San Francisco Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Law Offices of Daniel E. Chavez. Latest news & Insights for immigration law in the Northern California San Francisco Bay Area.

The Time is Now to Fight For Immigration Reform

Immigration reform may not be easy to pass, but that’s no reason to give up the fight, President Barack Obama said last Thursday in his White House speech.

The president made his long-awaited return to the issue in a brief White House speech urging advocates to keep the pressure on House Republicans to take action on the Senate’s immigration bill, saying that only public pressure will lead to action.

Obama said: “Just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor and evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans, that does not mean that it will actually get done,” Obama said. “This is Washington, after all.”

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In the United States, thousands of Mexican immigrants in mixed-status families are placed in removal proceedings each year. Over the past thirty plus years, we have represented hundreds of clients who found themselves in deportation proceedings by applying for cancellation of removal to preserve the lives that they have built for themselves in the U.S.—their families, jobs, and social networks. Of course, only those who can meet the very special and difficult requirements acquire lawful permanent residence from the judge.

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A year ago, President Obama announced the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] program from the steps of the White House Rose Garden. The announcement marked a victory for thousands of undocumented immigrant youth whose courage and activism inspired the Administration to take action. Since then, over half a million young immigrants have come forward under DACA to seek relief from deportation and to secure work authorization from the government. After only a year, it is apparent that DACA has been worth the effort and the political pressure it took to create opportunities for young, unauthorized immigrants. After one year, the numbers are encouraging.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform - The Ugly

After months of heated negotiations, a bipartisan group of eight senators finally achieved compromise, coming together to unveil a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. Even yet, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the legislation Monday, a new set of divisions began to emerge, offering an early glimpse at the partisan politics likely to be on display as the immigration bill winds its way through the Senate.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform - The Bad

The long-delayed congressional debate over decisive immigration reform began last week following the filing of a bipartisan measure that creates a roadmap to citizenship for a portion of the 11 million immigrants now in the country without documents. However, more work lies ahead to ensure that Congress upholds the fundamental American values of fairness and due process as part of any reforms, according to the Immigrant Justice Network, a collaboration of the Immigrant Defense Project, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform - The Good

First, the good news! Millions of individuals in unlawful status may soon be able to apply to adjust their status to the legal status of Registered Provisional Immigrant Status (RPI). The Criteria for Eligibility would be proof of residence in the United States before December 31, 2011,  and maintenance of continuous physical presence since then and payment of a $500 penalty fee (except for DREAM Act eligible students), and assessed taxes, per adult applicant and all applicable fees required to pay for the cost of processing the application.

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform - The Basics

As you may have heard, on Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on a sweeping bill to overhaul the immigration system. The 844-page bill includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, new border security measures, a mandatory nationwide system to verify the legal status of newly hired workers, two new guest worker programs and a host of changes to the legal immigration system. The sponsors said they hoped to win passage of the bill in the Senate by early June, but it will undoubtedly be subjected to many twists and turns and obstacles before a law is passed. I want to get started anyway with a preliminary outline of some of the most important provisions for Legalization, or to use the official terms, Legal Immigration Adjustment of Status to Registered Provisional Immigrant Status [RPI] as well as information on the proposed changes to our Family Immigration system and a revamped Merits, or Skilled Labor route to immigration.

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Congress Reauthorizes and Strengthens the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

It is to be hoped that the immigration community is aware of and is taking advantage of a very important piece of legislation known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The intention of VAWA is to protect the undocumented immigrant from  abusive relationships with U.S. Citizens (USC) or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR). If you are the spouse or child of a USC or LPR, or the parent of  a USC, who is battered or subject to extreme cruelty, you may file a self-petition for your “green card” independently of the abusive USC/LPR spouse or parent. The child of a battered spouse is included without a separate petition. Remember, the abuser must have papers. Victims of similar violent abuse at the hands of the undocumented can apply for a different, nonimmigrant U visa, which will be the subject of another  blog soon. But, for now, I’d like to explain to you how VAWA can help you or a loved one obtain Lawful Permanent Residence.

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When is President Obama going to stop the deportations?

It is time to demand that President Obama stop what has become one of the most aggressive and ruthless efforts in decades to deport people from the United States. In the last FOUR years, this President has deported TWICE as many undocumented immigrants as Bush’s administration did in EIGHT years! This by a president who owes the next four years primarily to the trust the Latino voters put in him over candidate Romney.

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An Important First Step Toward Comprehensive Immigration Reform

As I alerted my readers in my January blog, broad immigration reform is becoming a distinct possibility at last. Last week a working group of Senators from both parties partially agreed on broad principles for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, representing the most substantive bipartisan effort toward major legislation in years.

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Immigration Outlook Improves for 2013

The Law Offices of Daniel E. Chavez, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, would like to take the opportunity in our first of hopefully many blogs this year to wish a Happy New Year to one and all! For those who are tired of waiting for immigration reform it may turn out to be a happy new year after all. An Obama administration official recently said the president plans to push for immigration reform this January. The official, who spoke this week about legislative plans only on condition of anonymity, said that the White House plans to push forward quickly on immigration reform.

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Welcome to our NEW Bay Area Immigration Law Blog!

Thank you for stopping by our new San Francisco bay area California immigration law blog!  For future updates, please subscribe.

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Law Offices of Daniel E. Chavez
300 Oak Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
P: (707) 775-4531

Northern California Office

Areas We Serve

At the Law Offices of Daniel E. Chavez, in Petaluma, California, we handle immigration matters for individuals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, including Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Fairfield, Napa, Vallejo, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Novato, Vacaville, Walnut Creek, Concord, Oakland, San Francisco, Ukiah, Fresno; and in Sonoma County, Marin County, Lake County, San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Mendocino County, Shasta County, Humboldt County, Napa County, San Joaquin County and Merced County.

Contact Us

Law Offices of Daniel E. Chavez
300 Oak Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
P: (707) 775-4531