Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: Accion Diferida, AILA, AILA-CFC, Deferred Action | No Comments »
Visit our website, DeferredActionFlorida.com for more information on DACA and fill out our form to apply.
Cite as “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14060545 (posted Jun. 5, 2014)”
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commends U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for releasing details of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process so that applicants can begin their renewal process in a timely manner.
“It is great to see USCIS continue this important initiative,” said T. Douglas Stump, President of AILA. He continued, “These two-year grants of deferred action have already made a tremendous impact on the lives of so many young people and on the communities in which they live, study, and work. It is vital that those granted deferred action not let those important grants lapse.”
The temporary grant of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is given in increments of two years and offers the chance for work authorization, in most cases a driver’s license, and in some areas, in-state tuition for public colleges and universities. Renewal applicants will need to submit Form I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization,” and the I-765 Worksheet. The $465 fee for filing and biometrics will need to be paid; USCIS will conduct a new background check for those renewing DACA.
“My message to DACA recipients is to start work on it now, so that you are ready to file when you come within about 120 days of the expiration of your current grant period,” Mr. Stump warned. He added, “Processing could take months and you do not want to lose your work authorization because you didn’t get your forms in on time. For anyone who has a question, has had a change in their circumstances since receiving DACA, or is still deciding whether to apply, I encourage you to seek the advice of qualified counsel. Sometimes an immigration attorney will find that you are eligible for another, more permanent type of relief or may help you discover that a change in circumstances changes your eligibility or your risks. Getting help is a good idea for anyone with questions to avoid submitting erroneous information to USCIS and clouding your future.”
Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: Accion Diferida, AILA, AILA-CFC, Deferred Action, Detainers, Unaccompanied Children, Unaccompanied Minors | No Comments »
AILA CFC Advocates for Unaccompanied Children at Border
Country conditions in Central American countries such as El Salvador and Honduras have resulted in over 50,000 unaccompanied minor children making treacherous journeys to seek safety in the U.S. since October 2013. Some may be able to stay in the U.S. if they can demonstrate that their lives will be jeopardized if they returned to their country of origin. The Obama administration has started to speed up the process of scheduling immigration hearings on these children. AILA National, AILA Central Florida and legal aid organizations in Central Florida are working together to ensure that children in this region at least have basic legal representation.
The Obama Administration is considering administrative fixes due to Congressional inaction on immigration reform. These include potential remedies for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens here, and revising the way available green card numbers are counted so as to reduce waiting times in employment and family-based categories. An announcement could come as early as this month. AILA has been on the front line of presenting potential administrative fixes to the administration.
AILA CFC Works to End Unlawful “Detainers”
Detainers are the so-called “immigration holds” that local police engage in on behalf of ICE. When someone suspected by law enforcement to be undocumented is detained by local police such as for a traffic stop, Sheriff’s offices are permitted to hold that individual for 48 hours while ICE determined their immigration status or whether to pursue removal proceedings against them.
Often Sheriff’s offices hold people for much longer than 48 hours. Some of these individuals are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Immigration violations are a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and these individuals should not be held indefinitely without probable cause that they have committed a crime. Counties incur substantial costs and liability in breaking the law on behalf of ICE.
Due to efforts by the ACLU, The Miami Law School Immigration Law Clinic, AILA Central Florida, and AILA South Florida, and other organizations, Sheriff’s offices throughout the state are ceasing these detainers unless there is probable cause to detain.
Posted: June 18th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Press Release, Victoria Karins | 1 Comment »
Victoria Karins Re-Assumes Role as Leader of Central Florida Immigration Attorneys
Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins
Sarasota, FL 6/16/2014: Sarasota attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins was re-elected Chair of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in June. She assumes this leadership role amid an era of change in immigration law.
The announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been followed by the stall of immigration reform in the House. During this time, the Obama Administration has made additional changes at the Federal level to immigration procedure that build on Deferred Action.
Changes have also occurred at the state level. Bills that allow undocumented childhood arrivals to qualify for in-state tuition and to practice law in Florida are among a few of the latest developments.
Ms. Karins brings continuity and experience to her role as Chair. This is the second year in a row she’s been elected to the leadership and she has practiced immigration law for almost 20 years.
She has been taking an active part in her role; traveling to DC twice to speak before lawmakers and blogging for the AILA website.
