All posts by John Eluwa

John Eluwa is licensed to practice in all North Carolina State Courts, the United States Federal District Court of Eastern District of North Carolina; all Immigration Courts of the 50 States of the United States. He has been practicing immigration and criminal defense law for nearly two decades.

Asylum Under Fire

At the end of January 2018, it was reported that the asylum backlog included an estimated 300,000 pending applications and the U.S. government had plans to review more recent asylum applications pushing those applicants who have been waiting for their cases to be processed further behind. Asylum Under Fire.

As stated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), asylum status is a form of protection available to people who meet the definition of refugee, are already in the U.S. and are seeking admission at a port of entry.  According to 8 U.S. Code §1158 on asylum, “Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States,” (whether or not at a designated port of arrival…) may apply for asylum.”

You qualify for asylum if you have been persecuted by the government of your country or by a group that the government is unable or unwilling to control – a “credible or well-founded fear of persecution” based on (1) race, (2) nationality, (3) religion, (4) political opinion, or (5) membership in a particular social group. There is no filing fee associated when filing for asylum, but the application should be filed within one (1) year of arrival in the U.S. In addition, you should be aware that there are bars to eligibility for asylum, one being that if you were “firmly resettled” in another country prior to arriving in the U.S.  This means that without an exception, while in that country, you received an offer of permanent resident status, citizenship or other type of permanent resettlement.

However, just last month U.S. President Donald Trump issued a proclamation to deny migrants crossing some borders illegally the opportunity to apply for asylum. This decision from the Trump administration appears to target persons migrating from Central America more than other areas. Asylum Under Fire.

If you plan to file for asylum, 8 C.F.R. 208.4(b)(1) requires the applicant to file Form I-589, Application for Asylum with the Service Center servicing the Asylum Office having jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence.

USCIS Service Centers receipt numbers starts with:

CSC   California Service Center;
NBC  National Benefits Center;
NSC  Nebraska Service Center;
TSC   Texas Service Center;
VSC   Vermont Service Center;
YSC   Potomac Service Center.

The USCIS Service Centers process asylum applications and issue a USCIS receipt number.  You can enter the receipt number for your case in the USCIS website online case status portal to get the processing time for your asylum application.

Asylum Office receipt numbers in asylum cases start with three letters as follows:

ZAR   Arlington Asylum Office;
ZCH  Chicago Asylum Office;
ZHN  Houston Asylum Office;
ZLA   Los Angeles Asylum Office;
ZMI   Miami Asylum Office;
ZNK  Newark Asylum Office;
ZNY   New York Asylum Office;
ZSF   San Francisco Asylum Office;

Sub-Offices

Z–   New Orleans Asylum Office;
Z–   Boston Asylum Office;

Although the USCIS Service Center processes asylum applications, you will not be able to use the USCIS website online case status portal to check the case status of an asylum application. USCIS does not recognize receipt numbers of asylum applications. To check the status of your asylum application, you or your legal representative should go to the asylum office that has jurisdiction over your case and make an inquiry in person.

Just recently on Friday, December 21, 2018, the Supreme Court refused to allow the Trump administration to immediately enforce its new policy of denying asylum to migrants who illegally crossed the Mexican border.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined four other chief justices in refusing to immediately reinstate the administration’s asylum policy.  Asylum Under Fire.

Life circumstances and country conditions compel immigrants to take extreme measures and suffer incredible risks to improve their basic human conditions. As with any program that bestow benefits upon an individual, frivolous and fraudulent cases are filed in addition to the many legitimate claims. Although, actions by the Trump administration have restricted the number of persons applying for asylum, merits of his administration’s asylum policy are still being considered.

Asylum Under Fire.

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Attorney John Eluwa Invited as Guest Speaker on WSHA 88.9 FM, Shaw University Radio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“Give Me Liberty, Give Me Law” Program Series Host Stephen Celestini Speaks with Attorney Eluwa

RALEIGH, NC (7.2.2015) – Attorney John Eluwa of the Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC., (www.johneluwa.com), will appear as a guest speaker on Shaw University’s WSHA 88.9 FM “Give Me Liberty, Give Me Law” Radio show on Wednesday, July 8th at 12:00 P.M. “Give Me Liberty, Give Me Law” is a monthly radio program hosted by Attorney Stephen Celestini, Principal and Owner of Stephen Celestini Consulting Services. The show educates, informs, and addresses general legal concerns and interests while directing the listener to resources for navigating legal issues.

