Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obama to Allow Military Immigrant Relatives to Stay in US

Obama to Allow Military Immigrant Relatives to Stay in the US

Federal immigration authorities will no longer deport non-criminal immigrant family members of former and active duty members of immigrants serving in the United States military.

According to a Department of Homeland Security memo released Friday, November 15, 2013, the Obama administration  states that illegal immigrants who are relatives of United States active military and veterans will no longer be deported, and can apply to stay in the United States.

This new policy will apply to troops' and veterans' spouses, children and parents, who can now apply for parole status that will allow them to stay in the United States and suspend deportations.

The parole status is authorized in one-year increments and allows relatives to adjust for permanent legal status.

Parole of Spouses, children and parents of Armed Forces personnel

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that veterans have earned the right to keep their relatives in the United States, and wants to assist military members, veterans, and their families to navigate our complex immigration system and apply for naturalization and other immigration services and benefits.

It is estimated that about five percent of the force, or more than 65,000 military immigrants, currently serve on active-duty. This new policy memo indicates that halting the deportation of immigrant family members would help to alleviate the “stress and anxiety” of these military personnel. 

"Similarly, our veterans, who have served and sacrificed for our nation, can face stress and anxiety because of the immigration status of their family members in the United States."

"We as a nation have made a commitment to our veterans, to support and care for them. It is a commitment that begins at enlistment, and continues as they become veterans."

Immigration Attorney Proudly Serving in the United States

Brandt Immigration handles immigration and citizenship issues on a daily basis and if you are a spouse, child, or parent of armed forces personnel, or have questions regarding this new policy, we encourage you to contact the experienced Immigration Attorneys at Brandt Immigration today.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Immigration Courts Nationwide Suspended During Government Shutdown

Immigration courts nationwide are continuing to adjudicate detained cases. Court functions that support the detained caseload will continue, but other functions are suspended. 

For specific information about a particular court, please visit:

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is processing emergency stay requests as well as cases where the alien is detained, including case appeals, motions, federal court remands, and bonds. The stay line is open (for emergency stay calls only), but all other telephone lines have been switched to closed status. The BIA Clerk’s Office staff is accepting all filings and will be open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

During the government shutdown, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer will maintain its ability to issue subpoenas and accept for filing any complaints that must be filed to comply with statutory deadlines.

In Orlando, evidence of the shutdown's effect was on display at the two-story building that houses the immigration court in an office park east of downtown. A sign on the door said the court was closed except for cases involving "detention." All others would be "re-scheduled when the government re-opens," the sign said.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Will a criminal conviction or arrest affect my immigration status?

    If you are not a United States citizen, an arrest and/or conviction can affect your immigration status. Certain criminal convictions can directly lead to being placed in removal proceedings (also commonly referred to as deportation proceedings)
    If you are not a United States Citizen and you have been charged with a crime, it is particularly important that you consult with an experienced attorney that is familiar with the criminal and immigration laws. It is important that before you plead to any type of criminal charge you are fully aware of the immigration consequences of the criminal conviction.

    For more  information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys, please call us today at 888-553-5806 or email info@brandtimmigration.com.

    Brandt Immigration
    Orlando Immigration Lawyers
    Experienced Immigration Attorneys

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Immigration Attorney Dina Castillo Ward

Dina Castillo Ward is an immigration attorney that brings a diverse immigration background to Brandt Immigration.

She has over 14 years of experience, including time spent as an Immigration Information Officer with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and as a Judicial Intern with the Executive Office for Immigration Review – Immigration Court.  Attorney Castillo Ward focuses her practice in all areas of immigration law.

Attorney Castillo Ward is a member of the Florida Bar, American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Bar Association and Orange County Bar Association.  For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the office to schedule an appointment with Ms. Castillo Ward.

Monday, September 2, 2013

DS-260 Form to be Required for all Consular Processing Immigrant Visa Applicants

Beginning on September 3, 2013 the Department of State (DOS) will transition to an online Immigrant Visa application instead of filing the paper forms.

The Immigrant Visa application is the process by which a foreign national obtains his or her green card while outside the U.S.  The immigrant visa applicant will submit Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) online along with Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent).

These new online forms will replace the previous paper Form DS-230 and DS-3032.  Only Diversity Visa and Cuban Family Reunification Parole Applicants will continue to use the paper forms.

While the online Forms DS-260 is very similar to the paper Form DS-230 there are a few changes. Namely, the applicant’s residential history.  Previously on the paper Form DS-230, the Immigrant Visa applicant only had to list the City, State/Province, Country, and dates of their residency since the age of 16.

Now, the applicant must list the full address of every place they lived since reaching 16 years of age.  The full address must include the street number, street address, City, State/Province, and zip/postal code.

After the implementation date, the National Visa Center may instruct applicants who recently filed paper Forms DS-230 and DS-3032 to refile using the online system. This may only occur in some instances, but recent applicants should be prepared to refile.

Brandt Immigration is experienced at submitting Form DS-260 applications online and knows how detail-orientated the forms actually are.  If you or a family member are interested in obtaining an Immigrant Visa please do not hesitate to contact our experienced immigration lawyers today.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Deferred Action Immigration Program In First Year Aids More Than 400,000

One year ago, undocumented young people turned out by the thousands across the country to apply for a new government program that allows them to stay in the United States, work and remain safe from deportation. A dream and a chance for a pathway to citizenship.

