An Open Letter to My Friends at DHS and DOJ

by Jason Dzubow on December 22, 2016

Former House Speaker, and Donald Trump adviser, Newt “The Brain” Gingrich recently made plain what Mr. Trump has been arguing for months: The new Administration is planning “straight-out war” against the federal bureaucracy. But in my time, there are two things that I’ve learned about ideological wars: (1) The casualties are flesh-and-blood human beings, and (2) Everyone involved thinks that G-d is on his side.

"Sidekick to a bully" is not a job title many government lawyers relish.

“Sidekick to a bully” is not a job title many government lawyers relish.

In this case, Mr. Gingrich was speaking specifically about the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, which he accused of various sins amounting mostly to half-truths (or perhaps whole lies). But we’ve seen a pattern with Mr. Trump’s appointments. For example. the new head of the Department of Energy wanted to eliminate that agency in 2012. The leader of the Environmental Protection Agency doubts human-influenced climate change and will likely prevent that organization from issuing regulations to protect public health. And the new Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be Dr. Ben Carson, whose main qualification seems to be that he lives in a house.

But the situation for the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are a bit different, at least in terms of those agencies’ oversight of our nation’s immigration laws. In those cases, it’s more likely that Mr. Trump will be ramping-up enforcement at the possible expense of other immigration functions (like processing immigration benefits).

Senator Jeff Sessions will lead the DOJ as Attorney General. He is known for his opposition to immigration reform and his belief that legal immigration to the United States should be reduced. So how will Senator Sessions’s appointment affect DOJ in terms of immigration enforcement? DOJ administers the nations Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), and (within some limits) interprets our immigration laws. As Attorney General, Mr. Sessions has the power to narrow precedents favorable to non-citizens. He can do this directly, by issuing Attorney-General opinions, which supersede decisions made by the BIA. He can also do it indirectly, by appointing ideologically like-minded Judges and BIA Members. DOJ also administers the Office of Immigration Litigation (“OIL”), which defends BIA decisions in the federal courts. Mr. Sessions could order OIL to take more hard-line stances, and he could push litigation that reflects his restrictonist viewpoint.

How would this be different than what we have now? The atmosphere for aliens in immigration proceedings has never been easy. That’s particularly true for aliens convicted of crimes. But at least in most cases, I have found that Judges, BIA Board Members, and OIL attorneys are reasonable, and do their best to follow the law. Sometimes that means deporting people who are very sympathetic; other times, it means allowing people to stay who they believe should be deported. The problem comes when we have DOJ attorneys who are more concerned with ideological ends than with due process. We saw this most clearly when Attorney General John Ashcroft purged liberal (or supposedly liberal) BIA Board Members at the beginning of the George W. Bush Administration. Perhaps we will see a similar reshuffling in the months ahead.

For fair-minded attorneys, Judges, and Board Members at DOJ, that’s a frightening prospect. Are their jobs in jeopardy? Will they be forced to take positions contrary to their conscious, or contrary to their interpretation of the law? Many immigration benefits–such as asylum–contain a discretionary element. Will the ability to exercise discretion be intolerably curtailed?

It’s still unclear whether attorneys and officers at the Department of Homeland Security will face the same potential dilemmas as their DOJ counterparts. The new Secretary for DHS will be retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who is widely viewed as non-ideological. Under the DHS ambit are several agencies that impact immigration, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), which is basically the immigration police and prosecutors, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), which administers immigration benefits, including asylum. We have yet to learn who will lead these agencies, and probably the choices for those posts will have more effect on the officers and attorneys “in the trenches” than General Kelly, who is overseeing the entire agency.

Currently, DHS attorneys, Asylum Officers, and ICE officers have a fair bit of discretion in handling cases, especially cases where the alien has no criminal record. DHS attorneys often can decide whether to keep an alien detained, they can offer prosecutorial discretion, and they can decide how aggressively to pursue an individual’s deportation or whether to agree to relief. Asylum Officers also have a fair bit of discretion to determine credibility and decide on relief.

