Archive for April, 2010

What are the good moral character requirements to apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |


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U.S. citizenship requirements states that, you can obtain U.S. citizenship either by birth or by law. You acquire U.S. citizenship by birth, if you were born in the U.S. or if your parents are U.S. citizens. Obtaining U.S. citizenship by law is through naturalization.

The U.S. citizenship requirements also states that, any individual who is applying for U.S. citizenship should have good moral character. USCIS determines whether you have a good moral character based on the laws which the Congress has passed. The good moral character requirements should be satisfied so that the applicant does not become a threat to the United States government.

Good moral character requirements:

USCIS considers the following, to establish that you satisfy the good moral character requirements:
• Criminal Record
• Lying

Criminal Record

According to U.S. citizenship requirements, you should not be involved in any crime, murder and burglary. The bars will be called during the naturalization examination, therefore you cannot falsely justify that you satisfy the good moral character requirements. Certain offenses will temporarily prevent you from obtaining U.S. citizenship for a particular period of time.

Form N-400, Form for Naturalization asks a number of questions about your criminal history. If you do not mention about all the crime details, your application for U.S. citizenship will be rejected. Per U.S. citizenship requirements even if a crime is removed from your record or if it occured before your 18th birthday, you should mention that as well in your application. If you have committed some serious crimes, USCIS will not grant you citizenship.

Lying

Always tell the truth during your interview with USCIS. If you lie or hide anything, your application will be denied for lacking good moral character. If USCIS grants you the U.S. citizenship and later finds out that you have lied during the interview, your citizenship may be taken way. Moreover the purpose of these interviews is to verify that you will not be a threat to the United States.

Examples that indicate that you are lacking the good moral character requirements:
• Any crime that was intended to harm a person.
• Crime against the U.S. government.
• Practicing polygamy.
• Involvement in illegal gambling, prostitution and smuggling.
• U.S. citizenship requirements states that you should not be a drunkard.
• Lying for the sake of immigration.
• Persecuting anyone because of race, religion, political or social group.
• Involvement in terrorist activities.
• Failing to pay any court ordered payments.

The other U.S. citizenship requirements that you should qualify are – you should be 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident. You should have proficient knowledge and fluency in English. You should also possess good knowledge concerning the history, role and functioning of the U.S. government. Finally you have to take an oath that you are attached to the U.S. constitution. If you meet all the requirements you are not far away from being a U.S. citizen.

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ACLU Sues Colorado Sheriff For Illegally Imprisoning Colorado Resident Suspected Of Immigration Violations

Posted on April 26, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , |


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: ACLU
Maria Archuleta, ACLU, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org
Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado, (303) 777-5482 ext. 114

Source: commondreams.org

DENVER – April 21 – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado filed a lawsuit in a Denver federal court today against the sheriff of Jefferson County in Colorado arguing that he unjustifiably and illegally imprisoned a Colorado resident for 47 days last year with no charges pending against him simply because federal immigration officers suspected that the man was in the U.S. in violation of federal immigration laws.

“Without any legal authority whatsoever, Sheriff Ted Mink imprisoned our client and kept him in legal limbo for 47 days with no charges pending, no opportunity to see a judge and no opportunity to post bail,” said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado. “Our fundamental constitutional values prohibit depriving any person of liberty without due process of law.”

Luis Quezada, the ACLU’s client, was arrested and taken to the Jefferson County Jail where he was held for three days in May 2009 for failing to appear in court on a traffic charge. He promptly resolved the traffic charge, and the county court judge ordered him released.

Quezada was not released, however, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent the jail an immigration detainer advising that it was investigating whether Quezada was violating immigration laws. An immigration detainer instructs a jail or prison to hold a particular detainee an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after the detainee’s release date. The detainer states that its purpose is to provide adequate time for ICE agents to determine whether to take the detainee into federal custody and begin formal deportation proceedings. Yet after the 48 hour detainer expired, the Jefferson County sheriff continued to unlawfully hold Quezada for an additional 47 days.

When ICE finally took Quezada into custody in mid-July 2009, the agency immediately allowed him to be released on bond while he defended himself in immigration court.

“By allowing Mr. Quezada to post bond and be released, ICE determined that our client poses no danger to the community and is not a flight risk. Those same facts existed when our client was originally detained,” said Dan Williams, an attorney with the law firm of Faegre & Benson and cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Colorado. “No right is more firmly ingrained in our Constitution and our understanding of freedom than the right not to be left in jail indefinitely without charges filed or an opportunity to post bail, yet that is exactly what happened here. This lawsuit seeks to compensate Mr. Quezada, and we hope that it will serve as a wake-up call to law enforcement throughout Colorado to stop this lawless deprivation of liberty.”