A report just released by Brookings provides information on the "DREAMers" who applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals relief beginning on August 15, 2012.

There are more than 557,000 of them and nearly 72 percent (400,562) have been approved for the program as of the end of June. Those DREAMers came the US as children from around the world. 
75% of those DREAMers had been in the country for more than a decade by the time they applied for deferred action, and 33% entered before they were 5 years 
old. Most applicants were ages 15 to 23.

The program is clearly successful, however it is only a small resolution and we must keep fighting for a comprehensive immigration reform!

Friday, July 12, 2013


Muchas personas ya se están preparando para un funeral para enterrar a la reforma migratoria. Siempre he dicho que la verdadera lucha será en la Cámara, y que sería difícil, y ciertamente ha demostrado ser. Pero la reforma no ha muerto. Lejos de ello. Esto es lo que tenemos que hacer. Averigüe quién es su congresista local. Buscarlo en Google. Determinar si apoyan la reforma. Si lo hacen, no pierdas tu tiempo con personas que ya son de apoyo.

Si no lo hacen, entonces cualquier persona que vive en su distrito que los votos, que conoce a alguien que vota, o quiere votar en el futuro, deben ponerse en contacto con los miembros de la casa todos los días para exigir una reforma migratoria integral.

A continuación se muestra una excelente pieza que describe 3 razones clave por las que la reforma todavía está vivo! No te rindas. Ahora es el momento de duplicar sus esfuerzos, no disminuye ellos! Las cosas duras son difíciles. Pero vale la pena cada maldito minuto y aprobar una reforma migratoria integral es todavía una realidad.

La reforma migratoria no está muerta
Por: Sean West
11 de julio 2013 15:01 EDT

La Casa Blanca, Jay Carney resumió con precisión el estado de la situación sobre la reforma integral de la inmigración a principios de esta semana: "las cosas difíciles son difíciles." Pero el hecho de republicanos están luchando para diseñar su estrategia de reforma que los demócratas del Congreso dibujan líneas rojas alrededor de ellos doesn ' t hacen el esfuerzo está muerto.

La verdad es que el paso - de una forma u otra - sigue siendo más probable que no, aunque sólo sea un poco así, por tres razones principales.

En primer lugar, la premisa de que existe un deseo unificado para matar a la inmigración en la casa es simplemente errónea. Sin duda, los miembros de seguridad en barrios predominantemente blancos se enfrentan a una escasa demanda de los votantes para un cambio de política. Pero hay intereses capitalistas en todos los distritos para los que la reforma migratoria es la máxima prioridad, y no hay una única fuerza de oposición cohesionada.

En segundo lugar, cualquier miembro mirando cargo estatal o nacional en el futuro - o con la esperanza de que el Partido Republicano va a ganar el gobierno unificado que pasar sus prioridades fiscales, una day - ve beneficios en la aprobación de la reforma. Hay algunos, como el ex candidato a vicepresidente Paul Ryan, que en realidad ni siquiera le gusta la idea de pasar la reforma por razones económicas y morales. Y hay otros que son indiferentes a "amnistía", pero tienen razones políticas fuertes para ir de votación récord en apoyo de fuerte seguridad fronteriza o una revisión visa de negocios.

En tercer lugar, la nueva sabiduría convencional de que los republicanos de la Cámara será lento caminar de reforma a la muerte pierde el hecho de que simplemente no pueden correr, esconderse, y la inmigración esperanza desaparece. Partidarios de inmigración continuarán atención de los medios directamente a la cuestión, que se desplazan a casa intenta poner de relieve una serie de recientes escándalos de la administración Obama y la posición para las próximas batallas fiscales. Al final del día, los republicanos saben que si se niegan a mover un intento creíble de reforma, que llevarán toda la culpa por el fracaso.

Esto significa que incluso si los republicanos están en última instancia, va a matar a la reforma, que necesitan para obtener las huellas dactilares demócratas en el arma homicida. La forma más sencilla de hacerlo sería que pasar una serie de duras reformas graduales, en temas como el control de fronteras - e incluye una vía de legalización para los inmigrantes indocumentados, como el presidente de línea dura del Comité Judicial de la Cámara recientemente flotaba, en lugar de una ruta de acceso a ciudadanía plena. Bajo este escenario, los líderes republicanos iban a comité de conferencia con un apalancamiento grave e inoculación política contra la acusación de que se torpedeó las esperanzas de reforma. Los demócratas y el presidente, por su parte, se arriesgarían a destruir la reforma migratoria si siguen adelante con las amenazas a alejarse de cualquier proyecto de ley que no proporciona la plena ciudadanía.

Pero los demócratas probablemente no alejarse. El presidente y muchos de sus colegas en el Congreso están más interesados ​​en reformar el sistema de inmigración que en sólo anotándose una victoria política, a pesar de que seguramente buscan a este último si es todo lo que hay disponible. Han aumentado las expectativas entre un conjunto diverso de partes interesadas, desde grupos defensores de los hispanos a la entrada de tecnología, para la entrega de la reforma. Sería políticamente insostenible para los demócratas para justificar rechazar un paquete de reformas que ofrece todo lo que quieran, pero la capacidad de los inmigrantes recién documentadas a votar. Y serán capaces de argumentar que el Congreso siempre puede volver más tarde bajo el control democrático y el estado de actualización jurídica a la ciudadanía.

