Updates on the Executive Orders: The Umpire Strikes Back

by Jason Dzubow on February 6, 2017

President Trump’s Executive Orders (“EOs”) on immigration triggered a series of lawsuits that are still playing out in federal courts across the nation. The lawsuits have resulted in orders barring certain portions of the EOs, at least for the time being.

Judge James Robart: Referees helping Refugees.

For those not familiar with the U.S. system, we have three (supposedly) co-equal branches of government: The executive (the President), the legislative (Congress), and the judicial (federal courts). The judicial generally acts as an umpire or referee, making sure that the other branches play by the rules, or in this case, the Constitution and laws of the United States. What has been happening with the EOs is that the President is asserting his authority over immigration (and the President does have broad authority over immigration), but he is constrained by the U.S. Constitution and the existing immigration law. The lawsuits argue that the President has overstepped his authority, and so far, most courts have agreed to issue preliminary orders blocking the EOs, at least until the courts can more fully analyze whether the orders comply with the law.

Probably the broadest decision thus far issued was by a U.S. District Judge in Seattle, James Robart. The lawsuit was brought by Washington State and the state of Minnesota in their role as “parens patriae of the residents living in their borders.” The decision temporary stays several key portions of the EO related to terrorism based on the Judge’s conclusion that the states’ lawsuit was likely to succeed on the merits and that the states face “immediate and irreparable injury” as a result of the EOs. Specifically, the Judge found that the EO “adversely affects the States’ residents in the areas of employment, education, business, family relations, and freedom to travel.” In addition, the Judge found that, “the States themselves are harmed by virtue of the damage that implementation of the Executive Order has inflicted upon the operations and missions of their public universities and other institutions of higher learning, as well as injuries to the States’ operations, tax bases, and public funds.” Thus, the Judge issued a temporary restraining order against the EO. The order blocks portions of the EO nationwide, and will remain in effect until the Court can reach a decision on the merits of the lawsuit (or until it is overturned by a higher court).

The President, through the Department of Justice, filed an appeal, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has thus far refused to overturn the District Judge’s order. So what does all this mean?

First, according to its website, USCIS “continues to adjudicate applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of origin, and applications and petitions of lawful permanent residents outside the U.S. USCIS also continues to adjudicate applications and petitions for individuals outside the U.S. whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization. Applications to adjust status also continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Jan. 27, 2017, ‘Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.'” This means that even if you are from one of the “banned” countries–Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya or Yemen–your case will be processed as before the EO. So USCIS should continue to issue decisions for nationals of such countries, at least for the time being.

Second, the State Department will resume issuing visas for people from the listed countries, including refugees. U.S. visas for nationals of these countries that were “provisionally revoked” are now “valid for travel to the United States, if the holder is otherwise eligible.” Meaning that if you are from a banned country and you have a valid U.S. visa, you should be able to enter the United States. Again, the Judge’s order is temporary, and it may be overturned, so if you have a visa and wish to come to the United States, you should do so immediately, since we do not know for how long the Judge’s temporary restraining order will remain in place.

Third, DHS/Customs and Border Protection is also following the Judge’s order, even if it is doing so reluctantly. From the CBP website:

In accordance with the judge’s ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order. DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure. At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President’s Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.

So all people with valid visas and who are otherwise eligible to enter–including nationals of the banned countries–should be able to board planes, travel to the United States, and enter the country. In short, the Judge’s order restores the situation for such travelers to how it was prior to the EOs.

Finally, I wrote in an update to last week’s post that additional countries may be added to the banned list. As long as the Judge’s order is in place, I doubt that will happen, and–more importantly–the State Department informed the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association that there was no “addendum, annex or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in [the] Executive Order.” Hopefully, this means that we will not see additional countries added to the “banned” list.

The legal fight over the EOs is a rapidly moving target, so before you make any travel plans, please check the news or check with a lawyer to make sure there are no additional changes affecting you. I will also try to keep posting updates here.

[Update, February 10, 2017 – In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the temporary restraining order put into place by Judge Robert will remain in place. So for now, implementation of the EO continues to be blocked.]

{ 141 comments… read them below or add one }

Mani February 23, 2017 at 3:27 am

I applied for asylum in aug 2015 and still waiting for the interview call, my EAD is going to expire and i have to apply for renewal of EAD. What are your suggestion as per the current situation on immigration policy. will it have any impact on the renewal and also would like to know if it would be okay to travel within usa by air

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

You should be able to apply for the new EAD normally, and you should be able to travel inside the US by air (as long as you have a valid ID). Take care, Jason

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Sweet February 22, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for all your time. I am a physician in training from Syria. I applied for asylum on April 2013 to Chicago office, interviewed on Aug 2014, and still no decision yet. Working on EAD still, and paying BUNCH of yearly taxes. It is really frustrating to me. All what I am getting by contacting Chicago office is that it is pending for security checks. My case is almost the longest delay I have heard of so far, now 4 years !!! ….why is that ? Should I be worried that this is most likely a sign for expected denial and referral to judge ? What should I do other than Ombudsman as I really feel it is useless. I have a US-citizen kid. And by the way, if I pursue GC through another route like EB2 while my asylum is still pending, must I have a ‘non-immigrant status’ other than “pending asylum” to adjust my status to GC later on ? For example, TPS…i.e is it a must ?

