Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates
Beach-Oswald Immigration Law
News Updates
In This Issue . . .

2. BOILA Feature Story
3.BOILA Grant Highlights
4.USCIS Policy on NTA Issuance
5.USCIS Policy on RFEs and NOIDs
6.Family Reunification
7. TPS Extended for Yemen
8. Processing Green Cards
9. Re-Definition of Public Charge
11. USCIS Updates
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Washington, DC
2011 to 2018

Issue: #7
                July 2018
bringing immigration news updates since 2006


Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates, PC
 is a Washington, D.C. boutique firm devoted exclusively to immigration law. We have the highest possible rating for lawyers for legal acumen and ethical standards, and we have been practicing law since 1981. We are well versed in all aspects of immigration law, particularly, employment based immigration, citizenship, naturalization, asylum, deportation and removal, and temporary visas. 

Our top-notch lawyers represent professional workers, business owners, families, and asylum-seekers from all over the world. We provide the absolute best professional service possible to our clients and aid them in every step of their immigration processes. We prioritize ensuring our clients are not only assisted with their immigration cases but are thoroughly educated about the processes, laws, and requirements. All of our attorneys and legal staff at Beach-Oswald have a genuine desire to help those in need. We ensure the highest quality of professionalism and legal expertise.
BOILA Feature Grant Story

* In order to protect our client's identity, we will only be using their initials in our feature story.

Ms. AA came to Beach-Oswald in September of 2017 concerned because she had not received any updates from Immigration regarding her I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence. Ms. AA had a two year green card given to her after the green card application filed by her  U.S. citizen husband was approved.

Throughout the course of her marriage, Ms. AA was subjected to constant physical and emotional abuse by her U.S. citizen husband.  Her husband boasted about his extramarital affairs and constantly threatened her physical well being as well as her presence and safety in the U.S. To make matters worse, their young daughter was also subjected to the same abuses. 

Ms. AA found the courage to leave her husband and move herself and her daughter into a shelter. When she came to BOILA, she was eager to complete her immigration process. Unbeknownst to Ms. AA, her husband had been keeping her immigration notices from her, so when USCIS sent a Request for Evidence on her pending I-751 petition, Ms. AA never received it. 

BOILA immediately entered appearance as attorney of record and started working to timely respond to the initial Request for Evidence.  We collected ample documentation to show the bona fide nature of the marriage between Ms. AA and her husband, as well as, numerous medical documents and protective orders to attest to the physical abuse she sustained. 

Finally, after responding to two Requests for Evidence,  Ms. AA was scheduled for an interview before and Immigration officer. 

BOILA was right by Ms. AA's side during her interview, and even though the officer asked very difficult and personal questions about her marriage and the abuse she suffered, Ms. AA answered all of the officers questions. Two weeks after her interview, Ms. AA received her approval notice and her 10 year green card. Next year, she will be eligible to file for naturalization. 

BOILA GRANT Highlights

Mr. Z a citizen of Ukraine was granted asylum at the Arlington Asylum office based on his religion as a Jehovah's Witness. Sadly, Jehovah's Witness is a misunderstood religion in Ukraine and the citizens and government alike persecutes Jehovah's Witnesses. Mr. Z was arrested and physically assaulted by the Ukrainian police force for being a Jehovah's Witness. BOILA was successful in convincing the Arlington Asylum Office that should Mr. Z be returned to Ukraine he will be harmed based on his religion. Mr. Z will now be eligible to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident next summer.

Mr. U, a native and citizen of Nigeria was granted his 10 year green card after BOILA successfully represented him at his I-751 interview. Mr. U initially filed for his green card as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. Throughout his marriage, he and his wife found in increasingly difficult to maintain their marriage while only one person was financially contributing to their expenses. Eventually his wife got a job out of state, and the two found the distance to be too hard on their relationship. BOILA then aided Mr. U in changing his I-751 petition to waiver and provided ample documentation on his bona fide marriage. Mr. U now has his 10 year green card and can start the process for naturalization.

