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Aging-Out Children and Cancellation of Removal

September 17, 2020

Author: USA Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

At the law office of Alena Shautsova, we help our clients to use complicated US Immigration laws to achieve their Immigration goals: the US immigration law governing one’s case and affecting one’s life in the US, can be extremely complicated and not obvious. A times, an “obvious” assumption may  actually be disputed by various Immigration bodies controlling one’s case: Immigration Judge, Board of Immigration Appeals, or a prosecutor. Consider this example that deals with aging out children and cancellation of removal.

Cancellation of removal for non-permanent resident is a relief available to some persons who have accumulated 10 years of continuous presence in the US, possess good moral character, and can demonstrate that their removal would result in extreme hardship to their qualifying relatives. A qualifying relative for the purposes of cancellation of removal can be a USC or LPR, spouse, parent or a child (under 21 years old).  To learn more about qualifications for cancellation of removal, please visit our blog: Cancellation of Removal: https://www.shautsova.com/law-publications/simplified-eligibility-requirements-cancellation-removal.html

Imagine that a person, who is not married and who does not have parents in the USA,  has a US citizen child. That child, is the person’s only qualifying relative for the purposes of cancellation of removal. Further, by now, almost everyone knows that cases take a very long time to process in US Immigration courts. It takes even longer to get a final result in an Immigration case for a  relief in the form of cancellation of removal. Will a person who filed for cancellation of removal while the child was under 21, but whose child turned 21 while the case was pending, be still eligible for cancellation or removal? This is an important question one Federal Court gave an answer to in Martinez-Perez v. Barr, No. 18-9573, (Ca. 10th Cir, Jan. 17, 2020).

In Martinez-Perez, respondent-father submitted his application for cancellation of removal well before his daughter’s 21st birthday. In fact his daughter was only 16years old. But, as the fate and the court had it, Mr. Martinez’ final hearing was scheduled about six years later, when his daughter turned 21 years old. Mr. Martinez’ as such, seemed to have lost his eligibility for cancellation of removal. So ruled the Immigration Judge, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The issue here was, of course, that the statute or the law regarding qualifications for cancellation of removal, is written so that it is not clear, what it actually means: shall the hardship be established at the time of the final decision, or at the time of the application? Imagine that there are two identical cases A and B. Both A and B’s children are under 21 at the time they file for the cancellation of removal. But A’s case is decided within 1 year, and B’s case is postponed for 8 years, without his request, and his child turns 21 before the decision is made…

After careful analysis, the Court came to a conclusion that if an immigrant suffered an unfair delay that resulted in violation of his/her due process rights, he, may qualify for the relief nevertheless. It does not mean, that in every case of aging out child, an immigrant may win the argument that his/her application should nevertheless be granted. But it does give hope for the cases stuck in the processing backlog.

As you can see, you never “know” how a case may turn out… If you need help with your Immigration case, please call to schedule a consultation at  917-885-2261.

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New York Immigration Statistics

July 16, 2020

I would like to share excellent research by the Immigration Council related to immigration in New York: the number of immigrants, their origins, their contributions to society! Below are the quotes from their report:

“New York is often considered one of the greatest cultural hubs in the country, having welcomed immigrants long before the days of Ellis Island. Immigrants now account for nearly one-quarter of the state’s total population and make up more than one-fourth of its labor force. As neighbors, business owners, taxpayers, and workers, immigrants are an integral part of New York’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

Nearly a quarter of New York residents are immigrants, while almost one-fifth of residents are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.

  • In 2018, 4.4 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 23 percent of the population.
  • New York was home to 2.3 million women, 2 million men, and 206,980 children who were immigrants.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were the Dominican Republic (11 percent of immigrants), China (9 percent), Mexico (5 percent), Jamaica (5 percent), and India (4 percent).
  • In 2018, 3.6 million people in New York (18 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

Nearly three in five immigrants in New York are naturalized U.S. citizens.