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 2:03 pm

If you have TPS or some other non-immigrant status, you may be able to adjust status and get your green card without leaving the US (or maybe by leaving on Advance Parole and then re-entering and then getting the green card). To know for sure, you would need to sit down with a lawyer and go over the details of your case. As for the delay, the only other option besides asking the asylum office and the Ombudsman is a mandamus lawsuit. Before you try it, you need to do inquiries with the asylum office and the Ombudsman. Mandamus may work, but it could also result in the case being denied (all that mandamus does is get you a decision; if USCIS cannot approve the case due to unresolved security issues, they will deny the case). Talk to a lawyer before you try that. Unfortunately, there are many people like you facing long delays (though I think I have no clients waiting 4 years; I do have some waiting more than 3 years though). It really is ridiculous and nonsensical. Take care, Jason

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Haneen February 22, 2017 at 7:09 am

Hello Jason,
I applied for Asylum case in sept 2016, and on feb 26 It will be 150 days, which is mean I can apply for work authorization, what are the possible reasons that my application could be canceled? And what if it cancels? And also has president trump given any orders about giving work authorization to the asylum seekers?

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:35 am

I see no reason why you should not revive the work permit. Trump has done nothing that would affect this, so you should be fine. Take care, Jason

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arman February 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Hello,
I am an asylum seeker and I am looking for a shelter or sth to stay or other helps like food, etc.. Do you know where I can find such helps?.

thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:22 am

You should talk to a local non-profit and see whether they can help you. I did a blog post on September 22, 2016 where I provided links to non-profits. The links are organized by state, so hopefully that will help you get started. Take care, Jason

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Hanita February 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Hi Jason,

Thank you for your support. I do have one question: On average, how long does it take to get an EAD renewed? I submitted my EAD renewal application in early December. On December 20, 2016, my application was transferred to the Virginia Office.

Thanks again
Hanita

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:16 am

The transfer is normal. We usually see renewals take 2 to 4 months. With the receipt and the old EAD, you are eligible to work – I wrote a post about that on January 25, 2017. Take care, Jason

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Izzac February 16, 2017 at 5:55 am

Dear jason
Thanks again i have two q
1/ iam asylum granted i applied for my wife and kida since 09/07/2016 and i didnt get approve for them yet
2/ i applied for travel docoments since 08/16/2016 and its almost 6 month and i didnt get it yet
I called the customer service they said its normal processing time , i checked the list it show that for travel docoments they are working in the same if my day 08/16/2016 for more than month , and for my kids on june/02/2016 ,, why you think its take time ? Is it normal ? Am obe of the 7 countries which the new adminstration want to ban them

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Jason Dzubow February 16, 2017 at 7:36 am

It seems a bit long to me in both cases. Since you have already inquired with USCIS, you might try seeking assistance from the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. They can sometimes help with delayed cases. Take care, Jason

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Elizabeth February 19, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Thank you so much and congrats!

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CH February 16, 2017 at 3:37 am

Dear the Asylumist community,

I thought I’d share this with you. Today I received my approval letter from the asylum office. All together, my asylum application lasted for almost two years. Please be patient and never lose hope in this country. Some of you might say that it is easier said than done. I had to endure this long time away from my wife and daughter. Believe me, the separation alone took a huge toll on me. But in the end, it is worth the wait.
Please never give up on the people of this country. Take Jason as an example. He has dedicated much of his life to helping people like us and he is spending a lot of his time posting news and updates and answering questions. And yes, Jason has been my attorney. Do yourself a favor and hire an attorney for the asylum process. And always tell the truth no matter where it takes you.
I wish all of you success in the process. Hang in there…your time will come.

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Jason Dzubow February 16, 2017 at 7:34 am

Thank you for the comment (and the endorsement!) and congratulations on the win. Take care, Jason

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Allen February 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Big Congrats!!!

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bagira February 18, 2017 at 3:04 pm

congrats bro…
and thanks for your kind words which for sure help us and believe on our day will come soon, will ask Allah to bless Jason and wish you all the best.

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pixie February 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Jason i am a greencard holder and applied i130 for my spouse dec2016. He ewi years ago. After i130 is approved, can i file 601a or do i need to wait for my citizenship to do that? I believe the 601a was expanded to include greencard spouse. I know there’s a priority date to follow if you are not an immediate relative. I am eligible to naturalize on nov 2019.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:25 pm

Sorry, I can only answer questions about asylum here. Take care, Jason

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Irie February 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Hi Jason,
My husband got asylum approved, he’s from Angola, and I have been granted derivative asylum. I am from Slovenia and would like to know if I can travel to my country and safely come back to the US.
What documents as a proof that asylum was granted for Angola should I provide if asked at immigration? It doesn’t say anywhere what country we got asylum from.
Thanks and be blessed!

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:24 pm

You should be able to travel to Slovenia with no problem. You only need your passport and a Refugee Travel Document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov) or a green card (if you have that yet) to re-enter the US. Take care, Jason

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Irie February 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Thanks a lot! I already applied for my travel doc!

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Riza February 15, 2017 at 12:51 am

Hello Jason

I applied for asylum and did not get a fingerprint notice – what should I do? Confirmation of acceptance has been received. Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Normally, people get the fingerprint notice in about 1 month, so yours is a bit slow. Maybe wait another couple weeks and if you do not receive it, contact the local asylum office and tell them the problem. Maybe they can help you. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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James February 14, 2017 at 11:46 pm

Hello Mr. Jason,

My asylum case is pending how ever when I checked online and understood my EAD is being produced. I am an Indian. Now I am waiting for my Card by Mail.

