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Boulder Colorado Immigration And Naturalization Legal Blog

How to avoid losing permanent resident status

When immigrants living in California get their green card, it gives them additional rights while in the United States. However, it is possible to lose a green card. Generally, this happens because a person committed a crime or left the country. Permanent residents who are planning on leaving the United States should come back within six months of doing so.

As a general rule, it can become difficult or impossible to return to the United States after an absence of more than a year. This is because border officials may determine that an individual has actually chosen another country in which to establish permanent residency. It is important to note that a person can put a green card in jeopardy even if he or she returns to America less than a year after leaving. Those who commit crimes can be deported regardless of their significance.

Things to know when seeking US citizenship

Emigrating from another country and adapting to life in Colorado may have been quite challenging for you and your family. Like thousands of immigrants who choose this state as the final destination of their immigration journeys, you may have encountered various stressful situations along the way. Even if language poses a significant barrier for you, you'll likely be better able to avoid major problems if you seek clarification of U.S. immigration law, especially the regulations that govern the naturalization process.

In a perfect world, you'd never run into any legal trouble so long as all your paperwork is in order. The fact is, however, that many people encounter obstacles when seeking U.S. citizenship, which may cause substantial delays in achieving their ultimate goals. The more you know about the naturalization process ahead of time, the better. It's also a good idea to know where to seek support if a problem arises.  

U.S. could stop granting asylum to domestic violence victims

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is currently considering whether domestic violence victims from foreign countries should qualify for asylum in the United States. His decision could impact the cases of thousands of immigrants in California and across the country.

Sessions is reviewing the asylum case of a victim to determine whether domestic violence claims deserve the same consideration as political persecution claims. However, he has already indicated skepticism regarding their merit, calling domestic violence a "private criminal activity." Immigrant advocates disagree. They say that domestic violence victims come to the U.S. because authorities in their own countries refuse to protect them, which qualifies them for asylum. Advocates also say that private criminal activity is cited in around 90 percent of asylum cases, and disallowing it would send victims home to a certain death.

The U visa: Who can help and do you qualify?

As a survivor of violent crime, you may feel as though you're on a roller-coaster of emotion. You likely have some good days and some where you keep replaying the events that took place over and over in your mind. You have hopefully found encouragement from family and friends. There are also licensed counselors and others who can provide support as you rebuild your life and recover from your injuries.  

As a Colorado resident who entered the United States from another country, your circumstances may qualify you for a U visa. As with most federal immigration programs, there are eligibility requirements you must fulfill in order to apply. Applying for any type of visa is often stressful, even for those who have not been victims of violence in the U.S. You can seek assistance from someone well versed in U.S. immigration law to help you avoid obstacles while navigating the U visa process.  

California immigrant advocates rally in San Jose

Immigrant advocates gathered at the headquarters of the Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network to rally together with community members and faith leaders against the Trump administration and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy of separating children from their parents. The rally was held on June 1.

The advocates discussed the actions that they could take against the administration's policy of separating undocumented immigrants from their children when they cross the border. Some attendees characterized the forced separation as kidnapping and drew comparisons to authoritarian regimes, including the Third Reich.

ICE announces intention to begin deportations

Officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement may begin deporting families in California and throughout the country who have received deportation orders from a judge. The agency's intention is to start cracking down on immigrants even if they do not have a criminal record and to target what are known as sanctuary cities.

This news was delivered to members of Congress on May 22. The interim director of the agency said he expected a backlash but was determined to enforce the orders. The hearing of the House Border Security and Maritime subcommittee was held to discuss how to handle the waves of immigrants fleeing violence in Central America.

Immigration Customs and Enforcement actions called into question

If you immigrated to Colorado from another country, you may have encountered various challenges along the way. Especially if your arrival here did not include having all your paperwork in order, life in America may prove difficult, at least until you're able to rectify your situation. A man in another state is apparently having trouble doing so. 

He reportedly fled to U.S. soil because he feared for his life in his homeland. If you arrived here under similar circumstances, hopefully you knew how to tap into support resources available to help you seek asylum. Sadly, many immigrants are currently in detention centers throughout Colorado and other states, not only in situations having to do with asylum but for other reasons as well. Immigrant advocates acting on the man's behalf say Immigration Customs and Enforcement officers are keeping him detained without just cause. 

ACLU sues ICE over asylum-seeker detentions

Colorado residents might be interested in learning that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the federal government because of detentions of asylum seekers. The lawsuit was filed on May 17 in federal court against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

According to the complaint, the ACLU alleges that ICE has chosen to detain people who are seeking asylum instead of releasing them on humanitarian parole while they wait for their hearings. When immigrants present themselves to immigration authorities at the border and ask for asylum, they first undergo the credible fear test. People who do not pass the test are deported immediately. Those who do must have hearings at which their requests for asylum will be considered. It can take months for the hearings to be scheduled.

Things to know when seeking asylum in the US

There was a man who told Customs and Border Protection officers that he'd rather spend his life in a United States prison than return to his country of origin because it was so dangerous to live amid the violence there. You may be able to relate to that man's story because you too have come to Colorado seeking asylum in the United States. Leaving the community you have always known and coming to a place you may have never even visited can be stressful and scary.  

Immigration officials have strict requirements for granting asylum. As with most immigration processes, there are eligibility factors to consider. There are also application forms to fill out and other legal steps you must take before you can work toward a new and happy future in America.

Proposal could cause immigrants to avoid accessing benefits

A Trump administration proposal that has been leaked could have negative repercussions for immigrants in Colorado who are seeking permanent residency. The proposal would make it less likely for a person's application for permanent residency to be approved if they have used certain non-cash government benefits including tax credits, food stamps, subsidized Affordable Care Act plans or Medicaid. They could also be affected by family members, including children who are citizens, using those benefits.

Healthcare professionals and immigration advocates say the proposal is a threat to public health. Without access to regular medical care, legal immigrants may turn to emergency rooms instead. Some professionals who work with immigrant communities say that people are already shying away from accessing services such as the nutrition program for women, infants and children. Others are avoiding Medicaid re-enrollment.

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