Author - erikaadmin

Fact about Immigrants and Public Benefits

The Trump administration unveiled a new rule this month that could deny visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people because they may at some point apply for public benefits. To support this move, Trump and his supporters have propagated the idea that immigrants are burdensome to public assistance programs. Here are some facts concerning immigrants and public assistance.

Fact: Immigrants actually use fewer public benefits.

This is primarily because many are ineligible to receive them. Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for welfare except in extreme cases where a person’s health is involved. Moreover, even legal immigrants cannot receive welfare for their first five years of residency.

Fact: Most immigrants are driven here by the desire to work not to receive public assistance:

More often than not immigrants are motivated to come to this country due to lack of economic opportunities in their own countries. The rest are usually fleeing from persecution – sometimes even the threat of death – the drug war, etc.

Fact: Both documented and undocumented immigrants pay more into public benefit programs than they take out.

Undocumented immigrants contribute an estimated $11.74 billion to state and local economies each year. This means that undocumented immigrants often contribute more to public assistance programs than they get from them. Moreover, their tax dollars often go to support program for which they are sometimes ineligible.

Fact: Undocumented immigrants are ineligible federal public benefit programs with few exceptions:

Mostly undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive federal benefits. However, they may be eligible for a handful of benefits that are necessary to protect their lives and safety in dire situations such as emergency Medicaid, access to emergency rooms etc. In these cases, denying immigrants from receiving benefits could not only put them at risk, it could also endanger the health and welfare of the general public.

Fact: Immigrants are nearly 50 percent less likely to receive Social Security benefits than native-born American adults.money

The net effect of this is that immigrants put much less of a strain on the Social Security system than native born citizens and indeed help support it.

In short, this effort to penalize immigrants’ use of public assistance is predicated on misconceptions about immigrants and public assistance. It is a part of this administration’s overall efforts to curtail both legal and illegal immigration to this country. Part of my responsibilities as an immigration attorney in Oxnard is to push back against this kind of misinformation. The other part is to protect the rights of every human regardless of their legal status. As an immigration attorney in Van Nuys, I can assure you that these policies will continue to be challenged by me and my colleagues.

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What Health Risks Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose?

For many decades now people who are opposed to immigration have raised concerns about the diseases that immigrants may carry into the country. However, dangerous viruses and bacteria are uninterested in whether a person is native born or not. Infectious diseases don’t care whether someone has crossed the border illegally or that person has gone through the prescribed steps to become a citizen of the US. Yes, aided by nativists and people who are simply uninformed, the myth that undocumented alien will make the US susceptible to some nationwide outbreak of TB or some other diseases continues. With this post I will try to show why this idea has little to no merit. 

Things to know about the Health of Refugees and Migrants

Conservative commentators and even the President have tried to associate disease with immigrants as closely as they have tried to connect them with crime. As an immigration attorney in Ventura County, I feel that it my duty to push back at some the untruths that have been spread by the President and other. Some facts about the health of immigration are:

  1. Immigrants who do make it t the US are screened vigorously for diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, etc. The individuals must undergo a physical examination including chest X-rays, blood samples, etc.
  2. Migrants and refugees are likely to be healthy in general. When migrants have fallen ill it has often come about as a result of the conditions in which they are confined. For example, there has been much concern about sanitary conditions at detention centers in the US. As most people know, diseases can quickly form and spread in conditions like these.
  3. In 2007, 47.6 percent of immigrants and their U.S.-born children were either uninsured or on Medicaid compared to 25 percent of natives and their children
  4. Studies show that international migrants are less likely than people in their host countries to die of heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and other ills.

Solutions

In addition to educating the public about immigration and health issues, we should try to make health systems refugee and migrant-friendly. (Immigrants are often afraid to access publicly available healthcare for fear that they may be turned over to ICE.) We should try to make sure that undocumented immigrants have access to health insurance and that healthcare professionals are informed about issues related to this growing population. This may actually reduce the few health risks immigrant do pose. Additionally, we have to make sure that the detention centers that have become a blight on our nation are more humane and sanitary. I am attorney Erika Roman and I will always work on behalf of all who wish to share in the American dream.

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The Pushback against Sanctuary Cities

One of the most contested issues to have arisen from the Trump administration’s immigration policies is that of “sanctuary cities.” Trump and his supporters have targeted these places that offer support and some semblance of security to migrants who face deportation at the hands of ICE. They have targeted these cities – which includes Los Angeles, CA, Arapahoe County, CO, Hartford, Connecticut, Iowa City, Iowa, Clay County, Florida and too many others to list here – with various legal actions many of which have failed. However, there are many actions that are still underway to eliminate these bastions of hope. Here are states that have pushed back against sanctuary cities.

