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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:42 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Immigration Arrests and Raids and Employment Law Update 

    Here is a video of a speech that I gave a few months ago to an overflow crowd in Houston. I was talking about my predictions for immigration raids of churches, hospitals, synagogues, mosques and other places where immigration officials historically would not visit.

    While the video is several months old, some of my predictions are already coming to fruition, where spouses of Americans with no criminal record are being arrested and deported and where according to some of my clients, immigration officials are “rounding-up” foreigners in some of the smaller, more rural areas. With my 30+ years of experience in immigration law, I am uniquely situated to advise individuals, companies and non-federal government agencies on how our laws work and exactly what is going on right now. I have been staying very busy, lately, doing just that.

    In other matters at our office the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to visit with clients from some of the smaller countries of Africa, such as Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso (formerly known as Upper Volta) and Angola. In addition to providing legal advice to these clients, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer always finds it interesting to talk to them about their culture, language, and other aspects of their country.

    On the employment law and employment discrimination law front, I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for two days of depositions. My client sued Dignity Health in Phoenix, alleging he was fired due to sex discrimination and retaliation. The essence of his allegations are that his boss was sleeping with his co-worker, that Dignity knew about it and allowed it to continue, and when there was a lack of funding, his supervisor chose to keep his female co-worker (the one sleeping with the boss) , rather than my client. In addition to the two days of depositions, I have been enjoying the regional food, the dry heat and 100+degree temperatures, and the sight of all the exotic desert flowers and cactus plants.

    Lastly, it has been a busy month for court hearings on our employment discrimination cases. We went to court twice this month in our client’s case against Wells Fargo, where our client claimed race discrimination, and the bank sued her back for alleging stealing money from the vault. We also had a court hearing in our client’s case against Hobby Lobby, where he alleges he was fired in retaliation for complaining about sex discrimination.

    For further information, I may be reached in Houston at 713.850.0066 or in our Miami office at 305.538.6800. I can also be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com.

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    • Helen Surovek 6:18 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      LOVE the great work you do, Bruce. Had I had the privilege of higher education, I would have been doing something similar…helping those in need of help. With the know-how to
      maneuver through the maze of our wonderful legal system. Keep up the good work~!

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:20 pm on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: discrimination against disabled employees, , ,   

    Immigration Office Discriminates against the Disabled? 

    WPimage

    The immigration laws passed by Congress provide special provisions for people with disabilities. In particular, there is a process called disability naturalization, where individuals who cannot learn to speak English or otherwise retain information because of a disability, can be exempted from certain parts of the naturalization process.

    As background, naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen. To become a citizen, a person must first, generally, have been a permanent resident with a green card. To obtain citizenship through naturalization, a person must speak English, take a history test and know how to read and write English. An exception to all of this, is if they have a disability such as blindness, deafness, mental disorder, etc.

    While historically, the immigration service has approved many of these cases, I have noticed a trend in Houston lately where the interviewing officers are looking for ways to deny disability naturalization or otherwise give the disabled a hard time. For example, in a case that I  had at the Houston immigration office today, the officer, Ms. C. Arredando, claimed that she could not read the doctor’s writing on the immigration form that the doctor is supposed to complete.

    While doctors may be notorious for their poor handwriting, the doctor’s writing in this case was clearly legible to this Houston immigration attorney. When the officer was losing that argument, she then claimed that the doctor’s signature was not original, but rather a scanned copy. All the while, this poor disabled client who does not speak English was being told she would have to come back (after driving two hours to get there and waiting over an hour until her name was called) another day with a clearer form and original signature.

    Sadly, this is the new reality of how disabled clients may expect to be treated when visiting the Houston immigration office. The notion of the government accommodating people with disabilities does not seem to ring true, from my recent experiences, at the Houston immigration office. Perhaps the current strategy of the Houston immigration office is to frustrate as many people as possible so that they will drop their efforts to become a U.S. citizen.

    For further information, I can be contacted at bruce.coane@gmail.com or 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800.

     
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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 8:44 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Police Right to Act as Immigration Officers 

    CBP Officers pay tribute to fellow fallen officers during a Law Enforcement memorial service in Washington D.C.

     

    In certain parts of the country, police are taking it upon themselves to act as immigration officers. In the most recent case of illegal arrests and detentions, Ariel Vences-Lopez, a 23 year old from Minneapolis was detained by a transit rail police officer. Mr. Lopez failed to pay his fare and refused to verbally respond. This led to police officer, Andy Lamers, proceeding to taser and detain Mr. Lopez due to his immigration status.

    In the New York Times article, police Chief John Harrington states that, “it is not his department’s policy to question riders about their immigration status. Harrington said the officer who questioned Vences-Lopez in the video is no longer with the department”. The police officer who over-stepped his power was disciplined.

