Practice Advisory

USCIS Naturalization processing was already delayed as long as 3-4 years in many jurisdictions before the pandemic and ensuing USCIS closures hit. Many thousands of applicants are waiting to complete the application process. This practice advisory describes why remote naturalization oaths are a legally permissible and practical measure that USCIS could employ to reduce the backlog in...
This practice advisory discusses the confidentiality policies and practices currently in place protecting information submitted in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California that allowed the DACA program to remain open.
A Notice to Appear (NTA), Form I-862, is a charging document that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues and files with the immigration court to start removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) against an individual, known in removal proceedings as the “respondent.” The NTA serves many functions in an immigration case, like explaining why the...
This Practice Advisory is a detailed follow-up to our prior Practice Alert on the Supreme Court's April 23, 2020 decision in Barton v. Barr , 140 S. Ct. 1442 (2020). In Barton , the Court held that committing an offense “listed in” the inadmissibility grounds at INA § 212(a)(2) triggers the "stop-time" rule for purposes of cancellation of removal eligibility, even for an admitted LPR who cannot...
Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal is an important deportation defense for eligible individuals in removal proceedings who have resided in the United States for many years. Proving “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship to a qualifying relative can be difficult, but when medical or psychological conditions are present, they are often the strongest hardship factor. This advisory explains how to...
On April 23, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an adverse, 5-4 decision in Barton v. Barr , No. 18-725 (U.S. Apr. 23, 2020), a case regarding the “stop-time rule” and eligibility for cancellation of removal. The Court held that committing an offense “listed in” the inadmissibility grounds at INA § 212(a)(2) stops time for purposes of cancellation, even for an admitted LPR who cannot be charged...
Increasingly prosecutors are asked to c on sider immigrati on c on sequences in the charging and plea-bargaining process. Some states have adopted policies requiring prosecutors to c on sider such c on sequences, see, e.g., Cal. Pen. C. § 1016.3(b), and some prosecutor offices have adopted internal guidelines mandating the c on siderati on of immigrati on c on sequences. This advisory provides c...
Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is an important relief option for individuals who are unable to qualify for asylum or withholding of removal. This advisory reviews the legal standard for CAT protection . It also provides an overview of seminal Board of Immigration Appeals and federal circuit court decisions that discuss the various elements of a CAT claim. The end of the...
U nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrant status, often called “U visas” and “T visas,” are humanitarian forms of immigration relief for crime survivors. Congress created these forms of relief with the dual purpose of aiding law enforcement, by encouraging crime victims to cooperate, and providing humanitarian relief for crime survivors. Both forms of relief have a certification process by which...
In 2016, California passed California Penal Code § 1473.7, a critical post-conviction relief vehicle for people no longer in criminal custody to move to eliminate prior convictions that violated constitutional and statutory rights to due process and effective assistance of counsel. Under decades of legal precedent, prior offenses vacated on this basis are outside the federal immigration...


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