Since opening the doors in 1995, the Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, has become a comprehensive law practice that has successfully represented clients from numerous countries. The law offices provide all clients with high-quality legal services, such as Immigration Law – Family and Employment-based Immigration, Adjustment of Status (obtaining a Green Card), Naturalization/Citizenship, Deportation/Removal Proceedings Defense, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS), Employment Authorization Documents, Student and Visitor Visas, Consular Processing, and Asylum. It also represents clients with Criminal Defense Matters, Traffic Violations, and Personal Injury Claims.

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About Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC
Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC, has successfully represented clients from numerous countries in Immigration Law, Criminal Defense, Traffic Violations, and Personal Injury Claims. Established in 1995, the law offices has expanded and evolved, but remained focused with providing innovative and outstanding quality; and personal attention for its clients’ legal issues. The law offices operate from the main Downtown Raleigh, NC and satellite Clinton, NC offices. More information about the law offices’ practice areas, office information and social media is available at www.johneluwa.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lawofficesofjohneluwa; on Twitter at twitter.com/AttorneyJEluwa; or the Official Blog at johneluwa.wordpress.com.

Contact: Kris Alvarenga
919-839-0733
kris@johneluwa.com

Important USCIS/DACA Reminder

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that their current period of DACA and employment authorization could expire if they wait too long to request renewal.

We strongly encourage you to submit your renewal request 150 to 120 days before your current period of DACA and employment authorization will expire. Timely filing will help ensure USCIS has sufficient time to consider your request.

On March 27, 2015, USCIS began mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days prior to the expiration date of their current period of DACA. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100 days in advance.

USCIS continues to accept initial and renewal requests for two-year grants of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012. A federal district court order issued on February 16, 2015, enjoining USCIS from implementing the expanded DACA guidelines did not impact USCIS’ ability to continue processing DACA requests under the 2012 guidelines.

You may request renewal of DACA if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent, approved DACA request, up to the present time; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Visit uscis.gov/daca or uscis.gov/acciondiferida to get updates and all the information you need to make an initial or renewal request for DACA.

As always, we encourage you to beware of immigration scams. Visit uscis.gov/avoidscams or uscis.gov/eviteestafas to learn how to protect yourself and how to find authorized legal services.

Kind Regards,

Public Engagement Division
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

New Immigration Enforcement Policy Remains In Effect Despite Texas Lawsuit

Written by Patrick Taurel of ImmigrationImpact.com

The political lawsuit challenging the legality of parts of President Obama’s Executive Action should fail for a variety of reasons. But the lawsuit has already succeeded in two respects. First, it won a dubious preliminary injunction from a lower court judge temporarily halting the program while the case proceeds. (Earlier this week, the Obama Administration filed an emergency motion asking the judge to lift his order and let the program move forward, setting the course for an appeal to a higher court.) Second, the lawsuit has ginned up precisely the kind of fear and confusion it was conceived to create.

For example, some Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are reportedly acting as if the injunction blocks not only expanded DACA and DAPA—but also the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new November 2014 enforcement priorities. Those new priorities direct DHS officers to focus limited enforcement resources on national security and public safety threats, individuals convicted of a wide array of crimes (including some misdemeanors), as well as recent entrants and certain other immigration law violators. Immigration practitioners from various parts of the country report that a few ICE trial attorneys and deportation officers have indicated that the new priorities memo is no longer controlling. This is flat wrong. The new enforcement priorities are in full force and effect. ICE and Customs and Border Patrol officers who refuse to follow them are failing to adhere to policy.

It should have been clear from day one that the preliminary injunction did not and does not block the new enforcement policy. First, the Texas judge who granted the preliminary injunction expressly––and correctly––stated that the new enforcement priorities are “not subject to judicial second-guessing[.]” The court then wrote that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s “decisions as to how to marshal DHS resources, how to best utilize DHS manpower, and where to concentrate its activities are discretionary decisions solely within the purview of the Executive Branch[.]” If any doubts lingered, Secretary Johnson’s unequivocal press release the next day should have laid them to rest. In it, he said that the new enforcement priorities “remain in full force and effect.” On Wednesday, in a televised town hall, President Obama said that immigration officers who fail to adhere to the enforcement policy may face consequences, much like members of the military who are expected to follow orders.

