Monthly Archives - January 2019

The Truth about the Muslim Ban

On January 27, 2017 President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769 otherwise known as the “Muslim Ban.” This ban halts all refugees entering the country from seven Muslim-majority countries which include: Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Iraq and Syria. In doing this, President Trump created one of the most contentious parts of his new policy on immigration. Since then the law has faced a number of legal challenges many of which are still pending. Most recently, the order has been upheld by a 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts. The court has ruled that the travel restriction fell “squarely” within the president’s authority.

The Effects of the Muslim Ban

The ban has caused the number of refugees migrating to the US to virtually come to a standstill which, of course, was the intent of the order. Applicants are indefinitely stalled in the immigration process while they are going through “extreme-vetting” as named by the current administration. The problem is that even immigration officials are hard pressed to define exactly what criteria they are using to “screen” potential entrants. All-in-all, the process has caused a kind of human gridlock to an already complex system. Meanwhile, some Americans here have taken the cue from such policies as has been demonstrated by the rise in hate crimes against the affected minorities.

The Legal Arguments for and Against Executive Order 13769

From the first day it went into affect Executive Order 13769 has been the subject of controversy as opponents and proponents of the order have often clashed in court and in the court of public opinion. The most ardent opponent of the order – the American Civil Liberties Union – opposes the ban on the grounds that it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. This law prohibits the government from preferring one religion over another. The President claims that he has the right to implement this policy under the Nationality Act of 1952. It states that the President can halt the entry of any aliens who would be detrimental to the interest of the United States.muslim ban

Executive Order 13769 as it Stands Today

Back in June of 2018, the court upheld the ban by a margin of 5-4. The ACLU continues to challenge the constitutionality of the ban as do other groups around the country. From the start, the administration has sought to denigrate all Muslims which even President Bush did not do after 9/11. In the New Year the law is likely to face even more vigorous challenges despite a growing conservative court and a President who has no qualms about stoking anti-immigrant sentiments. As an immigration attorney in Van Nuys who fights for immigration rights in Los Angeles, I am naturally part of this fight. I will not relent in my efforts to protect and restore the rights of immigrants where they have been abridged or violated.

Read more...

The 5 Most Anti-Immigrant US Politicians

 

When most people think of the drastic changes that have either occurred or are being considered with regards to immigrants and their families in the US, they think of one person – Donald J. Trump. However, the president’s voice on immigration is simply the shrillest. He is joined by a chorus of politicians who have expressed their disdain for immigrants whether they are here legally or not. Here are a few members of that choir.

  • Steve King: This eight-term Iowa congressman is known for his racist, anti-immigrant rants as well as his attack on other minority groups. He was the progenitor of the “build the wall” movement and has proudly claimed this title. He has even suggested that such a wall be electrified. Finally, he has made comments on Twitter like “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.” Recently, some politicians in his party have even begun to denounce this man who has long been opposed to any and all immigrants.
  • Paul Gosar: This congressman for Arizona once suggested that lawyers who help undocumented immigrants be arrested and face prosecution. His extreme views have even caused some in his own family to denounce him as a racist. Unfortunately, he still holds a seat in the Congress and is unlikely to be defeated soon.
  • Tom McClintock: This Republican has steadfastly defended the administration’s family separation policy. He is the only California lawmaker to actually earn high praise from anti-immigration groups such as Numbers USA. Numbers USA is a group that seeks to reduce both illegal and legal immigration.paul gosar
  • Brian Kemp: This Republican governor from the state of Georgia has deemed himself as a “politically incorrect conservative” who has said that he would like to deport undocumented immigrants personally. His ad for governor was full of bluster (a shotgun) about immigration and “family values.”
  • Ron DeSantis: This current governor of Florida has rallied against sanctuary cities and echoes the president’s stance on immigration. He recently defeated African American Democrat Andrew Gillum for that seat.

Thus, the opposition to immigration runs deep among US politicians. I, attorney Erika Roman, and my fellow immigration attorneys will not let this deter us in our fight to represent immigrants. I vow to stand by my clients and protect the constitution as an immigration attorney in Oxnard.