However, from this morning to noon I got about 12 calls from a Number +911 and +1911

I didn’t attend any of those calls.

Do you think USCIS or ICE / Deportation force will call an asylum seeker from above numbers ?

With Best Regards
James

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Allen February 15, 2017 at 1:51 am
Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:14 pm

While this website provides useful info, I would be careful about accessing it, as it seems untrustworthy to me in terms of computer viruses.

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Allen February 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm

I saw many H1B visa related posts inside this website, its name is also HIBWIKI. but I agree with you that it is always risky to access this kind of websites.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:08 pm

I have never head of such a call. If you have an asylum cases pending, you cannot be removed from the US without an opportunity to present your case, so I do not know why ICE would have an interest in you, unless they think you are a criminal or a terrorist. My guess is that it has nothing to do with your case, but of course, I do not know for sure. Take care, Jason

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Fateh February 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Hi Mr. Jason,

Thanks to help me for this question;

I’ve already married with us citizens since a year ago and I applied to adjust my status to permanent residence and I submit Ted all required documents, a month ago USCIS sent a letter to me for the medical test was not completed, I did another one and submitted again, they received on Jan,27.2017 and until now there is no any change in my case, is there any change or delay intentionally because I’m from Syria.
Thanks again.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:06 pm

We have not seen delay due to Syrian nationality, though that could change depending on whether the EOs are allowed to be implemented. I think it is too soon for there to be any change. If they received the medical exam, they should continue processing the case. Take care, Jason

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Thomas February 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Jason this is my timeline:

I was 19 when I applied for asylum in Chicago. I am from Lebanon.
On 15 Aug 2015 I landed in the the U.S.
I applied for asylum on 30 Aug 2015 in Chicago.
I was finger printed on 15 Sep 2015.
I was interviewed in Chicago on 15 Dec 2016.
On 17 Jan 2017 I was granted asylum.

I hope this helps anyone. I hope the world would calm down and peace and freedome roam the world.

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Mashal February 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm
mohamed rabih aljoujah February 15, 2017 at 1:24 am

Congratulations u from the 7 contrirs ?

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mohamed rabih aljoujah February 15, 2017 at 1:25 am

R u frim the 7 contries

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Very good – Congratulations on your asylum grant and welcome to America! And thank you for sharing this info, Jason

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Briella February 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Hello Jason! I have my asylum interview coming on the 6th of March. When I applied for my visa to the USA I stated that I was single when I was actually legally married. My wife had left me but she later came back to me after I had arrived in the USA. When I applied for asylum I included her in my application as a spouse. I am not sure how I should handle this situation if it comes up during the interview. I don’t them to deny my case because of this! Please help. Thank you!

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Marie February 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I don’t want to scare you but me and my husband were in the same situation (although we completely forgot about this question and didn’t think it’ll ever come up) and the officer pulled out all our visa applications and asked first my husband and then (when I came back in the room) he asked me! I would never thought they could dig that deep! So I advice you to come up with a good explanation and not lie.
P.S. We have been granted asylum 9 months after the interview.

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Briella February 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Marie- I am glad to hear you won your case. What explanation did you give?

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Marie February 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

We filed taxes as single (as we were advised by our representative) and genuinely thought we need to put the same for visa application

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:56 pm

You may want to submit a supplemental statement to them explaining what you did on the visa application (they know anyway) and why you did it. If a person lies on a visa application, USCIS can often forgive the lie and grant asylum – see a case called Matter of Pula. However, if you lie now and try to cover up the visa problem, they could easily deny your case. In my experience, if you tell the truth, and especially if you tell the truth before you are asked, it will help you. Here especially, since they will know you lied on your visa, there is no point in trying to hide it. Take care, Jason

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Mohamed February 14, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Hi Jason,
I swear you open our eyes to many things.
I have a question:
Could I renew my card if I got a notice to appear in the court?
Regards

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:53 pm

If you have an EAD based on asylum pending and your case goes to court, you can renew the EAD as before. Take care, Jason

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Prateek February 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

Hi Jason,
How are you?
My Pending Asylum base EAD is going the expire on 08/10/2017. So could you please tell me how long before I need to apply for renew.Thanks for your great help as always.

Prateek.

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Elena February 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Sorry, I am not Jason, but you can apply 120 days before your current EAD will expire.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:45 pm

The I-765 website says you can renew 180 days before it expires, though that is new, and I have until recently recommended people file 120 days before it expires. Take care, Jason

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Nuba February 14, 2017 at 9:33 am

Hi Jason,
I appreciate everything you been doing for so long now. I got a question, do you have any idea how long green cards take to be issued, I applied on October 2016 and did my finger prints on November 2016. Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm

It is a bit unpredictable, but normally it takes about 6 to 8 months. Take care, Jason

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Arafa February 14, 2017 at 7:20 am

Hi Jason,
I applied for asylum on October 2015 and interiewed on Feb 2016.
I got notice today of hearing in removal proceeding immigration court. “please take notice that the above-captioned case has been schedule for a master hearing before the immigration court on Apr 10,2017 at 08:30 ”

I also received a letter from Chicago asylum office, that they refer me to the court and a notice to appear i-862. What scare me that they wrote in the notice of appear:
“at your hearing you may request relief from deportation, including political asylum”

What do that mean? they will arrest me.

Waiting for your kindly reply.