La reforma migratoria no es pan comido: Hay una posibilidad significativa de que un Congreso que sólo ha promulgado 15 leyes este año no puede hacer frente a un conjunto tan difícil de reformas. Pero no estamos allí todavía, ni estamos presenciando signos de que el fracaso es una conclusión inevitable. Trate de filtrar el ruido en el Capitolio: La señal clave no será bravatas de los republicanos en su lucha por su propia formulación de estrategias políticas ni amenazas línea roja de los demócratas acerca de un Será un cambio de "camino a la ciudadanía o el busto." táctica de la Casa Blanca.

El presidente quiere una reforma bastante mal que se ha mantenido al margen durante gran parte del debate, con la esperanza de no echar a perder los esfuerzos del Congreso - incluso a riesgo de acusaciones que no se esfuerzan lo suficiente para vender la acción pública, si falla. Con la esperanza de atraer a los republicanos con miel, él publicó un informe pregonan los beneficios económicos de la inmigración a principios de esta semana.

Sabremos que la reforma migratoria es realmente poco probable que Obama desata el vinagre, por todo lo que quiera la victoria política, que va a tomar la victoria política de los republicanos reforma bloqueo si parece que eso es todo lo que va a conseguir. A través del país gira llena de intimidación púlpito, partidaria de lanzamiento de granadas indicaría que el presidente ha cambiado y causar la Cámara de retroceso. Obama ha lanzado la idea como un recordatorio de que puede jugar duro, para que él no está haciendo lo que todavía es un signo importante.

No olvidemos: Muchas de las mismas voces que se muestran escépticos sobre la inmigración endgame previamente hizo el caso que el senador Marco Rubio no sería capaz de hacer una copia de una propuesta del Senado, que los demócratas del Senado no le daría lo suficiente en la seguridad fronteriza para asegurar la necesaria apoyo de los republicanos, y que, cuando los votos fueron contados en última instancia, el proyecto de ley del Senado sólo cojera sobre la línea de meta. Nada de eso resultó cierto.

La reforma migratoria es difícil. Pero no está muerto.


Many people are already getting ready for a funeral to bury immigration reform.  I have always said the real fight will be in the House, and it would be tough and certainly has proven to be.  BUT reform is not dead.  Far from it.  This is what we need to do.  Find out who your local congressman is.  Google it.  Determine whether they support reform.  If they do, don't waste your time with people who are already supportive.

If they don't, then anyone who lives in their district that votes, that knows someone that votes, or wants to vote in the future should contact these House members every day to demand comprehensive immigration reform.

Below is an excellent piece describing 3 key reasons why reform is still alive!  Do not give up.  Now is the time to double your efforts, not lessen them!  Hard things are hard.  But worth every damn minute of it and passing comprehensive immigration reform is still a reality.

Immigration reform isn't dead
By: Sean West
July 11, 2013 03:01 PM EDT

White House press secretary Jay Carney accurately summed up the state of play on comprehensive immigration reform earlier this week: “hard things are hard.” But just because House Republicans are struggling to design their reform strategy as congressional Democrats draw red lines around them doesn’t mean the effort is dead.

The truth is, passage — in one form or another — remains more likely than not, if only slightly so, for three main reasons.

First, the premise that there is a unified desire to kill immigration in the House is simply wrong. No doubt, safe members in predominantly white districts face little voter demand for a change in policy. But there are moneyed interests in every district for whom immigration reform is top priority, and there is no single cohesive opposition force.

Second, any member eyeing statewide or national office in the future — or hoping that the Republican Party will one day win the unified government necessary to pass their top fiscal priorities — sees benefits in passing reform. There are some, like former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who even actually like the idea of passing reform for economic and moral reasons. And there are others who are indifferent about “amnesty” but have strong political reasons to go on record voting in support of stronger border security or a business visa overhaul.

Third, the new conventional wisdom that House Republicans will slow-walk reform to death misses the fact that they can’t simply run, hide, and hope immigration goes away. Immigration supporters will continue to direct media attention to the issue, which will crowd out House attempts to highlight a host of recent Obama administration scandals and position for upcoming fiscal battles. At the end of the day, Republicans know that if they refuse to move a credible attempt at reform, they will bear all the blame for failure.

This means that even if Republicans are ultimately going to kill reform, they need to get Democratic fingerprints on the murder weapon. The easiest way to do this would be to pass a series of tough, piecemeal reforms on issues like border control — and include a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, as the hawkish chair of the House Judiciary committee recently floated, rather than a path to full citizenship. Under this scenario, GOP leaders would go to conference committee with serious leverage and political inoculation against the charge that they torpedoed all hopes for reform. Democrats and the president, meanwhile, would risk destroying immigration reform if they follow through on threats to walk away from any bill that doesn’t provide full citizenship.

