Meyette Green & Associates
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IMPACT OF U.S. SUPREME COURT’S RULING IN UNITED STATES V. WINDSOR ON IMMIGRATION

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to find DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution will have a significant impact for same-sex couples and immigration.  The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has already come out publicly and stated “Working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today’s decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws.”  This means that a U.S. Citizen who is legally married to a non-U.S. Citizen or non-Lawful Permanent Resident can petition for his or her spouse.  The same-sex couple should expect to go through the same process as a heterosexual couple.  Given the quick response of the Federal government to applaud the Supreme Court for their ruling, same-sex couples can anticipate being able to file petitions for their spouses in the immediate future.  If you need assistance with your marriage petition, or if you have questions about your spouse’s eligibility for a visa or a green card, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you.


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May 22, 2013

Do NOT let the schools tell you differently- parents ARE a part of the IEP team. Do not let them tell you otherwise!  Parents have to give consent to the IEP and how can you, as the parent, do so if you aren’t involved? 

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is where IEP law can be found and more specifically in section 1414(d).  In this it lays out who is, or should be part of the “team”.  Listed first is of course “PARENTS”.  This is reiterated several times in the regulations.

Now comes the potential issue, you know you should be part of the team but they are saying you aren’t.   This is where you have several options. First, we recommend politely asking them why and to show you where in the law and regulations it says you are not a part of the team? Remembering the old phrase “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? School staff and administrators work under this notion. If you stay calm and nice they don’t have any choice really but to stay that way back and either they have to give you what you want in this case,  they will have to admit they are at fault or they will have to come up with a reason to exclude you. IF it’s the later of the 3 options have the administrator put it in writing. Remembering if it’s not in writing it didn’t happen or get told to you if the situation come down to a due process complaint.

If you still can’t get resolution to your situation- then it’s time to call us to help you! 

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Are you ready to become a  U.S. Citizen?

May 8, 2013 1:30 p.m.

Perhaps you have asked yourself this question many times.  If you answered “yes” to this question, then there are some things that you may want to consider before applying.  Do you fulfill all of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) application requirements necessary to take this step.  What are the requirements?  You must be at least 18 years old in order to file your own application.  Children under the age of 18 may be included in their parent’s applications.  Generally you must be a Lawful Permanent Resident for a period of at least 5 years and lived in the United States for at least 2 and ½ years of the past 5 years.  There are some exceptions.  You must be able to pass three tests including reading and writing of the English language, knowledge of U.S. history and civics, and speaking and understanding the English language.  Also, you must be able to demonstrate to USCIS that you are a person of good moral character and that you are willing to uphold the principals and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.  If you are a man, USCIS will ask you whether you registered for Selective Service if you were an LPR between the ages of 18 and 26.  If you are not sure what these requirements mean or whether you meet these criteria, consult with our office.

After your application is filed with immigration, you can expect to receive an appointment for fingerprints.  Once you have been fingerprinted, you will be scheduled for a naturalization interview.  The immigration officer will ask you questions about U.S. History and Civics.  You will also be asked to read the English language and converse with the immigration officer in English.  You will be asked many questions about your background, personal history, travel out of the United States during the last five years and your willingness to uphold the principals and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

If you filed the application on your own and were denied for any reason, before you do anything else consult with our office before filing your appeal.  If you were denied, it may be very important to file an appeal and make sure that appeal thoroughly resolves any issues that you had in your naturalization application.  Depending on your circumstances you may not be able to apply for naturalization 

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