Articles Posted in Shihab Lawyers

_ a a a gold medal.jpgThis article is the second installment following up and providing a conclusion to the first segment which provides the final techniques utilized by the Columbus Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates regarding the preparation of a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider or Request for Evidence (RFE) responses. Again this article focuses on the RFE response, but its techniques are applicable to any written brief or statement made in response to USCIS.

Critique the Request for Evidence Itself
A major component of drafting the response to an RFE is the need to critique the request itself. The immigration officer may not have developed the facts in a complete and accurate manner. It is your job to comprehensively develop those facts (often by use of affidavits). By showing inconsistencies and other problems with the facts, as developed by the immigration officer, you begin to establish credibility to your case. The Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are very experienced at analyzing the facts and respectfully presenting them correctly to the USCIS in an RFE response.
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_ a a a gold medal.jpgUSCIS provides minimal guidance regarding the preparation of a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider or Request for Evidence (RFE) response. Unlike other USCIS procedures, CIS does not require the completion of a form when filing an RFE response. This little guidance provides a wide range of possibile methods to responding to the RFE. This article presents techniques that the Columbus Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have implemented for preparing a successful responses to USCIS and focuses on the brief in support of an RFE response.

Prepare a Roadmap: Presentation Matters
While this might sound obvious, the most important element of the RFE response is drafting the response itself. Don’t spend all your time meeting with the client, gathering facts and conducting legal research. Too often, not enough time is spent on planning and presentation. Remember, an RFE has a strict deadline that often poses a tight timetable to prepare the supporting documentation and legal arguments. As the saying goes, “plan the work; work the plan.” This is an axiom the lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates live by. You must leave sufficient time to prepare a polished product. Preparing a polished written RFE response does not simply happen. It requires good planning, organization and writing.
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_ a a congress.jpgWill 2011 finally be the year that Congress and the President fix the broken immigration system? The short answer: probably not. But that doesn’t mean that Congress will stand idly by. The Columbus Ohio Immigration Lawyers of The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have clients throughout the United States that could be affected by the legislation of the 112th Congress. This article outlines the anticipated Congressional agenda for immigration in 2011, and focuses on several topics relating to employment based immigration where Congress is anticipated to act and highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform in a slow economic environment.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Outlook
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) anticipates that the 112th Congress will enact patchwork legislation with an emphasis on border security and interior enforcement which will not comprehensively fix the broken immigration system. AILA Ohio Chapter Chairperson, Gus Shihab and AILA anticipate these bills would cause severe hardships to immigrants and their families, run up costs to the DHS budget, and slow economic recovery. American businesses, communities and families are all affected by the immigration system, which regulates the flow of foreign labor, foreign exchange students and family members to the U.S.
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The first installment of The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates webinar series kicks off on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2PM. This is the first webinar in a series of six presented in an effort to describe the current state of employment-based immigration in a post-Neufeld/pre-CIR world. The first series is called “Don’t Waste Any More Time Waiting on EB-3 Priority Dates – Convert your Green Card Case to EB-2 and Jump to the Finish Line.” This free immigration webinar is intended to illustrate the mechanics of the Priority Date Recapture mechanism and methods to finishing up the Green Card process quickly.

The webinar will begin on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2PM and will be re-run on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 2PM.
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Tri-Valley University at Pleasonton, California near San Fransisco has been raided and shut down due to allegations of visa fraud on a massive scale. As Columbus, Ohio Immigration lawyers, we came to become aware of this situation over several calls we received from frantic students not knowing what to do. At the present time, Immigration & Customs Enforcement is seeking to interview every student. Immigration authorities allege that Tri-Valley University was a sham institution from its inception and that it was established merely to provide F-1 visas, curricular practical training or optional practical training employment authorization to its mostly forign national student base. As a result of this raid, immigration attorneys in Columbus, Ohio as well as attorney’s from around the country have been fielding questions from those students who may have been affected by the actions of this university.

Immigration issues for these former students vary in thier severity. Some students have been detained and questioned by the authorities. Some have been issued Notices to Appear before deportation officers. Other students have not been questioned at all and simply hope to find a college to enroll at in time to take classes for the winter semester.
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The US Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed 23 new immigration judges to immigration courts throughout the US. The judges were sworn in by Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler at the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) headquarters on November 5, 2010. The newly appointed judges are: Silvia R. Arellano (Florence), Jerry A. Beatmann Sr. (Oakdale), Jesse B. Christensen (New York ), Steven J. Connelly (Batavia), Philip J. Costa ( Los Angeles), V. Stuart Couch (Charlotte), Thomas G. Crossan Jr. (Pearsall), Leo A. Finston (Newark), Saul Greenstein ( Houston), Amy C. Hoogasian(San Francisco), Stuart F. Karden (Orlando), F. James Loprest Lisa Luis (Houston), Jr. (New York), Joren Lyons(San Francisco), H. Kevin Mart(Miami), Sheila McNulty(Chicago), Maureen S. O’Sullivan(Los Angeles), Daniel J. Santander (Pearsall), Alice Segal (New York), Andrea H. Sloan (Portland), Dan Trimble (Stewart), Eileen R. Trujillo (Denver), Clarence M. Wagner Jr.(Honolulu), and Virna A. Wright (New York).

The recent addition will help reduce the backlog of immigration cases throughout the US and even into Columbus, Ohio where deportation in immigration court remains at a high level.

For all new citizens during their naturalization oath ceremony, USCIS now provides a standard U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet which contains information to help new citizens prepare to exercise the rights and responsibilities of U.S.Citizenship. Useful information includes information like applying for a U.S. passport, updating social security records and petitioning for family members. The packet also includes:

  • A congratulatory letter from President Obama,
  • A pocket size edition of the declaration of independence and Constitution of the United States,

On November, 18, 2010, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) opened, the Orlando Immigration Court at its new location at 3535 Lawton Road, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 38203. The telephone number is 407-648-6565, with telephonic and in-person assistance from Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 4.30pm.

If you are removal proceedings in Florida, you may now be reporting to the new Immigration Court, which will be able to handle cases more quickly with the added resources of this Court.

After passing through the House of Represenatives, the Senate has failed to deliver on passing the bipartisan DREAM Act. The DREAM Act stands for the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors and was drafted to provide a conditional pathway to legal permanent residence for certain unauthorized youth who, as children, were brought to the U.S. illegally if they can provide that they completed high school, have good moral character and complete at least two years of higher education or serve for at least two years in the U.S. military.

It appeared to all parties who have monitored this bill that the inability to pass the DREAM Act into law was chiefly due to politics. This bill can be seen as a litmus test for greater reform which worries and frustrates immigration practitioners. There is still hope for furtuer legislation however as interested parties such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and others will continue its efforts to lobby for the law’s passage because they see the Senate’s failure as nothing more than politics Continue reading