DACA to be terminated in 6 months

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the phase-out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a deferred action program implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2012. An estimated 800,000 individuals have benefited from the program, which provides protection from deportation to individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet the age, residence, education, and other requirements under the DACA guidelines. Under the program, individuals granted DACA are eligible to receive work authorization valid for two years. According to the phase-out guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security, currently approved DACA and corresponding work authorization will remain valid until they expire. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept initial applications after September 5, 2017. Renewal and initial applications already received and currently pending as of September 5, 2017 will continue to be processed by USCIS. DACA beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 will have until October 5, 2017 to file their renewal applications. Based on the guidelines, it appears that beneficiaries whose DACA validity has already expired and who failed to apply for renewal before September 5, 2017 are no longer eligible to apply for renewal. USCIS will also stop processing advance parole applications of DACA recipients. Effective immediately, it will no longer accept new applications for advance parole and will administratively close and refund the fees of all pending applications. Advance parole already granted will generally be honored while valid. For more information, please see:





MTS Law is a proud sponsor of DongYan…Laugh Trip in America, a comedy concert headlined by the Philippines’ Primetime Queen, Marian Rivera. The show also features Dingdong Dantes and comedians Boobay, Boobsie, and Ate Gay. See below for more information.


MTS Law, in collaboration with Asian Youth Center, will be holding a free citizenship workshop and legal clinic on March 26, 2016. The clinic will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Asian Youth Center, 100 Clary Avenue, San Gabriel, CA 91776.

This project is MTS Law’s second annual free legal clinic, a public service program that it started in 2015. With the elections coming up this year, MTS Law decided to expand the scope of the legal clinic. As an added service, the clinic will not be limited to free legal consultation as in the previous year, but will also help qualified lawful permanent residents (also known as green card holders) apply for citizenship.

Citizenship confers certain rights not available to green card holders, including the right to vote for U.S. President and federal officials, apply for certain federal government jobs, run for an elective federal office, and apply for a U.S. passport. To be eligible to naturalize, the applicant must be at least 18 years old, have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years), and establish good moral character, among other requirements.

The clinic will start with a 30-minute introduction to the basic requirements and procedure to apply for naturalization, to be conducted in Chinese language by Atty. Angela Leong. It will then be followed by in-person assistance with preparation of N-400 application for naturalization and related documents, including fee waiver application. There will also be licensed attorneys to provide one-on-one legal consultation on issues relating to immigration, family relations, personal injury, and employment.

Seats are limited, so interested participants are encouraged to register in advance. To register, please call (213) 232-3154 (English, Tagalog & Spanish) or (626) 800-6019 (Chinese) or email info@mtsangalaw.com. Reservation can also be made online through our website at http://www.mtsangalaw.com/events.html.


MTS Law recently obtained great results in two immigration cases involving adoption.

In one case, USCIS approved the I-130 petition of a US citizen on behalf of her adopted child despite the lack of two-year actual cohabitation between them prior to the filing of the petition. We argued that neither the statute nor the regulations require actual physical residence to meet the two-year residence requirement; but the emphasis of the regulations and case law is on the existence of familial relationship between the adopted child and the adoptive parents and on the latter’s exercise of parental control over the adoptive child. Based on the voluminous documents and sworn statements we submitted in this case, it is clear that the adoptive parents exercised parental control over the adopted child, despite the fact that they did not actually live together with the child under one roof.

In the other case, the issue was whether the two-year legal custody requirement was met prior to the filing of the I-130 petition. The petition was filed less than two years after the finality of the adoption in the Philippines so USCIS required the petitioner to submit evidence of a court order granting them legal custody prior to the adoption. The adoptive parents did not have legal custody prior to the filing of the petition for adoption. We argued that the petition meets the two-year legal custody requirement because the law of the country where the adoption took place provides for retroactive effect of adoption. Under Philippine laws, the legal effects of a final order of adoption retroact to the date of the filing of the adoption petition. In this case, the adoption petition was filed more than two years prior to the filing of the I-130 petition. Finding merits in our argument, USCIS approved the petition.