    While most state governments ensure to keep the line between police officers and immigration officers very clear and even punishable if crossed, the State of Texas encourages their police officers to ask for immigration status under Senate Bill 4 (SB4). This new law signed by Governor Gregg Abbott, grants local police the power to act as federal immigration officers. In an attempt to curb illegal immigration, Texas has taken a very tough stand against immigrants.

    Senate Bill 4, which goes into effect on September 1, 2017 is already creating a lot of negative backlash.  Now a simple act like driving without a license can get you detained and even deported if you are of color. Police are even encouraged to ask for immigration status in domestic violence calls.  In another controversial news story from The Washington Post, a woman was detained after seeking domestic abuse protection at a Texas courthouse.

    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer can be contacted at 713.850.0066, 305.538.6800 or bruce.coane@gmail.com.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 9:14 pm on June 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aggravated felony, Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, , drug offense,   

    Supreme Court Ruling Saved Immigrant from Deportation 

    The Supreme Court has issued a decision this week that will help many non-citizens avoid being deported. A state drug offense is not considered an “aggravated felony” unless it is punishable as a felony under federal law. A second or subsequent simple possession drug offense is not punishable as a felony under federal law unless the prosecutor charges the defendant as a recidivist before trial or before a guilty plea. On June 14, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that when a defendant has been convicted of a second or subsequent simple possession drug offense that has not been enhanced as a result of a prior conviction, the defendant has not been convicted of an offense that is punishable as a felony under federal law and has therefore not been convicted of an “aggravated felony.” Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 2010 WL 2346552, at *11 (U.S. June 14, 2010).

    The Supreme Court’s decision will help one of my clients who is currently in deportation proceedings. His case was put on hold by the immigration judge, pending the outcome of this Supreme Court case. My client obtained his permanent residence (“green card”) in 1981, is married to a U.S. citizen, and has two simple possession drug convictions. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, my client was ineligible for cancellation of removal because he was considered to have been convicted of an “aggravated felony.” However, my client was not charged as a recidivist when he was prosecuted for his second simple possession drug offense. Therefore, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, my client is no longer considered to have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” and my client is now eligible to apply for cancellation of removal. If his application for cancellation of removal is granted, he will be able to remain in the United States. The Supreme Court’s decision has saved him from deportation.

     
    • Bill Hurst 11:04 pm on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Civil sanctions imposed on United States citizens convicted of a felony in many states include the loss of competence to serve on a grand or petit jury or to vote in elections even after release from prison. While controversial, these disabilities are explicitly sanctioned by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a Reconstruction-era amendment that deals with permissible state regulation of voting rights.

    • natalie byers 3:56 pm on June 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I am desperately seeking advice (and searching for legal counsel) for the following case. I’m trying to help someone that I’ve known dearly for 11 years who was deported in 2004 to Mexico for a 2000 cocaine conviction/aggravated felony. He did 3 years probation, rehab and had completely turned his life back around to how it was before he made a few bad choices/friends when out of the blue he was deported.

      At the time of his deportation, the attorney did not give him his full options and said there was nothing that he could do. So, there was no fight to prevent the deportation. Obviously, had he known his rights/choices, the energy would have been placed into remaining into the country, getting the charges expunged/reduced or getting permission to be allowed back in the country after a few years.

      This gentleman was a permanent resident in San Diego, California for more than 30 years at the time of his deportation. His parents are both permanent US residents and his two younger brothers are natural US citizens. Obviously, everyone involved would love to see him get back into the States to be with family and also to start a new life (get married and live a law-abiding life).

      I know this is a severe and challenging case, but I’m determined to try every avenue to help fight for someone that was not given that opportunity and who deserves a second chance.

      • Coane & Associates 12:46 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        We handle cases like this. Call our office. At 713 850 0066 to arrange a telephone appointment with Ajay Chaudhary, who specializes in criminal immigrant cases.

      • Coane & Associates 9:17 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I thought I replied to this, but don’t see it. Did you get my reply. We handle these types of cases regularly. You may call us at 713-850-0066 if you would like to arrange for a telephone appointment.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:29 pm on June 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, , services fees   

    USCIS Proposes Change in Fees 

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is seeking public comment on a proposed federal rule that would adjust fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions.   The proposal, posted to the Federal Register today for public viewing, would increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent but would not increase the fee for the naturalization application.

    The proposed fee structure would establish three new fees, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seeking civil surgeon designation and a fee to recover USCIS’s cost of processing immigrant visas granted by the Department of State.  The proposed fee structure also reduces fees for certain individual applications and petitions as a result of lower processing costs.

    Our office believes that fee increases should be followed by improvements in service.  As this has not occurred in the past following fee increases, we doubt it will happen now.  If anything, increasing fees in a slow economy will just result in few applications and revenues for the USCIS.

    To view the proposed new filing fees, please click HERE.

     
    • Jonas 2:29 pm on May 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That sounds ridiculous!

    • Pheap 8:42 pm on July 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I would like to bring my nephew to the USA from Cambodia. What’s the process for getting him a resident alien card?

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