Archive for the ‘Legal Blog’ Category

President Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by Sobel and Erwin

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced certain executive actions he is implementing on immigration.  The immigration attorneys at Sobel & Erwin, PLLC have been following the President’s immigration plan closely and we are very excited about this announcement.

Some of these changes will go into effect very quickly while others will take more time.  Based on the President’s announcement and news released from the White House, here is a summary of several important components of the immigration changes:

Deferred Action for Parents

President Obama announced a new program called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or “DAPA” that will help preserve family unity in the U.S.  Under this new program, the parents of U.S. citizen children and Lawful Permanent Resident children who entered the U.S. before January 1, 2010, and who pass background checks will be able to apply for deferred action and employment authorization for a period of three years.

DACA Expanded

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded by lifting the current age cap and by only requiring continuous residence since January 1, 2010 (rather than June 15, 2007, as originally required).  The deferred action and employment authorization granted by DACA will be increased from two years to three years.

Revised Deportation Priorities

Beginning immediately the government will focus its deportation policy using the following priorities:

First priority – Suspected terrorists, convicted felons (including aggravated felonies), convicted gang members, and people apprehended on the border;

Second priority – People convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors, and very recent entrants to the U.S.;

Third priority – Those who, after 1/1/14, failed to leave under a removal order or returned after being removed.

The immigration attorneys at Sobel & Erwin, PLLC applaud the President for taking this step toward keeping families together and improving our immigration system.  If you would like to have an immigration attorney review your case and discuss these important changes, please call 918-712-9888 to schedule a consultation.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Supports Increased Immigration

Posted on: February 27th, 2014 by Sobel and Erwin

In a recent news article, The Washington Times reported that U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue has urged Congress to get back to addressing the issue of immigration.   Donohue says that businesses need an influx of immigrant labor because sufficient American workers are not available.

While some people might be concerned that increased immigration will lead to competition for jobs, Donohue says Americans should not be worried.  “Immigrants do not typically compete with Americans for jobs, and, in fact, create more jobs through entrepreneurship, economic activity, and tax revenues,” he said.

The Chamber’s position is in line with the Congressional Budget Office which concluded last year that additional workers would be good for the U.S. economy in general, boosting growth significantly.

The immigration attorneys at Sobel & Erwin are strong supporters of immigration reform.  We salute the position taken by the Chamber of Commerce and the many other organizations that support immigration reform.  We are hopeful Congress will work together this year to find practical solutions to the immigration issues and to finally bring about much needed reform.

Sobel & Erwin offers immigration representation for a wide array of issues. If you have questions or need help with an immigration issue, you need to seek the legal guidance of our Tulsa, OK attorneys. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Confirmation of a New Deputy Secretary and a New Homeland Security Chief for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Posted on: January 20th, 2014 by Sobel and Erwin

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a new Deputy Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas and a new Homeland Security Chief, Jeh Johnson. Many are pleased with these appointments and we look forward to true changes throughout the department.

Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Mayorkas has spearheaded many initiatives with USCIS, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the I-601A provisional waiver policy. He also played a significant role in the Temporary Protected Status for Haitians following the horrific earthquake.

Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson

Johnson’s background includes trial lawyer experience, and most recently, he has served as General Counsel for the Department of Defense (DoD). We are hopeful Johnson’s background will allow for changes in immigration that are imperative to every American community.

Some Progress in Immigration Issues

The Department of Homeland Security has made some strides forward in the area of immigration, but still there are many changes that need to be implemented.  Too many times individuals face an overly-restrictive interpretation of our immigration laws or they run into countless obstacles while trying to comply with the regulations.  DACA was one step in the right direction.  The provisional waiver program had great promise but then suffered greatly in the way the program has been applied.  With the new appointments, it is hoped that DHS will make real progress in all important areas of immigration.

Immigration Representation

Sobel & Erwin offers immigration representation for a wide array of issues. If you have questions or need help with an immigration issue, you need to seek the legal guidance of our Tulsa, OK attorneys. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Unrealized Problems of Deportation

Posted on: January 14th, 2014 by Sobel and Erwin

Immigration is not a subject that many truly consider on a daily basis. People who do think about the implications of immigration and deportation may think of it as an issue that begins and ends at the United States borders. However, many deported individuals face tremendous trials once they return to their “home” country. Mexico border towns are known for their high crime rates, and the influx of deported Mexican citizens into these towns can create even more problems. Family members still in the U.S. are left to try to help their deported loved one with few true resources.

Reform in Immigration

The Department of Homeland Security has made progress in some areas of immigration reform such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, there are still many areas that need to be addressed. 2014 will hopefully bring new remedies for the complex problems in immigration.