  • Florida: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, signed a bill into law earlier this month banning sanctuary cities. The law compels law enforcement and other city officials to cooperate with immigration officials who are seeking to apprehend and deport migrants.
  • Arkansas: In April of this year, Governor Asa Hutchinson – a former Department of Homeland Security official – signed a bill that allows law enforcement officers to stop people and question them about their immigration status.
  • Mississippi: Mississippi is currently not a state that contains sanctuary cities and lawmakers there wish to keep it that way. (The states that are currently include California, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont.) Yet, it passed a law back in 2017 that preemptively bans them from that state. The law restricts city officials “from creating, planning, implementing, assisting, participating in, or enabling a sanctuary policy.”
  • Missouri: Back in 2008 the show-me state passed a law that cut off funding for sanctuary cities. One of the bill’s authors is former Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party Kris Korbach who it has been revealed may have aligned himself with White Supremacists groups.
  • Other states: According to the National Conference of State legislatures, as least 21 other states are flirting with laws that would ban or defund sanctuary cities.

Legal Challenges

Of course, the administration has tried on several occasions to destroy sanctuary cities either by defunding law enforcement in these cities as it sought to do in City and County of San Francisco v. Jefferson B. Sessions III and other cases. (The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California squashed the Administration’s efforts to place immigration related conditions on grants meant for law enforcement there.)

Ultimately, the pushback against sanctuary cities will continue across the nation and so will efforts by attorneys and other people to bring justice and hope to migrants. As an immigration attorney in Ventura County, I can assure you that the challenges to sanctuary cities will not go unanswered by the men and women of my profession. If you are seeking a compassionate and experienced immigration attorney in Oxnard look no further.

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Costs Involved in Becoming a US Citizen

Lately, we have all heard about the price that some people pay in blood, sweat and tears to become US citizens. Daily, some people even pay the ultimate price – their lives. However, there is also a financial cost involved in becoming or in attempting to become a US citizen. This cost can be rather expensive and even prohibitive to some without the guidance of an immigration attorney in Ventura County. Here is a look at the major steps and the accompanying costs of becoming a US citizen.

  • Attorney Fees ($1,500 to $2,000): Obviously, attorney’s fees vary greatly depending on the experience and location of the attorney. If you do hire an attorney and the price seems to be prohibitive know that many attorneys are willing to work out a fee payment schedule to fit your means. Also, know that an attorney may end up saving you in the long run by informing you of your options if you cannot afford certain fees.
  • Government Filing Fees ($725): This varies too depending on the type of form you are filing. For example, “Petition for Alien Relative” currently cost of $535. An “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status” costs $1,140. And I–90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card cost $365. An “I–526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” – the most expensive form to file – cost $1,500, etc. For a full filing fee schedule you can go to the USCIS website.
  • Document preparation, translations, etc… ($100 to $400): There are also usually miscellaneous fees involved in becoming a US citizen. For example you have to provide copies of certain documents and translations where applicable.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

Not everyone pays the same amount for these fees. There are special exceptions and circumstances that can lower or eliminate some of these costs. For example, you can apply for certain fee reductions and waivers if you have limited means. This is why it is essential that you contact an attorney who specializes in immigration rights in Los Angeles. By attempting to go it on your own you risk being denied citizenship and you also risk losing a great deal of money. Moreover, immigration is becoming more difficult even when people are well prepared and go about it by following all the rules. My firm keeps track of all changes in the current immigration laws.

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Where the Major Presidential Candidates Stand on Immigration

“Immigration has always been a strength in this country.” Kirsten Gillibrand ~ Sen-NY

Whoever becomes President in 2020 will face many challenges when it comes to the issue of immigration. The left, right and center have all agreed that the system as it exists is in need of reform but there is no consensus on what reform is needed and how those changes will be implemented. But where do the major Democratic candidates stand – and there are more than 20 of them – on the issue of immigration? Here is a brief look at where some of the major candidates stand on this thorny issue.

  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: Sanders’ views on immigration are relatively progressive as you might imagine. He supports DACA and a path to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing within the United States. In the Senate, Sanders voted against defunding sanctuary cities and has called family separation at the border “heartless and cruel.”
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris: Harris, a former DA, has expressed support for DACA but has been criticized by some in her own party for saying that “ICE should exist.”
  • New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand has in the past voted to increase funding for ICE but has recently called for abolishing it. She is also a DACA supporter.
  • Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro: Castro – a second generation immigrant – supports a path to citizenship for law-abiding, undocumented immigrants, is against Trump’s border wall and regularly criticizes the President’s immigration policies. However, he does not support abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker: Booker supports the DREAM Act and has said that the UN has a moral obligation to aid Syrian refugees.
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke: O’Rourke opposes a US-Mexican border wall and has even called for the existing border fence in El Paso to come down.
  • California Rep. Eric Swalwell: Swalwell has repeatedly stated his support for DACA and vehemently opposes family separation.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden: The former Vice President is a mixed bag on immigration. On one hand he has supported the Violence Against Women Act. On the other hand, he voted twice for extra fencing to go along the US border with Mexico.
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Warren supports DACA, supports the abolishing of ICE and voted against Trump’s efforts to defund sanctuary cities.

