Category

Admission

Ayala Law Obtains Visas for Plaintiff in Mass Tort Litigation

By | Admission, B1 Visa, Blog, immigration, Immigration Law, Litigation, News & Announcements, Travel Abroad, Visa | No Comments

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 4.21.36 PM

In what was an uphill process, Ayala Law obtained special visas for over 33-plaintiffs and witnesses to travel for litigation in the United States. The Plaintiffs-Applicants are Peruvian citizens from a remote, poor area of the city of La Oroya, Peru.

The plaintiff are part of a case filed in federal court in Missouri where they are seeking recovery from several corporate and individual US Defendants for injuries, damages and losses caused by exposures to lead and other toxic substances as a result of Defendants use, management, supervision, and release of materials from a metallurgical complex in the region of La Oroya, Peru.

The Plaintiffs were minors at the time of their initial exposure and injuries. At critical times during gestation and their developmental years, Plaintiffs were exposed to damaging levels of lead and other toxic substances including arsenic, cadmium, and sulfur dioxide. Attorney Eduardo Ayala has been involved in this case since early 2013.

The visas were crucial to allow the plaintiffs to appear at their deposition in Saint Louis Missouri. Had they not been able to appear to their deposition in the United States they could have faced adverse rulings in the case or even dismissal.

For information about visas call 305-570-2208 or email eayala@ayalalawpa.com

Can you Travel to the United States on a Visitor Visa to Litigate?

By | Admission, B1 Visa, Blog, immigration, Immigration Law, Litigation, News & Announcements, Travel Abroad, Visa | No Comments

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.50.35 PM

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) establishes that everyone is presumed to be an immigrant except, among others, certain categories of aliens visiting for business or for pleasure. Section 101(a)(15)(B) of the INA states that “ . . . an alien . . . having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure . . .” is not an immigrant. See 8 U.S.C. 101(a)(15)(B) [1101(a)(15)(B)] (2017).

Similarly the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) states that “[n]on-immigrant visas are for international travelers coming to the United States temporarily. . . for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work.” 9 FAM 401.1-2 (2015).

The “[f]actors to be used in determining entitlement to Temporary Visitor Classification are . . .

(a) Have a residence in a foreign country, which [the applicant] do not intend to abandon;

(b) Intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited [temporary] duration; and

(c) Seek admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure. . .” 9 FAM 402.2-2(B)(U) a-b (2015).

Residence:

The term “residence” is defined in INA 101(a)(33) as the place of general abode; the place of general abode of a person means his principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent.” 9 FAM 402.2-2(C)(U) (2015).

Temporary Period of Stay:

The FAM states that “[a]lthough “temporary” is not specifically defined by either statute or regulation, it generally signifies a limited period of stay. The fact that the period of stay in a given case may exceed six months or a year is not in itself controlling, provided that . . .[the reviewer is] . . . satisfied that the intended stay actually has a time limitation and is not indefinite in nature.” Additionally, “[t]he period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purpose of the trip. The applicant must establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the United States will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. 9 FAM 402.2-2(D) (U) a-b (2015) (emphasis added).

Legitimate Activities Related to Business:

“Engaging in business contemplated for B1 Visa classification generally entails business activities other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor.” 9 FAM 402.2-5(A) (U) a (2015) The applicant must show that she possesses adequate funds to avoid having to obtain unlawful employment.” See 9 FAM 41.31 N4.2 (2005).

Among the permitted business activities applicants may travel on a B1 Visa if they have litigation in the United States. See 9 FAM 402.2-5(B) (U) (4) (“Aliens should be classified B1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible, if they are traveling to the United States to: . . . Litigate . . .”)

Litigation can include attending depositions, testifying at a trial, meeting with your attorneys or other reasons related to a case of which you are part in the United States.

For more information about traveling to the US to litigate or for business call or text at 305-570-2208 or email us at eayala@ayalalawpa.com

Are you Defenseless Against Federal Agents’ Abuses at Airports?

By | Admissibility, Admission, Blog, CBP, Civil Actions, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, News & Announcements, Visa | No Comments

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 5.50.21 PM

There are several reports that Federal employees at ports of entry are taking measures that are breaching constitutionally protected rights.

In the most recent, remarkable case, a US born citizen and a NASA-engineer employee was detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for no particular reason. This scientist posted the incident on his Facebook account and described how he was sent to a room for a long period of time and asked not only for his cell phone but the password to access the information in it.

The scientist, having concerns about the sensitive nature of the information in his government provided cell phone, initially refused to give out his password. Intimidated by the persistence of CBP and being held already for a long time, he gave his phone access code to the agents.

Situations like this are not uncommon nowadays.This is just one of many remarkable stories at ports of entry which is making CBP agents’ well-earned reputation as abusive, rude individuals increase dramatically under the new administration.

The truth of the matter is that normally you do not have to give out your cell phone password. The Supreme Court has decided that police cannot search peoples’ phones inside the country without a warrant because they contain abundant personal information. The Court has not yet decided on a case about phone searches at the border or ports of entry.However, the Supreme Court in 1976 and 2004 decided that people’s Fourth Amendment privacy rights are less when entering the US because the government has to protect its borders.

If you are a US citizen or a Green Card holder (and you do not give out your password) they eventually have to let you in. It will be just a bad experience. But if you are coming to the US with a non-immigrant visa (as a tourist for instance) you are not only facing the hassle (and a bad time)but also a potential denial of entry.

Is there any remedy?

Yes. If you manage to make it through and feel that your rights have been violated, there are certain things you can do. The Supreme Court has held that “a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by a federal agent acting under color of his authority gives rise to a cause of action for damages consequent upon his unconstitutional conduct.” Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 389, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 2001 (1971).

Damages can include “humiliation, embarrassment, and mental suffering as a result of the [federal] agents’ unlawful conduct” Id. at 390. Attorneys fees are also a possibility in some cases.

For more information about “Bivens” actions call or text at 305-570-2208 or email us at eayala@ayalalawpa.com

 

 

 

 

Sobre la política “Pies secos, Pies Mojados”

By | Admission, Blog, Cuban Adjustment, Green Card, Immigration Law, News & Announcements, Noticias, Residencia | No Comments

La Ley de Ajuste Cubano (CAA, por sus siglas en ingles) es una ley que otorga a los ciudadanos cubanos, a sus cónyuges y a sus hijos la posibilidad de obtener la residencia permanente si han estado presentes físicamente en los Estados Unidos durante al menos un año y si han sido admitidos legalmente para ingresar al país (por ejemplo, que hayan ingresado con una visa) o con un parole.

Una ley es un acto del congreso, no del presidente. [1] La famosa frase “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no refleja una ley, sino una política; es una manera que tiene el Presidente de los Estados Unidos de hacer cumplir la ley. De hecho, las palabras “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no están escritas en ningún código o documento oficial. Es una manera coloquial de describir ciertas pautas de la política emitida por el Poder Ejecutivo sobre cómo aplicar la Ley de Ajuste Cubano.

Así, cuando Obama cancela el “Pies secos, Pies mojados” no está cancelando ninguna ley, y por lo tanto no está cancelando una palabra de la Ley de Ajuste Cubano.

Lo que Obama hizo no afecta a todos los cubanos que emigran a los Estados Unidos con una visa o un parole. Afecta a los cubanos que intentan entrar ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos (a través de la costa de los Estados Unidos o a través de las fronteras).

¿Por qué Obama hizo esto? Parece haber tres razones importantes. Primero, acabar con la inmigración ilegal cubana. En segundo lugar, el cambio desincentiva a los involucrados en la trata de personas cubanas y a los inmigrantes que se atreven a correr ese riesgo. Y por último lugar, un acuerdo con el gobierno cubano (en un esfuerzo por normalizar las relaciones con Cuba) para que Cuba reciba de vuelta a los criminales cubanos que Estados Unidos remueve constantemente y que Cuba se rehúsa a recibir. Terminar la política de “Pies secos, Pies mojados” aparentemente era parte del acuerdo.

