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Boulder Colorado Immigration And Naturalization Legal Blog

Tips for adapting to life in Colorado as an immigrant

When your family emigrated from your country of origin to your new home in Colorado, you may have experienced a wide range of emotions. Perhaps you felt excited about the adventure that lay ahead but were also a bit nervous or worried about helping your kids adapt to their new lifestyle. Life in the United States can be quite different from other cultures. You and your kids may have a language barrier or other challenges that can be stressful at times.  

The good news is that there are strong support systems already in place to help you adapt to a new culture, to learn what you need to know about U.S. immigration laws and regulations, and to begin building friendships and connections that can help you accomplish your goals. There are several things to keep in mind that may help your family have a positive experience.  

EB-5 visa progam may be changed

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one method in which a person can obtain permanent resident status in California or other states. Each year, 10,000 such visas are given out, and each country can claim up to 7 percent of them annually. It is sometimes referred to as the visa for millionaires, and its goal is to inject large sums of capital into rural areas. It is also meant to help other areas that have high rates of unemployment.

Depending on where the money goes, an individual will receive a green card for investing either $500,000 or $1 million. In practice, the money tends to go to large cities like New York or San Francisco. A representative from AVG America Investments said that putting real estate in larger cities increases the odds that they will be successful. Even when a hotel or restaurant is situated in a major metropolitan area, it still conforms to the law because they are located in areas of high unemployment.

Children to be transferred from immigrant detention facility

Immigrant advocacy groups may have celebrated on June 26 when a federal judge in California gave U.S. immigration authorities 30 days to reunite families separated at the Mexican border. While officials were struggling to meet this deadline, the Trump administration suffered another legal setback in Texas. On July 30, a district court judge ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to transfer all of the children being detained at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center to other facilities. The judge made her ruling after hearing that children at the Manvel facility were being abused and overmedicated with psychotropic drugs.

The judge determined that conditions at Shiloh failed to meet standards for the care of undocumented minors established by a 1997 court settlement. Facility operators are said to have denied water to some children and prevented others from making phone calls. The judge also heard that many children were being given powerful drugs without their parents' consent. A DHHS representative said that secure immigrant detention facilities like Shiloh were needed to cope with minors who pose a threat to themselves or others or are coping with serious mental health issues.

Seeking asylum in the United States

Coming to the United States may have been a frightening experience. However, the fear of immigrating to a new country may have seemed manageable compared to the circumstances that existed for you in your homeland. Like many, you came to the U.S. and made your way to Colorado to find a new life with new opportunities. However, you may only achieve this if your lawful status protects you from removal.

If you arrived here expecting to seek asylum, you should be aware that it is not a protection the government gives automatically. Like other immigration processes, you must follow the regulations and meet eligibility requirements before you can obtain protected status under asylum.

Policies make it easier for USCIS to reject immigration visas

California readers could be concerned to learn that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released two memos that significantly alter the way the federal government handles visa applications. The changes make it easier for officials to deny applications and deport immigrants.

In mid-July, USCIS released a memo that allows officials to immediately reject visa applications that have missing or inaccurate information. This changes a 2013 policy that required officials to notify applicants of correctable errors and give them 30 days to address the issue. The new policy applies to both new applications and renewals and goes into effect on Sept. 11.

The different parts of the citizenship test

Many people consider the United States the land of opportunity. As a result, you may have come to the country years ago on a visa in hopes of taking advantage of the opportunities offered. Over time, you may have come to consider this country your home and built a life here. Now, you feel ready to work toward obtaining citizenship.

The road toward naturalization is not always an easy one to follow. You may have already gone through many parts of the process and now face the citizenship test. While this part of the proceedings may seem intimidating, you do not have to fear the test, and you can prepare ahead of time.

ACLU motion results in temporary stay of immediate deportations

California has been one of the states on the front line of the child separation controversy. Although the reunification of families seeking asylum in the United States has begun, the American Civil Liberties Union took action to challenge the federal government's intention to immediately deport the families. After considering the ACLU's motion, a federal judge halted the immediate deportation of reunited families. The temporary stay grants reunified families one week to file their asylum paperwork.

The inability of parents to request asylum for children who have been forcibly taken away represented the core of the ACLU's legal argument. The organization insisted that the government had an obligation to give the families a chance to pursue asylum.

Tips for a successful immigration interview

At some point during your adjustment phase to a new life in Colorado, you may have to attend an interview with immigration officials. There may be several reasons for this, some more benign than others. If Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have called you to a Stokes interview, it means the U.S. government doubts the validity of your marriage to a U.S. citizen, which is definitely no minor issue.  

Many other immigration processes also require interviews. There are several things to do and not do that may help you increase your chances for favorably resolving whatever matter happens to be at hand. The good news is that you don't have to go it alone. There are support networks in place to assist you in all aspects of immigration, including accompanying you to an immigration interview.  

Getting children out of immigrant detention can be challenging

California residents may be aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are supposedly no longer separating undocumented immigrant families at the Mexican border. However, getting children that have been detained out of immigration facilities is often a difficult and expensive process for their parents or relatives. Strict rules have been put into place to prevent vulnerable children being placed in unfit homes and keep them out of the hands of human traffickers, which some advocacy groups are being used by the authorities to gather information on undocumented workers.

Children being held in immigration detention facilities can only be released to their parents or a sponsor living in the United States. Sponsors are often undocumented workers themselves, and they are required to establish that they are blood relatives of the child or children in question, submit pay stubs or other proof of income and agree to home visits. However, media outlets are reporting that ICE agents are gathering the fingerprints of prospective sponsors and all of the members of their households during these visits.

Protect your rights if Colorado ICE agents come calling

What would you do if you and your family were strolling through a public festival, enjoying some free time together, when suddenly, you hear someone shouting your name in a crowd? You turn in the direction of the voice and immediately see several Immigration and Customer Enforcement officers making their way toward you. Should you answer them? Should you turn around and walk away?  

Knowing that your legal status may be compromised would likely make you quite nervous in such a situation. However, it's critical that you understand your rights and know how to protect them because everything you do or say from that moment on may affect the rest of your life. If an ICE agent approaches you in public, there are several things you should and should not do.  

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