Legal Aid helps clients get more stable immigration status in the United States. Legal Aid serves:

  • Domestic violence survivors
  • Victims of trafficking and other serious crimes
  • Detainees

Immigration Law Matters We Handle

  • Language access problems for both immigrants and non-immigrants
  • U Visas for victims of serious crimes
  • T Visas for victims of human trafficking
  • Violence Against Women Act petitions for survivors of domestic violence
  • Family Petitions
  • Visa Processing
  • Deportation
  • Naturalization
  • Citizenship

FAQs

What is “deferred action,” and what children qualify? Close

On June 15, 2012 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum stating some individuals who came to the United States as children will qualify for “deferred action” for a period of two years. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is not a path to citizenship but does defer removal action (deportation proceedings) for an individual and allow the individual to apply for a “work permit”. With a valid work permit an individual may get a social security card and driver’s license or state ID. The initial two year period may be renewed for qualifying individuals.

To qualify for deferred action under this program, the individual must:

  • have come to the U.S. under the age of 16;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • be in school currently, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.;
  • have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • not be above the age 30 on June 15, 2012.

Applications for DACA are now being accepted. Applicants may still apply if they have pending petitions or applications for other relief, such as a U Visa.

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services information about DACA:

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia

Websites that include information about DACA, lists of DACA workshops, and a preliminary self-screening tool:

We Own the Dream

Únete al Sueño

I am a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (“green card” holder). May I petition for family members? Close

As a U.S. Citizen you may petition for your spouse, parents, siblings, and children (married or unmarried) to get legal status in the U.S.

As a Permanent Resident (“green card” holder) you may petition for your spouse and unmarried children to get legal status in the U.S.

Next Steps

Contact Legal Aid.

What are my rights if I am detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)? Close

As a detainee your rights include:

  • Talking to an attorney about your case at your own expense
  • Asking for release from custody on bond
  • Contacting your country’s Consulate or Embassy
  • Contacting your family members
  • Medical care, food, visitation privileges, telephone access, marriage requests and religious services

Next Steps

Contact Legal Aid.

Other Resources

Notice to Immigration Detainees in Northeast Ohio
Cleveland Immigration Court
Immigration & Customs Enforcement

I am already a Permanent Resident ("green card" holder). Why should I become a U.S. Citizen? Close

There are several advantages to becoming a U.S. Citizen, including:

  • Ability to petition for your relatives (parents, siblings, married children) to get status in the United States
  • Ability to work for the U.S. government
  • Right to vote
  • Ability to spend more than six months a year outside the United States
  • Stability of Weather and nation high school alerts will appear here. status in the United States

Next Steps

Attend Legal Aid”s next Citizenship Day Clinic.

Other Resources

Study Materials for the Naturalization Test
General Path to Citizenship

My abusive spouse won’t petition for me to get legal status. What are my options? Close

You may be able to get legal status through something called the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”).

Spouses and children of abusive U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (“green card” holders) may be able to get legal status in the U.S. without their abuser knowing.

Parents of abusive U.S. citizens may also be able to get legal status in the U.S. without their abusive child knowing.

Next Steps

Contact Legal Aid.

Other Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline

How do I get a copy of my file with Immigration? Close

You may use Form G-639, a Freedom of Information Act Request, to ask for a copy of your Immigration file.

You may also ask for a copy of your FBI file by sending the Federal Bureau of Investigations your fingerprints.

Next Steps

Attend a brief advice clinic.

Other Resources

Form G-639, Freedom of Information Act Request
How to Ask for your FBI File

What does Limited English Proficiency (LEP) mean? Close

Someone with Limited English Proficiency does not speak, read, write, or understand English well.

Additional Resources

Limited English Proficiency Federal

What are your rights if you have Limited English Proficiency? Close

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people with Limited English Proficiency. Title VI requires U.S. government agencies and state or local organizations that get money from the U.S. government to take reasonable steps (example: using an interpreter or a bilingual staff member) when helping people with Limited English Proficiency.

