Saturday, February 21, 2015

Deferred Action Programs: Expanded DACA & DAPA Suspended...

Deferred Action- to wit, President Obama's DACA and DAPA Programs as announced on November 20, 2014 have been suspended until further notice...

These programs have been stopped due to the grant of a preliminary injunction issued by a Texas Federal Judge blocking Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration in its entirety.

As such, applications for DACA and DAPA scheduled to begin 2/18/15 and 5/19/15 respectively will not be accepted until the Judge's Order is reversed.

DHS Statement Feb. 17, 2015

"...The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA...

Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it." _Secretary Jeh C. Johnson

Click here for additional information from

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) 2015

DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is Here... 

Starting on February 18, 2015- ALL Qualified Undocumented Immigrants residing in the United States may apply for same...

ALL Qualified... means any person living in the U.S. regardless of Country of Origin, Ethnicity or Nationality. If you meet DACA's criteria and submit your application - you may be granted this humanitarian relief.

Monday, November 24, 2014

President Obama's Immigration Action Plan

President Obama has taken executive action and announced the following immigration relief on November 20, 2014… in an attempt to bring temporary equity for some of the undocumented immigrants living in our midst.

Obama’s Immigration Plan

In summary, President Obama’s plan is focused on
  1. Border security
  2. Revise Removal Priorities through Prosecutorial Discretion
  3. Refocusing on Enforcement Programs 
  4. Expand on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  5. Streamlining the Business Visa application and approval process 
  6. Temporarily deferring the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants 
  7. Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents “LPR” (DAPA)
  8. Provisional Waivers for Spouses and Relatives of U.S. Citizens and LPR relatives 
  9. Promote Naturalization 
  10. Among others… #ImmigrationAction 
(Watch this video...)

The Family Immigration Component

The family immigration part of the plan focuses on those individuals who are:
  • Currently residing in the United States for more than Five years
  • Have children who are American citizens or Legal Permanent Residents
  • Pass a Criminal Background Check and are
  • Willing to pay their fair share of Taxes


Friday, August 15, 2014

Ebola Virus Related Immigration Relief Measures

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Relief measures are being offered to nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are currently in the United States due to the ongoing Ebola Virus outbreak which may be affecting your USCIS application, petition or immigration status...

USCIS Humanitarian Relief Available


Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States include:
  1. Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired
  2. Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS
  3. Consideration for waiver of fees associated with USCIS benefit applications
  4. Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate
  5. Document Replacement
  6. Off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship, and
  7. Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives (currently in the United States) of U.S. citizens.
For additional information, visit the USCIS Website or Contact Experienced immigration attorney Yolette M. Saintiny, Esq. at (910) 269-9301.

Ms. Saintiny, can help you during all stages of your claim for visas, green cards, work permits, adjustment of status, political asylum, withholding or cancellation of removal.  

Flat Fee & Unbundled Legal Services Available!

Suggested reading:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Applying for Same-sex Immigration Benefits

Q1: I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national. Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa? 

A1: Yes, you can file the petition. You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

Q2. I am a U.S. citizen who is engaged to be married to a foreign national of the same sex. Can I file a fiancé or fiancée petition for him or her?

A2. Yes. You may file a Form I-129F. As long as all other immigration requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow your fiancé to enter the United States for marriage.

Q3: My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state or a foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?

A3: Yes. As a general matter, the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated determines whether the marriage is legally valid for immigration purposes. Just as USCIS applies all relevant laws to determine the validity of an opposite-sex marriage, we will apply all relevant laws to determine the validity of a same-sex marriage...

Continue reading the Same-sex Marriage FAQs article on the USCIS website.

Experienced immigration attorney Yolette M. Saintiny, Esq.- I can help you during all stages of your claim for green cards, work permits, adjustment of status, political asylum, withholding or cancellation of removal and immigration court appearances. Contact me today.

After DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act “DOMA” has been declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court Justices on June 26, 2013; thus, reversing Clinton era penalty for same-sex married partners.


Federal Benefits

Under the current status, same-sex partners are officially imbued with the benefit of "equal liberty" guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment: including Social Security survivors' benefits, Insurance benefits, Immigration and Tax filing. Click here to read the Justices Opinion


What is Defense of Marriage Act

“Defense of Marriage Act is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199” Public Law 104-199 104th Congress

[… “SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse' ``In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.''] Emphasis added.


Case upon Which the “DOMA" Ruling Is Based

United States v. Windsor: 570 U. S._(2013) On November 9, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison filed United States v. Windsor in New York on behalf of a surviving same-sex spouse whose inheritance from her deceased spouse had been subject to federal taxation as if they were unmarried.

New York is part of the Second Circuit, where no precedent exists for the standard of review to be followed in sexual-orientation discrimination cases. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a brief supporting Windsor's claim on July 26, 2011. On June 6, 2012, Judge Barbara Jones ruled that based on rational basis review, section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional and ordered the requested tax refund be paid to Windsor.

The plaintiff commented, "It's thrilling to have a court finally recognize how unfair it is for the government to have treated us as though we were strangers." Windsor's attorneys filed a petition of certiorari with the Supreme Court on July 16, asking for the case to be considered without waiting for the Second Circuit's review.

On October 18, 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling that section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional.[ It was the first federal court of appeals decision to find that a law targeting gays and lesbians is subject to intermediate scrutiny.

On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Oral arguments were heard on March 27, 2013. The Court declared section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, "as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment." Continue reading…

Experienced immigration attorney Yolette M. Saintiny, Esq.- I can help you during all stages of your claim for green cards, work permits, adjustment of status, political asylum, withholding or cancellation of removal and immigration court appearances.

Image credit  Lesbian_Relationship via