  • 2.6 million immigrants (58 percent)had naturalized as of 2018, and 890,099 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2017.
  • Three-fourths (75 percent) of immigrants reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Immigrants in New York are distributed across the educational spectrum.

  • One-third (33 percent) of adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2018, while nearly a quarter (24 percent) had less than a high school diploma.  
Education LevelShare (%) of All ImmigrantsShare (%) of All Natives
College degree or more3339
Some college1826
High school diploma only2526
Less than a high school diploma248
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.

Over half a million U.S. citizens in New York live with at least one family member who is undocumented.

  • 725,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 15 percent of the immigrant population and 4 percent of the total state population in 2016.
  • 1.2 million people in New York, including 547,802 U.S. citizens, lived with at least one undocumented family member between 2010 and 2014.
  • During the same period, about one in 12 of children in the state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (351,146 children in total).

New York is home to over 28,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

  • 28,910 active DACA recipients lived in New York as of 2019, while DACA has been granted to 118,860 people in total since 2012.
  • As of 2019, 36percentof DACA-eligible immigrants in New York had applied for DACA.
  • An additional 20,000 residents of the state would satisfy all but the educational requirements for DACA, and fewer than 2,000 would become eligible as they grew older.

About one in four workers in New York is an immigrant, together making up a vital part of the state’s labor force in a range of industries.

  • 2.8 million immigrant workers comprised 28 percent of the labor force in 2018. 
  • Immigrant workers were most numerous in the following industries:
IndustryNumber of Immigrant Workers
Health Care and Social Assistance604,741
Accommodation and Food Services301,593
Retail Trade284,432
Educational Services232,726
Transportation and Warehousing224,796
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.
  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following industries:
IndustryImmigrant Share (%)
(of all industry workers)
Transportation and Warehousing39
Other Services (except Public Administration)36
Accommodation and Food Services35
Construction34
Health Care and Social Assistance33
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.


Immigrants are an integral part of the New York workforce in a range of occupations.

  • In 2018, immigrant workers were most numerous in the following occupation groups:
Occupation CategoryNumber of Immigrant Workers
Transportation and Material Moving280,354
Sales and Related266,206
Office and Administrative Support262,142
Healthcare Support250,294
Management232,654
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.
  • The largest shares of immigrant workers were in the following occupation groups:
Occupation CategoryImmigrant Share (%)
(of all workers in occupation)
Healthcare Support49
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance43
Construction and Extraction37
Transportation and Material Moving35
Personal Care and Service33
Source: Analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-year PUMS data by the American Immigration Council.
  • Undocumented immigrants comprised 5 percent of New York’s workforce in 2016.

Immigrants in New York have contributed tens of billions of dollars in taxes.

As consumers, immigrants add well over a hundred billion dollars to New York’s economy.

  • New York residents in immigrant-led households had $120.5 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2018.

Immigrant entrepreneurs in New York generate billions of dollars in business revenue.

  • 348,547 immigrant business owners accounted for 34 percent of all self-employed New York residents in 2018 and generated $7.8 billionin business income.
  • In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area in 2018, nearly one-third (31 percent) of business owners were immigrants.”

Trump Signs Proclamation To Revoke Visas of Certain Chinse National and Prevent Their Entry Into The US

May 31, 2020
New Immigration Restrictions For Chinese Students and Researchers

Author: NYC Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

On May 29, 2020, President Trump issued another proclamation related to the travel restrictions by citizens of China. Trump used its authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(f) to limit the entry of non-citizens into the US. In addition, the Proclamation also calls for revocation of visas of those persons who are currently in the United States and who fall under the Proclamation’s frames. However, unlike previous proclamations, this one does not have a time limit and will remain in effect until revoked by the President.

According to the new proclamation, citizens of China seeking to enter the United States for graduate studies and higher, students and researchers will be prohibited to come to the US if they:

— receive funding from or who are currently employed by, study at, or conduct research at or on behalf of; or

— have been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of, an entity in China that implements or supports the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy (MCF).

