What’s important in immigration law? Well, there are a lot of moving pieces and a lot of complexities – and then there are the different scenarios for every state of residence or every state venue. These things have to be looked into when a client comes to an attorney with a case, asking questions about possible outcomes.
One of these principles is jurisdiction – or who has authority in any given immigration case.
These are the types of things that you rely on your professional attorney for assistance with. Good representation looks at factors like jurisdiction, and does the fact-finding and works accordingly for strategic support of your rights under the law.
Federal and State Jurisdiction
A few words about federal and state jurisdiction – first of all, the federal government has authority over immigration in ways that state governments do not. The U.S. Supreme Court has made that clear on a number of occasions. So although states can have administrative processes in place, the federal jurisdiction likely wins out in the end.
Jurisdiction: ICE and USCIS
There’s also the jurisdiction issue between agencies such as ICE and USCIS. A policy manual from USCIS says this:
“In some cases, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may notify USCIS of an application or petition pending with USCIS for a person in removal proceedings that must be timely adjudicated. In these cases, USCIS attempts to issue a decision on the relevant petition or application within 30 calendar days of receiving the necessary file(s) if the person is detained… USCIS maintains communication with ICE regarding the progress and status of the case.”
That’s some of what applies in jurisdiction issues involving these agencies. It’s important to remember that other agencies may also be involved!
The above policy manual also lays out some criteria for transferring jurisdiction, in general, in an immigration case, including:
Cases where the application or petition was not filed in the proper jurisdiction
Cases where benefit requestors now reside within another jurisdiction
Scenarios in which an application or petition pending at a service center merits an in-person interview at a field office or “regulations require transfer of an application or petition to another office for specific action.”
The document also stipulates:
“For certain applications, such as an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), the applicant must meet certain jurisdictional requirements relating to residency as of the date of filing; transferring jurisdiction alone may not adequately address such filing deficiency.”
Issues such as these require the trained and dedicated eye of an experienced immigration attorney with the resources to marshal all of what a client needs to work in court on his/her behalf. Let Empire Law, Inc be that representation that you rely on in a challenging immigration case.