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Based upon the most recent updates, it appears that the U.S. government will shutdown at 12:01 am on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 (which is the start of Fiscal Year 2014 for the government). Assuming that no compromise is reached and the government shuts down: USCIS On Tuesday, Oct. 1, USCIS will remain OPEN. All interviews will be conducted and biometrics/fingerprints will be taken. USCIS, at least in the short term, will not suffer any major impacts as it is funded mostly by the fees that it collects. Immigration Courts All non-detained immigration court cases, both "masters" and "individuals" will be cancelled.  Immigration courts handling

If you have never had the displeasure of having to communicate with someone who is in jail, consider yourself lucky for many reasons.  Not the least of which is dealing with the state-sanctioned monopoly and heavily corrupted telephone system.  In what has been widely documented, federal, state, local and private prisons award monopolies over the phone systems to a phone company, usually on the basis of which company is willing to give the largest kick back to the prison or local government.  Global Tel Link is one of the major prison phone companies that thrives at this, and as a

  A great decision for equality and justice With today's decision in U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court confirmed what the majority of the world has known.  The Defense of Marriage Act served no purpose other than to discriminate.  The harm that it caused was very real and significant.  Among the thousands of benefits that same-sex spouses were denied was the right of a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen to file a visa petition for their foreign-born spouse.  The result was simple: A straight spouse could stop his or her spouse from being deported where a gay spouse could not.  A

DOMA is Unconstitutional Initial reports say that the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") has been ruled unconstitutional.  When we have a chance to read the entire decision, we will post more with respect to how this impacts same-sex petitions for immigration. Here's a quote: “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.”

On June 17, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Syrian nationals can reapply for Temporary Protected Status ("TPS").  This means that individuals from Syria presently in the United States can apply for TPS, which will allow them to receive work authorization and remain in the U.S. until at least March 31, 2015.  This applies to both Syrians who previously registered for TPS and those who have not yet registered.  There are various requirements that must be met (notably, physical presence in the U.S. and no disqualifying criminal conviction).  TPS is often a "backup" status for individuals seeking asylum.