The Walton Law Group is pleased to announce that retired Principal Deputy Chief Immigration Judge Michael C. McGoings is now affiliated with the firm as immigration counsel. The firm’s founder, Charles E. Walton, says this is a major step for the Walton Law Group and he is confident that the addition of Judge McGoings will go a long way in meeting the needs of the many individuals in southern Maryland and elsewhere who are in need of expert immigration legal advice and representation. “There is really a scarcity of immigration lawyers in St. Mary’s, Charles, and Prince George’s Counties” stated Mr. Walton. “Persons in need of immigration services will no longer have to travel to Virginia or to the District of Columbia to meet with an Immigration attorney.
Retired Principal Deputy Chief Immigration Judge of the United States Affiliated with the Walton Law Group, LLC.
Judge McGoings retired from the U. S. Department of Justice after a thirty year career in immigration law. He joined the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now the Department of Homeland Security) Office of General Counsel in 1987 as an Assistant General Counsel. He would also serve as Associate General Counsel for Employer Sanctions & Civil Document Fraud (1991-1994) and Associate General Counsel of the Enforcement Division (1994-1995).
In 1995, Judge McGoings was appointed by the Attorney General to Assistant Chief Immigration Judge in the Executive Office for Immigration Review. In this position he supervised the nationwide Criminal Alien Program and some 54 Immigration Courts. In addition he presided and decided immigration cases (asylum, withholding, cancellation of removal, and custody redetermination). From 2009 to 2017 Judge McGoings served as the Principal Deputy Chief Immigration Judge. During this time, he twice served as Acting Chief Immigration Judge. Judge McGoings holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.
USCIS Implements Two Decisions from the Attorney General on Good Moral Character Determinations
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced new policy guidance implementing two decisions from the attorney general regarding how two or more DUI convictions affect good moral character (GMC) requirements and how post-sentencing changes to criminal sentences affect convictions and sentences for immigration purposes.
On Oct. 25, the attorney general decided in Matter of Castillo-Perez that two or more DUI convictions during the statutory period could affect an applicant’s good moral character determination. When applying for an immigration benefit for which GMC is required, applicants with two or more DUI convictions may be able to overcome this presumption by presenting evidence that they had good moral character even during the period within which they committed the DUI offenses. The term DUI includes all state and federal impaired-driving offenses, including driving while intoxicated, operating under the influence, and other offenses that make it unlawful for an individual to operate a motor vehicle while impaired.
Also on Oct. 25, the attorney general decided in Matter of Thomas and Thompson that the definition of “term of imprisonment or a sentence” generally refers to an alien’s original criminal sentence, without regard to post-sentencing changes. Post-sentencing orders that change a criminal alien’s original sentence will only be relevant for immigration purposes if they are based on a procedural or substantive defect in the underlying criminal proceeding.
“In response to two decisions from the attorney general, USCIS has updated policy guidance on establishing good moral character for immigration purposes,” said USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans. “As the attorney general directed, this guidance enhances public safety by ensuring that USCIS adjudicators consider driving under the influence convictions with the appropriate standard of scrutiny.”
Under U.S. immigration law, there are consequences for criminal convictions and sentences that could render applicants inadmissible, deportable, or ineligible for an immigration benefit. Also, certain immigration benefits require an applicant to demonstrate that an alien has GMC to be eligible for the benefit. For example, naturalization applicants must demonstrate GMC. To find more information about this update, view the USCIS Policy Manual.
Update to Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. New Edition Dated Oct. 20, 2019.
Update to Form N-4, Monthly Report Naturalization Papers. New Edition Dated Nov. 12, 2019.
12/09/2019 12:00 AM EST
Understanding Bankruptcy From US Bankruptcy Court Website
Bankruptcy Courts are located within each of the 94 federal judicial districts. A bankruptcy petition cannot be filed in state court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts, or by creating a repayment plan.
Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation. These procedures are covered under Title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). The vast majority of cases are filed under the three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, which are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.
Bankruptcy Basics – This public information series provides a comprehensive overview of bankruptcy, including information on: the discharge, a summary of each individual Chapter, the Securities Investor Protection Act, and bankruptcy terminology.
U.S. Trustee Program – The United States Trustee Program is the component of the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees under 28 U.S.C. § 586 and 11 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. The Program’s website contains information about the U.S. Trustee Program and the federal bankruptcy system.
Bankruptcy Information Sheet – A helpful resource provided by the U.S. Trustee Program that provides general information about what happens in a bankruptcy case, including when you should file, what a discharge is, and what a reaffirmation agreement is.
Disclaimer: Please note that though the resources above provide a good overview of bankruptcy, this information is not a complete overview of these topics and should not be used as a substitute for reference to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. Due to the complexity and long-term financial effects of filing for bankruptcy, individuals are encouraged to obtain legal advice from a competent attorney before filing a petition.
See US Bankruptcy Court for Maryland Website
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