The Department of Homeland Security announced on March 30 that it will send a team of federal attorneys to San Francisco in June to review the cases of low priority deportation cases. Of the 17,000 pending cases at the San Francisco immigration court, as many as 10-16% of the cases could be administratively closed. This is the range of closures in Baltimore and Denver where pilot programs for prosecutorial discretion were already conducted. After Detroit, New Orleans, Orlando, Seattle, and New York City, the team of federal attorneys will move in June to San Francisco, where the court will suspend its daily schedule.
Deportees with no criminal record and strong community ties are the most likely to be offered administrative closure—if they want to accept it. Immigration attorneys should not recommend or accept administrative closure for their clients when the noncriminal immigrant possesses an outstanding opportunity to get permanent residence. In those cases, administrative closure blocks the path to a green card.
However, there are immigrants with likely deportation who can gain a reprieve from removal if they have positive factors in their favor. The list of factors was presented in the June 2011 memo from ICE Director John Morton. They include immigrants with legal family members, graduation from high school in the United States, pregnancy, breastfeeding, service by a family member in the armed forces, strong contributions to the community, persons who are young or very old, care of an invalid, and victims of persecution, domestic violence, or human trafficking.
Each one of the 300,000 deportation cases nationwide and the 17,000 cases in the Bay Area is unique and requires analysis and advocacy. If you are aware of persons being deported it is important to contact an attorney who can not only analyze all of the factors in their case but also develop an advocacy plan for release from removal, including letters and petitions of support and if necessary, a media campaign.
On March 27, 2012 Attorney Richard Hobbs spoke to hundreds of immigrants at St. Julie’s Church in San Jose about prosecutorial discretion, Secure Communities, and how to get a green card. He is pictured here with San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore, the other presenter that evening.
Immigrants Petition Now for Stateside Waiver in the Fall
Those Who Entered Without a Visa and Have a Citizen Spouse or Parent Will Qualify
On January 9th the Obama administration announced it intended to make changes in the processing of waivers to the 3 and 10-year bars to reentry for immigrants who been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 6 months or a year. The current waiver process makes immigrants stay outside of the United States for months or longer, causing incredible family hardship.
Originally it was projected that the rule would be finalized this summer. Last week USCIS Director Mayorka announced that the new regulations will be forthcoming in the last trimester of 2012. At that time, according to the proposal, immigrants who have been petitioned by an immediate relative (spouse, parent, or child over 21 of a US citizen) will be able to process the unlawful presence waiver within the United States, reducing the great hardship that some of my clients are suffering right now in Mexico.
Given the timing, many undocumented immigrants with US citizen spouses have begun the family visa petition now, recognizing that the final rulemaking later this year will allow a transition to legal status. It takes 5-6 months to receive an approval notice, which then initiates consular processing. The timing is such that it makes sense to have an approval notice in hand when the new regulations come out, allowing qualifying undocumented immigrants to be first in line to make use of the waiver. Just in the last week several new clients have begun the lengthy process. In each instance, an analysis of extreme hardship is critical to deciding whether or not to go forward with the case.
Richard Hobbs: Experience, Quality, Justice
Immigration Attorney for 23 Years
Advocacy Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Silicon Valley
Former Director, Citizenship & Immigrant Programs, Santa Clara County
Former Director, Catholic Charities Immigration Program
Former Community College Professor and Trustee
Executive Director, Human Agenda www.humanagenda.net
Juris Doctor, Golden Gate University; M.A. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); M.A. San Jose State University
“Experience, Quality, Justice”
The most reasonable fees & the highest quality
Appointments: (408) 642-7404
Immigration Law Center 2175 The Alameda Suite 103
San Jose, Ca 95126 Email: Hobbsimmigration@gmail.com