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There are many cases where immigrants to the United States may be at risk of harm, but they may be hesitant to report a crime or seek protection because they are concerned about their immigration status. In cases where immigrants are undocumented, entered the United States illegally, or stayed in the U.S. after the expiration of a temporary visa, they may worry that if they report domestic abuse or seek protection for themselves or their family members, they could face deportation. Fortunately, the United States has laws that provide protection in these situations. Under the Violence Against Women Act
Continue Reading How Can an Abuse Victim Receive a Green Card Through VAWA?

There are multiple situations where immigrants may be the victims of crime. Unfortunately, this often puts people in a difficult position, since they may be concerned that if they report these crimes or attempt to leave a situation where they or their family members are in danger, they could be detained by immigration officials and deported. However, the laws in the United States provide some protection for immigrants who are the victims of crimes, and depending on a person’s situation, different options for obtaining a visa or Green Card may be available.
U Visas for Crime Victims
Immigrants in
Continue Reading Protection for Immigrant Crime Victims: U Visas and T Visas

Some of the most common avenues for immigration involve sponsorship by a person who is already living in the United States. Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens or permanent residents with valid Green Cards to sponsor family members for immigrant visas. However, certain types of visas are also available that will allow U.S. citizens to establish family relationships and provide others with immigration benefits. Fiancé visas are one common way of doing so, and this type of visa will provide a foreign-born person with the right to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married to a U.S citizen.
Continue Reading What Is the Process Followed When Applying for a Fiancé Visa?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been devastating for people in the country, as well as Ukrainian citizens around the world. The U.N. is estimating that around 6.5 million people have been displaced from their homes inside Ukraine, and another 3.2 million have fled from the country. Because of the dangerous conditions in Ukraine, refugees who have fled the country are looking to ensure that they will be protected from harm, and Ukrainian citizens will likely want to avoid being forced to return to the country while the war is ongoing. Those who are looking to enter the United States or
Continue Reading Immigration Options for People Affected by the War in Ukraine

Immigrants who are looking to come to the United States or those who are already in the country and are seeking permanent resident status will need to meet many different requirements. The process of applying for a visa or Green Card can be complicated, and there are a variety of factors that may affect a person’s ability to enter or remain in the country. Claims that a person has committed marriage fraud can play a significant role in immigration cases, and immigrants and their family members will need to understand when these issues may arise and how they may be
Continue Reading How Can Accusations of Marriage Fraud Affect the Immigration Process?

For immigrants living in the United States, the threat of deportation is a significant concern. After a person has established a life for themselves and their family members in the U.S., being forced to leave the country is likely to cause significant hardship. Fortunately, those who are facing deportation may have options, and in some cases, a person may be able to apply for cancellation of removal. If a person meets certain requirements, deportation proceedings may be ended, and they will be allowed to remain in the United States.
Eligibility for Cancellation of Removal
The requirements for qualifying for
Continue Reading When Can Deportation Be Prevented Through Cancellation of Removal?

There are many situations where people living in the United States may want to sponsor their loved ones for family-based immigration. A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident with a valid Green Card may provide sponsorship for multiple different family members, including a spouse, children, parents, or siblings. However, when doing so, a person will need to meet certain requirements, including making a commitment to provide financial support for those who will be coming to the U.S. By understanding their obligations when sponsoring one or more family members for immigration, a person can avoid potential issues and ensure
Continue Reading Financial Obligations for Sponsors in Family-Based Immigration Cases

Immigrants who are hoping to live in the United States and those who are already present in the country may encounter a variety of issues that will affect their legal status and their ability to obtain the necessary visas or Green Cards. One issue that may arise during the immigration process involves inadmissibility, in which immigration officials determine that a person is not eligible to enter the U.S. Fortunately, this will not necessarily prevent a person from immigrating to the United States, and waivers of inadmissibility may be available in certain situations.
Applying for Waivers of Inadmissibility
While there are
Continue Reading When Are Waivers of Inadmissibility Available to Immigrants?