But Democrats probably wouldn’t walk away. The president and many of his congressional colleagues are more interested in overhauling the immigration system than in just chalking up a political victory, though they will surely seek out the latter if it is all that is available. They have raised expectations among a diverse set of stakeholders, from Hispanic advocacy groups to the technology lobby, for delivering reform. It would be politically untenable for Democrats to justify turning down a reform package that delivers everything they want but the ability of newly documented immigrants to vote. And they will be able to argue that Congress can always come back later under Democratic control and upgrade legal status to citizenship.

Immigration reform is no slam dunk: There is a significant chance that a Congress that has only enacted 15 laws this year fails to tackle such a difficult set of reforms. But we are not there yet, nor are we witnessing signs that failure is a foregone conclusion. Try to filter out the noise on Capitol Hill: The key signal will neither be bluster from Republicans as they struggle through their own political strategizing nor red-line threats from Democrats about a “path to citizenship or bust.” It will be a change of tack from the White House.

The president wants reform badly enough that he has stayed on the sidelines for much of the debate, hoping not to spoil congressional efforts — even at risk of accusations that he did not try hard enough to sell the public case, should it fail. Hoping to lure Republicans with honey, he released a report touting immigration’s economic benefits earlier this week.

We’ll know immigration reform is truly unlikely when Obama breaks out the vinegar, for much as he wants the policy win, he’ll take the political victory of Republicans blocking reform if it looks like that’s all he’ll get. A cross-country roadshow filled with bully-pulpit, partisan grenade-throwing would indicate that the president has moved on and cause the House to recoil. Obama has floated the idea as a reminder that he can play hardball; that he isn’t doing so yet is an important sign.

Let’s not forget: Many of the same voices that are skeptical about immigration endgame previously made the case that Sen. Marco Rubio wouldn’t be able to back a Senate proposal; that Senate Democrats wouldn’t give enough on border security to secure the necessary Republican support; and that, when the votes were ultimately tallied, the Senate bill would only limp over the finish line. None of that proved true.

Immigration reform is hard. But it’s not dead.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Green Card Priority Dates Jump Forward

The State Department August 2013 Visa Bulletin shows that priority dates for green card applicants based on lawful permanent resident spouse and child sponsorship are current.  Employment green card priority dates accelerate forward.  Here is the August 2013 Visa Bulletin.

A jump in priority dates like this is extremely rare and is only valid for the month of August.  Please contact an experienced immigration attorney should you have any questions or are seeking guidance.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Post-DOMA, Same-Sex Couples Gain Immigration Rights

The Supreme Court has ruled that The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states, is unconstitutional.

"The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment."

This means that same-sex couples should now be treated just like opposite-sex couples in the immigration system. Citizens can now sponsor a foreign-born same-sex spouse for permanent residence (a green card) as long as they wed legally in a state or country that allows it and have a bona fide marriage. 

In a statement on the DOMA decision Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “Working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, we will implement today’s decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws.”

Rachel Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, says, “When the immigration system is evaluating a green card application, they ask, ‘Was your marriage valid in the place of the celebration, and is your marriage bona fide?” It doesn’t matter if the couple got married abroad, as long as the marriage was legally recognized in that country. That benefit now applies to binational same-sex couples.

Think Progress' Esther Yu-Hsi Lee noted "The Supreme Court ruling comes as a future goal post to look forward to now that federal laws has ended the discrimination against their love," "It also will finally allow the federal government to treat all LGBT families equally by allowing them access to federal benefits and protections."

Friday, June 28, 2013

The American Immigration Council Applauds Senate Passage of Historic Immigration Reform Legislation

On June 27, 2013 The American Immigration Council posted the following for immediate release:

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the U.S. Senate for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744) by a vote of 68-32 (including 14 Republicans). This vote reflects how far the country has come in understanding the significance of immigration reform to the health and well-being of the nation as a whole. Regardless of what may come next, today’s vote reflects the irrefutable fact that the social and economic benefits of immigration reform are tangible and achievable. There will be much work ahead to continue to perfect the policies reflected in this bill. But for the moment, we should thank the Senate, led by the Gang of Eight, for the courage and vision to finally move the country forward on immigration.

“Today’s vote is a game-changer. The debate around immigration reform is forever changed, the notion that the Senate cannot act on immigration is a thing of the past, and now we know that it is possible to find bi-partisan agreement one an issue once deemed toxic,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.

“There is little doubt that today’s vote offers the country a chance to start again on immigration. While the compromises necessary to achieve a significant bipartisan vote were many, this is a lesson for us all in democracy—we can respect deep disagreements on policy grounds, yet still find a way forward. The Senate should be commended for giving us all a chance to change the conversation on immigration,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

For more information, please contact the experienced immigration lawyers at Brandt Immigration.


Orlando - (407) 545 - 2534
Toll Free - (888) 553 - 5806

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dia Historico para la Reforma Migratoria!!!

Lo que un día increíble! El Senado de EE.UU. votó abrumadoramente para arreglar nuestro sistema roto y dar a los inmigrantes una oportunidad en el sueño americano. Me siento muy agradecida a Dios ya todos los que han luchado mucho y duro, incluso a mí! El New York Times escribió un excelente artículo que usted puede hacer clic a continuación para leer en su totalidad.