For an explanation of the MCF please see the Department of State’s website: https://bit.ly/3eyTYB3 . According to DOS: “Key technologies being targeted under MCF include quantum computing, big data, semiconductors, 5G, advanced nuclear technology, aerospace technology, and AI. The PRC specifically seeks to exploit the inherent ‘dual-use’ nature of many of these technologies, which have both military and civilian applications.”

The Proclamation provides for generous exeptions, it does not apply to:

–Undergraduate students;

— Lawful permanent residents of the United States;

–The spouse of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident;

— A foreign national who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and any foreign national who is a spouse or child of a member of the United States Armed Forces;

— A foreign national whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement (such as a PRC U.N. representative or expert performing a U.N. mission) or who would otherwise be allowed entry into the United States pursuant to United States obligations under applicable international agreements;

–A foreign national who is studying or conducting research in a field involving information that would not contribute to the PRC’s military-civil fusion strategy, as determined by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies;

— A foreign national whose entry would further United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or

— A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

The Proclamation also does not apply to asylum seekers.

The Proclamation also states that within the next 60 days, more restrictions may follow that are designed to prevent Chinese nationals from acquiring certain sensitive technology.

The Proclamation does not address the EB5 investor’s program or EB1 self-petition program that allow citizens of China to immigrate to the United States. Nor does it address any work-related or family-related immigrant visas.

It is unclear how the candidates for visa revocation will be determined and if there will be any appeal process in case of erroneous determination.

US Immigration Public Charge Chart Explaining Status and Benefits

May 6, 2020

Author: NYC Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova

US Public Charge Rule is confusing and complex enough even for a seasoned Immigration practitioner. Public Charge test applies for certain but not all immigration filings/ benefits. For example, VAWA, asylum and refuge seekers are exempt from the public charge test, but most employment and family-based applicants are not. Also not all public benefits would count for the public charge purposes test.

Currently, the test is being used in connection with the adjustment of status filings, filings for extension and change of status and for Immigrant visa filings. Depending on the location of the applicant, the person may have to submit form I 944 (in the US) or form DS5540 (outside the US). Please note that not all the consulates are collecting DS 5540 at this time. Consulates may not even require the form to be submitted as they can ask the applicant at the interview all relevant questions. Dorm DS 5540 cannot be submitted online at this time.

Below you will find an invaluable table composed by the Empire Justice Center that explains in detail which benefits count towards public charge for which immigration filings.

Medical Hardship for Cancellation of Removal

March 31, 2020

Author: NYC Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

View our video on the issue:

Best New York Immigration Lawyer
NYC Immigration lawyer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66EnHipb0Ew&t=30s

Establishing medical hardship for the cancellation of removal cases is one of the most important burdens of the person in removal proceedings.

Recently, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a decision in the Matter of J-J-G, specifying a standard an applicant for cancellation of removal must meet in connection when trying to establish medical hardship to a qualifying relative. The decision specifically addresses a situation where the qualifying relative is argued to have to accompany the applicant in case of his/her removal.

Specifically, the BIA stated that the person who is trying to show that the relative will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship in case of his/her removal must present evidence that the adequate medical help for the serious medical condition is not reasonably available in the country at issue.

The BIA emphasized that general evidence regarding the lesser qualify of medical care and lesser opportunities in the country at issue is insufficient to meet the requireed standard.

As such, the BIA ordered the respondent, a native of Guatemala, with five US citizen children to be removed to Guatemala! From reading the decision, it is apparent that the result was due to lack of preparation and absence of specific evidence addressing the issue of the cost and availability of the treatment for the medical condition for the qualified relative. Nevertheless, the decision will have a grave impact on thousands of the cancellation of removal applications. The text of the decision can be found here.

