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Trump Administrati on Announces an
End to TPS for Salvadorians

Joseph G. Cella, Esq. - January 8, 2018
On Monday, January 8, 2018, the Trump Administration announced that it will end Temporary Protected Status ,”TPS”, on September 9, 2019 for Salvadorians, after seventeen years of being allowed to live and work in the United States temporarily, in renewable increments.
Apparently, after undertaking “an extensive outreach campaign”, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen concluded the problems that led to the country’s original designation for the program — which followed a series of earthquakes in 2001 — no longer exist.
This change throws an interesting element into the negotiations on Capitol Hill over a possible solution for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, 'Dreamers”. Part of those negotiations include a possible trade-off between cutting the Diversity Program, ”Visa Lottery”, and extending TPS protections, as a bipartisan group of senators works on a possible legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, “DACA” beneficiaries.
Although this administration has announced the end of other TPS designations, like Haiti, the decision concerning Salvadorans affects by far the largest group with 263,000, or 60% of all current TPS beneficiaries.
Presently many Salvadorian TPS beneficiaries may be eligible for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal, and Cancellation of Removal, and are strongly encouraged to consult with immigration attorneys to work toward securing lawful permanent resident status in the United States
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First Immigration Application Fee Increase in Six Years To Take Effect Dec. 23...

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a final rule published in theFederal Register today adjusting the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees will be effective Dec. 23.

USCIS is almost entirely funded by the fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. The law requires USCIS to conduct fee reviews every two years to determine the funding levels necessary to administer the nation’s immigration laws, process benefit requests and provide the infrastructure needed to support those activities.

Fees will increase for the first time in six years, by a weighted average of 21 percent for most applications and petitions.   This increase is necessary to recover the full cost of services provided by USCIS. These include the costs associated with fraud detection and national security, customer service and case processing, and providing services without charge to refugee and asylum applicants and to other customers eligible for fee waivers or exemptions.
The final rule contains a table summarizing current and new fees. The new fees are also listed on the Form G-1055, Fee Schedule, and website. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23 must include the new fees or USCIS will not be able to accept them.

"This is our first fee increase since November 2010, and we sincerely appreciate the valuable public input we received as we prepared this final rule," said USCIS Director León Rodríguez. "We are mindful of the effect fee increases have on many of the customers we serve. That’s why we decided against raising fees as recommended after the fiscal year 2012 and 2014 fee reviews.  However, as an agency dependent upon users’ fees to operate, these changes are now necessary to ensure we can continue to serve our customers effectively.  We will also offer a reduced filing fee for certain naturalization applicants with limited means."

Changes in the new fee schedule can be found here. Highlights follow:
A modest fee increase of $45, or 8 percent, from $595 to $640 for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

USCIS will offer a reduced filing fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family incomes greater than 150 percent and not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For 2016, this means, for example, that a household of four with an income between $36,000 and $48,600 per year could pay the reduced fee. Those eligible may apply for this option using the new Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.

The fee for Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, and N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, will increase from $550 or 600 to $1,170.
A new fee of $3,035 is required for Form I-924A, Annual Certification of Regional Center.

In preparing the final rule, USCIS considered all 436 comments received during the 60-day public comment period for the proposed rule published May 4.
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By: Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
August 19, 2016

Effective August 29, 2016, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations to expand eligibility for the provisional unlawful presence waivers of the three and ten-year unlawful presence bars to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for such a waiver. Although previously a successful applicant would have to have demonstrated that barring him/her from re-entry for three or ten years would result in extreme hardship to a United States citizen (USC) spouse or parent, s/he can now prevail by showing that denial of such a waiver application would result in extreme hardship to his/her USC and lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouses and parents. Additionally, applicants for employment-based immigrant visas, certain special immigrants, and the derivative family members in each category can now use provisional waivers.
Likely as significant as the expansion of “qualifying relatives”, is the aspect of the expansion which allows some people who have been ordered removed (or deported or excluded) but did not depart the United States to apply for provisional waivers, as long as the applicant:
Is the beneficiary of an approved eligible immigrant petition;
has already obtained obtained an approved Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212); and
His or her removal order has not been reinstated. (If the order is reinstateable, but the government has not acted to reinstate, provisional waivers are possible.)
Finally, provisional waivers will no longer be denied because the immigration service has “reason to believe” another ground of inadmissibility, besides unlawful presence, applies, which change will have both positive and negative consequences.