Recuerde, ahora que hemos ganado una gran ronda, esta lucha está lejos de terminar. La casa es mucho más dividida, y los enemigos de la reforma tratará de detener la reforma en la Cámara. Tenemos que luchar más que nunca ahora para asegurar la casa sabe que el 70% de los estadounidenses apoyan este proyecto de ley! Todos debemos seguir actuando con un sentido de desesperación y no podemos tomar esta victoria por sentado. Más abajo en la votación en el Senado. Lo que un día increíble para ser un americano.

El Senado aprobó el jueves la reforma más importante de las leyes de inmigración del país en una generación con un amplio apoyo bipartidista, el envío del proyecto de ley a la Cámara controlada por los republicanos, donde existe una oposición significativa de los miembros conservadores y donde la lucha podría extenderse hasta 2014. Pero dada la fuerte votación de 68 a 32, con 14 republicanos votaron a favor, el liderazgo demócrata y el grupo bipartidista de ocho senadores que redactó el proyecto de ley original parecía decidido a saborear el momento. Vicepresidente Joseph R. Biden Jr., presidió la votación como senadores anunciaron sus posiciones de sus escritorios, en un procedimiento ceremonial reservado para ocasiones especiales.

En los días previos a la votación, muchos miembros de la "Banda de los Ocho", que elaboró ​​el marco de la ley llevó a la sala del Senado para dar discursos apasionados, entre ellos el senador Marco Rubio, republicano de la Florida, que es una de las principales voces hispanas de su partido. Cuando el Sr. Rubio terminó, los demás senadores del grupo bipartidista lo rodearon en el suelo, dándole una palmada en la espalda y ofrecer palabras de aliento. "Buen trabajo", dijo uno. "Estoy orgulloso de ti", dijo otro.

Durante la votación, el Sr. Rubio abotonó la chaqueta como él se levantó y dijo "sí." Más tarde, cuando el Sr. Rubio dio la vuelta al pleno del Senado de recibir felicitaciones, pasó de las páginas que se sientan en las escaleras justo debajo de la tribuna y gritó: "Ha elegido un buen día para estar aquí."

El proyecto del Senado ofrece un camino de 13 años a la ciudadanía para los 11 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados en el país, así como las disposiciones de seguridad fronteriza difíciles que deben estar en su lugar antes de que los inmigrantes pueden obtener el estatus legal.

A pesar de reformar el sistema de inmigración del país se convirtió en una prioridad para muchos republicanos tras las elecciones presidenciales de 2012, en la que el candidato republicano, Mitt Romney, fue rechazada por los votantes hispanos, opositores a la inmigración han montado los últimos esfuerzos para descarrilar el proyecto de ley, que dicen que lo haría ofrecer una amnistía sin medidas reales de aplicación.

A medida que el proyecto de ley a la Cámara, las elites republicanas y sus grupos pro-inmigrantes bien financiados están ejecutando en contra de la oposición de los miembros más conservadores de la Cámara. Representantes, John A. Boehner echó agua fría sobre las esperanzas de que la Cámara deberá pronunciarse sobre el plan del Senado, y él insistió en que cualquier medida de inmigración su cámara tomó tendría que ser apoyada por la mayoría de su conferencia republicana.

Historic Day for Immigration Reform!!!!

What an amazing day!  The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to fix our broken system and give immigrants a chance at the American dream.  I feel so thankful to God and to all who have fought so long and hard, including me!  The New York times wrote an excellent piece you can click on below to read in its entirety.  

Remember, now that we won a huge round, this fight is far from over.  The House is much more divided, and the enemies of reform will try to stop reform in the House.  We must fight harder than ever now to ensure the House knows that 70% of Americans support this bill!  We all must continue to act with a sense of desperation and cannot take this victory for granted. Read more below on the Senate vote.  What an amazing day to be an American.

The Senate on Thursday approved the most significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws in a generation with broad bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Republican-controlled House, where there is significant opposition from conservative members and where the fight could extend into 2014. But given the strong 68-to-32 vote, with 14 Republicans voting in favor, the Democratic leadership and the bipartisan group of eight senators who drafted the original bill seemed determined to savor the moment. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. presided over the vote as senators announced their positions from their desks, in a ceremonial procedure reserved for special occasions.

Leading up to the vote, many in the “Gang of Eight” that drafted the framework of the legislation took to the Senate floor to give impassioned speeches, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who is one of his party’s leading Hispanic voices. When Mr. Rubio finished, the other senators in the bipartisan group surrounded him on the floor, patting him on the back and offering words of encouragement. “Good job,” said one. “I’m proud of you,” said another.

During the vote, Mr. Rubio buttoned his suit jacket as he stood and said “aye.” Later, as Mr. Rubio walked around the Senate floor receiving congratulations, he passed by the pages sitting on the steps just below the podium and called out, “You picked a good day to be here.”

The Senate bill provides a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country, as well as tough border security provisions that must be in place before the immigrants can gain legal status.

Though overhauling the nation’s immigration system became a priority for many Republicans after the 2012 presidential election, in which the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, was rejected by Hispanic voters, immigration opponents have mounted last-ditch efforts to derail the bill, which they say would offer amnesty without any real enforcement measures.