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

I highly doubt they will arrest you in court. You can now present your case again before the judge. Either the judge will grant asylum or order you deported. If you are ordered deported, you can appeal. A lawyer makes a big differences in court cases, and so I highly recommend you find a lawyer to help you. Take care, Jason

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Arafa February 14, 2017 at 8:14 am

Thank you,
I have to renew my EAD tomorrow? Can I submit my I-765 application or I can not because I am in removal proceedings?
Regards

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

You can renew the EAD just as you had before; it does not matter that your case is in removal proceedings. Take care, Jason

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Sean February 14, 2017 at 3:43 am

Appreciate your work Jason, I’ve a question? Been waiting for my interview for almost 2 years as Houston TX was controlling and reviewing my case, but today I got a letter from USCIC that my case has been transferred to Virginia Arlington office, I couldn’t understand why is it so? Would you mind elaborating why theyreally doing so?

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:33 am

Unless you moved to the area of the Arlington, VA office, I do not see why they would move your case. My guess is that they transferred your I-765 (work permit) case to Virginia, not your asylum case. If it is your asylum case, maybe contact the asylum office in Virginia (and Texas) and ask what happened. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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arman February 13, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Hello,
I am an asylum seeker in USA. I am still pending for my EAD and I live in hardship.Can I apply for another country as a refugee?. What UNHCR says about people like me that want to transfer their case?.How can I do that?.What countries I can apply?.Where can I apply?.

thanks.

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:26 am

You cannot transfer your case. You can go to another country and start a new case. If you want to do that, talk to a lawyer in the new country to make sure you are eligible before you go there. Take care, Jason

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Meli February 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Hi Jason, I so I got a court date in a couple of weeks, and I haven’t done a finger print, they say it’s been stopped for courts and rerun the previous finger prints. Is it true? My court is MD and its individual hearing.

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:16 am

The rules on fingerprints have changed several times. Now, for most people who have been printed, they do not need to be printed again. To be sure, you (or your lawyer) can call the DHS office of chief counsel to check – a link with their phone number is at right. Take care, Jason

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Alberth February 13, 2017 at 9:03 am

Hey there! Jason thank you for website, how long it’s taking to put the fingerprints?, I got the blue telegram!

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:09 am

We usually see our clients get the fingerprint appointment 1 to 3 weeks after they receive the receipt. Take care, Jason

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Rahe February 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Hi Jason,

Thank you for all that you do on this site!

I applied for my first EAD on January 31, and it reached the Vermont Service Center on Feb 2. I still have not received any form of confirmation, email or otherwise. I know quite a few people who had received acceptance confirmation via email the day USCIS got the application. Any thoughts? Could they be just overloaded?

Thanks!

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Allen February 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm

did you mail your application to Texas address or directly to Vermont service center?

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Jason Dzubow February 13, 2017 at 7:19 am

You only receive an email confirmation if you filed the form to get email from USCIS. If not, you would receive the receipt in 2 to 4 week, so I think it is too soon to worry about this. Take care, Jason

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Laith February 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Dear Jason
I’m an Iraqi citizen i have a pending asylum case since August 2014 with the Arlington office, in December 2016 i have applied for a travel document and Im wondering would the travel ban issued by Trump effect the processing of my travel document.
Also I’m following the the asylum scheduling bulliten for the Arlington office and it has been Stuck at Jan. 2014 from July till today, is that normal or do you have some information on what that means.
Thanks, Regards,

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

The EOs related to people from Iraq and the other countries are currently blocked by a court. However, this could change basically at any time, so travel is very risky. IF you must go, keep a close eye on the news, and if it seems things will change you should come back immediately. The problem is, things could change with no warning (if Trump issues a new EO, for example) and you could be stuck outside the US. As for the time frame, Arlington is slowly interviewing cases, so I do expect we will see some movement on the scheduling bulletin at some point. Take care, Jason

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Tareq February 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Hi Jason, what do you mean by you expect to “see some movement on the scheduling bulletin”? Are you talking specifically bout Arlington or you are talking in general? By the way, my case is at Houston Asylum office.

Thanks!

Tareq

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:50 pm

In this instance, I was speaking about Arlington. Take care, Jason

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Ann February 11, 2017 at 9:53 pm

Hi ! Maybe you know how long I need Waite for my decision affet interview? I m waiting more than 2 month’s. Thank you Jason

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Sarah February 12, 2017 at 4:20 am

It’s very variant I’ve heard and there is not any fixed and definite time. For some people it takes many months it seems…

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Unfortunately, this cannot be predicted. We have seen people get decisions in a few days; other people take several years (and still waiting). You can contact the asylum office to ask about your case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. You can also contact the USCIS Ombudsman (a link is also at right), and they may be able to help with a delayed case. Take care, Jason

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Adam February 11, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Dear Jasone,

I am asylum applicant, my case referred to the judge, In case i have stop by Immigration officer or police. What is the proper answer will be if he asked my my statues in the U.S.

Thanks,

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Sarah February 12, 2017 at 4:18 am

You should have your ID card (EAD card or driving licence) with you (or be able to catch it at home…). They for sure have your records, since upon asylum application you go through fingerprinting, etc. Unless you asylum becomes rejected you are NOT an illegal alien and have nothing to be worried about.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Your status is asylum pending, and you should have a copy of the documents from the asylum officer and the court showing that you have a case pending. Take care, Jason

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Lance February 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

I am under pending decision for asylum since 3 years. Things are getting very tight on us as one of the affected people of the 7 countries. My family failed yesterday to transfer money from outside of the US to my bank account “to help me buy food, live and eat!!” because we hold a nationality as one of the 7 countries. I am not pretty sure what decision they have suspended, but things still going very tight

I have a question here. Do I have the right to withdraw my asylum application, and do I have the right to request for all hard copies of my complete asylum profile? I want to shred everything. this is in case I decided to leave the US to another safe country. I won’t feel safe keeping the information I “innocently” gave with people are not even able to provide me with the least level of stability and safety. I am afraid they disclose these info to my home country by some way. I don’t trust their promises to protect and keep things confidential anymore. Please let me what you think? Am I right to think like this? Or I went too far?

