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Tonight, November 20, 2014, President Obama announced the following executive actions he will take in the coming months:

1. Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years

2. Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks

3. Expanding the use of ...

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The USCIS website states that in most cases, asylum applicants will receive an interview notice within 21 days after mailing a complete Form I-589 to USCIS (see http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-process). An asylum client recently called me because he was worried that he had not received an interview notice after 21 days of filing his Form I-589. I emailed the Houston asylum office where my client’s case is pending and their response was that:

“USCIS schedules asylum interviews as soon as resources permit. Currently, our resources are stretched, as the USCIS Asylum Division has received a significant increase in all caseloads over the last several years, which has led to longer processing times for the affirmative asylum caseload. To address the increased workload, we are currently in the process of hiring and training additional personnel.”

According to the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, USCIS Asylum Headquarters does not expect the numbers to improve until at least the end of the current fiscal year. So, if your asylum case has been pending for some time, keep in mi...

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If you live in Houston and are a permanent resident interested in becoming a United States citizen or just someone interested in immigration law, you have the opportunity to attend a free “Immigration & Citizenship Forum” on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10 am to 12 pm. It will be located at the Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, 6402 Market Street, Houston TX. At this event, local attorneys and immigration experts will speak on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and provide updates on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Police officers will speak about HPD policies on immigration. Community agency representatives will provide information about available programs and social services. Participants will receive fr...

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This Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 9 am to 4 pm. Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services in Baton Rouge is offering its 3rd Annual Citizenship Day Workshop. At this free workshop, immigration attorneys (including me!) and law school students will be on hand to review citizenship documents and evaluate citizenship applications. For more information visit: http://www.ccsbr.org/programs/migration-and-refugee-services/281-citizenship-help.html.

I hope to see you there!

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To become a naturalized United States citizen, you must take and pass the citizenship test at your naturalization interview. During your interview, you must answer questions about your application and background and will be required to take an English and Civics test. However, certain people do qualify for an exemption waiver for the English and Civics test requirements.

In Baton Rouge, I recently heard about a free citizenship class offered by the Chapel on Campus at LSU. The citizenship class they offer is intended for those who have their green card and are interested in becoming a United States citizen. The class will help to prepare students for the English reading test, the English writing test, the 100 Civics and U.S. History qu...

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Today is #EndTheQuota National Call-in Day. Call your Senators and Representative today and tell them Congress should eliminate the detention bed quota.
Find your Senators here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Find your Representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Sample Script: My name is _____ calling from [CITY, STATE]. I urge Congress member [NAME] to oppose the wasteful and inhumane immigration detention bed quota in any appropriations bill.

Under Congress’ detention bed “quota”, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is required to keep 34,000 immigrants locked up per day. This quota, which has been in effect since 2007, costs American taxpayers about $2 billion per year. ICE agents are pressured to meet this quota, rather than work to meet the needs of our country. As a result, non-citizens that have committed relatively minor, non-violent crimes or have no criminal histories at all are locked up. ICE really should be focused on detention of more terrorists and violent criminals to protect our national security. The quota is a waste of taxpayers’ money since cheaper alternatives, such as GPS ankle monitors, could be used to monitor non-violent im...

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Many DACA, recipients, also known as dreamers, want to go to college but cannot afford the tuition because numerous colleges and universities require dreamers to pay out-of-state tuition. To help dreamers to be able to afford college, three individual philanthropists recently founded TheDream.US. TheDream.US “provides college scholarships to highly motivated dreamers who, without financial aid, cannot afford a college education that will enable them to participate in the American workforce.” The goal is to provide college scholarships to 2,000 dreamers within the next decade. After hearing about TheDream.US in the news and that many dreamers are not able to receive in-state tuition to colleges and universities in the states w...

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Sunday nights are my night for relaxing and indulging in my guilty pleasure, reality TV. This past Sunday night I came across a show on TLC called 90 Day Fiancé. I decided to watch it because, (1) it involved immigration law and (2) it looked like an entertaining show. The show is about four women who come to the US on a 90-day fiancé visa called the K-1 visa. After they arrive in the US, the women live with their fiancés for the first time and must marry before their visas expire in 90 days. If they do not marry their fiancé within 90 days, they must return to their home country.

Of course, the show does not go into the specific requirements for eligibility for the K-1 fiancé visa. According to US ...

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