Category Archives: Immigration Reform News

Senators Reveal Proposed Immigration Bill

The details of the proposed Immigration Bill have been released by the “Gang of Eight” Senators. The proposed bill allows for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before December 31, 2011 to be eligible for legal residency called “registered provisional immigrant status”. Some prohibitions to qualification include any felony convictions in U.S. or foreign courts or more than three misdemeanor convictions.

The proposed bill would also require undocumented immigrants to pay a penalty of up to $500 for having come to the United States illegally and pay all back taxes.

The registered provisional immigrant status lasts for six years and can be extended for an additional $500 fee, if the applicant has not gotten into trouble with the law.

After 10 years as provisional residents, immigrants could become lawful permanent residents.
Separate provisions for agricultural workers

Agricultural workers who are currently in the country illegally would be allowed to apply for a new “blue card” if they have worked in the U.S. agriculture industry for at least 100 days in the two years prior to December 31, 2012.

Applicants would also have to pay a $400 fee, show they have paid their taxes and have no criminal convictions. Blue card holders would be eligible for permanent legal residency in only five years.

The proposed bill also establishes minimum wages for certain workers.

Border Security

The proposed bill calls for $3 billion to beef up border security. It also requires constant surveillance of high-risk border areas and demands that border officers turn back at least 90% of those who attempt illegal border crossings each year.



Stateside Waivers for Immediate Relatives of US Citizens

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new process significantly reducing the amount of time for family members of United States citizens to obtain a provisional waiver (I-601A waiver) of their unlawful presence. Previously, immediate relatives were required to depart the United States, attend a consular interview, and be told that a waiver of inadmissibility was required before even applying. Due to long processing times, the United States citizen family members often experienced extreme hardship while waiting for their family members who were out of the country. USCIS now allows immediate family members of United States citizens to remain in the United States while provisional waivers for unlawful presence are filed. Now the filing process can begin upon approval of the family petition (I-130). Because USCIS processes the waiver before the relative departs, time spent out of the country is significantly reduced. Once the waiver is approved, the family member needs to return to their home country for the consular interview to get their immigrant visa and subsequent admission into the United States. Families are reunited far more quickly with this new process than under the old system.
Provisional Waivers start March 4, 2013

An immediate family member of a United States citizen may seek a provisional waiver if they meet the following:

The applicant must be the immediate relative of a United States citizen. Immediate relative includes the spouse or child (under 21) of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen 21 years of age or older. It may also include persons protected under the Child Status Protection Act and qualified widowers of U.S. citizens.

The applicant must be physically present in the United States when filing the waiver application.

The applicant must be otherwise admissible to the United States. The provisional waiver is only for unlawful presence in the United States. It will not waive certain criminal or fraudulent acts which may make you inadmissible. The provisional waiver does not apply to the repeat violator bar.

You must still demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative.

To speak to an immigration attorney about your immigration goals, including obtaining an I-601immigration waiver in, please contact Ted Murphy, immigration attorney, online or call 610-436-7555 or 302-855-1055. Murphy Law Firm represents clients throughout the United States, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.

From our offices in West Chester, PA and Georgetown, DE we represent clients throughout the United States, including Chester, Delaware, Berks, Bucks, Lancaster, York, and Adams Counties , as well as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Sussex, Kent, and New Castle Counties in Delaware, and in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the entore United States.

read proposed stateside waiver announcement from USCIS

New Immigration Form Announced for Dreamers Deferred Action

On August 3, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that beginning on August 15, 2012, persons meeting the criteria below will be able to apply for deferred action and work authorization. They have created a new form for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The form will be available on August 15.

The filing fee for both DACA and work authorization is $465. The filing fee must be made payable to the “Department of Homeland Security”.

You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process. If you have not graduated high school – enroll in school now!

Individuals may begin to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals on August 15, 2012.

read new deferred action guidelines from USCIS

Dream Act, Deferred Action and Work Permits — Are you eligible for new immigration policy?

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new immigration policy that would defer immigration proceedings for young persons between the ages of 15 and 30 provided they meet certain criteria. The requirements are similar to the proposed Dream Act that has not yet been approved by Congress. The requirements are:

  • Must have entered the United States before the age of 16;
  • Must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years (since June 15, 2007) and must be in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • Must either be in school now, have graduated high school, received a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.;
  • Must not have either a felony conviction, a significant misdemeanor conviction, multiple misdemeanor convictions, or be a threat to national security or public safety;
  • Must be under the age of 31.

The Department of Homeland Security will establish the process to apply for this deferred action before August 15, 2012. Additionally, anyone who has a case currently pending before an immigration judge or has already been ordered removed can also get deferred action for a period of 2 years. Anyone who receives deferred action can reapply at the end of each two year period.

You must put your paperwork together to prove that you came to the U.S. before the age of 16. This can be proven by school records, medical records, employment records, financial records, and millitary records. Documents to prove education include current school records, high school diplomas or GED certificates, report cards, college diplomas, or school transcripts. Military records include millitary personnel records, military health records, or a DD214.

A significant misdemeanor is a federal, state, or local crime that involves violence, threats, assaults, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, theft, fraud, DUI (alcohol or drugs), fleeing the scene of an accident, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, or drug distribution or unlawful possession of drugs.

A felony, for immigration purposes, is a federal, state, or local crime punishable by imprisonment for a period exceeding one year.

Multiple misdemeanors under this policy is conviction for three or more other misdemeanors not considered a significant misdemeanor.

Murphy Law Firm can assist in preparing and making requests for deferred action and applications for work permits. Call 610-436-7555 to schedule a consultation.