The attorneys, officers, and Judges I know at DHS and DOJ are generally intelligent, caring individuals who do their best to follow and enforce the law without inflicting undo harm on individuals and families. They are aware of their power and their responsibilities, and they take their jobs seriously. Sometimes, I disagree with them on their interpretation of the law. Sometimes, I think their approach is unnecessarily aggressive. In some cases, we evaluate the merits of a case differently. While we do not always agree, I can see that they are performing an essential function by fairly enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.

In speaking to some DOJ and DHS attorneys and officers since the recent election, I have seen a certain level of demoralization. Some people have expressed to me their desire to leave government service. While these individuals respect and follow the law–even when the results are harsh–they are not ideological. They do not hate immigrants (or non-white people, or Muslims) and they do not want to enable or contribute to a system that they fear will become overtly hostile to immigrants that President Trump considers undesirable. I suppose if I have one word of advice for such people, it is this: Stay.

If you are a government attorney or officer and you are thinking of leaving because you fear an overtly ideological Administration, you are exactly the type of person that we need to stay. As has often been the case in recent decades, an honest, competent bureaucracy is the bulwark against our sometimes extremist politics.

It’s likely that if you are a government employee who is sympathetic to non-citizens, your job will get more difficult, the atmosphere may become more hostile. It will be harder to “do the right thing” as you see it. Opportunities for promotions may become more limited. Nevertheless, I urge you to stay. We need you to help uphold the law and ensure due process for non-citizens and their families. To a large extent, our immigration system is as good or as bad as the people who administer the law. We need the good ones to stay.

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Celia January 6, 2017 at 8:35 am

Hi Jason!

Thank you for your hard work and enthusiasm. You’re one of those people who gives us hope in this lengthy and exhausting process of immigration.
I am an asylum seeker, applied 2015 summer.
Still waiting for an interview which possibly be during this summer.

My question is:
I was able to get some savings together during the years but I was mostly working independently (self employed).
I want to invest in a home somewhere in the south and use it for business purposes. (Short or long term rental)
I don’t know if the bank will lend me money, but I also have sufficient founds to buy a small one in cash.
Do you think this is a bad idea?
Could this hurt my case in the asylum office? (Possessing an asset such as real estate)
What’s gonna happen with my property if I lose my case?

It’s been almost two years and it’s very annoying of not being able to start a business or move to some direction. I’ve always been proactive and now I have this idea but there are so many things to think about.

I don’t wanna invest if I can lose it all.

Thank you for your answer!

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Jason Dzubow January 8, 2017 at 8:11 am

I doubt it would affect your asylum case. I recommend to my clients that they live their lives as if they will win their cases. Otherwise, life is impossible because the process is too slow. If you lose your case, it will go to court, where you will likely wait another few years with an Immigration Judge. If you lose there, you can appeal, which takes at least a few months (it used to take 1 to 2 years, but has been faster lately). In other words, the process is slow, and so if you ultimately have to leave the US, you will have time to deal with assets, like selling a house. Take care, Jason

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Celia January 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

Thank you so much!

It’s just gonna be a headache to get a mortgage loan with pending status.
But I will try whatever I can.

Have a happy new year!

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Ad December 29, 2016 at 6:09 am

Hi jason. The asylum officer is reffered my case to the immigration court 2 days before. She did not give me any reason for that. My question is that can I expedite my case in court is well or not. Because I been here since last three years and my wife and kids are back in my home country still facing problems and long separation. So is there any chance that IJ will give me some quick hearing date. Your response will highly appreciated. Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 8:49 am

You can file a motion to request an earlier court date. Sometimes this works and sometimes not (depending on the Judge’s availability to give you a new date). If it happens that your case is very strong, sometimes, your lawyer (or you) can negotiate with the government lawyer and – if you can both agree that the case should be granted – you can tell the Judge and finish the case more quickly that way (though this solution is pretty rare). Take care, Jason

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Ad January 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Thanks Jason for your advice. But plz tell me that how can I move motion for earlier hearing. Can I move the motion before my master calendar hearing or after the master calendar hearing? And one thing more how we negotiate the gov lawyer on the master hearing day or when. Thanks Jason.