Legal Help for Deportation

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a major role in deportation. While it is imperative for ICE to enforce current laws, it is also important for immigrants to recognize their legal rights. Sobel & Erwin can offer insight and guidance if you or a family member is facing deportation. Do not wait until it is too late for help. Seek our counsel as soon as you realize you may have an immigration problem. Our firm takes great pride in ensuring you understand every legal remedy available to you. We stay informed of all changes to offer our clients the most relevant help available. Contact our firm today.

DHS Should Consider Granting Temporary Protected Status for People from the Philippines

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

When natural disasters, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, hit countries outside the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may consider giving Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to citizens of the devastated country who are in the U.S. and who are prevented from returning safely to their country.

Temporary Protected Status Defined

TPS is designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security and gives foreign nationals from the protected country in the United States a temporary, humanitarian form of relief from deportation, as well as travel authorization and permission to legally seek work.  TPS exists to provide a safe haven for those who are reluctant to return to potentially dangerous situations and to assist countries who may be unable to safely receive their returning citizens. It is a temporary status and does not lead to a green card or citizenship for the protected individuals. TPS can be extended when a country faces long-term armed conflict, an extreme environmental disaster or health epidemic, or for other “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Currently, Haiti, Syria and Somalia are some of the countries that have Temporary Protected Status.

Benefits of Temporary Protected Status

Typhoon Haiyan caused severe devastation to the Philippines, killing thousands and causing damages reaching to the billions. The DHS gave Temporary Protected Status in 2010 to citizens of Haiti after the country suffered a 7.0-magnitude earthquake with similar levels of destruction. Many are pressing for the DHS to extend TPS to Filipinos in the U.S. in addition to offering financial aid and other assistance.

TPS would give Filipino citizens already in the U.S. the ability to legally work and send financial resources back to their country during the recovery of the devastation. In addition, Temporary Protected Status allows those already in the US to remain rather than requiring them to return to a country where they would unlikely be able to work thereby causing further burden to an already devastated country. The U.S. is merely providing humanitarian assistance to a country in a desperate situation.

Immigration Assistance in Oklahoma

If you have questions about Temporary Protected Status or other immigration issues, you need to contact the law firm of Sobel & Erwin in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our firm makes it a priority to stay informed of all new immigration rulings and we will work diligently to protect your rights.

Rare Registry Green Card Awarded to Obama’s Uncle

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

In a recent immigration court case, President Obama’s uncle was granted a green card through a rare process known as registry. Onyango “Omar” Obama has been residing in the United States since his student visa expired in 1970.

Immigration Judge Leonard Shapiro granted Omar Obama his green card status allowing him to avoid deportation back to his country of origin, Kenya. Obama will be eligible for US citizenship in five years.

Omar Obama was granted the green card because he fell under the registry order that allows immigrants who arrived in the United States prior to 1972 who have good moral character to apply for a green card, even if they are currently in the US illegally. Although very few people will still qualify for the registry process, this case provides an example of how complicated immigration law can be and of the need to seek help from a qualified immigration attorney.

Eligibility Criteria for a Registry Green Card

An immigrant may be able to seek a green card under the registry process if you meet the following criteria:

  • You entered the US prior to January 1, 1972
  • You have remained in the United States continuously since your arrival
  • You have good moral character
  • You have not become ineligible for citizenship due to other events
  • You are not deportable under Section 237(a)(4)(B) The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  • You are not inadmissible under Section 212(a)(3)(E) of the INA; or inadmissible as a criminal, procurer, other immoral person, subversive, a violator of the narcotics laws or alien smuggler

Immigration Help at Sobel & Erwin

Immigration, green cards, deportation and citizenship are extremely complex areas of law. Seek the expert legal guidance of the immigration lawyers at Sobel & Erwin in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I entered the U.S. without permission, is there any way to get status?

Posted on: November 4th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

If you entered the United States without being properly inspected and admitted (i.e. “illegally”), the options for getting legal status or becoming a lawful permanent resident without having to return to your country of origin are very limited.  In some cases it is possible but the process is very complex.  If you meet any of the outlined information below, you should meet with an experienced immigration lawyer at Sobel & Erwin in Tulsa to evaluate your case.

4 Possible Options for Obtaining Status if You Entered the U.S. Without Permission

  1. 1.     Apply for asylum – you must be able to offer proof that you have suffered persecution or have a “well-founded fear of persecution” if you return to your country of origin, either by the government itself or by a group uncontrolled by your home country’s government. Just being afraid is not enough. You must show that the persecution you have suffered in the past, or that you fear suffering if you return, is based on a protected ground, such as race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
  2. 2.     Victims of domestic violence or a serious crime – if you have been a victim of domestic violence or other serious crime either perpetuated by a U.S. citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal immigrant you may qualify for a self-petition green card or a U-Visa.
  3. 3.     Someone has filed a family petition (I-130) or employment petition (I-140) before May 1, 2001 – under a prior provision of the immigration law known commonly as 245(i), persons who were the beneficiary of a family petition or employment-based petition filed before May 1, 2001, may be allowed to pay a penalty and complete the green card process within the U.S. rather than having to return to their home country.  This is a complicated law in which few people still qualify. Contact Sobel & Erwin if you believe you may have had a petition filed for you or if you were named as the child on a petition filed for your mother or father before May 1, 2001.
  4. 4.     If you are in removal proceedings and can show that you have been in the United States for more than 10 continuous years and returning to your country of origin would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship for your U.S. citizen/LPR spouse or children – this is very limited and is called Cancellation of Removal. In addition to the 10 years of consecutive presence in the U.S. and the establishment of the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, you must show that you have good moral character.