There are many different types of issues that can affect a person’s legal status as an immigrant to the United States. People who have entered the U.S. on an immigrant or non-immigrant visa or who have received a Green Card through adjustment of status may face deportation based on a number of factors, including certain types of criminal convictions. An experienced immigration attorney can help immigrants understand the types of convictions that may cause a person to be deported and the options for addressing these issues.
What Types of Crimes Make a Person Deportable?
Immigration laws are meant to
Continue Reading When Can a Criminal Conviction Lead to Deportation?

Earlier this year, Illinois lawmakers passed, and the governor signed into law, the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T Act). The act was a major overhaul of the Illinois criminal justice system. Many of these changes focused on policing and what law enforcement officers are allowed and not allowed to do. There were also changes made to arrest, detention, sentencing, and incarceration laws. The majority of the SAFE-T Act went into effect in July; however, some changes will not go into effect until a later date. The following is a brief overview of some of these changes.
Arrest and
Continue Reading Illinois Changes Arrest, Sentencing, and Incarceration Laws

A recent decision by a Texas federal judge has dealt a blow to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the United States, which currently provides protection for hundreds of thousands of immigrants. With the judge’s ruling that the program is illegal, the program will no longer be accepting new applicants, and the status of those who are currently in the program could also come into question.
The DACA Program
In 2012, then-President Obama created the DACA program in order to provide a reprieve from deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Many
Continue Reading Federal Judge’s Ruling Again Leaves Dreamers with Uncertain Future

Illinois and the rest of the country are gradually returning to “normal” after 15 months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. One area that is preparing for that return is the Illinois criminal court system. When the pandemic hit and the state began shutting down, the Illinois Supreme Court entered blanket orders tolling speedy trials on all criminal cases. Last week, the court put out the “open sign” for all courts, issuing two orders that lift tolling on statutory time restrictions and relax or eliminate social distancing requirements. However, these new orders are leaving the courts themselves facing an avalanche
Continue Reading Illinois Lifts Tolling on Speedy Trials

In January, the Biden administration announced plans for the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 with the goal of implementing significant immigration reform. The bill was formally introduced in both the House and the Senate in February and is currently working its way through the legislative process in both chambers. The bill contains hundreds of pages of legalese, as most congressional bills do. The goal of the bill is much more direct: “To provide an earned path to citizenship, to address the root causes of migration and responsibly manage the southern border, and to reform the immigrant visa system, and for
Continue Reading How Would the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 Affect Immigration Laws?

There is no doubt that domestic violence is a very real problem in Illinois and throughout the country. However, not all accusations of domestic violence are founded on truth. If you have been accused of domestic battery or another form of violence against a household or family member, you may be unsure of how to handle the situation. The state of Illinois takes domestic violence very seriously. Penalties for domestic battery may include heavy fines and jail time. It is important to take steps to protect your rights and avoid worsening the situation you are in.
Remain Calm and Do
Continue Reading How Should I Handle False Accusations of Domestic Battery?

President Biden has announced that his administration will be limiting the number of immigration arrests that take place at courthouses. According to the new policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will no longer have the authorization to carry out routine arrests at courthouses.
ICE agents will still be able to arrest individuals in cases in which matters of national security are at risk or the individual poses a threat to public safety. They will also be able to arrest an individual who is the subject of an active pursuit or if there is suspicion the individual may destroy evidence.
Continue Reading DHS Announces No More Routine ICE Arrests at Courthouses

Widespread drug and alcohol addiction is an alarming problem in Northern Illinois and throughout the country.  It is estimated that 20.4 million adults suffered from substance use disorder in 2019 and over 70,000 individuals died from a drug overdose. Drug addiction destroys careers, fractures families, and creates a heavy burden on the U.S. criminal justice system. Criminal penalties for drug possession often include heavy penalties and long prison sentences. Proponents of House Bill 3447 say that individuals who are addicted to illicit drugs need treatment, not jail time.

Criminal Consequences for Drug Possession in Illinois
Most people know at least
Continue Reading Illinois House Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Drug Possession Penalties