What organizations in Northeast Ohio must provide you with an interpreter? Close

  • ALL public and charter schools (NOT Catholic or other private schools)
  • Public and subsidized housing agencies
  • Social Security Administration
  • Unemployment Compensation Agencies
  • Welfare Office (County Department of Employment & Family Services)
  • Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA)
  • Courts

I do not speak and understand English and one of these agencies does not provide me with an interpreter or with a staff member who speaks my language. What do I do? Close

  1. Ask for an interpreter or to speak to a bilingual staff member
  2. Talk to a supervisor, customer services person, or ombudsman (person who hears complaints)
  3. File a complaint; most agencies have their own complaint form you can ask for over the phone, in-person, online, or by mail. Be sure to:
  • Submit the complaint in writing (in English or your first language)
  • Sign and date the complaint
  • Keep a copy for your records

Next Steps

Contact Legal Aid. In some cases, Legal Aid may be able to help you when an agency has refused to use an interpreter to talk with you.

Legal Aid Helps Refugees On Path to Citizenship Close

Mr. Sebazungu, Magistrate Judge Kenneth McHargh, Jane and Ms. Mugongo on May 6, 2011 -after the citizenship ceremony at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

Legal Aid helps refugees on path to citizenship       

July, 2011 – Immigrant clients have always been an important part of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s history and legacy – many of Legal Aid’s first clients in 1905 were recent immigrants from Ireland, Italy and Poland. More than one hundred years later, Legal Aid serves many refugee clients immigrating to the United States from countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. They come to the United States because of a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. In addition to helping with an immigration case, Legal Aid helps immigrants with a variety of other civil matters, ensuring safety, shelter and access to the justice system.  

Louise Mugongo, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a former Legal Aid client. DR Congo, which has seen decades of violent conflict between various factions, has been called the center of “Africa’s world war.” The fighting caused Ms. Mugongo and her husband Pfukama Sebazungu to flee to the refugee camps of Zambia.   Ms. Mugongo worked as a nurse in the camp’s HIV clinic. Mr. Sebazungu tried to find work as an aviation engineer, but faced continual harassment from employers and colleagues because of his Congolese background. The couple’s best option for a stable life was to emigrate to the United States as refugees.  

  Meanwhile, Tom Mrosko, Director of Cleveland’s Catholic Charities Office of Migration and Refugee Services, had traveled to Zambia to conduct research. Catholic Charities partners frequently with Legal Aid to provide access to justice for immigrants – especially refugees. By chance, he was working in the same room of the same clinic where Ms. Mugongo screened patients for HIV. After a few days working side-by-side, Mr. Mrosko learned Ms. Mugongo’s story. He told her he was unable to get her to the United States, but if she ever immigrated, she was welcome to settle in Cleveland.  

In 2006, Ms. Mugongo and Mr. Sebazungu were finally granted refugee status by the U.S. government. They were offered a choice between Las Vegas and Cleveland. The couple didn’t know anyone in Las Vegas.   They knew Mr. Mrosko in Cleveland.   Working under the auspices of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities annually helps 300 refugees find housing, clothing, furniture and employment.   Mr. Mrosko says, “They are forced from their homes, they are resettled, and that’s where the U.S. steps in.   This is the last step on their journey.” Catholic Charities also helped the couple connect with Legal Aid, for help with adjustment-of-status. Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program hosted a clinic at which Ms. Mugongo and Mr. Sebazungu received help from the C. Lyonel Jones Pro Bono Immigration Committee.  

Now the couple has a two-year old daughter, Jane, and recently naturalized to become full-fledged U.S. Citizens. In 2010, Ms. Mugongo graduated cum laude with a nursing degree from Cleveland State University. Ms. Mugongo reflects on the past several years and says simply, “This has been a big blessing.”  

             

          

        

          

          

          

        

          

          

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

If I need an interpreter, how do I request one? Close

Who Must Provide You With An Interpreter?

• Courts
• Most hospitals
• Legal Aid and Public Defender
• Public and Charter Schools (but not Catholic or other private schools)
• Public Housing Agencies
• All Federal agencies like Social Security, Veterans Administration, Internal Revenue Service
• State agencies like Unemployment Compensation and the BMV
• County agencies that handle public assistance and Medicaid benefits

Asking For An Interpreter

Ask an employee of the court, agency or organization for an interpreter.

If a court does not provide you with an interpreter, click here for information on your rights and how to file a complaint.

If another organization or agency does not provide you with an interpreter, try asking to speak with a supervisor, customer service person or ombudsman (person who hears complaints).

If they say no, ask a supervisor, customer service person, or ombudsman (person who hears complaints) for an interpreter.