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Jason Dzubow January 3, 2017 at 7:21 am

It is possible to ask for a sooner date before the Master Calendar Hearing, at the MCH, or after the MCH. It is better to call the government lawyer in advance, as there is no time for them to negotiate with you at the MCH. For all this, you probably need a lawyer to help you, and in general, it is very useful to have a lawyer in Immigration Court. Take care, Jason

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Ruslan December 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Hey Jason. Hopefully you have a great holidays.
I have a question about advanced parole for traveling. I know that you can not travel to country from which you are seeking asylum and all of that. But I wanna know one thing. If I overstayed my legal status in us and Ive been here illegally for more than 180 days but I successfully applied for asylum and now my case is pending. I need to travel abroad and I am looking to get advanced parole. But I read that US Customs can deny my permission to entry back because Ive been here illegally despite that I have parole. So I just wanna know if it correct or I am ok because I am waiting for asylum decisions.
Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:49 pm

You can always be denied re-entry, so there is no guarantee, but we have never had anyone denied, including people who have overstayed their visas like you. In the worst case, if they try to send you back at the airport, I suppose you can ask asylum there, and then get detained and process your asylum case in immigration court. I think that is highly unlikely, and most likely, if you have AP, you can re-enter without trouble. But if you are not sure, you can have a lawyer review the specifics of your case to double check before you travel. Take care, Jason

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Ruslan December 29, 2016 at 2:48 am

Thank you so much. Bless your soul.

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MD December 29, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Hi Jason and Happy Holidays.

I asked the same question to my lawyer and she replied to me” because you have been out of status and will be barred from re-enter for 10 years because you have over-stayed by 1 year. The advance parole does not guarantee re-entry”. My travel will be in Canada not the country of origin. What do you think?

THANK YOU,

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 10:21 am

We have had clients with a 10-year-bar travel using AP, and it should now be possible (I believe there was a rule change some months back that allows people to use AP even with the 10-year-bar, but you will have to look that up to know the exact rule). I do agree that there is never a guarantee of re-entry, but if the only issue is the 10-year-bar, it should be possible (but you do take a risk of being detained at the border – though again – we have had clients do that with no problem). Take care, Jason

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MD January 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Thank you Jason-
Since my only is the 10 year bar, can i apply myself the AP since my lawyer is not confortable doing that? I told her about you toughts and she said it is risky to do so. She also pointed out that she does not know about the fact patern about you clients who used the AP.

Nikie December 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

Good Morning Jason . Thanks for the good work you are doing here .

Please I have another question regarding the section 16 of the i-765 form , since i am dependent of H1B with Valid H4 status . What am I suppose to write there because i see alot of options so i am confused as to what to write there?C8 or what?

Also am I suppose to pay for the filing because i dont know if the new publication 12/23 will affect the first time applicant for EAD for asylum?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:56 pm

As far as I know, first time asylum applicants still do not need to pay the fee, but you might double check the instructions. As for the category, you should be applying as a person who has an asylum case pending/asylum applicant. This is your category even if you are a dependent on someone else’s application. Take care, Jason

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Rich December 28, 2016 at 12:42 am

I have a question.
I’ve been waiting for my asylum interview already more than 2 years….and it seems like i gonna wait more, much more…
My question is
Is it possible to get work sponsored Green card while your asylum case is pending?
The problem is that I overstayed my visa for 8 months and applied for asylum in May, but visa was ending in previous september.

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm

You can try to get a GC that way, but most likely, you would need to leave the US and re-enter. This may or may not be possible. You would need to talk to a lawyer about it before you start the process. Take care, Jason

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Muhammad December 28, 2016 at 12:20 am

Dear Mr. Jason;
Happy Holiday.
I am a Syrian who came to U.S from 2014 with my family (my wife and my daughter) by B1&B2 visa. I applied a political asylum in Jan 2015 then I got interview in Mar 2016. After that I obtained “Notice of Intent to Deny” for nine reasons and they asked to rebuttal that i must provide rebuttal to this notice in support of my request or send new evidence. Therefore, I wrote a new affidavit including the good answer about all reasons with new testimonies.
1- How long time will take to get the answer from the Asylum Office approximately?
2- what is my chance to get approve for my case?
3- If I obtain final Deny that means I cannot appeal the asylum officer’s decision in any court?
4- what is your advice about my case?

