Immigration Newsletter

Monday, December 15, 2014

NHBA - Bar News Issue

NHBA - Bar News Issue



Bar News - December 17, 2014


Opinion: A NH Immigration Lawyer’s Perspective on Executive Action

By: 

Perhaps you have heard that President Barack Obama recently declared himself King and tore up the Constitution to thwart the rule of law regarding immigration. Well, that’s not exactly true. The president did give a speech and published two presidential memoranda on immigration. Those two memos, however, were both rather vague and announced some pretty uncontroversial ideas, such as “…streamline and improve the legal immigration system…” and “...modernize the information technology infrastructure underlying the visa processing system…”
The controversial policy changes have been left to the cabinet members of the relevant agencies; particularly Homeland Security and Labor. There are several changes coming to the inner workings of the immigration system – things that should improve the efficiency and customer service aspects of the bureaucracy quite a lot. But nobody cares about that, unless they are trying to hire an immigrant worker, petition for a family member, or work on immigration cases, as I do.
The really big news about the executive action is the shift of enforcement resources away from “wide net” interior sweep toward a targeted approach against dangerous criminals and recent arrivals, and concentrating on the Southwestern border. As part of this kinder/gentler approach, the secretary of Homeland Security (at the president’s direction) has expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and created an additional class of persons eligible for deferred action: parents of US citizen or lawful permanent resident children. This new program is called the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
Is this executive amnesty? Not really. Amnesty implies forgiveness of a violation of immigration law (e.g. illegal entry or visa overstay) and a path to permanent status or citizenship. DACA and DAPA provide only a temporary formal deferral of a person’s removal from the United States. It does not end the threat that eventually, even a DACA or DAPA beneficiary will face deportation. What DACA and DAPA have done and will do is allow some people who have been living here without documents to come out of the shadows; get temporary permission to work, obtain a legitimate social security number, file a proper tax return, and get a legal driver’s license. It allows people to stop breaking the law out of necessity.
If you are in the self-deportation camp (the philosophy that we should make living here such an awful and treacherous experience that undocumented people will voluntarily choose to leave) you are not going to like these measures. I really can’t help with that. I would only point out that we are talking about persons who entered the United States when they were children and/or are parents of US citizen children and who have resided in the country since 2009. I personally am not interested in discovering how spiteful, horrid, petty and mean we can be to these folks – but maybe that’s just me.
Sure, I am biased; this will be good for my business. In truth, I also am hoping that these program changes will last long enough to see a comprehensive immigration reform act pass through Congress. But, biased or not, I also have likely met more immigrants (legal or otherwise) than many Bar News readers, in my close to 20 years as an immigration lawyer. That is how I know that many of them will flourish when given this chance.
Having even a temporary status can allow them to seek a better job for higher wages, pursue higher education (although without financial assistance), and have some stability to make financial decisions like renting a better apartment, registering a car, opening a bank account – things many of us take for granted. These are all positives for the previously undocumented and for the state’s economy and public safety in general.
commented here back in May on a change to NH law for 2015 that will increase the penalty for first offense driving without a license from a violation to a misdemeanor, if the driver had never had a valid license. I suspect this change will mostly impact undocumented immigrants who are not eligible to receive a New Hampshire driver’s license. Yet they still have to get kids to school, bring home groceries from the store, and get to work and back – usually on a non-Uber-ready budget. For some, but by no means all, DACA and DAPA will change that, so they can stop looking over their shoulders and get on with living their lives.






 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Monday, December 8, 2014

Launch of In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with Parents Lawfully Present in the United States

Launch of In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with Parents Lawfully Present in the United States

from the US Dept. of State website


Today, the United States is announcing the official launch of an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States. This program will allow certain parents from one of these three countries who are lawfully present in the United States to request to bring their children to the United States as refugees via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States. Instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children with an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully present in the United States.