Read more...

Tips for Choosing a Good Immigration Attorney

With all the laws that have currently changed or been enacted regarding immigration policy, it is even more important than ever to have a good advocate to fight for your rights. Choosing an attorney who is unqualified or is in some other way not able to represent you adequately can mean the difference between being deported and remaining in this country. For this reason, I would like to give you some free tips on how to choose a good immigration attorney.

  • Don’t bargain hunt: It is natural for people to want to save money whenever possible. However, you should not do so at the cost of losing your visa or possibly being detained or deported. Weigh the cost of spending some money upfront with what will be lost if you retain someone who is not experienced enough to represent you adequately.
  • Make sure you’re dealing with an actual, licensed attorney: There are several non-lawyers who may claim to be able to assist you with your immigration problems but only someone who is licensed in this complex area will be able to fully assist you in building the best case possible. Don’t settle for someone who, though well meaning, is only a “Visa Consultant, “paralegal,” “Notario,” or “Petition Preparer.”
  • Research the lawyer: The Internet is an excellent tool for doing research. Use it as you are considering retaining an attorney to represent you. Check out if your attorney has ever been disbarred, arrested or otherwise. Go to sites like the American Bar Association to find an attorney’s qualifications.lawyer
  • Ask about previous cases: Inquire as to whether or not your attorney has handled cases similar to yours in the past. Of course, he/she cannot give you specific information about clients but the attorney should be able to tell you how often she/he has handled cases in your area and he/she should be able to tell you how successful they have been doing so.
  • Be skeptical of unrealistic promises: No lawyer can guarantee you success. Be wary of those who do. An attorney will be able to gauge the strength of your case and advise you on a best course of action but that is far from a guarantee of success. Ultimately, the outcome of your case is up to an immigration judge, the Department of Homeland Defense and/or USCIS

As an immigration attorney in Van Nuys, I urge you to think carefully before selecting me or any other attorney to represent you. Immigration rights in Los Angeles are complex and those who retain the services of an attorney have a lot at stake.

Read more...

Facts about The H-1B Visa Program and Where it Might be Headed

Over the two years of his presidency Donald Trump has either initiated or proposed sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration laws. One proposed change has many in the tech industry more than a little worried. The program that he is considering changing is the H-1B Visa program which allows educated, foreign born professionals to work in “specialty occupations” that require at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. Trump has announced that he is “reviewing” the program. Let’s take a look at the program and some basic facts about it that many Americans may not know.

What is the H-1B Visa?

As we have said, the H-1B Visa allows certain foreigners to say for a short period (3 – 6 years) and work in the employ of an American business. It was created in 1990 and is available for only about 65,000 people with B.S. degrees and an additional 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a master’s degree or doctorate from a U.S. institution of higher learning. As a condition of being granted an H1-B Visa, the employer petitioning the government for this document must swear that hiring said foreign born worker will not adversely affect the jobs of native born Americans. Employers must also inform their native born employees of their intention to hire an H1-B worker.

Facts about the H-1B Visa

  • Since 2001, half of all H-1B Visas have been awarded to Indian nationals who went on to work in the tech industry.
  • Evidence shows that H-1B Visa workers do not drive down wages despite beliefs to the contrary
  • Since 2005, H-1B visas have been capped at 65,000 a year, plus an additional 20,000 visas for foreigners with a graduate degree from a U.S. academic institution.visa
  • More than half of all H-1B visa approvals in fiscal 2013 went to employers in four states. California (17.7%), New Jersey (14.0%), Texas (12.2%) and New York (7.2%)

Proposed Changes

All indications are that the current administration will adopt a zero tolerance policy for even small errors made during the application process. This is in keeping with the president’s attacks on immigrants, asylum seekers and other persons not born in the US. Because of these changes, immigration attorneys are expecting the rejection rate for H-1B Visas to sharply rise in the coming year. As someone who is a skilled immigration attorney in Van Nuys, I will continue to keep abreast of changes in the laws that could affect both documented and undocumented immigrants. Immigration rights in Los Angeles has grown to be particularly challenging over the past two years but my office is up to the challenge.

Read more...