The New York Times reported today that legal permanent residents are naturalizing fearing the catastrophic possibility of Donald Trump becoming president.  Naturalization would bring with it the right to vote. That is the point.  People are naturalizing to vote against Trump and his stated intent to institute draconian immigration policies.

It’s not only Donald Trump.  The level of disdain and outright disrespect toward immigrants, whether legal or illegal, has reached a fever pitch in the fight to be the Republican nominee for president.  While Republicans have thwarted even bipartisan efforts at immigration reform, the need to carry the base has revealed a darker side - the Party's true agenda and its members true feelings about immigrants.   No statement is too outrageous if it attacks immigrants.  Calls to ban certain religions, threats to break up families, statements that toddlers are capable of understanding removal proceedings all have been met with approval. 

The Immigration Guy is giving a 50% discount on Naturalization if you complete the filing process in 45 days or less.  


YES! You can get paid thousands of dollars in the form of tax relief for getting your immigration affairs in order.  Do you have a U.S. citizen child, a legal resident spouse, a citizen spouse, a U-Visa claim?  All of these are methods that my office pursues to obtain legal resident and non-resident status for clients.  Attorney costs and government fees usually run between $4000.00 and $6,000.00 in such cases.  Many, however, do not know that with legal status and your new Social Security number comes the ability to amend and re-file three years of your tax returns.  In your amended filing you can claim tax deductions and credits you were ineligible to claim with your ITIN.  Re-filing can easily result in $10,000.00 paid to you just through the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.  In addition, you will continue to get significant tax advantages based on your legal filing status. 

People living in the United States and earning income in the United States are required to pay tax on such income.  But, those living in the United States without proper immigration status may not be eligible for a social security number.  For those without a Social Security number, filing with an ITIN is required.  Obtaining an ITIN is a process and you will be required to submit documents establishing your citizenship and identity (passport, foreign driver’s license). 

When filing with an ITIN, you are eligible for standard dependent exemptions.  This will reduce your tax burden.  In 2015 the exemption per dependent is $4000.00.  In order to claim your dependent exemptions each claimed party must also have either a Social Security number or and ITIN.  Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for most other deductions and credits.  Specifically, you will not be able to claim the earned income tax credit or child tax credits.  

President Brings Immigration to the U.S. Supreme Court

As predicted on The Immigration Guy Blog, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals failed to overturn the Federal District Court's prior injunction preventing the implementation of the President's executive order for expansion of deferred action.   The President had two options on how to proceed in his battle for implementation of his plan.  He could either present the case to the entire Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or go directly to the U.S Supreme Court.  Last week the United States Solicitor General announced his office had filed for certiorari (a request that the Supreme Court hear the case).  For a discussion of the arguments the President will pursue use the following link: Immigration Professor's Blog.

California Protects Immigrant Children

The California legislature is considering Assembly Bill 899 which will bar juvenile probation officers and officials from referring undocumented youth offenders to ICE.  This is another step in California's move to express its commitment to dealing with the reality of its embedded immigrant population.  While the federal government continues to avoid addressing immigration, California and a few other states have started to remove state sponsored enforcement measures supporting a broken federal immigration system.

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Trump Is WRONG! Immigrants are not Criminals - Review of Empirical Studies Discloses the Facts!

There has been a great deal of fervor over Presidential Candidate/Reality T.V. Personality, Donald Trump's recent incendiary comments wherein he stated his belief that Mexico was importing "criminals and drug addicts" to the United States.  A newly released paper reviewing studies on immigrants and crime shows the reality is that both legal and undocumented immigrants to the United States are less prone to criminal behavior than U.S. born.  The papers explains the following:

Abstract: For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed two simple yet powerful truths about the relationship between immigration and crime:

(1)  immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and

(2)  high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime.

The conclusion is that policies vilifying immigrants and the laws derived from such policies create the perception that immigrants are a criminal class within our society.  Laws that make people felons for immigration offenses, laws that make legal immigration impossible for those with minor criminal offenses or past immigration offenses, work to turn immigrants into criminals.  The research into the correlation of crime and being and immigrant, however, shows, absent laws directed at them as immigrants, immigrants are less prone to criminal behavior than U.S. Citizens as a class.  



Don't Let You Work Permit Expire; Follow These DACA Renewal Tips from USCIS

Some people wait too long to request DACA renewal or do not correctly submit all the required forms and fees. As a result, their Employment Authorization Documents may expire before USCIS can finish processing their requests for DACA renewal.

