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Boulder Colorado Immigration And Naturalization Legal Blog

Lawsuit challenges asylum 'Turnback Policy'

Many advocates in Colorado and across the country have expressed rising concerns about the Trump administration's approach to immigration policy, especially on refugee and asylum issues. Legal action in multiple venues has followed a wave of intense enforcement, including one lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The suit alleges that the administration acted illegally by deliberately restricting access to the asylum process at entry ports on the border between the United States and Mexico.

The claim notes that, according to the official "Turnback Policy," U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have illegally denied migrants' ability to seek asylum. Allegations include purportedly false claims that the agents did not have the capacity to process further asylum claims. In addition, the suit alleges that the policy builds on other practices used since 2016 in order to prevent people from making an application for asylum in the U.S. According to the SPLC, the policy violates both domestic and international law by subjecting vulnerable people to danger, deportation or even death.

How much do you know about the removal process?

Do you know that more than 11 million immigrants live in Colorado and beyond who entered the U.S. without having their paperwork in order? However, even if you followed a step-by-step process and obtained a family-based, employment-based or some other type of visa before you crossed a border, it still is no guarantee you will never face legal status problems or wind up in a detention center, facing removal proceedings.

Perhaps, your visa expired and a police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop. That incident alone could land you in an immigration detention facility. While you may have a perfectly logical explanation for your situation, it's no guarantee that officials will immediately release you.

Trump administration proposal would change green card rules

Some immigrants in California might be concerned about the effect a proposed new change by the Trump administration will have on their ability to access government benefits and still get a green card. The proposal would disqualify some immigrants from becoming permanent residents even if they were eligible for the benefits they received.

Immigration attorneys are reporting widespread concern among their clients about the proposal, and several factors are adding to the confusion. One is that while certain programs are named, the proposal would give broad discretion to immigration officials to deny green cards even if the person participated in programs that are not specifically mentioned. Another is that if the proposal passes into law, it will not go into effect for several months and may undergo significant changes in that time.

Did you enter the U.S. without inspection?

The immigration process in the United States is complex, and that is no accident. The government has a strict protocol for inspecting those wishing to enter the country. The purpose behind this complicated process is to protect the country and its citizens.

If you wish to enter the U.S., you must go through the proper channels before you enter or present yourself to border agents when you arrive. Failing to follow the rules for lawful entry into the U.S. is called entry without inspection. This is a criminal offense that may lead to serious, long-term consequences.

Diplomats' same sex partners may have to leave the U.S.

LGBTQ rights remain a hot-button topic almost certain to provoke spirited disagreement. Since a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriages must be granted by each state and each state must recognize same-sex marriages formed in other states, such as California, for example. That ruling, however, does not address the issue of same-sex marriages in other countries.

A recent Trump administration policy will have a significant impact on diplomats and United Nations workers with same-sex domestic partners. The new policy requires the foreign workers to be married in order for their partners to be eligible to obtain diplomatic visas. The stumbling block isn't the ability to get married in the U.S. but rather the consequences of doing so when the couple returns home.

Stay updated on immigration statistics and facts

How often do you talk to your neighbors, co-workers or family members about immigration? It's definitely a hot topic in Colorado and throughout the United States. However, it's also a controversial topic, to say the least. Political agendas, personal convictions and cultural norms influence people's mindsets regarding those who come to the United States to live from other countries.  

If you're an immigrant, you are likely no stranger to overcoming challenges. Perhaps, you are still struggling to master the English language and, depending on how long you've been here, you may still be learning about state laws, traffic regulations and various customs and trends that are typical in the U.S., but are unfamiliar to you and your family. Let's not forget legal issues, as this is a main concern of many immigrants as well. Do you know your rights and understand how to protect them

New rule could impact permanent residents

Immigrants in California and around the country could be denied a green card if they have been reliant on certain forms of public assistance. They could also be denied the chance to have a green card renewed if they are already in the country legally. This is according to action taken by the Trump administration. It seeks to update a 1999 rule that applied to immigrants who had used cash benefits.

However, if the rule is expanded, it would cover those who had used public housing or received certain forms of health care assistance. The latest version of the rule was announced on Sept. 22 and would not penalize those who had received tax credits to help purchase an Obamacare policy. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it would ensure that immigrants were self-sufficient and that they wouldn't be a drain on the country's resources.

Your wedding bells rang, then ICE knocked at your door

You married the love of your life and moved into your dream house here in Colorado. Okay, so perhaps it is not exactly your dream house, but it is large enough to welcome the children you and your spouse hope to have. It's also a nice place to live while you make plans for your future, which may at some point, include building that home of your dreams.

What happens if the U.S. government calls your marriage into question? If you receive notice to appear at a Stokes interview, that's exactly what it means. Immigration officials are questioning whether you married for legitimate reasons or whether you merely tried to beat the system and obtain a green card. Such situations are often highly stressful and knowing where to seek support may be key to a successful outcome.

New policy to deter immigration

While the fate of Trump's promise to build a stronger border wall is up in the air, what is not uncertain is the administration's determination to place obstacles in the path of those seeking legal admission to or permanent residency in the U.S. Some people in California and other states are calling this the "paper wall."

The amount of paperwork required for a visa or green card application can be voluminous. It is important to know precisely who is seeking entrance to the country. In addition, there are specific and detailed instructions as to the manner in which the documents must be compiled and presented. Under previous administrations, an application that was incomplete due to some technical error was sent back to the applicant for correction.

DHS proposes extending detention limits for child immigrants

California families and friends of immigrants are probably aware of the controversy that has surrounded the Trump administration's policy of separating children from parents and detaining them apart from their parents, who in some cases have been deported while the children remain in custody. Over 2,900 children were separated and detained in the initial stages of the policy, sparking international outrage over what has been characterized by critics as inhumane treatment of immigrant children. Now, the Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to circumvent the standing rule that required the release of children within 20 days of their detention.

The court-ordered guideline known as the Flores Agreement stems from an agreed order in a 1997 case dealing with child detention. The United States government had agreed to abide by the agreement until the Trump administration began its policy of separating and indefinitely holding children. Having come under fire for separating children from parents, the Trump administration now intends to keep families together in detention until the date of their hearing, which can result in children remaining in custody far longer than the 20-day limit from the Flores Agreement.

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