A fact sheet in English and Spanish describing the program can be found on the Department of State website at:http://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/factsheets/2014/234067.htm
Applications for this program may be initiated by a lawfully present parent in the United States. Form DS-7699 must be filed with the assistance of a designated resettlement agency that works with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to help resettle refugees in the United States. Parents do not need to pay any fee to file this form or for assistance in completing and submitting the form, but they are expected to cover the initial costs of DNA testing to confirm claimed biological parent-child relationships. Costs of DNA testing are reimbursable under certain circumstances. Form DS-7699 will not be available on the Department of State website to the general public and cannot be completed without the assistance of a Department of State-funded resettlement agency. These nearly 350 resettlement agency affiliates are located in more than 180 communities throughout the United States. Additional information about the program, as well as a list of the resettlement agency affiliates that can assist with filing the DS-7699 can be found at: http://www.wrapsnet.org/CAMProgram/tabid/420/Default.aspx

 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Obama’s immigration actions: an overview - New Hampshire Business Review - December 12 2014

Obama’s immigration actions: an overview - New Hampshire Business Review - December 12 2014





Contrary to many media reports, President Obama did not issue any executive orders on immigration in November. He did deliver a speech and two presidential memoranda on immigration, but both are very general in nature and mostly offer aspirational goals.
The real changes take shape in a series of companion memoranda issued by the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor detailing how the executive action is to be carried out.
Some of the changes represent a sharp break from past practices and might be litigated, overridden by Congress, or revoked by the next administration. Some of these changes, however, probably should have been made a long time ago and will likely remain in place for years to come.
Perhaps the biggest and most controversial parts of the plan involve changes to enforcement policies toward undocumented immigrants. The executive action provides three key changes in that sphere:
 • The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being expanded. The program will defer the removal of and allow employment authorization (for three years) for persons who entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday. The cutoff date for arrival in the United States has been moved from 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010, and the upper age limit (31) for applicants has been removed. The changes are supposed to take effect within 90 days.
 • A new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will also grant deferral of removal and employment authorization to parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children born on or before Nov. 20, 2014. The parent must prove continuous residence in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify, and cannot qualify if he or she is considered to be in a specific “enforcement priority group.” This aspect should take effect in 180 days.
 • The Department of Homeland Security has been instructed to adjust its enforcement priorities away from interior enforcement against persons with no criminal record or minor criminal records and to devote more resources to border enforcement and interior enforcement against violent criminals, gang activity, terrorists or other national security threats. The administration is calling this a “felons not families” policy.
The effects of these changes on New Hampshire will likely be modest, given its relatively low foreign-born population. Still, for people who have been living in the shadows for many years, the opportunity to have employment authorization and a driver’s license can mean increased job mobility, better utilization of their skills, higher wages, and increased consumer spending.
New Hampshire recently made driving without a license a class B Misdemeanor (effective Jan. 1, 2015) so this is timely for many persons who previously were not legally able to obtain a driver’s license.

Business-related reforms

Another set of reforms are aimed directly at improving business immigration.
Only Congress can increase the number of employment visas available in a given year. However, a few adjustments have been made through executive action to make it easier to attract and retain well educated and high skilled workers:
 • In the past, dependents of H-1B skilled workers (H-4 visas) have not been authorized to work. That will be changed in January 2015. That should have a positive economic impact right away.
 • The waiting times for employment-based green cards are very long (often many years), so people sometimes run into problems while waiting. They may run out of time on their temporary visas, others may get a promotion or have to take a new job (if a company closes or changes hands), and this has sometimes been grounds for denying their green card application. Potential fixes for these issues are being considered by the Department of Homeland Security, although no timeline has been announced for implementation.
 • Other areas of improvement in the business immigration arena include broadening and extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs for students, especially in a STEM program; making user-friendly improvements to the
Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) labor certification program, which underlies the employment-based permanent resident process; and liberalizing the immigration rules for highly capitalized immigrant investors and for persons with exceptional abilities and advanced degrees.
Additional initiatives in various areas that needed attention were also included, such as: creating an interagency workgroup on worksite immigration enforcement; reorganizing the joint agency operations on the southern border and reviewing the personnel composition and compensation at Immigration and Customs Enforcement; making naturalization (U.S. citizenship) more affordable; and easing the path for immigrant families of military enlistees.
All of these announced measures are temporary in nature and can only soften the edges of our broken immigration system rather than repair it. There are still many additional reforms needed to make the immigration system work efficiently, humanely and to the highest benefit of the United States. Comprehensive reform will have to wait for a legislative fix from Congress.
Randall A. Drew, principal of Drew Office, Bedford, has been practicing immigration law in New Hampshire since 1998. He can be reached at 603-644-3739 or randall@drewpllc.com.




Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone | USCIS

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone | USCIS



DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Release Date: November 20, 2014
WASHINGTON— Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.
The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks.  Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page atwww.uscis.gov/tps
Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.





 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Friday, November 14, 2014

Obama Plan May Allow Millions of Immigrants to Stay and Work in U.S. - NYTimes.com

Obama Plan May Allow Millions of Immigrants to Stay and Work in U.S. - NYTimes.com



WASHINGTON — President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.
Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away.


That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.


For the rest of the story by Michael Shear, Ashley Parker and Julia Preston: Click the link above





Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Monday, November 10, 2014

Protesters set fire to Mexican palace as anger over missing students grows | World news | The Guardian

Protesters set fire to Mexican palace as anger over missing students grows | World news | The Guardian



A group of protesters set fire to the wooden door of Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto’s ceremonial palace in Mexico City’s historic city centre late on Saturday, denouncing the apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers.
The group, carrying torches, broke away from what had been a mostly peaceful protest demanding justice for the students, who were abducted six weeks ago and apparently murdered and incinerated by corrupt police in league with drug gang members. --
click the link above to see the rest of the story.






Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Green Monster - Garrett M. Graff - POLITICO Magazine

The Green Monster - Garrett M. Graff - POLITICO Magazine



The United States today spends more money each year on border and immigration enforcement than the combined budgets of the FBI, ATF, DEA, Secret Service and U.S. Marshals—plus the entire NYPD annual budget. Altogether, the country has invested more than $100 billion in border and immigration control since 9/11.

It has paid for quite a force: Customs and Border Protection not only employs some 60,000 total personnel—everything from desert agents on horseback to insect inspectors at airports—but also operates a fleet of some 250 planes, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator drones the military sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, making CBP both the largest law enforcement air force in the world and equivalent roughly to the size of Brazil’s entire combat air force.

The Border Patrol wing of this vast apparatus has experienced particularly dramatic growth: By the time the Bush administration left Washington, the fiercely independent agency—part police force, part occupying army, part frontier cavalry—had gone from being a comparatively tiny, undermanned backwater of the Justice Department to a 21,000-person arm of the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/border-patrol-the-green-monster-112220.html#ixzz3HeEFwDLj






Well put together story about the troubled history and future of the Border Patrol (now known as Customs and Border Protection) click the link above to see the rest of the story







 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program - Drew Law Office, pllc.

DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program - Drew Law Office, pllc.