“I’m honored to have been elected to the leadership by such dedicated and hard-working peers,” Ms. Karins said. “It’s very interesting to be so involved at this time of transformation,” she continued.
Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Jose Samperio, Victoria Karins | No Comments »
Attorney Victoria Karins was asked to write a guest blog post on the AILA Blog. We reposted the article below.
Author: Guest Blogger on 05/08/2014
Last week, the Florida legislature passed two bills that are heading to Governor Rick Scott, who has stated that he will sign them. One grants in-state tuition to undocumented “Dreamers.” Another will allow Jose Godinez-Samperio, a DACA recipient and law school graduate, the ability to be a licensed attorney in the State. Jose was in Tallahassee in the gallery on the day the Florida House passed the bill. He was given a standing ovation.
I am still shaking my head. What happened to Florida? Gov. Scott ran on a platform in 2010 that called for Arizona-type laws to be enacted. Four years later, he is supporting significant pro-immigration legislation. I thought we could easily count on current Florida leadership to remain oppositional to any pro-immigration issue that was not forced upon them.
It would be easy to be cynical and chalk it up to politics. It is an election year, after all, and perhaps some politicians are finally realizing it is not a bad idea to try to garner favor in the immigrant community.
Certainly I believe that is a big part of it. But, I also think that we may be witnessing a change in attitude across the board.
After the vote last Friday, I was contacted by a local newspaper columnist who had written earlier in the week in support of the Jose Godinez-Samperio bill. He had received responses from readers asking questions such as “Why didn’t he apply for citizenship?” “Why does he need a special law, couldn’t he have started the citizenship process during law school?” “Didn’t he want to become a citizen?”
He contacted me to make sure he was not missing anything – that there had been no change to federal immigration law recently of which he was not aware. I assured him that no, there had been no recent change.
The columnist, Tom Lyons, from the Sarasota Herald Tribune, then wrote a follow-up column clarifying that Jose did not have the option of obtaining citizenship and said of the questioners:
the more I thought about those people who wanted to know why that would-be lawyer hadn’t applied for citizenship, the more I thought kindly of them. Though they apparently missed a key point in the nation’s immigration debate, I think their question was based on a nice assumption. They assumed that U.S. law couldn’t be as rigid and mean as it actually is.
This illustrates what I believe is also happening in Florida; people are becoming more educated about the issues. And as they get more educated, they may be becoming more compassionate…and passionate to do the right thing.
I only hope that the individuals in office at the national level take a look at what is happening in Florida since I hear Florida might just be a tad bit important when it comes to presidential elections. I hope they realize that the House really needs to follow Florida’s lead and move forward on immigration reform.
By Victoria Jaensch Karins, Chair, AILA Central Florida Chapter
Posted: February 3rd, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Rebecca Tallent, Victoria Jaensch Karins | No Comments »
I recently returned from the AILA CFC conference where one of the topics of discussion was immigration reform. Below I’ve included some signs that AILA sees as positive for immigration reform this year.
- John Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent, a top immigration policy aide who formerly worked for Sen McCain
- Only 16 Republicans signed on to a recent letter to Obama stating their opposition to immigration reform
- Rep. Goodlatte took over the House Judiciary Committee (the committee from which any immigration bill will derive) from Rep. Lamar Smith, one of the most anti-immigrant legislators of the last two decades. Some of that anti-immigrant staff loyal to Lamar and the anti-immigrant slant remain on Goodlatte’s staff, who are still very publicly anti-immigration reform. But Goodlatte has of late been slowly stepping out publicly about immigration reform’s chances (for instance, saying that House Republicans will push to make it harder for undocumented to have a path to citizenship but easier to live and work in the U.S. – meaning some form of legalization seems to now be acceptable to House Republicans if there is no path to citizenship.
- NY Times: GOP Leadership Backs Legal Status for Many Undocumented Immigrants. According to The New York Times, the House Republican leadership’s outline of immigration principles will call for a path to legal status, but not citizenship, for many of the 11 million adult undocumented immigrants in this country. For immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, however, Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: AILA, Immigration Attorney, USCIS, Victoria Jaensch Karens | No Comments »
Originally posted on ILW.com.
USCIS successfully prosecutes unlicensed immigration attorney thanks to tip from the Central Florida Chapter of AILA.