While it’s true that under the preliminary injunction ICE and other agencies within DHS may be prohibited from considering whether a particular immigrant is eligible for DACA or DAPA, it does not follow that people who are potentially eligible for those programs should be removed. Based on the way those programs are structured, virtually every person who qualifies for either DACA or DAPA will not fall within the enforcement priorities and should not be priorities for deportation as long as the new enforcement policy is in effect—regardless of what happens with the lawsuit.

After President Obama announced his executive actions, DHS established a process for reviewing enforcement decisions. That process is still in place. Advocates can and should play a role in identifying departures from policy to ensure that individuals are not wrongfully detained and deported.

– See more at: http://immigrationimpact.com/2015/02/27/new-immigration-enforcement-policy-remains-effect-despite-texas-lawsuit/#sthash.XXPGBHxj.dpuf

ICE No Longer Honoring New Prosecutorial Discretion Memo

From the Carolinas Chapter of the American immigration Lawyers Association:

“ICE is now implementing it’s new policy of enforcement in accordance with the November Executive Action. But for those who have not yet received that desperate call from the client who has been taken into custody at his ICE check in, this is it: If the foreign national has a significant misdemeanor (most often arising in the form of a DUI/DWI) conviction or 3 misdemeanors or a final order after 1/1/14, he / she will be taken into custody when he / she checks in with ICE. If he / she is not checking in with ICE, he / she stands a chance of getting the knock on the door at 5:00 a.m. Individuals are being taken into custody even if they are currently in removal proceedings in Charlotte. They are being transferred to Stewart with no holds. ICE has been given the instructions NOT to take into consideration DACA or DAPA eligibility in such detention decisions.”

These directives have apparently come directly from HQ in Washington and are not the acts of rogue agents. It is absolutely imperative that you advise your clients accordingly.

Attorney John Eluwa to Speak on WSHA 88.9 FM, Shaw University Radio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Attorney John Eluwa to Speak on WSHA 88.9 FM, Shaw University Radio

Saturday Morning Community Program Series Interviews Attorney Eluwa

RALEIGH, NC (12.11.2014) – Attorney John Eluwa of the Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC., (www.johneluwa.com), will appear as a guest speaker detailing President Obama’s Executive Order concerning Immigration for Shaw University’s WSHA 88.9 FM UpFront! Radio show on Saturday, December 20th at 9:00 A.M. UpFront! is a weekly radio program hosted by community representative Janet Howard, the executive director of Harriet B. Webster Task Force for Students Success in North Carolina, an initiative that shares insight from community leaders and elected officials regarding underserved communities in the Triangle. Attorney Eluwa will discuss his journey into Immigration Law and explain the details of the Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama back on November 20, 2014.

Since opening the doors in 1995, the Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC, has become a comprehensive law practice that has successfully represented clients from numerous countries. The law offices provide all clients with high-quality legal services, including Immigration Law, Criminal Defense, Traffic Violations, and Personal Injury Claims. The Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC, represents families who have applied for permanent residence for their spouses, children, and other close relatives; people seeking to lawfully enter and reside in the United States and later apply for citizenship, and works on behalf of businesses and industries that sponsor highly skilled foreign workers seeking to enter the United States in a temporary or in some cases on a permanent basis.

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About Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC
Law Offices of John Eluwa, PLLC, has successfully represented clients from numerous countries in Immigration Law, Criminal Defense, Traffic Violations, and Personal Injury Claims. Established in 1995, the law offices has expanded and evolved, but remained focused with providing innovative and outstanding quality; and personal attention for its clients’ legal issues. The law offices operate from their main Downtown Raleigh, NC and satellite Clinton, NC offices. More information about the law offices’ practice areas, office information and social media is available at www.johneluwa.com; at Facebook at www.facebook.com/lawofficesofjohneluwa; at Twitter at twitter.com/AttorneyJEluwa; or the Official Blog at johneluwa.wordpress.com.

Contact: Kris Alvarenga
919-839-0733
kris@johneluwa.com

President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration

On November 20, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions to improve the enforcement of illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

These executive order initiatives include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks.
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs.
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

WE ARE THANKFUL… WE ARE THANKFUL… WE ARE THANKFUL… WE ARE THANKFUL

On this day of Thanksgiving we have so much to be thankful for… Our health. Our families. Our way of life and so much more… As you celebrate this American day of gratitude, please know that we wish the warmest of holidays for you and your family and when we give thanks for all the good in our lives, we give thanks for you. Happy Thanksgiving.