click the link above for English



WASHINGTON—Dès le début de l’année 2015, le Ministère de la Sécurité intérieure (Department of Homeland Security ou DHS) mettra en œuvre un Programme d’exceptions pour le regroupement des familles haïtiennes (HFRP) afin de procurer l’opportunité d’une migration d’Haïti qui soit sûre, légale et dans l’ordre pour certains membres éligibles de la famille de citoyens américains et de résident permanent qui sont légales aux États-Unis.
Dans le cadre de ce programme, qui ne fonctionnera que sur invitation, les Services américains de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ou USCIS) offriront à certains bénéficiaires Haïtiens éligibles et ayant reçu l’approbation de leurs demandes de visa d’immigration basée sur leur situation familiale, une occasion de venir aux États-Unis jusqu’à deux ans en avance de la prise d’effet des dates de priorité de leur visa d’immigration.
« La reconstruction et le développement d’une Haïti sûre et économiquement solide constitue une priorité pour les États-Unis.  Ce programme fournira l’occasion à certains Haïtiens éligibles d'immigrer légalement et en toute sécurité aux États-Unis, favorisera l’unité familiale – un but fondamental et sous-jacent de notre système d’immigration – et soutiendra des objectifs américains plus vastes concernant la reconstruction et le développement au long terme d’Haïti », a déclaré le Secrétaire adjoint de la Sécurité intérieure, Alejandro Mayorkas. 
Le programme HFRP reçoit son autorité juridique dans la Loi sur l’Immigration et la Nationalité autorisant le Secrétaire de la Sécurité nationale à accorder l’entrée exceptionnelle aux États-Unis à certaines personnes, au cas par cas, pour des raisons  humanitaires urgentes ou d’un avantage public important.  Il s’agit de la même autorité juridique qui fut utilisée en 2007 pour établir le programme d’exceptions pour le regroupement des familles cubaines.
À l’heure actuelle, USCIS n’accepte pas de demandes basées sur le programme HFRP et les bénéficiaires éventuels ne doivent rien entreprendre pour l’instant. USCIS fournira tous les détails du programme d’ici la fin de cette année calendaire et les engagements des intervenants auront lieu peu de temps après. Au début de 2015, le Centre national de visa (NVC) du Département d’État (DOS) commencera à contacter certains citoyens américains ou résidents permanents légaux ayant reçu l’approbation de leurs demandes pour les membres de leur famille haïtienne, leur offrant la possibilité de se porter candidats au programme et leur fournira des consignes sur comment en faire la demande. Seuls ceux qui recevront un avis écrit du NVC, signifiant leur éligibilité au programme, seront qualifiés pour s’y porter candidats.
Dans le contexte du Programme d’exceptions pour le regroupement des familles haïtiennes, les Haïtiens qui recevront cette exception auront le droit d’entrer aux États-Unis et de faire leur demande de permis de travail, mais l’état de résident permanent ne leur sera pas accordé plus tôt pour autant.


 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

TPS Extended for Nicaragua and Honduras - Drew Law Office, pllc.

TPS Extended for Nicaragua and Honduras - Drew Law Office, pllc.



Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nicaragua
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.


Temporary Protected Status Extended for Honduras
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.







 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

Military Path Opened for Young Immigrants - NYTimes.com

Military Path Opened for Young Immigrants - NYTimes.com  by: Julia Preston

A group of young so-called Dreamers who aspired to serve in the military but were prevented because of their immigration status rallied in front of the Capitol in Washington in May. CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Click the link above to read the rest of the article:



...Undocumented young people who have been granted deportation deferrals by the Obama administration will be eligible to apply for the military under a recruitment program for immigrants with special language and medical skills, according to a memo issued Thursday by Jessica L. Wright, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness....

---------

From DLO: This program is also available to persons who have been granted asylum, refugee, or TPS status as well as persons in valid non-immigrant status. The new aspect of the program is the acceptance of DACA grantees into the program. (Spanish is not one of the special language skills sought by the MAVNI program)



 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH

(603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States | USCIS

Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States | USCIS



Release Date: August 15, 2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. USCIS offers relief measures to nationals of those three countries who are currently in the United States.



Immigration relief measures that may be available if requested include:



Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;

Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;

Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;

Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives (currently in the United States) of U.S. citizens;

Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and

Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications.

To learn more about how USCIS provides assistance to customers affected by unforeseen circumstances in their home country, visit www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations.



For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov, call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or follow USCIS on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.



 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Thursday, July 24, 2014

U.S. Weighs Giving Refugee Status to Youths in Honduras - NYTimes.com

U.S. Weighs Giving Refugee Status to Youths in Honduras - NYTimes.com

Migrants traveling north through Mexico toward the United States on a northbound freight train known as “The Beast,” because of rampant accidents and violent crime.CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times

Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.
If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first American refugee effort in a nation reachable by land to the United States, the White House said, putting the violence in Honduras on the level of humanitarian emergencies in Haiti and Vietnam, where such programs have been conducted in the past amid war and major crises.


