On April 29, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Niz-Chavez v. Garland that could impact a large number of people in immigration court proceedings. To qualify for Cancellation of Removal, an individual must, among other things, have been physically present in the United States for 10 years. The “stop-time” rule cuts off the amount of time that an individual has accrued for cancellation of removal purposes. Federal law states the “stop-time” rule is triggered when an immigrant is served with a Notice to Appear. In Niz-Chavez, the Supreme Court stated that a Form I-862 that does not list the date and time of the initial hearing is insufficient to trigger the “time-stop” rule for purposes of cancellation of removal. The decision states that the federal law requires that the time and date of the initial hearing, among other things, to be included in the Notice to Appear. By failing to include this information in Notices to Appear, the documents that the government has issued are not Notices to Appear as defined by federal law. Thus, the document in Niz-Chavez, and thousands of similar forms issued by the government, failed to trigger the “stop-time” rule. The ruling further states that the federal government cannot cure a defective NTA by issuing a subsequent Notice of Hearing providing the date and time of the initial hearing. The decision in Niz-Chavez has the potential of having a much wider impact on individuals who have been issued defective NTA’s than just triggering the “stop-time” rule. If you believe the Niz-Chavez decision could impact your case, give our office a call at (559) 558-5118 to discuss your immigration options with one of our three immigration lawyers.
President Trump signed a “Presidential Proclamation” on April 22, 2020, which affects the rights of potential immigrants outside the United States. It is set to expire in 60 days unless it’s extended. It affects people outside the United States on April 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time who do not have a valid entry document on that date. The Proclamation does not apply to Legal Permanent Residents, spouses and children under the age of 21 of United States Citizens, refugees and asylum seekers, and individuals who have skills needed during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as medical professionals.
This should not have a major effect as most U.S. consulates are currently closed and not processing immigrant visas. Additionally, it does not affect anyone who is already in the United States or already has the right to enter the United States, such as a Legal Permanent Resident (“green card” holder). It does not affect people currently in the process of obtaining permanent residency in the U.S.
Finally, it is very likely that this Proclamation will be challenged in Federal Court similar to other executive orders by the current administration.
If you have any concerns about how the Proclamation affects you or someone close to you, please contact our office at 559-558-5118 to schedule an appointment to talk to one of our attorneys. We are still helping clients and taking on new cases in accordance with local and state orders regarding coronavirus.
If you are currently, or have ever been in, deportation/removal proceedings you may be eligible to have your proceedings terminated if you were served with a defective NTA. For more information please refer to the expanded discussion concerning the Pereira v. Sessions case under our Deportation Defense page.
On October 10, 2018 USCIS sent out a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would change the way in which USCIS defines and determines whether someone is a public charge. The proposed rule has been published to the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period when anyone from the public may comment on how DHS should administer this proposed rule. After the 60-day period, DHS will weigh the comment and then publish a final rule in the Federal Register along with the date it will go into effect. Some of the new benefits that are being proposed to the list used to consider if an applicant is a Public Charge include: Non-emergency Medicaid (with some exceptions, including foreign born children of US citizens), SNAP, Premium and cost-sharing subsidies within Medicaid D and Housing programs. It is yet to be determined if the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be added to the list. For more information on Public Charge law, and the changes proposed by USCIS, please refer to the “Family Immigration” section.