Office Reopening, USCIS reopening and Black Lives Matter

We hope that you are well. Natalie and I are well and have been working remotely. As of June 4th, we will reopen our physical offices but request that you make an appointment or call before coming to the office.  As always you can contact us by phone or email, and we can arrange virtual appointments. Please let us know how we can help during these difficult times.

In the midst of the Pandemic and feeling the weight of racial violence, it is difficult to know what to write. I am overwhelmed by sadness and anger at the violent murders of black and brown people in our country. Hopefully, some real changes will be made in correcting systemic problems in our laws and society. I have posted a blog – The American Immigration Council Stands Against Racism and Commits to Connecting Our Cause to Others Working for Justice.  This can be found here.

I also wanted the share an article that highlights the value of diversity in this country: How to Feed Crowds in a Protest or Pandemic? The Sikhs Know

Friday, I attended a virtual event sponsored by Immigrants’ List which is a political action committee (PAC) that has the goal of electing pro-reform leaders and defeating anti-immigrant politicians. The event featured Debbie Mucarsel-Powell; our Congressional Representative for House district 26 who is herself an immigrant from Ecuador.  If you are interested in this organization and the reforms they seek,  you can find them on https://www.immigrantslist.org.  

On April 24th, USCIS suspended all in-person services at its offices. As of June 4th, Immigration is starting to reopen for interviews, biometrics appointments and Naturalization ceremonies. It will not be business as usual. USCIS has enacted precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including fewer appointments, providing hand sanitizers, requiring masks, and encouraging people to bring their own pens. Applicants may not bring anyone other than their attorney and one other person if they are providing disability accommodations. It is not yet clear how all of this will work but one source says that they may only have four interviews per hour. Considering the most of the USCIS in the Miami area generally have 12 or more officers conducting interviews and they are each expected to interview 3 -4 applicants per hour it is very difficult to imagine how long the wait times will be for interviews. 

Those of us who have had or still have the ability to work remotely owe a Thanks to Immigrants for providing essential services that allowing us to remain safe by working remotely. The Organization – New American Economy – has been updating their portal Immigrants and Covid-19 every week. Their key finding this week includes the following:

Immigrants make up significant shares of healthcare workers.

Immigrant women in particular are critical to healthcare in America. 

Immigrant workers disproportionately serve in the riskiest jobs.

Immigrants are critical to the food supply chain.

Immigrants are making the supplies we need to fight Covid-19.

Undocumented and DACA-eligible immigrants are essential workers.

Key states and metro areas especially rely on immigrants in this fight.

Be safe and please let us know how we may help you.

Written by Linda M Kaplan

Linda M Kaplan

The Law Office of Linda M Kaplan, P.A. is a Miami-based immigration law firm serving both businesses and individual clients throughout the state of Florida, the United States, and numerous other countries around the world. We provide a uniquely personalized approach, offering precise legal guidance, unyielding advocacy, and a wide variety of innovative immigration and naturalization-related services to suit the various needs of all our clients. We have substantial experience and specialized knowledge in business immigration cases as well as family-based immigration and naturalization.