The ACLU of Colorado has received multiple complaints of similar cases in which Colorado jails held suspected immigration violators without legal authority. To address the recurring issue, the ACLU of Colorado wrote to all Colorado sheriffs in the fall of 2008, advising that any legal authority of an immigration detainer expires after 48 hours. The ACLU also asked Colorado sheriffs for copies of any written policies instructing jail deputies on how to proceed when the jail receives immigration detainers. The Jefferson County attorney responded that the sheriff’s office had no applicable written policies.

ICE routinely issues immigration detainers to law enforcement agencies around the country as part of part of ICE enforcement initiatives involving state and local police such as the 287(g) program, Secure Communities and the Criminal Alien Program. In addition to causing racial profiling and harming public safety, those initiatives raise the risk that agencies and officers will face increased claims for damages as a result of cases like Quezada’s.

“ICE is issuing detainers by the thousands in an attempt to use state and local police and sheriffs as adjunct federal immigration officers,” said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “However, police officers and jailers are always required to obey the Constitution and simply cannot imprison a person in this way, even if an immigration detainer exists. States and municipalities open themselves to liability when they treat ICE detainers as if they were sentences imposed by a court.”

Attorneys on the case, Quezada v. Mink, include Jadwat of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Silverstein and Taylor Pendergrass of the ACLU of Colorado; and Williams of the law firm of Faegre & Benson.

A copy of the complaint can be found at: http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/quezada-v-mink-amended-complaint-and-jury-demand
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The ACLU conserves America’s original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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What supporting documents must I submit with my Green Card application?

Posted on April 21, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , |


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The final stage of obtaining a Green Card is Adjustment of status. One needs to file Form I-485, Green Card application with the documents in support of Form I-485 to adjust the status to permanent resident.

You must read the instructions of Green Card application carefully because any mistakes or if you miss out to attach the documents in support of Form I-485 may result in delay and may cause your Green Card application to be rejected.

The following are the generic documents in support of Form I-485:

• Completed and signed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

• Fees.

• Photographs – as per the new guidelines.

• Medical result in a sealed envelope.

• Your “long-form” birth certificate. remember that this birth certificate includes your parents name.

• All documents pertaining to your “non-immigrant” history in the U.S: a complete copy of your passport (every page, including blank pages) showing every visa you have been issued to enter the U.S. and all entry and exit stamps. If you have U.S. visas in an expired passport, then provide a copy of both your current and expired passports. You should also provide copies of all Forms I-797 issued by USCIS in Approval of a “non-immigrant” status.

• Form G-325A – only for those in between the ages of 14 and 79 years.

• Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization – This is an optional form, if you want employment authorization document while the Green Card application is pending.

• Form I-131, Application for Travel Document – This is also an optional form, if you want travel document while the Green Card application is pending.

Remember other than the above mentioned documents in support of Form I-485, USCIS may requires more documents depending on the individuals case.

If you want text and/or e-mail notification, you need to attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance to the first page of your Green Card application.

Within 24 hours of accepting your application for processing, USCIS will send you a text and/or e-mail notification that your application has been accepted. The message will provide a brief statement on how to get additional information about the status of your case.

Applicants are required to notify USCIS of any change of address that occurs while an application is pending.

While your application is pending, you will receive a notice to appear at a local Application Support Center to have your “biometrics” captured. When you appear for your appointment, you will have your fingerprints and photograph taken. Please be aware that failure to show up for your appointment or reschedule your appointment may result in the delay or denial of your application. After you have appeared for your Biometrics Appointment, you must wait for USCIS to complete processing of your case. If an interview is required, you will be issued an appointment notice to complete processing. Otherwise, you will receive a final decision on your application via mail.

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US Immigration Reform Legislation on Hold

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , |


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Source: VOANEWS.COM
As the U.S. Congress moves beyond the issue of health care, some lawmakers are pushing for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. At the heart of the debate is a proposal to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States. The issue engenders strong feelings from both sides and recently tens of thousands of supporters of reform marched in Washington. …….Read more……

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Pass US Citizenship Test Exam and Interview

Posted on April 14, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |


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What will you do if you needed to take the US Citizenship Test and Interview?  Immigration will help you answer some tougher questions used by immigration officers.

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Who can file Form N-600?

Posted on April 12, 2010. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , |

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Form N-600 is the application submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS for Certificate of Citizenship. It is an application to receive a proof of U.S. Citizenship that was acquired at birth or after birth (derived) through an U.S. Citizen parent. Citizenship application for children can be submitted to the USCIS by filing Form N-600, which is a good way to evidence citizenship in the long run because passports expire. Preparing a citizenship application for children is easy, you need to answer few questions about yourself, citizenship, military and about your parents through whom you are claiming citizenship.