If they still do not provide an interpreter, you may file a complaint against them with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). You may either send a letter or use DOJ’s complaint form, in English or your first language. You should explain when and how they did not speak to you in your language or provide you an interpreter. Keep a copy of the complaint for your records.   Send the letter or form to:

Office for Civil Rights
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ocr

202-307-0690

DOJ will respond with a letter or phone call.

Do I have the right to an interpreter? Close

Do you or someone you know speak a language other than English (including American Sign Language)?   Do you or they have trouble understanding and speaking English?   If you answered yes to these questions, you have a right to an interpreter if you have to go to court.   Persons with limited English skills should tell court staff right away that they need an interpreter.   Once the court knows an interpreter is needed, then the court must provide one.

On January 1, 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court began following Rule 88.   With this rule, the court must provide certified interpreters who know how to interpret in civil and criminal court for non-English speakers.   Not all bilingual persons are qualified to interpret in court; special skills are needed.

Other agencies that get federal funding must provide interpreters according to the law.   Some of them are:

  • Hospitals;
  • Legal aid, public defender, prosecutor and law enforcement;
  • Public and charter schools;
  • Public housing authorities;
  • Federal agencies such as SSA, VA, and IRS;
  • State agencies such as Department of Job and Family Services, Child Support Enforcement Agency, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

If you ask for an interpreter in court or at these agencies and you do not get one, you should ask to speak with a supervisor or ask where you can file a complaint.   If an interpreter is still not provided,   you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) by sending a letter or using the DOJ’s complaint form.   In the letter or on the complaint form explain when and how they did not speak to you in your language or provide you an interpreter.   Make a copy of the complaint or letter for your records.   Send the complaint or letter to:

Federal Coordination and Compliance Section – NWB
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.   20530

You may also contact the US Department of Justice at:

(888) 848-5306 РEnglish and Spanish (ingles y espa̱ol)
(202) 307-2222 (voice)
(202) 307-2678 (TDD)

This article was written by Legal Aid volunteer attorney John Kirn and appeared in The Alert: Volume 29, Issue 1. Click here to read the full issue.

I am an immigrant. Am I eligible for in-state tuition? Close

In-state tuition is a lower tuition rate charged to students at public colleges and universities in Ohio who qualify as Ohio residents.

Some immigrants, including permanent residents (“green card” holders), qualify as Ohio residents and are eligible for in-state tuition for public colleges and universities in Ohio. Starting in the Fall of 2013, a person with a U Visa (victim of serious crime or family member of victim), T Visa (victim of human trafficking or family member of victim), or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may be eligible for in-state if she meets the other requirements set by the Ohio Board of Regents.

People with other types of immigration status may also qualify for in-state tuition. You may contact your school’s admissions office or the Ohio Board of Regents to find out if people with your immigration status qualify for in-state tuition in Ohio.

What is an H-2A worker? Close

Some U.S. employers apply for special temporary visas to hire foreign agricultural workers. These visas are called H-2A visas. You will know if you are an H-2A worker because your passport or immigration documents will state what kind of visa you have.

Other Resources

Do H-2A workers have to pay taxes? Close

Yes. Foreign agricultural workers earning more than $600 are required to report this information in Box 1 of a W-2 Wage and Tax Statement. All H-2A workers should receive a W-2, and not a 1099 from their employer. For more information, please see IRS Publication 519 at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/index.html.

Other Resources

I employ H-2A workers. Should I give them a 1099 or a W-2? Close

H2A workers must receive a W-2 Wage and Tax Statement. They should not receive a1099. If an H-2A worker has filed taxes using a 1099, the employer should issue a corrected income statement on form W-2. For more information, please see http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-AgriculturalWorkers.

If an H2A worker filed a return with a 1099, he or she should contact the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to get help amending their prior returns. The worker should call Legal Aid at 1-888-817-3777.

Other Resources

Are H-2A workers able to get Social Security Numbers? Close

Yes. All H-2A workers are eligible for Social Security Numbers and should have one in order to file their taxes. To obtain a Social Security Number (SSN), the worker must complete Form SS-5 and take it to a Social Security Office with a current passport and current H-2A visa. An H-2A worker should not use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to pay his or her taxes. Dependents of an H-2A worker who are not eligible for SSNs should obtain ITINs.

