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Murad Law Firm, PLLC
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USCIS has announced a change to the long standing policy of referring individuals to removal proceedings. Previously, if an individual applies for any immigration benefit and gets denied for whatever reason, the person typically got referred to removal (deportation) proceedings if they had a criminal record or fraud. Now under this new policy, an individual will be referred to removal proceedings if the person is denied an immigration benefit and they are unlawfully present in the United States, "regardless" of whether the person has a criminal record or fraud. Therefore, it now more important than ever to know the risks of applying for certain immigration benefits, and to ensure that the case is done correctly in order to avoid being put in removal proceedings.
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For those who have not filed for DACA: Due to Trump's announcement to end DACA, USCIS has stopped accepting any applications for DACA on September 5th. In six months, Congress is expected to come up with a solution for DACA recipients. There is no guarantee that Congress will come up with a solution, but as we get closer to March, we hope to find out more details. If you believe you may have alternative ways of getting legal status (such as, if you are married to a US citizen or are a victim of a crime in the US), please contact us so we can determine if that is a possibility for you.

If you already have DACA: You may file for a renewal only if your permit will expire between now and March 5, 2018. Renewals must be filed no later than October 5, 2017. Therefore, if you need to file a renewal, please contact us immediately.
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Trump is reportedly expected to make a decision on whether to keep or do away with DACA, which would affect up to 800,000 people in the US who are currently benefiting from the program. This program allows only those who can prove that they came into the country before the age of 16, have no criminal record (among other requirements), to obtain temporary work authorization in the US. Trump had previously indicated that he would not make any changes to the program, but that could change given the unpredictability of this administration.
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If you are an employer or an immigrant employee (this includes permanent residents), the information on an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form can have severe consequences on an immigrant's ability to become a US citizen or change status. There have been reports that USCIS may begin asking for copies of I-9s to see if immigrant made false claims to US citizenship. If this is a concern, be sure to consult with an immigration lawyer before applying for any immigration benefit.
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This will definitely result in a chilling effect for those victims who wish to seek justice.
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