No News Yet

July 29th, 2010

It has been a quiet TPS news week, with nothing really new coming out of either Washington or Guatemala City.   Whether this is because of the upcoming Congressional vacation, the attention brought to the lawsuits filed against Arizona, or something else, the end result is that we have nothing new to report.

Well, almost nothing.  This morning, Erik Maza at the Miami Times Blog (the first English-language blog to pick up the story of Guatemala’s TPS request, and one of the key inspirations for this site) informed us that he has an updated post up today.  The post provides very little new information (probably because there’s not much new to report), but Eric does a nice job of summarizing the events of the past two months and bringing people who are new to the story up to speed. Thank you Erik, it is nice to see that we’re not the only ones tracking the issues!

¿Qué puede hacer para prepararse para el TPS? – Parte 1: Collectar los documentos

July 21st, 2010

Las últimas semanas han visto varias señales prometedoras que indica que el TPS para Guatemala podrá ser aprobado pronto. Esto obviamente ha generado mucha excitación y ha llevado a un número creciente de preguntas acerca de lo que la gente puede hacer ahora para prepararse para una subvención de TPS.   Por lo tanto, en aras de facilitar todas las vidas poco a poco, estamos empezando una serie de puestos con consejos para ayudarle a prepararse.   Se trata de la primera entrega de esa serie.

1) Extracción juntos todos los trámites que necesitará para presentar la solicitud de TPS.

Con el fin de acogerse al TPS, tienes que presentar dos formas: I-821 (la aplicación para el estado de temporario protegido) y I-765 (la solicitud de autorización de trabajo).   I-821 requiere que envíe prueba de dos cosas: 1) que usted es un nacional del país afectado y 2) que estaban aquí antes de la “fecha efectiva” y ha permanecido en los Estados Unidos continuamente desde esa fecha.   Si se aprueba la TPS guatemalteco, tendrá que proporcionar una copia de uno o más de las siguientes acciones con el fin de probar su nacionalidad guatemalteca:

A. su pasaporte de Guatemala (lo mejor)

B. Un certificado de nacimiento de Guatemala y alguna forma de identificación con fotografía oficial (aceptable)

C. Cualquier otro oficial documento de identidad nacional de Guatemala que tiene su nombre y la imagen o la huella digital en ella. (Si tienes que)

Se debe utilizar la mejor forma de ID de tener disponibles y están autorizados a presentar múltiples formas de identificación, si los tiene. Recuerde que puede enviar una copia y no están obligados a presentar su pasaporte real o el certificado de nacimiento original.

A continuación, usted tiene que presentar prueba de su fecha de entrada. Si usted vino a través de un punto de control de la frontera y tiene un sello de entrada en su pasaporte, es todo. Si no es así, puede utilizar un registro de entrada y salida de-94 (si tiene uno), o algunos de los documentos en el próximo grupo (A E a continuación).   La clave aquí es demostrar que usted entró en los Estados Unidos antes de la “fecha efectiva” de la TPS. La fecha de vigencia no ha sido determinada aún (y no será hasta que se emita el TPS), pero es más probable que va a ser alrededor de 29 de mayo de 2010. También necesitará presentar prueba de que usted ha sido en los Estados Unidos continuamente desde antes de la fecha efectiva de la TPS. Por lo tanto, debe tomar este tiempo para reunir toda evidencia que usted ha sido en los Estados Unidos continuamente desde antes de finales de mayo. Esto puede incluir:

a)      registra cualquier empleo, tales como W-2′s, las matrices de pago, antiguos devoluciones de impuestos, etc…

b)      prueba de facturas que ha pagado en los últimos meses, incluyendo alquiler, servicios públicos, etc. (tienen que estar en su nombre y tienen que tener las fechas sobre ellos).

c)       registros de escuela para usted o para sus hijos, que muestra que usted o sus hijos asistieron a escuelas de U.S. durante el período de tiempo en cuestión.

d)      hospital o registros médicos mostrando usted o sus hijos se fueron al médico o al hospital.

e)      cartas de certificación de su iglesia, Unión o de otra organización formal que apoyo de su reclamación a la residencia. Esta categoría es la forma menos preferida de la prueba, pero puede trabajar en un pellizco, o para suportar otros documentos de las otras categorías aquí.

f)       algunos otros documentos que muestran que usted haya sido aquí, tales como los recibos, alambre documentos de transferencia (si usted envía dinero a casa), certificados de nacimiento para niños que nacido en los Estados Unidos, escrituras, hipotecas, contratos, y así sucesivamente.