Having practiced immigration law for 23 years,
Joseph G. Cella is the founding attorney
of Cella & Associates, LLC, US Immigration Attorneys.
With offices in Clifton and Fort Lee, NJ, and Aventura, FL
he can be reached at 877.583.7080.
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April 12, 2016
By: Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
On April 11, 2016, the Obama Administration filed it's reply brief in United States v. Texas, the Republican challenge to DAPA and expanded DACA, which will be orally argued before the Supreme Court on April 18th. The Administration's brief challenges the legal arguments offered by the Republican Plaintiffs, claiming that the brief submitted by Texas is not coherent; does not accurately portray the deferred action guidance under review;  and that it's substantive interpretation of DAPA and expaded DACA is simply wrong. It also “warns” the Supreme Court of the judicial chaos that will likely ensue if Texas is granted standing for this suit.
At the core of the administration's argument is that the Plaintiff's assertion that DAPA and DACA confer the right to remain lawfully in the U.S.   is simply wrong. It submits that the Texas’ claim that deferred action bestows “lawful presence” on an undocumented immigrants is a “misguided assertion” which grew out of Judge Hanen’s legally unsound opinion blocking DAPA and DACA, and  is based upon a “mistaken premise.” Specifically, in it's brief, the Administration argues:
Respondents are fundamentally wrong to claim
that the Guidance confers on aliens whose presence
Congress has deemed unlawful the right to remain
lawfully in the United States. Aliens covered by the
Guidance, like all aliens afforded deferred action,
are violating the law by remaining in the United
States, are subject to removal proceedings at the
government’s discretion, and gain no defense to
removal….Deferred action itself reflects nothing
more than a judgment that the aliens’ ongoing
presence will be tolerated for a period of time,
based on enforcement priorities and humanitarian
concerns, and work authorization enables them
to support themselves while they remain.

Finally, should the Supreme Court rule in favor of the Obama Administration, DAPA and Expanded DACA will be implemented immediately and will likely have a significant influence on the November elections.

US Immigration Attorneys
Clifton & Fort Lee NJ, and N. Miami, FL
National Toll Free: 877.583.7080
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12 апреля 2016
Автор: Джозеф Г. Челла, адвокат.
11-го апреля 2016 года, администрация Обамы подала ответ в США против Техаса, Республиканского вызовы против DAPA и расширенной DACA, который будет устно аргeментирован перед Верховным Cудом 18 апреля. Ответ администрации бросает вызов юридическим аргументам, предложенным Республиканцами, утверждая, что представленный Техасом иск не связный; не точно изображает Программу DACA; и что интерпретация содержания DAPA и расширенной DACA просто неправильно. Он также "предупреждает" Верховный суд о судебном хаосе, который, скорее всего, последует, если Техасу предоставятся права по этому делу.
В основе аргумента администрации, лежит то, что утверждение истца о том, что DAPA и DACA дают право оставаться на законных основаниях в США просто неправильно. В нем говорится, что Техас утверждает, что программа по отложеному действию накладывает "законное присутствие" на нелегальных иммигрантов является "ошибочным утверждением", которое появилось из юридически необоснованного мнения судьи Hanen блокирующего програмы DAPA и DACA, и основывается на "ошибочной предпосылке". В частности , в его иске, администрация оспаривает следующее:
Респонденты в корне неправы утверждая, что руководство возлагает на иностранцев чье присутствие Конгресс счел незаконным право оставаться на законных основаниях в Соединенных Штатах. Иностранцы, подпадающие под данное руководство, как и все инностранцы имеющие право на отложенное действие, нарушают закон, оставаясь в Соединенных Штатах и подлежат удалению из страны по усмотрению государства, и не имеют никакой защиты от  депортации ... .Программа DAPA и DACA сама по себе ничего не отражает кроме как, суждение о том, что пребывание инностранцев будет допускаться в течение определенного периода времени, на основе приоритетов правоприменеия и гуманитарным соображениям и разрешение на работу позволит им обеспечивать себя на период пребывания в стране.
И, наконец, в случае если Верховный суд постановит в пользу администрации Обамы, то программы DAPA и расширенная DACA будут осуществлены немедленно и, вероятно, окажут значительное влияние на выбоы в ноябре.
US Immigration Attorneys
Clifton & Fort Lee NJ, and N. Miami, FL
National Toll Free: 877.583.7080
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Orden Judicial Contra DAPA Confirmada por Tribunal de Apelaciones

Por Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
11 de noviembre del 2015

El lunes, la Corte del Quinto Circuito de Apelaciones confirmó la medida cautelar contra la aplicación de el DAPA y la ampliacion del DACA, dictaminando que el gobierno de Obama se había excedido en su autoridad legal con la Acción Diferida para el Programa de Responsabilidad Parental (DAPA), que hubiera dejado cerca de 4 millones de indocumentados en este país con una autorización de empleo. Anunciado en noviembre pasado, el programa habría diferido la deportación para los padres de  residentes permanentes y ciudadanos estadounidenses. Sin embargo, aunque el Departamento de Justicia dijo el martes que iba a apelar la decisión ante el Tribunal Supremo, es probable que el caso no se escuche hasta casi el final de la presidencia de Obama.