Para obtener más información sobre este tema, puede programar una consulta en: https://www.lawayala.com/product/consultation/

[1]También hay leyes realizadas por las legislaturas estatales, pero como la Ley de Inmigración es una ley federal, sólo puede ser dictaminada por el Congreso de los EE.UU.

On Wet Foot; Dry Foot

By | Admission, Blog, Cuban Adjustment, Green Card, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, News & Announcements | No Comments

The Cuban adjustment Act (CAA) is a law that gives Cubans citizens, their spouses and children the possibility of getting a green card if they have been physically present in the US for at least one year and have been admitted or paroled (i.e.: entered with a visa or a parole document).

A law is an act of congress, not the president.[1] The famous “Wet Foot; Dry Foot” phrase reflects not a law but a policy; a way to enforce a law by the president of the United States. In fact the words “Wet Foot; Dry Foot” are not written in any code or official document. It is a colloquial way to describe certain policy guidelines issued by the executive branch as to how to apply the CAA law.

Thus, when Obama cancels the Wet Foot; Dry Foot policy, he is not cancelling any law, and therefore he is not cancelling one word in the CAA.

What Obama did does not affect at all Cubans immigrating to the US with a visa or a parole document. It does affect those Cubans trying to enter the US illegally (through the US coast or through the borders).

Why did Obama do this? There appears to be three important reasons. First, end illegal Cuban immigration. Second, the change makes a disincentive for those involved in Cuban human trafficking and those immigrants who dare to take such a risk. And three, an agreement with the Cuban government (in an effort to normalize relationships with Cuba) for Cuba to take back Cuban criminal immigrants the US constantly removes and that Cuba refuses to take. Ending the Wet Foot; Dry Foot was apparently part of the deal.

For more information about this topic you can schedule a consultation at: https://www.lawayala.com/product/consultation/

 

[1] There are also state laws that are made but state legislatures but since immigration law is federal law, immigration laws are only made by the US Congress.

La visa E y los beneficios para su cónyuge e hijos

By | Admission, E-Visa, immigration, Immigration Law, Noticias, Peticion familiar, Residencia | No Comments

Mucha gente que quiere vivir en los Estados Unidos no tiene un miembro de la familia que pueda solicitar una visa por ellos o un empleador que pueda patrocinarlos. Muchos de estos inmigrantes, tienen una necesidad urgente de buscar otro país donde vivir, uno con mayor estabilidad política, en la que puedan hacer negocios de forma segura y proteger a sus familias. No tienen el lujo de los años que demora una petición familiar o de trabajo.

La visa E-2 ofrece esta oportunidad. Es un proceso “rápido” que permite que el titular principal de la visa E pueda hacer negocios si él/ella invierte una “cantidad sustancial de capital en una empresa de Estados Unidos”. ¿Qué es una cantidad sustancial de capital? Esto varía de empresa a empresa, pero en algunos casos inversiones de $100,000 pueden calificar para una visa E. Además de esto, tiene que ser ciudadano de un país que tiene un convenio con los EE.UU. Para obtener una lista de esos países miren este enlace: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/treaty.html

Uno de los sorprendentes beneficios de la visa E-2 es que su cónyuge e hijos menores de 21 años de edad también pueden venir con usted. Además, su cónyuge es elegible para solicitar una autorización de trabajo y puede trabajar en cualquier cosa en los EE.UU. El trabajo de el titular de la visa E esta restringido al negocio por el que se obtuvo la visa E.

A diferencia de otras visas en el que la experiencia y la formación de el solicitante tiene que estar relacionada con el tipo de negocio que él/ella emprenderá en los EE.UU.; este no es el caso de la visa E-2. Mientras la inversión de capital sea sustancial y se cumpla con los otros requisitos, la inversión puede ser realizada por el marido o la mujer indistintamente. En este contexto, se recomienda siempre que el cónyuge con la posibilidad de ganar más sea el dependiente.