Other Resources

I employ H-2A workers. Should I withhold taxes from their pay? Close

While withholding is not required by law, withholding may benefit both H-2A employers and H-2A workers. Withholding creates an incentive for H-2A workers to file a tax return. When workers file tax returns, the IRS does not have to initiate collection efforts, and employers do not have to deal with hassles such as wage garnishment. If an H-2A employer does not withhold income, the worker should make estimated payments to avoid owing a lot of taxes at the end of the year.

Other Resources

I am an H-2A worker. May I claim my spouse and/or children as dependents on my tax return? Close

Workers with dependents who live in Mexico, Canada or the United States may claim exemption deductions for their dependents. The worker’s spouse and dependents need a Social Security Number or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to claim exemptions. If a dependent is not eligible for a Social Security Number, the dependents may apply to the IRS for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) when the tax return is filed.

Other Resources

I know or am an immigrant suffering from domestic violence. Can I get help? Close

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, including immigrants.  In fact, abusers often try to use a person’s immigration status as a method to control or abuse an immigrant victim.  For example, a U.S. citizen husband who constantly threatens to call the immigration authorities on his undocumented immigrant wife and have her deported is abusing her.

The government recognizes that immigrants who are victims of domestic violence can be particularly vulnerable.  There are special immigration laws that help protect immigrant victims of domestic violence.  One allows immigrant spouses of US citizens (USC) or lawful permanent residents (LPR) who have a green card to file a petition for themselves to remove conditions of residency.  A second allows victims who do not have a green card to file a self-petition if they meet certain criteria under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  A third option allows victims of violent crimes, including domestic violence, to apply for a U-Visa if they can demonstrate cooperation with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

Option 1: Self-petition to remove conditions of residency

When a USC or LPR applies for permanent residency status for their immigrant spouse, the immigrant spouse is granted a green card with conditional residency for two years.  Before the end of the 2 years, the immigrant spouse typically must file a joint petition, with their spouse, to remove the conditions.  However, in abusive relationships, the USC or LPR spouse often refuses to file the joint petition.   Abused immigrant spouses may file to remove the conditions on their residency by themselves if they can prove that they got married “in good faith” (not for immigration purposes), but during the marriage their spouse abused them.   If the immigrant spouse is successful in their self-petition, they then receive permanent residency status and a 10 year green card.

Option 2: Violence Against Women Act Self-Petition

The VAWA self-petition is for immigrants who do not have a “green card, but who meet one of five categories:

1) they are  married to an abusive USC or LPR spouse;

2) their USC/LPR spouse is abusing their child;

3) they were married to an abusive USC or LPR (as long as the divorce was within the last 2 years or the spouse lost their immigration status in the last 2 years);

4) they are the child of an abusive USC or LPR; or

5) they are a parent who is abused by their USC adult child.

Immigrants who complete a VAWA self-petition must show that they married their spouse in good faith, and if they were deported it would cause extreme hardship to themselves or their child.   If the self-petition is approved, the immigrant victim gets a work permit and can apply for a green card.

Option 3: U-Visas for victims of crimes

A U-visa is a type of visa available to immigrants who are victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence.   Other eligible crimes include rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. The immigrant victim must show that they were helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.  If a U-visa application is approved, the applicant gets a work permit valid for four years.  Also, after having U-visa status for 3 years, an immigrant can apply for a green card.

More information about the immigration benefits available to domestic violence victims is available at www.uscis.gov.  Legal Aid provides assistance to immigrant victims in some cases.  Call Legal Aid at 1-888-817-3777 to apply for help.  Legal Aid is not a government agency and does not share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

 

This article was written by Legal Aid Staff Attorney Katie Laskey-Donovan and appeared in The Alert: Volume 31, Issue 1. Click here to read a full PDF of this issue!

What are the immigration consequences of old criminal convictions? Close

Legal permanent residents (LPRs) who are not citizens in the United States face serious immigration problems in addition to criminal penalties when charged with a crime. Any criminal conviction has serious consequences on a person’s immigration status. A person’s application for a visa may be denied or a person with legal status can lose it and be deported.