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Allen February 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm

I am not Jason but I can give you some advice.
1. you have a right to withdraw your asylum application and (maybe …probably) right to ask for hard copies of your asylum application. But they will always have records for your asylum application. if you leave USA after this, your chances for a VISA for USA is slim to none.
2. USA will not share your information with your home country in any condition.you can be sure about that. But they will share your asylum information with Canada since they have a safe third country agreement and you cannot claim asylum in Canada if you have previously applied for asylum in USA. However, you secrete is pretty safe. you don’t have to worry about it.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

I agree with this – I forgot to respond to part about withdrawing. You can do it, you would need to contact the asylum office and inform them about what you are doing. If you are seeking asylum in a third country, it may be safer to wait until you have moved to the third country before you withdraw your case. You can contact the asylum office and withdraw the case at that time. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

You can get a copy of your entire asylum case (using form G-639, available at http://www.uscis.gov), but you cannot erase the case. USCIS has a copy of the case and will keep that. While I do not always trust that the government keeps cases confidentially, they generally do, and it is rare that we have seen violation of confidentiality. Take care, Jason

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bass February 11, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Hi Jason and god bless you, you are always a light spot for us specially in these gloomy days.
My inquiry is if I’m granted asylum case from one of the 7 countries, can I travel to a third country with a travel document or I might risk my case and can’t enter the US again.
-One more question if i win the lottery am I going to be accepted even with my asylum case status (or the sitizens from the 7 countries are excluded from the lottery).
Thank you foreverything

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm

If you are from one of the seven countries, and you leave the US, you risk being unable to return. However, the EO has been stayed, meaning it is not currently in effect. So if you left now, and nothing changes, you should be able to return. Things could change, however, and then you might be blocked from entering. You will have to keep a close watch on the news, because if things change, you could be blocked from re-entering. Unfortunately, the situation now is quite uncertain, and you might be better off waiting until things settle down before traveling. I do not see how the lottery would help you much; you can get your GC based on asylum anyway, and I do not know whether you are eligible for the GC based on the lottery. But if you win, talk to a lawyer about that. Take care, Jason

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bass February 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Thank you very much Jason for the clarification. Sorry for not putting the second question in a right way and there is missing information . its for someone else still with pending asylum case and also from the 7 countries.

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Haweken February 10, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Hi Jason,

Thank you for being the only hope we have here in this tough time. When my patience for these terrible waiting time gets to its limit, I read these beautiful blog and get re-energised. Thanks Very much!
Me and my wife are approaching three years waiting our asylum interview and it looks no where near in the future. Here in Los Angeles office it is really frustrating. Do you think we can apply for green card based on our son who was born here. Previously you told me he is already a US citizen as he was born in US.

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Allen February 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

I am not Jason. But the answer is no. your child can only sponsor you for green card after he is aged 18.

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Haweken February 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Thanks Allen,
I just read it at the USCIS website and you are right. The age limit is 21 years indeed.
Thank you for sharing your information once again.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

Actually, the US citizen child needs to be 21 to sponsor a parent. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

If your son is 21 years old, he can sponsor you. Otherwise, if your case is in court, you may be eligible for “Cancellation of Removal”, which would depend in part on a US citizen son. For that, you have to be in court, and there are other requirements as well (you must have been in the US for at least 10 years, and other requirements). USCIS has been trying to assist the LA office by diverting some of their work to another asylum office (via telephone), so hopefully that will make things move a bit faster in LA. Take care, Jason

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Jim February 10, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Dear Jason,

You don’t know how I pray to you every time I read your blogs, specially when you explains everything in detains. You amazed me how you feel and concern about the refugee. I have question, Asylum pending applicant ( my case refer to the Judge) I am conceder an illegal immigrant ?

Thanks

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Sarah February 11, 2017 at 1:45 pm

No you are not illegal. You will be illegal if for example your case gets reviewed and you get the interview but then fail it; after that if you still do not leave the country you would be considered illegal. But as long as you have a pending asylum you are NOT illegal.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:32 am

The term “illegal immigrant” is not a term in the law, so I really cannot answer your question. You are lawfully present in the United States, because you are allowed to be here until your case is decided. However, you do not have any lawful immigration status, and for that reason, you are in removal proceedings before the judge. Take care, Jason

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XY February 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Hi Jason
I applied for the initial EAD in Dec2016.but in Jan26 I got request from that side for additional evidence ND ithey need my color copy of passport or visa I reply to the letter very next day I call the helpline after 15 days to ask that my case status didn’t change online its still the same u guys recieved it or not.They say v cannot tell u v recieve it or not but v update the Status between 60 days as v put it vd ur case after that v Gona update it.wat do u think sir they vl take more then the normal time to send me the EAD?because it already 2 months ND between this bcoz of evidence request my clock stop after 45 days wat do u think they vl again count 90 days after they receive the evidence or they vl start resume it from 45 days? ND on the website they say they have to give the decision in 90 days for the EAD ND if additional evidence required more time vl b added.
U answer vl b really helpful for me
Take Care

