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Immigration Blog

USCIS Now Implementing New NTA Memo for Family-Based and Humanitarian Applications and Petitions

November 29, 2018|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began implementing its June 28th policy memo updating the guidance for the referral of cases and issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs). The full 11-page memo is available here.
An NTA is the “charging document” that initiates removal proceedings and notifies a person that they must appear before an immigration judge. What the June 28th memo initially did, then, is allow USCIS to begin issuing NTAs in cases where it has denied “status-impacting applications,” such as applications for adjustment of status (Form I-485) and applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status (Form I-539) (for example,

Trump’s Attempt to Limit Asylum

November 20, 2018|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

Before the midterm elections, President Trump spoke continuously on the group of migrants coming from Central America toward the U.S.-Mexico border. And while it may have seemed Trump had dropped after November 6, his attacks on individuals seeking asylum only disappeared from his Twitter account.
On November 8 the Trump administration issued a proclamation stating that individuals who cross the U.S.-Mexico border without inspection at an area other than a designated port of entry would no longer be eligible to apply for asylum.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 20, 2018|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Thanksgiving 2018 again comes at a time of challenge and distress for many immigrants and their families.  The anti-immigrant rhetoric and scapegoating continually flowing out the Trump Administration is matched by harsh and restrictive policies.
Dreamers continue to be stuck in limbo as the Trump Administration attempts to overturn court orders keeping DACA on life support. Those who have long legally resided in the U.S. with TPS are now seeing that status canceled and being instructed to prepare to leave the country. 

As More Immigrants Apply for Citizenship, The Trump Administration Builds Invisible Wall as Record Backlogs Build at USCIS

November 15, 2018|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

In 2017, more than 925,000 people applied for citizenship in the United States. At the end of 2017, there was a backlog of 729,400 N-400 applications pending. This represents a 87.59% increase compared to the end of 2015, when there was a backlog of only 388,832 applications.
While the number of pending applications continues to grow, so does the processing times of the applications. Here in Denver, the average processing time for an N-400 application rose from approximately 8-9 months during the last few months of 2016 to approximately 13 to 17.5 months today.  

“Pay No Attention to that Man behind the Curtain”: Jeff Sessions’ Quiet but Sinister Attack on Immigration

October 31, 2018|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

With Congress stalled on immigration reform of any kind and Trump bellowing over the airwaves with his hateful, manic rhetoric as we head into the midterm elections, U.S. Attorney General and former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions has found a quieter way to rewrite immigration laws to fit this administration’s nationalist, anti-immigrant agenda.
Sessions’ attack on people of color did not begin with his appointment on February 9, 2017. In fact, in 1986, former President Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions to be a United States District Judge,

Dear Mr. Trump: Birthright Citizenship is Settled Law and We Shouldn’t Change It

October 30, 2018|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Over the last few weeks, Donald Trump and others have proposed ending birthright citizenship, either through legislation or through an amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Trump suggests that ending birthright citizenship might not actually require an amendment to the constitution. The crux of the argument he alludes to the phrase in the 14th Amendment extending citizenship to those born in and “subject to the jurisdiction of” the United States. Some argue that this could be interpreted to exclude the children of undocumented aliens from birthright citizenship.

Medical Exam Submission; Has it Actually Changed?

October 26, 2018|Contributed by: Erin Williams

Starting November 1, 2018, USCIS will require that an Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident (Form I-485) or other immigration benefits which require the establishment of admissibility in relation to health-related grounds, be filed with the Form I-693 Medical Examination and Vaccination Record that has been signed by the Designated Civil Surgeon no more than 60 days prior to filing.  This new policy will extend the validity of the submitted Form I-693 to two years.  

Immigration in the Headlines

October 26, 2018|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

If you’ve been paying attention to national news headlines lately, you’ll know that there is currently a large group of migrants traveling from Central America through Mexico towards the U.S. These individuals are likely fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries and are risking their lives for the chance of seeking asylum in the U.S.
While 2018 has seen fewer arrests at the border on average than in recent years, the Trump administration is treating this new group of asylum seekers as a dire emergency that reportedly requires the response of the military.

Caravan, Caravan, Take Me Away: Trumped Up Crisis to Justify Election Eve Asylum Ban?

October 26, 2018|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

In the lead-up to the midterm elections, the caravan of Central Americans has dominated media attention. Unfortunately, media coverage often consists of images of the group, currently about 1,000 miles from the U.S. border and reportedly dwindling in size, as a threat to overrun our southern border. The President apparently relishes attention on the subject, seeking to juxtapose the pictures of the caravan with pictures of U.S. troops being sent to the border to await them for a confrontation,

Federal judge enjoins Trump from stripping legal status from 300,000 Haitians, Salvadorans and others with TPS

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

On October 4, 2018, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plans to terminate the legal status of about 300,000 immigrants who fled violence and disaster in Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
In a decision late Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen in San Francisco found substantial evidence that the administration lacked “any explanation or justification” to end the TPS designations for immigrants from those countries.
At the same time, he said there were “serious questions as to whether a discriminatory purpose was a motivating factor” in the administration’s decision,

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