Betts & Associates is committed to providing each of our clients with top quality legal representation and achieving successful outcomes for their cases. We specialize in representing individuals and businesses in all areas of complex civil litigation matters. Our firm provides legal services with skill, strength, and integrity to residents all over the state of Georgia.

Betts and Associates offer a wide range of skills in almost all areas of the legal practice. Our commitment to growing a wide range of more discrete practice areas allows us to better assess client needs and provide prompt and effective legal solutions. Our firm was founded on the belief in providing personal service and valuable legal counsel that addresses our client's needs creatively. After a decade, that has not changed. We ensure that every client's case is carefully handled every step of the way.

If you need advice about the best way to approach and resolve your case, consider Betts & Associates. To request a legal consultation, contact our office at 404-577-8888 to schedule an appointment. We are proud to provide personal service and practical solutions for those with even the most complex legal concerns.

Articles Posted in Immigration

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Breaking News —

President Obama will announce his plan for Executive Action on Immigration in a televised message tomorrow night at 8:00 PM. Tune in tomorrow, November 20th, to see what he has planned.

We at Betts & Associates are ready to represent you in your immigration case. Just call our office in Atlanta at (404) 577-8888 or our office in Rome, GA at (706) 235-7575 to schedule an appointment.

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The United States Supreme Court began its 2011-2012 term on October 1 and is expected to make some historic rulings on major laws pertaining to Immigration, Civil Rights, and Affirmative Action over the next few months.

One of those cases will address the Court’s interpretation of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As over 26 states have passed strict voter identification laws, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued on the grounds that these laws violate Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court is now poised to make a judgment on this contentious issue.

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires states and voting jurisdictions with a clear history of voter discrimination get federal approval from the DOJ before they can implement any new voting practices or procedures. In other words, the states have a burden to prove that these new practices will not have a discriminatory purpose or effect on voters.

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A Georgia law passed earlier this year requiring all applicants to prove legal residency in order to obtain a professional license has created a major backlog for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, and is delaying the issuance of the licenses to Georgia residents who have done everything correctly.

The professional licensing renewal process that covers over 200 professions (e.g., nurses, hair stylists, plumbers, pharmacists, etc.) and over 475,000 workers used to just take just a few days, but now because of this new proof of legal residency requirement the waiting period can take up to several weeks. And for new applicants the amount of time could stretch out for several months.

This is proving to be a challenge for Georgia workers looking to stay at their job, not to mention large and small business owners alike who want to keep their trained workforce in tact without an interruption in service.

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According to the United States Census Bureau, large numbers of foreign-born Georgia residents are taking the necessary steps to become naturalized United States citizens. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on October 9 this appears to be a direct result of Georgia’s new, strict immigration law as the state has seen an increase in over 43,000 naturalized citizens between 2010 and 2011. That is a jump of 13% overall.

This increase in naturalization is logical given the harsh consequences of Georgia’s new immigration law and the flexibility local law enforcement officers now have to enforce its terms. For example, local law enforcement officers have the authority to check the immigration status of virtually every suspected non-citizen or legal resident who cannot provide identification upon request. Such inquiries had been handled exclusively by federal immigration authorities in the past, but under Georgia’s new law local authorities can now pursue matters of immigration on their own.

Moreover, strict penalties have been proposed to any business owner who does not verify their current workers’ and new hires’ legal authorization to work. This requirement is burdensome to companies and has reportedly resulted in a diminished labor pool in vital areas of Georgia’s economy such as farming and agriculture.

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Many young people in Georgia and elsewhere who qualify for deferred action under Barak Obama’s executive order had shied away from applying. Not because they were afraid of being turned down, but because of fear that a President Mitt Romney would use the information to deport them.

However, speaking to a Denver Post reporter on Sunday, September 30,, Mr. Romney stated “The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney said. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”

This is great news for the millions of undocumented residents in America. This should allow individuals to move forward with the procedure. Betts and Associates can help Georgia residents in the following ways if you wish to apply. For $250, Betts and Associates will advise you on how to gather the necessary documents and proof, fill out the paperwork, update you on your status, and represent you at one administrative hearing or meeting if such a meeting is ever required in your case. There may be additional filing costs that will be the responsibility of the client. More information on those fees will be known once the federal government creates the documents. Also, it will be the client’s responsibility to acquire and pay for any official documents. If the client wishes help in acquiring documents, Betts and Associates will charge an additional fee. Out of State clients can also be assisted. Read more about that here.

