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Immigration Blog

Trump-Travel-Ban Trump Travel Ban and Dual Citizens Immigration Law Blog Travel Law

Trump Travel Ban and Dual Citizens

The executive order banning entrance into the country for foreign nationals from seven countries has made more than headlines. The State Department has tried to clarify the people who are actually being banned, and it seems that any naturalized citizen of the U.S. will not be affected.

Trump-Travel-Ban Trump Travel Ban and Dual Citizens Immigration Law Blog Travel Law

There was a concern about the ban on anyone who has dual citizenship. An example cited on Quartz.com at the time explained that a person with dual citizenship in the U.K. and Iran would not be allowed into the U.S. for a period of ninety days – even if traveling under their British passport . That would give the State Department time to vet them before allowing them to visit.

The wording of the provision barring those with dual citizenship was alarming to those in our country who have dual citizenship in the U.S. and one of the banned countries. The State Department has since clarified that if the person was traveling under their U.S. passport, there would be no ban to their entry.

The Gray Area of Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship cited in the ban was only dual citizenship in two foreign countries. The whole idea of dual citizenship in two countries has always been an ambiguous one in the United States. This was brought to new heights by the travel ban but there are other longer standing gray areas that have been clarified over the years by the Supreme Court.

A person who becomes a naturalized citizen in this country but wants to maintain citizenship in their native country does have the right to do so. When a citizen of the U.S. accepts citizenship in another country due to a marriage or taking employment in that country, the State Department will not expatriate that person unless they commit certain acts – such as, unless the person enters military service in a country at war with the U.S. or they take an oath renouncing U.S. citizenship, or they take other actions that reveal intent to expatriate themselves from U.S. citizenship.

The person who wants to retain their citizenship in their homeland but also become a naturalized citizen in the U.S. may have reservations about taking the loyalty oath. The oath includes the statement “I hereby declare that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” That would seem to rule out the idea of retaining the ancestral country’s citizenship, but rulings from the Supreme Court have allowed people to maintain dual citizenship and the State Department seems to only mildly discourage the practice.

In light of the travel ban and other laws that may pass in the future, dual citizenship may have some new problem areas no one can anticipate right now. At present the stance of the State Department, though seemingly murky, is actually pretty clear. You can pledge allegiance to two countries and maintain dual citizenship.

Know Where You Stand

Even with defined laws and regulations, knowing exactly where you stand when it comes to your immigration status can be very confusing. The immigration law team at Gambacorta Law Office has extensive experience in these matters and we can work with you to ensure the best possible resolution to your specific legal situation. Whether applying for dual citizenship, or being interviewed by the INS or Homeland Security, we can help you protect your rights and help you properly answer any questions the government may have about your current status.

Explanation of Terms Relating to Immigration

Explanation-of-Terms-Relating-to-Immigration Explanation of Terms Relating to Immigration Immigration Law Blog    Immigration laws can be very complex, even for those who deal with them every day. And with new legislation and the advent of the executive order involving travel to and from the United States, things are getting even more complicated. Those who have come to the United States seeking all that the country has to offer may not really know what their exact status is according to our laws. Here are some terms from the National Conference of State Legislatures that everyone should know.

Immigrant – In actual legal terms, an immigrant is someone who is here legally. Another term for immigrant may be a legal alien. This term doesn’t include temporary visitors or students.

Qualified Alien – This term describes lawful permanent residents, refugees, Cuban, Haitian, and asylees (people granted asylum). A qualified alien may have been paroled into the United States for a period lasting a year, they could be aliens granted conditional entry into the U.S., or granted withholding of deportation from the U.S., or a battered spouse with their children. These aliens are eligible for federal public funds if they had attained qualified status before August 22, 1996.

Not Qualified Alien – This designation simply can mean a person not included in the term defined above. The not qualified alien is ineligible for any public funds due to the welfare reform act of 1996. Not qualified aliens are those who are undocumented immigrants and non-immigrants.

