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Immigration Blog

USCIS Will Start Requiring Signatures and Identification to Receive Certain Documents

June 5, 2018|Contributed by: Kim Tremblay

In April, USCIS announced the agency will start mailing permanent resident cards, employment authorization documents, and travel booklets using a secure delivery service through the U.S. Postal Service.  The agency will begin using the service to mail these items to applicants who have changed their address while their application is pending or whose documents have been returned to USCIS as undeliverable.  USCIS will then roll out the new process for all other applicants.
Applicants will have to present identification and sign for these items upon delivery.

Re-registration period open for TPS Nepal

May 25, 2018|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Nepal must re-register between May 22, 2018, and July 23, 2018.  Upon approval, the new work authorization documents will be valid until June 24, 2019.  In addition, current TPS Nepal work authorization cards are automatically extended through December 21, 2018.
Applicants must have been continuously present and continuously residing in the United States since before June 24, 2015, and will have to go through security checks to make sure that they do not have disqualifying criminal records. 

Jeff Sessions overturns decades of Board precedent by ending the general authority of the Board and Immigration Judges to grant administrative closure

May 24, 2018|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

In a broad decision, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stripped the power of the Immigration Court and the Board of Appeals to order administrative closure, except in a very narrow set of cases. The decision purports to be retroactive and it requires that any case that is currently administratively closed be re-calendared (put back on the Court’s active docket), upon the motion of the Immigration Judge, the Board, the government, or the Respondent (immigrant). Matter of Castro-Tum,

Finally: Measure to Extend Colorado Driving Privileges to Undocumented Residents Passes!

May 18, 2018|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

Just over one year ago, we reported that a bipartisan bill related to the expansion of Colorado driving privileges for undocumented residents failed to pass in the state senate for the second year in a row. If passed, the bill would have closed a loophole in the law to allow undocumented Colorado residents to obtain Colorado driver’s licenses. Now, we are happy to report that, just last week, on May 11, 2018, a comparable bill introduced in the 2018 legislative session was passed by both the Colorado Senate and the House and sent to the Governor for signature.

The Reality of Student Visas

May 7, 2018|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

International students wishing to study in the U.S. have a few options for visas. The two most common student visas are a J-1 and an F-1 student visa.
A J visa is an exchange visitor visa for students participating in approved exchange programs within the U.S. Some nonimmigrants under the J visa are required to return to their home country for two years at the end of their program before they can return to the U.S.

DEBUNKING THE MYTH THAT OUR ANCESTORS CAME TO THE UNITED STATES “LEGALLY.” THE TRUTH IS MUCH MORE COMPLICATED.

April 20, 2018|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

When talking about immigration policy and using the term “amnesty”, many pundits argue that immigrants coming to the United States should all have to enter the United States legally in order to obtain legal immigration status in the United States.  The argument goes something like this:  we cannot make any changes or exceptions in our immigration law to allow for any type of “amnesty” because it would be unfair to our ancestors and all those who have immigrated legally to the United States in the past. 

Quotas Require Denver Immigration Judges More than Double Their Case Completion Rate

April 5, 2018|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

New performance goals announced by the Department of Justice will require immigration judges to complete at least 700 cases per year in order to get a “satisfactory” rating.[i]  Immigration judges, after subtracting out days for training and vacation, are working on cases for a maximum of 220 days per year.  To meet their new 700 case quota, this would require them to finish 3.5 cases per day.
At the Denver Immigration Court, the six immigration judges are projected to complete 2,030 cases in fiscal year 2018.

Trump’s Attorney General Refers Immigration Cases to Himself

March 26, 2018|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has recently referred some immigration cases to himself for review. A regulation exists that gives him the power to reconsider cases decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals, or “BIA.”
The cases he will be reviewing could both have a large impact on immigration case law. One case is Matter of Castro-Tum, a case regarding a concept known as administrative closure. Administrative closure is a tool that allows immigration judges to temporarily remove a case from their docket.

USCIS UPDATES POSTED PROCESSING TIMES, MAKING IT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO INQUIRE ABOUT LONG-PENDING CASES AND REFLECTS A SHARP INCREASE IN TIME

March 23, 2018|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

In response to a report written by the Office of the Inspector General, USCIS changed its posted processing times overnight between March 21 and March 22. On March 21, according to the official USCIS website (USCIS.GOV) USCIS Denver was processing I-485 applications (Application to Adjust Status) filed on or before December 31, 2016 and estimated that it would take up to 14 months to process this type of application. On March 22, the processing time read June 12,

Trump Administration Ends TPS For El Salvador

January 9, 2018|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

On January 8, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that it is ending the designation of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for El Salvador. Nationwide, there are approximately 263, 500 Salvadorans with TPS currently. The Trump administration has taken away that protection, but it is giving Salvadorans until September 9, 2019 to leave the United States or to find another immigration status. About 193,000 U.S. Citizen children have at least one parent who is a Salvadoran TPS holder.

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