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Monthly Archives: November 2010

IMMIGRATION NEWS JACKSONVILLE

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ericka Bennett with Action News Jacksonville on November 16, 2010 regarding the issue of how much control police have in arresting undocumented individuals. I thank Ericka Bennett for the opportunity.

To read the article, please go to this link:

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/actionlocal/story/JSO-officer-finds-undocumented-aliens/GrIiuTgcXkGyv4OYg_mfWw.cspx

H-1B CAP TOTALS

As of November 5, 2010, the H-1B cases that have been received at the USCIS office are 46,800. There are a total of 65,000 visas available.

Also the USCIS has received 17,200 of the 20,000 allowed H-1B visas for US earned masters.

Orlando Immigration Court has a new address

The Executive Office for Immigration Review has just released a notice that the Immigration Court in Orlando, Florida is moving from their current downtown address to the following address:

Executive Office for Immigration Review
Office of the Clerk / Immigration Court
3535 Lawton Road, Suite 200
Orlando, Florida 32803

It is important to note that EOIR’s own press release contains the wrong zip code. We have checked with the Court and checked with hearing notices we have received for our current clients. The correct zip code is the one listed above, which again is 32803.
The Immigration Court is moving from their current address on North Hughey Avenue which is in downtown Orlando.

The Court is expected to be at their NEW location on November 18, 2010. The Court will be closed from November 12, 2010 until they re-open on November 18th.
If for an emergency you need to call the clerk at the immigration court, the office number is 407-648-6565. They are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

It is not yet clear what the new address for the government attorneys will be. Any filing that is made with the Court must include a certificate of service that states that a true and accurate copy of the foregoing documents was sent / mailed to the Office of Chief Counsel located at (their address). For this reason, we will locate the address and then place the information on this blog.

The Importance of Asylum & Refugee Status

Just recently, in my native country of Birth in Iraq, a church located in Baghdad, Iraq was bombed and 58 people including the priest were killed. The attackers then went into the streets and even shot a 4-year old being carried by the mother. When the mother asked the shooter, “Why?,” the shooter also shot and killed her, just for being a Christian! While many Iraqis have fled that country and are now in the US, Sweden, France and other countries, many unfortunately remain and are placed in harm’s way on a daily basis.

When I heard of this story, I recalled why I became an immigration attorney. I remembered, just in case I ever forget, that I became an immigration attorney because through no fault of my own, I was born in Iraq, an unstable and even scary place. I was blessed to be able to come to the U.S. at a fairly young age of 7 or 8 years old, and that started my desire to help others that also want to live in a safe and stable country. While the U.S. may have issues, one thing I know for sure is that the U.S. is a much safer place to live than Iraq and many other countries. It is a safe haven for those who need help. It is also my great blessing that I can do a job that I love, which is to help people make U.S.A their permanent home, if they wish.

The Iraqis that fled Iraq filed for refugees status, which is a status that people outside the U.S. may apply for if they fear remaining in their country based on one of the following 5 factors: religion, race, nationality, political opinion and member of a social group. A basis for refugee status for citizens of Iraq is either religious (Christian versus Muslim or even Shiite Muslim versus Sunni Muslim) and / or political or nationality based reasons such as being associated with American Democratic ideals. Some highly educated Iraqis (like professors or doctors) are threatened or killed because they are associated with American ideals.

Asylum status is one where an applicant fears returning to his or her country and is physically here in the U.S. Refugee status is where an application is filed outside the U.S. Applicants can file for Asylum by completing form I-589, for which there is no filing fee. Please note that in general, applicants for asylum must file within one year from their date of last entry into the U.S. There are some exceptions to that rule.

Once granted asylee or refugee status, the applicant may then file for a green card after one year of their initial approval of asylee or refugee status. They will also qualify for travel permits and work authorization while they are waiting for approval of the green card. It is important to note that the REAL ID Act of 2005 has made requirements for approval of asylum much more difficult, and applicants applying now must be sure to include as much documentary proof of their claim as possible. On my website I have a list of places applicants can refer to when researching conditions in their country. The direct link is as follows:

http://www.needimmigrationhelp.com/important-government-websites.htm

New Immigration Article Released

I just released a new article on “How to Avoid the Great Immigration Myth of 2010.” I hope you will check it out at the following link: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-To-Avoid-The-Great-Immigration-Myth-Of-2010&id=5292812

This article discusses how immigration officials are making it “easy” for individuals to file applications with USCIS without an attorney, while at the same time Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting individuals at alarming rates. The article discusses the current situation we are in and how individuals seeking immigration benefits can avoid waiving all of their rights.