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Reuters) – On Wednesday a U.S. judge ruled that a controversial Arizona “show-your-papers” immigration provision that has been upheld by the Supreme Court may go into effect, but in a split ruling blocked another measure making it a crime to harbor illegal immigrants.

The measure that was upheld, part of a broader law to combat illegal immigration in the state bordering Mexico, home to an estimated 360,000 undocumented immigrants, requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.

In allowing that measure to proceed, District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled the law’s challengers had failed to show they were likely to prevail on the merits of the case, but noted that the top court had left open the possibility of contesting the provision “after it goes into effect.”

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The first 29 Deferred Action applications have been approved by the federal government, according this report in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

The article also says that over 82,000 people have already applied for this new immigration status. It profiles one such eligible man, named Lionel Jimenez, who is only 19. According to the report, after getting the help of an attorney, “He planned to go home and type up his application again, draft a table of contents for it and turn the whole thing into something like a book. He wants it perfect. Too much is riding on it.”

Betts and Associates agrees with Mr. Jimenez. Too much is riding on Deferred Action for thousands of residents in Georgia to do fill out the application alone. Betts and Associates is committing to helping you create as perfect an application as possible when you file for Deferred Action.

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President Obama’s new Deferred Action for undocumented or illegal immigrant children is now in effect. On August immigration offices began accepting applications for the new procedure. But, there are many questions that are still up in the air. One that presses on many young adults is “What will this mean for applicants to the University of Georgia?”

In October 2010, the State Board of Regents voted to ban illegal immigrants from attending the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College.This was before the Obama Administration created the Deferred Action Program. Now, with this new pathway to residency, it is an open question as to whether those who qualify for deferred action can apply for and be admitted to one of those five institutions.

According to Georgia Public Broadcasting News, in the eyes of Georgia’s Regents Board, deferred action will not change a student’s status from illegal to legal. They report that, “University System of Georgia officials say President Obama’s immigration order in June doesn’t change anything for undocumented students now barred from the state’s top colleges…Board of Regents spokesman John Millsaps says the university ban follows state law. And he says Obama’s order doesn’t change state law. ‘The decision of the administration does not change lawful status in Georgia,” he said in an interview. “You know, whatever the state law is that affects us, then we have to make sure our policies are in compliance with it.'”

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We are proud to announce that today will be day one of our new office in Rome Georgia. The address is 1900 Turner McCall Blvd SW Rome, GA 30161-3329. You can contact us at (706) 235-7575. Our new office manager Ms. Izzy Reyes will be glad to schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney over the phone or in person. Ms. Reyes is bilingual and is fully capable of handling initial correspondence in both English and Spanish. Please feel free to fax us your information using fax #: (706) 235-7590. The hours of operation for the Rome location will be Monday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.. We look forward to making your acquaintance and as always “Justice Matters”.

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Not having a valid driver’s license is a significant obstacle for many undocumented workers. The driver’s license is an important way to get to jobs or school, but also much needed form of identification. Until a few years ago, getting a driver’s license was possible for all Georgia residents who could pass the written and road tests. But a national crackdown lead by anti-immigration forces, change that. Now, when applying for a license, you must present your full social security number, and proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States, which is not possible for those who were brought to this country as children and who are currently lacking lawful status. For those immigrants who obtain work permits under the deferred action plan created by President Obama, getting a Georgia driver’s license has become possible.

This week Attorney General Sam Olens wrote a letter to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. The Associated Press reports that AG Olens, a Republican said in the letter, “While I do not agree with the actions of the President in issuing the directive, it has been implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), and state law recognizes the approval of deferred action status as a basis for issuing a temporary driver’s license.” According to the article, this letter came after “a Georgia Department of Driver Services spokeswoman said last week that Georgia law considers those with deferred action status eligible for driver’s licenses and added that the agency would issue them unless it got other instructions.”

Although it might seem like this would be a universal decision, in many states governors are taking the opposite action and expressly barring their Departments of Motor Vehicles from issuing license. Not surprisingly, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is refusing to grant licenses. Following her lead are Nebraska and Texas. Though it is not completely clear if Governor Deal will follow the recommendation of his AG and the Georgia DDS, by seeking their guidance it suggests that he is interested in following their recommendations, particularly because to do otherwise would be at odds with his own party’s Attorney General.