Mr. N a native and citizen of DRC filed his I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, in 2015 petitioned by his U.S. citizen wife. It took Immigration three years to schedule Mr. N for an interview on his pending application. BOILA sent numerous status inquiries and attended infopasses in Baltimore to try to get Mr. N scheduled for an interview. After three long years, his interview was scheduled. After a long prep and re-documenting his bona fide marriage to the interviewing officer, Mr. N was granted his 10 year green card and will be eligible for naturalization in 2021.

USCIS New Policy Memo on Issuance of Notices to Appear

On June 28, 2018, USCIS issued a new policy memo outlining specific instances in which a Notice to Appear would be issued to non-citizens who appear before a USCIS officer in an attempt to receive an immigration benefit.  removal proceedings against a non-citizen.   Rather than allowing a non-citizen an opportunity  to correct instances of skepticism noted by a USCIS officer, the non-citizen will be immediately put into removal proceedings.   While USCIS officers have always had the authority to issue Notices to Appear, this policy expands the circumstances in which Notices to Appear will be issued.  

Briefly, the policy memo states that USCIS is now required to issue a Notice to Appear to a non-citizen in the following circumstances:
  • Where an officer believes fraud or misrepresentation is determined
  • Where an officer believes a non-citizen abused public benefit programs
  • Where an officer believes a non-citizen has been convicted of, charged with, or simply committed acts that could be determined a criminal offense;
  • Where an officer denies a naturalization application (N-400) on the basis of a lack of a non-citizen's good moral character
  • Where an officer denies an application when the non-citizen is unlawfully present in the United States
The consequences of this new policy are not only unnecessary but will cause an already overwhelmed immigration court system to become further backlogged, providing further delays to non-citizens who are in most need of relief. Further it will drain immigration court resources to focus on cases that could have easily and expeditiously been decided by a USCIS officer. USCIS must also now stretch its resources to focus on immigration enforcement, which is the primary responsibility of ICE. Lastly, this policy will have a chilling effect on non-citizens who may be eligible for benefits but are now discouraged from applying out of fear that they will be subject to unjust enforcement by ICE officers who are sadly rapidly gaining a negative reputation for their unchecked and hostile attitudes and actions towards non-citizens.    
This policy shift has the effect of turning USCIS into an enforcement agency rather than a benefits agency, which up until recently has been its primary focus. This policy also will bring about a negative impact on the immigration courts as it will refer non-citizens to court adding to the already massive backlogs. This policy change is sadly in line with the Trump administration's hostile attitude towards non-citizens.  

For more information, please go to 
USCIS Policy Guidance on Request for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny

On July 17th, USCIS released a policy memo on guidance to USCIS officers regarding their discretion on adjudicating applications and petitions without sending Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). 

The updated guidances takes effect on September 11, 2018 and applies to all applications, petitions and request except for DACA. 

Former policy memos limited the adjudicators discretion by stating that RFE's and NOID were to be issued unless there was no possibility of approval. 

The policy implemented in this guidance restores the adjudicators full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as "placeholder" filings and encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting and submitting required evidence.  
If the required documentation is not submitted with the initial application or petition, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence. Examples of filings that may be denied without sending an RFE or NOID include, but are not limited to:     
  • Waiver applications submitted with  little to no supporting evidence; or
  • Cases where the regulations, the statute, or form instructions require the submission of an official document or other form of evidence establishing eligibility at the time of filing and there is no such submission. For example, an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), if required, was not submitted with an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).