Victims of human trafficking or slavery and unaccompanied minors may also be able to qualify for a visa, but these cases are extremely rare.

Tulsa Immigration Advocacy

If you have entered the country illegally, do not fall victim to someone who promises to fix your illegal status. The immigration attorneys at Sobel & Erwin can offer sound advice to let you know if you can or cannot obtain lawful status.  Call today to schedule a consultation.

Extending Your Visa in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Posted on: October 28th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

At times, visitors to the United States enter our country with a certain amount of authorized time for their stay in the U.S.  For example, tourists are often authorized to stay for up to six months.  In some cases, a person may find they want or need to extend their stay past the allotted time. In order to stay longer, you will need to apply for an extension or change of status.  You will benefit greatly if you enlist the help of a visa and immigration lawyer in completing this process. Sobel & Erwin law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma has the experience you need to help you understand your options.

It is imperative for you to file the proper form and paperwork prior to the expiration of your current status. Failing to do so can create serious problems for you to overcome. You may even face deportation without the ability to return to the U.S. again.

It is recommended that you submit your extension request no later than 45 days prior to the expiration of your current status.

A visa and immigration lawyer who is knowledgeable in this process can offer legal guidance to determine if you will qualify for an extension of your status. Contact the Tulsa, Oklahoma lawyers at Sobel & Erwin today to begin the process of extending or changing your immigration status.

Help for Your ICE Hold and Deportation from a Defense Lawyer in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Posted on: October 21st, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

There are not too many circumstances that are as frightening to an immigrant and his or her family as an immigrant being detained by government officials for an immigration violation. Whether you have overstayed your visa, you face criminal charges, or you face a traffic violation, hearing that  you have an ICE hold can be devastating.

The immigration attorneys at Sobel & Erwin in Tulsa, Oklahoma want to make sure you understand your legal rights and that your rights are not violated as you face an ICE hold and/or deportation. Our defense lawyers will help you provide the proof you need to seek a release from custody by showing you are not a flight risk or a threat to your community. We recognize the impact that deportation could have on you and your family and we will seek a positive resolution in resolving the issues you face. Our firm  focuses on immigration law, and we take great pride in helping immigrants in the United States.

Options Available to Remedy Your ICE Hold or Deportation Status

Because each immigration case is unique, our attorneys will thoroughly investigate each aspect of the circumstances that have resulted in your ICE hold and possible deportation. There are multiple remedies our firm  may be able to pursue to allow you and your family to receive the best possible outcome, including:

  • Seeking your release on bond or requesting a redetermination of your eligibility for bond;
  • A Adjustment of your status;
  •  Analyzing the immigration consequences of your arrest;
  • Requesting a cancellation of removal or a waiver;
  • Determining whether your case might be eligible for prosecutorial discretion meaning that ICE would agree not to pursue removal charges against you.

Sobel & Erwin immigration lawyers will analyze your case and advise you of any options available to you.  Do not delay in seeking legal representation if you or your family member faces an ICE hold or possible deportation. Contact our expert immigration attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma to begin building your immigration defense.

Help from a Tulsa Immigration Lawyer for Your Expired Visa

Posted on: October 14th, 2013 by Sobel and Erwin

Has your visa expired? Do you feel like you have no options available? The Tulsa, Oklahoma immigration lawyers at Sobel & Erwin want to assist you in finding a solution for your expired visa. With more controlled regulations regarding visas, it is imperative for you to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable visa attorney.

Complications for an Expired Visa

Renewing your visa can be a complicated and laborious process. With the implementation of new laws and regulations regularly, it can seem impossible to stay informed of the requirements. The visa attorneys at Sobel & Erwin make it a priority to stay on top of any changes, and can provide you with step-by-step guidance in renewing your visa, even if it has expired. If your visa is about to expire, or has already expired, it is imperative to seek legal counsel quickly. Our firm will work with you to remedy your situation. Do not wait to be contacted by immigration authorities. A proactive stance will always be to your benefit.

Renewing Your Visa in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Our immigration experts at the Tulsa, Oklahoma office of Sobel & Erwin will carefully assess your circumstances and determine the best route to renewing your visa. We can ensure your rights are protected and help you complete each form properly.

Contact our firm today to begin the process of renewing your expired visa.