May 2010

Planning for Your Citizenship - Part II

One contradiction in Immigration Law is that one may be eligible for naturalization and yet be deportable. For example, one may not have had any arrests or criminal charges in the last 5 years and thus meet the good moral character criteria, but may still be deportable for an arrest which occurred well over 5 years ago. The attorney should analyze your case to see not only whether you are eligible for naturalization, but also what defenses you would have to any deportation proceedings, thereby enabling you to make an informed decision about whether to file for naturalization.

Immigration Reform: Down, but not Out

Although many have written off any Immigration Reform in the near future, there has been some movement. The new Arizona legislation criminalizing one’s illegal status has prompted many immigrant rights groups and Congressman to mobilize for a reform. Read the article published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association on the subject.

Temporary Protected Status programs updated for Honduras and Nicaragua

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua from the current expiration of July 5, 2010, to the new expiration date of January 5, 2012. This program was extended because the conditions caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1999 still persist.

To maintain TPS status, Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries must re-register during the re-registration period from May 5 until July 5, 2010. Upon timely re-registration, a new employment authorization document (EAD) is issued. Moreover, USCIS will automatically extend the validity of existing EAD’s to eligible TPS applicants.

Hondurans and Nicaraguans currently registered under the TPS program are encouraged to re-register immediately in order to preserve their immigration status.

In This Issue

Newsletter Issues


The U.S. Supreme Court recognizes a non-Citizen’s Constitutional Right to Effective Counsel

In a landmark decision in March 2010, the Supreme Court held that the criminal defense attorney must advise his or her non-citizen client of the risk of deportation if the client accepts a guilty plea. In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Court noted, “These changes to our immigration law have dramatically raised the stakes of a noncitizen's criminal conviction. The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important."

If you are not a citizen of the United States and have been charged with or convicted for a crime, be sure to consult with an experienced immigration attorney in addition to your defense counsel.

A New Green Card

The green card is about to become green again. The green card, officially known as the “Resident Alien Card,” is carried by lawful permanent residents of the United States.

In order to prevent fraud and counterfeiting, the Department of Homeland Security will issue a new type of a "green card" with safety features.

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