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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Questions & Answers
Question: I immigrated to America last year along with my husband and got my Green Card after many years of waiting in line through his US mother’s sponsorship. But the problem is that we have been having marital problems for quite a while, and they have gotten worse lately. I want to leave him and get divorced, but he is threatening me saying I will lose my Green Card if I do that, is that true?
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

Trump Administration May Have Plans To Crack-down On Immigrants Using Public Benefits
Resounding Defeat: Federal Courts Quickly Halt 
Trump’s New Travel Ban!
In response to the new “Travel Ban” issued by the Trump administration several weeks ago on March 6th , two separate Federal Courts quickly moved to stop the measure from taking effect as planned on March 16th.

The new Trump Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”, which aims to ban the entry of nationals from six majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for an initial period of 90 days, is a modified version of the initial “Travel Ban” with the same name, issued by Trump on January 27th. 

However, even with the new ban’s removal of Iraq from the list of countries and explicit exemptions for U.S. Residents and Visa holders and others, including revised rules on asylees and refugees, both Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland concluded that the “intent” behind the Executive Orders was the same, a ban against Muslims. 
Answer: Sorry to hear about your marital difficulties. Fortunately, that is not the case. Since you and your husband were a bona fide (real) married couple at the time you immigrated, you will not risk losing your Green Card if you divorce. The case is different when residency is based upon marriage to a U.S. Citizen and can be much more complicated. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
In a stinging rebuke of Trump’s attempt to follow through on campaign promises to ban Muslims from entering America, the Federal Court Orders blocking the new ban clearly reference Trump’s own rhetoric on Islam. The courts’ reasoning for restraining order site possible violation of the First Amendment protections of religion. In his Opinion, Hawaii Federal Judge Watson wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would determine that the new order was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”, further stating, “For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release,”, quoting a Trump campaign release titled “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Similarly, Maryland Federal Judge Chuang found that the likely purpose of the executive order was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban”, promised to supporters during Trump’s presidential campaign.

The lawsuits against the ban claim that the order disrupts the operations of companies, charities, public universities and hospitals that have deep relationships overseas, with many technology companies joined in a brief objecting to the travel ban in the Hawaii case, including Airbnb, Dropbox, Lyft and TripAdvisor, among many others.

As expected, Trump angrily lashed out at the recent Federal rulings against the ban, saying that the orders were issued by the judges “for political reasons” and vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. Other states including Oregon and New York are expected to join the case in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

Read the Federal Court Orders:

Hawaii Court Order
Maryland Court Order
With so much media focus on Trump’s travel bans, extreme Immigration enforcement orders, crazy tweets and other un-presidential shenanigans, it’s often difficult to keep up with important Whitehouse plans and activities going on “behind the scenes” aimed at carrying out the Administration’s agenda against Immigrants.

As such, yet another “draft” Executive Order has surfaced which is focused on eliminating welfare benefits to legal Immigrants. The measure would make any immigrant who receives public assistance, including food stamps, SNAP, WIC, school lunch program, emergency Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid and many others, deportable. 
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Prove My Income On The Affidavit of Support (I-864) Form?
Tips On Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card
U.S. Permanent Residents receive a 10-year Green Card, which must be renewed before expiration. The renewal request should be filed with the USCIS within 6 months of expiration. 

However, contrary to popular belief, the expiration of your Green Card does not mean that you are no longer a Permanent Resident, it just means that, once the card expires, you will no longer have documentary evidence that you are a U.S. Resident. Those applying for Naturalization must either have an unexpired Green Card, or receipt showing that a renewal application has been filed.
Once the Green Card is within 6 months of expiration or even when it has actually expired, in order to obtain evidence of Residency, a Permanent Resident must file a renewal request, then make an INFOPASS appointment at your local USCIS Field Office and take the Green Card renewal receipt provided to you by mail from the USCIS in order to obtain a temporary residency stamp in your passport. This temporary residency stamp is used as a temporary Green Card until the renewed Green Card is received. It can be used to work, travel, obtain Driver’s License renewal and any other purpose that an actual Green Card would serve.
Useful Tips On Proving Income For Affidavits of Support (I-864) 
Most U.S. Residents and Citizens who sponsor a foreign relative, including a spouse, are required to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to prove that the sponsor makes enough income to support their immigrating relative. In cases where the sponsor’s income does not meet the requirements, a U.S. Resident or Citizen can be used as a “Joint-Sponsor” who’s income does qualify. 

Generally, meeting the minimum income requirements can sometimes be “tricky”, especially if an individual is self-employed, since in such cases, income is not earned by “wages” with an employer issuing a W-2 at the end of the year. 
Self employed Sponsors or Joint-Sponsors may think they meet the financial requirements since their gross income meets 125% of the Poverty Guidelines, when in fact it does not. Commonly it is because sponsors are not aware that it is the final adjusted gross income on the individual’s Tax Return is the figure that the USCIS uses to determine eligibility, not the gross. As an example, a Nurses Aid may earn $30,000 a year. However, the gross wages reflected on the self-employment tax form called a Schedule C, are then reduced by expenses and the final adjusted gross income may only be $15,000 or less, which would not qualify under the USCIS guidelines. 

When the USCIS issues a Request For Evidence to provide additional documentation to prove that the Sponsor (and/or Joint Sponsor’s) income meets the requirements, the Sponsor is generally only given one chance to respond to the USCIS request by providing a qualifying Joint Sponsor Affidavit of Support, Tax Return, Paystubs and Employer Letter which meet the guidelines. If the documents provided do not meet the requirements, the USCIS will not issue another Request, it will simply deny the entire case and all the filing fees will be lost. In order to proceed, a new Residency case must be filed all over again with new USCIS fees – very costly!!! So, make sure that a Joint Sponsor meets the income requirement on the adjusted gross income line of the Tax Return before sending the Affidavit of Support to the USCIS and include proof of Residency or Citizenship, recent Tax Return, Paystubs (3 mos) and a current letter from the Joint-sponsor’s employer stating the job title, # of hours per wk and the hourly wage or salary.

You can learn more about Affidavit of Support requirements 
by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Called the Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility, the proposed Executive Order is aimed at Immigrants who become a “public charge”, meaning a non-citizen who is or is likely to become dependent upon public benefits, within five years of entry into the U.S..

The draft further also calls for reviewing measures to combat “birth tourism” (meaning foreign nationals entering the U.S. to give birth), since currently all children born in the U.S. automatically become U.S. Citizens.

Read the draft Executive Order:
​Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility

Read more:
Washington Post