Coronavirus Update on US Visa Processing and International Travel

March 19, 2020

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova

If you feel that the news gets old the minute it is published, you are right! The US government just announced that it suspends US visa processing, and the US Government issued a warning against all international travel. Do not get stuck overseas!

SUSPENSION OF ROUTINE VISA SERVICES

In response to worldwide challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of State is suspending routine visa services in most countries worldwide.  Embassies and consulates in these countries will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020.  Check the website of the embassy or consulate for its current operating status.  As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services.

Please see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/suspension-of-routine-visa-services.html

GLOBAL LEVEL 4

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

Please see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html

List Of European Countries From Which All Travel Is Suspended For 30 days

March 12, 2020

Author: NYC Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the USA decided to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. These countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

These countries do not include England. The bar does not affect movement of goods.

The following individuals are not barred from entering the United States:

(i)     any lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(ii)    any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(iii)   any alien who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;

(iv)    any alien who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;

(v)     any alien who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;

(vi)    any alien traveling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;

(vii)   any alien traveling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any alien otherwise traveling to the United States as air or sea crew;

(viii)  any alien

(A)  seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas:  A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or

(B)  whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;

(ix)    any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the CDC Director or his designee;

(x)     any alien whose entry would further important the United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;

(xi)    any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees; or

(xii)   members of the U.S. Armed Forces and spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

(b)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.

Immigration Court (EOIR) Starts Online Case Status Checks

February 26, 2020

Author: Deportation Defense Attorney Alena Shautsova

US Immigration court system (EOIR) has launched a new online case status check-up system. By putting one’s alien number into an online field, a person can get access to the court’s information system regarding one’s case. The link for the system is: https://portal.eoir.justice.gov/InfoSystem/Form?Language=EN

The test of the system revealed that it will not contain copies of any decisions, but will provide general status of the matter and future hearing dates, which can be handy, especially if you do not want to call 800 phone number: 800-898-7180 (TDD 800-828-1120) . The only issue is that at times when the proceedings were administratively closed, the system states that the case is currently pending without more.

The A number based system is a good option for at times a confusing 800-phone system. However, it does not replace or substitute law requirements that a person in removal proceedings shall receive a notice of the date and time of their hearing. It is especially true nowadays when courts are transitioning from the “status” dockets, converting them by default into Master hearings without sending appropriate notices to the attorneys or persons in removal proceedings.

B-Ban Or How Babies Became Threat for The US National Security

January 26, 2020
Image result for Baby Banned

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova

It is official: pregnant ladies will be denied U.S. tourist visas! This is the essence of the new rule that was published by the U.S. government on January 24, 2020.

“Birth tourism” or entering the U.S. for having access to the best and most reliable medical care has been around for decades. Ladies all over the world, some having to save money for a long time, came to the U.S. to have assurance that the most important day in their lives and in the lives of their new babies would go as smoothly as possible. While I am not in a possession of any official statistics, I know for a fact that to get a B or tourist visa has never been easy: a person would have to show that they had sufficient funds to sustain themselves in the U.S. and had strong ties with their home country… In fact, one of the purposes of the B visa was to seek medical attention/help in the U.S.  Thousands of women used this provision to give birth to the U.S.

It is so happened that the U.S. Constitution provides  every baby who was born in the U.S. (with the exceptions of babies of certain diplomats) U.S. citizenship. Basically, regardless of the babies’ mother’s true intentions: to have safe delivery or to plan for the future Immigration to the U.S., the law works to protect the babies born on U.S. soil. And this very provision and threat of “anchor babies” became the reason why recently the U.S. Administration decided to ban pregnant ladies from coming to the U.S.:

“Permitting short-term visitors with no demonstrable ties to the United States to obtain visas to travel to the United States primarily to obtain U.S. citizenship for a child creates a potential long-term vulnerability for national security.” “ By obtaining a child’s U.S. citizenship through birth tourism, foreign nationals are able to help that child avoid the scrutiny, standards, and procedures that he or she would normally undergo if he or she sought to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization.” In other words, they help newborns!

