Trupti Patel is an Immigration Attorney who founded the Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates. This is a leading Immigration law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in Burlington, Massachusetts that specializes exclusively in immigration law. They have succeeded in obtaining the desired immigration outcome in over ninety-five percent of the cases filed since 1978, in part because of their policy of not taking a case unless they can be reasonably certain in our their own minds that the desired result is likely to be achieved. They practice Immigration law and have clients in all 50 States and throughout the world.
We asked Trupti about the impact of President Trump's travel ban and speculation around changes in immigration policy.
Will Green card holders be affected by the travel ban? If yes how?
Legally no unless there are inadmissibility grounds to exclude them. For example, if a lawful permanent resident has been convicted of a crime, they should consult with an immigration attorney to determine if this may make them inadmissible to the United States or affect their status. Individuals with status in the United States have the right to explain their case to a Judge in Immigration Court if their status is questioned.
For students who are international passport holders what will be the status of their OPT?
There have been speculation that the President through his executive order may eliminate OPT. Though things remain somewhat fluid regarding content and timing, If this were to happen then the students may have to leave the country after completion of their course. Since this is just a speculation, similar to other Executive Orders, it is unclear what will be the status of individuals who are already on OPT.
If I travel abroad on a green card can I gain entry back?
At this time, unless you were born in or are a national of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen , you should be fine. In addition to the signed order, we know there is speculation and rumors circulating regarding who and what will be targeted next. However, at this time, that information is just that, speculation and rumors. Immigration Attorneys and several organizations have worked extremely hard to protect the rights of the individuals who in the last week were prevented from entering the United States. Finally in the last few days we have heard that some these individuals have been allowed back. It is important prior to leaving to consult an immigration attorney.
If I am on an H1B visa do I need to worry?
The recent order is specifically directed at nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen. It is not advisable for any non -immigrant visa holder such H-1B, F-1, L-1, O-1, to travel internationally if they are from these listed countries. This includes people with dual citizenship. We have also heard that individuals from other countries have been subject to unnecessary questioning. Unfortunately, there may be certain immigration officers who feel they can use the President’s executive order to question foreign nationals extensively either abroad at the Consulates or at the Port of Entry. Our advice to you would be to answer these officers’ questions truthfully and sensibly.
The actions taken by the President over the last one week has certainly caused a lot of stress and anxiety especially those who hold non-immigrant visa such as H-1B. A bill was introduced few weeks ago restricting filing of H-1B visa. There is speculation and rumors circulating regarding H-1B visa and what the President may or may not do. If these speculations and rumors are accurate then certainly there are concerns for both individuals and their employers.
Can you point out some authentic sites where I can find this information?
We receive all of our information timely from respected organizations like AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), specifically our local New England Chapter, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), and the National Immigration Law Center. Few additional websites below.
How are Boston immigration lawyers reacting to this ?
These executive orders have certainly caused concerns, confusion, anxiety, frustration and the feeling of panic surrounding matters of immigration and international travel for both individuals and attorneys. For this reason, Boston Immigration attorneys are actively involved with various organizations, including AILA and taking every possible step to safeguard immigrants interests. AILA and the Political Asylum Immigrant Representation (PAIR) project are working with local organizations and attorneys to conduct "Know Your Rights" presentations to communities about how immigrants' rights are being affected under this Administration. These presentations are one effort to keep people aware of and informed of their rights. Please remember you have a legal right to be in this country. Our local AILA chapter has been working round the clock gathering information and filing court action to safeguard the rights of these individuals.
Atty. Trupti Patel will meet with the community at the workshop organized by the Indian Americans for Burlington at the Burlington Public Library on Sunday February 19, 2017 at 2:30 pm.