Friday, August 19, 2011

Sentencing Guidelines

The U.S. Sentencing Commission has revised its Guidelines to include to provisions relating to immigrants with criminal convictions. The Federal Public Defender Office of the Southern District of Texas provides a summary of the amendments.

Glickman Turley attorneys represent immigrants in all immigrantion matters and matters of criminal defense in state and federal courts in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We represent immigrants in deportation and removal proceedings on applications for cancellation of removal, asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, adjustment of status, voluntary departure and other matters.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss representation on immigration or criminal matters.

Supervised Release“The 2011 amendments encourage more discretion in the imposition of supervised release where a term is not statutorily required. The Commission discourages imposition of supervised release for non-citizen defendants who will be deported. See USSG § 5D1.1(c) (Nov. 1, 2011). This revision is designed to “help courts and probation offices focus limited supervision resources on offenders who need supervision.” Id. (citing Johnson v. United States, 529 U.S. 694, 709 (2000)). Consideration of the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) supports elimination of a supervised release term for a non-citizen. Supervised release does not benefit a non-citizen subject to deportation because he cannot be supervised. Nor is it necessary as a deterrent to an alien already facing potential twenty-year sentence should he return illegally. See 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(2). The 2011 amendments also lower the advisory minimum term of supervised release to two years for Class A and B felonies and one year for Class C and D felonies. USSG § 5D1.2(a) (Nov. 1, 2011). In addition to the statutory factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3583, the Commission recommends that the court consider a defendant’s criminal history and substance abuse in deciding whether and for how long to impose supervised release. USSG § 5D1.1, comment. (n.3). The Commission also encourages early termination where appropriate. USSG § 5D1.2, comment. (n.5) (Nov. 1, 2011).”

Illegal Reentry – Remote Convictions“In contrast to other Guideline provisions, an alien’s convictions are included in calculating the offense level for illegal reentry under USSG § 2L1.2 regardless of whether they count for criminal history purposes. In United States v. Amezcua-Vasquez, 567 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2009), the Ninth Circuit held that the age of a defendant’s prior conviction could be the basis for a sentence below the Guidelines. The Commission has taken to heart the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in Amezcua-Vasquez. The 2011 amendments provide that a sixteen-level enhancement that does not count for criminal history should receive only twelve levels, while a remote twelve-level conviction should receive eight levels. USSG § 2L1.2(b)(1)(A), (B) (Nov. 1, 2011). The ommission emphasizes that with the exception of this amendment, convictions count in determining the offense level regardless of whether they r receive criminal history points. USSG § 2L1.2, comment. (n.1(C)) (Nov. 1, 2011). The Sentencing Commission encourages departure where the offense level “substantially overstates or understates the seriousness of the
prior conviction.” USSG § 2L1.2, comment. (n.7). For example, an upward departure is authorized where a defendant is convicted of simple possession or transportation but the quantity involved exceeds a quantity consistent with personal use. Downward departure is encouraged where the defendant receives a sixteen-level
enhancement for a conviction that does not meet the definition of aggravated felony. Id. The 2011 amendments add an upward departure based on the extent or seriousness of the conduct underlying the offense in cases where the new reduced offense level for remote convictions applies. USSG § 2L1.2, comment. (n.7) (Nov. 1, 2011).”

Obama Agrees to Stop Deportation of Many Young Immigrants

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it would suspend deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety, according to a recent New York Times article.

The purpose of this policy is to allow the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to devote its resources to deporting high-priority immigrants, such as those with criminal records.

This relief will allow many immigrant children to remain in the United States, especially if they have lived in the U.S. for many years and have gone to school or want to go to school in the U.S.

Glickman Turley attorneys represent immigrants in all immigrantion matters. We represent immigrants in deportation and removal proceedings on applications for cancellation of removal, asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, adjustment of status, voluntary departure and other matters.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your immigration status. We will continue to follow this excellent delevelopment for young immigrants and hope for more progress in reforming the immigration system.

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Consular Visa Filing Rules

Under a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") rule,  consular processing of family based visa petitions will be filed in the Chicago office of USCIS instead of with the US Consulate where the beneficiary of the petition lives.  It is expected to delay the processing of the petitions which were often issued relatively quickly by the Consulates.   Some persons living in countries, such as Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, India, Ghana, South Africa, China, Thailand, Russia and the Philippines, where USCIS maintains field offices, may file their I-130 petitions with the field offices in their home country.

ICE Enforces "Secure Communities"

Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") has stated that it will carry out the "Secure Communities" initiative despite opposition from Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino.  Under Secure Communities, all persons who are arrested, even for traffic related violations, have their fingerprints checked with the FBI database.  If there is a match for an immigration violation,  ICE may place the person in deportation and immigration detention.   Despite representations that Secure Communities is meant to target gang members and serious criminal convictions, Boston's police commissioner stated that immigrants with trafffic violations are also being deported from the United States.  According to a recent New York Times article,  about 200,000 immigrants live in Boston and are about 1/4 of the population of the city.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

U.S. Trademark Representation//Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Representation
Glickman Turley LLP represents individuals and companies on applications for U.S. trademark registration. We successfully represented domestic and international high-tech companies, internet media companies, and local professional services businesses on their applications for registration in the United States Patent and Trademark databases.

Trademarks, copyrights, and patents protect different types of intellectual property.
• A trademark protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
• A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.
• A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work.
• A patent protects an invention.

Importance of a Federal Trademark Registration
Owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, including providing public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark, which may protect you in negotiations and federal actions against others who infringe upon your use of the mark. A U.S. federal trademark can be protected in foreign countries too.

This information is available in the USPTO publication, “Basic Facts about Trademarks.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website provides useful information about intellectual property.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Glickman Turley LLP follows USCIS on Twitter. Follow us at G_T_LLP.

A few hours ago, USCIS tweeted:

Do you know about the benefits of #naturalization and responsibilities of #citizenship? The information is here

Monday, August 1, 2011

Success on Asylum and Torture Cases

Glickman Turley attorneys recently represented two successful applicants for asylum and protection under the convention against torture.

We successfully represented a gay client who affirmatively sought asylum because of her fear of being persecuted on account of her sexual orientation in her Caribbean home country. The victory in this case involved a showing that the client's exceptional circumstances merited a waiver to the rule that affirmative asylum applications must be filed within one-year of entering the U.S.

In addition, we successfully represented a young man with a criminal history on his application for protection against torture on account of his parents' involvement in human rights activism and truth and reconciliation efforts in his Central American home country.

Please contact Glickman Turley LLP if you would like to discuss your immigration status or other legal issues.

Governor Patrick Supports In-State Tuition for All Massachusetts Residents

We are pleased that Governor Patrick recently showed his public support for allowing Massachusetts residents—regardless of their immigration status—to access Massachusetts state colleges and universities at in-state tuition prices.

At a July 20, 2011 State House hearing, Governor Patrick reminded constituents and lawmakers that the immigrants who would benefit from in-state tuition are “real people - individuals, students, and families - whose ambitions are caught up in the only community in most cases that they know.’’

See the full Boston Globe article on Contact Glickman Turley LLP if you would like to discuss your immigration status or other legal issues.