Matthew M. Hanley, Federal Immigration Practice

Cleveland 216.303.6060


Arlington 817.861.7002


Columbus 614.885.7001


Facebook Logo Link LinkedIn Logo Link Twitter Logo Link



Immigration Law Blog


COVID-19 Update Regarding Our Office Policies During the Pandemic

03/22/2020 by Matthew Hanley

As city and state governments are shutting down businesses and public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our office will continue operating as an essential service.  However, for the safety and well-being of our clients, staff, community, and country, we will be taking necessary steps to minimize human to human contact whenever reasonably possible.  When possible, we strongly encourage our clients to setup a teleconference or video conference instead of traveling to our office.  We have been communicating with international clients via Skype and FaceTime for years, and we have the experience and capabilities to do this effectively and efficiently.  When it is necessary to come to our office, we ask that you bring only essential people with you to minimize human contact.  We will be limiting the number of people in our waiting room to reduce exposure to our staff and clients.  My staff and I are following the CDC's recommendation to stay six feet away from other people when possible, and when you arrive at our office we will be doing everything possible to maintain a distance of six feet from our clients.  To limit the community spread of COVID-19 it is important for all of us to assume that we potentially have the COVID-19 virus, and we must act accordingly at all times until this pandemic subsides.  We wish you all well.


Attention Legal Permanent Resident Petitioners

05/20/2019 by Matthew Hanley

Big news for Legal Permanent Residents who are petitioning for spouses or children under the age of 21. The U.S. Visa Bulletin's 2A category will be "current" in July 2019 for the first time in a number of years. For the last few years the "wait time" has averaged between 2-4 years. According to the State Department’s Charlie Oppenheim, there will be no wait for spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents as of July 1, 2019. This means that if you can get your family processed while the 2A category is current, there is no wait time--only processing time.  We do not know how long this will last, so contact my office soon if you believe this update might impact your case.


Trump Administration Moves to Restrict Immigrants Who Use Public Benefits

09/22/2018 by Matthew Hanley

Here is a good read on the Trump Administration's new proposed rules regarding creating more restrictive rules for immigrants who use public benefits.  At the moment, this is just talk about proposed rules.  If you have questions, call our office.  You can read more about it here.


Trump’s Travel Ban Is Upheld by Supreme Court

06/26/2018 by Matthew Hanley

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has upheld the recent version of President Trump's travel ban. Contact us if you have questions.  Obviously this is going to impact many people from the designated countries: North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Venezuela. You can read more about the travel ban and the Supreme Court's Decision here.  The Court held that the Trump Administration is supposed to carve out exceptions to the ban, including for those with family and strong ties to the United States; however, many cases at the consulates are getting stuck for long, indefinite periods of time in "administrative processing."  If you or your family are experiencing problems, contact an immigration attorney.


USCIS Update Regarding Current Status of DACA Program

02/14/2018 by Matthew Hanley

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to accept DACA renewals but is still not currently accepting DACA applications from individuals who have not been previously approved for deferred action under DACA.  Contact us if you have questions.  The USCIS update can be found here.


President Trump Ends DACA Program, No New Applications Accepted and Renewals Must Be Filed on or Before October 5, 2017

09/05/2017 by Matthew Hanley

President Trump has ended President Obama's Executive Order regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  No initial applications will be accepted.  Any DACA beneficiaries whose status expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, will need to renew their DACA status by October 5, 2017.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must receive the filing on or before October 5, 2017.  If you have any questions, please call my office.  The Memorandum on the recision of DACA can be found here.


The Department of Homeland Security Has Released New Guidelines Regarding the Deportation and the Apprehension of Undocumented Immigrants

02/18/2017 by Matthew Hanley

DHS and the Trump Administration have released sweeping new policy regarding the deportation and apprehension of undocumented immigrants.  While it appears that DHS and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement will focus on criminal aliens, it seems that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants, including those with no criminal record, will likely be targeted.  The Memorandum does not appear to have many limitation, and it gives Immigration and Custom Enforcement extremely broad authority. Click here for a Washington Post article that includes a copy of the DHS memorandom.


Ninth Circuit Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban, Dealing Trump Another Legal Loss

02/09/2017 by Matthew Hanley

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected President Trump’s bid to reinstate his ban on travel into the United States from seven largely Muslim nations.  We are now waiting to see if the Trump Administration will appeal to the Supreme Court. Click here for an article from The New York Times.


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

11/10/2015 by Matthew Hanley

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked President Obama’s executive orders on immigration this week, which would have shielded millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to work temporarily in the United States. The Justice Department plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, who will hopefully hear the case next year.  Click here for an article from The Atlantic.


Immigration Detainees in Family Detention Centers Sue Government in Los Angeles

05/20/2015 by Matthew Hanley

Immigrant detainees are suing the federal government in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California.  The issue is whether it is legal to detain women and children who have illegally entered the United States, particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement's response to the unaccompanied-minor entries in 2013 and 2014.  The District Court Judge has ruled that the detention policy violates a 1997 settlement in the case of Flores v. Meese. Newsweek has a nice article about the court's decision available here.


Obama's Executive Order on Immigration is Currently Before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

04/18/2015 by Matthew Hanley

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard opening arguments regarding the Obama Administration's request to lift the Texas District Court's ruling, which is presently blocking part of President Obama's Executive Order on Immigration. If the Obama Administration does not prevail at the 5th Circuit, it will likely take the matter before the United States Supreme Court in the coming days.  There is a Politico article on the subject available here and an article available from the Washington Post available here, if you are interested in further reading.  Contact our office if you have further questions.


