Immigrants helped build and shape our nation. Their past and current contributions cannot be discounted; and, one of the hallmarks of the United States is no matter where you are from, you can come to this country and be given a chance to succeed. To be able to have this chance though, one must navigate the immigration process, which can be difficult to understand and comply with. At Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP, we are passionate about helping families overcome legal hurdles to gain and keep a place in this nation.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (commonly referred to as “DACA”) is an immigration program enacted in 2012 granting temporary protection for children who entered the U.S. illegally. It protects the recipients from deportation from the U.S. for two years – subject to renewal – and typically gives the approved individuals temporary work authorization.
A person may be eligible for DACA if they:
- Were born after June 15, 1981;
- Came to the United States before their 16th birthday;
- Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and when applying for DACA;
- Had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 until present;
- Meet certain educational requirement or were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces; and
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes.
The DACA program has undergone intense legal battles since its inception almost 10 years ago, with frequent changes based on judicial rulings.
Latest DACA Update
On December 4, 2020 a federal judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fully restore the original DACA program. This includes accepting first time applicants, including those unable to apply after September 2017 and those who applied after the June 2020 Supreme Court decision but who had their application rejected.Read more
An immigrant can get to the United States legally through a few different avenues. Our country has traditionally had a policy of keeping families together, so any citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. can petition the government for an immigration visa, also known as a green card, for certain family members – such as parents, children, and fiancés/spouses to get them into the country as well. Many other types of visas can be avenues to citizenship. For example, educational visas can be obtained for someone to study at an American institution or trade school. There are also visas for things like cultural exchange, diplomatic or governmental needs, and being a tourist. The Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP family immigration team can answer questions and work with you through the process.
The qualifications and laws governing who can apply to become a United States citizen are complex and oftentimes difficult to navigate. There are many legal requirements that must be completed to become a naturalized citizen, and the process can be confusing. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers are here to help guide you and your family through the process.
Whether you are a legal permanent resident living in the U.S., someone born to U.S. citizens in a foreign country, or adopted by American parents, we encourage you to seek citizenship through the naturalization process. The immigration lawyers at Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP are here to help pave your way to citizenship status.
In October 2000, Congress created the U nonimmigrant status – referred to as U visas – with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. These visas are specifically for victims of certain types of crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse, and can help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute those responsible. This allows victims of crimes who are not legal citizens or permanent residents to apply for a visa so they can file charges and testify in court without fear of deportation or removal.
While the U visa was primarily created to protect victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, qualifying criminal activities range from involuntary servitude to stalking. A victim’s spouse and children are also eligible for visa benefits, so they can apply without jeopardizing the status of their family. Make sure you speak with an experienced immigration attorney before applying for a U visa to ensure you and your family qualify.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Green Card holders) experiencing domestic violence to file for an immigrant visa petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek safety and independence from their abuser, who is NOT notified about the filing. Under the law, battered non-citizens who are married to or recently divorced from U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents can self-petition (meaning without the help or knowledge of their abusive spouse or parent) to obtain a green card, remove the conditions on their 2-year Conditional Permanent Residence cards, or apply for cancellation of removal.
Suspension of Deportation/Removal
The immigration attorneys of Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP can also help if you or a family member has been threatened with deportation. Someone who is in the country illegally can be at risk for deportation at any time, but there are ways we can explore to help keep them in the country. We can start applications for legally permanent residency and figure out the best avenue to do that. If someone is picked up to be deported, we can fight the removal proceedings. Often people are targeted for deportation because they are accused of a crime; our lawyers also handle criminal justice issues. Our attorneys are familiar with the steps of the deportation process and know ways to fight to avoid removal. An immigration judge ultimately decides each case. If our clients do not get the ruling they want in these proceedings, we can fight for them during the appeals process as well.
Amarillo Immigration Lawyers
There are a variety of other areas we can help with, from asylum cases to refiling rejected applications. Additionally, the area of immigration is constantly changing. State and federal governments make decision on immigration policy and what they want to enforce. As administrations change, rules around who can stay and who is not welcome change. The federal government can limit the number and type of visas issued and decide how aggressive to be in deporting those who are here illegally. They may also decide to crack down on employers who knowingly employee undocumented workers. This fluctuation is constant and our legal team keeps a close eye on current policies and potential changes. We work with our clients so they understand the current rules, but also so they know what can happen in each political climate and how to structure their case accordingly.
No matter your immigration situation, we are driven to help you and your family stay together. The team at Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP will work hard to create the strongest possible application or representation in a case. We travel frequently throughout the area around Amarillo to provide free legal consultations and can come to you if you can’t visit our office. If you have an immigration issue you wish to discuss, contact us today.