Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Senators Look Toward Immigration Reform

Senators Charles Schumer (Democrat) from New York and Lindsey Graham (Republican) from South Carolina are reportedly discussing renewing efforts in Congress to enact comprehensive Immigration Reform.  According to an article in the on-line political news site, Politico,  some congressional representatives believe there is a "shot at reform" this year.  Reform could include the DREAM act which would permit enrolled college students to apply for legal permanent resident status and could also include provisions for temporary workers and possibly long term relief for other immigrants in the United States.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Continuance of Removal Proceedings to Pursue Family-Based I-130 Visa Petition

Malilia v. Holder, No. 05-77387, Agency No. A029-554-456 (Feb. 3, 2011)

On February 3, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a case to the Immigration Judge to reconsider his request for a continuance to pursue a marriage-based I-130 visa petition.

In this case, Malilia had pled guilty to delivering a package containing firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 922(e). The Ninth Circuit held that because Malilia had been convicted of a deportable offense, it did not have jurisdiction to consider Malilia's challenges to the removal order claim that he was not convicted of a deportable offense. However, the Ninth Circuit held that the IJ abused its discretion by denying Malilia's motion to continue removal proceedings. The Ninth Circuit held that the IJ could delay proceedings, even for a long or indefinite period, if the immigrant meets the burden of showing good cause for the continuance.

Glickman Turley attorneys represent clients on all immigration matters before USCIS, the Immigration Court, District and Circuit Courts, and the Board of Immigration Appeal.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Immigration Court Relief - Asylum and Convention Against Torture

The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) has published its 2010 Statistical Yearbook. The Boston Immigration Court Judges have granted asylum in 45% of the cases before the Court, a little below the national average of 51%. The largest number of grants of relief were for residents of China, Ethiopia, India, Colombia and Nepal.  The Statistical Yearbook makes clear that grants for relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) are extremely rare.  Only 489 of over 24,000 applications for relief under the Convention have been granted.  Glickman Turley is proud of its recent success in obtaining relief for a Guatemalan national under the Convention Against Torture.

Marriage Equality: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

In the fight for marriage equality for same-sex couples, incremental gains have been made in the past week with civil unions bills advancing in both Illinois and Hawaii.  Also in the past week, the Wyoming Senate, by a vote of 21-9, passed a constitutional amendment against marriage equality.

A much more satisfying gain toward full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens would be at the federal level.  The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) must be repealed so that same-sex couples can enjoy hundreds of marriage rights now denied them. For example, in immigration law, same-sex couples, unlike heterosexual married couples, are barred from sponsoring family-based visas for their spouses.  For families headed by same-sex couples, many states deny the right of adoption to the non-biological parent/s, leaving them without numerous legal protections.

In Massachusetts, where we enjoy laws permitting same-sex marriage, the extra step of a co-parent adoption is still necessary to give the non-biological parent/s full legal rights with regard to their children.
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