4th Circuit Upholds Block of Anti-Abortion Rule

In a 9 to 6 en banc published ruling on September 3, 2020, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court injunction preventing implementation of a agency rule designed to prevent abortion counseling or referral by medical personnel on the grounds that it improperly violated medical ethics, interfering with the physician patient relationship, and improperly imposed costs on …

4th Circuit Denies Asylum Claim On Family Relation

One of the most difficult areas of asylum law is to determine what social group you are in if you are claiming asylum, and if that is the reason that you are in danger of persecution. While membership in a family is now established as a possible social group, it is important to tie the danger of persecution to the …

US Supreme Court Preserves DACA

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday, June 18th, that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-rules-trump-cannot-end-daca-big-win-dreamer-n1115116?fbclid=IwAR20dr4j1fgFCSuByRppJTDQF5TFFfrhNSVSbI7ArlarWXBbBjZwFW7EatI

7th Circuit Blocks Public Charge Burden

This decision releases the Supreme Court stay which permitted the Trump administration’s policy against immigrants to become effective. Not the end of the battle, but a victory. An excellent article discussing the merits of this issue was posted in the Washington Post on Friday: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-so-set-on-harassing-immigrants-that-his-immigration-agency-needs-a-bailout/2020/06/11/52c2ae06-ac1b-11ea-9063-e69bd6520940_story.html

Unable to Depart US Due to Pandemic? Avoid Overstay!

Request “Satisfactory Departure” Were you admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)? —>  There is no provision of law that would allow you to extend your stay. However, if you are unable to depart before their current period of admission expires due to exigent circumstances, there is an option to request relief in the form of …

4th Circuit Finds Domestic Violence can be Legitimate Asylum Claim

The Fourth Circuit issued a published decision (which means it has precedential value which must be followed by judges within the 4th Circuit) which finds a claim of asylum based on the Salvadoran government’s inability to protect a woman from domestic violence is a proper basis for a grant of asylum. The Case, (Ruth Jeanette Orellana v. William Barr (http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/181513.P.pdf) , was …

Virginia Law Criminalizing Gang Activity Not Categorically a CIMT

 On July 19, 2019 the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision finding that the Virginia offense of participating in criminal street gang activity is not categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. The Virginia statute,  Va. Code § 18.2-46.2(A), which prohibits participation in a criminal street gang, is as follows: Any person who actively participates in or is a member …

Immig Judges’ Authority to Administratively Close Restored

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has restored Administrative Closure as an inherent power of Immigration Court judges, effectively overruling the current administration’s attempt to preclude this standard procedure.  This tool permits adjudication of pending applications by temporarilly suspending immigration court proceedings. This is a very good decision for persons in immigration court proceedings because when there is potential …

Head of Household

Tax – Head of Household (Considered Unmarried) Many married people file their taxes as Head of Household in order to save money, not realizing that there are very strict requirments for such a status.  In order for you to qualify as “considered unmarried” you must meet the following criteria taken directly from the IRS website: Considered Unmarried To qualify for …

Family Can Be Social Group

Family Based Asylum Claim Explained – 4th Circuit The 4th Circuit held: “The BIA and the IJ improperly focused on whether Gomez’s father and brother were threatened due to a protected reason in order to impute such protection to the whole family. This was in error. The correct analysis focuses on Gomez herself as the applicant, and asks whether Gomez …