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Monthly Archives: March 2015

“Sanctuary Cities” a Target Once More

By Peek & Toland on March 30, 2015

After years of relative silence, a contentious piece of legislation has resurfaced with renewed vigor at this week’s Senate border security subcommittee. The updated bill, penned four years ago by Sen. Charles Perry (R) of Lubbock, would allow police to question individuals they have stopped about their current immigration status.

Presently, there are a number of “sanctuary cities” throughout Texas that outlaw the practice; this bill would lift the ban.

Supporters of the bill suggest it would bolster public safety efforts while not forcing police into a compromising position. Objectors insist the practice will lead to increased racial profiling as well as damaging economic growth in the respective counties. Read the rest »

Posted in Immigration Reform

Over 60 DWI Arrests During SXSW

By Peek & Toland on March 24, 2015

Texas DWIThe Austin Police Department (APD) and SXSW officials were not taking any chances, following last year’s alcohol fueled tragedy that left four dead and many more injured.

From March 19th to the 22nd, APD officials implemented a No Refusal policy that netted over 61 DWI arrests throughout the city. The initiative gives police the ability to obtain a warrant for blood samples in those individuals who refuse a Breathalyzer test. While controversial, the procedure is still widely used by law enforcement throughout Texas and the country. KXAN reports that of those arrested in Austin PD’s latest dragnet, 19 submitted to breath tests, while the remaining 42 gave blood samples, 35 of which were obtained using a search warrant. Read the rest »

Posted in Criminal Defense

Who is Eligible for a U-Visa?

By Peek & Toland on March 16, 2015

As of 2000, foreign nationals who have suffered at the hands of criminal organizations and wish to immigrate to the United States have the option of applying for what is known as a U-Visa status. A U-Visa grants victims of domestic or criminal abuse, temporary residency and work status for up to four years. Additionally, visa holders may be able to apply for permanent residency once their U-Visa status expires.

However, U-Visas are not granted based on accusations or simply detailing criminal activity that the applicant may or may not have been a party to. As part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, those individuals wishing to immigrate under a U-Visa must provide authorities with proof, significant evidence, and serious investigative leads to back up their claims. These crimes could have been committed both on American soil – as is so often the case with sex trafficking – or abroad. Whatever the case, the goal is to remove innocent lives from the global cycle of violence, and bring down those who benefit from its existence. Read the rest »

Posted in Visas

Can I Petition For a Family Member’s Green Card?

By Peek & Toland on March 13, 2015

Green Card Attorney/>One of the surest ways to secure citizenship for your family living abroad is through a family-based adjustment of status. Essentially, it grants you, a permanent resident of the U.S., the ability to petition for qualified family members through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is granted, the foreign national in question would not be required to return to their home country and file an immigration visa through the U.S. consulate there. The adjustment can happen on American soil, provided a Form I-130 has been accepted and a thorough interview has been conducted by the USCIS.

In regards to who may petition, it depends on your status in this country and whether or not you can establish proof of your relationship with the individual in question. If you are a U.S. citizen you may petition for one or more of the following individuals: Read the rest »

Posted in Immigration

Fiancé Visas and Permanent Resident Status

By Peek & Toland on March 11, 2015

Even if you have never had any direct interaction with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you probably know one of the quickest ways to become a United States citizen is through marriage. We’ve all seen it before on television, in the movies or somewhere similar – a foreign national meets a U.S. citizen, they fall in love, marry, and move back to the States and live happily (or maybe not so happily) ever after. The end.

Of course, in reality the process can be considerably less romantic, with piles of legal paperwork and authorizations to deal with. Foreign nationals who marry in such a fashion must apply for their green card after the ceremony and have their permanent status granted by the USCIS after they receive the application. Depending on their particular situation and background, this could take some time. In practice and in theory, however, the process remains one the quickest paths to U.S. citizenship. Read the rest »

Posted in Fiance Visas

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