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

Sorry, I do not really understand your question. Normally, we see EADs take 2 to 4 months, and it is a bit longer sometimes for people who get a request for evidence. If you are concerned about the time frame, call USCIS. The number is at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Helen February 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

Hi! Jason

I’ve applied for asylum 2 years ago. After 2 months I’vemaster hearing at baltimore asylum court. I’ve two childs . I couldn’t to challenge life lonely. How long will be the current appointment date of the Court? Can I ask the judge to expedition my case due to my problem? What do advice me? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

The length of the case depends on who your judge is. If you have a reason to ask for an expedited date, you can tell the judge and ask for a sooner hearing. If they can help you, they usually will, but it depends on their schedule. Also, it is difficult to win a case in court without a lawyer, and so I recommend you find a lawyer to help you. Take care, Jason

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Tina February 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm

Hi Jason,,

Thank you so much for the sacrifices you make here . Sometimes, I wonder how you find the time for this blog, imagining how “full” your plate must be.
I just want to express my fears… you know, I am more afraid of Ice than I am of Trump. He gives this orders and then ICE takes them 1000 notches higher. I am so depressed that sometimes, I wish the earth would just open up and swallow me . Its more heart breaking to see my teenager live in so much fear and depression. We are here legally and have a pending asylum case4, but I honestly feel I can be profiled one day and sent back.
I wish I could find my way to Canada.
How can we live in so much fear. Running from fear to “fear”.

I hope I have not blabbed too much.

GOD bless you.

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Jason Dzubow February 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

You are not alone. Apparently, there have been studies of non-citizens in the US, and the threat of deportation causes a lot of mental health issues, such as depression and stress. I think it is particularly bad for asylum seekers, since many of them have already suffered traumas. I do think there is an issue of ICE becoming more aggressive under Trump, but they were pretty aggressive under Obama, so it is not 100% clear yet how much worse it will be (though I suspect it will be worse). Since you have an asylum case pending, you should be protected from any problems with ICE, and I have not heard about anyone with asylum pending being targeted by ICE. So hopefully, you will be fine and can just process your case as before. Take care, Jason

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Tina February 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for your kind and reassuring response. I hope to someday discuss my case with you, one on one, hoping you have availability when I am economically ready.

GOD bless you.

Basil February 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Hi Jason ,for initial EAds for pending asylum ,some people are getting their cards 20-30 days ..does it help if I have a lawyer following up on my case ?

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:29 am

I do not think a lawyer will affect the speed of the EAD process, as long as there are no errors in the application, I think it will be processed at the same rate regardless of whether or not you have a lawyer. Take care, Jason

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Roob February 9, 2017 at 9:23 am

Thanks for the support Mr. Jason. I did my interview at Arlington office on November 2015. I’ve not received a decision but every time I check with the asylum office, they say it is waiting a supervisor’s review. Is it normal for a supervisor to keep a file with him for 15 months for a review? Is there anything I can do to expedite a decision on my case?. Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:18 am

Unfortunately, this is pretty common. It may be that your case is at headquarters, where there are long delays. There is not much you can do that is effective. One idea is to contact the USCIS Ombudsman, a link is at right. They can sometimes help with delayed cases or at least (maybe) give you a better idea about why the case is delayed. Take care, Jason

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Sara February 9, 2017 at 7:48 am

Hi Jason , an interview has finally been scheduled for Feb 23, as i am from one of the concerned countries (sudan)do you think a decision will be made in my case or it will be on hold ?? Also do you think that there will be changes in the interview ground for people from those countries? I mean do you think it is rather most unlikely to an officer to grant asylum to applicants from subject countries?

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yousle February 9, 2017 at 4:38 pm

congratulation Sara . i hope you got your decision also very soon .me too from Sudan waiting my interview almost 3 years new jersey asylum office . take care .

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Sara February 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Thank you Yousle , now it is 3 years to me as well , hope the decision won’t be delayed due this new immigration reforms ! Good luck to you as well

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Muhammad February 9, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Good Luck Sara,

I have question. Which asylum office and when did you file for asylum ?

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:16 am

At this point the EOs remain on hold and your case should be processed normally. However, for our cases from Muslim-majority countries, we have seen long delays after the interview (we have seen this problem for at least 5 years; it is nothing to do with the EOs), so you might have delays after the decision. You can (gently) ask the asylum officer whether he or she can give you an idea of the time frame for the decision. The officer may tell you something, but often times, the officers expect a decision sooner than the decision is actually issued. On a positive note, at least for our clients from Sudan, the delay has not been as great as for people from other Muslim-majority countries. Good luck in the interview, Jason

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Ali February 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Hi Jason,

Would you tell us on average, how long does it take for your Iranian clients to get the decision?

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

There is no average, so I cannot tell you. I can tell you that the delays we have seen for Iranians are not nearly as bad as for many other countries, including Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Take care, Jason

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bagira February 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm

good luck Sara.. and please let us now what’s update on your case!! am from Sudan too and I have been interviewed since June 2015 and still waiting for decision…

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Mohamed February 9, 2017 at 1:13 am

Could I apply to renew my EAD card before the 120 days of its expiration?