Click the link to see the rest of the story --

and/or see my previous post at www.drewpllc.com

 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 things immigrant families need to know about the Marketplace


10 things immigrant families need to 

know about the Marketplace

June 26, 2014
Affordable coverage options are available in the Health Insurance Marketplace for immigrant families. If you’ve
recently moved to the United States and had a change in your immigration status, here are some things you
should know about Marketplace coverage:
  1. In order to buy private health insurance through the Marketplace, you must be a U.S. citizen or be lawfully present in the United States. See a list of immigration statuses that qualify for Marketplace coverage.
  2. If you recently gained U.S. citizenship or had a change in your immigration status, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. See if you can enroll in a Marketplace health plan outside Open Enrollment.
  3. If you’re a lawfully present immigrant, you can buy private health insurance in the Marketplace. You may be eligible for lower costs on monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs based on your income. If you make less than $11,490 ($23,550 for a family of 4) and you aren’t eligible for Medicaid, you may still qualify for lower costs on coverage.
  4. If you’re a “qualified non-citizen” and meet your state’s income eligibility rules, you’re generally eligible for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage. See a list of “qualified non-citizen” statuses.
  5. In order to get Medicaid and CHIP coverage, you may have a 5-year waiting period. This means you must wait 5 years after receiving “qualified” immigration status before being eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. See a list of exceptions to the 5-year waiting period and other important details.
  6. Many immigrant families are of “mixed status,” with members having different immigration and citizenship statuses. Mixed status families can apply for a tax credit or lower out-of-pocket costs for private insurance for their dependent family members who are eligible for coverage in the Marketplace or for Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Family members who aren't applying for health coverage for themselves won't be asked if they have eligible immigration status.
  7. Federal and state Marketplaces, and state Medicaid and CHIP agencies can’t require you to provide information about the citizenship or immigration status of any family or household members who aren’t applying for coverage.
  8. States can’t deny you benefits because a family or household member who isn't applying hasn’t provided his or her citizenship or immigration status.
  9. Information that you provide to the Marketplace won’t be used for immigration enforcement purposes.
  10. If you’re not eligible for Marketplace coverage or you can't afford a health plan, you can get low-cost health care at a nearby community health center. Community health centers provide primary health care services to all residents, including immigrant families, in the health center’s service area.
Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Refugee children at the border. - Drew Law Office, pllc.

Refugee children at the border. - Drew Law Office, pllc.

If you have been watching the news at all over the past couple of weeks you will have heard about the dramatic increase in the numbers of children and families fleeing the violence and poverty of Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Some press reports estimate that 50-60 thousand children have turned themselves in to authorities at the southern US border seeking a way to stay here.



click on the link to see my view on this issue...



 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal time is here! - Drew Law Office, pllc.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal time is here! - 



The first DACA approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests before the expiration of their current period of DACA. USCIS encourages requestors to submit their renewal request approximately 120 days (four months) before their current period of deferred action expires.



Drew Law Office, pllc.

Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Monday, June 2, 2014

We Are One (WAO) Festival in Manchester (08/16/2014) - Drew Law Office, pllc.

We Are One (WAO) Festival in Manchester (08/16/2014) - Drew Law Office, pllc. 


NH's Largest multicultural festival -- August 16, 2014



Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Parole in Place: New York Legal Assistance Group

New York Legal Assistance Group



Click the link above to read more about the possibility of expanding the rarely used power to "parole in place" individuals without legal immigration status. Such an expansion could allow up to a million persons to gain legal status in the USA while maintaining the Executive Branch of the government's prerogative to exercise prosecutorial discretion. It would therefore -- not be an amnesty but would promote family unity in households where some members are citizens or lawful permanent residents and some have no lawful status.





 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Obama: 2-3 months for immigration reform - Seung Min Kim - POLITICO.com

Obama: 2-3 months for immigration reform - Seung Min Kim - POLITICO.com



President Barack Obama laid down a deadline for immigration reform on Tuesday, saying House Republicans have two or three months to start acting on an overhaul before midterm election politics take over.
As he met with more than 40 law enforcement officials, Obama pressed the case that Congress has a “very narrow window” to complete immigration reform this year. He accused a “handful” of House GOP lawmakers of stalling reform but added that a number of Republicans are “realizing that blocking immigration reform is not a good idea.”


