Changes to Immigration Laws
The last few years have resulted in a great many changes to immigration laws in the United States. Family-based immigration, in particular, is being scrutinized more closely. Indeed, the approval of family-based visas is now at the lowest it has been in over a decade. With the rise in immigration enforcement and lower approval rate for family-based immigration visas, it is more important than ever to stay informed. If you, or a loved one, are considering applying for family-based immigration, getting skilled legal support is crucial.
At Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our legal team has years of experience supporting families with their immigration matters. We understand the importance of filing a good application and getting it done right the first time. We are committed to helping the immigrant community in Austin, and we have decades of combined experience. Contact the Austin family-based immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC today at (512) 323-2333, or online, today.
Contemporary Immigration Law Developments
The area of immigration law is a hot button top nowadays with rapid changes taking place. The path to citizenship should be available to all. However, immigrants must often pass through rigorous visa and residency applications before getting to citizenship. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, over 1 million immigrants received green cards and in the fiscal year 2015 alone. The largest category of these green cards went to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, and family-based immigration accounts for the majority of new green cards overall.
However, each year there are individuals who may fail take advantage of immigration relief opportunities for various reasons, including a lack of information. Indeed, it is hard to keep track of the numerous alterations and proposed changes to existing immigration relief programs. Below are some recent changes which you and your loved ones should be aware of.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The DACA program is a form of prosecutorial discretion that was created by executive action during the Obama administration in 2012. This means that the Secretary of Homeland Security directed the deferment of removal actions against undocumented individuals that met certain requirements. Essentially, the DACA program provided an opportunity to get work permits and relief from removal for undocumented individuals brought to the United States as minors.
However, the DACA program has seen great changes recently, and many have questions about its current state. Back in September 2017, the Trump administration announced it would seek the end of the DACA program and set a date of March 5, 2018, for the end of the program. Recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” are about 24 years old on average, and the DACA program has helped over 800,000 individuals in the United States. Recent litigation in California and New York led to federal injunctions that will keep the DACA program as a viable option for some undocumented youth, including some of those that already have a work permit through DACA.
Given the almost monthly changes to the DACA program and its application requirements, it is critical to speak with an attorney before filing an application. There are numerous complex requirements to be eligible to apply, and you should get the advice of an experienced immigration attorney before applying.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS is a form of immigration relief that is available to individuals from select countries, and it is reviewed every 18 months. The selected countries are usually chosen because they have recently seen a massive natural disaster or a humanitarian crisis like war. TPS allows immigrants from these select countries to remain in the United States and lawfully work.
Under the new administration, the TPS program has also come under scrutiny. Although TPS for individuals from certain countries like Syria have been extended, TPS protections for individuals from certain other countries have been eliminated at a faster pace since 2017. In recent months, the secretary of Homeland Security has announced the termination of TPS protections for individuals from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
The termination of these programs reflects one of the many ongoing changes in immigration law today. Countries which would routinely receive TPS designation renewals are no longer receiving reauthorization. For individuals with TPS, this may create a new host of concerns, because TPS expiration could make a person subject to removal or deportation. This could have a direct impact on you, or your family, if your legal status and work authorization are currently dependent on TPS. If you are concerned about your TPS status, it is important to speak with an attorney immediately to learn about any additional changes to the program.
Do I Need An Attorney?
The high scrutiny of family-based applications means that you need a trained team of attorneys at your side. The immigration laws in the United States can be very complex, and a skilled attorney will help you navigate all of the legal requirements for your applications. A good attorney will explain with the law means, identify the best evidence to collect for your case, and describe the timeline for your application. This will likely help ensure that your journey to getting immigration status will go as smoothly as possible.
Why Should I Choose Law Office of William Jang, PLLC?
The DACA and TPS attorneys at Law Office of William Jang, PLLC are committed to providing compassionate and competent legal representation to the Austin community. We have extensive experience helping individuals with family-based immigration sponsorship and visa applications. Regardless of whether you are seeking assistance for yourself or an immediate relative, we will help you understand all of your visa options.
It can be expensive to file applications with USCIS, and some visas have extreme long waitlists which can vary based on your preference category. With so much at stake, you deserve legal representation that will help you file the best visa application or adjustment application possible. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in the area of family-based immigration, and other areas of immigration, and we pride ourselves in staying up to date on legal developments in the area immigration laws.
If you or a loved one is thinking about applying for a family-based visa, sponsoring a relative, or seeking other immigration relief, you should speak with an attorney. The experienced Austin immigration attorneys at Law Office of William Jang, PLLC understand the dizzying array of legal developments in the United States immigration sector, and we will help you at every step of the application process. We believe that every immigrant should have the opportunity to experience the American dream, and we will fight to protect your rights. Contact our Austin immigration attorneys today at (512) 323-2333 or online.