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2017 at 7:21 am

The USCIS website for I-765 forms (available at http://www.uscis.gov) now says that you can “generally” apply 180 days before the old card expires (I am not sure what “generally” means here). This seems like a recent change. In our office, we will continue to recommend that people apply 120 days before the card expires until it is clear that the 180 day time period is working. Take care, Jason

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Louis February 8, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Not pretty sure how to interpret the latest action on the USCIS website. They removed Feb.03 news “USCIS continue to adjudicate cases”. And placed Feb.08 news link to DHS saying that the EOs are suspended. But the department of justice will file emergency stay for the EO to defend the president’s order. And they said: “The order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the president has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so”

I see this like a prepping or drill to people to pave the way for further actions to place the EO back again into action

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2017 at 7:19 am

Probably that was their orders from above. It is similar to what was on the CBP website. In any case, they do not get to decide whether the court order blocking the EO was correct, that is up to the appeals court. They can of course set forth the president’s opinion about why the EOs were needed, and it seems that this is what they have done. Other than stating the president’s rationale for the order, I think the statement on their website is not relevant. Take care, Jason

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Louis February 9, 2017 at 9:11 pm

The president tweeted today after the appeal decision:
“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

What do you think about the supreme court mood. Do you think they will agree/disagree the EO?

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Jason Dzubow February 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

The current order (from the Ninth Circuit) is related only to the initial evaluation of the case. Reading the order, I was a bit surprised that they took such a broad view of their power to review the EO. Certain portions of the EO (related to lawful permanent resident or other aliens in the US) seem to me reviewable, but the court also blocked the EO’s restriction on refugees coming from overseas and discussed the idea that the EO was an improper form of religious discrimination. I am doubtful that these portions of the EO will be blocked by a court. I hope that courts will continue to block the EO, but I am skeptical as to whether they actually have the power to do so, at least for certain portions of the order. Take care, Jason

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Hmong Bong February 8, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Jason, I have my individual hearing in immigration court coming up next month. I was detained as an arriving alien in May 2014, paroled September 2014, and since I’ve been working and living in Los Angeles, awaiting patiently for my individual hearing.

How can I prepare for my case? My lawyer and I will probably do a mock hearing soon, and I know my facts well, and they’re also well-documented by the media in my home country and international media (e.g. Huff Post covered my news, Fox News too, BBC in England, Associated Press, Reuters, etc.). It was a free speech case — I was a blogger who was imprisoned for some political satire against Islam.

Will Trump’s EOs affect me? I’ve also researched the individual judge, and it turned out that he has a 80% denial rate (Jesus). Should I be worried?

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2017 at 7:13 am

I would not be too worried about the Judge’s denial rate, as it could be influenced by other factors (maybe he hears a lot of detained cases, which are more difficult to win, for example). Your Lawyer’s job is to prepare you for the case. In our office, we do two practice sessions before the trial so our clients can practice and so we can explain step-by-step what happens in court. Also, the lawyer should help identify problems in the case and how you should respond. The lawyer should also help you with the evidence. Evidence must be submitted in advance of the court hearing, so hopefully your lawyer helped with that by telling you what evidence you should try to get. Other than that, there is not much to tell you. Get a good night sleep before the trial and good luck, Jason

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Shareef February 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Hi.Sir i am an asylum pending applicant from New York . i want to change my address from same areas in queens NY but differnt zip code.My Q is that:
1.May i submit my AR 11 form only online or in written form by mail too?
2. if i send by mail then where i send my form? to vermont center?where i sent my asylum form or to New york office?
Kindly guide me in detail plz.

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Jason Dzubow February 9, 2017 at 7:06 am

You can submit on-line and you should also submit it directly to your local asylum office. You can find their contact info and mailing address if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Pkboy February 8, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Hi Jason
Blessings to you.
I have one question. My lawyers is not cooperating with me and he said he will not apply the EAD for me. I already send him more than half of the payment. But he is insisting me to give him all the payment and it is only 4 months to apply for astlum application.
Can i changer the lawer? What he can impact on my petition of asylum if i hire the other lawer.
He already mentioned his name in my asylum application.
Please help.
God be with you always.

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 5:25 pm

You can change the lawyer, and it sounds like you should change lawyers. Also, you may be entitled to a refund from the first lawyer for a portion of the fee (though usually it is very difficult to get a refund). Maybe ask your new lawyer to discuss that with you. Take care, Jason

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Mynation February 7, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Hello Jason,

Hope you are doing great. Not sure if you have enough time to reply, but I wanted to ask what is the best way to check the decision of the case of online? It looks like if you go to the website of USCIS and insert your case number, nothing shows up.

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:44 am

You cannot check an asylum case on line. You need to ask the asylum office directly. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Helen February 7, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Hi Jason,

I was interviewed 3 months ago and I was told that a decision will be mailed to me because the officer would be on vacation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. About 3 weeks ago, I emailed USCIS for a case status update and they have informed me that the officer hasn’t rendered a decision yet. I have heard that the officer who interviewed me has a history of delaying results. Can officers delay results without a reason? don’t they have a time constraint for decisions? And I also want to ask if it will make any difference if I inquire in-person?
Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:36 am

Some officers are faster than others, but the delay could also relate to the security background check or some other reason. I am not sure that it makes much difference if you go in person, but sometimes, people do seem to get more info that way. Beside the asylum office, you can also inquire with the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. This might provide you with more info than you get at the asylum office. Take care, Jason

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Ken February 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Hi Jason,
I have applied for EAD renewal and received a notice saying they transferred my case to VA. For many years they have been processing my renewal in CA and all of a sudden decided to send it to VA. Is it because I was born in one of those 7 countries? If so, then they are not smart for doing that, as i left that country with my family when I was a little kid and never went back to that country plus I was in the USA for more than 15 years and came from a completely different country which has nothing to do with those 7 countries in many aspects included religious, political, and economical. So, basically they are wasting the taxpayers money doing unnecessary extra useless work instead of going after bad guys. Not smart at all. Your thoughts please. Thanks.