Imagine una pareja en la que el marido es un banquero internacional y la mujer es un arquitecto. El marido banquero internacional es probable que tenga más oportunidades de ingresos en los EE.UU. Para la mujer, será difícil obtener las licencias para ejercer la arquitectura. La esposa podría invertir en una franquicia, y disfrutar de la experiencia y el apoyo que proporcionan las franquicias. El banquero-marido, puede solicitar una permiso de trabajo (como un E-2 dependiente) y desarrollar su carrera en los EE.UU. como banquero.

Para obtener más información sobre visas E-2, el proceso y sus beneficios, comuníquese con nosotros por favor al 305-570-2208 o al correo electrónico questions@ayalalawpa.com.

Marriage and Green Card

By | Admissibility, Admission, Blog, Green Card, immigration, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, LPR, misconceptions, Residencia | No Comments

I am constantly faced with the following question/fact pattern:

My boyfriend and I love each other a lot. She is a US Citizen. If we marry, in how long will they send me my green card?

The truthful (kind of mean) answer to this question is: Never. There is a huge confusion out there as to how the US government is organized. This would obviously would be a semester’s worth class, but let me try to do a simple explanation here.

The word “Immigration” means a lot of things. A lot of entities compose what we called “immigration”. It would take long to explain but what has to be understood is that Immigration is a federal body. The US is composed of States, and of the Federal Government. States regulate certain aspects of human life, like crimes, school, traffic, and marriage. The federal government regulates other aspects like taxes, employment and Immigration.[1]

Since states regulate marriage, that is where you have to go to get married. If you live in Florida, you will go to a state court in Florida and get married. If you marry in a state court, and do nothing else, you will never ever obtain a green card. Never. Marriage literally gives you nothing in terms of immigration benefits. You have to go to the federal government and tell them that you got married. “Tell them” is a euphemism because in reality, it is a complex paper work process you have to follow, for which it is recommendable to get an immigration attorney.

But the story does not end here. Even if you marry, and then go to the federal government to request for a green card, you are not necessarily entitled to one. If you are Osama Bin Laden, and you marry a US citizen, I guarantee you; you will not get a green card. Osama is the extreme example, but much much lighter criminal violations could disqualify you from getting a green card. Pay attention to all charges related to fraud.[2] Shop lifting a soda could potentially disqualify you.

In addition to criminal issues, it is very important to take into consideration how you entered the United States. If you entered legally, and overstayed your visa, (and you have no crimes) then you might be eligible for the green card. If you entered across the border, illegally, then the road is much steeper for you. You will need what is called a “waiver” and you likely WILL NOT be able to get your green card without a at some point in time, leaving the United States and being admitted legally.

As seen it is not that simple a process. If you have any further questions call or text Attorney Eduardo Ayala at 305-570-2208 for a consultation.

[1] In some of the areas the federal government and states overlap, but if a state regulates an area that is the realm of the feds, the state regulations cannot contradict the federal law.

[2] I put emphasis on “charges” because even if in a state criminal court you were acquitted, you might still be on the hook with immigration. Immigration has its own system of evaluating what crimes make someone eligible for immigration benefits. A system that is much tougher than the state system.

Residentes Permanentes, Record Criminal y Viajes al Extranjero

By | Admissibility, Admission, CBP, Deportation, Lawful permanent resident, Noticias, NTA, Removal, Travel Abroad | No Comments

No es poco común recibir una llamada de un residente permanente (LPR por sus siglas en ingles) que viaja al extranjero por vacaciones o negocios y que, para sorpresa suya, se encuentra detenido por la Agencia de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP por sus siglas en ingles).

Cuando CBP detiene a un residente permanente, en lugar de admitirlo y dejarlo entrar al país, por lo general es porque CBP tiene duda con respecto a la “admisibilidad” de ese LPR. Las dudas sobre la admisibilidad del LPR son generalmente provocadas por alguna violación criminal del LPR–no importa cuan lejos en el pasado.