Yes, whoever becomes the next President of the United State, he/she will face the challenges posed by immigration including problems that that the current President created himself. Whoever he/she may be as an immigration attorney in Van Nuys I will continue to fight for the rights of all people in the US regardless of their legal status. I am also an immigration attorney in Oxnard who will talk with you for free during an initial consultation.

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Decrease Processing Times for N-400 and I-485

See the Full Article Here:

https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-aims-decrease-processing-times-n-400-and-i-485

USCIS Aims to Decrease Processing Times for N-400 and I-485

USCIS will implement a national strategy to decrease differences in processing times based on location for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Since the end of 2015, we have experienced an increase in processing times due to higher than expected volumes…(Click Here Read the Full Article)

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The President’s on Again off Again Flirtation with Mass Deportation

Last week President Trump announced that he would authorize ICE to conduct massive deportation raids that would target as many as 2,000 families across the US. Many of the targets of this latest attack on immigrants reside in 10 US cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. As we have pointed out before on this blog, the current administration makes no distinction between immigrants and asylum seekers whose return to their native countries could put their lives in peril. This action is further proof of that fact. For example, asylum seekers from countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador say that they are here to escape deadly groups such as MS-13 who have targeted these refugees. The President made this announcement last week but now appears to be walking back his threat – a bit. On June 22, the President tweeted that he would delay the planned mass deportations for two weeks to give legislators time to discuss border solutions.

Cities in Defiance

However, just as attorneys such as me have taken a stand against the current administration’s immigration policies, so too have Mayors, officials of certain cities and even police departments. For example, the mayor of Chicago -Lori Lightfoot – has openly defied Trump’s deportation threat. She has stated that neither she, nor the Chicago Police Department will cooperate with ICE. (Illinois is one of the nation’s seven sanctuary states along with along with California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont.) Denver’s Mayor Michael B. Hancock tweeted on June 21st, “#Denver will always stand w/ families fleeing violence & do whatever we can to prevent the inhumane practice of family separation. We’re an inclusive, compassionate & welcoming city. Threats from this WH – which are only a distraction from its failures – won’t weaken our resolve.”

That is the good news amidst a climate of growing uncertainty and fear among those who only seek to escape persecution and who wish to share in the American dream. The other good news is that there is still a legal framework that immigrant can access. However, it takes experienced legal counsel to help people who face deportation. As an immigration lawyer in Van Nuys I can tell you that I and many of my colleagues will not give up the fight until the immigration system is fairer and more compassionate despite the President’s efforts to make it otherwise. I am attorney Erika Roman and I will talk with you for free.trump

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Immigration Bail Bond Facts and Myths

It can be heartbreaking when a friend or relative is detained over their immigration status especially given all that we hear and see in the media about how some detainees have actually died in custody. Thus, it becomes important to be able to sort fact from fiction when it comes to what happens when an immigrant is detained and how his/her release may be possible by posting bond. With this post I will attempt to explain some facts about the bond process and debunk some myths as well.

What is a bond?

A bond is what ICE asks for as a guarantee that the person they are temporarily releasing will appear for all hearings. When a bond is posted, you are promising that you will attend all hearings as scheduled and on time. In the case of immigration hearing – which is quite different from a regular bond hearing – you face the risk of deportation. If you miss a hearing, a warrant may be issued and you will likely be deported. In this case the bond will be forfeited.

Facts and Myths about Immigration Bonds

Myth: Aliens are relieved of their bond obligation after showing up at their first court date.

Fact: This is simply not true. A person released on an immigration bond is required to attend all subsequent immigration related proceedings.

Myth: All bonding companies are the same.

Fact: Posting a bond for an immigrant varies greatly from bond posted for a citizen. Therefore, you need someone who is knowledgeable about immigration bonds if you or a loved one has been detained. As an immigration attorney in Oxnard I have experience navigating the labyrinthine immigration system.bail bonds

 

Myth: Not showing up will prevent you from being deported.

Fact: The opposite may actually be true. It is never a good idea to skip a hearing for any reason. If there are special circumstances that may prevent or delay your appearance then you should discuss it with your attorney. Otherwise, you miss court hearings at your own risk.

