It is illegal for anyone to withhold your paperwork. This may be emotional abuse. Contact an immigration attorney to see if you qualify for relief. Most paperwork can be replaced. Find a friend or relative who can help you with your paperwork and keep it in a safe place.
Texas Law Help Question & Answer Bank
Your partner can tell immigration that you are here without documentation. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) might not currently have the resources to deport everyone who is undocumented. They prioritize criminals, gang members, and repeat immigration offenders.
If you have never had any contact with the police, and have only entered the U.S. once, it is unlikely you will be removed immediately.
If you are a victim of abuse or family violence, you may be eligible for special immigration relief as a victim of abuse (VAWA or U visa). Talk to an immigration lawyer.
If you need to, make a plan to get away from your abuser safely, contact a family violence shelter, and when you can do so safely, contact the police. Be sure to cooperate with the police if they become involved in any way.
This threat constitutes emotional abuse, so you may qualify for immigration relief as a victim of crime or domestic violence. Talk to an immigration lawyer about your case. If you need to, make a plan to get away from your abuser safely. Call the police when it's safe. Be sure to cooperate with the police if they become involved. You can also apply for a protective order to protect yourself from your abuser.
If you are a victim of physical or emotional abuse, make a plan to get away from your abuser safely. Talk to an immigration lawyer. Contact a domestic violence shelter. Call the police when it is safe. Cooperate with the police if they become involved. You can get a protective order against your abuser.
If you have a problem with any electric provider you should contact the electric provider first and ask them to fix it.
If you get an answer that you do not like from the customer service line, ask to speak to a supervisor. A supervisory review is a step in the PUC customer complaint procedure. Supervisors should be more knowledgeable about rules and regulations. Supervisors also have the discretion to make decisions that the people answering the phones do not have. If your problem is not fixed through the customer service network file a complaint.
In deregulated and regulated service areas file a complaint at the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
PUC complaint filing information can be located on the PUC web site at www.puc.texas.gov.
Or call (888) 782-8477.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to file a complaint.
Whether you call or email the PUC, be sure to include information about disconnection notices and disconnection dates.
LITE-UP Texas was designed to help you pay your electric bill by providing discounts and other forms of payment assistance. The LITE-UP TEXAS rate discount ended August 31, 2016. See the web site of the Public Utilities Commission for more information about help paying your electric bill if you have a low income.
Under certain circumstances, a regulated electric utility is prohibited from disconnecting a customer. These circumstances include:
- When there is a heat advisory in effect,
- When temperatures are below freezing for more than 24 hours,
- On weekends or holidays or the day immediately preceding where there is no one available to accept payment,
- When the customer establishes that disconnection of service will cause some critical care person residing at the residence to become seriously ill or more seriously ill,
- When the company receives a pledge, letter of intent, purchase order, or other notification that the energy assistance provider is forwarding sufficient payment to continue service.
The best way to prevent disconnection of your electricity is to stay in contact with your electric provider when you have trouble making your payments. Take advantage of available payment assistance, the weatherization program, or other energy efficiency programs that will reduce your usage while maintaining your usual level of comfort and service. Make alternative payment arrangements. Ask for a deferred payment plan and a levelized or average payment plan where you would pay the same amount every month. Most important, make sure you agree only to a deferred payment arrangement you can afford to pay. If you default on the deferred payment plan you will be disconnected.
Bill Payment Assistance - Prepaid Service
Many retail electric providers (REPs) are now offering prepaid service to residential customers. The target market for prepaid service is low-income households. Under a prepaid plan the customer does not receive a monthly bill. It is the customer’s responsibility to monitor the account. It is the REP's responsibility to provide information electronically about the account. Many bill payment assistance programs—including the federally funded program and programs funded by counties—do not provide energy assistance to customers taking prepaid service
Grievances are how inmates ask for help with problems they have while they are in prison. Under the Prison , inmates of Reform Act (PLRA)Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prisons must exhaust administrative remedies before they may file a in federal .
TDCJ guidelines require certain steps to be completed before an inmate can sue. The first step is a grievance. The second step is an.
If you do not file a grievance (Step 1), then an(Step 2), you have failed to exhaust your administrative remedies.
TDCJ grievances are covered by strict rules. Check the inmate handbook when completing grievance forms.
Important points to keep in mind:
- Before writing a grievance, discuss your problem with prison staff or administration.