Básicamente, todo lo tienes que tiene su nombre en él y una fecha es algo que desee tener disponible.   Le recomendamos que arreglar los documentos de acuerdo a las categorías mencionadas y luego ponerlas en orden cronológico, con el fin de facilitar el proceso de revisión para el oficial de USCIS. De hecho, esta lista de documentos en gran medida se extrae de las instrucciones propias del USCIS para preparar el formulario-821. Si tienes alguna pregunta acerca de este post o los consejos anteriores, por favor publicarla en los comentarios a continuación, envíenos un correo electrónico a Guatemala@Kolasinski-Law.com o póngase en contacto con nuestra empresa directamente al (209) 408-0104 o al (877) 573-0018.

What Can You Do To Prepare for TPS? – Part 1: Gather Your Documents

July 20th, 2010

The last few weeks have seen several promising signs indicating that TPS for Guatemala may be approved soon. This has obviously generated a lot of excitement, and has led to a growing number of questions about what people can do now to prepare for a grant of TPS. So, in the interest of making everyone’s lives a little bit easier, we are starting a series of posts with tips to help you prepare.  This is the first installment in that series.

1) Pull together all of the paperwork that you’ll need to file the TPS application.

In order to qualify for TPS, you have to submit two forms: I-821 (the application for temporarry protected status) and I-765 (the application for work authorization).  I-821 requires you to submit proof of two things: 1) that you are a national of the affected country and 2) that you were here before the “effective date” and have remained in the US continuously since that date.

If Guatemalan TPS is approved, you will need to provide a copy of one or more of the following in order to prove your Guatemalan nationality:

A. Your Guatemalan  passport  (Best)

B. A Guatemalan Birth Certificate and some form of official photo identification  (OK)

C. Any other official national identity document from Guatemala that has your name and picture or fingerprint on it. (If you have to)

You should use the best form of ID you have available, and are allowed to submit multiple forms of ID if you have them. Remember that you can submit a copy, and are not required to submit your actual passport or original birth certificate.

Next, you have to submit proof of your date of entry. If you came through a border checkpoint and have an entry stamp in your passport, you’re all set.  If not, you can use an I-94 entry/departure record (if you have one), or some of the documents in the next group (A through E below). The key here is to prove that you entered the U.S. before the “effective date” of the TPS. The effective date hasn’t been determined yet (and won’t be until TPS is issued), but is most likely going to be around May 29, 2010.

You will also need to submit proof that you have been in the US continuously since before the effective date of the TPS.  So, you should take this time to gather any and all evidence that you have been in the U.S. continuously since before the end of May. This can include:

A.  Any employment records, such as W-2′s, pay stubs, old tax returns, etc.

B. Proof of bills you’ve paid over the last few months, including rent, utilities, etc. (they have to be in your name, and have to have dates on them.

C. School records for yourself or your children, showing that you or your children attended U.S. schools during the time period in question.

D. Hospital or medical records showing you or your children went to the doctor or hospital.

E.  Letters of attestation from your church, union, or other formal organization that support your claim to residence.  This category is often the least-preferred form of proof, but can work in a pinch, or to support something from groups A through D or F, below.

F. Other documents showing that you’ve been here, such as receipts, wire transfer documents (if you sent money back home), birth certificates for U.S. born children, deeds, mortgages, contracts, and so on. Basically, anything you have that has your name on it and a date is something you want to have handy.

We recommend that you sort your documents according to the above categories, and then put them in chronological order, so as to make the review process easier for the USCIS officer. In fact, this list of documents is largely drawn from USCIS’s own instructions for preparing form I-821.

If you have any questions about this post or the tips above, please post it in the comments below, email us at Guatemala@Kolasinski-Law.com, or contact our firm directly at (209) 408-0104 or (877) 573-0018.

House Subcommittee Letter Available

July 20th, 2010

As we reported yesterday, members of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere wrote to President Obama urging him to grant Guatemala’s TPS request.  We spoke to the office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), and received confirmation of the letter.  This morning we received an even better surprise: an actual copy of the letter, kindly forwarded to us by Representative Ros-Lehtinen’s office!

The letter is available for your viewing pleasure at this hand-crafted link, and the text of the letter is included below, for easy reference:


July 15,2010

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to urge you to immediately direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Guatemalans currently in the United States for an appropriate length of time relative to the current crisis.

As you know, on May 29,2010, Guatemala was hit hard by two natural disasters – Tropical Storm Agatha and the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano. Tropical Storm Agatha caused devastating floods and mudslides throughout Guatemala. The two disasters left 174 people dead and 104,639 people homeless. Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom declared a State of Public Calamity in the entire country.

The socioeconomic impact of these disasters is estimated to be greater than either Tropical Storm Stan in 2005 or Hurricane Mitch in 1998. In addition to the immediate impact of Tropical Storm Agatha, torrential rains and mudslides continued to affect Guatemala throughout June.