You can lessen the chance that this may happen if you:

  • File on time. Submit your renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date listed on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document.
  • Correctly submit all required forms and fees. USCIS will reject your renewal request unless you properly submit:
  • Avoid processing delays. Be sure to submit:
    • Any new documents and information related to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS in a previously approved DACA request,
    • Proof of advance parole if you have traveled outside the United States since you filed your last DACA request that was approved; and
    • Proof of any legal name change.
  • Respond to Requests for Evidence. USCIS may deny your renewal request if you do not respond to a Request for Evidence in a timely manner.

For complete instructions, go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page.

Since March 27, 2015, USCIS has been mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days before the expiration date of their current period of deferred action. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100 days in advance. The earlier notices are intended to ensure that DACA recipients are reminded before the start of the recommended renewal period and have sufficient time to prepare their renewal requests.

USCIS’ current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry online, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request, or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833)



The challenge brought by Texas and those joining in Texas vs. United States is that the policies if allowed would result in costs to the States.  Specifically, Texas cites that it would impose the cost of issuing DACA/DAPA recipients drivers licenses.  While. . . yesterday the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in another case brought by State challenging the initial DACA grant on the basis it imposed costs of the the State of Mississippi.  In its decision the Court held that the State did not have standing to bring suit.  



Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson Concerning the District Court’s Ruling Concerning DAPA and DACA

I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it.

Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.

The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.

It is important to emphasize what the District Court’s order does not affect.

The Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

Nor does the Court’s order affect this Department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities. The priorities established in my November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect. Pursuant to those enforcement priorities, we continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and border security. I am pleased that an increasing percentage of removals each year are of those convicted of crimes. I am also pleased that, due in large part to our investments in and prioritization of border security, apprehensions at the southern border – a large indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally -- are now at the lowest levels in years.

DHS’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully

We have entered a new year and the bombshell announcement of President Obama regarding immigration has spun through the news cycle and exists somewhere between forgotten and a battle for another day.  Let’s take a look at what went down in November.  First, Republicans retain control of the House of Representative and take control of the Senate.  With full power over the legislative agenda in both houses in the hands of the Republicans, immigration reform is all but dead.  Then, in a startling move, predicted by many, but nowhere near a certainty, President Obama announces, pursuant to his authority over the Department of Homeland Security, he is de-prioritizing the removal of certain immigrants and granting them work authorization, travel privileges and the ability to remain in the country provided they are the parents of U.S. Citizens or parents of Legal Permanent Resident children.*

Immediately the spin monsters went into action.  Republicans began by attacking the President’s authority to take unilateral action.  Just as quickly, lawsuits were filed in several States seeking to enjoin the implementation of any programs that would give legal status to undocumented immigrants under the President’s re-prioritization of enforcement. 

It is the opinion of this attorney that the actions taken by President Obama are within his authority as the head of the executive branch of the United States’ federal government.  Moreover, any argument by the States regarding the burden placed on them is spurious. Unlike the present situation, those granted temporary legal status under what is now called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability will begin paying taxes without access to State of Federal benefits.  That’s right!  They will begin paying their fair share for services many they now receive for free.  But, they will not gain access to any new benefit services although paying the same taxes as U.S. citizens at both the State and Federal level.

If you are interested in learning more about the legal basis of the President’s Executive ActionDHS’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present takes a detailed look at the legality of the President’s short-term plan regarding immigration reform.  (click on highlighted area for a copy)


*Other changes were announced, but this has the largest impact.  He also announced increased funding for border enforcement, and an expansion of both Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Parole-in-Place for family members of active duty military.  

DHS Issues Guidance on President's Immigration Reforms

President Obama's directive to the Department of Homeland Security has been outlined in an official memorandum issued by the DHS.  

Click for full DHS Memorandum  

Early Registration Discount for DACA & DAPA

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President Obama Expands Definition of "Dreamers"

In a startling move given recent republican gains in Congress, President Obama announced he would take unilateral action to reform the United States' broken immigration process.  In a live address to the nation on November 20, 2014, President Obama made his case for the needed remedies.  Several elements comprise the President's plan that will go into effect over the next 6 months.  These actions include"

1.   Increase funding to add border patrol agents along the United States' southern border with Mexico.  

2.   Remove the upper age restriction for DACA applicants.  No longer will an applicant need to be under age 31 if at the time of their entry into the United States the person was under the age of 16.  Additionally he moved the date of entrry from 2007 to 2010.

3.   Increase, from two years to three years, benefits granted under DACA.

4,   Expand definition of Dreamers to include parents of U.S. citizen children.

5.   Ease requirements for college graduates to stay and work in the U.S. 

Focus will first be to increase protection along the U.S. / Mexico border.  Expansion of the existing DACA program will follow in approximately 90 days according to Department of Homeland Security.  Extension of DACA like benefits to the parents of U.S. citizen children will follow with application being accepted 180 days following the announcement.

"the immigration guy" is committed to bringing quality legal representation on all immigration matters.  

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