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Federal court largely upholds California sanctuary laws

California's state sanctuary laws were upheld by a federal appeals court on Apr. 18, in a rejection of a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that California's state laws do not unlawfully interfere with federal immigration enforcement. Earlier, the Trump administration sued the state over three laws, including one that prohibits local law enforcement officials from informing federal immigration agencies about the release dates for imprisoned immigrants.

The decision generally upholds a judgment reached by a lower court in July 2018. The judges said that the law regarding inmate release notification was valid, as was a law requiring employers to alert their workers before federal immigration inspections are carried out. However, the court did side with the Trump administration on one of its challenges. Specifically, the court said that a California law allowing the state's attorney general to perform inspections of federal immigration detention facilities could place an excessive financial burden on federal authorities.

Many Colorado immigrants go through these stages of adjustment

When you arrived in Colorado from another country of origin, you may have felt excited and nervous at the same time. If you already had family members in the United States upon your arrival, you might not have felt as frightened or worried as some immigrants who cross a border without knowing anyone on this side. Either way, adapting to a new lifestyle can be quite challenging in many ways.

You might find yourself passing through different phases as you begin to assimilate into American culture and start building new memories. Some people are able to navigate such phases with little difficulty and thereby enjoy a smooth transition. Others run into legal problems or face other challenges that cause great stress or leave them wondering where to seek support to help them overcome the obstacles that are impeding their ability to cope with new surroundings.

Rule change making legal immigration harder

Those who are hoping to immigrate to California from Mexico may be denied a visa if they are deemed to be a potential drain on the United States government. One man was refused a spousal visa because the government believed that he could become a public charge. This was despite the fact that he had a guaranteed job paying him $18 per hour as well as a relative who pledged to provide financial support if necessary.

That relative made $90,000 per year, which was well above the requirement that a sponsor make 125 percent of the poverty level. The denial was the result of a change to the State Department's foreign affairs manual that went into effect in January 2018. According to government officials, these changes are not subject to judicial review. However, critics say it is nothing more than an attempt to change immigration policy without the need to go through a public comment process.

Federal judge blocks policy returning asylum-seekers to Mexico

Many people in California have been following developments regarding the Trump Administration's policy plans to require asylum-seekers from Central America to wait in Mexico for their cases to be processed inside the United States. A federal judge acted on April 8 to block implementation of the order, saying that the Department of Homeland Security was exceeding its authority under immigration law. The judge ordered the plaintiffs who had brought the case, including migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to enter the United States in the coming two days.

In addition, the judge also issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the policy to force asylum-seekers to return to Mexico across the country. This order will go into effect on April 12. The judge said that the policy violated domestic U.S. law as well as the United Nations Convention on Refugees, which has been adopted by the United States and thereby carries the same force as domestic law. He noted that asylum-seekers in particular are fleeing persecution or danger in their countries of origin and that returning them to Mexico placed them at risk of a serious threat to their freedom and their lives.

Colorado immigrants might encounter job-related challenges

Adapting to life in Colorado can be particularly challenging, especially if you emigrated from a place with a much warmer climate. As an adult, one of your biggest challenges might be finding paid employment. If you're preparing to come to the U.S. on a work-based visa, there are all sorts of forms to fill out and information to know about this specific type of legal status.

Perhaps you recently adjusted your legal status so that you are now able to seek employment. This can be an exciting opportunity but can also be quite stressful. It is helpful to research the job market to learn what type of employment opportunities are most commonly available for immigrants in your area. Questions about resident status sometimes arise, or status-related problems surface in the workplace. It's a good idea to know where to seek immediate legal support.

U.S. president threatens to close southern border

California residents may be interested in hearing how President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to close the United States' border with Mexico. Through tweets, he reiterated his thought that fixing the immigration laws would be easy and placed blame for what he considered "stupid immigration laws" on Democrats.

The president also suggested that Mexico needed to do more to stem the tide of immigrants coming across the southern border of the United States. He said that he felt the next step would be for the United States to close its border with Mexico. From the president's point of view, this might assist in slowing down the flow of drugs from Mexico.

Law firms, companies respond to changed H-1B process

Companies in California and across the country, especially in the tech sector, are working to adjust to a sudden change announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On March 19, less than two weeks before the April 1 deadline for H-1B applications, USCIS declared a new procedure for premium processing of some of these applications. The H-1B process involves companies looking to hire highly skilled international workers. In many cases, the workers involved are recent or soon-to-be graduates of U.S. universities with advanced scientific skills and technical training. Successful H-1B visa applicants are chosen under a lottery process that restricts the number of visas available for qualified workers.

The new procedure allows H-1B petitioners to file a second form, I-907, along with Form I-129, in order to receive premium processing. By paying a fee of $1,410, companies can receive a decision on a visa application within 15 days. This can be an important advantage, as typical H-1B processing could take 10 to 13 months for a decision to be received. However, many businesses and law firms are now under pressure to revise their existing, completed applications ready to be filed on April 1.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Facts you should know

If you want to incite a controversial political debate in Colorado or anywhere in the United States, all you have to do is bring up an immigration topic. You'll likely find opinions that express a need for government reform, and you may encounter some who adamantly oppose rights for certain people, such as those with undocumented legal status. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is another hot topic in many debate forums.

As an immigrant, you may not find random opinions all that important to your personal experience. However, there may indeed be numerous legal issues that have a significant impact on your situation or that of a loved one. Take DACA, for instance. The president has made some changes regarding this program, which may affect yours or a family member's legal status.

Supreme Court immigration vote follows political lines

The U.S. Supreme Court voted along ideological lines on March 19 when it ruled that immigrants in California and around the country who have spent time behind bars can be detained without a bond hearing, even if they are picked up years after being released. In a case brought on behalf of a group of lawful permanent residents, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that an ICE detention without a bond hearing violates constitutional protections unless it takes place immediately after an immigrant is released from custody.

Justice Samuel Alito claimed that the law as written did not support the plaintiff's claim that they should be granted bond hearings. Alito drafted the court opinion, which held that the Executive Branch can detain a noncitizen for days, months or even years after their incarceration ends. Some of the justices questioned the wisdom of allowing individuals deemed dangerous by the government back into society.

Pregnant woman in immigration detention suffers stillbirth

If you are one of many Colorado residents who follow immigration news, you've likely read numerous stories in recent years where immigrant advocates have spoken out against reported inhumane conditions in many of the nation's detention centers. A highly disturbing issue involves an increased number of miscarriages among pregnant detainees. Detainees are entitled to proper food, clothing and medical care.

A woman who was six months along in her pregnancy suffered a stillbirth while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Sadly, this has not been an isolated event, and many people are calling on the U.S. government to change its policies to prohibit detaining pregnant woman experiencing adverse health conditions. If you or your loved one are expecting a child and are currently residing in a detention facility, you'll want to make sure you know your rights and how to exercise them.

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