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New Canaan refugee and asylum lawyerThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun the enforcement of a new rule for refugees and asylum seekers hoping to gain entry into the United States. The new rule requires that those seeking refugee status in the United States must first seek it in a third country before entering the United States. For example, an individual fleeing Guatemala must seek U.S. asylum in another country such as El Salvador, Mexico, or Honduras. This typically is done through petitioning the U.S. embassy in that country or another American government institution there. The DHS explained that the reason for this new rule is due to the sudden rise of asylum requests on the southern American border, which has caused Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment centers to become overcrowded. The DHS issued this rule as a part of an effort to bring much-needed relief to the system. Additionally, the DHS stated the new standard for asylum seekers is reflective of international laws regarding refugees. 

Why Is the New New Rule Facing Criticism?

Many civil rights groups in the United States disagree with this new ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the department claiming that such a rule is unlawful. Others have suggested that the refugee seeking asylum might be returned to the country from which he or she is fleeing by the government of the country in which he or she is living while waiting for the petition to be processed.

The new rule by the DHS is a part of the White House’s broader policy to reduce the amount of illegal, and legal, immigrants gaining access through the southern border. In the past year, not only have individuals from South and Central American Countries come to the U.S. border claiming asylum, but individuals from India and African countries have done so as well. The supporters of the new rule say that it is a necessary national security measure.

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Stamford, CT immigration visa lawyer

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that increases the per-country cap for family-based immigration visas and employment-based visas. The bill is called the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044), and it is designed to allow more skilled workers into the United States. The bill increases the limit for family-based visas for people from a single country from 7 to 15 percent of all visas issued in a single year, and it eliminates the 7 percent cap on employment-based visas. If passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump, this bill would be a particular boon to the Silicon Valley tech companies, such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, who often look abroad for employees. 

Why Is the Bill Under Scrutiny?

While the bill has widely been lauded as a sound and wise measure to increase the availability of visas for high skilled workers, it has also faced sharp criticism regarding its secretive nature. In most bills that are presented before either chamber of Congress, there is usually time allotted for debate and amendment. However, enough Republicans joined the Democrat-held House in giving the necessary votes for this bill to pass without discussion. Some people have claimed that this was more of a political ploy aimed at embarrassing the current White House administration, which has attempted to limit immigration to the U.S. 

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Stamford, CT deportation defense lawyer

In the course of immigrating to the United States, there is a strong likelihood of interacting with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. For a lot of people, talking with a law enforcement officer can be a stressful and nerve-racking experience. For an immigrant transitioning to life in the U.S., an encounter with an ICE agent can be particularly daunting, and many people may worry about the risks of deportation. If you or a family member ever need to speak to an ICE agent for any reason, there are a few tips to remember to make these interactions go smoothly:

  1. Be Professional and Polite: The men and women of ICE are law enforcement personnel who have to follow set guidelines, the legal code, and a strict code of ethics. Part of this code of ethics is a standard of politeness, so when interacting with ICE, it is essential to be polite as well. Do this by remembering that most of your interactions with an ICE agent will be routine. This means that if an ICE agent approaches you to talk, it most likely is not because he or she suspects you of any wrongdoing. However, if you have a hostile or uncooperative attitude, this may cause the agent to become suspicious. Many misunderstandings can be avoided by simply being polite and kind to the officer.
  2. Do Not Resist or Be Aggressive: If you are approached by an ICE agent or police officer, do not resist him or her, even if you believe that your rights are being violated. If a law enforcement officer requests that you provide documentation, you are required to do so. However, if the agent begins to ask for additional documents or asks you unusual questions, do not be alarmed. Inform the agent that you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you will not answer any further questions without having your attorney present.
  3. Know Your Rights: If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you have most, if not all, of the rights afforded to American citizens, and other immigrants also have rights that should be protected. If you are ever approached by an ICE agent, know that you have the right to remain silent, and you cannot be searched without a reasonable cause. If ICE comes to your home, remember they cannot enter your residence without either your consent or a search warrant. In any situation, you will always have the right to an attorney.

Contact a New Canaan Deportation Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are immigrating to the United States, it can be a long and complex process. Meeting with law enforcement can cause feelings of anxiety, but it is best to remain calm and collected. If you are concerned about the possibility of being detained or deported, or if you believe your rights were violated by ICE, the compassionate Darien immigration lawyer at Gonzalez Law Office, LLC can provide the legal help you need. We will examine the circumstances of your case, work to protect your rights, and help you avoid deportation. Contact us at 203-323-1440. 

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New Canaan immigration lawyer ADP DACA

On June 4, the American Dream and Promise (ADP) Act of 2019, which was put forth by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California), was passed by the House of Representatives. If signed into law, this act would significantly alter U.S. immigration law by providing legal status for immigrants previously given protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, the bill faces several more battles in the Senate before its potential arrival at the Oval Office for its signing.

The Background of the Act

For almost two decades, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This bill was targeted at providing legal status for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who entered the United States as minors. Due to Congress’s failure to provide a fix for this problem, the Obama administration in 2012 created DACA as an executive order to remedy this crisis. Under DACA, any minor having entered the United States since June 2007 before they turned 16, and who lived continuously in the country since then, was given the right to live, study, and work in the U.S. temporarily. However, this action came under intense scrutiny, and many legal experts claimed that the President’s actions were unconstitutional. In 2017, the Trump administration ended registration for the DACA program, and by 2020, the “dreamers’” legal status will expire.

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Stamford immigration attorney asylum

The United States and Mexico have come to an agreement regarding the flux of asylum seekers from South American countries to the United States. Last week, American and Mexican diplomats settled on a deal known as the “Stay-in-Mexico” agreement, which states that migrants who are seeking asylum in the United States will remain in Mexico while awaiting their hearing in U.S. immigration courts. During their stay in Mexico, immigrants will have access to jobs, healthcare, and education. The agreement came about after the United States threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.

The Background of the Deal

Immigration has exploded over the last several months, putting added stress on immigration facilities in the United States. In response, the United States requested that Mexico share the burden and provide facilities on its sovereign soil for the migrants while they await their asylum hearing. Additionally, the United States demanded that Mexico observe international law that required asylum seekers to seek asylum in the first country they enter after leaving the land they were fleeing. Initially, Mexico provided some support, but when the caravans of migrants began to increase, the United States threatened its southern neighbor with tariffs. These tariffs would increase each month if they did not take more drastic measures. Last week, U.S. and Mexican diplomats met in Washington, D.C. where productive talks were held, and a resolution to the tensions was solidified.

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