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630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

JOLIET

58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

Immigration

IL immigration lawyerU.S. immigration law defines a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT) as being a crime involving conduct that shocks the public conscience, and is “contrary to the rules of morality.” In immigration law, being convicted of a CIMT can render someone deportable. The only way to avoid deportation in such a situation is either to seek a waiver or to avail oneself of what is called the petty offense exception. The exception is not well understood, but it can be very helpful in some immigration cases.

CIMTs Are Subjective

The category of crimes of moral turpitude came into being only within recent memory, and there is no specific written definition of a CIMT within U.S. immigration law. It has been described in various cases as “being inherently base, vile, or depraved” and shocking the public conscience. A variety of crimes from murder to kidnapping to fraud have been classified as CIMTs, and given the vagueness of the law and the definition, it can be quite difficult at times to determine whether you have in fact committed a CIMT or not.

It is important that you not confuse a CIMT with an aggravated felony, as the two have different consequences. Any alien (aside from refugees and asylees) that has been convicted of an aggravated felony is immediately inadmissible to the U.S. and rendered deportable, regardless of immigration status. Aggravated felonies are much more specific (and actually enumerated in law), and there is very little relief to be gained if you are convicted of one. Many aggravated felonies have no waiver possible, which is not the case with crimes of moral turpitude.

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerIt may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but H1B visas, which are nonimmigrant visas granted to highly skilled workers, are essentially given via lottery every fiscal year and have been for roughly the last decade and more. Citing the slapdash nature of the process, the current administration has sought to streamline and refine it - however, the changes being proposed are far from uniformly approved. New proposed modifications also continue to come in, sometimes from presidential tweets and other unlikely or untrustworthy sources, which makes the process arguably even more chaotic.

The Process Is a Gamble

H1B visa holders are foreign workers that are allowed to be employed by U.S. companies temporarily, for so-called “specialty occupations.” Specialty occupations are defined as those requiring “theoretical and practical application” of a body of “highly specialized knowledge” in a host of different fields, including biology, chemistry, law, economics, theology, and many others. They must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the period of employment is three years, extendable to six before one must reapply for a new visa.

An H1B visa is somewhat unique in that it is perhaps the only visa where an employer puts forth the effort to apply, and yet is not guaranteed a satisfactory result. There is a cap on the category, allowing 65,000 H1B applications to be granted, and 20,000 H1Bs to be granted under the so-called ‘masters’ cap’ for those with advanced degrees from U.S. schools. If your application is not chosen, the fee is refunded, but that is that - you are not permitted to work in the job that would require the visa. This can be catastrophic for many, especially if they had planned around receiving the job.

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Posted on in Immigration

 IL immigration lawyerThe state of Illinois is a bit of a bellwether on immigration because there is an inherent divide in the state itself between the more conservative areas to the south, and the fairly liberal Chicagoland metropolis. In the past year, there has been quite a lot of debate, especially with the passage of the Illinois TRUST Act, which contains certain protections for undocumented immigrants. It can be easy to be confused as to what rights you have, and it is important not to make a wrong move.

The TRUST Act

The major piece of immigration-related legislation that was passed in 2018 is the Illinois TRUST Act, signed into law by Governor Rauner in August. There has been quite a lot of ink spilled regarding the Act, but it is important to understand what the actual law states and what it does not. For one, the Act does not hinder cooperation with federal law enforcement authorities, and is thus not a “sanctuary” act - but it does state that no one may be stopped by the police solely due to their immigration status. A sanctuary city is not the lawless den of criminals that some propaganda would describe it as - it merely means that the city’s law enforcement does not cooperate in handing people over to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they have not committed a crime.

The TRUST Act prohibits both state and local law enforcement from detaining people solely based on their immigration status. However, it also carries a prohibition on volunteering information to any “discriminatory federal registers” based on race, national origin or another defining characteristic. While this may seem inconsequential, it is, in fact, a strong statement of support for immigrants - this law prohibits Illinois ever complying with any request for population data if there is a concern over its use being discriminatory. For example, the much-maligned voter fraud commission mounted by the current administration requested extensive data on Illinois voters, allegedly for nefarious uses. While Illinois ultimately declined to provide any data not already publicly available, this law would require that they decline to do so every time it may come up.

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 IL immigration lawyerUnfortunately, when immigrants come to settle in the U.S., they are very often the victims of crime, especially if they are undocumented, because they are seen as easy targets. If you have been the victim of a crime, particularly a violent crime, it can feel like seeing justice is hopeless, but there is an option by which you may be permitted to remain in the U.S. and assist law enforcement at the same time. The U visa is designed especially for victims of crime, though the criteria are strict, and there are other options you may wish to explore as well.

U Visas

There is a lack of hard data on immigrants as crime victims. Due to language problems and fear of retaliation or deportation, especially under this administration, some immigrant populations are slow to report crimes against them, and some studies do support this conclusion. However, it is not difficult to understand why immigrants might hesitate to report, especially those who belong to vulnerable groups, such as women or members of the LGBT community. Partly as a response to this reluctance, the U.S. government implemented the T and U visas, with the T visa being reserved for human trafficking victims and their families while U visas are for victims of crime in general.

You may be eligible to apply for a U visa if you meet the relevant criteria, which are:

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Posted on in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerEspecially nowadays, many previously attainable ways to emigrate to the United States are either off limits or so locked down with restrictions that some people feel stuck. However, marriage to a U.S. citizen does allow a person to obtain permanent residency in most cases, as long as you can establish your bonafides as an actual couple. Before you marry, it is still a good idea to ensure that you understand what your rights are and the obligations you must fulfill before any status is granted.

K Visas

The most common ways for someone to bring over a foreign spouse is to petition for an immigrant visa if they are already married, or a K visa if they are engaged. A K visa is a nonimmigrant visa, not an immigrant visa, and all it does is allow the foreign spouse to enter the U.S. and get married. It does not permit them to stay beyond 90 days unless the wedding has taken place. While the foreign spouse is obtaining their K visa, the U.S. citizen spouse should be filing a Petition for Alien Relative, which then allows them to adjust their status from within the country, as opposed to having to go back to their homeland.

None of this process is possible, however, if the foreign national does not meet at least some of the requirements for an immigrant visa and bring all the appropriate documentation the consulate requires. If the person is inadmissible, they must first file for a waiver of unlawful presence (or whatever ground is making them inadmissible, such as having a criminal record), and then seek to use the K visa. Some grounds for inadmissibility do not have a waiver available, such as espionage, or being a member of the Nazi Party or any other group participating in a genocide.

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