May 16, 2017:
If you receive a phone call that appears to come from the Canadian government’s Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Call Centre (1-888-242-2100), hang up! Scammers are altering their caller IDs to appear as if they are calling from the IRCC Call Centre. The scammers tell people that their names and identities are under federal investigation. Sometimes they tell individuals that there is a legal case, an affidavit, and/or allegations against them.
If you receive a call demanding personal information or payment, hang up immediately. If you want to check the status of your case, you may:
- Make an InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov;
- Use myUSCIS to find up-to-date information about your application; or
- Call our National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to ask if you need to do anything about your case or immigration status.
Remember, USCIS officials will never threaten you or ask for payment over the phone or in an email. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. All requests for official payments will arrive on government stationery. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not provide details about your immigration case in any public area.
If you receive a scam email or phone call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://1.usa.gov/1suOHSS. If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.
Visit the Avoid Scams Initiative at www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams for more information on common scams and other important tips.
USCIS Public Engagement Division – Contact us at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov with any questions.
November 1, 2016: From The New York Times:
A South Korean Man Adopted by Americans Prepares for Deportation. Adam Crapser, 41, was denied his last appeal to remain in the U.S. last week and is making plans for a life in South Korea. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/us/adam-crapser-deportation-south-korea.html?mwrsm=Email
August 12, 2016:
When 19-year-old Olympian Simone Biles does her signature move, the “Biles,” crowds go crazy. Fans may adore the 4 foot 9 inch, three- time world all-around champion, but no one is as proud as her parents. Simone’s parents have been with her from the early days of seeing her tumble in their living room to witnessing her rise as one of the world’s greatest athletes. What makes Simone’s family unique is the fact that her committed and loving parents are also her grandparents.
Follow the link for the full story on Olympian Simone Biles:
An independent outlook is what we need in Washington.” by Margaret Stock. http://www.margaretforalaska.com/…”I’m running for Senate because Congress is failing Alaska. The parties and the politicians in DC are putting their own agendas ahead of the interests of our state. I’m guided by Alaska’s interests and by the founding principles of our nation state.
January 19, 2016 – PRESS RELEASE
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s petition for a writ of certiorari in Texas v. United States, and directed the parties to brief and argue “Whether the Guidance violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, Art. II, §3.” AILA President Victor Nieblas welcomed the Court’s decision to take up the case, and urged the Court to affirm the constitutionality of executive branch immigration powers. “[T]he final ruling will … go far beyond immigration,” Mr. Nieblas noted. “No single state should be empowered to thwart the federal government’s nationwide policy decisions.” See AILA’s Texas v. United States page for background and resources related to this case.
January 17, 2016 – Interesting apps relating to immigration – Download them to your smart phone found in your AppStore free of charge:
- CitizenshipWorks (Android, iPhone—free):
CitizenshipWorks walks eligible immigrants through the naturalization process. Using the app, they’re able to determine their eligibility to become a U.S. citizen, find out what documents they need to make it happen, and discover access to free and low-cost legal help for naturalization. They also can use the app to study for two key tests that are part of the naturalization process: English and civics.
- Pocket DACA (Android, iPhone—free):
This is a helpful self-screening tool for foreign children living in the U.S. without the proper immigration paperwork. Essentially, it allows these kids to determine whether they qualify for a renewable, two-year reprieve from deportation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, under the department’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process. Included is a searchable directory of immigration legal services providers in all 50 states. And there are links to breaking news on DACA.
January 2016 – Information about the Federal Adoption Tax Credit: Basically, allows adopting parents to take a tax credit for qualified expenses to adopt a child. A tax credit is different from a tax deduction; it is better. A credit is an amount that is subtracted from the adopting parents’ tax liability. The maximum available tax credit for 2016 is $13,460.00. Follow the links to learn more on Adoption Tax Credit: https://www.irs.gov and http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/
June 24, 2015 – Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson announced his decision to designate Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months based on the conditions resulting from the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent aftershocks. As a result, eligible nationals of Nepal residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notice published today provides details and procedures for applying for TPS.
The TPS designation for Nepal is effective today, June 24, 2015, and will be in effect through December 24, 2016. The designation means that, during the designated period, eligible nationals of Nepal (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Nepal) will not be removed from the United States and may receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins June 24, 2015 and runs through December 21, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been both “continuously physically present” and “continuously residing” in the United States since June 24, 2015. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all TPS-related fees based on inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request. All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833) at no cost.
For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and the USCIS blog The Beacon.
Customs & Border Patrol at the Freedom Bridge in El Paso, TX. Irene spoke at the Federal Bar Conference. Members of the Federal Bar were given a comprehensive tour of the Border Crossing facilities. Photo is with CBP officer and attorney Arturo Rodriguez, who is barred in Mexico and Texas.
May 17, 2015 – The Holiman’s spent more than a year looking for an attorney knowledgeable in immigration and private adoption law. Cruz was five months from his 16th birthday by the time they found Irene Steffas, a lawyer in Georgia…read the entire story…http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article21246573.html
March 12, 2015 – 3rd Annual AILA Bangkok District Chapter Conference in Manila, Philippines – Attorney Irene Steffas speaks on ARTS she joined the conference via the Web…