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Blandon Law Immigration

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2015 Report on Asylees and Refugees Published

The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) has released its Annual Flow Report which presents information on persons admitted as refugees or granted asylum in the United States.

In the year 2015, an estimated 83,000 affirmative asylum applications were filed (47 percent more than the previous year). This is the sixth consecutive annual increase and the highest level since 1996.

China remained the main country of origin for affirmative asylum applications in 2015, followed by Mexico. For the year 2016, however, Venezuela has become the main country of origin for affirmative asylum filings.

More individuals sought affirmative asylum from the Northern Triangle Countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) in the last three years than the prior 15 years combined. The number of children seeking asylum rose sharply to reach 26,600, the highest on record.

In 2015, the three leading countries of nationality of persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum were:
  • China (24 percent)
  • El Salvador (8.3 percent)
  • Guatemala (8.0 percent)
Nationals of these countries accounted for 40 percent of all persons granted asylum.

Overall, grants of asylum increased by 12 percent in 2015, driven primarily by affirmative cases which increased 23 percent from 2014 to 2015.

For more information: View the Complete Report

Monday, November 21, 2016

Asylum Cases After President Trump

Since the US Presidential election, immigration law offices across the country have been fielding calls from worried clients who are frightened about their future in the United States.

While campaigning, Donald Trump promised to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary work permits to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

He called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

He claimed Mexicans were sending us their “rapists and murderers” and has vowed to deport those here without authorization.

While we don’t know if these claims were campaign hyperbole, changes are coming to US immigration policy. We are unsure of how drastic or how rapid these changes might be, although the recent announcement that Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will be nominated to serve as Attorney General is a strong indication of the new administration’s stance on immigration.

Beth Werlin, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, reacted to the nomination by stating:
    “Senator Sessions is the leading anti-immigration voice in the U.S. Senate. For years, Senator Sessions has urged severe restrictions on visas, called for drastically expanded immigration enforcement, and blocked all practical reforms to our outdated immigration system.”

Considering this news, anyone with a pending case should try to complete that case as soon as possible. Provide all information requested by your attorney immediately. Do not take a “wait and see” attitude.

This is the time that you need a dedicated and ethical immigration attorney on your side. Perhaps most importantly, you need an attorney with the specialized knowledge of immigration law necessary to change tactics and achieve the best outcome for you.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to administratively close a pending case and re-apply under a different program. Only an attorney with extensive experience will be able to effectively advise you about your options.

In addition to being Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Florida Bar Association, Attorney Elizabeth Blandon has almost 20 years of experience focusing strictly on immigration cases.

Please call our office at 954-385-0157 to learn about your options for asylum after Trump.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Failed Recall of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro May Mean More Asylum Requests

Last week, an attempt to remove authoritarian Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro failed. Five lower courts approved injunctions to suspend the recall, ending the best chance for a peaceful resolution to the country’s political turmoil.

We expect that this news will prompt many citizens of Venezuela to apply for U.S. asylum and residency to escape the difficult conditions in their homeland. Blandon Law is an expert in obtaining asylum-based immigration benefits for Venezuelans. In fact, national hero Marco Coello is a client.

Our office is located in Weston, Florida - the heart of South Florida – so we are accessible to Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Please call us at 954-385-0157 for immigration assistance.

For more information, see the opinion piece by Francisco Toro in The Washington Post: It’s official: Venezuela is a full-blown dictatorship

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Court Blocks Indiana’s Attempt to Withhold Funds to Refugee Resettlement Agency

A federal appeals court panel Monday blocked Indiana Governor (and Republican vice presidential candidate) Mike Pence's attempt to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana.
The court affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction against the state of Indiana’s attempt to withhold funds to a private agency that assists in the resettlement of refugees, including those from Syria. (Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Pence, 10/3/16).
This ruling is the latest in a series of federal court decisions that have rejected similar attempts by other states to avoid Syrian refugee resettlement.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Building a Powerful Force of Refugee and Asylum Advocates

According to UNHCR’s 2015 Global Trends Report, one out of every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum due to wars, conflict, and persecution. In 2014 alone, 13.9 million people became newly displaced – four times the number of the previous year.

It is essential for legal practitioners to become well-versed in the laws, regulations, and policies impacting today’s asylum-seekers and to continue to pursue novel legal arguments and creative solutions. You can learn more at the upcoming AILA Advanced Business and Removals Conference being held in New York on October 10.

Read more here (from the American Immigration Lawyers Association)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Scandinavian Tech Companies Help Refugees Find Work

In Sweden and Finland, the tech industry is stepping up to help migrants find work. Tech-savvy individuals and firms are helping these new residents by cataloging their skills and education, setting up internships, training and placing refugees in jobs. They are also connecting asylum seekers with investors looking to back new businesses.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Turkish Asylum Seekers Make 7,000 Mile Move to California

Since an attempted coup against Turkey’s President Erdoğan in July, thousands have been arrested and imprisoned. The lucky ones have managed to flee the country amid the chaos.

In the meantime, while they hope that democracy will eventually return to their homeland, many displaced citizens of Turkey are seeking asylum in the United States.

Residents of Irvine, California --  home to a large Turkish American population – are stepping up to help. Over 45 local families have signed up to host asylum seekers as they make the transition to life in the United States.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wait Times for Affirmative Asylum Interviews

The US Citizen and Immigration Services recently released its newest Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin (8/5/16) which explains how the Asylum Division prioritizes affirmative applications for asylum.

