Articles Posted in Immigration

Attorneys Daniel Hilf and Sufen Hilf, of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC recently were selected for their legal expertise to appear on CW50’s Street Beat program concerning immigration law.  Their segment is scheduled for broadcast on Sunday June 2, 2013 at 12:30 a.m..  Repeats of this program will be available to be viewed online after June 2, 2013 at

Street Beat goes behind the headlines to focus on community issues and stories of interest to Metro Detroit presented in an upbeat mix of in-studio interviews and pre-produced packages by a crew of local people dedicated to improving our city.
For more information please visit the link below.

A person inside the United States can obtain asylum for himself or herself (and derivatively for the asylum applicant’s spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years old) if he or she can demonstrate that he or she has suffered past persecution or has a well founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.  Persecution in some circumstances may include, but is not limited to, physical abuse, mental abuse, interference with a person’s privacy, being forced to live in substandard dwellings, exclusions from work or educational institutions, constant surveillance, forced family planning, mutilation, etc.  Whether or not a individual was or might be persecuted, or has a well founded fear of persecution, is a matter of interpretation.  Persecution must amount to more than mere harassment or annoyance.  Persecution can be either by the government or a group that the government cannot or will not control. If the applicant can establish past persecution, there is a presumption of future persecution.  If past persecution is established there is a presumption of persecution and the burden shifts to the government to rebut that presumption. It is up to the applicant to prove a nexus (meaning that there is a relationship) between the past or feared persecution and its connection to the race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion of the applicant.

An asylum applicant only needs to show that there is a reasonable possibility that he or she will be persecuted.  The well founded fear must be established both subjectively (meaning that the applicant actually has the fear)  and objectively (meaning that there are specific facts through objective evidence or through persuasive credible testimony and that this evidence would cause a reasonable person to experience a fear of persecution).  According to the important case of Matter of Mogharrabi, 19 I&N Dec. 439 (BIA 1987), there are 4 elements that the asylum applicant must show in order to establish a well-founded fear of persecution (1) the applicant possesses a belief or characteristic a persecutor seeks to overcome in others by means of punishment of some sort; (2) the persecutor is already aware, or could become aware, that the applicant possesses this belief or characteristic; (3) the persecutor has the capability of punishing the applicant; and (4) the persecutor has the inclination to punish the applicant.
In order to gain asylum, the alien must persuade the Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge that he or she is credible.  It is recommended that you hire the experienced immigration lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC to handle your asylum claim.  Pursuant to the REAL ID Act, an Immigration Judge may grant asylum based on the testimony of the applicant, but only where the applicant is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant is a refugee.  Unless the Asylum Officer and/or Immigration Judge is satisfied that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain the evidence, the Asylum Officer and/or Immigration Judge may require additional evidence to corroborate the applicant’s testimony.  In the vast majority of cases, due to the REAL ID Act, corroboration is required.  What will be considered as corroborating evidence depends upon the specific facts of the applicant’s case.  Examples of items which may constitute corroborating evidence include: affidavits, letters, newspaper articles, arrest records, medical records, photographs, etc., etc.  Obviously, the quality, quantity, and credibility of the corroborating evidence all play a role in the decision reached as to the claim for asylum.  All exhibits in a language other than English must have certified translations provided.

The most serious of all immigration violations is a False Claim of United States Citizenship.  This acts as a permanent bar for any form of immigration relief.  This fraud or willful misrepresentation, which involves making a false claim of United States citizenship for any purpose or benefit under United States immigration laws or others laws, renders the alien inadmissible pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii).  If substantiated, the alien in most cases is not able to obtain: admission into the United States; a visa to come to the United States or remain in the United States; or permanent residence.  The only possible waiver available is for situations where the alleged False Claim of United States Citizenship occurred on or before September 30, 1996.

A False Claim of United States Citizenship is more typical in connection with an alien’s entry to the United States, admission to the United States, or concerning visa applications.  It also occurs when the alien is seeking some form of a benefit, such as employment (either private or with the government), welfare, the ability to vote, or driving privileges in States that inquire into citizenship. Some persons make a False Claim of United States Citizenship to police officers or probation officers when they are arrested or convicted of crimes to hopefully avoid ICE detection for their criminality.
It is important to stress that other fraud violations that do not involve a False Claim of United States Citizenship do not necessarily act as a permanent bar. The alien may be able to obtain waivers depending upon his or her circumstances.  Any alien who is accused of fraud, or who requires a waiver, needs the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has decided to allow the issuance of Michigan Driver’s licenses and State IDs for DACA participants, beginning on February 19, 2013.  Previously, Michigan was among a small number of States to resist allowing this to occur.  Ruth Johnson, a Republican, changed her mind recently after the Obama administration clarified its legal position.

