadlocked over United States v. Texas, the lower appeals court ruling upholding an injunction against DAPA and Expanded DACA remains in place. The decision, unfortunately, effectively stymies any progress on immigration for the duration of the Obama administration, leaving millions of undocumented aliens frustrated and disappointed. While the ruling is disheartening, it is important to place it within its proper context. Especially for those affected by it, it is important to understand what the decision means and does not mean.

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
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