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San Antonio Immigration Law Blog

What is a request for evidence, and what does it mean for my visa?

Your employer filed a petition for your H-1B visa months ago. The wait to find out whether you’ll be accepted can feel like an eternity. This pivotal decision could be a defining moment in your career.

At long last, you finally receive word from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But instead of the anticipated acceptance letter, it’s something you hadn’t expected: a Request for Evidence (RFE).

Can you get unemployment pay as an immigrant?

The current health crisis has left people around the country in unforeseen, dire straits. Many have lost their jobs and are suddenly struggling to pay rent and put food on the table without a source of income.

With so many Americans already living paycheck to paycheck, unemployment insurance has become a lifeline to keep many in this country afloat during this difficult time. But what if you are an immigrant worker? Do you also have access to unemployment benefits if you lose your job?

International students could lose their visas for attending online classes

Last week, international students across the United States received some alarming news. The White House issued a rule that would prevent such students from residing in the U.S. if they did not take at least one class in person.

Amidst the growing health crisis in this country, many colleges and universities are moving towards an online learning model – in an effort to prevent college campuses from becoming coronavirus clusters. The new rule is at odds with the pandemic response of many colleges – and puts the future of thousands of international students in question.

What acts can taint my good moral character?

If you are taking steps to become a U.S. citizen, you may have been considering this change for some time. The process of becoming a citizen or undertaking any immigration path can be lengthy and uncertain. After the unprecedented events that recently resulted in the closings of many businesses and offices, you may be even more anxious about the success of your naturalization.

You may already know that any immigration process generally requires you to complete an in-depth application, participate in an interview, and submit fingerprints and other items for investigation into your background. If this background check reveals anything that may reflect poorly on your moral character, your bid for citizenship may be in jeopardy. Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services clarified the protocol for determining an applicant's good moral character.

What are family immigration quotas?

After immigrating to the United States, it is natural for you to want to reunite with those you love. Yet based on what you know about the immigration process, the prospect of that actually happening may seem daunting.

Fortunately, this is a scenario where federal law is seemingly on your side. One of the stated purposes of U.S. immigration policy is to reunite families. For this reason, family immigration quotas exist to assist in the process.

Children to be released from family detention centers, per court order

As health concerns rise amidst the pandemic, so have the infection rates in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. There are currently approximately 2,500 confirmed infections among immigrant detainees across the country.

There are three ICE-run family detention centers in the U.S. – two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania. The spread of the virus through these facilities in recent weeks has become alarming. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee criticized the current administration for its “half measures” towards virus prevention in immigrant detention centers. Judge Gee issued an order to protect detained children from exposure.

SCOTUS rules that Dreamers are safe – at least for now

In 2017, the current administration attempted to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allowed so-called “Dreamers” – young immigrants who had entered the country illegally as children – to stay in the country legally through renewable, two-year visas.

The move to end DACA was met with lawsuits from different state governments and civil rights groups. In November of last year, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) – whose job it was to determine once and for all whether the actions of the White House followed the necessary procedural requirements outlined under the law. For the last seven months, Dreamers have been anxiously waiting for the Court to determine their fate.

Immigrant rights and risks in a peaceful protest

The murder of George Floyd has sparked protests around the country. People in every state in the U.S. are marching in the streets and demanding an end to racial injustice.

You may be interested in joining the movement too. But as an immigrant, are your rights the same as American citizens’? Do you face any additional risks by participating in peaceful protest? Here are some things you should know.

How to silently exercise your rights to law enforcement

Being an immigrant in the U.S. has become increasingly difficult in recent years. You may worry that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could show up at your home or your work. Or you could worry about the implications a simple traffic violation could have on your immigration status.

As an immigrant, it's important to know your rights and have a plan in place - in case you find yourself confronted by law enforcement. The first thing to understand is your right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any law enforcement officer's questions. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to avoid talking to law enforcement at all without your lawyer present.

Securing green cards for cherished family members

Your family makes you whole and is more than important to you. It has been at least a year since you have seen your wife, children and parents. Reuniting with them has been your goal ever since you became a legal permanent resident of the United States.

Now, you want to secure green cards for them, too, in order for them to become legal permanent residents like yourself. It will not be easy and promises to be a time-consuming endeavor. But you have time. You waited this long for matters to fall into place. Waiting has not been easy, but you must in any immigration law-related matter.

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