Family Reunification Deadline

The July 26th Court imposed deadline for the Department of Homeland Security  to reunite families separated at the border has officially passed, and although hundreds of children have been released back into their parents care, DHS  has also held many families and excluded them from the reunification process. 
Out of approximately 2,500 hundred separated, roughly  1,442 children ages 5 to 17 have been reunited with their parents. Most have been released from government custody while their deportation process continues. But there are still more than 700 children that have not been reunited with their parents and remain in government custody. 
For the families that have been reunified, their immediate concern is deportation.  There are nearly a thousand parents that were issued final orders of deportation before they were ever reunited with their children. There are many other parents that waived their rights to reunification before deportation. Posing the question, whether or not they knew what they were signing and were aware of their rights to seek asylum or other relief. There is widespread belief that parents are being coerced or pressured into signing the waivers without proper explanation of their actions. 
the ACLU is now seeking permission from the court to give families seven days before deportation to allow them time to discuss the difficult predicament and decisions that must be made.  The government is arguing that 48 hours is enough time for the families to discuss their options and decisions. 
This crisis of separated families was entirely one of the administration's own making and the federal government must take full ownership of solving it.

TPS for Yemen Extended

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Yemen for 18 months.  The TPS extension will be through March 3, 2020.  Over 1,200  Yemeni will now be able to renew their status.
DHS has declared Yemen as the "world's worst humanitarian crisis".  Yemen has been in a civil war since 2015 and the country conditions have only worsened since then.  In addition to the violence resulting from the war, Yemen has also had one of the worlds worst Cholera epidemics ever recorded, as well as a host of other diseases such as Diphtheria.
The extension of TPS for Yemenis was needed in order to protect these nationals and insure they're protected and stay out of harms way.

Processing Time for Green Cards

USCIS introduced a pilot program in March that changed how USCIS determined the time ranges for processing its main petitions and applications. The change in processing time came after longstanding criticisms of USCIS inaccurate processing times posted on its website. 

According to USCIS, I-485, Applications to Adjust Status take anywhere from  7 to 33 months to be processed depending on which office is working on the application, basis for filing and other factors. 

The pilot program only applies to the following applications and petitions:

  •  N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 
  • I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status 
  • I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
The pilot program includes only four of the many fee-based immigration forms USCIS adjudicates. Additionally, the ranges are still estimates, have broad variation, and do not reflect the complexity of many cases. Applicant's are encouraged to visit the site regularly and consult an immigration attorney for assistance in tracking their petitions and applications. 

Re-Definition of Public Charge 

For the past year, the Trump administration has worked tirelessly to change the U.S. immigration system.  It now seeks to change the circumstances for family-based admission by re-defining the circumstance in which a non U.S. citizen is deemed a public charge - meaning they are someone who depends on government benefits or subsidies. 

Though the new policy remains unclear, what has been ascertained from leaked drafts of executive orders and rules is the following:
  • An immigrant would be considered a public charge if any of his or her dependents-regardless of whether the dependents are U.S. citizens-are utilizing or might utilize benefit programs.
  • Being a public charge would no longer be defined only by utilization or possible utilization of cash benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and General Assistance (GA).  An immigrant would also be considered a public charge if he or she utilized (or might have to utilize) non-cash benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • An immigrant would be labeled a public charge if he or she had received any benefits in the past 36 months-not just currently or possibly in the future.
  • An immigrant would be a public charge for receiving benefits in any amount; not just being primarily dependent on those benefits, which is the case now.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, in the last Fiscal Year there would have been over 1 million immigrants who would not have become lawful permanent residents because they would be deemed public charges.

This proposed changed would drastically change the family immigration system and would leave millions without recourse for status in the U.S.

 USCIS Updates

USCIS Announces Form I-751 date entry delay at California Service Center
Earlier this month, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that its California Service Center (CSC) is experiencing a delay in initial data entry, and therefore the mailing of receipt notices, for Form I-751: Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. The agency advises those who have recently submitted a 1-751 to the CSC but have not received a receipt notice to refrain from filing a duplicate unless explicitly instructed to do so. Processing time for these petitions is expected to return to normal by the end of June 2018. 

Please let us know if we can help you in any way for all your immigration needs.


Danielle Beach-Oswald
Beach-Oswald Immigration Lawyers