Federal Judge in Texas Has Temporarily Blocked President Obama's Executive Orders on Immigration

02/17/2015 by Matthew Hanley

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration, including the new DACA and DAPA application processes. The judge, responding to a suit filed by 26 Republican-run states, said there was sufficient merit to the challenge to warrant a suspension while the case goes forward. However, this does not mean the President's actions are unconstitutional. This means, as of now, the expanded DACA application process will be suspended and will not begin as planned on February 18, 2015. The Obama Administration has indicated that the Department of Justice will appeal the judge's decision. Please contact my office if you have questions.


If you would like to contact your U.S. Representative or Senator, exercise your democratic right and let them know your feelings on this issue.


President Obama's Executive Action on Immigration

11/21/2014 by Matthew Hanley

Last night, President Obama announced his executive action that with be, among other things, deferring deportation and allowing work authorization, for millions of undocumented immigrations.  The  two major programs of the executive action will be as follows:

1. Deferred Action for Parents (DAP). Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10, and who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action, which will be granted for a 3-year period. The plan is to stand this up within 180 days (for applications to be accepted).

2. Expansion of DACA. DACA will be revised to get rid of the age cap, and to change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/10. It also will be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications). This program will start in 90 days.

These changes will affect many of you and your families. Although we will not know all the facts and details for a few months, please call our office at (817)861-7002 or (216)303-6060. You may also email me at

We are putting together a contact list of people who would like to be contacted when we have more details about this process. Contact us if you would like to be added to this list.


DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

11/20/2014 by Matthew Hanley

Due to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced its decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  Eligible citizens and nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The TPS designations for these countries mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015. Please contact our office with questions.


President Obama Delays Immigration Action

09/08/2014 by Matthew Hanley

President Obama has announced that he will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections are over." Click here to read the article from The New York Times.


Iron Man Should Move to Cleveland

07/26/2014 by Matthew Hanley

An entertaining article on superheroes and economics that incorporates immigration into the discussion:  "Immigration is key to turning around cities with high violent crime rates and plummeting populations." Click here to read the article from The Atlantic.


USCIS Updates Regarding Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

04/09/2014 by Matthew Hanley

In May, USCIS will be publishing a new dual-use Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to allow for both initial and renewal requests.  Please feel free to contact our office with your questions and concerns.  If you are a former DACA client, please make sure that our office has your current contact information so that we can contact you about renewing your DACA status and your work authorization once USCIS provides further instructions.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Renewal Process

02/16/2014 by Matthew Hanley

Many Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) applicants will need to renew their status later this year.  Currently, USCIS has not issued forms and instructions for the renewal process.  USCIS is expected to release forms and instructions later this spring.  In the meantime, feel free to contact our office if you have questions about the renewal process.


Senator John McCain: "I won't give up on Immigration Reform

02/16/2014 by Matthew Hanley

According to CNN, Sen. John McCain is not abandoning immigration reform this year.  He warns that the country's changing demographics make reform an imperative task for Republicans.  "I have not given up hope that we will act - and we must act," the Arizona Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."


USCIS Revises Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

02/04/2014 by Matthew Hanley

As part of its form improvements initiative, USCIS is today releasing a revised Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Through the Federal Register, USCIS received numerous comments from the public that helped inform this revision.

The revisions to Form N-400 provide USCIS with additional tools to make important eligibility determinations, present customers with clearer instructions, and incorporate technology that improves efficiency and accuracy for both USCIS and our customers. Although the form is now revised, the eligibility requirements for naturalization have not changed.


USCIS Introduces Form I-910 and Centralizes the Civil Surgeon Application Process

01/28/2014 by Matthew Hanley

Starting on March 11, 2014, USCIS will implement a new process to receive and adjudicate applications for civil surgeon designation centrally at the National Benefits Center. This process change requires physicians seeking civil surgeon designation to file a formal application at a USCIS Lockbox.


Temporary Protected Status Extended for Salvadorans

05/30/2013 by Matthew Hanley

According to USCIS, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador for an additional 18 months, beginning Sept. 10, 2013, and ending March 9, 2015.


The Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Immigration Reform Bill

05.21.2013 by Matthew Hanley

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill.  This means that the bill will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.  For more information, here is a NPR Aricle with more information.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is Now Accepting Applications for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

08/15/2012 by Matthew Hanley

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that certain immigrant students in the United States without legal status, qualify to for temporary legal status.  The status is called “deferred action” and is valid for two years.  During this two years, you will be eligible for work authorization.  Approved applicants will be able to apply for a Social Security Number; and, in many states, approved applicants will be eligible to receive a driver's license.  To be eligible an applicant must:

• have entered the United States before the age of 16;

• have been physically present in the United States as of June 15, 2012, and have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years;

• have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012;

• be enrolled “in school”, have a high school degree or GED certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard;

• not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor”, three misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat national security or public safety; and

• be at least 15 years old, unless that the person is in removal proceedings.





























Columbus Office

939 N. High Street

Suite 205

Columbus, Ohio 43201

Phone: 614-885-7001

Get Directions


Dallas/Fort Worth Office

212 S. Mesquite Street

Suite 2F

Arlington, Texas 76010

Phone: 817-861-7002

Get Directions

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Captcha Image