Committed To Providing Humanitarian Relief To Immigrants
Humanitarian relief is one of the cornerstones of our firm. For decades John W. Lawit has been involved in organizations such as the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the American Civil Liberties Union. From locations in Irving, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, we have helped families and individuals from around the globe escape persecution and safely remain in the United States.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a humanitarian benefit initially announced in June of 2012 that grants temporary protection to certain immigrant youth. The benefit is issued for two years at a time, with the option to renew, and grantees are often able to apply to travel a permit to safely travel abroad and return to the United States
Those who meet the following requirements may apply for DACA for the first time:
- Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the United States before their 16th birthday
- Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 until now
- Entered the United States without inspection or fell out of lawful status before June 15, 2012
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces
- Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of humanitarian relief granted to nationals of certain countries experiencing difficult conditions, such as armed conflict or devastating humanitarian disasters. These benefits provide protection against deportation, employment authorization, and the opportunity to request a travel permit.
TPS is generally granted for 18 months at a time, and it is often renewed, and applicants must register and meet the requirements for their specific country. TPS is currently granted to some nationals of countries such as El Salvador, Sudan, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nepal, among others.
U Visas For Crime Victims
A U visa protects certain noncitizen crime victims who provide information to help investigators prosecute criminals. It allows the applicant to live and work in the U.S. and may lead to the dismissal of charges against the applicant in immigration court. U visas are granted to principal beneficiaries and qualifying family members for up to 4 years. They are authorized to work, apply for a green card, and may qualify for government benefits and services.
To qualify for a U visa, an applicant must:
- Demonstrate “substantial physical or mental abuse” as a result of certain criminal activity that violates U.S. law or happened in the U.S. or one of its territories
- Possess information about criminal activity
- Demonstrate that they have not refused to assist or be helpful to the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity
- Obtain a certification from the court or agency conducting the investigation
- Qualify for admission or a waiver of inadmissibility under immigration law
T Visas For Human Trafficking Victims
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act established the T visa as a way for victims of “severe” forms of trafficking to enter the United States. T visa holders and qualifying members of their families can stay in the U.S. for up to 4 years. They are authorized to work, apply for a green card, and may qualify for government benefits and services.
“Severe” forms of trafficking as defined by federal law include:
- Sex trafficking: When a person is forced, coerced or deceived into committing a commercial sex act or the person pushed into performing the act is under the age of 18
- Labor trafficking: When a person is forced, coerced or deceived into providing labor or services involuntarily or as a form of debt bondage
Asylum is a form of legal protection for people who have traveled to the U.S. out of fear of violence or persecution in their home country. For an individual to file for asylum, they must meet all of the qualifications for refugee status and be in the United States when they file.
Requirements for asylum in the United States:
- Proving that you meet the U.S. immigration legal definition of refugee status — demonstrating you have suffered prosecution or have a “well-founded fear” of violence or persecution in your home country based on:
- Membership in a prosecuted social group, and/or
- Political opinion
- Your application for asylum must happen on American soil, including at any airport, seaport, or border crossing station.
- Under most circumstances, the application must be submitted within one year from the day you arrive in the U.S.
Once asylum is granted, you have the right to live and work in the U.S. In addition, asylee status allows you to travel outside the U.S. and eventually qualify to file for permanent residence and citizenship. Asylees can also apply to bring their spouse and unmarried minor (under 21) children to the U.S.
Contact An Experienced Immigration Attorney
For help with humanitarian relief visas or any form of humanitarian relief, call 469-294-3179 or submit our online contact form to set up an initial consultation. Team members are fluent in Spanish, Korean and a variety of other languages.