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Kevin Michael Crabtree

Kevin Crabtree’s Answers

271 total


  • When will i receive my Master Calendar Hearing date at immigration court?

    My asylum application was referred to immugration court 10 days ago but the asylum office didn't give my my master calendar hearing date at los angeles immigration court saying that i will receive it in the mail. Is it normal or not? How ling does...

    Kevin’s Answer

    If you filed your application within the last two or three moths (meaning the application is being expeditiously processed), then you should get a master calendar hearing very soon (i.e. within a month or two). Otherwise, if you were waiting many months, you will get the notice soon but it will be farther out, like six months to a year. However, you can ask for an earlier hearing in writing/ask for the evidentiary hearing to be set in writing. Also, the timing of things impacts the possibility of work authorization.

    At least in San Francsico, usually the asylum office obtains a hearing date electronically from the court and puts it on the Notice to Appear. But, lately they have not been doing that. I speculate it has something to do with the unusual scheduling issues the court has had to deal with due to the surge of people coming in at the border.

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  • Immigration...what happens with past apprehensions?

    My husband and I have been married for 7 years. I am a US citizen. I recently filed an i130 for my husband, and just received the approval notice. But I was also notified that in his US VISIT foia, it appears he has 3 apprehensions. We know tha...

    Kevin’s Answer

    A USVISIT FOIA is based on a fingerprint match, so it's odd for one of the to not be your husband. In any event, a DHS detention is not necessarily a problem. However, it could be a major problem that makes moving forward extremely risky. If he has an expedited removal, then moving forward on an immigrant visa would be a huge mistake since he would be stuck outside of the country and applying for a green card here would risk his arrest. But, often times the event was something less. This is not the type of case you want to do on your own.

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  • HELP US IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY!

    I been with my husband who is 22 years old since high school for six years and we go married 2 years ago.. we also have a son who was born in 2010 the thing is that he is illegal immigrant who came from mexico when he was 1 year old and has been l...

    Kevin’s Answer

    A U.S. citizen can sponsor a husband/wife for immigration prior to turning 21. If someone entered without a visa, usually he has to leave the country to apply for an immigrant visa abroad. However, if he has DACA, the better route is to request what is called an advance parole (travel) document and then after legally re-entering the United States, applying for a green card within the country. This has the benefit of (1) not requiring a hardship waiver for having been in the country illegally prior to going to a visa interview and (2) having the decision made in the US, where the person can be represented by an attorney at the interview and has more rights. DACA is like a bridge to green card status for your husband.

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  • Obama's executive action and asylum case?

    I came to US on F-1 visa 6 years ago. I filed for asylum on Dec. 2013 and out of status from Jan 2014. I'm still waiting for my interview. My question is that, did the executive action of the Government has any positive impact in asylum case and a...

    Kevin’s Answer

    The available information from DHS states that to receive Deferred Action for Parents, the person must have arrived by 01/01/2010, have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident child, not have certain crimes, and have been present and out of status on 11/20/2014.

    Alternatively, the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival will require an arrival prior to age 16, by 01/01/2010, not having certain crimes and and having been present and out of status on 11/20/2014.

    I agree with my colleague that there will probably be a question about the out of status requirement. I am unsure how they will apply it in F-1 cases where the person does not have a specific date he was supposed to leave by that had passed.

    You are eligible to apply for a work permit 150 days after the asylum application was filed, and then it will take 60 to 90 days to decide. DHS has committed to accepting DAPA applications by 05/20/2015 and endeavors to decide them in one year. So, the asylum would seem to be a quicker work permit option but longer term DAPA would provide work authorization at a cheaper price ($465/3 years versus $380/1 year).

    You can expect an interview on your asylum application within about a year based on comments from the director of the San Francisco Asylum Office a few weeks ago. They are changing the order of interview to prioritize the backlog instead of the incoming "expedited" cases. There is about one year of interviews on the wait list.

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  • Can I apply for an asylum after being in the USA for 4 years?

    I am a Ukrainian and I go to school in California. My visa is going to be up in a couple of months and I would like to stay in the USA since there is war back in Ukraine. I am from the Eastern part so I don't feel safe to go back.

    Kevin’s Answer

    Usually an applicant must apply within one year of entry. There are some exceptions and so if you are planning to apply you should act quickly. For example, if there is a material change in cirumstances in Ukraine, then USCIS can extend the time (typically for six more months after you learn of a change--but it is very dependent on the facts of a case). Maintaining student status also extends the time, typically until six months after a status violation.

    It is a very complex area of law and I am just addressing the timing issues here. If you are unable to afford a lawyer try contacting the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley or the Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights in San Francisco.

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  • Can I be approved for Permanent residency if I am diagnosed with Schizophrenia?

    I currently hold a U Visa and I will be eligible for permanent residency in about 2 years. I have symptoms of Schizophrenia and it also runs in my family, but I am afraid if I seek help for my mental issue I will be denied permanent residency.

    Kevin’s Answer

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    You should not have a problem. Generally speaking, a person applying for a green card or a visa must not be "inadmissible." One ground of inadmissibility is if someone has a mental disorder with an associated history of harmful behavior. This is something determined by a USCIS civil surgeon in a medical exam. When there is a history of mental health issues, often the doctor will consult with the treating mental health clinicians. Even if there is a history, it would still be ok if the doctor can certify that the harmful behavior is unlikely to recur.