The immigration issues resulting from criminal convictions impact a person’s family and community. For example, a legal permanent resident (LPR) lived in the U.S. since 1974. In 1989, at the age of 18, he was convicted of possessing marijuana and placed on probation for two years. Due to his status as a LPR, he was notified in 2011 – nearly 27 years after his conviction – that he was being removed because he is an alien convicted of a violation of the law relating to a controlled substance.

Having entered the U.S. over forty years ago, the man has become a husband, a father, and a valued and contributing member to his church community. If he were deported, it would create significant hardship for himself, his family and his community.

In some instances, a person can avoid deportation through a process called “Cancellation of Removal.” To qualify for cancellation of removal, a person must establish at a hearing in immigration court that:

1. He has been a legal permanent resident for at least five 5 years;
2. Prior to committing the offense, he had at least 7 years of continuous residence in the U.S. after having been lawfully admitted in any status; and
3. He has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Non-citizens are always subject to removal. The best way to avoid any risk of deportation is to naturalize. For information about immigration legal assistance available at Legal Aid, see https://lasclev.org/category/brochures/immigration-brochures/ or call 1-888-817-3777 to apply for help.

By Samerra Allooh and Luis Martinez

Update as of 2/9/2017: Federal Appeals Court, Executive Order on Immigration Close

This is an update post to news shared on January 30, 2017 and February 4, 2017:

A federal court of appeals decided on February 9, 2017 that President Trump’s executive orders restricting travel and immigration will remain suspended. Therefore, the rules described here are not currently in effect. This means that anyone from the seven affected countries who has been granted permission to enter the United States may do so.

The administration could now decide between a variety of next-steps: one of which includes a possible appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Since there is still uncertainty about the final outcome of these orders, if you are a citizen of or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) from any of the affected countries, contact an attorney to discuss your ability to re-enter before considering any travel outside of the United States.

Legal Aid may be able to assist low income U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, and non-citizen victims of crime, including domestic violence and human trafficking.

Continue to check Legal Aid’s website for future updates.  If you have questions about a particular issue, click here to learn more about how to contact Legal Aid.

What are my Rights during Contact with Police or Immigration Agent? Close

Everyone in the United States, regardless of immigration status, has certain rights when interacting with the police and immigration agents.  The rights include the right to remain silent, the right NOT to answer questions about immigration status, the right to refuse to sign any papers without first consulting an attorney, and the right to seek help from a lawyer.

EXCEPT:  All persons (citizens and noncitizens) have limited rights when crossing the border and can be subject to questioning and searches.  See further guidance at https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/176/~/cbp-search-authority.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has put together an explanation of these rights and others related to what to do if contacted by a police officer or immigration agent. The information published by the ACLU is available in several languages and is available at: https://www.aclu.org/feature/know-your-rights-discrimination-against-immigrants-and-muslims?redirect=feature/know-your-rights-immigration#immigration.

Can Legal Aid help me with immigration legal problems? Close

Yes! Legal Aid may be able to assist low income U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, and non-citizen victims of crime, including domestic violence and human trafficking victims.

Learn more on Legal Aid’s immigration law practice here: https://lasclev.org/get-help/Immigration/

To apply for help from Legal Aid, call 1-888-817-3777. Or click here for information about Legal Aid’s offices and neighborhood clinics.

Legal Aid is a private, not for profit organization and not a government agency.  For information on other organizations that provide legal assistance to immigrants, contact 2-1-1.

Are there protections for people who have overstayed their visa while seeking a green card? Close

Even green card-seekers who already have an approved alien relative petition may still have an immigration problem if they have overstayed their visas or illegally entered the United States before or while waiting for a green card. This situation is also known as “unlawful presence,” and it makes the application process more difficult and more likely to be denied.

Immigrants in this situation may want to apply for a waiver to excuse the unlawful presence. In the past, immigrants first had to interview at the consulate or U.S. embassy in their home countries for the green card application. In the case of an unlawful presence, the immigration officer would deny the application. These immigrants would be allowed to apply for the waiver.
This process could take weeks or months and if the waiver was denied, could result in being banned from entering the U.S. for 3 or 10 years.

Since August 2016, some people may be eligible for a provisional waiver. The person applying for the waiver must be the spouse or child of a citizen or green card holder and at least 17 years old. They cannot be in removal proceedings. The only reason for denying their green card application is the unlawful presence. Finally, the applicant must prove that it would be an extreme hardship for the citizen or green card holder to live without the applicant or to relocate with the applicant.