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/barack-obama-immigration-reform-106639.html#ixzz31hansjfd






 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

A NH Immigration Attorney's view of two NH bills about to become law


Amongst the many legislative measure considered every session by the New Hampshire General Court there are always a couple that catch my eye as being of particular significance to my immigration law clients. This year is no exception; there are two bills likely to be laws by the time this piece runs that will affect the lives of my clients and how they interact with our law office. The first of these is SB 394. The bill is part policy and part technical corrections bill. Most everyone now knows that New Hampshire recognizes same sex marriages -- but did you know that a same sex marriage solemnized in the state becomes null and void if the parties actually reside in a state that doesn’t recognize same sex couples? Senate bill 394 ends this practice of self-defeating our own marriage laws. Upon enactment, such marriages will remain legal in New Hampshire (and federally) while other states can maintain their right not to recognize the validity of the bond. While this bill is not directed towards immigrants -- I can tell you that this issue comes up quite often in the immigration context because legal residence is often a direct result of a marital relationship. We have had clients in the recent past who wished to be married in New Hampshire but who had to be directed to our neighboring New England states to avoid the very problems which SB 394 is designed to solve.

The second bill is also, at least ostensibly, not directed at the immigrant population. HB 1135 will, however, have an impact which falls hardest on the undocumented immigrant community and those in the process of legalizing their immigration status. HB 1135 changes the current law regarding operating a motor vehicle without a valid license. As it stands today, driving without a valid license is a violation of law for which a person must appear in court and, if convicted, must pay a fine. Only if a person is convicted twice within a calendar year will they be guilty of a Misdemeanor and face possible jail time.

Under HB 1135 that changes, for some. I have heard that the law is a response to the tragic deaths of two cyclists in Hampton (and serious injury to others) last year caused by an unlicensed driver. While I support the Legislature’s desire to try to prevent such occurrences I think this bill missed the mark. I don’t know whether HB 1135 would have changed what appears to have happened in the Hampton case, but it will certainly negatively affect my clients. For example, a New Hampshire resident who: merely from inattention, lack of motivation, or for some other reason fails to renew their license for up to a year and is caught driving -- is still only guilty of a violation unless it happens twice in 12 months.

However, a person who never had a New Hampshire license or has one that has expired more than a year would be arrested and could be found guilty of a Misdemeanor and jailed. Immigrants who are undocumented cannot be issued a driver’s license in New Hampshire; and those immigrants who are in the process of obtaining legal status or fighting to keep their status often can go long periods of time without the necessary documentation to obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license. Those are the people who are going to be penalized by the new law -- not persons who have had a license suspended or revoked and, for the most part, not unlicensed US citizens either.



Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers Metro Manchester NH (603) 644-3739 or www.immigrationNH.com

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Last call for Obama on immigration reform: Column

Last call for Obama on immigration reform: Column

from USA Today Raul Reyes





(Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)
On Wednesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., reminded lawmakers that the clock is ticking on immigration reform. "After almost a year with no serious movement forward on immigration reform in the House," he said, "I am beginning to wonder whether the Republicans will get serious about immigration before they run out of time." Gutierrez warned Republicans that President Obama could soon take unilateral action. "Do you think he will sit by and do nothing just because you are doing nothing?"
Gutierrez is right. Not only is the window rapidly closing on any possibility of reform over the next few years, it is also shutting on the GOP's long-term viability as a national party. And after repeatedly refusing to act on immigration, House Republicans cannot complain if President Obama decides to move ahead without them.
The stubbornness of House Republicans on immigration is shameful considering the efforts of so many others to make reform a reality. Immigrant advocates assembled a coalition of labor, business, and religious leaders to push for an overhaul of our broken system. The Senate passed the bill put forward by the bipartisan "Gang of 8." House Democrats came up with their own immigration bill, and attempted the long-shot maneuver of a discharge petition to force a vote on it.
House Republicans? They've done nothing, unless you count the bill that they passed last year to deport DREAMers, young immigrants brought here illegally as children. It was the only immigration bill that the GOP-controlled House voted on in 2013.

to see the rest of the article click the link above


 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, Manchester Metro, NH (603) 644-3739 or www.drewpllc.com

