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Los Angeles, CA 90010
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Do You Have an Immigration Problem, A Citizenship Question? Together, We'll Find A Solution
1/25/2022 Issue
    We are disappointed because President Biden did not succeed in passing a big, comprehensive reform of immigration law. But we should also remember that Biden’s administration did make many changes to remove obstacles that ex-President Trump put in the way of LEGAL immigration. Remember, ex-President Trump declared that he wanted to cut legal immigration by half, and he succeeded. Not by changing the immigration law, just by imposing all kinds of administrative obstacles. The Biden administration removed many of these obstacles. Here are some of the Biden changes.
           Every Petitioner in every family-based petition must provide an Affidavit of Support in which the Petitioner promises the government that if the Beneficiary becomes a PUBLIC CHARGE by needing government support, the Petitioner would pay the government back the costs of supporting the Beneficiary.
           This is “old” law, we have had it for many years. But under Trump – all kinds of requirements, categories and conditions were added, so much and so strict that it became very difficult to accomplish legal immigration. It became almost impossible for elderly, retired parents of American citizens to get immigrant visas or Green Cards.
           During President Biden’s first year in office, all the Trump “additions” were cancelled, now we are back to the old law.
           Every applicant for American citizenship (Form N-400) must pass an exam in English (depending on age) and in American History and Government.
           During the Trump administration, this exam was made longer and more difficult.
           Under President Biden, this new exam was withdrawn and we are back to the old exam that had served us very well for many years.
           The DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was started under President Obama. It granted employment permits and protection from deportation to a great number of non-citizens who were brought to the U.S. as children. But this program was never a LAW or even an official REGULATION. It was only an Internal Memorandum of USCIS with Guidelines. It did not have a solid legal basis.
           Therefore, the Republicans kept fighting against it and finally succeeded in convincing a Federal Judge in Texas to order cancellation of the program.
           The USCIS, under President Biden, published a proposal for official DACA REGULATIONS.
In a few months, so we expect, the DACA program would be “revived”, on a stronger legal basis, to benefit all those young people with eligibility for its benefits.

           “Enforcement” means arrests and deportation of out-of-status
non-citizens. It also covers raids on workplaces.
A few months ago, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas, the overall boss of all branches of the Immigration Service, USICE, USCIS and USCBP, issued a Memorandum on the subject of “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law”.
           The importance of these guidelines is in the following sentence:
            “The fact that an
individual is a removable
non-citizen… should not
alone be the basis for an
enforcement action
against them.”
           In plain English, just because somebody is out-of-status is not a sufficient reason to grab them and deport them. They must also fit in one of three PRIORITIES:
           First, if they are a threat to National Security by being suspected of terrorism or espionage.
           Second, if they are a threat to Public Safety, by serious criminal conduct. In applying this category, there are AGGRAVATING factors and also MITIGATING factors. ICE agents must use judgment in deciding whether to take enforcement action or not.
           Third, if they are a threat to Border Security, by being stopped while trying to enter illegally or by having entered the U.S. illegally after November 1, 2020.
           Conclusion: most of the out-of-status non-citizens in the U.S. are in no risk of enforcement.
           The Trump administration had a plan to raise the Filing Fees of most applications. The increases were sometimes quite large. For example: the fee for an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) was scheduled to go from $640 to $1,170, and the fee for a request for hearing (like an appeal of a denial) of an Application for Naturalization (Form N-335) was scheduled to go from $700 to $1,736. All the planned increases were cancelled by the Biden administration.
           There were many more changes for the better in procedures and attitudes at the Immigration Service during the first year of the Biden presidency.
           Let’s hope that more are still to come.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222