    You are in a special position, however, because a U status holder is tested for admissibility only at the time of applying for U status. When moving on to apply for adjustment of status, a special statute applies and you are not required to show admissibility. Nevertheless, USCIS does require the standard medical examination. They can do that because the ultimate decision is discretionary so almost everything is fair game.

    Since the adjustment of status process requires that you show your presence is warranted for humanitarian, family unity or public interest reasons, I would say that a medical needs actually creates a stronger basis for applying for your green card (although in practice USCIS is not super strict about finding a basis to adjust status in this context).

    My concern would be if you were inadmissible at the time you were granted U status and did not disclose that and have it waived. You should speak to a lawyer before applying for your green card.

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  • PC 242 misdemeanor conviction and applying for US citizenship.

    I was charged with PC 273.5 in 2009 . I took a plea for 242 PC-Battery misdemeanor conviction in 2010.I was granted "conviction set aside & dismissed per 1203.4" in 2013 after completing probation. I do not have any other history. Back in 2009,...

    Kevin’s Answer

    To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must show five years of good moral character (or 3 in the case of a spouse of a U.S. citizen). You must also be off probation when the application is approved. If you file when the date of the offense is within the required period of good moral character, they can look at your conduct on that date as evidence of your character. A PC 242 conviction is neither a deportable offense or automatic bar to showing good moral character, but all of the facts come in. On the other hand, if you wait until five years after the offense, then they cannot consider it unless there is something in the last five years that is tied to it that makes it clear you are not reformed. In any event, when there is some negative history like this I always tell my clients to bring forward other positive evidence to offset it (i.e. character reference letters, evidence of any volunteer activities, etc.)

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  • Is pleading the fifth on a green card abandonment case a viable strategy? It is up to the government to prove their case...

    The inspector's field manual mentions that abandonment issues are "complex ones" and dealing with complexity is error-prone at the very least. Nothing to hide, just want to keep things simple and give them nothing to bite on. I am familiar with th...

    Kevin’s Answer

    The Fifth Amendment provides that you cannot be compelled to be a witness against yourself in a criminal prosecution. That extends to being a witness in a civil proceeding (or in any context), if the actual subject of the information forms the elements of a criminal offense. However, when you are testifying in a civil proceeding, your silence can be deemed to create a negative inference. In the absence of any other evidence the Board of Immigration Appeals has held that the inference created by a person's silence alone does not constitute clear and convincing evidence he or she is not a U.S. citizen. So, where the charge of deportability is the person is not a citizen and entered without inspection, it will fail.

    It seems very difficult to fight an abandonment charge in this manner. The government will have evidence that the person is not a U.S. citizen in the file. They will probably also have access to evidence of the very long absence from the U.S. (i.e. records of departure and arrival and what was said at the airport). So, their evidence will be stronger than in the hypothetical where it's solely the person's silence.

    In addition, there actually is an inquiry whether the question potentially implicates criminal liability. As opposed to a criminal trial, where the person can refuse to take the stand, in a civil proceeding the person but invoke the privilege in response to each question. An Immigration Judge can find the question does not involve a potential for criminal liability and order the person to answer. If the person entered without inspection or used a fraudulent visa, there is a potential for criminal liability. If you look through the federal criminal statutes, the only ones that have leaving the U.S. as an element of the offense are not things I would want an ICE prosecutor thinking I might have done (i.e. leaving the U.S. to participate in child sex tourism or to join a terrorist organization).

    In about four cases of my office's cases over the past two years, ICE in San Francisco has decided to exercise prosecutorial discretion under the Morton memorandum for people charged with abandonment. It appears this is not really a priority for the prosecutors, but CBP officers are very gung-ho to issue Notices to Appear. It seems to me that this would be a much more likely avenue of prevailing.

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  • How do I obtain proof of permanent residence without renewing my green card while my naturalization application is approved?

    My green card is set to expire at the end of November. My naturalization application is currently in line to schedule an interview as of 9/15. I travel for my work and would appreciate some guidance on how I can provide a proof of permanent reside...

    Kevin’s Answer

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    You can make an InfoPass appointment on uscis.gov. Bring your passport, green card, and the receipt for N-400. In some locations, USCIS will issue a temporary green card based on that. Otherwise, file the I-90 and so the same thing. They will definitely extend it then.

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  • I have an approved parole in place and I-130 petition. But I had a final order of removal in absentia in 1997.

    Can I file for adjustment? Do I file it in court or before USCIS. What is the procedure? thanks.

    Kevin’s Answer

    This is actually a very new issue. Generally people who are paroled are considered to be "arriving aliens" and they can adjust with USCIS even if they are in removal proceedings and have an unexecuted order of removal.

    However, it probably makes more sense to get your case reopened and terminated and then apply for adjustment with USCIS, to avoid any controversy. The ICE Office of Chief Counsel will probably agree to this if you ask them. They have done so for my clients in similar situation (in San Francisco). I recommend you hire a lawyer.

    If you cannot afford a lawyer, you might try here. I am not sure the parameters of this program though:

    http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?bc=24109

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