Hence,  “a consular officer shall deny a B nonimmigrant visa to an alien who he or she has reason to believe intends to travel for this primary purpose. “ says the new rule.

To be fair, the rule tries to address the issue of many women trying to come to the U.S. simply to seek high quality medical care which is often unavailable in their home countries. It says: “ Under the primary purpose test, a consular officer must consider a visa applicant’s primary (or principal) purpose of travel to evaluate the applicant’s eligibility for the requested visa classification. All of a visa applicant’s intended activities in the United States are considered in determining the applicant’s eligibility for a visa under standards set out in INA 212 and 214(b), 8 U.S.C. 1182 and 1184, and other applicable visa eligibility standards. The Department’s FAM guidance to consular officers on this point—that an “alien desiring to come to the United States for one principal, and one or more incidental, purposes should be classified in accordance with the principal purpose”—has remained unchanged for well over 30 years. Compare 9 FAM 41.11 N3.1 (August 30, 1987) with current 9 FAM 402.1-3 (last revised May 21, 2018)”

But if we have to measure on a scale of justice a visit to see a family member vs. delivering a baby, it is obvious that delivering a baby purpose will always outweigh any and all other legitimate purposes for travel. So, it is pretty obvious, that the ladies will not be able to come to the U.S. to give birth anymore. Moreover, if a lady “looks” pregnant she will be denied a visa as well!

While some may be annoyed at the fact that ladies come to the U.S. to give birth in the U.S. hospitals to produce “anchor babies”, I have to respond that for such a baby to be able to sponsor a mother or a father, the baby has to be 21 years old, reside in the U.S. and have sufficient income! Which, in most cases, simply will not be possible. The baby ban will affect not those who are crossing the border or are victims of criminal activities, but those who tried to follow the law and actually applied for a visa, arranged for medical treatment facility and doctors and could demonstrate that they could afford their stay in the U.S.

Can I Travel Abroad If I Have TPS and an Order of Removal?

December 22, 2019

Author: Deportation attorney Alena Shautsova

Beneficiaries of the TPS (temporary protected status) are allowed to obtain advance parole: an authorization that allows them to travel abroad and be paroled back into the United States. Many have used this opportunity to obtain a “paroled” status necessary for adjustment of status under INA section 245 which states that one of the qualifications for adjustment of status is for a person to be inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States…

For some time, TPS holders in removal proceedings and with final orders of removal were able to obtain advance paroles and travel on them as well. According to the author’s information, some USCIS offices were accepting such a return on advance parole as an execution of the order of removal and authorization to come back to the United States, opening the door for such travelers for adjustment of status with USCIS.  Recently, USCIS issued yet another policy closing the door to such an interpretation of the travel on advance parole for the TPS holders with orders of removal/deportation.  

Specifically, the policy states that when the TPS holder travels on advance parole and returns to the US, his/her status does not change; if a TPS holder had an order of removal or deportation, he would still be considered as having an unexecuted order; and if removal/deportation proceedings were pending at the time of travel, they remain pending at the time of return.

Now, for an adjustment of status, a TPS holder without the order or removal, can satisfy the paroled requirement if he/she travels and returns on TPS.  A grant of TPS by itself does not cure an alien’s entry without inspection or constitute an inspection and admission of the alien (in most jurisdictions). If an alien under TPS departs the United States and is admitted or paroled upon return to a port of entry, the alien meets the inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled requirement provided the inspection and parole occurred before he or she filed an adjustment application. The applicant, however, must still meet all other requirements to be eligible for adjustment. 

So, what would you do if you traveled on TPS but you have pending removal proceedings? Perhaps, you may be eligible for an adjustment before the judge. If you have an old removal order: it will be considered unexecuted, and legal analysis will be more complicated depending on circumstances.

If you need a consultation regarding your options, please call 917-885-2261 to book an appointment.