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Dear Readers

This is an outstanding asylum decision for asylum seekers fearing persecution from gangs.

The Board of Immigration Appeals has issued a decision in Matter of H-L-S-A-, 28 I&N Dec. 228 (BIA 2021).

Individuals who cooperate with law enforcement may constitute a valid particular social group under the Immigration and Nationality Act if their cooperation is public in nature, particularly where testimony was given in public court proceedings, and the evidence in the record reflects that the society in question recognizes and provides protection for such cooperation.

Call JEGLAW at (702) 898-5940 for expert analysis of your asylum claim!

President Biden Protects DACA

AILA Doc. No. 18011035 | Dated January 22, 2021

January 20, 2021

Special thanks to AILA member, Patrick Taurel, LLP for drafting this alert.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum entitled, “Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)” (“The Memo”).

  • The Memo directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to “take all actions he deems appropriate consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA.”
  • The Memo does not make any immediate changes to the DACA program.
  • At this juncture, as stated in the December 7, 2020 update below:
    • USCIS is accepting first-time requests for DACA as well as DACA renewal requests;
    • Grants of deferred action and employment authorization under DACA are to be issued in two-year increments; and
    • USCIS is accepting applications for advance parole.
  • As of 9:44 am (ET) on January 22, 2021, no decision has been rendered on the parties’ pending motions for summary judgment before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Texas v. United States, 1:18-cv-00068. The State of Texas and other plaintiffs are seeking an order declaring the DACA program unlawful and setting aside the June 2012 Napolitano Memorandum creating the DACA program.

False Claims To Citizenship

By Jon Eric Garde, Esq.

False claims to US citizenship bar lawful immigration and provide grounds for removal from the United States when made to secure any benefit under US immigration law, or any other federal benefit, (like social security) or state benefit, (like a drivers license). No pardon is available. One exception is where the person falsely claiming US citizenship has been permanently residing in this country since age 16, shows both parents are or were US citizens, and reasonably believes the false claim was true.

For about a decade, claims of US citizenship on Form I-9, which must be filled out to show employment eligibility, were held by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to not violate immigration law. The form previously had job seekers claim nationality or citizenship as a single choice, and falsely claiming nationality doesn’t violate immigration law. Yet, Form I-9 has been revised and job seekers must claim either citizenship or nationality as separate choices, so that the Ninth Circuit will no longer rule tolerantly to false claims to citizenship on Form I-9.

What about using a false US birth certificate in applying for a sheriff’s card? While this act violates several state and federal criminal statutes, the local office of the Department of Homeland Security has ceased prosecuting immigration violations due to my advocacy on a client’s behalf. Firstly, I argued that a false claim made in relation to a Clark County Ordinance is not in pursuit of a federal or state benefit. Secondly, the false claim was wrongfully prosecuted during past years because sheriff’s cards were unlawfully required in prior years wherever background checks were evaluated to be unlawful intrusions upon worker privacy. More recently, sheriff’s cards are required for jobs that call for security clearance, but not jobs such as maids, as was my client, or for busboys. Third, the false claim was not for the applicant’s benefit but for the benefit of casinos as a background check. Thankfully, this mother of a US citizen now has her green card.

Federal Judge Grants Citizenship From Hospital Bed

By Jon Eric Garde, Esq.

I had the pleasure of immigrating a young man from the Philippines through his US citizen mother’s petition. There was a typical case, featuring the routine joy of uniting families. My next encounter with him was sad, but the outcome was far from routine. A wheelchair bound quadriplegic rolled into my office, his body broken by a car crash, left a vestage of what he once was.

Nowadays, my client lived mostly in bed, barely able to move spindling arms and cringed hands, unable to intelligibly speak. How could he ever become a US citizen if he could no longer learn US history and speak English?

I applied for him to become a US citizen through a law allowing mentally impaired persons to naturalize as US citizens without speaking English or testing in US history and civics. To complicate matters, my client was hospitalized during his interview date. We relied upon another old law, allowing federal judges to conduct naturalization interviews.

While my client lay hospitalized, Honorable George Mahan exempted my client from testing due to his mental impairment and swore him in. My client recovered and went home a US citizen.

A Christmas Story

By Jon Eric Garde, Esq.

The Ghosts of Christmas past haunted a young immigrant mother of four. Darkness overcame her through addiction to prescription drugs, followed by shoplifting, criminal convictions, mandatory detention by Immigration authorities in Florida, and certain deportation. Her husband, a decorated veteran of Iraq, was transferred from Georgia to Texas to watch her youngest ones crying endlessly in despair for their mother.

A soldier was rendered unable to serve his country. His family was doomed. Then, God heard this young family’s cries. Prior to the woman’s detention, the US Supreme Court, by God’s grace, ruled that convictions causing certain deportation could be undone where the criminal judge had failed to warn that deportation would follow a guilty plea. Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010).

Your immigration attorney searched for and located criminal defense counsel in Georgia to amend his client’s conviction so that deportation was not required and a pardon would be available. Sadly, detention was required until a pardon was granted; yet, without a pardon, deportation awaited. With immigration court in Miami, she was detained two hours north, poised to appear only by video.

Counsel sojourned from Las Vegas to Miami and traveled again to prepare his client from her cell the night before presenting her case on December 22, 2010, when she was pardoned after seven months of detention to return home to her family in time for Christmas. She still qualifies for US citizenship. Grace prevailed.


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