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Ahemd December 28, 2016 at 4:02 am

Muhammad,
How can you interview within only 15 months? Did you apply for expedite?
Can you give us some general reasons why they refuse your case?
such as you have another residency in other country.

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Ahmed December 28, 2016 at 5:00 am

If you interview in March, when they send you a notice of deny?

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Muhammad December 28, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I got the notice on Nov 2016

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Muhammad December 28, 2016 at 3:25 pm

I didn’t apply for anything.

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Muhammad December 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I didn’t apply for anything. Also, I don’t have residency in other country.

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Ahemd December 28, 2016 at 3:36 pm

I interview in January 2016 and did not get any reply from them. Do you expect they refuse me after this long time like you or they reject people earlier?

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Muhammad December 28, 2016 at 7:15 pm

No one can expect that.

Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:26 pm

I am surprised you got a Notice of Intent to Deny, as that is normally only for people “in status” (usually people with a long term visa, like an F, J or H1b). As to your questions, (1) I do not know – it is completely unpredictable; (2) Probably not great, but we have been successful after receiving NOIDs in about 50% of the cases, so hopefully, you will have good luck; (3) You can ask them to reconsider, but normally, that is a waste of time. If you are now out of status, the case will go to a judge and you can try again; (4) There is not much to say. I would contact the asylum office to check whether there is any news, since it has been almost 9 months. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Muhammad December 29, 2016 at 12:12 am

Dear Mr. Dzubow;
I am appreciate for your answers.
Best.

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Kam16 December 27, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Hi Jonson , I just wanna ask you I had work authorization with letter (WAC..) California service center. But I applied for renewals they send me receipt number with different letters (SRC) Texas service center. But address and everything is same Why they send me from different center .is it normal ? I’m little worried

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:49 am

I do not know, but it is pretty common for USCIS to move cases from one office to the next. Are you sure you used the correct code on the form (for asylum applicant)? And you sent to the correct mailing address? If so, I would not worry about it. They should process it. Take care, Jason

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Zac December 27, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Hi Jason
Regarding the EAD, USCIS has published a final rule, to take effect January 17, 2017, It “gives” by automatically extending for up to 180 days for EAD application based on receipt, but this 180 starts from the day USCIS issued the receipt for the renewal application and not for the date of the card expiration. The regulation “takes away” a prior regulation that had required issuance of an interim work card if USCIS takes longer than 90 days to adjudicate a work authorization request. Now applicant requesting a renewal must wait as long as USCIS needs to take for adjudication.

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Zac December 27, 2016 at 7:06 pm

So technically instead of having 120 days to renew your application, It will be 180 days.

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:47 am

Thank you – I may be wrong, but I do not think there was a rule requiring them to adjudicate the I-765 in 120 days. That was just the earliest they would accept an application to renew an expiring EAD. Take care, Jason

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Allen December 27, 2016 at 10:40 pm

it only applies to people who are in granted Asylee, refugee or TPS status. Doesn’t include pending asylum applicants.
https://adamfrankesq.wordpress.com/category/ead/

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Zac December 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm

I think Asylum is included, because Its said refugee or Asylum status, check the link below It shows all the category that included in this new change.
http://www.cilawgroup.com/news/2016/11/17/i-140-eadjob-portability-final-rule-released-analysis-and-overview-of-the-upcoming-changes-and-system-fixes/

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Ahemd December 28, 2016 at 3:59 am

Can you Jason confirm this announcement?

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Ahmed December 28, 2016 at 5:09 am

USCIS is also considering allowing EAD extensions to be filed 180 days prior to expiration (as opposed to 120 days currently).

Allen December 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

You will have asylum status only if you are granted asylum. if you have pending asylum case, you don’t have status, but you can legally stay here until you got your decision. So, refugee or Asylum status doesn’t include people who has asylum case pending.

