Are local laws aimed at enforcing Federal Immigration law constitutional?

Lawmakers in states and localities within the United States are proposing, and in some cases enacting, laws and ordinances that would enforce existing federal immigration law or create new immigration law. The localities claim that they simply are passing laws pertaining to the state or locality’s power to regulate licensing, contracting, or the like. Yet these state and local laws — which their authors dress up as laws to regulate housing, employment, and local law enforcement — are in actuality attempts to regulate immigration. Almost all of the proposed state and local initiatives are preempted by the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate immigration and are therefore unconstitutional

Petition to sponsor an immediate relative for immigrant visa:  Do I need to prove I can support my relative?

I entered the US as a tourist (B2) and became out of status when I overstayed my visa for more than 180 days.  Can I still apply for legal permanent resident?  Yes, under certain conditions, especially where you are now married to a U.S. citizen, you can be waived from the three and ten year bars.  Seek legal counsel before your proceed.

Can I apply for citizenship if my grandfather, now deceased, was a naturalized citizen in the United States even though I never lived in the U.S.?  Yes.  In fact, if you are the child of the deceased ancestor or grandparent, your children can be sponsored by you for U.S. citizenship.  There are certain residency requirements that the deceased ancestor must meet in order for the above to be approved.  (Law: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000)

Can you do anything to raise the HB-1 Employment Visa Cap?  Yes.  Write to Congressman and Senators.  This is not a waste of time.  Click here to see a sample letter from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  If possible, you should write the letter in your own words; however, if you do not have the time, use the form letter.  Don’t feel powerless.  The current cap of65,000 was reached in May of 2006.

How can I check on the status of my application?  If you have your “receipt” number confirming that your application with the USCIS was received, you can check your status online at by clicking here.  Alternatively, if your application was transferred to a local USCIS district office, you need to contact that local office directly, preferably in writing.  Be sure to have your “A” number, receipt number, date of birth, copies of any notices from the district offices (e.g., Notice for Interview) to check on the status of your case.  Please be advised many local district offices are filled with huge backlogs, as long as one year or more.  Don’t expect quick replies.

What are the limits of “immigrant” visas to the United States each year?  The U.S. limits the annual number of immigrant visas by country.  The Immigration and Nationality Act sets a per country cap of 7 percent or 26,620 of available family and work based visas.

If USCIS denies my application for citizenship can I appeal?  You can utilize an administrative review process if you are denied.  If you believe that you were wrongly denied naturalization, you can apply or request a hearing with an immigration officer.  Be sure to examine your denial letter.  This letter should explain how to request a hearing and will include the form you will need.  See Form N-336.

What if my “green card” is about to expire in the next six months or has already expired?  You are required to submit your card at the time of your “in person” appearance at your local USCIS Application Support Center (ASC).  You will also need have to have photograph, fingerprints and signature taken by USCIS.  You will no longer submit photographs.  You will also be required to pay for a biometric service.