How does the budget bill affect immigrants in New Jersey?


How does the budget bill affect immigrants in New Jersey?Are you afraid of being stopped by the police or immigration?  Are you worried that immigration officials could separate you from your loved ones in the U.S.?  Then the recent budget bill that avoided a government shut down is something for you to be worried about. The 1.15 trillion dollar bill will affect you.

  1. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) is required to maintain 34,000 detention beds;
  2. Customs Border Patrol (CBP) is required to maintain 21,370 agents, and
  3. USCIS has to help fund some of their own programs.

Immigratoin officials are in a better position to find you, detain you, and deport you.  More about that below.

What other immigration changes does the bill have?

Changes to the Immigration Courts

The Executive Office of Immigration Review (immigration courts) will be hiring 55 new immigration judges.  New Jersey alone will be getting four new judges.  This will go a long way to help reduce backlogs.  For some immigrants who don’t qualify for an immigration benefit this means the day of their deportation from the U.S. will be sooner. For others who have been waiting for their trial date for years this is welcome news.  Today the New Jersey Immigration Courts are in chaos.  The judges are overwhelmed.  The staff is inadequate to the task.  New staff members and judges will go a long to solving the problems in New Jersey immigration courts.

Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

Some changes are worse than just strange.  For example, the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015.  This bill terminates the travel privileges for all citizens of Visa Waiver Program (citizens of those countries don’t need to apply at the U.S. consulate for a visa to enter the U.S. for up to 80 days) countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.  This bill also revokes these travel privileges for individuals who have traveled to countries such as Syria and Iraq since March 1, 2011.   The problem with this bill is it hasn’t been well thought out.  What happens to journalists and humanitarian workers who travel to these countries?  They all risk losing their travel privileges?  There needs to be a waiver process for those who are traveling for legitimate reasons to these countries.

Changes to the H2B program

An interesting change that the bill brings comes to the H-2B program, which allows U.S. employers to fill seasonal and temporary employment positions by recruiting foreign workers.  Under this new bill, anyone who has worked as part of the program in the past three years can work under the program again without being counted towards the 66,000 worker cap.  This change is controversial with some groups, as this leaves the possibility for all 66,000 workers from each of the past three years to come back and work for the program outside of the cap, which would result in the program employing 264,000 people.  Many groups feel that this influx of workers would result in the job market becoming overly saturated, but there is no concrete evidence as to how many workers would come back.

What does all of this mean for you?

Well at its basic level, this means the U.S. government will be ready, willing, and able to detain you, process you, and deport you out of the U.S. faster than ever.  ICE will have the agents it needs to arrest you.  There will be beds to hold you in, which means likely less discretion in immigration bonds and more people being detained, and the courts will hold more hearing and in shorter periods of time.  None of these issues point to any reform to the immigration system.

It is important that you protect yourself from any change that comes, as once that change is made it may be too late to help. This bill could have brought with it a lot of budget cuts, and these cuts could have resulted in the loss of many of the immigration programs that the immigrant community holds dear.  This is why we at Andres Mejer Law stress the need to protect yourself and to take advantage of every program that is available to you.  We offer two such programs, and would strongly encourage you to learn more about them.

What is the Safe Program?

The first program we offer is our SAFE program. The purpose of this program is to minimize your chances of being arrested for any crime or immigration violation. We give you an ID card that you can keep with you at all times and present to an officer if you are ever stopped.  It shows that you have hired an attorney.  All you have to do is present the card to the officer and inform them that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present. This makes it clear to the police officer that you know your rights.  On the back of the ID card is a list of some of your constitutional rights, as well as 24/7 phone number that is manned by an answering service. When you purchase this package you also receive a 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys every year, free of charge.

What is the Secure Program?

We also have a program called the SECURE program, which applies specifically to immigration issues.  When you are first detained by immigration, your family normally would need to scramble to find you legal representation.  Once a lawyer has been found for you, there will be multiple trips back and forth to the detention center to determine your options and have you fill out forms to get you out of detention.  What our SECURE program does, is make sure that all of that is taken care of beforehand.  We will run a background check in order to make sure we know anything ICE knows, and make sure that we can be as efficient as possible in getting you out of ICE custody as soon as we can.   You will be prepared, for the worst day of your life.

With the Secure program you get:

  1. Safe program for two years
  2. Preparation for Deferred Action – When the Deferred Action does get implemented you will get a guaranteed price, of which you would already have paid a significant amount
  3. FOIA background check – we request all information that immigration has on you, before you need it and without any risk to you
  4. FBI Criminal background check – we order your background so that we can evaluate and fix any problems that come up.  This is done safely without any risk to you and any problems we fix before you are in custody only increases your chances of getting out of detention.
  5. Bond Package – We prepare all the information to personally present it to an Immigration Judge or to a USCIS official depending on your immigration status, before you need it.

This is a total value of nearly $10,000.  You get it at a significant discounted rate because we have the time to prepare.  This isn’t done in a rushed fashion while you are detained, but months in advance.

It is very important that you do anything that you can to protect yourself, regardless if it is one of our programs or not.  We want to ensure that members of the American immigrant community are taken care of, and we want to do whatever we can to help you avoid the pitfalls of the American immigration system.

If you are ready to get started

  1. Call 888-695-6169 day or night and talk to our representative;
  2. Select the form on this page, in put your information, answer the questions, and get ready to be Safe and Secure; or
  3. Select the chat feature on this page.

At AML we help immigrants, one Safe and Secure program at a time.

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