- This is called “informal resolution” and may yield a good result, eliminating the need to file a grievance.
- You may discuss the problem verbally,
- or by sending I-60 requests to prison administrators.
- Make a record reflecting:
- who you discussed the problem with,
- whether you spoke to them in person or wrote to them,
- the date(s) of your discussion(s), and
- what response, if any, was received.
- Each grievance may only concern one problem only, so write only about the problem you need help with.
- TDCJ accepts only one grievance per week for processing.
- Prioritize your problems so that the most pressing issue may be dealt with first.
- Do not use vulgar or threatening language when drafting your grievance.
- TDCJ has the right to refuse to process grievances that contain profanity or threats.
- You must submit a grievance within 15 days of learning about the problem you want help with. If you miss this deadline, you will have to show that there is a good reason for the tardiness.
The most important pieces of information to include are:
- A detailed description of:
- the problem,
- when you became aware of the problem, and
- how it affects you.
- Attempts to resolve the problem informally
- State who you have spoken with and what their response was.
- Solutions you would like
- Example: If you are sick you may ask to see a doctor.
In some cases, a Step 1 grievance will not yield a satisfactory solution. If you are unhappy with TDCJ's response, you have 15 days after receipt to file a Step 2 grievance appealing TDCJ’s decision. TDCJ then has an additional 35 days to deliver a decision. Keep all copies of grievances submitted and returned. You may need them later and they could become difficult to obtain.
The grievance process at county jails varies. Check your inmate handbook or ask facility staff how to file a grievance. There might not be a grievance process at that jail.
Always maintain a record by writing down:
- the date and time you asked about filing a grievance,
- who you spoke with, and
- what their response was.
If you do not receive a response or receive an unsatisfactory response, ask jail staff how to file an.
Juvenile offenders may file grievances at all county detention facilities. Grievance forms are available from the grievance clerk in each dorm, along with drop boxes for form submission. These forms are on the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) website.
Parents, guardians, and youth advocates may file grievances on behalf of juvenile inmates. If a satisfactory response is not received within 15 days, file a Step 2 grievance. Ask facility staff where to submit this appeal. If a satisfactory response to the appeal is not received within 15 business days, another appeal must be filed with TJJD’s executive director at TJJD’s central office.
Juveniles on parole follow the same process, but may request grievance forms from the district parole office where they report.
Additionally, parents and guardians may contact the TJJD Office of the Independent Ombudsman to seek a solution to juvenile inmates’ problems. More information about the grievance process may be provided by the TJJD Title IX Coordinator upon request. Contacting these offices will not be construed to exhaust administrative remedies for the purposes of filing a . The grievance process must still be followed.
The answer to this question is unclear. The current President signaled that he might end DACA, but has not said what action—if any—he plans to take against DACA applicants and recipients. However, most immigrant rights groups agree that first-time DACA applicants should wait to file their applications until there is more information about the President’s plans. People renewing their deferred action status can still apply—but they might lose their filing fees if the program ends. All DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals should pay close attention to the news (or talk to an immigration lawyer) for the most up-to-date information.
Unfortunately, only juvenile offenders may have others submit grievances on their behalf. Grievance forms are available on the Texas Juvenile Justice Department website for parents, guardians, and youth advocates to submit.
If you are not a juvenile, your family members can contact the following offices to assist you with problems:
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice Ombudsman
- Texas Commission on Jail Standards
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice Office of the Inspector General
Contacting the above offices will not contribute to the specified need to exhaust administrative remedies for the purposes of filing a. The grievance process must still be followed.
While there are exceptions to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requirements for filing grievances, you should never rely on these exclusions without first consulting a lawyer. For the purposes of filing a suit, the following exceptions may preclude the need to first submit grievances:
- Inmates in county jails and youth offenders housed in TJJD facilities are not required to file grievances if a suit is filed in state (rather than federal) court.
- The PLRA only applies to inmates so you may file suit without filing grievances if you have been released from prison. In most cases, you will be required to file suit no more than two years after the incident occurred. For that reason, it is best to file grievances if your release date falls outside of this limit.
- If you would like to file suit because an inmate related to you died in prison, the filing of grievances is not required.
- You should never rely on these exclusions without first consulting an attorney. If you are unsure, filing grievances may preserve your right to sue.