In short, if you or a loved one has been detained you must act quickly. The immigration system is not designed to accommodate non citizens. Quite the opposite is true. It can be unfriendly and difficult to navigate without experienced counsel. So if you are asking yourself “where can I find an immigration lawyer near me,” look no further. I am Erika Roman and I am ready to listen to you.

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More Myths About Immigration Dispelled

Misinformation about immigrants and immigration comes out of the current administration in Washington faster than any person can keep track of. However, it is important that the facts about immigration reach fair minded Americans who can and often do make a difference. As an immigration lawyer in Van Nuys, I have a low tolerance for those who speak from a position of ignorance. I believe that ultimately the truth has a way of bouncing back from the battering that people on the right have given it. Here are some of the most pervasive myths about immigration.

Myth #1: Immigrants bring crime and violence to our cities and towns.

This myth was aided along by none other than the President when he was running for office. The candidate Trump called people aspiring to immigrate to the US “rapists and murderers.” The actual fact is that communities with high immigrant populations have lower crimes rates than many communities where there are relatively few immigrants. Moreover, immigrants make only a very small minority of people who are incarcerated in jails and prisons.

Myth #2: Immigrants hurt our country financially by taking jobs and services without paying taxes.

These are perhaps two of the most pervasive myth about immigrants of all. In fact, many immigrants have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and actually end up creating jobs in this country for fellow immigrants and native born citizens alike. The threat to American jobs from technology is much greater than the threat posed by immigrants. As for the issue of taxes, studies show that immigrants collectively pay between $90 and $140 billion each year in taxes. This helps support services that immigrants and non immigrants depend on in their daily lives.

Myth #3: Immigrants are bringing diseases into the U.S.

According to the World Health Organization many Southern and Central American countries have higher vaccination rates for 1 year old than the United States does. Moreover, immigrants to the US are usually screened for communicable diseases before they are allowed to enter the country.immigration

Myth #4: Terrorists are infiltrating the U.S. by coming across the border with Mexico.

There is no proof to back this claim whatsoever. Indeed, there are no international terrorist groups operating within our neighbor, Mexico. The majority of persons linked with terrorism of late have been US citizens many of whom are on the far right.

Myth #5: Hispanic immigrants don’t learn English and don’t assimilate into American culture?

The truth is that the children of immigrants often accelerate in learning English. This means that they are often bilingual whereas as the great majority of native born Americans are not.

Our country faces a great deal of challenges as we continue into the 21st century. The immigration is one of those problems that can only be challenged when the truth is known about the issue and people of good faith – and kind hearts – act together. As an immigration lawyer in Oxnard, I desire to be a force that enlightens and protects all Americans.

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How Immigration Court Works

During my initial free consultation with potential clients I have found that many of them are shocked to learn that judicial independence and freedom from political influence do not exist when it comes to immigration court. This is just one controversy that swirls around the current system and why I feel obligated to inform potential clients about how the immigration court system works. The following is a very basic summary. If your legal status is in jeopardy and you need detailed information on how things may go for you in immigration court contact my office.

What is the Immigration Court System?

The Immigration Court is an administrative court run by the U.S. Department of Justice. At present, there are more than 200 Immigration judges in 50 immigration courts nationwide. It is the duty of immigration judges to advise noncitizens of their legal rights, hear testimony, make rulings on the admissibility of evidence, entertain legal arguments, adjudicate waivers and applications for relief, make factual findings and legal rulings and issue final orders of removal.

How Immigration Trials Work

People can end up in immigration court for many reasons. Currently, the immigration system is highly congested meaning that a defendant can wait for years while his/her case is being ruled upon. When a person is compelled to appear in immigration court his/her case will be heard by one of approximately 330 immigration judges throughout the US. Additionally, immigration proceedings greatly resemble criminal trials. The difference here is that defendants do not have all the constitutional protections that a native born criminal suspect would have.court

The Administrative Appeals Process

Immigrants may appeal an immigration judge’s deportation order to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Unfortunately, the Board of Appeals can and often does issue decisions that “affirm without opinion. What this means is that it can confirm a deportation order without giving any reason for having done so. This is presumably done to expedite cases as the current system is overcrowded. Immigrants can also appeal decisions made by the Board to the US Courts of Appeals. (This Court is just below the US Supreme Court) However, few immigrants have the resources to do so.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Immigration Court?

To state the matter briefly – yes. The US government will be represented by lawyers who are familiar with every aspect of immigration law court so should you. You should not attempt to confront any legal challenge that may affect your immigration status without first conferring with an immigration attorney in Ventura County who has experience with the issues pertaining to your unique situation. That is why we give potential clients the opportunity to consult with us for free. I am attorney Erika Roman and I am ready to listen to you.

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