As the bill heads to the House, Republican elites and their well-financed pro-immigration groups are running up against opposition from the chamber’s most conservative members. Speaker John A. Boehner threw cold water on any hope that the House would vote on the Senate plan, and he insisted that whatever immigration measure his chamber took up would have to be supported by a majority of his Republican conference.  

Read more below.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bipartisan Immigration Reform Clears Key Senate Vote!!!

The Senate took a huge step toward passing an immigration reform bill on Monday by approving a bipartisan amendment promising a border security “surge.”  The Senate is expected to pass a final bill before July 4th.
The 67-to-27 vote opened the door for a dozen or more Senate Republicans to help assure the bill’s overwhelming final passage before week’s end. Fifteen Republicans voted in favor of the measure.
The compromise amendment broke the Senate’s stalemate on immigration finding a middle way between Republican requirements of stiffer border security and Democratic demands that the path to citizenship for those in the country illegally not be delayed indefinitely. It brought a number of Republicans into the immigration reform fold and firmed up support among some conservative-leaning Democrats.
Senator Marco Rubio summed it up quite well, stating that the status quo on immigration "is hurting America," he added. "And if nothing passes, then this disaster that we have now, that's what's going to stay in place."
We cannot rest and all people that support this bipartisan reform have to continue to contact their politicians and demand immigration reform today.  We are almost halfway home.  Si se puede!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tips for choosing the right immigration attorney

Over the last 50 years or so the immigrant population in the United States has grown considerably and will continue to do so into the future. In 2011, there were over 40 million foreign born people living in the US, compared to about 10 million in 1960. People come to the US for a variety of reasons, including family, better job opportunities, or economic and political struggles in their home country.

If you are having trouble with the complexities of immigration law, you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Things you should keep in mind while searching for an experienced immigration lawyer:

1. Immigration law is complicated and new policies are being implemented all the time. For this reason, you want to hire a lawyer that specializes in addressing immigration law. This means that not only should your immigration lawyer be updated about the latest immigration legislature, but they will also be familiar with the court systems and judges, which will help smooth the way for your visa or citizenship. 

2. Be honest with your immigration attorney and explain every detail that is relevant to your case. Many people hamper their own causes by deliberately withholding information from their attorney. Please remember that everything discussed is protected by the client attorney privilege.

3. When choosing an immigration lawyer find someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. If you do not speak English well or as a first language, choose an attorney that is fluent in your native language such as spanish, russian, purtuguese etc. Do not be afraid to search or request for lawyers who will be able to communicate with you on the level you desire. 

4. If you have trouble affording an immigration lawyer there are several options available to you. First, some attorneys offer flexible payment plans. There are also court appointed lawyers. Finally, in immigrant communities there are often organizations that will help sponsor the cost of your attorney fees. Ask around to see if there is a group like this in your area.

At Brandt immigration we have over 30 years combined experience successfully representing
Immigrants. Our lawyers are fluent in English, spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Chad M. Brandt
Brandt Immigration

Monday, May 13, 2013

Senator Rubio Immigration Legislation

Since the immigration legislation was introduced, Senator Rubio has received over thousands of suggestions for how to improve the bill.  Senator Rubio encourages the public to continue reviewing the bill and sharing their ideas on ways to make the bill better when the time comes to amend the legislation.

·        RUBIO WELCOMES IMMIGRATION AMENDMENTS AS VITAL TO BILL’S PASSAGE, ENCOURAGES PUBLIC INPUT – “Ending today’s de facto amnesty and fixing our broken immigration system is essential for America’s sovereignty, security, job creation, economic growth and preserving immigration as a source of our nation’s strength. Leaving the status quo in place would be disastrous.” http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=8ed9f115-1ca8-4cf9-b900-ee7931b703d7
·        RUBIO: WHAT BOSTON MEANS We need to stay engaged with the world and understand our enemies  http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=40b1db22-ec1d-4dd5-b742-465f912230a7
·        RUBIO: THOMAS PEREZ WOULD BE A DISASTROUS LABOR SECRETARY “After carefully reviewing Thomas Perez’s, record, views and conduct during his confirmation process, it is clear to me he should not be confirmed to be America’s next Secretary of Labor. For a Cabinet position that oversees the country’s workforce, our nation deserves a proven administrator who is committed to maximizing opportunities for the American worker, not a liberal activist who has pushed the boundaries of public office to advance his agenda.”  http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=145a5011-4ae7-4992-9a55-30316bea0d62
·        RUBIO: AMERICA NEEDS A PRO-GROWTH IMMIGRATION SYSTEM – While there are a number of broken aspects of our immigration system today – including porous borders, weak workplace enforcement and an inadequate system to track foreign visitors who overstay their visas - one that also stands out is the way we handle academic talent and highly skilled workers.”  http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=5561125a-95bd-4495-b45e-43e656731711
·        RUBIO WELCOMES SSA CHIEF ACTUARY’S PRELIMINARY FINDINGS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM LEGISLATION – The Actuary’s Office also claims that, over the next 10 years, the legislation will prevent 2 million illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S., create 3.22 million jobs, and increase our gross domestic product by 1.63 percent more than if the status quo is left in place. http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=b4c82357-dd9e-4a5b-b355-f44b864a7f98
·        GROUP OF CONSERVATIVES BACKS ACTION ON IMMIGRATION Top Conservatives: "Simply opposing immigration reform should not be the conservative response to this problem. We believe conservatives should be leading the way on this issue by supporting legislation that upholds conservative principles." http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=00fae612-2abd-49f3-860b-a13b9f45058f
·        RUBIO DISCUSSES BENGHAZI HEARING ON FOX & FRIENDS "Someone needs to be held accountable for what has happened here. But it’s also about preventing this from happening in the future."  http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=e62071bd-eeab-4582-b34a-d8dfddb0e33f
·        Strengthening Immigration Reform: THREE AMENDMENTS INCREASING CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT OF DHS & BORDER SECURITY PASS – Senators were able to identify ways to improve Congressional oversight of DHS and border security. Three amendments - the Grassley 2Grassley 5, and Flake 2 - all improved the reporting of progress on border security.  http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=916cee78-dc99-4070-8054-be0260552c48
  • RUBIO WELCOMES SMALL BUSINESS COMMITTEE’S ANNOUNCMENT TO EXAMINE IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION “I am encouraged by today’s announcement of another immigration hearing because small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy, and their continued input during this process is critical to improving the legislation,” said Rubio. “Any solid immigration reform proposal must help entrepreneurs continue to innovate, create jobs, and grow their businesses…” http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=16a15f35-776d-4dcf-9d28-b07a93dac9a3
·        USA TODAY: MARCO RUBIO: ACCOUNTABILITY FOR BENGHAZI NEEDED – “We need to bring those behind this attack to justice and make sure that a tragedy like Benghazi does not happen again.”  http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/05/09/benghazi-libya-obama-rubio-column/2147733/

