EXCITING NEWS!! We opened a new office in Hackensack, New Jersey starting April 27, 2018! It is located at 2 University Plaza, Suite 100, Hackensack, NJ 07601. Attorney Mustafa Cetin is in our NJ office full-time. You can reach our NJ office at 201-210-8240.
Empowering Immigration Solutions
In-person, phone, and Skype consultations
Powers Law Group, P.C. is an immigration law firm focused 100% on U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law. Based in Houston, Texas and Hackensack, New Jersey, we represent clients worldwide. Focusing solely on U.S. immigration law empowers us to provide specialized service for all of our clients’ immigration needs.
Ruby L. Powers, the founding immigration attorney, has personal experience navigating the immigration processes and brings this experience and point of view to each client with compassion, honesty, and understanding.
What further sets the Powers Law Group apart from other firms is the level of dedication each client receives, which allows for the attention to detail necessary in immigration law. With technology, we are able to provide personal attention through various means of communication to our clients, regardless of location.
- 1 (713) 589-2085 and (201) 210-8240
- Fax: 1 (713) 589-3101
- Powers Law Group
2 University Plaza, Suite 100
Hackensack, NJ 07601
- Monday-Friday 8:30AM-5:30PM CST
Call us today for a consultation with the attorney in English, Spanish or Turkish.
World Wide Services Powers Law Group provides representation to clients throughout the United States and the world. To learn more, please contact us.
By attorney: Michele Strickland
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a policy memorandum, on Friday July 13, 2018 announcing its new policy to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when the required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility.
This policy is effective September 11, 2018, and applies to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date.
“For too long, our immigration system has been bogged down with frivolous or meritless claims that slow down processing for everyone, including legitimate petitioners. Through this long overdue policy change, USCIS is restoring full discretion to our immigration officers to deny incomplete and ineligible applications and petitions submitted for immigration benefits,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “Doing so will discourage frivolous filings and skeletal applications used to game the system, ensure our resources are not wasted, and ultimately improve our agency’s ability to efficiently and fairly adjudicate requests for immigration benefits in full accordance with our laws.”
Since 2013 USCIS issued RFEs and NOIDs when the evidence submitted at the time of filing did not establish eligibility. The old policy limited denials without RFEs or NOIDs to statutory denials by providing that RFEs should be issued unless there was “no possibility” of approval. USCIS stated that this “no possibility” policy limited the ability of an adjudicator to use his or her discretion.
According to USCIS, the policy announced on Friday restores authority to the adjudicator to use full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage frivolous or incomplete filings used as “placeholder” filings and encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting and submitting required evidence.
If all required initial evidence is not submitted with the benefit request, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence. Examples of filings that may be denied without sending an RFE or NOID include, but are not limited to:
- Waiver applications submitted with little to no supporting evidence; or
- Cases where the regulations, the statute, or form instructions require the submission of an official document or other form of evidence establishing eligibility at the time of filing and there is no such submission. For example, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), if required, was not submitted with an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).
This means that all applications submitted to USCIS after September 11, 2018 must be complete at time of submission. Failure to include all required documentation and evidence will likely result in a denial it is unclear at this time what the appeal process would be like as well. It is extremely important that you seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer before submitting an application to USCIS. Contact our Houston office at (713) 589-2085 or our New Jersey office at (201) 210-8240 to schedule a consultation with any one of our experienced attorneys.
Written by Carlos Gutierrez on July 19, 2018 @ 9:12 am
Filed under: Consular Processing
By attorney: Nadia Khalid
On July 05, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) revealed new policy guidelines regarding Notice to Appear issuances. A Notice to Appear (“NTA”), as defined by USCIS, “is a document given to an alien that instructs them to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date…the issuance of an NTA commences removal proceedings against the alien.” Failure to appear for an NTA can result in automatic removal proceedings, resulting in a 5-year bar from entry to the United States.
In the past, USCIS had to consult with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CPB”) to issue an NTA.
Now, however, under this new guideline, USCIS has authority to issue NTAs without consulting with ICE or CPB for any of the following reasons:
- Denial of an application;
- Denial of an N-400 because of a previous criminal offense;
- Applications involving substantiated fraud or misrepresentation;
- Abuse of public benefits by the applicant;
- Criminal cases with a conviction or pending charge; and/or
- Unlawful presence resulting from the denial of an application or petition.
