One Park Plaza
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (213)383-3222
Fax: (213)365-9922
Do You Have an Immigration Problem, A Citizenship Question? Together, We'll Find A Solution
4/12/2021 Issue
Statue of Liberty on Island in New York with flag of the United States of America
      For more than one year, the consular system of the U.S., the part of U.S. Embassies which is in charge of issuing immigrant visas, is not functioning.
           At first, it was the policy of the Trump administration to delay and slow down the immigration process. Then it was the lockdown here, there and everywhere due to the Covid-19 virus, then there were all kinds of “travel bans”. Then, for the past three months, there is simply no movement to schedule interviews and issue visas of all kinds. No explanations are given.
           The situation became so bad, and affected so many people, families, companies, institutions, etc., that last week the American Immigration Lawyers Associatio (AILA), together with some law firms filed a Federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State (DOS) asking the Court to order the DOS to resume normal visa issuance.
           Wait and see.


           Individuals who are U.S. citizens (holders of American passports) and Legal Permanent Residents (holders of valid Green Cards), are permitted to travel out of the U.S. and return to the U.S. (within the limits imposed on Green Card holders).
           But today, in the days of Covid-19, every traveler should find out – before traveling – what kind of “special” requirement they might encounter upon arrival at their foreign destination - and what kind of special requirement they might encounter when they wish to return to the U.S.
           Be prepared. Avoid surprises.

           The Biden Administration cancelled all the Public Charge rules “erected” by the Trump Administration. All the Forms and changes to Forms that became a requirement under President Trump, were also cancelled and changed back by the Biden administration.  
           However, some states, those with Republican Governors and Republican Attorney Generals, are trying to keep the Trump public charge rules alive. They filed motions in several Federal courts asking the judges to permit them to take over and continue with the lawsuits filed in connection with the Trump public charge regulations. They claim that if the Biden government does not want to defend those rules, their states will do it.
           The chances of success? Very little. But wait for the Supreme Court to have its say.


           Not in immigration.
           Last November 2020, USCIS issued a Memorandum to remind naturalization officers about a certain requirement. Even though that was still under the Trump Administration, we believe that this requirement would remain valid for all citizenship applications and interviews.
The requirement is to “dig down” in any application for U.S. citizenship (Form N-400) and to review the long ago circumstances of how the applicant got his or her Permanent Residency (Green Card). If the citizenship officer
discovers that there is some “blemish” on the applicant’s history, some legal “defect” in the way they entered the U.S. or in the procedure by which they obtained their Green Card, the application for naturalization should be denied.
Therefore, if you know that there was some problem with you past immigration history, even if it was long ago, even if you succeeded in “sliding” over it “dancing” around it, don’t be so sure that what worked for you at your previous interview (Green Card), will work again. Don’t rush to fill out and file the N-400 form by yourself. Consult with an immigration lawyer.
           Be prepared. Avoid surprises.


           NTA is short for “Notice to Appear”, which is a request for an “alien” – non US citizen – to “appear in Immigration Court”. This can be addressed to a person who has no legal status, or who has a non-immigrant visa, or who is a Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). The purpose of the request for “appearance” in immigration court is so that the government can ask the judge to issue an Order of Removal (Deportation) against the person so appearing.
           The NTA is supposed to tell the person to whom it is addressed (1) why the government wants to deport them (Facts and Laws), and (2) in what court they should appear and on what date and time.
           Many NTA’s are issued without a mention of the location of the court and of the date and time of the required appearance. Are such NTA’s legally valid? The answer is YES! The NTA is valid and the “invitee” must appear in Immigration Court based on information they receive in a second, later notice.
           If they appear in court as requested, they still have a chance to defend themselves against deportation, keep their legal status or obtain a new legal status. If they do not appear as requested, the Immigration Judge may issue an “in absentia” Order of Removal (in their absence), and it is almost impossible to cancel such an Order.
           Conclusion: if you get an NTA – don’t ignore it. Take it seriously!

3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222