Monday, March 31, 2014

COMMENTARY: The tragedy of America's failed immigration system | Religion News Service

COMMENTARY: The tragedy of America's failed immigration system | Religion News Service



to see the full article click the link above



The United States loves data, but I hope it won’t be judged by its damning statistics:
  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has deported close to 2 million people in the past five years, an average of more than 400,000 persons a year. How many families were wrenched apart?
  • The U.S. Office of Management and Budget reports that the budget for the U.S. Border Patrol has increased tenfold since 1993, from $363 million to $3.5 billion. Given that the undocumented population has tripled since 1986 to 11 to 12 million people today, by economic standards that’s a pretty weak return on investment.
  • The Department of Homeland Security reports that as of February 2014, almost 700 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing has been completed along the U.S.-Mexico border. Perhaps that’s a boon for the confinement industry.
  • The Congressional Research Service reports that 208,939 unauthorized immigrants were prosecuted as criminals under Operation Streamline from 2005 to the end of fiscal year 2012. They are sentenced in “group” trials that provide apprehended immigrants few legal rights. Aren’t guaranteed legal rights one of the hallmarks of our democracy?
  • In fiscal year 2012, the Department of Homeland Security incarcerated more than 477,000 people, a record. Yet since 2003, about 2.5 million immigrants have been detained in the U.S. detention system. Surely they did not comprise 2.5 million threats to the U.S.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo courtesy Bob Roller, Catholic News Service

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo courtesy Bob Roller, Catholic News Service
The data shows that our nation’s effort to cope with undocumented persons does not work. It is costly, most especially, I fear, for the soul of a nation.
(Sister Mary Ann Walsh is the director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
KRE/AMB END WALSH



































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Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Attorneys, NH -- (603) 644-3739www.drewpllc.com

Thursday, March 27, 2014

House Democrats File Petition To Force Immigration Vote | ThinkProgress

House Democrats File Petition To Force Immigration Vote | ThinkProgress

My two Representatives here in NH are supporting getting immigration reform done! Are yours? Call them and make sure they do!


With only 199 House Democratic members, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) knew beforeduring, and after a Democratic leadership-led press conference on the steps of the Capitol that a procedural motion aimed at forcing a vote on comprehensive immigration reform would fail to garner the required 218 signatures needed to send an immigration bill to the House floor without first being passed out of committee. That discharge petition requires a bipartisan miracle and House Republicans have been unwilling to budge. But the Democrat-led effort is intended to call out Republicans who have called immigration the “800-pound gorilla,” but have done little to come up with a solution.



 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers NH -- (603) 644-3739 www.immigrationNH.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Nature of Charge in New Filings Seeking Removal Orders through February 2014

Nature of Charge in New Filings Seeking Removal Orders through February 2014



and this from ABCNEWS



An Oval Office meeting with three Latino lawmakers brought about a late-night announcement from the White House on Thursday: Obama is directing his homeland security chief, Jeh Johnson, to review America's deportation program, with an eye toward finding more humane ways to enforce the law without contravening it.



~ Perhaps this has something to do with the administration's belief that they should focus their prosecutorial resources on removing serious criminals who pose a threat to the communities. That is what they say at least. Those of us who practice in immigration have come to know that either the administration leadership has no control over the bureaucracy - or they are being dishonest about their priorities. If you follow the link to TRAC the charts there clearly show that the percentage of persons placed in removal proceedings based on criminal activity is down to 12% of the total. It has never been higher than 17% during the Obama administration even though they have put record numbers of people in deportation.



The percentage was only slightly higher under the tenure of George W. Bush. What does this mean? It means that despite the Obama administration's protestations otherwise and the success of their DACA program -- they still are mostly deporting people who do not have serious criminal records. Perhaps that will change or perhaps the threat that it might change will move Congress to act on immigration reform so that they can deny the Obama administration the chance to lock up the votes of new citizens who still have undocumented family members fearing deportation.







 Drew Law Office, PLLC -- Immigration Lawyers NH -- (603) 644-3739 www.immigrationNH.com

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SXSW Rosario Dawson on Immigration Reform

Monday, February 17, 2014

Why immigration reform matters

You won't often see me reprint an opinion piece from George Will -- but sometimes the invisible hand of the free market gives you a high 5.