TAMPA – The efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services led to the successful sentencing of a Tampa-area woman on September 18 to six months confinement, six months home detention and three years of probation for falsely using official seals of the United States. Maria Virginia Constantinou pleaded guilty on May 29 to falsely using the seal of the Department of Homeland Security to perpetuate her unlicensed practice of immigration law and defrauding dozens of victims to pay her “legal fees” to help them obtain lawful immigration status.
USCIS learned about Constantinou’s activities from a tip from the local American Immigration Lawyers Association. That tip was investigated by USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and resulted in subsequent charges against Constantinou. Tampa and Orlando FDNS worked with agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to bring the case to prosecution.
“We at USCIS are proud to have generated this case for successful prosecution,” said Kimberly Dean, Chief of FDNS in the Southeast Region. “Constantinou victimized immigrants for personal gain and misrepresented USCIS. We are committed to combatting deceptive practices to ensure the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”
According to court documents, Constantinou presented herself to immigrants in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas as an attorney who could assist them with immigration proceedings with the U.S. government. In reality, Constantinou is not a licensed attorney.
Constantinou accepted payment from her victims based on the false statement that she would submit immigration paperwork for them. Constantinou would then produce documents that appeared to be from USCIS to the victims to make them believe she had submitted paperwork on their behalf. These documents were false and contained false seals of the United States. Constantinou never submitted paperwork to USCIS on behalf of her victims.
USCIS launched an initiative to combat the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law with the goal of equipping applicants, legal service providers and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices. Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for more information.
Victoria Jaensch Karins is the current president of the Central Florida Chapter of AILA. For more information regarding this release please contact her via telephone: 941-366-9841.
Ten cuidado con quién trabaja
Condenan a una mujer quien ejercía la ley de inmigración sin licencia a seis meses de reclusión.
Originalmente publicado en ILW.com.
USCIS, con la ayuda del capítulo de la Florida Central de la Asociación Americana de Abogados de Inmigración (AILA) procesa con éxito a una mujer quien ejercía la ley de inmigración sin licencia.
TAMPA – Los esfuerzos de los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de EE.UU. (USCIS) llevó a la condena el 18 de septiembre a una mujer del área de Tampa. Está condenada a seis meses de reclusión, seis meses de arresto domiciliario y tres años de libertad condicional por uso falso de sellos oficiales de los Estados Unidos. Maria Virginia Constantinou se declaró culpable el 29 de mayo al uso falso del sello del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional para perpetuar la práctica no autorizada de la ley de inmigración y al estafar decenas de víctimas quienes le pagaron “gastos legales.”
USCIS aprendió sobre las actividades de Constantinou por un informe del capítulo de la Florida Central de AILA. La investigación por el USCIS dio lugar a las siguientes cargas contra Constantinou. Los Departementos Federales de Seguridad Nacional (FDNS) de Tampa y Orlando trabajaron con agentes de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) para llevar el caso al juicio.
“Nosotros en USCIS sentimos orgullosos de haber generado este caso para su enjuiciamiento exitoso”, dijo Kimberly Dean , Jefe de FDNS de la Región Sudeste. “Constantinou perjudicó a inmigrantes para beneficiarse personalmente y tergiversó a USCIS. Estamos comprometidos con la lucha contra las prácticas engañosas para asegurar la integridad del sistema de inmigración de nuestra nación”.
Constantinou se presentaba a los inmigrantes en la Bahía de Tampa y Orlando como abogada que les podría ayudar en los procedimientos de inmigración con el gobierno de EE.UU. En realidad, Constantinou no es un abogado con licencia.
Constantinou aceptaba el pago de sus víctimas basándose en la falsa afirmación de que iba a presentar documentos a inmigración en sus nombres. Constantinou entonces producía documentos que parecían ser de USCIS para hacerles creer a sus víctimas de que los había presentado. Estos documentos eran falsos y contenían falsos sellos de los Estados Unidos. Constantinou nunca presentó documentación al USCIS.
USCIS puso en marcha una iniciativa para combatir el ejercicio no autorizado de la ley de inmigración con el objetivo de dotar a los solicitantes, proveedores de servicios legales y de las organizaciones basadas en la comunidad con el conocimiento y las herramientas necesarias para detectar y protegerse de las prácticas deshonestas. Visite www.uscis.gov/avoidscams para más información.
Victoria Jaensch Karins es el actual presidente del Capítulo de la Florida Central de AILA. Para obtener más información acerca del acontecimiento, por favor póngase en contacto con ella a través del teléfono : 941-366-9841.