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AlexH February 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Hi, ken,
I am in the same situation with you, only difference is I am not from those 7 nations, however, I think what they did is basically following their procedures, because the office we used to send EAD to has too much workload, so they just simply transferred to VA. Hope this helps you.

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Ken February 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm

No it does not help. I hope Jason comments.

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AlexH February 7, 2017 at 8:56 pm

hah, okay pretty straightforward. Jason will comment, no worries

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:29 am

Many cases are being transferred to VA for processing. I think it has nothing to do with your country of birth. USCIS moves cases around depending on its workload. Hopefully, this is a routine move and you will get your EAD soon. Take care, Jason

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Mo February 8, 2017 at 9:32 pm

This has nothing to do with your country of origin. I applied last November from California (Obama Admin.) and they routed my EAD renewal case to Texas. So don’t be worry about this.

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Hanita February 7, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Hi Jason,
Thank you for your support during this frustrating time of our life. I do have one question: IS USCIS functioning as ‘normal’ after the EO? I mean are they scheduling interviews, sending out decision letters, etc.? Or is it at a complete stop?

Thank you
Hanita

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:22 am

As of now, everything is functioning as before the EO. Depending what happens in the various court battles, that could change, so keep an eye on the news (and I will try to update this website as well). Take care, Jason

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Hanita February 8, 2017 at 11:49 am

Thanks a lot, Jason.

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Muhammad Mehdi February 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Dear Jason,

Thank you so much for all your support and help. God bless you. I have one question
I fled my country due to my religious prosecution. I have always being discriminated in my country. This EO brings back those memories again. I feel I am a pariah again. I don’t know if someone attacks I have right to defend myself.

After the president’s EO, what are my rights? Do I have right to freedom of religion just like another American?
I am an asylee with pending status.

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:19 am

The EO does not affect your ability to worship as you choose. It is very unfortunate that the president is taking certain positions against Muslims, but for those in the US, they have Constitutional protections that the president cannot take away. And unless you are from one of the listed countries, the EO does not affect you. Take care, Jason

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Muhammad Mehdi February 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Thank you

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Louis February 6, 2017 at 6:14 pm

How easy it is for people banned from coming to the US, in comparison with people who are already on the US land since years ago. For unknown reason, fewer people including your blog discussing what is going to happen for people “inside” the US. The whole media debate between the president and the judicial (federal courts) was about protecting the country from expected bad people who might plan to come to the US.

So for the “inside” people. Their lives stopped by banning them from getting their status maintained. And, their lives resumed by the federal court halt decision

Would you please help us showing the president point of view (in case you know it!!), how is he going to protect the country from people who are “already inside” the US, by banning them from getting their immigration benefits? like green cards, EDAs, extending H1Bs… etc??

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:30 am

I do not think the ban is really designed to protect the US from people who are already here. I think the idea is to make life more painful for such people and hope that they leave. My opinion is that it will make us less safe, by leaving people in limbo and damaging relationships between the US and our Muslim allies (and also our non-Muslim allies). Take care, Jason

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Louis February 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Where to go !!
Ocean is behind us. Trump’s is on front of us closing in very tight. Syrian president is on the left happily waiting to slay us. Canada is on the right restricting us because of the “Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement”. Sky is the only way on the top of us. God be with us

Please help me figuring out a way to find good Canadian immigration lawyer. I believe it is time to start planning on evacuating..

I read your article about Canada:
http://www.asylumist.com/2016/03/31/asylum-in-canada-is-not-for-everyone-sorry-aboot-that/

I hope if they add the exception for Syrians during this special circumstances:
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/stca-etps-eng.html

I tried to use the links to find good Canadian immigration lawyer. But I failed, a lot of options, wasn’t able to recognize the bad from the good lawyer. I know you cannot do commercial for specific person in public. But I hope if you accept the exception this time. Please help me referring me to a good Canadian immigration lawyer. I had enough from American lawyers, when they take money and completely leave you alone when your payments are done. My lawyer is not even responding to my emails, and not returning my calls when I leave him messages. I definitely need someone like you, who can give ears, make beneficial advise, and find me a way to get me to Canada as an exception under this agreement “safe third country”

Please help..

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Jason Dzubow February 8, 2017 at 7:25 am

I do not have a lawyer in Canada to refer you to. Maybe try contact some charitable organizations in Canada to ask for help. I am sure there are refugee organizations there, and maybe they can refer you. Also, maybe try the Council on American Islamic Relations. They have lawyers and are trustworthy – maybe they have some contacts in Canada that would help. Good luck, Jason

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A February 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm

I asked questions about my asylum request, this was the reply, What does it mean?
Your application has been received and is queued for scheduling. An asylum interview will be scheduled as soon as resources permit. You (and any dependent family members over the age of 14) must comply with all requests to appear for fingerprinting before an asylum interview will be scheduled.

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Jason Dzubow February 7, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think it just means that your case is the queue with everyone else. You can get an idea about waiting times if you look at the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin – a link is at right. Take care, Jason

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