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630-932-9100
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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Chicago deportation defense attorneys

Chicago deportation defense attorneys, deportable, deportation order, domestic violence, asylumSince the beginning of 2018, the current Attorney General has set aside at least four rulings handed down by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is a subsidiary of the Justice Department dedicated exclusively to appeals from immigration judges’ rulings. Instead of allowing the BIA’s rulings to stand, he has taken these cases from its jurisdiction. Given the rarity of this action in most administrations, immigration professionals are postulating that one of these, Matter of A-B-, may be used as a test case of sorts against the rights of asylum applicants who have experienced domestic violence. If the Attorney General rules against the appellant in Matter of A-B-, it may sentence domestic violence victims to death upon their return to their home country.

Can Domestic Violence Victims Get Asylum?

Both the 1951 Geneva Convention and U.S. immigration law normally define a refugee or asylee as someone who is “unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of nationality, or to seek the protection of that country because of [past] persecution,” or a well-founded fear of persecution. That persecution must be based on one of five unchanging characteristics—race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Under U.S. law, the state must either be the agent of persecution, or it must be shown that the state either cannot or will not stop the persecution.

It is because of this last caveat that the applicant in Matter of R-A- (2009) was able to obtain asylum. The applicant was a Guatemalan woman, the wife of a man who repeatedly physically assaulted her, and given his connections in Guatemalan society, she alleged that she was not able to be safe anywhere in her country. The BIA held that the applicant had demonstrated that the state was unwilling or unable to stop what amounted to persecution based on her membership in a particular social group (domestic violence victims with specific characteristics), and as such, granted the applicant asylum. The law on these issues has been refined since 2009, but the fundamental crux of the issue is that domestic violence victims have been able to get asylum in the U.S. if all the relevant facts have been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the authorities.

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Chicago deportation defense attorneys, deportation order, deportation proceedings, deportable offenses, US immigration lawOn April 17, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Sessions v. Dimaya, which effectively struck down a law called the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) as being void for vagueness. In other words, the provisions of ACCA that had been used to render immigrants deportable were held to be too vague to be used as applicable immigration law. The question many might ask is whether or not this ruling could affect pending cases before an immigration judge.

Aggravated Felonies and ACCA

The Armed Career Criminal Act was passed in 1984, and it grants the power to courts to impose additional sentence enhancements on felons who commit three or more violent felonies or “serious drug offenses,” allowing for a 15-year minimum instead of a 10-year minimum. This law’s residual clause has also been construed as holding that immigrants who qualify for sentencing enhancements under the ACCA are removable, because ‘crimes of violence’ or violent felonies almost always qualify as deportable offenses under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA).

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Chicago deportation defense attorneys, immigration status, ICE, undocumented immigrants, deportationOn April 5, 2018, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided a meat-packing plant in Tennessee, pulling almost 100 people off the job and holding them. While a person, regardless of his or her immigration status, has the right to refuse ICE entry into his or her home, he or she has no such right on the job. If a person’s employer grants ICE entry to the business, any immigrant employee inside is at their mercy. The nature of such raids can cause real problems not only for employers, but especially for their undocumented employees.

An Impossible Position

Generally, most undocumented people in the U.S. simply want to work and keep their head down, and as such, they ask few questions when looking for jobs to do. This can and does result in a higher proportion of undocumented immigrants in low-skill jobs or hands-on jobs like farming or factory work, where an employer needs bodies above all else—the rationale is that such jobs are often hard and dangerous work, and an undocumented person has little or no standing to demand increased wages or benefits, so the employer saves money. If someone complains, all the employer needs to do to quash such behavior is to threaten to report the employee to ICE.

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Chicago deportation defense attorneys, immigration law, Illinois immigration, deportation order, current immigration lawIn early April 2018, the U.S. Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), a sub-entity of the Department of Justice, issued a memo to immigration judges stating that rules for judges would be modified in the near future. After modification, every immigration judge in the U.S. will be expected to complete at least 700 cases each calendar year. While some judges already do this, activists are concerned that this will lead to an overall lack of due process for those waiting in the system.

The Backlog is Long

The immediate reason for such action from EOIR is the U.S. immigration court backlog, which comprises hundreds of thousands of cases, each one representing a person who is entitled to due process rights and a hearing on their specific situation. TRAC immigration statistics show a currently pending backlog of 684,583 cases as of this writing, with average disposition time rising to over 700 days (more than two years) — in Denver and San Antonio, the average time to have one’s case heard is over 1,000 days.

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Chicago deportation defense attorneys, temporary protected status, deportation, non-immigrant visa, lawful permanent residentOn March 12, 2018, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco by representatives of immigrants from four countries, alleging that the end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was racially motivated. Immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan filed in the Northern District of California seeking a reinstatement of TPS, or alternatively, a stay that would allow those with minor children of school age to remain until graduation. This is the third suit filed challenging the program’s end. While the decision will take time, these suits could wind up ultimately affecting TPS holders for the better.

TPS Provides Safety

Temporary Protected Status is a status granted by the Department of Homeland Security (formerly by the Attorney General) to nationals of countries deemed to have been affected by natural disasters or war to an extent where the country’s infrastructure has broken down. As of this writing, there are 10 countries whose nationals have TPS—Haiti, El Salvador, Somalia, Nicaragua, Nepal, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Honduras. All these countries have experienced either significant natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, or periods of civil war or unrest, such as in Somalia or El Salvador.

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