En el 2012 el presidente Obama lanzó la Consideración de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia, (DACA), produciendo 1,2 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados que fueron traídos a los EE.UU. como los niños, la oportunidad de estudiar y trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos. Luego, en Diciembre del 2014, el presidente Obama siguió DACA con otra orden ejecutiva conocida como Acción Diferida para los padres de estadounidenses, (DAPA), que tendrían también hubiera cubierto a los padres de esos jóvenes inmigrantes, y amplió el DACA para incluir más inmigrantes indocumentados.

En respuesta para el DAPA, Texas y otros 25 estados demandaron detener los programas, y en Febrero del 2014, el juez federal del distrito Andrew S. Hanen, de Brownsville, Texas, emitió una medida cautelar impidiendo la administración del inicio de los programas. El gobierno de Obama apeló a la Corte del Quinto Circuito de Apelaciones, que negó hoy la apelación, dejando el mandamiento judicial en su lugar.

Actualmente, aunque esta decisión no afecta el DACA y sus beneficiarios, DAPA y la ampliación del DACA permanecerá pausada hasta el momento en que la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos decida lo contrario.

Joseph G. Cella, Esq. Ha sido un abogado de inmigración 
desde 1993, CELLA & Associates, LLC
Fort Lee y Clifton, Nueva Jersey y Aventura, FL
Nacional Toll Free: 877.583.7080
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By Joseph G. Cella, Esq.
November 11, 2015

On Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction against implementation of DAPA and Expanded DACA, ruling that the Obama administration had overstepped its legal authority with the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which would have let about 4 million undocumented immigrants stay in the country with employment authorization. Announced last November, the program would have deferred the deportation for parents of permanent residents and U.S. citizens. However, although the Justice Department said Tuesday that it would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, the case will likely not be heard until near the end of the Obama presidency.

In 2012 President Obama launched Deferred Action for Childhood Approvals, (DACA), affording 1.2 million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, the opportunity to study and work legally in the United States. Then, in December 2014, President Obama followed DACA with another executive order known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, (DAPA), which would have also covered those young immigrants’ parents, and expanded DACA to include more undocumented immigrants.

In response DAPA, Texas and 25 other states sued to halt the programs, and in February, 2014, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, from Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction preventing the administration from starting the programs. The Obama Administration appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals, which today denied the appeal, leaving the injunction in place.

Presently, although this decision does not effect DACA and it's beneficiaries, DAPA and expanded DACA remain stayed until such time as the U.S. Supreme Court rules otherwise.

