Newark, NJ- Immigrants who were planning on applying for deportation relief under the President Obama’s executive actions will be forced to wait. On Monday, Feb. 16, a federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction, blocking the President’s immigration actions, announced in November, from going into effect.
New York Passes Legislation to Combat Immigration Fraud
Newark, NJ- If you’re an immigrant, you are most likely aware of how complicated the process of obtaining a visa, green card or fighting deportation can be. Filling out the necessary applications, gathering all relevant documents and meeting with immigration officials is nerve-wracking, confusing and difficult, so naturally immigrants look to experts for help with their immigration-related needs.
Appeals Court Says State Cannot Deny Driver’s Licenses to Dreamers
Newark, NJ- On July 7, 2014, a federal appellate court ruled that the state of Arizona cannot deny driver’s licenses to young immigrants awarded work permits and given deportation relief under an Obama Administration policy stating the state’s policy violated their equal protection rights and caused them undue harm. The decision is a victory for immigrants in New Jersey and the U.S. as a whole.
Scams Target New Jersey Immigrants
Newark, NJ- Many immigrants have encountered “notarios” or “immigration consultants,” and have wondered if these so-called “experts” can help them with their immigration petitions. Immigrants are often at a disadvantage when they embark on the complicated task of gaining legal status. They have little knowledge of the United States’ immigration system, and language barriers can make them vulnerable to fraud. Immigrants can be bilked of their hard-earned money by fraudulent immigration schemes, and never reach their goal of attaining legal status.
Recently, a paralegal working in New Jersey and Pennsylvania was accused of recruiting undocumented immigrants and filing fraudulent immigration petitions on their behalf.
The paralegal at the center of the case, Maria James, convinced immigrants she vowed to help to lie on their immigration forms. James, who spoke Spanish, made claims of spousal abuse in immigration petitions. To strengthen those claims, she would make up her clients to appear as though they were the victims of spousal abuse. She would then photograph them and include those photos with their petitions. James also engineered sham marriages, took photos of the “happy” couple, and altered utility bills, leases and bank statements to give the appearance of a legitimate marriage.
James operated like this for over two decades, but her scheme eventually came to light, and now she is facing federal mail fraud charges.
Paralegals and notarios, who parade as experts in immigration law may only have a cursory knowledge of the United States’ immigration system, and are not capable of giving sound legal advice on immigration matters. The sole purpose of these fraudulent immigration schemes is to take an immigrant’s money.
In Spanish-speaking countries “notarios” are attorneys; they are educated and are licensed to practice law. But in the U.S., many “notarios” do not have any legal training; they do not have the knowledge of the immigration laws necessary to assist clients with their petitions. They, along with other unethical people or businesses who claim to be “immigration consultants,” will charge an immigrant exorbitant fees, but never file their petitions or will file petitions incorrectly or fraudulently.
Frequently, these scam artists jeopardize an immigrant’s chances of ever obtaining a visa or green card. Knowingly or unknowingly submitting an immigration application with false information can bar an immigrant from obtaining legal status permanently. Immigrants who find themselves enveloped in legal issues may desire legal representation from the likes of Quijano Law to assist them with sorting out their legal status and various other aspects of immigration.
Getting a visa or green card is not only as simple as filling out an application. Immigration cases can become complex and immigrants may need assistance beyond just filling out a petition. Paralegals and notarios cannot help an immigrant with a deportation defense or appear before an immigration court if their petitions require judicial review. For these immigration services, immigrants need an attorney who is well-versed in the country’s immigration laws, and is willing to take all the steps necessary to assure their clients secure legal status.
Immigration scams are nothing new, but with the recent push for immigration reform, fraudulent schemes that targets immigrants are on the rise. There are a number of scams the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services cautions immigrants to be wary of; they include phone scams, websites that charge costly fees for free immigration petitions and businesses that promise they can assure your immigration petitions are processed quickly.
I understand the complexity of immigration laws and will give each client my individual attention. I will do the work necessary and increase their chances of success. Immigrants in Newark, Jersey City or anywhere in New Jersey who need help with their immigration petitions or require a deportation defense can contact my office and discuss their case.
Jersey City Demographics and Courts
Jersey City, New Jersey- Sitting on the banks of the Hudson, just across the river from lower Manhattan is Jersey City. It is New Jersey’s second most populous city and neighbors the Newark, the most populous city in the state. The city’s proximity to Manhattan’s financial district has earned it the nickname “Wall Street West.”
Jersey City is a major shipping hub with a vastly diverse population of approximately 247,000 people, according to data from the 2010 United States Census. It is considered one of the most diverse cities in the world with a large foreign born population. The racial composition of the city, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, was 32.67% White, 25.85% African American, 23.67% Asian, and 27.57% Latino or Hispanic.
Like New York City, Jersey City is a popular destination for newly arriving immigrants.