Cada vez que un LPR entra y sale del país, el LPR está pidiendo ser admitido bajo la Sección 212 del código de Inmigración y Nacionalidad (INA por sus siglas en ingles). Si usted cometió un delito que podría hacer que usted sea inadmisible, y CBP se da cuenta (puede ser que no se hayan dado cuenta las últimas veces que viajó al extranjero y de pronto ahora se dan cuenta), entonces le podrían negar la entrada a los Estados Unidos.

Normalmente CBP frente a esta situación va a hacer una de dos cosas: (1) si no están seguros de que su incidente criminal lo hace inadmisible, le dirán que regrese y le darán el formulario I-546, que es una cita para aparecer de nuevo en una oficina de CBP con copias certificadas de sus records criminales. (2) Si CBP piensa de manera concluyente que usted es inadmisible (o deportable), entonces CBP le dará un documento llamado “Notice to Appear” (Formulario I-862). En ese documento se le ordenará que vaya delante de un juez de inmigración para que el decida si debe ser admitido o deportado de los Estados Unidos. A este punto, usted está en lo que se denomina técnicamente “Removal Proceedings” (o procedimiento para removerlo del país). El gobierno está tratando de deportarlo.

Si están frente a uno de estos escenarios, es extremadamente importante que se comunique con un abogado de inmigración para una evaluación de sus antecedentes penales. Un abogado de inmigración puede decirle cuáles son las opciones que tiene. Incluso si es deportable, podría calificar para ciertos remedios legales dependiendo de las circunstancias. Si todavía no se encuentran en esta situación, pero tienen antecedentes penales (no importa qué tan lejos en el pasado) y un planea viajar al extranjero, también es importante que llame a un abogado para que pueda evaluar si va podría tener problemas al regresar a los Estados Unidos. Sentencias penales para un LPR (asi sea un dia de pobratoria) son una bomba de tiempo que potencialmente podría meterlo en grandes problemas al regresar a los Estados Unidos.

Si tiene preguntas sobre este llámenos al 305-699-7848 para una evaluación telefónica gratuita de su caso.

Lawful Permanent Residents, Criminal Convictions, and Travel

By | Admissibility, Admission, Blog, Deportation, DHS, Green Card, ICE, Immigration Law, Lawful permanent resident, LPR, NTA, Removal, Travel Abroad | No Comments

It is not uncommon that I receive a call from a long time Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) who travels abroad for vacation or business who, to his/her surprise, is detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

When CBP detains an LPR, instead of admitting her and letting her into the country, it is usually because they have concerns regarding the “admissibility” of that LPR. Concerns regarding admissibility are usually triggered by some criminal violation of the LPR—no matter how far in the past!

Any time an LPR comes in and out of the country, that LPR is asking for “admission” and needs to be admissible under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If you committed a crime that could render you inadmissible to the country, and CBP happens to notice about that crime (yes they have not notice, they might have not noticed the past 10 times you traveled abroad) then they could deny admission.

Generally CBP faced with this situations, will do one of two things: (1) if they are unsure as to whether or not your criminal incident renders your inadmissible, they will tell you come back and give you an I-546 form which is an Order to Appear again at a CBP office with copies of your conviction records. (2) If they think more conclusively that you are inadmissible (or deportable), then CBP will give you a document called Notice to Appear (Form I-862). That document will order you to go in front of an immigration judge for him/her to decide whether you should be admitted or deported from the United States. At this point you are in what is called technically “Removal Proceedings”. The government is trying to remove you.

If you are facing either one of these scenarios, it is extremely important that you contact an immigration attorney for an evaluation of your criminal records. An immigration attorney can also tell you what are your options assuming your record does render you removable from the US. You might qualify from relief from removal depending on your circumstances. If you are not in this situation yet, but have criminal record (no matter how far in the past) and plan to travel abroad, it is also important that you call an attorney so he can assess whether or not you will potentially have troubles coming back to the US. Criminal convictions for LPR’s are a time bomb that could potentially get you in a lot of trouble coming back to the US.

For questions about this call our firm at 305-699-7848 for a free telephonic evaluation of our case.