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Immigration Reform Still Supported by many Republicans

Some members of the Republican party are attempting to kill immigration reform.  Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, and Chuck Grassely, R- Iowa, are 2 leading Republicans in the Senate and House, respectively, who are leading the effort to derail reform by first erroneously linking immigration reform to the tragedy in Boston, and when that failed, they and their fellow enemies of reform are turning to a new dirty tactic: delay delay delay and then introduce literally hundreds of amendments like Senator Ted Cruz, R- Texas, whose amendment eliminates a earned path to citizenship!

At the same time, while the bill has the support of the President and overwhelming Democratic support, not all Republicans are drinking the idiot kool-aid and trying to continue to deny immigrants their rights.  Four of the bills sponsor's are Republicans, and many in the GOP (Republican Party) still support reform.  In fact, Senator John McCain continues pushing for passage, as does his senate colleague from Arizona, Jeff Flake.  Marco Rubio is also standing firm in support of the bill.

Today, the fight for reform is intensifying, and the enemies of immigrants are trying everything to kill it.  But we are not alone.  In fact, as the attached article illustrates, most sensible REPUBLICANS are speaking out against Republican extremists who lack both intelligence as well as an ounce of common sense and any sense of humanity.  Anyone reading this should know that is is the time to contact these opponents and demand comprehensive immigration reform now!  Our experienced Orlando immigration attorneys at Brandt Immigration are doing all we can, but we need your voice and your help!!! We have to fight until we win.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How will immigration reform affect you and your family?

The proposed immigration reform may limit which relatives you can sponsor for a green card. If you are currently a US citizen or legal permanent resident you should seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to ensure you preserve your right to sponsor relatives!

Our team of legal professionals are dedicated to protecting your rights and the best interests of you and your loved ones. We help  immigrants who are dealing with Deportation and Removal, Green Card issues, Business Visas, Work Visas, Fiancé Visas, Family Visa Petitions, criminal offenses, questions about immigration reform and more.

As who you choose to defend you could make all the difference in the outcome of your case, you need to ensure you have a skilled and experienced immigration lawyer on your side every step of the way.

The Law Office of Chad M. Brandt, P.A
5575 South Semoran Blvd., Ste. 506 | Orlando, Florida 32822
Tel: 407-545-2534 | Toll Free: 866-959-4596 | Fax: 407-704-8945 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Senator Rubio's Press Releases on Immigration Reform

Senator Rubio's Press Releases on Immigration Reform


Since the immigration legislation was introduced, Rubio has received over 1,100 suggestions for how to improve the bill.  Senator Rubio encourages the public to continue reviewing the bill and sharing their ideas on ways to make the bill better when the time comes to amend the legislation.


View Senator Rubio's Immigration Reform Facts


Rubio: We Can & Should Improve Immigration Reform Proposal – “…the way I think you’re supposed to  make public policy in this country is you file a bill as a starting point, but you don’t pretend you have all the answers to every question, and then you get input from others.”


Rubio Welcomes Announcement of Immigration Hearing to be Held by Commerce Committee – “Today’s announcement to hold another hearing examining the immigration reform bill is very encouraging because it adds more transparency and scrutiny to this process.”


Immigration Legislation Makes Clear There’s No E-Verify Gap – Gang of 8 Adds Amendment to Clarify E-Verify Program


Rubio Talks Immigration in Pasco County, Receives “Big Applause & Standing O”– Speaking to 600 diehard Pasco Republicans, Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday night cast the sensitive work of immigration reform as a national security issue that can’t be ignored.