The diversity of the Jersey City is fueled by its proximity to Manhattan and its thriving shipping port. With eleven miles of waterfront, it serves as major transportation and distribution hub for New Jersey and New York. With so many non-U.S. citizens, issues including permanent residence, citizenship, visas, removal proceedings, and asylum are common issues that need an immigration lawyer’s assistance.
Because Jersey City is a short trip through the Holland Tunnel to lower Manhattan, the city has a large volume of commuter traffic traveling to and through the city. It is also served by a number of highways and interstates which include the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 78, the Pulaski Skyway and U.S. Route 1-9.
With such a high volume of traffic traveling through the small metropolitan area, many drivers receive summonses for motor vehicle violations and DWIs. Traffic violations such as speeding, running a red light/stop sign, reckless or careless driving may appear to be minor, but these violations can have long term consequences that an individual may not anticipate. For instance a traffic violation can cause a person to accumulate points on their driver’s license which in turn leads to increased insurance premiums and potentially suspended licenses.
Many people pay their fine and don’t think twice about it, but there are times when a traffic summons should and can be contested. If you wish to contest a traffic summons, contact my Newark office and we can discuss how I can help you avoid the consequences of a traffic violation.
Traffic violations such as illegal parking, speeding and driving while intoxicated are heard in Jersey City’s Municipal Court, which is located at 365 Summit Ave. New Jersey’s Municipal Courts also hear cases involving minor criminal offenses such as simple assault, trespassing and shoplifting. Municipal Courts only have jurisdiction over offenses committed within the city limits.
Along with the Municipal Court, Jersey City is the County Seat of Hudson County and the state’s judicial system, the Superior Court of New Jersey which hears cases involving serious criminal offenses, civil lawsuits, and and family law cases is also located in Jersey City at 595 Newark Ave.
Serious criminal offenses such as such as robbery, auto theft, or aggravated assault, typically start as complaints filed in the Municipal Court, but are transferred to the Superior Court located at the Hudson County court house.
I have experience with both the Municipal and Superior Courts, and appear in both regularly. I work as hard as possible to get the best possible results for my clients. I can offer my clients an effective defense for criminal charges and assist them with any immigration matters they may have. Don’t hesitate to contact me and discuss the many ways I can assist you.
Christie Allows In-State Tuition
Newark, NJ- New Jersey students who are in the country without legal authorization will now have the opportunity to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities after both Democrats and Republicans in the state compromised on the state’s version of the “DREAM Act.”
After months of debate, Gov. Chris Christie compromised with the Democrat-controlled legislature to draft the new legislation. Now, the state will become the 17th state to allow immigrants without legal status to pay in-state tuition at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.
Gov. Christie said signing the new legislation was part of his promise to push for tuition equality and he was pleased with the deal he brokered with Democrats. Under the bill, undocumented immigrants will be allowed to pay in-state tuition as long as they attended school in New Jersey for at least three years, the Star-Ledger reported.
“The most important thing is for these young men and women of our state, who we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their K-12 education, we’re now going to give them an opportunity in an affordable way to be able to continue their education,” Christie said in Trenton as he signed the bill on December 20th.
Whilst this will certainly make things more affordable, naturally, there will still be families who will struggle to pay for college tuition. There is a list of ways to pay for college over on the GoFundMe blog, which you can find at https://www.gofundme.com/c/blog/pay-for-college. Nobody should be denied a college education because of financial worries.
The original draft of the bill (S2479) was conditionally vetoed because it included a provision allowing immigrants without legal status to apply for financial aid and grants. Gov. Christie was opposed to this provision, and conditionally vetoed the bill which went back to the Senate and the Assembly for the necessary changes.
Democrats have vowed to continue pushing for financial aid for undocumented students, but were pleased with the compromise they were able to reach with Republicans, which they described as historic.
New Jersey is among the dozen or more states that are taking steps to help DREAMERS– young immigrants who were brought into the country without authorization by their parents. Lawmakers on that national and state level recognize the challenges these DREAMERS face and have worked to help them succeed in school and work, and become legally recognized. I, too, understand the difficulties DREAMERS face and would gladly help them with any of their immigration endeavors.
Last summer, President Obama introduced an initiative that would allow young undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was highly praised and over a year into the program, nearly a half a million young immigrants have applied for deportation relief. I have helped about a dozen young adults, some with simple cases and some with complicated cases, obtain Deferred Action since the program began.
DACA is available to immigrants who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012 and who entered the country when they were under the age of 16. Immigrants, who are eligible for deferred action, are able to obtain work visas and avoid deportation for two years. The status is renewable at the end of the two-year period, unless a new policy or law changes that in the future.
Applying for the DACA program can be complicated and requires specific documentation. I can assist an immigrant with his or her DACA and an overall immigration strategy.
If you are an undocumented immigrant, and don’t qualify for DACA, there may be other steps you can take to obtain legal status. I can explain the different options, you have and, together, we can work to protect your future.