Judge Orders DACA Restoration

On Friday, December 4th Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn directed the Trump administration to allow eligible immigrants to file new applications for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Judge Garaufis’ order reverses acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf’s memorandum issued this summer.  Wolf’s restrictions limited the program to only one-year renewals of previously approved applicants. Garaufis directed that the DACA program be fully reinstated and ordered the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday, December 7th. Continue reading

President-elect Biden’s Immigration Policy

On November 7th, four tumultuous days after Election Day, former Vice President Joe Biden was named the president-elect. A new president brings forward a new administration and an opportunity for changes in the law. While the current pandemic and the collateral economic crisis have been the main focus of conversation, immigration remains a dicey matter. Continue reading

USCIS Fee Hike

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced it would increase processing fees effective October 2nd, 2020. All applications, petitions, or requests postmarked on or after October 19, 2020 must be accompanied with the newly increased fees. If USCIS receives a form postmarked on or after October 19 with the incorrect filling fee, they will reject the form and return the filing fee attached. Along with the increase in fees, upcoming changes include the removal of fee waivers and the addition of a filing fee for asylum application. While immigration fees are ubiquitous, the introduction of an asylum application fee to the United States makes it only 1 of 4 countries in the world to charge for asylum. Continue reading

Cyclist Deaths Are on The Rise

Here at the Presti Law Firm, we’re deeply concerned with preliminary reports being issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation that estimate cyclist deaths are up 10% from last year. We’re especially concerned because we enjoy a good cycle around White Rock Lake, and we’re very well aware of how easy it is to hurt a cyclist. Continue reading

$125,000 Settlement for Honduran Family

In a suit that alleged Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) used coercive tactics against a Honduran family to give up their asylum claims has settled for $125,000. As part of the family’s claim they alleged that they were kept in a “cold and wet room” known as an “icebox” by Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) agents. The lawsuit was brought in New Jersey federal court. Little else is known about the case, but the settlement illustrates what most critics have been warning the general public about for years, that the conditions for immigration detainees need to be improved. Just this month, a report by the Washington Post stated that English classes, soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants in immigration shelters have been cancelled. Due to the lack of resources, the department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has been forced to cancel these programs because they are deemed “unnecessary.” While the argument could certainly be made that those programs are, in fact, not necessary for survival, as HHS claims, there is no argument for the approximately 24 immigrant deaths that have occurred over the past couple of years while in ICE custody.

President Trump Issues Memo on Asylum

On April 29, 2019, President Trump issued a memorandum directed to the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security on asylum-seekers. The stated purpose of the memo was to enhance border security and restore integrity to our immigration system. In the President’s memo, he calls on the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish new measures within 90 days. Continue reading

Telling It Your Way – United States v. Figueroa-Coello

In United States v. Figueroa-Coello, a district court’s decision was overturned by the Fifth Circuit for failing to allow a criminal defendant a chance to present his side of the story during a sentencing hearing. Jose Santos Figueroa-Coello, an immigrant from Honduras and Mexico, was found guilty of illegal reentry into the United States. Mr. Coello was sentenced to 27 months. Although Mr. Coello’s attorney made a formal statement at the sentencing hearing, Mr. Coello was not afforded the same right. The Fifth Circuit found that Mr. Coello has the right to make a statement on his behalf at his sentencing hearing because counsel may not be able to provide “the same quantity or quality of mitigating evidence.” The Fifth Circuit believed that Mr. Coello’s statements were substantially different than his counsel’s statements and that they should be heard at his sentencing hearing. Continue reading

Varsity Blues: The College Admission Scandal & A Look into White-Collar Crime

To the average person, it’s not always totally obvious what white-collar crime looks like. Unfortunately for Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, the media is providing us with a pretty good idea of what white-collar crime looks like. White-collar crime is generally a non-violent economically motivated crime. Often, white-collar crime is perpetuated by businesses or organizations. The most common examples of white-collar crime are fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. To be fair, neither Lori Loughlin nor her husband Mossimo Giannulli have been convicted of any crime. They have, however, been indicted on several charges.  They were most recently indicted on charges of money laundering. Continue reading

A Rise in Workplace Immigration Raids by ICE

The largest workplace raid in a decade by ICE agents took place on the morning of April 3, 2019, in Allen, Texas. After three hundred arrests, it was clear, an enormous audit operation had been launched by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigators.

Since 2017, US immigration and custom officials have overseen a massive 400% surge in the number of workplace immigration raids. These raids are aimed at finding and arresting undocumented immigrants. In 2018, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigators opened approximately 6,848 worksite investigations, which represents a a massive surge compared to the 1,691 workplace investigations opened in 2017. Continue reading