TDCJ has a precise procedure for inmates to receive medical care. The first step is to submit a sick call form describing your symptoms and requesting treatment. Sick call forms should be available on your housing unit. Sick call requests should be answered within 48 hours.
Relief is the term used to describe an immigration benefit. To figure out if you qualify, look at the requirements for each benefit. Usually, you must meet all the requirements. This means that even if you meet four out of five requirements, you still might not get the benefit. Being granted a benefit generally means you can stay in the United States, but there are exceptions.
To seek relief, you generally apply to the immigration judge, who will set an individual hearing to decide your case.
Being a United States citizen is the ultimate defense to deportation, because U.S. immigration laws clearly state that citizens cannot be deported.
If you are facing deportation, there are two main ways you might become a U.S. citizen:
1. Birth in the U.S. (commonly known as birthright citizenship)
2. Through a parent or grandparent who is a U.S. citizen (acquired citizenship and derived citizenship).
If you believe that you might be a U.S. citizen, and are in the middle of deportation/removal proceedings, talk to an immigration lawyer or accredited representative for help as soon as possible.
Click here for more information on U.S. citizenship. There are other ways to become a U.S. citizen, but birthright, acquired, and derived citizenship may be the most useful avenues for you if you are facing removal. This article provides an overview on deportation within the U.S. immigration laws.
Acquired U.S. citizenship arises when one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization. They pass their citizenship on to you. To “acquire” U.S. citizenship, your parent must have been a U.S. citizen before you were born. It may be possible for your parents to acquire U.S. citizenship from their parents (your grandparents), and then for you to acquire U.S. citizenship from your parents.
To prove that you acquired U.S. citizenship, you must show (among other things) that your U.S. citizen parent lived in the U.S. before you were born for the required number of years. The exact requirements, including the number of years that your parent must have resided in the U.S., depend on your birth year.
If you are in removal proceedings —but think you might be a U.S. citizen—hire a lawyer or accredited representative to represent you. This article gives an overview on qualifying for relief from deportation via acquiring citizenship.
Derived U.S. citizenship arises when
(1) you become a lawful permanent resident before you turn 18, and
(2) one of your parents becomes a U.S. citizen through naturalization before you turn 18.
Depending on your birth year, the law may require that both of your parents were naturalized before you turned 18. Like acquired citizenship, your birth year determines the requirements, which can be complicated. If you are in removal proceedings —but think you might be a U.S. citizen—hire a lawyer or accredited representative to represent you.
El proceso de solicitar el estado de residente permanente legal (LPR) se llama ajuste de estado (o procesamiento consular, si la persona no puede estar físicamente presente en los Estados Unidos para aplicar). Sólo algunos miembros de la familia pueden presentar una petición en su nombre pidiendo que se le conceda residencia permanente legal.
Bajo la ley de inmigración, los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos pueden solicitar ajustar el estado en nombre de sus:
Los residentes permanentes legales pueden solicitar:
- Niños solteros (menores de 21 años)
Adjustment of status, which is the process of applying to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR), is actually a two-part process.
How you entered the U.S., as well as your family relationship, will determine whether you can apply for LPR status in the United States via adjustment of status, or if you must return to your home country to apply for LPR status (see consular processing, below). If you entered the U.S. lawfully, with a visa or parole, and have an immediate relative in the U.S. who can sponsor you, you may apply for adjustment of status while you remain in the U.S.
The first part of the process is filing an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The I-130 must be filed on your behalf by a U.S. citizen or LPR family member. Once the I-130 is approved, USCIS will send notice of the approval.
There is a waiting period for many people between approval of the I-130, and the time when they are actually eligible to apply for adjustment of status.
The second part of the process: Once the I-130 has been approved, you can apply for adjustment of status by filing Form I-485.
Consular processing is how to apply to become an LPR if you entered the U.S. without permission, or are not the immediate relative of an LPR or citizen. You must return to your home country and apply for LPR status from there. However, you might not have to return to your home country if anyone filed a Form I-130 for you (or sometimes, for your spouse or your parents) before April 30, 2001, and/or if you have a parent, spouse, or child who is or was a member of the U.S. armed forces.
Certain crimes and immigration law violations can make you ineligible for adjustment of status or consular processing. Again, if you are in removal proceedings, and think you qualify for adjustment of status or consular processing, hire a lawyer or accredited representative to assist you.