Supreme Court Temporarily Rules Against Central American Asylum Seekers
Central American refugees will be unable to apply for asylum protection if, while traveling to the US, they traveled through another country and did not apply for and receive asylum protection in that country. While the rule is temporary as litigation over the matter continues, the rule effectively locks out Central American refugees from the asylum process.
U Visa Backlogs for Crime Victims Continue to Grow Exponentially
Just a few years ago, the typical wait for a U visa for a crime victim helpful to law enforcement was about 2 years. Today that wait has stretched to almost 11 years. This is due to the ever-growing interest in the U visa and its limited availability. Congress capped the number of available U visas to only 10,000 per year despite the increasing demand. Yet for many, this visa remains the only viable option for obtaining legal status. This has long been the “golden-ticket” visa bringing someone with no legal status into legal status and allowing the U visa holder to apply for a green card in 3 years. Despite the backlogs, given the current trend under the Trump Administration, we strongly encourage those eligible to apply to do so before the program is eliminated.
I-601A and I-601 Waivers Still a Viable Option for Eligible Immigrants
Despite the move by the Trump administration to severely curtail many immigration benefits, the I-601A Provisional Waiver initiated by the Obama Administration is still a viable option. The I-601A waiver allows those without legal status who marry a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) to apply for and receive a waiver based on hardship to their US Citizen or LPR family members. The grant of an I-601A Provisional Waiver is determined by a well-prepared and well-documented showing of extreme emotional, physical as well as financial hardship to qualifying family members. A grant allows the prospective immigrant to present the I-601A approval at a consulate in their home country streamlining the visa process and drastically shortening the time they must remain outside the U.S.
Those not eligible for the I-601A waiver may still qualify for an I-601 Waiver but requires the applicant wait outside the U.S. for the approval, a process which can take 12 -18 months under the current administration.