Articles Tagged with Illegal immigration

Can divorce affect your immigration status? If your U.S. Visa was granted because of your spouse’s application, you may find yourself wondering what could happen if you and your spouse separate or get a divorce. The answer varies depending on how far along you are in the immigration process.

Approved visa petition (USCIS Form I-130): Form I-130 is a form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident petitioning for a close relative (here, a spouse) who intends to immigrate to the U.S. Approval of the petition does not create status and if you divorce at this point in the process, you will not be able to proceed toward U.S. immigration.

Conditional Residence: If you used your spouse’s status to gain immigration status to the U.S. within two years of your marriage, you are a conditional resident.  Conditional Residence is a two-year green card given to a spouse whose marriage is less than two years old. To become a permanent resident, you and your spouse will jointly file a Form I-751 within the final 90 days of your conditional residence green card. Form I-751 is a petition to remove conditions on residence. If you divorce after being granted conditional residence but before filing Form I-751 to remove conditions, you may be able to get a waiver of the other spouse’s signing requirement, but you will have to show that the marriage was bona fide (genuine).  This is to ensure that the marriage was in good faith and not entered for the sole purpose of fraudulently obtaining a green card. Proving that the marriage was not fraudulent can be a daunting task and you will likely need an attorney’s help the specific evidence you will need to get a waiver of the spouses signature.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and other traffic offenses have unique consequences for immigrants in the United States whether they have been lawfully admitted or not. While all crimes may be considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in removal proceedings, certain crimes carry more weight. Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) may render an alien inadmissible or deportable depending on their status. DWI offenses may also lead undocumented immigrants to receive higher priority for removal proceedings.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has defined crimes involving moral turpitude as conduct that is inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed other persons, either individually or to society in general. Crimes involving moral turpitude require an element of intent that is absent from ordinary DWI cases. Intent for CIMT must be at least recklessness (knowingly endangering another’s health or safety). However, the addition of an aggravating factor such as driving with a suspended license or with a child in the car or the commission of an additional crime such as using illegal drugs is usually enough to trigger a CIMT. (It should be noted that illegal use of a controlled substance is another, separate, ground for inadmissibility, see 8 USC 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) and 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II))

Certain traffic convictions such as Driving While Intoxicated may also lead to higher priority by DHS with regards to apprehension, detention and removal of undocumented immigrants. Because of the high volume of undocumented immigrants in the United States, DHS has created a priority system designed to streamline removal and prioritize the removal of aliens that pose a “threat to national security, border security and public safety”.

A principios de esta semana, el Presidente Obama se manifestó en torno a dos asuntos de inmigración que vienen afectando a la Nación.  En primer lugar, se refirió al ingreso de menores que huyen de países de Centro América sin la compañía de un adulto. El Presidente envió así una carta al Congreso solicitando mayores poderes para enviar a estos menores de regreso a sus países de origen, bajo la figura del programa de expulsiones expeditas.

Por lo regular, la expulsión expedita o acelerada es reservada para los llamados “arriving aliens” (aquellos que están intentando entrar a los Estados Unidos a través de la frontera u otro punto de entrada legal, así como también aquellas personas que ingresaron recientemente a los Estados Unidos de manera ilegal). En ambos casos, puede que la medida dé inicio a un proceso de expulsión; sin embargo, antes de emitir la orden, un oficial de inmigración debe determinar que la persona es inadmisible en los Estados Unidos por al menos una de las siguientes razones:

·         Mintió o distorsionó la realidad con el objetivo de obtener documentos de ingreso o admisión a los Estados Unidos; por ejemplo, bajo la falsa pretensión de contar con ciudadanía estadounidense

Yesterday, President Obama addressed two immigration issues plaguing the nation.  First, to address the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing Central American countries, President Obama requested that Congress give him more authority to send these children back to their home countries under the Nation’s expedited removal program.  Ordinarily, expedited removal is reserved for “arriving aliens” (people who are attempting to enter the United States at a border or other lawful entry point and people who recently entered the United States unlawfully). They may be placed into expedited removal proceedings, but before issuing an expedited removal order, an immigration officer must determine that the person is inadmissible to the United States because he or she either:

  • lied or misrepresented a material fact, including falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, in obtaining U.S. entry documents or admission, or
  • does not have a valid entry document (such as a visa or border crosser card) or travel document (such as a passport).

E-Verify in the Carolinas

E-Verify is gaining the support of an unsuspected group: employers. Well, at least with South Carolina employers.

“E-verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States by comparing an employee’s Social Security number and other information against millions of government records. The program generally provides results in three to five seconds.” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

E-Verify está ganando apoyo por parte de un grupo inesperado: el de los empleadores. Al menos, cuando se trata de empleadores en Carolina del Sur.

“E-verify es un sistema en línea que permite a empresas o negocios determinar la elegibilidad de sus empleados para trabajar en los Estados Unidos, comparando el número de Seguro Social y otros datos del empleado contra millones de registros gubernamentales. Este programa generalmente ofrece resultados entre tres y cinco segundos.”

Entre los estados con leyes propias para hacer cumplir el sistema federal de E-verify, los negocios en Carolina del Sur parecen estar respetando la ley y estar cumpliendo con los requerimientos en un 90 por ciento de los casos.  “En el 2011, la Asamblea General de Carolina del Sur aprobó el llamado “Illegal Aliens and Private Employment Act”, el cual requiere que todas las empresas y negocios usen el sistema federal E-Verify para verificar los nombres y números de seguro social de trabajadores recién contratados. La ley sólo exonera a los trabajadores agrícolas, de trabajo doméstico, y pescadores; su incumplimiento puede resultar en la suspensión de la licencia que le permite al empleador operar.

Licenses for Undocumented Drivers

Many states in the U.S. allow undocumented immigrants to receive a driver’s license.  The most recent addition to this list: The District of Columbia.  Last week, Washington D.C. joined 11 states in the U.S. that do not require lawful status to obtain a license to drive.  The first state to pass such a law was Washington state which began issuing licenses in 2012.  This started a wave of similar laws in response in part to states that stopped granting licenses to undocumented immigrants after 9/11.  Ten states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. have now followed after Washington.  (  The following history regarding licenses for undocumented immigrants paints a picture of the disjointed laws which affect immigration in the U.S.

Complying with REAL ID

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