THE LAW OFFICE OF CECILY CLEMENTS WILL REMAIN OPEN DURING THE SHELTER IN PLACE
OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FROM REMOTE LOCATIONS. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE OFFICE. WE WILL ANSWER THE PHONE AND CONDUCT APPOINTMENTS VIA VIDEOCHAT OR PHONE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO PRIORITZE OUR CLIENTS INTERESTS AND ADVANCE THEIR CASES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE DURING THIS PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY. WE WISH EVERYONE SAFETY AND GOOD HEALTH - PLEASE CONTACT US BY PHONE OR E-MAIL IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
COVID-19 DISASTER RELIEF FOR IMMIGRANTS
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults.
The California Department of Social Services has selected twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive this disaster relief assistance in their region. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household.
Click here to read frequently asked questions about this program.
The Law Office of Cecily E. Clements is an immigration law firm that specializes in family-based immigration, deportation defense, asylum, and protections for victims of violent crimes. Located in downtown Oakland, we have experience representing individuals from all over the world in a wide variety of immigration cases.
Cecily Clements approaches each case with empathy. Navigating United States immigration law can be confusing and complicated. Our services are focused and individualized so that you feel confident and protected. Call us today for a thorough, honest, and compassionate assessment of your immigration situation.
Cecily has been practicing immigration law since January of 2007 and has helped individuals and families from all over the world obtain lawful immigration status in the United States. She is experienced in all types of cases,* ranging from simple visa applications to complicated court litigation, and has obtained immigration benefits on behalf of her clients even where the circumstances were difficult and the prospects for success were limited.
Cecily’s first legal victory came when she successfully immigrated her own husband to the United States through the consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Her personal experience lends a sensitivity to her work that is not commonly found in legal settings. She provides her clients with effective representation through building personal relationships as well as by conducting an individualized, detail-oriented analysis of every case.
Cecily has appeared in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and Seattle Immigration Courts and has experience representing individuals who are detained and who have been convicted of crimes. Her primary expertise lies in immigrant visa applications at consulates overseas and includes all types of waivers of inadmissibility. She is experienced in dealing with the various agencies that handle immigration matters, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Customs and Border Protection.
Cecily speaks Spanish and French. She is licensed in the State of California and has been admitted to the practice before the Federal District court for the Northern District and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
*Please note that Cecily does not handle business or employment-based immigration matters.
The federal agency that adjudicates affirmative applications for immigration benefits is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). If you have an application pending before USCIS, you can check the status of that application online. While consultation with an experienced immigration attorney is imperative prior to filing an application, general information about the immigration process and the forms that are required to be filled out can be accessed here. If you have a case pending with USCIS and you move, it is important that you update your address with the agency so you can properly receive correspondence.
There are different ways to obtain immigration benefits in the United States. Some individuals apply for status directly with USCIS, while others are placed in removal (deportation) proceedings and make applications in defense of their deportation before the Executive Office for Immigration Review ("EOIR" or "immigration court"). Individuals who are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") can be located online. If you are in removal proceedings, it is extremely important that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help you defend against deportation. If you would like general information about your removal case, you can call EOIR's automated hotline at 1-800-898-7180.
Other immigration benefits involve applications for visas at the U.S. Consulates world-wide. The issuance of visas is governed by the United States Department of State ("DOS"). Individuals who wish to immigrate permanently to the United States apply for immigrant visas overseas via a petition filed by a family member or an employer.* The National Visa Center is the domestic office that handles the document processing and scheduling of immigrant visa interviews. When and how you can immigrate to the United States depends on the type of petition that was filed on your behalf and whether or not you fall into a category for immigration that is backlogged. To determine whether or not your petition is current and eligible for further action, check the visa bulletin on a monthly basis.
Undocumented individuals and those who are out of status are probably experiencing a heightened sense of anxiety and despair since the announcement of President Trump's executive orders increasing enforcement resources in the interior of the United States and at the border. In this climate, it is more important than ever to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to explore your options for regularizing your status in the United States. Additionally, it is critical that all individuals - documented and undocumented - understand their rights when interacting with law enforcement and have a plan in place for their families should they be detained.
When applying for immigration benefits in the United States it is beneficial to be able to demonstrate good moral character. This is a requirement for naturalization (citizenship) as well as most other applications for immigration benefits. In general, good moral character requires a clean record with law enforcement, payment of taxes, avoidance of substance abuse problems, payment of child support or other obligations, and registration with the selective service if you live in the United States and are a male between the ages of 18 to 26. However, good moral character can sometimes be demonstrated absent these circumstances as well. Many individuals erroneously believe that receipt of public benefits automatically disqualifies an individual from immigration benefits as a public charge, or that any criminal history makes regularizing your status impossible. This is not necessarily the case. Consultation with an experienced immigration attorney about your particular situation is required in order to determine eligibility for benefits.
This short overview provides basic information about how to obtain lawful immigration status in the United States. U.S. immigration law is exceedingly complex and in order to understand your options, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney. If you are interested in a consultation with Cecily, please contact our office.
* Please note that the Law Office of Cecily Clements does not handle employment-based visa cases.
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**DISCLAIMER** The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.
The Law Office of Cecily Clements
1322 Webster Street, Suite 300,
Oakland, CA 94612