Rubio on Greta: “Immigration Bill is a Starting Point” – “…We want to hear from everybody about how to improve this…I think a very good starting point, but I think we need to build on it.”


Immigration Attorney Proudly serving Orlando


Brandt Immigration handles immigration and citizenship issues on a daily basis and is prepared for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. Furthermore, our experienced Orlando immigration lawyers will keep you informed of all new laws and changes that may be relevant to your case.


If you are looking for an Orlando immigration lawyer with experience, dedication, and understanding, contact Brandt Immigration today.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


 For Immediate Release                            Contacts: Alex Conant / Brooke Sammon
Thursday, May 2, 2013                            (202) 224-3041


Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee to hold hearing on May 7th
Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee announced that it will hold a hearing to examine the border security measures in S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.”
After the announcement, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement:

“I am encouraged that the homeland security committee, which oversees the federal department and agencies tasked with securing our border and enforcing our immigration laws, will examine the immigration legislation.  We need more transparency and greater scrutiny of this bill, and it’s important for this committee to further help us identify ways we can secure our borders, strengthen interior enforcement and end today’s de facto amnesty of having 11 million illegal immigrants living here in violation of our laws. This kind of discussion and debate is essential for America’s security and for fixing our immigration system.”

For more info please visit http://www.brandtimmigration.com/immigration-reform.html

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Unveiled!!!

Yesterday, the people in and around the Boston Marathon was tragically and unspeakably devastated in a horrible terror attack that we all grieve for.  Many immigrants contacted our firm to see if they could help in any way.  It was very moving to witness, as immigrants reacted just like any other Americans.

I write tonight because although I have a heavy heart for Boston, I have also waited my entire adult life for comprehensive reform.  The Senate "Gang of 8" have reached agreement and the details of sweeping changes to finally give an earned path to citizenship and modernizing our broken immigration laws while also further securing the borders and preventing 
unscrupulous employer's from exploiting immigrants for substandard wages.

While we are currently amidst a national tragedy, I am proud to be an American tonight.  We are a nation that is at its best when we unite, and while I am saddened deeply by Boston, I am proud to see the American people unite and help one of our cities.  As that tragedy is being handled by Americans uniting, we must also unite on passing comprehensive immigration reform now!  I am just one experienced Orlando immigration lawyer, but I assure you that many many "Americans" in all ways but papers need us to unite and pass immigration reform.

I am not alone.  Indeed, even as President Obama is assuring us the bomber or bombers will be caught, in the truest American spirit, the President still issued this statement supporting comprehensive immigration reform after meeting with leading Republican and Democratic senators who helped reach this agreement.  Read more here:


Monday, April 1, 2013

Immigration Reform Update


UPDATE: April 2013


Lawmakers have a plan that would provide a new class of worker visas for low-skilled workers, secure the border, crack down on employers, improve legal immigration and create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here. The current timetable appears to introduce an immigration reform bill this month and then the bill emerging from the House and Senate around Thanksgiving. This may seem like a long time for those not versed in the ways of Capitol Hill, however this is actually lightning speed. It’s quite unusual for legislation to be introduced and passed in the same calendar year.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Obama Fights for Immigrants!!!

President Obama may have had enough of the delays in passing immigration reform, and its about damn time.  The attached article and sections quoted herein show why we all need to continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform until Congress acts and sends a bill to the White House.
President Obama pushed congressional negotiators to reach agreement on a plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, saying despite delays and disputes that he still wants a bill to emerge soon and debate in the Senate to begin next month.
“We are making progress but we’ve got to finish the job,” Obama said at a naturalization ceremony for 28 citizens at the White House on Monday. “This issue is not new. Everyone pretty much knows what's broken. Everybody knows how to fix it. We've all proposed solutions and we got a lot of white papers and studies. And we just got at this point to work up the political courage to do what's required to be done.”
Obama’s remarks were aimed at a bipartisan group of senators who have been working on a proposal for nearly three months. The so-called “gang of eight” had hoped  to complete their work Friday, before a two-week congressional recess, but left town for spring break without a deal.
In January, Obama threatened to send his own bill to Congress if the group did not produce a proposal “in a timely fashion.” His remarks Monday suggest the White House is willing to give the group more time to work before it takes that step.
“I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible,” he said. “We know that real reform means continuing to strengthen our border security and holding employers accountable. … Let’s get this done.”
Obama’s time frame may be tough for senators to reach. U.S. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the judiciary committee, already has cast doubt on the chances of getting a bill through his committee by the end of April. Even if the bill comes to the floor next month a vote would not necessarily follow quickly. Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he plans to let senators debate the legislation at length, and there remains no clear path for the bill through the Republican-led House.
The senators remain deadlocked over several issues, including the details of a guest-worker program and how the legislation will implement and define security at the border.
Obama has largely steered clear of the talks, instead offering broad elements he wants to see included.  The president on Monday used the platform to revive his call for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the key requirement for any bill.
Obama spoke after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano administered the oath to 28 new citizens, including 13 members of the military. Obama praised the group as a reminder of the “promise of America.”
Hopefully President Obama can be the difference maker and get comprehensive immigration reform done now!  Join the President and the experienced immigration attorneys in Orlando at Brandt Immigration and across the nation and keep demanding your rights!