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Boulder Immigration And Naturalization Law Blog

Efforts to shield DACA recipients continue

Immigrants living in Colorado might be interested to know the Trump administration has in the first three months of 2018 reportedly approved more than 55,000 renewal applications for current and previous enrollees in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. According to documents filed in court by government officials, the program received roughly 65,000 renewal applications during the same period.

The Department of Justice filed the quarterly report as part of ongoing litigation with the State of California over President Trump's efforts to end the program. In September of last year, Trump rescinded the Executive Order establishing the program that was put in place by President Obama. Two separate federal judges in California issued injunctions allowing previously enrolled DACA recipients to reapply. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, 693,850 individuals were DACA recipients as of March 31.

Seeking permanent residency amid domestic violence

You may have friends or family members who have obtained their green cards through the sponsorship of a relative or employer. A green card grants permanent residence status to the holder, opening many benefits and protections. If you want this status for yourself, there may be one thing holding you back: The person who would sponsor you is also your abuser.

Fortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department (UCSIS) provides an option for those in your situation. You may be eligible to apply for a green card through the government's Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Beware the signs of immigration fraud

When you decided to come to Colorado to build a new life in the United States for yourself and your family, you likely encountered various challenges as you navigated the immigration process. It is crucial that you fully understand all regulations that apply to your situation to avoid major delays or problems as you bring your immigration plans to fruition.

While there are many support networks in place to help you overcome immigration obstacles, there are also a lot of entities whose motives are less than pure when it comes to supposedly helping people in your situation avoid complications regarding their legal statuses. In fact, immigration fraud is a major concern in Colorado and most other states.

Judge stays deportation in day care immigration case

Colorado residents may recall media reports from October 2017 about an undocumented Mexican worker who was taken into custody by federal immigration agents after dropping his daughter off at a day care center. The man has spent the subsequent months at a detention facility in California awaiting deportation, but those proceedings were brought to an abrupt halt on March 29 when an immigration judge issued a withholding of removal order and paved the way for his release.

The case garnered nationwide media attention with opponents of President Trump's immigration policies using the man's story to highlight the rigorous tactics being employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. An online petition calling for the man's release was signed by almost 4,000 people, and his court appearances have drawn crowds of cheering supporters and sign-waving protesters. Immigration advocacy groups say that the man could remain in custody if the government chooses to appeal the withholding of removal order.

Former soldier deported to Mexico

Immigrants living in Colorado or elsewhere may be deported if they lose their legal status even if they have served in the military. A 39-year-old man was deported back to Mexico after his application for citizenship was denied because of a previous felony drug conviction. The man had arrived in the United States legally as a child, but he chose to continually renew his green card rather than become a citizen.

The green card was revoked in 2010 after he was convicted of giving an undercover police officer more than 2 pounds of cocaine. He claims that the drug addiction started after his second tour of Afghanistan and intensified when he returned home to Chicago. His military service began just before 9/11, and that second tour of Afghanistan took place between May and October 2003. After being convicted of the felony drug charge, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Detainees sue ICE over detention

Immigrants in Colorado may face deportation even if they have lawful permanent residence status. If immigrants are convicted of criminal offenses, they may be subjected to deportation and removal proceedings. Recently, a lawsuit was filed in California against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on behalf of a number of Vietnamese immigrants who are currently being detained.

The immigrant plaintiffs in the lawsuit arrived before 1995. The State Department has a document on its website noting that immigrants who arrived in the U.S. prior to July 12, 1995, are not subject to deportation. Many people came to the U.S. from Vietnam and Cambodia before 1995 in order to flee their war-torn countries. Vietnam and Cambodia also routinely refuse to accept their citizens back when they are deported.

Community support helps man avoid deportation

Many immigrants in Colorado and across the country are facing increased concerns about the threat of deportation and removal. However, the case of one active veteran provides some inspiration of the possibility of avoiding deportation through community action and involvement. One man who was born in Pakistan and lived in Australia before coming to the United States has been engaged for nine years in a battle to stop his deportation.

The man married his wife, a U.S. citizen, in 2001 and became a lawful permanent resident of the country. Both he and his wife are active in a range of community and charity organizations, including peace groups and activities to help the homeless. He served for several years in the National Guard and received multiple commendations. However, in 2009, immigration authorities began their bid for deportation and removal with a claim that he had made false statements when applying for residency.

DACA unlikely to go away anytime soon

In September 2017, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would cease to exist on March 5, 2018. The program provides protection for those living in Colorado and other states who were brought to the country when they were young. However, those who are part of the program may still be protected from deportation and allowed to work in the country for the foreseeable future.

This is because the government was merely refusing to take new applications for renewal after the deadline. Those who still had time remaining on their current two-year authorization would be covered by DACA's terms. Furthermore, those who had applied to renew their authorization before the deadline would have their applications processed. There are also legal battles related to DACA that still need to be resolved.

Supreme Court punts on DACA ruling

Protections offered as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program were scheduled to be phased out starting in March. This could have implications for 700,000 young adults living in Colorado and elsewhere who are covered by DACA. However, on Feb. 26, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of an injunction issued on Jan. 9 by a federal judge in San Francisco.

The DACA program allows individuals known as "Dreamers" to remain in the country and obtain work permits that are valid for two years. As part of the district judge's ruling, the government must continue to process renewals of permits that are scheduled to expire. In his ruling, the judge found that parties challenging the end of DACA were likely to succeed in their assertion that the program was ended arbitrarily. While the Supreme Court refused to hear the case for now, it said that the denial was without prejudice.

Is your Temporary Protected Status scheduled to end?

If you are in the country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), you may be concerned about the recent news coverage announcing the end of TPS designations for certain countries. There is a great deal of fear in the air, and you may be confused about what to believe and what you can do.

The fact is that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the termination of protected status for many designated countries. Here we will review TPS regulations and give you a clearer idea your options.

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