Archives for October 2011

ICE Announces Nearly 400,000 People Deported in 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on October 18, 2011 their year-end removal numbers highlighting trends that underscore the agency’s focus on removing individuals from the country that frall into priority areas for enforcement. These priorites include the identification and removal of those that have broken criminal laws, threats to national security, recent border crossers, repeat violators of immigration law and immigration fugitives.

In 2011, ICE removed 386,906 individuals — the largest number in the agency’s history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors — an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since 2008.

The Secretary of Homeland Security has directed ICE to to focus its resources as effectively as possible on key priorites. This includes the use and frequency of investigations and programs like Secure Communities and Operations Cross Check (SCOCC) that targets immigrants with criminal convictions.

In sum, the United States is working very hard to have aliens removed from this country who have criminal convictions more so than ever. This includes convictions of crimes that were previously not considered worthy of removing a person such as a drunk driving misdemeanor.

If you are a permanent resident who has been charged with a crime it is important than ever that you realize that a conviction could jeopardize your ability to stay in the United States. It is extremely important that the attorney handling your criminal case be familiar with the consequences a conviction might have on your immigration status. Or, at the very least, that your lawyer consult with an immigration lawyer.

Please call my office for a consultation on the consequences of a conviction to your immigration status before it’s too late. My office’s telephone number is 616-233-9300.

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DHS Announces 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan and Designation for South Sudan

The Secretary of Homeland Security extended the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) designation for Sudan for 18 months. The department also designated the Republic of South Sudan for TPS for 18 months.Both the extension and the new designation are effective November 3, 2011 and will continue through May 2, 2013.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has strongly encouraged nationals from these countries (and persons with no nationality who last habitually resided in either country) to review the rules regarding the extension or new designation and follow the instructions on how to file an initial or re-registration application for TPS.

Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security is automatically extending the validity of employment authorization documents issued under the last extension of Sudan TPS for an additional 6 months, through May 2, 2012.

All affected persons seeking to obtain or maintain their TPS must file their application package no later than April 10, 2012.

If you think this may apply to you or someone you know, please do not hesitate to call my office at 616-233-9300 to discuss this very important deadline.

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