  Why immigration reform matters By George F. Will, Published: February 13

 Distilled to their discouraging essence, Republicans’ reasons for retreating from immigration reform reflect waning confidence in American culture and in the political mission only Republicans can perform — restoring U.S. economic vigor. Without this, the nation will have a dismal future only Democrats can relish: government growing in order to allocate scarce opportunity. Many Republicans say addressing immigration will distract from a winning focus on Obamacare. But a mature party avoids monomania, and Obamacare’s manifold defects are obvious enough that voters will not require nine more months of reminders. Many Republicans say immigration policy divides their party. If, however, the party becomes a gaggle of veto groups enforcing unanimities, it will become what completely harmonious parties are: small. Many Republicans see in immigrants only future Democratic votes.

This descent into Democratic-style identity politics is unworthy of Republicans, and unrealistic. U.S. history tells a consistent story — the party identified with prosperity, and hence opportunity, prospers. Many Republicans have understandable cultural concerns, worrying that immigrants from this hemisphere do not experience the “psychological guillotine” that severed trans-Atlantic immigrants from prior allegiances. But are there data proving that U.S. culture has lost its assimilative power? Thirty-five percent of illegal adult immigrants have been here at least 15 years, 28 percent for 10 to 14 years and only 15 percent for less than five years. Thirty-five percent own their homes. Are we sure they are resisting assimilation? Many Republicans rightly say that control of borders is an essential ingredient of national sovereignty. But net immigration from Mexico has recently been approximately zero. Border Patrol spending, which quadrupled in the 1990s, tripled in the 2000s. With illegal entries near a 40-year low, and a 2012 Government Accountability Office assessment that border security was then 84 percent effective, will a “border surge” of $30 billion more for the further militarization (actually, the East Germanization) of the 1,969 miles assuage remaining worries?

Many Republicans say Barack Obama cannot be trusted to enforce reforms. This is, however, no reason for not improving immigration laws that subsequent presidents will respect. Besides, the Obama administration’s deportations are, if anything, excessive, made possible by post-9/11 technological and manpower resources. As the Economist tartly noted, “a mass murder committed by mostly Saudi terrorists resulted in an almost limitless amount of money being made available for the deportation of Mexican house-painters.” Many Republicans say immigration runs counter to U.S. social policies aiming to reduce the number of people with low levels of skill and education, and must further depress the wages of Americans at the bottom of the economic ladder, who are already paying the price for today’s economic anemia. This is true. But so is this: The Congressional Budget Office says an initial slight reduction of low wages (0.1 percent in a decade) will be followed by increased economic growth partly attributable to immigrants.

Immigration is the entrepreneurial act of taking the risk of uprooting oneself and plunging into uncertainty. Small wonder, then, that immigrants are about 20 percent of owners of small businesses, and that more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. George W. Bush was the first president since Woodrow Wilson to serve two terms and leave office with the average household income lower than when he entered it. Obama may be the second when he leaves during the eighth year of a wretched recovery. Forty-seven percent of the House Republican conference has been in Washington 37 months or less; 21 percent of them have never held any other elective office. Many plunged into politics because they were dismayed about the nation’s trajectory under the current president and his predecessor. Many are understandably disposed against immigration because they have only dim memories of a more dynamic United States and have little aptitude for politics suited to, and aimed at restoring, vibrancy. Some Depression-era progressives, expecting capitalism’s crisis to produce a prolonged and perhaps permanent scarcity of jobs, hoped Social Security would open jobs for the young by encouraging older workers to retire.

Progressives often are ambivalent about scarcities because they see themselves as administrators of rationing. But President Bill Clinton, refuting opposition — much of it from Democrats — to the North American Free Trade Agreement, splendidly said: “Protectionism is just a fancy word for giving up.” Opposition to immigration because the economy supposedly cannot generate sufficient jobs is similar defeatism. Zero-sum reasoning about a fixed quantity of American opportunity is for a United States in a defensive crouch, which is not for conservatives.