Affirmative asylum refers to a foreign national who has voluntarily applied for asylum – this individual may be residing in the US already or may make application upon entry to the United States (a person seeking affirmative asylum has to submit an application within one year of their arrival).

Blandon Law has decades of experience assisting clients through this process, which can be time-consuming and confusing for applicants. The most important benefit of winning an asylum case is that ONE year after becoming an asylee, a foreign national may apply for legal permanent residency. Legal permanent residents can live and work in the United States. They can also bring spouses and children to the US and receive government assistance.

It is important to review this announcement to be sure that your interview with USCIS (“Immigration”) is scheduled during the processing time announced in the Bulletin. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 954-385-0157. Our lawyers travel throughout the country to Asylum Office interviews and Immigration Court hearings.

View the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin

Monday, August 15, 2016

Backlog of Immigration Court Cases is Increasing

As of June 2016, the number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts has reached an all-time high of 496,704, according to government court data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

While the backlog is still increasing, the hiring of 34 new Immigration Judges since February has helped to slow the rate of growth. Unfortunately, the sheer number of cases awaiting resolution still represents an average of 1,819 cases for each of the 273 judges now on the bench. The number of pending priority cases involving women with children has been rising the fastest.

For more information, visit: TRAC at Syracuse University

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Amid Anti-Immigration Wave, Some Small Towns Welcome Refugees with Open Arms

PBS Newshour reports that small towns across the United States are opening their doors to refugees in an effort to offset shrinking populations, diversify their communities and bolster local economies. 

Eskinder Negash, Senior Vice President of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, stated "Every time a refugee rents an apartment, every time a refugee shops for food, there's some income coming in for the city and going into the tax base. There's a new realization that refugees can be an economic engine for some of these small communities." 

The mayor of Fargo, North Dakota, echoed those sentiments. “Our refugees have come in and brought a lot to our community,” said Fargo mayor, Dr. Tim Mahoney“Our priority is to be a welcoming city and continue to grow in that manner.”

Read the complete article

Monday, August 1, 2016

Argentina Announces New Plan Against Gender Violence

On July 26, 2016, Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced a national plan to decrease domestic violence and “femicide” incidents (referring to the gender-based targeting and murder of women). 

The government's three-year plan will introduce: 
  • Gender violence awareness as part of the national school curriculum.

  • Creation of a network of women's refuges

  • Increased funding to electronically monitor individuals with a history of violence towards women

Many Latin American countries have introduced tougher penalties for femicide crimes in recent years, but women's rights groups say more is needed. Last year, 235 women lost their lives due to gender violence incidents in Argentina. 

For more information:

Argentina proposes electronic tracking for men prone to violence toward women - UPI

Argentina announces new plan to curb gender violence - BBC

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Don't File for Asylum in Texas, But If You Did: MOVE

According to a TRAC Report, Immigration Judges in Texas lead the nation in deportations.  The report is available by clicking here.

Immigration Court judges issued 44,204 removal orders as of April 2016. Texas leads the nation with 10,102 removal orders issued, followed by California and Georgia.

If the US Department of Homeland Security denies the asylum case, it will be referred to an Immigration Court judge.  An experienced attorney, such as Blandon Law, will file a motion for change of venue to get the case moved to another court in another state if possible.  Call 954-385-0157 if you or someone you know is currently in proceedings in Texas Immigration Court and needs an experienced asylum lawyer.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Asylum Based on Abuse: Marriage is NOT a Requirement for Asylum based on Domestic Violence

      Immigration courts around the United States cannot require that a domestic violence survivor be married to her abuser.  A new case was published by the Board of Immigration Appeals that says that marriage is not a requirement to get a green card based on asylum as an abuse victim.

    Blandon Law proudly helps domestic violence survivors get their legal permanent residency, whether they apply based on the Violence Against Women Act or asylum.  Unfortunately, in some countries -- like Guatemala or Honduras -- domestic violence is rampant and the police do not help at all.  All team members at the Broward County immigration law firm speak Spanish.  For help on your particular case, call 954-385-0157 and schedule a consultation.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Immigration Expert Publishes Free Book on Best Tips for Asylum - Download Now

     Free answers to your questions about getting a green card in the United States is at your fingertips.  Click to this link for the website, then scroll on the home page, and download the eBook:  Best Tips to Win a Green Card Through Asylum.    
     The information you will find includes what harm is enough to win an asylum case, who will decide your case, and what to do if the government does not believe you.
     Elizabeth Blandon, Esq., wrote this book of advice, which was gained through more than ten years as an immigration lawyer.  The state of Florida certified her as an immigration expert and she graduated from one of the top law schools in the United States.  Before law school, Ms. Blandon earned two writing degrees (journalism and literature).
     For those who are considering applying for asylum, this book is a must read.  There is even a chapter about the types of documents that the government requests.  Private consultations are also available at the Broward immigration law firm, which specializes in asylum, by calling 954-385-0157.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Raids Planned for Central Americans Who Do Not Apply for Asylum

  Several major news outlets, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, have reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going to begin raids on Central American families.
  Click the link here for the complete story.
  Blandon Law can help them by filing a Motion to Reopen, which will keep them in the country until the evidence is properly reviewed by an Immigration Judge.
  If you know a Central American person -- especially a child -- who entered the United States and was ordered deported, tell a family member to call (954) 385-0157 and schedule a consultation. Blandon Law are immigration lawyers specializing in asylum, with clients throughout Florida and the United States.

General Frequently Asked Questions

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954-385-0157 or email: