What does Rivera y Bujosa Law Office P.L.L.C. do?
The Rivera & Bujosa Law Office P.L.L.C. uses the experience acquired during the past 24 years in the criminal and immigration area, known as “Crimmigration”, to fully protect the rights of its clients, particularly those of Hispanics who do not have United States citizenship. Whether a person is applying for a visa, facing possible removal, or preparing for a hearing, legal representation is vital for any immigration proceeding.
What is immigration law?
Immigration law is a term that encompasses the rights and responsibilities of people entering the country, including those who intend to work and stay to start a new life. In addition, immigration laws are based on the principles of promoting diversity, increasing the prosperity of the U.S. economy, protecting refugees, and reuniting families. The Immigration and Nationality Act is the body of law that governs immigration policies. Immigration laws in the U.S. determine the requirements for obtaining U.S. citizenship or entering the country as a student, permanent resident, temporary worker, or refugee.
Difference between immigrant visa and non-immigrant visa?
An immigrant visa will eventually allow a person, if they so wish, to apply for a “Green Card”. A “Green Card” shows that the person is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and is eligible to live and work anywhere in the country. The “Green Card” is the path to U.S. citizenship if the person decides to obtain it. If the person does not intend to become a permanent resident of the U.S., she/he can still visit, work, or go to school. However, they will need a non-immigrant visa that demonstrates their purpose in the country.
What is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Section 287(g) ACCESS Program?
Although there is no official or agreed definition of what constitutes a “sanctuary” jurisdiction, traditional policies follow the basic principles of not enforcing, not asking, and not telling. Policies generally prohibit or limit state and local police from cooperating with federal immigration authority, prevent certain state or local officials from questioning a person’s immigration status, and restrict the sharing of information between state and local police and federal immigration law enforcement agencies. The program is a partnership with ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies, allowing them the authority to act as immigration law enforcement agents who help identify and remove foreign nationals who are subject to deportation/removal from the U.S. While some counties have opted out of the 287(g) contract agreement, there are other counties in Texas that have requested and signed the agreement.
How does the immigration process work?
The immigration system in the U.S. relies heavily on immigrants having sponsors (people with U.S. citizenship who sponsor or petition for their family members) or demonstrating extraordinary skills or specialized training in their field. Employment-based immigration is generally based on temporary visas, which also have a limit to the amount that can be granted per year in the U.S.
In which legal forums can our firm provide you with representation?
If a person faces a process before the Immigration Court, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Board of Immigration Appeals it is very important that their legal representative understand how their criminal history affects the possible legal remedies that person may have in the immigration process. Thousands of people come to our offices requesting help for their relatives after their legal representative who represented them in the criminal process was unaware of the immigration consequences of the crime for which she/he recommended the family member to plead guilty.
Reasons why a person can be detained?
- The person arrived at the border without a visa before formally requesting asylum or refugee status.
- The person committed a crime or multiple crimes.
- The person didn’t attend an immigration hearing with an earlier date.
- There is an order of expulsion or deportation against the person.
In what situations is it beneficial to have legal representation?
- Application process.
- Family-based immigration.
- Foreign Employee: Employers generally have their legal department handle the documentation.
- Employers seeking to hire foreign workers: The employer must do so through the H-1B visa program. This visa program is reserved for foreign people working in specialized occupations.
- Facing deportation / removal.
- Grounds for inadmissibility: People with a history of criminal and terrorist activities, infectious diseases, and other characteristics cannot enter the U.S. unless they are granted special permission. The person may have to file an I-601 waiver.
- Experience delays in the processing of documentation.
What happens once you hire our firm?
When a person hires Rivera & Bujosa Law Office P.L.L.C. our attorneys immediately analyze the person’s criminal history to adequately inform her/him of the possible remedies that she/he would have available in the immigration case.
What are the types of immigration cases?
- Criminal immigration
- Illegal Reentry – 8 U.S.C. § 1326 and INA § 276 indicate the penalties for illegal re-entry into the U.S. 8 U.S.C. § 1326 (a) (2) states that if a person who has been denied admission, barred, deported, or found re-entering the U.S. after a prior unlawful presence, can be fined under title 18 and/or jailed for up to 2 years. In addition, the incarceration period for illegal reentry may be increased to 10 years if the “foreign” person was removed for committing three or more misdemeanor drug-related offenses, crimes against another person, or a felony (“other than an aggravated felony “, which has a maximum penalty of 20 years).
- Immigration bond hearings: Some factors that can affect a person’s eligibility for a bond hearing include her/his current status in the U.S. and the reason she/he was detained.
- Immigration Consequences of an Arrest: DHS Form I-247 is an “Immigration Detention – Notice of Action” intended to notify ICE’s intent to assume custody of a person who is detained in federal, state, or local custody. One of the most common reasons an immigration hold is placed on a person is because of possible concerns that the alleged immigrant offender is suspected of a crime that may or may not make the person deportable.
- Arrest at the airport.
- Deportation / Removal: People who have allegedly stayed after their visas have expired are often subject to deportation through expedited deportation orders.
- Family immigration
- Fiancée Visa (K-1): It is intended for a person with U.S. citizenship and a foreign citizen who plan to marry. The visa is considered a non-immigrant visa and allows the foreign national to travel to the U.S. to marry the sponsor within 90 days of arrival.
- Derivative for minors (K-2): If a person applies for a K-1 visa for their fiancée who has children, they may also need a K-2 derivative.
- Spouse Visa (K-3 / K-4): The visa allows a spouse or child of a person with U.S. citizenship to enter the country as a nonimmigrant.