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f. h December 27, 2016 at 4:11 am

It has been approved for asylum and fingerprint but not the interview so far and the question is, after the 150-day apply for a work permit and temporary residence Can I get a visa for the family to enter the United States ?? How is it ??
I hope the answer – thanks Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

They can apply for a visa the same as anyone else, but it is more difficult to get since you have an asylum cased pending (and the US embassy will think that your family will come here to seek asylum too). The easier visas to get, if they can do it, are H1b or another type of H, L, A, or G. An F visa may also be easier to get than a B visa. You may want to talk to a lawyer about how to increase the chances of them getting a visa, but generally, it is very difficult. Take care, Jason

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Mynation December 29, 2016 at 4:52 am

Hello Jason,

I really appreciate the work you are doing. If you could answer my this question, I had my interview almost 8 months ago. My AO took almost three hours and told me that my case was great. I talked to my lawyer to follow up for a decision. A couple of weeks ago, we were informed that my interview was rescheduled. Why is it that? Is it a good or bad sign? What do you personally recommend me to do in the mean time? Also do you know what the clients had to go through when the appeared for a followup interview?

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Jason Dzubow January 2, 2017 at 8:42 am

There are many reasons for follow up interviews (asylum officer forgot to ask a question, supervisor had more questions, they want info that might be useful to the US government for other reasons and want to talk to you, they want to ask about your military servce, etc, etc), and usually you cannot find out until you attend. I think you should prepare for the interview the same as you prepared for your initial interview, though usually follow-up interviews are less extensive. Take care, Jason

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Mohamed December 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Merry Christmas, Jason,
I am working at the University now and my EAD will expire on the next June. The HR sent me a message about my renewable card?
So, I will submit my application in January, but what shall I do if it needs long time tp process?
I do not to lose my job, what do you suggest me?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:28 am

The soonest you can apply is 120 days before the old EAD expires. It should be processed in that time frame, so I would not worry about it at this point. Also, the new cards are valid for 2 years, which makes life a bit easier. Take care, Jason

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Mohamed December 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Thank you,
Can you confirm that based on the last update from USCIS that even I will not receive my new card, my employer can not terminate the contract because I have pending EAD.
This is the best way to not lose my job.

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:51 pm

It may be that the regulations are finally being implemented and that you will now be able to work with an expired EAD and a receipt for the new EAD. I have not seen the new regulations, and so I cannot confirm it. But maybe you can Google around and try to find it. I am on vacation this week, so I have not been keeping updated on such changes. Take care, Jason

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K. S. December 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Hi Jason, good evening. I have a situation. My asylum was approved on 22nd Nov 2016 and applied I-730 for my wife and son. Last month I visited third country (me and my wife) and the result is she became pregnant . If I-730 is approved before the baby born, is there any problem ( immigrant) to come her here during her pregnancy? What if baby is born before she come USA?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:26 am

I do not think there is any problem if she comes here while she is pregnant, but if the baby is born before she comes here, there is a procedure for that (and I cannot remember what it is). If the baby is born before she comes here, I think you will need to talk to a lawyer to make the arrangements for you (or at least look at the instructions to the form I-730, which may cover that situation). Hopefully, she can come here before the baby is born, as that is easier. Take care, Jason

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Izzac December 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

K.S
I have a Q ,, how did you left US & you came back ,,, beacuse i have the same situation am waiting my travel docoments

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K. S. December 29, 2016 at 9:52 pm

Hi Izzac. I had also TPS status. I got advance parole based on Tps.

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Hyme December 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Happy holidays Jason!

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:18 am

Thank you – Happy holidays to you too, Jason

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XY December 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Hi Jason
Marry Christmas I have applied for the EAD after 150 days for the 1st time I have got the reciept from that side that they have recieved my application there receiving date is Dec 5 ND it’s know in process wat vl b next I vl get an approval letter ?? Finger print ?? ND how long this process vl take .. to get a EAD

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:08 am

Not everyone gets fingerprinted, and it takes 1 to 4 months to get the EAD, depending on where you live. Most people wait closer to 4 months than 1, though California seems to be on the faster side. Take care, Jason

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XY December 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I live in Newyork.I have a case in newyork asylum office what do u think NY is a faster or not in EAD ND wat about the approval letter they send that letter or not ?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Sorry, I do not understand the question, but it is difficult to predict whether one office will move faster than another. Take care, Jason

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Davids December 25, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Dear Jason
May your home be filled with the joy of the Christmas season. Here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year !