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) – The lawfully permanent resident has been given the right to permanently reside in the U.S. In essence they are green card holders. They are granted this right due to family relations or a particular job skill. People seeking asylum and refugees must move into this category after residing here for a year, and after five years they may apply for naturalization.

Naturalization – This process is how a person can attain permanent citizenship of the U.S. They must be at least 18 years old and have lived in the U.S. for five years, or three years if they are married to a U.S. citizen. There is a testing procedure to see if they have a familiarization with English, with American government, and with U.S. history.

These terms have been getting thrown around for a long time by many with no clear understanding, which may have immigrants in our country confused as to what their status is under the law, both federal and state. The uproar over the travel ban certainly led to confusion for nearly everyone involved.  During this time many travelers were incorrectly being referred to as immigrants, when most were temporary visitors.

Those who have arrived in our country and those who reside here face many challenges, including knowing what their current legal status is and what steps need to be taken to ensure they are not in violation of any laws. Even if they aren’t here illegally, difficulty with the English language and the law may lead to them failing to represent themselves correctly when confronted by an INS or Homeland Security official.

The attorneys at the Gambacorta Law Team have ample experience with immigration law.  Our attorneys have the expertise to deal with any government entity (state, local, or federal) when it comes to the rights of those not originally from the U.S. If you are unsure of your legal status or if you have a problem involving proving your legal rights to stay in this country, contact our offices in your state to find out how we can help.

President Trump’s Executive Order on U.S. Immigration

Law-concept-copy President Trump’s Executive Order on U.S. Immigration Immigration Law Blog    On Friday January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that limits U.S. Immigration from admitting foreigners from seven countries that are supposedly Muslim inhabited. All refugee entrants are suspended for 120 days and Syrian refugees are barred for an unspecified time.

During his election campaign, President Donald Trump’s had placed National Security a focus.  At one point, he called for “A total and complete ban” on all Muslims seeking to enter the United States.  However, the executive order does not target Muslims seeking to immigrate to the U.S.  According to the White House Spokesman, Sean Spicer observed that the seven countries were already the seven countries listed by the Obama Administration.

The United States of America allows the citizens of more than 30 countries to visit the U.S. temporarily without a visa under this program. That visa waiver program does not apply if a citizen of an eligible country has visited—with some exceptions—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011—under measures put in place by the Obama administration.  Those foreigners must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate. These seven countries listed are under section 217(a) (12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a) (12) of the U.S. code, and it is under this code that Trump’s executive order cited while banning citizens of those nations.

Not a Muslim Ban

While the executive order may include seven major Muslim countries it does not target Muslims.  Muslims from Pakistan, Egypt and Arabia and other nations can still enter the United States for short visits.  The President of the United States is simply ensuring the protection of U.S. Citizens so that those visiting do not engage in hostile activities towards the country’s fundamental truths.  The United States of America cannot and should not, allow entrance to those who do not support the Constitution, or to those who would place violent ideologies over the American laws.  The United States of America should not admit persons who attempt to participate in acts of bigotry or hate crimes (which include, “Honor Killings” or other forms of violence against women, or persecute those who practice religions different from their own) or those seeking to oppress Americans of any sexual orientation, gender, or race.

The Impact on Legal Permanent Residents

Per the statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security, the number of U.S. legal permanent residents from these seven countries is relatively small.  For example: 1,016,518 U.S. Green Cards were distributed in 2014.  Of this given number, 19,153 were provided to the Iraqis and 11,615 to the Iranians.  According to ProPublica, these two countries have many U.S. permanent residents from the seven nations, in which altogether have 500,000 U.S. lawful permanent residents in the U.S.  The seven countries have record of 40% of U.S. refugee intake.

Who is Restricted?

People and countries under the restriction of the executive order.  Any refugee who is out of country and has a pending immigration case on any visa classification in the United States is barred for 120 days from entering the U.S.  Countries on the list that will be denied temporary entry in the U.S. are:

  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Libya
  • Yemen

President Donald Trump stated that more countries could still to be added to the list.