As you are aware, nationals of a country may be designated for TPS when that country has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions and it is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals. With Tropical Storm Agatha and the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala has more than exceeded the conditions for TPS designation.

Honduras and El Salvador were also affected, although to a lesser degree, by Tropical Storm Agatha. Citizens of both countries living in the United States currently receive TPS. In fact, TPS for Honduras, EI Salvador and Nicaragua was recently extended to 2012. Unfortunately, Guatemalans living in the United States enjoy no such benefits.

Additionally, we urge the U.S. to continue its focused approach to support the government of Guatemala in its efforts to restore order within the country and ensure an expedited and lasting recovery from this most recent disaster.

Extending TPS to Guatemalans currently living in the United States would provide significant humanitarian benefits. As Members of Congress who care deeply about the Western Hemisphere, we urge you to act swiftly to grant TPS to Guatemalans in the United States.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

Eliot L. Engel
Chairman
House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Connie Mack
Ranking Member
House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Jim McGovern
Vice Chairman
House Committee on Rules

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Representatives Engel, Mack, McGovern, and Ros-Lehtinen for their support on this important issue.  As the letter notes, the humanitarian benefits of TPS for Guatemalans would be significant, and would be well in line with our treatment of similarly situated nations.   It is incredibly encouraging to see bipartisan support for an issue that is so pressing to so many.

Even more Congressional Support for TPS!

July 19th, 2010

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry issued a press release stating that members of the Congressional Foreign Relations Comittee’s Subcomittee on the Western Hemisphere sent a letter to President Obama stating that they believe that Guatemala meets the qualifications for TPS.  The letter isn’t binding, of course, but is yet another example of the growing legislative support for Guatemalan TPS, and is in itself a very encouraging sign.

Particularly noteworthy is that this support was bipartisan, drawing support from both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the committee. We just got off the phone with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen‘s office, and they kindly confirmed that she had signed on to the letter.

John Kerry Lends His Support to the Guatemalan TPS Effort

July 16th, 2010

The latest public figure to lend their support to the Guatemalan TPS effort is none other than former Democratic presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator John Kerry.  In a development that has seen more widespread reporting than any TPS news since the eruption of the Pacaya volcano, Senator Kerry submitted a letter to President Obama calling for the administration to grant TPS.

The full text of the letter is available on Senator Kerry’s official site, marking a significant departure from the undisclosed letters submitted by other lawmakers. Senator Kerry’s letter highlights the challenges facing Guatemala as it struggles to rebuild after last months dual natural disasters and points out that “[t]he temporary assistance provided by TPS would go a long way to help Guatemala get back on their feet.”

Email from the site works now

July 15th, 2010

It was just brought to our attention that nobody was receiving emails from this site. This means that those of you who registered probably never received your passwords, and so couldn’t log in.  The problem has been fixed now, so you should be able to retrieve your passwords now. Just try to log in and use the “Lost your password?” link.  Sorry for any confusion.

Ninth Circuit Issues Important Opinion Affecting Guatemalan Women

July 14th, 2010

This isn’t really a TPS update, so the main post is available on our general law blog, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important ruling yesterday affecting Guatemalan women (and really all potential asylum applicants). Please check out the article on the main blog site.

More Legislative Support for Guatemalan TPS

July 13th, 2010

Last week, we posted a brief note about reported Congressional support for the Guatemalan TPS application.  That initial report actually related to a letter of support submitted by California Assemblymember Norma Torres, and we hope to have a copy of her letter up on here for you soon.

In the meantime, one of our commenters, Sergio, posted a link to a report of additional legislative support.  We spent some time tracking the news down, and can happily confirm the news: members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus signed onto a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, expressing their support for the Guatemalan TPS application. As with the earlier letter, we are working on getting a copy of the letter posted.

We have also placed requests for copies of the letters submitted by Nevada Assemblymembers Mo Denis and Ruben Kihuen, and will update everyone here as soon as we hear something back.

*******

UPDATE: We got a hold of someone at the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and they confirmed that they did submit a letter in support of TPS, but informed us that they do not release the letters to the public. So, it looks like we’re going to have a hard time getting a copy of that letter to share with you all.

Congressional Support for TPS?

July 6th, 2010

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry appears to report today that “Congressman Thompson” has written a letter to President Obama in support of the TPS request.  The article does not say which of the three Congressmen named Thompson wrote the letter, but it does reference California, so we called the DC office of Representative Mike Thompson, who hails from the 1st District of California.

Unfortunately, the person who handles the immigration matters for Representative Thompson is out of the office today, but the aide who spoke to us suggested that we email him to get more information. Stayed tuned here for any response to that email.