In order to meet the eligibility requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) all of the following must apply to the individual:
1. Must have entered the United States prior to his or her 16th birthday;

There are hundreds of EB-5 Regional Centers approved by the USCIS, however the approval is not an endorsement that the investment itself is sound or that participation will lead to an I-526 and I-829 approval.  It is wise for the investor to remember that the lawyer that he or she employs cannot give investment advice, and that it is prudent to consult with both a financial adviser as well as an experienced immigration lawyer before making any decisions as to investing in a particular EB-5 Regional Center. The following are a list of questions that are important to contemplate before trusting you money and future with an EB-5 Regional Center:

1.  What is the record for I-526 approvals and I-526 denials received by the Regional Center?  For denials, what is the reason or reasons for the denial?
The number of I-526 approvals and I-526 denials is a good indicator (but not the only indicator) as to whether or not a particular Regional Center is worthy of consideration.  Other indicators can be discussed with experienced immigration lawyers, such as the lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC.

In Michigan, pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law 791.234b, a prisoner who has a final order of deportation against him or her by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service may be paroled after serving at least 1/2 of the minimum sentence imposed by the Court.  Persons who have been convicted of first degree homicide, second degree homicide, first degree criminal sexual conduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct, third degree criminal sexual conduct, and/or as a habitual offender are not eligible for this relief.

The parole board will not place a prisoner on parole under this section of the law unless it received from the United States immigration and naturalization service assurances that an order of deportation will be executed or proceedings will promptly commence for purposes of deportation upon release from the Michigan Department of Corrections and that the person will not be released from custody for any reason other than deportation, unless the United States immigration and naturalization service provides to the Michigan Parole Board a reasonable opportunity to be returned to the Michigan Department of Corrections.
A prisoner granted this relief will be placed on parole for a period equal to the remaining balance of his or her maximum sentence.  If the prisoner returns illegally to the United States at any time prior than the expiration of the maximum term of parole, a warrant shall be issued to apprehend the individual and the individual’s parole shall be revoked.  A prisoner returned under this provision of the law is not eligible for parole or any other release from confinement during the remainder of his or her maximum sentence.  Hence, the repercussions for illegally returning to the United States after being granted this benefit are potentially quite severe.

An alien with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics can petition for United States immigration benefits pursuant to the regulation at 8 C.F.R. 204.5(h)(3).  The spouse and/or children of an alien with an extraordinary ability can also gain United States immigration benefits derivatively through the alien of extraordinary ability’s successful petition.  Extraordinary ability means a level of expertise indicating that the individual is one of that small percentage who have risen to the very top of that field of endeavor. An that alien can establish sustained national or international acclaim through evidence of a one time achievement (that is, a major, internationally recognized award) can potentially satisfy this requirement.  What constitutes a “sustained acclaim” and a “major, internationally recognized award” are discretionary issues which are often subject to the interpretation of the reviewing officer. Great advocacy is a necessity to properly argue these issues.

Absent the alien’s receipt of such an award, the regulation outlines ten criteria, at least three of which must be satisfied for an alien to establish the sustained acclaim necessary to qualify as an alien of extraordinary ability. The ten criteria are as follows:

1.  Evidence of receipt of a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of endeavor;

 Advice If You Are Stopped Or Detained By ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Do not lie to a federal officer. An ICE officer is a federal officer. Lying to a federal officer could constitute criminal obstruction of justice which could be considered an aggravated felony. A criminal conviction (such as an aggravated felony) is a potential ground for removal from the United States. The ICE officer has access to databases and other information to potentially determine your identity and your status, or lack of status, in the United States. A false claim of citizenship is one of the most serious offenses in the eyes of immigration, and will lead to deportation with no waiver available at all. You are better off saying nothing than telling a lie.

Keep important documentation with you (preferably not your passport). If you have a work permit or any other document from immigration authorities, always keep it with you in case you are stopped by ICE. If asked for your work permit, present it to the officer. If you have any documentation for a local address, keep it with you. If you obtained a green card, make sure you have it handy or else you could be subject to a $500 penalty along with the hassle of ICE trying to confirm your identity. Proof of residency, such as a state ID, may be critical if a bond determination is made by an Immigration Court.

Participation in the DREAM Act means that individuals brought to the United States as children as “illegal aliens” who meet certain requirements will not be deported or placed into removal proceedings.  Moreover, the ability to work legally in the United States also will become a reality under this new plan for those who can demonstrate an economic necessity for employment.  The plan (which is also referred to as Deferred Action or DREAMERS) along with  Employment Authorization must be renewed every 2 years.  As things currently stand, Deferred Action does not provide a path to a green card, citizenship, or amnesty.

In order to meet the eligibility requirements for Deferred Action and Employment Authorization, all of the following must apply to the individual:
1.  Must have entered the United States prior to his or her 16th birthday;

Hiring an Immigration attorney for legal representation for yourself, a family member, or a friend for a United States Immigration matter is sometimes very difficult. Under the best of circumstances, money is available to retain the Immigration lawyer for the agreed upon amount and the issue of ability to pay is not an issue. At Hilf & Hilf, PLC we accept many forms of payment including check, cashiers check, money order, cash, credit card, money transfers, and wire transfers.
The attorney fee charged varies between Immigration lawyers, and usually the amount to retain the Immigration lawyer contemplates the complexity of the matter, the time commitment involved, the inability of the lawyer to handle other matters due to the time commitment, and the reputation and experience of who you hire. Often, the cheapest lawyer is not the best lawyer. That being said, there are several payment options which may make experienced US Immigration legal representation by Hilf & Hilf, PLC more affordable than you think:
1. Payment plans are sometimes available with a sufficient down payment;
Contact Information