Dual Citizenship and Green Card Holders Affected

One vital question for the thousands affected by the new executive order is: “How will the order affect U.S. Green Card holders and people with dual citizenships?”

  • While there is, some uncertainty regarding dual citizenship holders, immigrants from the 7 countries who have a nationality or dual nationality will be barred for 90 days from entering the U.S., or will not be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. Visa holders of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas will not be allowed entry into the United States throughout this timeframe.  This guidance means that if an Iranian national holds a Canadian citizenship, he or she will not be allowed to enter the United States.
  • If you have a U.S. legal permanent resident status you should not have a problem. In recent news from the White House, the topic of U.S. legal permanent residents has gone back and forth.  First it was stated that U.S. green card holders would be affected by the order.  Then it was stated that each situation will be considered on a case by case basis.  Currently, U.S. legal permanent residents and U.S. Green Card Holders will not be affected, moving forward.

Other Issues Concerning the Executive Order

  • Emergency Situations: In any situation that requires travel out of country, it is best to consult with a U.S. immigration attorney before travelling abroad. However, if you are already overseas and you are a citizen of any of the seven countries under the executive order, you might have an issue returning to U.S. territory.  Seek legal counsel before boarding a flight, it is in your best interest to know your options.
  • Naturalized Citizens: Foreigners from the seven countries listed who are naturalized U.S. citizens should not have a problem. However, if you are travelling frequently during this time, you might be interrogated.
  • Can My Relatives Tag Along: If I am a U.S. citizen and my relative wants to tag along and he or she is not from one of the countries under the order they may not face difficulties at any of the port of entries in the U.S.
  • Family or Friends Who are Refugees: Family or friends who have a Refugee application awaiting an approval must know that the refugee program is currently paused for a minimum of 120 days. This order is not only applicable to the seven countries listed.
  • The Resettlement Process: Regarding the Syrian country, the resettlement process has been halted for an unspecified time.

The United States Policy

Ultimately, it is the United States policy to protect Americans from foreigners who seek to commit terrorist attacks in the United States of America.  The U.S. will prevent admission of immigrants who seek to exploit the U.S. Immigration Laws for hostile purposes.

Consult a Professional Immigration Attorney

If you or a family member is caught up in an emergency and you need to exit or enter the country, visit your nearest immigration attorney to help you.  Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today, 847-786-2599 for an office consultation. Our offices are in Illinois, Arizona, Hawaii and Texas.  Our team is ready to diligently represent you.

Additional Articles of Interest:

TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ACTION CAUSES FEAR FOR IMMIGRANTS IN AND HOPING TO ENTER THE U.S.

APPLYING FOR NONIMMIGRANT VISA OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME COUNTRY

Trump’s Executive Action Causes Fear for Immigrants in and Hoping to Enter the U.S.

When Trump was elected President of the United States in November of 2016, many immigrants in the U.S. became nervous. Thousands more had their hopes all but dashed at the prospect of being able to come into the country.

New-Trump-immigration-order-300x159 Trump’s Executive Action Causes Fear for Immigrants in and Hoping to Enter the U.S. Uncategorized    The Executive Action that is “in the works,” according to the Trump administration, is being created in an effort to “protect the American people from terrorist attacks.” The administration also goes further and states that it is designed to ensure the people entering the country don’t have hostile attitudes toward the country or its founding principles.

However, many people are still unclear about exactly what the Executive Action is going to do and how it is going to affect current and future immigrants.

A rundown of what is expected to come from this document includes:

Full Block on Syrian Refugees

Once the Executive Action is in place, it is likely there will be a full block on all Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. for an indefinite period of time until the President lifts the band. During this period, safe zones are to be created in Syria to house individuals who are awaiting resettlement.

Bar Additional Refugees

The action will also block all other refugees for a period of at least 120 days. During this period, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 2017 will be reviewed and new vetting procedures will be enacted.

