2023: A year en review
By Jesse Young
It’s officially 2024, and, in case we missed you in December, we would like to kick off the blog this year by offering our readers our heartfelt wishes for a successful year ahead. In 2024, we intend to keep sharing our knowledge and experience with you, as well as keep you up to date with the latest developments in U.S. Immigration.
As we bid adieu to 2023, however, we would like to take a moment to recap some highlights from the blog. Last year we discussed a wide range of topics, among them the route to permanent residency in the United States through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and options to change status for victims of workplace abuse, such as the T-Visa. We’re certain that there’s plenty here that you’ll find useful, especially if you are wondering whether this is the year for you to get your papers in the U.S. Read on and we’ll take you on a brief tour of our archive.
We started last year with a step-by-step guide on how Eagan Immigration can take you from a simple phone call to our office all the way to permanent residency or even citizenship in the United States. How exactly? Well, once you get in touch with us, we’ll be able to establish if you have a viable case. From there we can start putting wheels in motion. Our lawyers will find the best possible option for you to fix your status, then, after signing a contract, you will speak with a member of our case preparation team to tell us your story. We then go about assembling your immigration petition, and, once we get all the required documents from you, we submit it to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. In many cases, this will lead to you getting your work permit within six to eight months. Better still, we can conduct this process for you remotely, meaning, up until the point you attend your interview with USCIS, there’s no need for you to travel.
In February and March, we published two articles about who we are and what we believe in. We know that choosing who to represent you in your immigration matters is a huge decision. That’s why we wanted to share our core values with you: Innovation, Commitment, Compassion and Communication.
- When we say Innovation that means we will use every means at our disposal to find your route to legal status. Many of our clients have spoken to other attorneys who told them it was impossible for them to get their papers. Thanks to our innovative legal strategies, we’re proud to say that these same clients now have their work permits or green cards.
- Commitment to us means that we do not give up on difficult cases. The road from undocumented immigrant to legal resident of the United States is rarely straightforward, but where other attorneys might give up on a client in a complicated situation, we double down.
- Compassion is the starting point for every one of our cases, because the moment you pick up the phone to call us, you’ll be speaking with someone who makes every effort to understand. Many of our staff are immigrants themselves, or the children of immigrants. All of us believe in you, and that’s why we go to the lengths we do to represent you better than any other law firm can.
- Our last value, Communication, means we want to keep you informed. Whether you’re talking to a member of our team, watching our social media, or reading this blog, we always make an effort to share everything we know with you, clearly and comprehensively.
In April and May we discussed two recent changes in U.S. Immigration law: the end of Title 42 and new changes in Deferred Action policy designed to protect immigrants from workplace abuse. If you’re unfamiliar with these changes, here’s a brief explanation:
- Title 42 was a policy instated by the Trump administration in March 2020 which gave Border Patrol agents the authority to reject asylum applicants at ports of entry without giving them the chance to explain their case. In May 2023, the Biden administration announced the end of Title 42 and the return to the previous asylum policy, known as Title 8. Unfortunately, this has had the effect of making the asylum-seeking process even more difficult as applicants who have not first sought protection in other countries are now disqualified.
- The Biden Administration’s new Deferred Action policy, on the other hand, has opened the door to legal status for thousands of undocumented workers who were not previously eligible. In January 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced that noncitizens who have been the victims of workplace abuse, and who reported it to a government agency, can apply to USCIS and potentially receive a work permit within 30 days.
In June we presented the story of “Maria”, an undocumented mother, who contacts Eagan Immigration and begins her journey to U.S. Citizenship by applying for VAWA. Maria’s story is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, she has been told by other immigration attorneys that there’s nothing she can do to fix her status. She has a 23-year-old son, who causes her a lot of problems, but that hardly seems like an unusual situation to her. After calling Eagan she learns that, in fact, she can get her papers. And those problems with her son? They make her eligible to apply for permanent residency through VAWA. We follow her story from the moment she first speaks with an Eagan receptionist to the day she becomes naturalized as a U.S. Citizen.
In August we provided two useful guides for our readers. The first guide is about deportation: the conditions that can lead to a person in the United States getting deported as well as process that ultimately leads to a deportation. We also touch on some of the ways to prevent this from happening. The second guide addresses the most common reasons that an immigration application can be denied. These include failing to present adequate proof, issues of criminal history and past immigration violations. We discuss as well what to do if you are facing a denial.
Finally, in November we presented the story of one of our T-Visa clients. The T-Visa is a route to legal status available to victims of human trafficking. That may sound like an uncommon situation, but what few people realize is how prevalent trafficking in the United States is. Our client was enticed to start working on a farm, then paid much less than originally agreed upon and threatened with deportation if he refused to work. He was housed in cramped and unsanitary living conditions, had his identification documents confiscated and was verbally abused on a regular basis. Thankfully, today he is living free, and, after filing his T-Visa with us, he is on the road to obtaining permanent legal status in the U.S. While our client’s story presents an extreme example of modern-day human trafficking, many more people qualify for the T-Visa than you might think. That’s why if you have dealt with an abusive boss, we encourage you to give us a call to find out if you might have a case as well.
Here at Eagan, we’re excited to start a new year. We intend to keep using our blog to present the most useful immigration news and information that you’ll find anywhere. As always, if you have any questions about your particular immigration situation, we encourage you to call us at 202-709-6439.