Because of this new policy guideline, it is imperative that you disclose everything to your legal representative, including past offenses, criminal charges, receiving public benefits, or any past denied immigration applications. It is equally important to understand that if your application is denied for any reason, an automatic NTA may be issued based on unlawful presence resulting from the denial of said application or petition.
If you are interested in learning more about this new policy memorandum or about how it might affect a pending or past immigration application or petition, feel free to contact our office at 713-589-2085 or email us at email@example.com to set up a consultation.
What is Happening – A Humanitarian Crisis (Family Separation/Zero Tolerance)
I know we have been inundated as immigration attorneys with more changes in the last year and a half than most of the Obama Administration but I want to give you an update from what I have seen on the ground regarding family separation. I volunteered at Port Isabel 2 weeks after the AILA Annual Conference(https://tinyurl.com/y7qlax2h/), stayed in touch with those I visited as well as other volunteers, organized efforts, communicated updates with the media, took pro bono case work, sent my associate attorney to volunteer last week, and didn’t unplug during my annual vacation last week because of this. I have been following the crisis on local, state, and national levels in many capabilities and all of them shirking my law firm management duties to serve a greater cause.
As you know, the Admin. charged parents with criminal illegal entry to separate their kids and to label their children as UACs to place in ORR facilities under the “Zero Tolerance” policy (on a large scale level starting May 7, 2018). ACLU’s efforts (see Ms. L. v ICE +) and the public outcry (see E.O. of June 20) have been putting the Administration on notice to act to reverse it but it has been a due process struggle at every juncture as the Administration creates road blocks at each step of the way (see Matter of A.B., etc.)
What I saw was parents who were traumatized, they were lied to when they were separated from their children. They didn’t have the opportunity to speak with their young child until after the June 20 Executive Order, which meant a day or two before or a day or two after their credible fear interview. Would you want to give your whole life story over the phone to a Government that lied to you and ripped your child from you? Many come from countries that they don’t trust in the first place and why do we expect them to tell their secrets, they didn’t even tell their family, their spouse, their children, the a person on the other side of the phone while they are living with the trauma of separation? That is why we need to help them to create a class action lawsuit and give them more opportunities to fight for due process.
Many received negative credible fear interview results. Upon Immigration Judge review, there were often summarily kept with the same decision, often without the IJ even allowing the attorney to speak (Enter Article 1 vs Article 3 court discussion). But for the ACLU’s litigation, many would have been deported without their children by now. Let that sink in.
There were approx. 103 “tender age” separations including one mother I spoke with at Port Isabel detention center(PIDC) who was separated from her 5-month old baby she was breastfeeding.
Approx. 2,551 other minor children were separated and spread around the country. This last group must be reunited by the Ms. L v Ice deadline given by Judge Sabraw of Thursday, July 26. Many of us who have seen the inner workings don’t believe this deadline will be met but progress has been expedited in the last few days.
Starting Friday, July 13th, 9 children were reunited with parents at PIDC and then later more parents were reunited. They were reunited after 30-60 days of separation, placed in a shelter for a day or two and then on their way. Oh, and given master calendar hearings in Harlingen for a month after their departure of detention even though they plan to relocated around the country. This is not specific to Port Isabel, I am hearing reports from other facilities like Arizona, etc. I am afraid the Administration is setting many up for failure hoping the reunified parents and traumatized families will miss their deadlines and be deported in absentia.
Things are changes every minute. We are experiencing a tsunami with various points of collateral damage at each step of the way. Non-profits and organizations have not been able to keep up. Think travel ban 1.0 at the airports or for us in Houston, Harvey, and then take it to the next level because our Government knew they were traumatizing children, gutting asylum law, and creating chaos simultaneously without a plan to fix it. They were invoking trauma on children in the name of deterrence of asylum-seekers but all the while dodging asylum law obligations and general human rights mores.
