Category: Immigration

Latest DACA Decision from Texas District Court, DACA Lives!

Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued a 117 page Memorandum Opinion and Order today in regards to the State of Texas and other States attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. 18.08.31Texas Order Denying PI  Many expected the decision to call for an end to the DACA program, however Judge Hanen stated that Texas and other states essentially took too long to file the lawsuit.

Judge Hanen did cast great doubt on the future of DACA, stating that he believes the program was enacted in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and finding that the states were harmed by the program. However, given so many people relied on the program and Texas took years to file suit, he did not grant the preliminary injunction. He also issued a separate order allowing either party to appeal the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hanen essentially is wanting the higher courts to issue ruling on the different legal theories so that everyone across the nation can have one unified policy. Currently the majority of District Court Judges have ruled that the DACA program must continue, however others have not. Ultimately the United States Supreme Court will decide the case after the separate cases make their way through their respective Courts of Appeals.

Immigration and Criminal Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado, of the Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, breaks down the Judge’s Ruling and describes what he believes will happen next with DACA.  To be updated of future videos following the Ybarra Maldonado Law Group on Facebook.

Abogado Ray quoted in NPR segment about Government failing to meet Court imposed Deadline

Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado was quoted in an NPR segment about the Federal Government’s lack of effort in reuniting children with their parents. The segment, titled Migrant Family Reunifications Continue As Deadline Nears, states that the deadline for the government to reunited the children is July 26.  In a Facebook Live video, Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado goes into further detail about the government’s lack of progress in complying with the Federal Judge’s Order.  The status report was filed by both the Government and the American Civil Liberties Union on July 19, 2018.

  • Key points: 2,551 total children are class members

In total, 2,551 children were taken from their parents and placed in a facility separate from their parents. The parents remained in immigration custody, where transferred to U.S. Marshall custody for a federal criminal charge, or were sent to state custody for a pending arrest warrant.  Most common was to take the parents to federal court to charge them with the crimes of illegal entry (8 USC 1325) or illegal reentry (8 USC 1326). After they were given a criminal conviction they were then sent back to immigration custody.

  • Only 1,606 possibly eligible, of this only 848 have been interview and cleared for reunification.

This means that just over half of those deemed eligible by ICE have actually been interviewed to be reunified. This means the government has an extremely large amount of interviews to still complete and only a very small timeframe in which to do that.

  • Potential Class Members not eligible, 91 with prohibitive criminal record or deemed ineligible

Without explanation of the criteria used, the federal government is claiming 91 people have a criminal record which would prohibit them from being a member of the class or getting their child back. The ACLU asked for the criteria but as of the filing of the memo the federal government would not disclose what types of convictions or arrests would disqualify someone from being able to get their child back into their custody.

  • 136 waived reunification

It is difficult to believe that 136 people chose not to be reunited with their children. The government likely lacks any video recording of these alleged waivers signed by individuals. Nobody knows if the waivers were attained with consent or the people were simply told to sign on the dotted line or lied to about what they were signing.

  • Total Number of reunifications 346

A very small percentage given the extremely large number of families that still need to be reunited.

Please like our Facebook Page, Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, to be able to watch any future videos on this issue.

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DACA case back at 9th Circuit

Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado provides an update on recent development on DACA case at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On March 15, 2018 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order in the pending DACA case, Regents of the University of California, et. al, v. Department of Homeland Security et. al.  As previously reported the United States Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to bypass the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The order from the 9th Circuit on March 15 granted in part and denied in part a motion to expedite proceedings.  The Court granted the motion to expedite having the case placed in front of a panel, and asked the Clerk of the Court to assign to a random panel as early as May of 2018.  The Court denied ordering that a decision from this panel also be expedited, however, either party can ask the panel to expedite their decision once they know who is assigned to the case.

This means that a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could come as early as May or June of this year. If the decision overturns the Northern District Court of California’s Preliminary Injunction, this could mean that USCIS could stop accepting DACA renewal applications. It is unclear how USCIS would proceed given that one Judge in New York has also previously ordered USCIS continue accepting renewal applications.

Given Congress’s absolute neglect of the Dream Act, the results of the Court decisions are extremely important. Just yesterday Trump stated he was upset with Democrats for not including Dreamers and his wall in the latest budget.  Obviously this was simply a political stunt and he had no intention of shutting down the government to support Dreamers. Both major political parties need to stop using Dreamers as a political football and instead pass a clean Dream Act.

Filing for US Citizenship

Basic steps when filing for U.S. Citizenship

By: Leslie Palomera 

In this article, we will share the basic steps needed to file for naturalization, also known as filing for citizenship.  This is a great tool to begin the process, but we recommend you always consult with a professional before filing your citizenship application. It’s important you meet all the requirements because every situation is different. Many times, we have found applicants who thought they were eligible to file but didn’t qualify for different reasons. Some applicants could even end up losing their Legal Resident Status if they don’t consult with a professional prior to filing their application. All that being said, let’s move on to the requirements:

Steps and Questions to Answer

First, are you at least 18 years old (except active members of the Armed Forces)?

Have you been a permanent resident of the United States for a required period of time (either 3 or 5 years, depending on your case)?

Have you lived within the state or USCIS district where you claim residence for at least 3 months prior to filing? If you just moved states, you need to wait at least 3 months to file at your new address.

Can you demonstrate physical presence within the United States for a required period of time of 3 or 5 years (depending on your case)?

Have you demonstrated continuous residence for a required period of time (again, 3 or 5 years, depending on your case)?

Can you demonstrate good moral character? This means, have you ever been arrested, cited, detained? If so, how long ago? What were the charges? What were the results?

Can you demonstrate a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government?

Can you demonstrate the ability to read, write, speak and understand basic English?

And, last but not least, are you able to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States? Keep in mind that some applicants may be eligible for a modified oath based on their beliefs/religion.

The fee to file for naturalization is $725.00, but if you can prove that you have a low income, there is a fee waiver form that you can include with your petition to get your fee reduced or even completely waived.

Do you have a learning or mental disability? You might qualify for a Medical Exception to your interview and/or test.

Are your parents U.S. citizens? You might qualify to derive or acquired citizenship through them without having to go for an interview and test. Consult with an immigration expert.

If you meet these requirements, congratulations!

You are ready to make an appointment with an immigration expert to assess your case, and assist you in filling out your application.

If you need studying material, look at the USCIS official website for help, Also, you can reach out to various places in your community for resources, many non-profits, public libraries, community centers, and other similar places offer free or reduced fee classes to prepare you for the interview.

Remember, you are not required to have an attorney to file for citizenship, but applicants usually choose to seek assistance from a lawyer or accredited representatives to review their records and ensure better results.

Here at Ybarra Maldonado & Associates, we know the legal process can be burdensome or intimidating so we focus on facilitating the experience for our families to ensure they know how to proceed through each step of the process.  To schedule an appointment with me or one of our amazing attorneys located in Arizona, please call 602-910-4040 or another reputable law firm in your area.