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Jason Dzubow December 26, 2016 at 9:55 am

Thank you – Happy holidays to you too, Jason

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Nikie December 23, 2016 at 9:46 am

I have some questions that I need you to advice me on ,I am currently on H4 visa which is valid till 2019 . I applied for Asylum sometime in May 2016 which is already more than 150 days .I want to apply for work authorization but I need to know if it will affect my H4 status.Will my visa status change after I apply for work authorization?
My spouse is currently working with H1B , can he also apply for the EAD while using the H1B as a backup in case the asylum do not go through ?

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Jason Dzubow December 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm

You can both apply for an EAD based on asylum pending (assuming your husband is included as a dependent in your case), though if your husband has an H1b, he may not need the EAD. But there is no reason he cannot get it if he wants it. Take care, Jason

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Nikie December 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Hi Jason,

Merry Xmas to you . Thanks for your response.
I included my husband in the asylum application but he does not want to apply for the EAD since he is currently working with the H1B . Can I please apply alone without him? also will it affect my H4 status if I should apply for the EAD?

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Jason Dzubow December 26, 2016 at 9:56 am

You can apply for the EAD without him, as long as the 150 day period has passed. If he wants to apply later (for example, if he loses his H1b job), he can do that. Take care, Jason

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Nikie December 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Thanks Jason for your quick response . You are awesome.

Please i have another question regarding the section 16 of the i-765 form , since i am dependent of H1B with Valid H4 status . What am I suppose to write there because i see alot of options so i am confused as to what to write there?

James December 23, 2016 at 12:55 am

I just wanted to let you know that after 3 years and 6 months our asylum case was finally approved today from the Chicago office. This forum has been very helpful and wish all good luck. Thanks a lot Jason for your dedication and may God bless you.

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Jason Dzubow December 23, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Congratulations and good luck in the USA, Jason

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Mohamed December 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm

Congratulation James,
How long have you waited after your interview?

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Patti Lyman December 22, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Jason, if you think the current “enforcement” regime isn’t ideological, then we exist in two different worlds. It is extremely ideological, even if not all of those acting for the government are. Our system will not install a new administration with a different ideological point of view. That illegal immigration has been allowed to get completely out of control, causing untold suffering, is one factor driving some to suggest putting a hold on all immigration. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but one need not “hate immigrants” or be a racist to hold that view in light of the current facts on the ground. (In fact, that charge against those who will try to address the problem will be unlikely to benefit the aliens we serve.) There are clear winners and losers under the current regime, and there will be winners and losers under the new system. I see my job as making sure that as many of my deserving clients as possible end up as winners when it all shakes out. Have a meaningful Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

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Patti Lyman December 22, 2016 at 3:42 pm

correction: Our system WILL install a new administration…..

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Jason Dzubow December 22, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Thank you as always. I think the new Administration will be more ideological in the sense that they may take discretion away from (supposedly) neutral judges and ICE attorneys in order to interpret the law as they see fit. I do not necessarily think this is wrong – that is what they were elected to do, but for attorneys and judges working in the system, who are experts in this area of law, it is demoralizing to lose the ability to interpret the law based on their expertise. We need such people to stay and to make sure the law is interpreted properly; not based on a political agenda that is unsupported by the INA. This brings up the debate about an Article I court, but that is a story for another day. Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 8:10 am

If you are applying as an asylum seeker or the dependent of an asylum seekers, you use the category for people with an asylum case pending. If you look at the “direct filing addresses” list, it shows the code for each category and where to mail it. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:33 pm

I have not heard about this, but maybe I missed it.

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Jason Dzubow January 3, 2017 at 7:18 am

I think you are probably better off listening to your lawyer than to me, as she is more familiar with your case. All I can tell you is that in my opinion, if the only issue is the 10-year bar, I think a person can travel and return on AP. It is possible that you could be detained upon your return (though we have never seen that), and any time you leave the US, there is some risk. You have to weigh the need for the travel against the risk. Take care, Jason

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