Call to Action
- Take a pro bono case or two – these people need our help and they need it soon: I think the Admin wants them to get in absentia orders so let’s not let that happen. I know of grassroots efforts collecting information of the parents being reunited and I too have information of parents, if you want a lead on a case, I can help. (Ruby@rubypowerslaw.com)
- Encourage your friends to donate to groups doing the best good, help in other non-legal ways and volunteer on a short-term basis:
- Immigrant Families Together – https://www.facebook.com/ImmigrantFamiliesTogether/
- Lawyer Moms of America –
- ACLU – https://www.aclu.org/
- Raices – https://www.raicestexas.org/
- Kids In Need of Defense – https://supportkind.org/
- Grassroots Leadership – https://grassrootsleadership.org/
- ABA Pro Bar – https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_services/immigration/projects_initiatives/south_texas_pro_bono_asylum_representation_project_probar.html
- American Gateways – http://www.americangateways.org/pro-bono-attorney-volunteers/
- Texas Civil Rights Project – https://texascivilrightsproject.org/
- Let’s remind our US citizen friends and clients to register to vote and to actually vote. Put instructions on how to register and upcoming elections in your lobby and your social media. Bring it up in consultations.
- Be the voice for those who are not being heard –
- Advocacy tools and Op-ed templates: https://www.aila.org/advo-media/tools
- Speak to the media and journalists – give immigrants a voice and explain the situation as a subject matter expert.
Let’s do this!
Ruby L. Powers
Board Certified Immigration Attorney, Powers Law Group, P.C.
July 19, 2018
Avukat: Nadia Khalid
Son birkaç ay içinde, iltica süreci, bir sığınmacının davasının güvenilirliğini ve / veya başarısını etkileyen faktörleri değiştiren sert değişiklikler ve yeni politika direktifleri yaşamıştır. İltica görüşmeleri sırasında farkettiğimiz faktörlerden biri, alternatif vize statüsünden iltica talebinde bulunulmasına geçişin etkisidir. Örneğin, sona ermiş bir E-2 (yatırımcı vizesi) ‘den iltica başvurusu yapmaya geçiş.
Genel olarak, iltica başvuruları, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri’ne giriş tarihinden itibaren bir yıl içinde yapılmalıdır. Ancak, bazı durumlarda, “olağanüstü şartlar” iltica başvurusunda bulunanlara, bir yıl geçtikten sonra da başvuru yapma imkanı verir. “Olağanüstü şartlardan” biri alternatif vize statüsüdür. Ancak, alternatif bir vize statüsüne sahip olmak, başvuranın kendi takdirine bağlı olarak sığınma başvurusunda bulunmasına izin vermemektedir. Sığınma başvurusu, alternatif vize statüsünde olunsa bile, aşağıdakilere göre makul bir süre içinde yapılmalıdır: alternatif vize durumunun elde edildiği tarih; Ülkenizde iltica yapmanıza neden olan olayın gerçekleştiği tarih; iltica başvurusunda bulunduğunuz tarih; ve alternatif vize statünüzün süresinin dolduğu tarih. Bu nedenle asıl soru, mantıklı olan nasıl olur? Tecrübelerimize göre iltica memurları, ülkenizde iltica talebinde bulunmanızı sebep olan olayın ne zaman gerçekleştiğine ilişkin zaman çizelgesine ve alternatif vize statüsüne sahip olsanız bile, ABD’ye giriş yaptıktan sonra makul olmayan bir süre sonrasında sığınma başvurusu yapıp yapmadığınıza odaklanmaya başlamışlardır.
Bazı kişilerin iltica başvurusunu alternatif vize statüsü gibi basit gördükleri gözardı edilmemelidir. Sığınma başvurularının büyük akışı dikkate alındığında, başvuranın sığınma talebini kanıtlamak için daha fazla inceleme yapılmıştır. Geçmişteki zulüm ve / veya gelecekteki zulüm korkusunun olup olmadığı, özellikle bir başvuru sahibinin alternatif vize statüsüyle gelmesi durumunda aşırı bir incelemeye tabi tutulmaktadır.
Bu incelemenin nedeni, zaman zaman makul sebeplerdendir. İltica bürosundaki memurlar,kişilerin kendi ülkelerinde çeşitli zulüm biçimlerinden kaçıp, iltica ile sunulan korumayı almak için değil, ülkede yasal statü sağlamak amacıyla iltica başvurusunda bulunduklarını görmektedirler.
