Support your children

Child support, in many ways, represents the bare minimum that a parent can provide for the life that they helped bring into the world. If you’re not going to change diapers, lose countless hours of sleep, and memorize all the songs ever sung on Dora the Explorer, the least you could do is cut a check once a week so the kid doesn’t starve.

And in fact, if the act of writing a check still seems like just too much work, then you’re in luck! The State will literally take the money from your check, saving you from the risk of developing carpal tunnel.

Despite the total lack of effort required, many still find ways to avoid paying child support. For some it’s a cold, selfish determination. They know they owe the money, but they’d rather have it for themselves. Others feign ignorance, claiming that they “don’t remember” ever being asked to pay. No matter the reason, failing to pay child support is not ok.

It’s not ok primarily because, as a human being, supporting your children is pretty much your number one obligation. You don’t necessarily have to love doing it, and you’re welcome to mourn the missing dollars when they’re gone, but you still just need to do it.

It also happens to be important for your immigration case. Permanent residents who do not pay child support may be denied citizenship when they apply to naturalize. In other immigration contexts failing to pay child support may result in a denial of your case, and even deportation.

So do the right thing and pay your child support. If you’re confused about what you owe, or if you owe at all, speak to a good family law attorney in your area who can help get you up to speed.

Advocacy Opportunity

The U-Visa provides a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants who are, 1. victims of certain qualifying crimes and, 2. are helpful to law enforcement in the detection or investigation of that crime. This visa is a useful tool for immigrants, law enforcement, and our communities. We are all better off when domestic abusers and others who commit similar crimes are arrested and prosecuted.

There is a cap on how many U-Visas can be granted in a fiscal year, and that cap has already been reached for FY2014. That means that no new U-Visas will be granted until October 1, 2014. It’s possible that the government may try and remedy this problem by issuing temporary “deferred action” employment authorization cards, but this is not a certainty.

Please take a moment to contact your elected representative in Washington D.C. to ask that they introduce legislation to lift the cap on U-Visas.

Immigration Topics, Episode 2: Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

This week on Immigration Topics Gabe Harrison and Stephen Robbins discuss the down and dirty of “crimes involving moral turpitude” (CIMTs). What is a CIMT, and how might it affect your clients? Find all that out (and more) by listening to Episode 2.

Next week we’ll be discussing “admission” and “inspection,” a how to adjust status under 245(i). Feel free to study along!