Practice Advisory

This practice advisory provides an update on public charge for advocates providing naturalization legal assistance. The advisory briefly discusses the legal standard for assessing public charge and then discusses how to advise lawful permanent residents looking to naturalize. It covers issues related to the 2019 rule on public charge that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published in the...
The BIA has held that that it will not give retroactive effect to California Penal Code § 18.5(a) on convictions from before January 1, 2015. It will consider a California misdemeanor conviction from before January 1, 2015 to have a potential sentence of up to one year, while a misdemeanor conviction on or after that date will have a potential sentence of up to 364 days. Having a potential...
In August 2018, the Ninth Circuit published an opinion holding that methamphetamine as defined under California law is not a controlled substance for federal immigration purposes. In January 2019, however, the court withdrew the published opinion, and issued a non-published opinion that came to the same conclusion. See Lorenzo v. Sessions , 902 F.3d 930 (9th Cir. 2018), withdrawn by Lorenzo v...
USCIS recently issued updated guidance on when it will refer a person to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) or issue a Notice to Appear (NTA, the charging document that begins a case in immigration court). Advocates must consult this memorandum in evaluating the risk of referral in individual cases, as it now requires USCIS to issue an NTA in any case in which, “upon issuance of an...
The purpose of this advisory is to provide service providers with an update on the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and how to counsel clients now. In it we include information on the current status of the DACA program, what to tell clients, factors to consider in deciding when and if to renew DACA, and ideas for what people should do now if they have never had...
The DOJ created new conditions for state and local recipients of Byrne Justice Assistance Grants and other federal grants, in an effort to prevent jurisdictions with certain sanctuary policies from receiving any funds. Several federal courts have found these requirements to be unconstitutional, and ordered the DOJ to distribute the grants to sanctuary cities such as Chicago and Philadelphia. This...
This practice advisory addresses the impact of drug trafficking on unaccompanied minor (UC) cases by looking at overall drug trafficking patterns within UC cases, identifying the substantive and procedural issues that may arise when UC with drug trafficking histories pursue immigration relief, and drawing parallels to other bodies of law to provide practitioners with recommendations for use in...
This advisory discusses how the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protect children of permanent residents in their applications for permanent residency. We discuss how a child’s age is calculated and how they might move through different preference categories through their process to become residents.
This introductory practice advisory explains 245(i), including “grandfathering” and “after acquired,” and includes screening questions to assist in identifying and evaluating possible 245(i) options for your clients. Updated in July 2021 with new examples and notes on USCIS handling of these cases, including a Policy Manual discrepancy on grandfathering that practitioners should be aware of when...


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