Immigrants may apply for the waiver while in the U.S., even if they are unsure all the requirements are met. This way, they will know if their waiver applications are approved before needing to leave the country. If a waiver is approved, the process for getting a green card is much easier. However, it still requires returning to a person’s home country and interviewing with the consulate. Although the U.S. will initially deny the application, the waiver will allow the person to receive a green card.

This article was written by Cory Stevenson and appeared in The Alert: Volume 33, Issue 2. Click here to read a full PDF of this issue!

What does the “Immigration Ban” mean? Close

What is it?
The Executive Orders issued this year related to immigration and the court cases that followed them have created a new maze of regulations for people entering the United States. Most recently, Executive Order 13780 (EO-2) barred the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. It also barred all refugees form entering the U.S. for 120 days, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.1 EO-2 does not apply to the following groups of people:

  • Lawful permanent residents,
  • Dual nationals traveling on a passport issued by a non-designed country,
  • Individuals admitted to United States on or after June 29, 2017 (effective date of EO-2),
  • Diplomatic visas holders,
  • Asylees/refugees already admitted into the U.S., and
  • Those granted withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture or advance parole.2

EO-2 did not reference individuals seeking to enter the U.S. to apply for asylum. Two federal district courts delayed implementation of EO-2 when they issued injunctions. Then, on June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court partially lifted the injunctions on the ban. The Court limited the ban so that nationals from the affected countries who have a credible claim of a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity may still enter.3

What Constitutes a “Bona fide” Relationship?
The Court did not define “bona fide relationship” but required a “close familial” relationship with respect to persons. The Department of State interpreted “close familial,” to include:

  • Parents,
  • Mothers- and fathers-in-law,
  • Spouses,
  • Fiancés,
  • Children,
  • Adult sons, daughters and siblings and
  • Half-siblings.

Initially, grandparents, grand-children, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law and any other family member were not considered to be “close” family members.4 However, on July 20, 2017, the Court denied the government’s motion seeking clarification and failed to overrule a Hawaii District Court decision, suggesting such people are considered as having a “close familial relationship.”

The Court also provided that one’s relationship to a U.S. entity must be formal, documented, and formed in the “ordinary course” – not with the purpose of evading EO-2.5 In addition to close family connections, other “bona fide” relationships that exempt a person from the ban exist for workers who have been offered employment with a U.S. company, students accepted into a U.S. university, and, academic lecturers from the affected countries invited to speak at a U.S. institution as long they provide documents to prove the relationships.

This article was written by Tom Monah and appeared in The Alert: Volume 33, Issue 2. Click here to read a full PDF of this issue!

Brochures

Are You a Low-Income Entrepreneur and Need Federal Tax Help?
If you are a self-employed individual, the only shareholder in
You Have The Right to an Interpreter
You have the right to an interpreter in your native
Filing Taxes Can Help Immigrants
Immigrants should file taxes for several reasons. More information is
Legal Help for Immigrant Victims of Crime
If you are an immigrant and have been a victim
Legal Assistance for Immigrants
This brochure outlines what Legal Aid can do for Immigrants
Notice to Immigration Detainees in Northeast Ohio
Legal Aid may be able to help you with your

Self Help

I need an interpreter for Court, what do I do?
In Ohio courts, you have the right to an interpreter
Do you need to file papers in court but cannot afford the fees?
You might be able to reduce or avoid paying the

Success Stories

photo
Elizabeth’s Legal Aid Story
I love empowering clients with information about their rights and access to justice.

Read More

Learn more and share your #MyLegalAidStory.

photo
Rich’s Legal Aid Story
I have become very familiar with all of the amazing things they do and people they help, and have made sure that my mid-sized intellectual property law firm, does our part by sponsoring Legal Aid's events.

Read More

Learn more and share your #MyLegalAidStory.

photo
Jennifer’s Legal Aid Story
I love working for Legal Aid because the organization levels the playing field for eligible clients who don’t have access to the civil legal system because they can’t afford a lawyer.

Read More

Learn more and share your #MyLegalAidStory.

photo
What’s Your Legal Aid Story?
Are you a volunteer, former staff or client? Supporter or partner? What is your Legal Aid Story?

Read More

Learn more and share your #MyLegalAidStory.

  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1
  • photo1