Ever wonder how to hire a Good Immigration Attorney? Are you traumatized by repeated horror stories from others? Here at WGV, we believe every immigrant needs the opportunity to have the best representation ever. And to make sure you get that, our Immigration Attorneys Jennifer Walker Gates and Jacqueline Watson give us key details to know that who you hire is the right fit!
At Walker Gates Vela PLLC we want every immigrant in the United States to have the benefit of competent, effective legal representation. Following the steps outlined in this e-book can help you avoid the headaches and harms that can occur as the result of hiring a dishonest or incompetent immigration attorney. Get it here!
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If you or a loved one need legal assistance with any immigration matter, call or text us at +1 512-633-1785 or schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys here.
We were so proud and honored to have the chance to interview legendary activist and organizer, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez about her latest projects, Jolt and Latino Families Forward. Cristina is a dynamo and a force to be reckoned with. If you want some inspiration and hope for the future of our country, definitely check out this video!
This week, we heard a familiar story from one of our immigrant friends: He completed work for a contractor more than a month ago, but the contractor has not paid him. He is owed almost $4,000. The contractor told our friend, “Don’t worry, I’ll pay you when I get paid,” but now is not responding to our friend’s calls or texts. Our friend does not have a work permit or residency, and is afraid the contractor won’t pay him.
But, the law in Texas is clear: If you get hired for work, you get paid for that work. Immigration status does not matter. An employer who refuses to pay for work has committed a crime called Wage Theft, and the worker is entitled to be paid back wages, and sometimes more.
So, what should you do if an employer refuses to pay you for work that you’ve done? Here are some options:
1. Contact the Worker’s Defense Project. This is an organization with almost two decades helping workers recover stolen wages, learn their rights, and fight for better laws to protect workers. They have offices in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Click here to visit their website.
2. Submit a Wage Claim with Texas Workforce Commission. Click here to see information on how to do this.
3. Contact an employment law attorney in your area. Depending on the amount of stolen wages, an attorney may or may not be able to take your case. This is why organizations like WDP are so important – they can help no matter the amount you need to recover.
Finally, if you are a victim of wage theft, DO NOT DELAY in taking action! The law provides only two years to file a law suit to recover your wages, and that time can slip away faster than you think.
If you are a client of WGV and have been the victim of wage theft in the past two years, please call or email your attorney for assistance.
This week, USCIS published an update to their policy manual which states that they will no longer approve applications for adjustment of status for individuals whose only lawful entry is based on travel using TPS advance parole.
This new policy appears to be another attempt by the Trump Administration to illegally change immigration law without Congressional approval as is required under our Constitution. This new USCIS policy flouts federal appellate court decisions, decades of routine practice, and a common-sense interpretation of the immigration law as written by Congress.
Please note: According to the policy manual, individuals with TPS who travelled with advance parole before August 19, 2020 will not be affected by this new rule.
We at WGV are looking forward to suing USCIS over this policy, as we are confident that it will not withstand the scrutiny of a federal judge. We welcome anyone with TPS who travelled using advance parole on or after August 19, and who hopes to seek adjustment of status on the basis of that travel, to contact us for a consultation immediately.
The U Visa was created by Congress, in the year 2000, to encourage immigrant victims of crime to come forward, to report crimes without fear of deportation. The U Visa gives the recipient a permit to work and live legally in the United States for up to four years. This Visa is available to victims of crime who have reported the crime and have assisted police and/or prosecutors in the investigation or prosecution of a crime. The Visa provides legal status for up to four years, but after having the Visa for three years, between the third and fourth year, most recipients are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status, or a Green Card.
Victims of violent crimes are eligible for a U Visa. Those who have suffered minor crimes typically are not eligible. The qualifying crimes for U Visa include such crimes as domestic violence, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and similar crimes. Petty crimes such as stealing a wallet or having your car burglarized typically don’t qualify for a U Visa. Those victims who have assisted police or prosecutors in the investigation or prosecution of the crime must get a certification from that law enforcement agency in order to be eligible for a U Visa. So if you’ve been a victim of a crime but didn’t report it, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for a U Visa. U Visas can also include spouses, minor children, and sometimes parents and siblings of the victim who has cooperated with police. If you’re a victim of a crime, please don’t hesitate to call the police. Everyone in the United States has rights to protection from violence and assistance from the police, regardless of immigration status. With that, I’ll sign off. Thank you so much and let us know if we can help with your case.
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