The action is also designed to reduce the total number of refugees that are eventually admitted in 2017 to just 50,000. This is lower than the number proposed by the Obama Administration.

Prioritize Non-Muslim Refugees

While there is likely going to be a ban on all refugees for a certain period of time, those who are non-Muslim may receive priority status. This is especially true for those who are religious minorities who are suffering some type of persecution.

Suspend Entry and Visas

It is expected that for a period of at least 30 days, the ability to come into the U.S. and issuance of visas for individuals from Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Iran will be suspended. During this period, the government will take time to review the screening process used for admitting entry to these individuals.

Create a Biometric Entry-Exit System

In an effort to better track foreign nationals in the U.S. a biometric entry-exit tracking system is expected to be developed. This can help prevent individuals from overstaying their allotted amount of time.

For many immigrants, these new stipulations and requirements are extremely scary. However, for those who want to immigrate into the U.S. legally, it is still possible. The best course of action is to hire a quality immigration attorney. They can evaluate the situation and determine what needs to be done to expedite the process.

To learn more about immigration law, contact The Gambacorta Law Office, LLC today.

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Helpful Tips to Get Through Your U.S. Citizenship Interview

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a dream most immigrants have for a long time. In order to become a citizen, you will have to perform a variety of tasks.

U.S.-Immigration-Interview-300x157 Helpful Tips to Get Through Your U.S. Citizenship Interview Immigration Law Blog    One of the most important parts of the U.S. citizenship process is the interview. During this interview, you will be asked a variety of questions. The answers you give play a big role in regards to whether or not your citizenship request is approved.

The following are some tips on how to prepare for your U.S. citizenship interview.

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Applying for Nonimmigrant Visa Outside of your Home Country

Nonimmigrant-Visa-300x157 Applying for Nonimmigrant Visa Outside of your Home Country Immigration Law Blog    Generally, every foreigner wanting to visit the United States of America as a tourist, student or under some other temporary visa is allowed to apply for a non-immigrant visa.  Applying for a non-immigrant visa cannot only be done at the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy of one’s own home country.

Many foreigners apply in a third-country not knowing that this can or may not be favorable unless if you are travelling and have decided to enter the U.S.

However, there are instances in which you may not want to apply for a visa at a country not your own.  Applying for a nonimmigrant visa at another country may not be what is best for you as the applicant especially if you have violated U.S. immigration laws.
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The Naturalization Oath Ceremony

Naturalization-Oath-Ceremony-300x157 The Naturalization Oath Ceremony Immigration Law Blog    After USCIS approves your Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), you will then be scheduled to attend a Naturalization Ceremony and participate in the Oath of Allegiance which is the final part of the process in becoming a U.S. citizen.

Types of Ceremonies

  • Judicial Ceremony, the court organizes the Oath of Allegiance
  • Administrative Ceremony, USCIS directs the Oath of Allegiance

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Being in Control of Your U.S. Conditional Residency

A U.S. Green Card that has a two year expiration date is a Conditional Resident Card. While the conditional resident status cannot be renewed, a Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence can be filed withU.S.-Conditional-Green-Card-300x157 Being in Control of Your U.S. Conditional Residency Immigration Law Blog  U.S. green card Removing Conditional Residency Form I-751   the nearest USCIS office.

It is important that your application is submitted 90 days prior to expiration date on conditional green card.
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Applying for Advance Parole with DACA Status

Advance-Parole Applying for Advance Parole with DACA Status Immigration Law Blog    Recipients of a DACA status may sometimes have the need to travel outside of the U.S. either for a family emergency or some other circumstance beyond their control.

When confronted by a situation like this many individuals are afraid to travel overseas for fear of losing their DACA status and not being able to legally reenter the United States.

Thanks to Advance Parole, DACA holders can now enjoy the privilege of travelling in and out of the U.S. without losing their status.

Before intending to travel abroad find out if there are any risks, this way you can be prepared for any unexpected incidents.
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