Form N-600 requirements

Form N-600 requirements states that if you belong to any one of the following categories, you are elligible to file Form N-600.

• Children who acquired U.S. Citizenship by birth or after birth(derived) through U.S. Citizen parent.

• Children born to U.S. Citizen parent outside the U.S.

• Children who fulfill the requirements of becoming a U.S. citizen prior to their 18th birthday.

• The Citizenship application for children who are adopted or biological children and are under 18 years should be filed by the U.S. parent.

• Immediate relative can file Form N-600 for an adult applicant with disability.

To obtain the Citizenship application for children, Form N-600 requirements must be met along with the following:

• Atleast one parent must be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.

• Children must be under 18 years.

• Children who are temporarily in the U.S. with lawful admission.

• The citizen parent must have been in the U.S. physically for atleast five years.

Children listed in the following categories are not eligible for a citizenship application :

• Children who do not have a claim for U.S. citizenship

• Step daughter or Step son

• Children who were not legitimated before their 16th birthday

• Children who are residing outside the U.S. and parents are U.S. Citizens.

If Form N-600 requirements are met, you can begin to file the application. Form N-600 requirements include submitting the following documents to the USCIS.

• Birth Certificate

• Marriage Certificate

• If a marriage has terminated, include documents like divorce decree, death certificate.

• Proof of U.S. Citizenship

• Legitimation proof for children born out of wedlock

• Proof for legal custody for children whose U.S. Citizen parents have divorced or separated

• Adoption decree for children who are adopted.

• Evidence of Lawful Permanent Residence for individuals claiming U.S. Citizenship through alien parents who have naturalized.

• Evidence for physical presence in the U.S.

• Translation of foreign language documents.

According to Form N-600 requirements, you have to submit two identical passport size colored photographs, which were taken within 30 days to the USCIS along with the supporting documents, filing fee and Form N-600. Ensure that you sign the application. If you do not sign the application and if the filing fee is not attached, your application will be rejected. Do not send any original documents to USCIS, unless you are asked to send. If you change your address while your application is pending, you must inform the change of address to USCIS.

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Quake Survivors Freed From Immigration Jails

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: 1 | Tags: , |

Source: nytimes.com
Virgile Ulysse, a United States citizen of Haitian descent, will take his newly released nephews in to his home in Connecticut.
By NINA BERNSTEIN

More than three dozen Haitian earthquake survivors were released from Florida immigration jails on Thursday after more than two months in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Many had lost relatives in the Jan. 12 earthquake; some had been pulled from the rubble themselves. In the chaotic days and aftershocks that followed, many had been seeking security, food or treatment at the Port-au-Prince airport when they were waved onto military transports or other planes by United States Marines, only to be detained for lack of visas when they landed.

Lawyers at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, who had urged their release for weeks, were jubilant as they waited with relatives outside the Broward County Transitional Center, a privately operated jail in Pompano Beach, for the last ones to walk out. Immigration officials said 40 Haitian survivors would be released on orders of supervision by nightfall. This came on the day that The New York Times reported that at least 30 earthquake survivors were being detained.

By February, nearly all had been ordered deported, but deportations have been indefinitely suspended since the earthquake. Advocates said their continued detention was traumatic and legally unjustified.

Allison Kent, a lawyer with the center, said two young women remained in jail — including one originally flown to the United States for hospital care — because they were still in deportation proceedings. A Creole-speaking therapist was to visit them Friday, she said.

Lawyers said the federal government was now reversing a practice adopted after the earthquake, to hold Haitians for at least 90 days after a deportation order before considering them for supervised release. Those released can be returned to Haiti when deportations resume.

Among the first to be freed was Jackson Ulysse, 20, whose request for release described how sounds in the jail made him fear another earthquake and panic that he would not be able to get out. He had been trapped when his family’s apartment building collapsed in the quake, in which many relatives died.

He and his brother, Reagan Ulysse, 25, had been detained together until March 11, when Reagan was abruptly transferred to a distant immigration jail, leaving Jackson not knowing where he was. But by Thursday evening a family friend had picked up Jackson and was driving him to pick up Reagan from the lobby of the Krome Detention Center in Miami.

“That’s what I want — to see my brother, to see that they let him go, I want to hug him,” Jackson said in French in a telephone interview. “I’m very happy, and I’m going to church to thank God.”

The brothers’ uncle, Virgile Ulysse, 69, a United States citizen who will take them in to his home in Norwalk, Conn., was also full of gratitude. “Thank the United States for Jackson and Reagan’s release,” he said in a telephone message.

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