Alternatif vize statüsünde ya da süresi dolmuş vize statüsünde iken sığınma talebinde bulunanlara tavsiyemiz şu şekildedir: bir iltica başvurusu yapmadan önce bir sığınma talebinin esaslarını araştırın ve anlayın. Sadece yasal statü elde etmek için iltica başvurusu yapmak iki tarafı keskin bir kılıçtır. Geçici olarak yasal statü elde edebilmekle birlikte, iltica mülakatları ve kararları her zamankinden daha hızlı bir şekilde sonuçlanmaktadır. Bir sonraki ay iltica talebinde bulunursanız, yüksek olaslıkla birkaç ay içinde mülakata çağrılabilir ve iddianızın gücüne dayanarak ya iltica onayı alabilir ya da mahkemeye yönlendirilirsiniz. Mahkeme süresi boyunca , aktif olarak sınırdışı edilme sürecindesinizdir. Ve mahkeme süreci, nihai karara itiraz etme seçeneği ile 2-4 yıl sürse de, bu karmaşık ve uzun sürece, iltica başvurusunu geçmiş ve gelecekteki zulümden kurtulmak için değil, sadece yasal statü almak için yaparak girmenin gereği yoktur.
Herhangi bir sorunuz varsa veya iltica talebinde bulunmayı düşünüyorsanız, lütfen 713-589-2085 numaralı telefondan bizi arayın ya da firstname.lastname@example.org adresinden bize e-posta gönderin. Şu anda bulunduğunuz veya elde etmeyi umduğunuz vize durumunuz için en iyi çözümü belirlemenize yardımcı olmayı umuyoruz.
By attorney: Nadia Khalid
In the past few months, the asylum-seeking process has experienced harsh changes and new policy directives which have changed the factors affecting the credibility and/or provability of an asylum seeker’s case. One of the factors we have noticed while attending asylum interviews is the effect of switching from an alternate visa status to having asylum pending. For instance, switching from an E-2 that has expired to filing for asylum.
Generally, applicants for asylum must file for asylum within one year of entry to the United States. However, in some cases, asylum applicants have “extraordinary circumstances” which allow them to file for asylum past one year of entry. One of the “extraordinary circumstances” is alternative visa status. However, simply having an alternative visa status does not allow an applicant to file for asylum at their discretion. Filing for asylum, even while holding an alternative visa status, must be done in a reasonable amount of time in relation to: the date the alternative visa status is obtained; the date when the precipitating event in your home country occurs; the date when you apply for asylum; and the date when your alternative visa status expires.
Hence, the real question is what constitutes reasonability? In our experience, officers begun to focus on the timeline of when the precipitating factor occurred in your home country that made you seek asylum, and if you took an unreasonable amount of time after entry to the US to apply for asylum even though you have an alternative visa status.
This is important to consider as some people have come to view asylum as simply an alternative visa status. Given the large influx of asylum applications, there has been increased scrutiny to prove an applicant’s asylum claim. Whether there is past persecution and/or fear of future persecution is now weighed with extreme scrutiny especially when an applicant comes with an alternative visa status.
The reason for this scrutiny is, at times, reasonable. Officers see applications where asylum is filed for the sake of procuring legal status in the country, and not because they seek the protection offered by asylum to people who are fleeing their home country from various forms of persecution.
Our advice to those seeking asylum while on an alternative visa status or with an expired visa status is this: research and understand the components of an asylum claim before filing an asylum application. Filing for asylum for the sake of obtaining legal status alone is a double edged sword. While you may be able to obtain legal status temporarily, asylum interviews and decisions are being issued at a much faster pace than ever before. If you file for asylum in the next month, there is a strong likelihood you will be issued an interview within a few months and based on the strength of your claim, you will either be recommended approval or referred to court. Once you are in court, you are in active removal proceedings. And while the court process can take 2-4 years with an option to appeal the final decision, it is still a very long and involved process to have to undergo if asylum was filed in the first place just for the sake of legal status and not for the sake of protection from persecution, past and/or future.
If you have any questions or are thinking about filing for asylum, please call our office at 713-589-2085 or email us at email@example.com. We hope to help you determine the best solution for whatever visa status you are currently on or hoping to obtain.
Written by Carlos Gutierrez on July 2, 2018 @ 10:45 am
Filed under: Immigration Law