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June 2017 Archives

Travel Ban to be Partially Implemented on June 29, 2017

Trump's "travel ban" on nationals of six Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) will go into partial effect on June 29, 2017. In an order dated June 26, 2017 that relates to both Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Program (Docket No. 16-1436) and Trump v. Hawaii (Docket No. 16-1540), the Supreme Court partially lifted the injunctions that prevented the travel ban from going into effect. You can read the text of the order here. The injunctions against the travel ban were lifted only for "foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." These people will be banned from entering the United States for at least 90 days from June 29, 2017. The injunction were not lifted for persons who do have "any" bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. The order list several examples of such persons who are not going to be banned as follows:

Supreme Court rules in favor of immigrant in headline naturalization case

The Supreme Court ruled today in Maslenjak v. United States (Docket No, 16-309) that an alien, in order to be convicted of procuring naturalization through false representations, must have made a material misrepresentation that effected the decision on the naturalization application. The case generated panic headlines when it went to the Supreme Court because the government had taken the position that any misrepresentation could support a conviction even if the misrepresentation was about some very minor matter (i.e. failing to disclose a speeding ticket from 30 years ago). People were calling our office in a panic that they had heard that the government was going to start taking away peoples citizenship. Everyone can relax now.

Common misconceptions about Aggravated Felonies in immigration cases

1. Myth: "It can't be an aggravated felony because it was only a misdemeanor."
The term "Aggravated Felony" is a term of art. The meaning is independent of any State of Federal definition of the either the term "aggravated" or the term "felony". Many, many misdemeanors are aggravated felonies under the INA.
2. Myth: "It can't be an aggravated felony, I never went to jail."
There are actually very few categories of aggravated felonies that are dependent on a specific sentence. For instance, while crimes of violence and theft crimes are not aggravated felonies unless a sentence of one year or more has been imposed, the sentence imposed and the sentence served can be two vastly different things because the term imposed includes any portion which was suspended or left unserved due to good behavior or other factors. In fact, most aggravated felony categories require no specific sentence, imposed or otherwise. Drug Trafficking, Sex, and Fraud offenses can all be aggravated felonies if certain conditions exist even in the absence of any term of imprisonment.
3. Myth: "It's definitely an aggravated felony, I was in prison for 10 years."
Conversely, there are also many crimes which simply are not aggravated felonies regardless of the term of imprisonment imposed. For instance, battery and certain manslaughter offenses under California law do not qualify as aggravated felonies because they lack any element requiring a quantum of violence. These offenses can result in long prison terms and could, under certain circumstances, have no immigration effect at law.
4. Myth: "I was convicted of an aggravated felony, there is no defense to my deportation."

Update on Ramirez v. Brown, 9th Circuit TPS case

Ramirez v. Brown (No. 14-35633) which holds that recipients of Temporary Protected Status are deemed to be in lawful status and thus are considered to have been inspected and admitted for purposes of adjusting status has been retitled Ramirez v. Dougherty (same case number). On May 4, 2017, the government requested an extension of time until June 29, 2017 to file a Petition for Rehearing. I do not expect the petition to be successful.

California Criminal Court Lingo

All Courts in all jurisdictions have their own unique and very regional lingo. This is confusing even to attorneys who work in multiple jurisdiction. Most --that's right, i said MOST-- criminal defendants really have no idea what is going on in their cases because of all the lingo. Here are some commonly used phrases in Los Angeles area criminal courts with informal definitions:

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