- Immigrant or permanent residence visas (“Green Card”).
- Employment-based immigration
- Permanent workers.
- Temporary workers: Temporary workers are hired for specific jobs, for a limited period, and have a limited ability to change jobs. However, it is possible for employers to sponsor their workers for permanent employment (this has its own requirements).
- Intra-company L-1A Transfer: This non-immigrant work visa allows an employer to transfer certain employees from a foreign office to an affiliated office in the U.S. Spouses and single children under the age of 21 can accompany L-1A workers.
- L-1B Intracompany Specialized: The visa allows employers to transfer foreign employees with specialized knowledge related to the interests of the company or business. Usually they are hired to establish a new office, branch or subsidiary of the company.
- Business Visitors: E-1 / E-2 Treaty Traders / Investors: Business (E-1) and Investor (E-2) Visas are for foreign nationals of countries where the U.S. maintains “trade and navigation treaties.” In addition, the visas are intended for these individuals to enter the U.S. in search of investments and business opportunities.
Do you want to get to know our lawyers?
Attorney Octavio M. Rivera Bujosa has been conducting this type of analysis in the U.S. Federal Courts for more than 18 years, this experience has served him to help the Latino community in the different immigration processes; either in deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court or in adjustment of status before USCIS.
Attorney Elba E. Medina Quintana has been successfully working with USCIS petitions and applications for more than 9 years, such as: Adjustment of Status, Family Petitions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Work Permits, I-601 and I-601A Inadmissibility Waivers, Temporary Stay in the Country Permit for Military, New Recruits and their Families (PIP), U VISA, etc. In addition, she works the processes of Legal Permanent Resident visas, Fiancée Visas and Extension of stay in the U.S. before the National Visa Center. As part of her process, she prepares her clients for their interviews at the Consulates of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, San Salvador, El Salvador, Guatemala City, Guatemala, and for all Consulates around the world.
Our attorneys handle Immigration cases in the U.S. and in particular in the following Courts:
- Montgomery Processing Center (MPC) – 806 Hilbig Rd, Conroe, TX 77301
- Joe Corley Detention Facility (ICE) – 500 Hilbig Road, Conroe, Texas 77301
- IAH Secure Adult Detention Center – 3400 FM 350, Livingston, TX 77351
- CoreCivic: Houston Processing Center – 15850 Export Plaza Dr., Houston, TX 77032
- Houston Immigration Court – 1801 Smith Street, 9th Floor, Houston, TX 77002
- Houston South Gessner Road Immigration Court – 8701 S. Gessner Road, 10th Floor, Houston, TX 77074
- Houston Annex Smith Street – 1919 Smith Street, 6th and 14th Floors, Houston, TX 77002
What is our priority when you hire us?
When a person hires one of our lawyers, they immediately visit the person detained in the prison in order to adequately prepare for the case and thus provide an excellent service. One of the things that bothers us the most is seeing other attorneys who attend immigration and criminal hearings without having interviewed the client prior to the hearing. That first visit on many occasions could prevent, for example, that the client says something that incriminates her/him in the criminal process, or that she/he says something that causes the Immigration Judge to deny her/him bail or set a bond that is too high. For that reason, Rivera & Bujosa Law Office P.L.L.C. ensures that one of its lawyers visits the client in jail as soon as possible.
What are some of the prisons we visit when a person is detained?
- Montgomery Procession Center
- Joe Corley Detention Center
- Federal Detention Center Houston
- Joe Kegans State Jail
- Harris County Jail Facility
- Bakers Street Jail
- Montgomery County Jail
- Montgomery County Corrections
- IAH Secure Adult Detention Facility
- Cameron County Detention Center
- Carrizales Rucker Detention Center
- Aransas County Jail
- Nueces County Jail
- Coastal Bend Detention Center
- Galveston County Jail
- Webb County Detention Center
- La Salle County Regional Detention Center
- Brooks County Jail
- East Hidalgo Detention Center
What access is there to federal public benefits?
Some people who do not have their U.S. citizenship are not eligible for most federal public benefits. The restriction to receive assistance for these services also includes programs that are “subject to income verification” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, health care subsidies under the Health Care Act of Health at Low Price). However, undocumented immigrants remain eligible for other benefits that are deemed necessary to protect life or safety, and regardless of their status, they are also eligible for programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and programs of school lunches for children.
How can employers check the status of the people employed under their command?
Texas has E-Verify requirements, which are overseen by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security. The web-based system is intended to allow registered employers the ability to confirm whether new hires meet the eligibility requirements to work in the U.S.
How to get a driver’s license or ID card?
There are documents required to apply for a driver’s license or identification card depending on the person’s immigration status. For example, people who are temporary visitors may be issued a limited-time driver’s license or identification card that expires when the applicant’s legal presence in the U.S. expires.
Other matters related to immigration:
- Naturalization / citizenship.
- Students and exchange visitors: They obtain a non-immigrant visa that allows them to stay in the country temporarily.
- Waivers: These are intended for people who have made a mistake and, as a result of their action, may not be eligible for readmission to the U.S.
- 601: Convictions – The exemption acts as a form of pardon, however, not all criminal offenses are eligible for a 601 exemption.
- 601A: Illegal presence.
- I212: Readmission after deportation.
- Victims of abuse.
- Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ): Certain undocumented minors who have been subjected to neglect, abuse, abandonment or “similar basis under state law” have the ability to seek lawful permanent residence in the US.
- Diversity Lottery Green Cards – Every year, the U.S. government runs it. It is randomly awarded by up to 50,000 people with immigrant visas. However, a person can only apply to participate in the lottery if they are from one of several eligible countries.