Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

by on July 19, 2016 · 1 comment

in California, Civil Rights, Economy, History, Labor, San Diego

Immigration A to Z imageEditor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z  is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

3. If a person loses their deportation case at Immigration Court, and they want to challenge the decision, the usual course is to file an “appeal” with the BIA. The Board is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws.

4. There are four roads to citizenship.

  • (1) Birth in the United States
  • (2) Birth in another country, but one parent is a U.S. citizen
  • (3) Born in another country but you naturalize after meeting various requirements
  • (4) You derive citizenship, if you have a green card and are under 18, when your parent become a naturalized citizen

5. Deportation Defense is the act of defending an immigrant, usually in Immigration Court, who is facing deportation – the expulsion from a country for violating certain rules. In some areas of immigration law, the term “deportation” has been replaced by “removal”.

6. Extreme Hardship is the most commonly used legal formula for granting relief in cases involving deportable immigrants. However, the Extreme Hardship standard varies from program to program.

7. One way to obtain permanent resident status is by the sponsorship of close family relatives, including spouses, children, parents, and siblings. The rules are different depending on the sponsor’s immigration status: permanent residency vis-a-vis U.S. citizenship.

8. Green Cards refer to the documents given to persons who have become lawful permanent residents. This is a not the formal name, but it is still used – even though the card is not green. The formal government name for the card is Alien Registration Receipt Card.

9. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. A person is recruited to be controlled and held captive for the purpose of exploitation. It involves the use of coercion, deception, or force to place men, women, and children in slavery or slavery-like conditions. 14,500 to 17,500 immigrants are trafficked into the U.S. per year. Of this total, 70% are women, 50% are children.

10. IIRAIRA, which stands for the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, is one of the most widespread changes ever made to immigration law. Enacted in 1996, it greatly reduced the ability of immigrants to defend themselves against deportation and tightened the rules for seeking permanent residence.

11. When immigrants are detained, the government may charge them with a crime that results in mandatory detention. Immigration Judges cannot release a person subject to mandatory detention, but they can hold a “Joseph Hearing” to determine whether the convictions properly fall within the mandatory detention provisions.

12. This type of visa is issued to the immigrant fiancé or fiancée of a United States citizen to enter the United States to get married. The couple is required to get married within 90 days of the immigrant’s entry, or the immigrant has to return to his or her home country. Once the marriage has taken place, the immigrant can apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

13. This is a person born in another country who has been granted permission to live permanently in the United States, usually on the basis of ties to a family member or a U.S. employer. The immigrant is provided a document, referred to as a Green Card.

14. In certain cases, upon receiving a negative decision, an immigrant may file a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider. A motion to reopen is based on new evidence or changed circumstances. A motion to reconsider is based on new legal arguments stemming from wrong reasoning used in making the decision.

15. Naturalization is the most common path to U.S. citizenship status. Immigrants who earn lawful permanent residency are allowed to naturalize if they meet certain requirements.

16. When an immigrant enters the U.S. with a visa to stay for a limited period of time, but fails to leave when the authorized period expires, the immigrant is considered to be an overstay and subject to deportation or removal.

17. A priority date is like an invisible ticket. Once a person applies for a green card, they are given a date when the filing is received by immigration authorities. When visas are available for cases with that date, the immigrant can file documents to complete adjustment of status or consular processing.

18. U.S. deportation policy supports an unofficial detention bed quota. The bed quota requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to house an average of 34,000 individuals in detention on a daily basis. 62% of these immigrants are detained in private, for-profit detention centers.

19. If you and your spouse were married less than two years when his green card was approved, it was granted on a conditional basis. Both of you must apply together to remove the conditions on his green card during the 90 days before his second anniversary as a conditional resident. This allows him to convert to regular permanent residence status.

20. Suspension of Deportation was a primary defense for undocumented immigrants placed in immigration court proceedings to face charges of deportation. IIRAIRA replaced it with Cancellation of Removal, a more restrictive form of relief.

21. TPS stands for Temporary Protected Status. This is a special immigration program that allows immigrants from countries in turmoil to live and work temporarily in the United States. The turmoil may be caused by a natural disaster, widespread civil war, or other severe conditions. When the situation improves, the right to stay in the U.S. ends.

22. The U Visa is a special temporary status for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

23. V is for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This area of law is crucial to protect not only immigrant female spouses, but also immigration children (and – yes! – even immigrant male spouses) from physical, mental, and financial abuse at the hands of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

24. This is a request to forgive a characteristic or action that would otherwise lead to a denial of an immigrant’s application for benefits. Reasons that trigger the need to seek waivers include certain criminal convictions and having lived in the U.S. without permission.

25. Xenophobia is the fear and dislike of people from other countries. My parents did not teach me to hate. They taught me to love all people, no matter how different we may be. Xenophobia is not a sentiment worth embracing.

26. Like all individuals in our legal system, Youth Refugees deserve due process and fairness in their judicial proceedings.


For more about immigration, contact Carlos Batara Attorney at Law Tel: (800) 287-1180 Fax: (951) 929-0782 Email: Web:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sean Benton November 22, 2016 at 6:45 am

All the angles of immigration have been covered fairly well. This is a good read and one can understand the entire procedure easily after reading this. Thanks for sharing these tips. The content of the article does justify the title very well.


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