Joseph G. Cella, Esq. Has been an
immigration attorney since 1993.,
Fort Lee and Clifton, NJ and Aventura, FL
National Toll Free: 877.583.7080
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Detención Obligatoria para los detenidos de inmigración que no exceda de seis meses
Por: Robert K. Valane, Esq.
Cella & Associates, LLC
Abogados de Inmigración de EE.UU.
Para muchos que no son ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos, la cuestión de la detención obligatoria puede surgir cuando el extranjero ha sido condenado por un delito criminal. Normalmente, cuando un extranjero entra en custodia de ICE, un juez de inmigración determinará el monto de la fianza, en este caso, en un proceso conocido comúnmente como una audiencia de fianza. Sin embargo, la ley también establece si el detenido no tendra derecho a una fianza si ha sido condenado por ciertos delitos extraíbles como delitos de vileza moral, delitos graves, delitos de sustancias controladas, y los delitos con armas de fuego. Si este es el caso, se dice que el detenido es sujeto a "detención obligatoria", mediante la cual debe permanecer en prisión hasta que se resuelva su caso de inmigración.
En 2003, la idea de la detención obligatoria no presentó ningún problema constitucional porque la duración de la detención era aproximadamente de 47 días. Desde entonces, el promedio de tiempo que los detenidos obligatoriamente, pasan en prisión ha aumentado significativamente debido a la acumulación abrumadora en los procedimientos de inmigración, dejando a muchos de estos detenidos languidecen en las cárceles de los condados y las instalaciones del ICE durante meses y a veces años.
Recientemente, el Tribunal Federal de Apelaciones del Segundo Circuito, en Lora V. Shanahan, se dirigió a este aspecto de la ley de detención obligatoria. En concreto, el tribunal analizó si la prolongada detención de un extranjero, que está sujeto a detención obligatoria, viola su derecho al debido proceso de conformidad con la Constitución.
El caso de Alejandro Lora, un residente permanente legal y ciudadano de la República Dominicana, que fue condenado por delitos relacionados con drogas, sentenciado a libertad condicional, y detenido por agentes de ICE bajo la ley de detención obligatoria. Después de pasar cuatro meses en prisión, Lora solicitó un recurso de hábeas corpus, con el argumento de que el encarcelamiento indefinido sin la oportunidad de solicitar la libertad bajo fianza violaba la Cláusula del Debido Proceso de la Constitución. El Tribunal de Distrito estuvo de acuerdo, el establecimiento de una fianza por la cantidad de $ 5,000.00, y el gobierno apeló.
En una decisión histórica, el Segundo Tribunal de Circuito de Apelaciones confirmó la sentencia de la Corte de Distrito, al dictaminar que, a fin de evitar los problemas constitucionales planteados por la detención indefinida, un extranjero detenido en virtud de detención obligatoria se le debe conceder una audiencia de fianza ante un juez de inmigración dentro de los 6 meses de su detención. Además, enlace a continuación, debe ser fijado por el juez de inmigración a menos que el gobierno establezca que el extranjero es un riesgo de fuga o un riesgo de peligro para la comunidad.
Esta nueva celebración es muy importante, ya que podría potencialmente beneficiar a un número incontable de inmigrantes detenidos que ya han pasado 6 meses en prisión y son elegibles para libertad bajo fianza.
Robert K. Valane, Esq.
Abogado en
Cella & Associates, LLC
La práctica de Inmigración y la Ley de Defensa de Remoción
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Cella & Associates, LLC se complace en anunciar la apertura de nuestra nueva oficina ubicada en 2125 Center Avenue, Suite 402, Fort Lee, Nueva Jersey! Situado a sólo un minuto a pie del puente George Washington y a sólo cinco minutos de la zona alta de Manhattan, nuestra nueva oficina es fácilmente accesible desde Manhattan, Brooklyn y el condado de Bergen Nueva Jersey. Nuestra Oficina en Fort Lee será abierta con todo el personal y operativa el 15 de noviembre de 2015, y nos puede contactar llamando a nuestro número gratuito: 877.583.7080 or 201.720.7004.
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Mandatory Detention for Immigration Detainees Not To Exceed Six Months

By: Robert K. Vallane, Esq.
       Cella & Associates, LLC
       U.S. Immigration Attorneys

For many non-citizens of the United States, the issue of mandatory detention can arise when the alien has been convicted of a crime.  Normally, when a non-citizen comes into ICE custody, an immigration judge will determine the amount of bond, if any, in a proceeding commonly known as a bond hearing.  However, the law also states that the detainee might not even have a right to bond in the first place if he has been convicted of certain removable offenses such as crimes of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, controlled substance offenses, and firearms offenses.  If this is the case, it is said that the detainee is subject to “mandatory detention”, whereby he must remain in detention until his immigration case is resolved.   

In 2003, the idea of mandatory detention did not present any constitutional issues because the average length of detention was approximately 47 days.  Since then, however, the average length of time that mandatory detainees spend in detention has increased significantly due to the overwhelming backlog in immigration proceedings, leaving many of these detainees languishing in county jails and ICE facilities for months and sometimes years.

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Lora v. Shanahan, addressed this aspect of the mandatory detention law.  Specifically, the court looked at whether the prolonged detention of an alien, who is subject to mandatory detention, violates his right to due process under the Constitution.  

The case dealt with Alexander Lora, a lawful permanent resident and citizen of the Dominican Republic, who was convicted of drug-related offenses, sentenced to probation, and taken into custody by ICE agents under the mandatory detention statute.  After spending four months in custody, Lora petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that indefinite incarceration without an opportunity to apply for bail violated the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.  The District Court agreed, setting a bond in the amount of $5000, and the government appealed.

In a landmark decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the District Court, ruling that, in order to avoid the constitutional concerns raised by indefinite detention, an alien detained under mandatory detention must be afforded a bond hearing before an immigration judge within 6 months of his or her detention.  Further, bond must then be set by the immigration judge unless the government establishes that the alien poses a risk of flight or a risk of danger to the community.  

This new holding is very important as it could potentially benefit a countless number of immigration detainees who have already spent 6 months in detention and are otherwise eligible for bail.  

Robert K. Vallane, Esq.
Is an attorney at 
Cella & Associates, LLC 
Practicing Immigration and Removal Defense Law
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