Trump Administration increases work place enforcement


The Trump administration is increasing work place enforcement fourfold. Acting Director of ICE,Thomas Homan, confirmed as much in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. Homan reported:

  • ICE has already increased the number of inspections and worksite operations.
  • A further significant increase in these activities is planned for the next fiscal year.
  • The time spent on enforcement will rise by four or five times.
  • ICE will not only prosecute employers who hire illegal workers, but also detain and remove illegal workers.

Here is a link to Director Homan's speech: U.S. employers need to be prepared for increased worksite investigations and strict scrutiny of visa petitions and applications. Further, the potential fines employers face for employment and paperwork violations have been drastically increased. Most significant is the increase in the range for fines for mistakes or omissions on Form I-9. These penalties increased by 96 percent to $216 - $2,156! Another priority area for enforcement will be unfair immigration employment practices and H-1B and H-2B program violations. Employers should be prepared for greater scrutiny of their compliance programs and higher fines if their worksites are investigated. 

JKL can help employers save tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties by reviewing your employment paperwork and helping employers set up systems that compliant with current regulations and help ensure future compliance. Contact us today.

The Republican Administration Ends the DACA Program


Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program that has provided work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation for around 800,000 recipients throughout the United States.  The DACA program was created through an Executive Order by President Obama in 2012 to offer opportunity to youth who arrived in the U.S. through no choice of the ...


Trump Administration Considering Ending DACA Program


Trump administration considering ending the DACA Program

On August 24, 2017, news outlets - including Axios and the Washington Post - reported that the Trump administration is considering ending the DACA program. Some information indicated that an announcement could be coming soon. However, today, Elise Foley of Huffington Post tweeted that a DHS spokesman said no decision would come today.

We recommend that anyone who needs to apply or re-new talk to an immigrat ...


JKL at DIA To Offer Legal Assistance to Refugees, Residents, and Visa Holders Denied Admission Due to Unconstitutional Trump Executive Order


If anyone knows of a refugee, legal resident, or visa holder who is denied entry into the U.S. at DIA because of Trump's executive order banning individuals from certain Muslim countries, call JKL immediately! I will be at DIA this afternoon (January 28th) waiting on flights from London and Frankfurt in case there are effected people on those flights. We have a spe ...


Executive Order Dramatically Expands U.S. Immigration Enforcement Priorities


In an executive order signed January 25, 2017, Trump has made any removable non-citizen convicted of any crime or merely charged with any crime an "enforcement priority." Speeding is a crime. You get the drift.

The executive order increase the use of "expe ...


Group of U.S Mayors Pledge to “Stand With and Support” Immigrant Communities and Refugees


At their yearly gathering, the U.S. Conference of Mayors – a non-partisan organization of cities population 30,000 or greater – approved a resolution calling for immigration reform and seeking to continue protection of immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The resolution recognized “Immigrants bring social, economic, and cultural benefits to communities nationwide” and “mayors and their cities continue to seek strat ...


Bill Proposed Would Extend Legal Status for Undocumented Immigrants that Entered the U.S. as Children


Proposed legislation would continue the legal status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program beneficiaries. DACA, created by executive action in 2012, allows legal protection for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – nicknamed “Dreamers” – including protection from deportation and work permits. 

The bill is in response to Donald Trump’s threats to revoke executive actions, including this one. Ess ...


A Message Regarding President-Elect Trump


A Message To All Members Of Our Community:

During this time of uncertainty following the election, we are of aware of and understand your concerns and fears.  We stand with you during this time. We want you to know that we are here for you and will continue to fight for you and your family.  

We cannot predict what exactly will happen when Trump becomes the president. However, here are a few things that we do know:

  • Trump has stated that he will ...


Know Your Rights


Basic rights under the U.S. Constitution protect everyone living in the U.S. – including undocumented immigrants. Please remember you have the following rights if you have an encounter with law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers:

Remain silent.  You may refuse to speak to officers, including answering questions about where you were born or how you entered the U.S.  It is easier for an attorney to defend you if you have invoked your righ ...


Federal Court Finds Immigration Detainers are Unlawful


A person in local police custody cannot be further detained through an immigration detainer from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), per a new federal court case,Jimenez Moreno et al v. Napolitano.

An immigration detainer is a request that local police detain a person (up to 48 hours) after the person is otherwise eligible for release, in order for ICE to take the person into federal custody. In terms of public safety, one effect of this confusion between local law enfor ...


Immigrants Represented by Counsel Have More Successful Outcomes


A study of access to legal counsel in U.S. immigration courts looked at deportation cases nationwide from 2007 to 2012 (over 1.2 million cases total).

The study finds access to counsel is “scarce” – for example, only 37% of all immigrants had an attorney for removal cases. Rates of legal representation vary by geographic region and city size. 

Despite the low percentage of immigrants represented by counsel, immigrants that are represented by counsel ...


Immigrations Positive Impact on U.S. Economy Shown In New Report


Immigration is integral to U.S. economic growth, and a new report by the Committee on National Statistics takes a comprehensive view: “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” looks at immigration’s effect on jobs and wages, as well as the fiscal impact of immigration processes.

The report quantified how much the skills brought to market by immigrants complement (as opposed to compete with) native workers’.  The report concludes that hig ...


President Urged to Expand Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans


A diverse coalition including members of Congress, over 100 law professors and nearly 400 civil, faith, immigrant, labor rights, and legal services organizations are urging President Obama to designate El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for temporary protected status (TPS) due to increasing violence in those countries.  Congress members’ urgings have recently been joined by over 100 law professors and nearly 400 civil, faith, immigrant, labor rights, and legal services ...


Immigration Plan that Would Benefit Parents of Citizens Blocked by Supreme Court


An immigration plan put forth by President Obama that would allow parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to avoid deportation and apply for work permits was blocked by the Supreme Court today.

In November 2014, the President issued an executive action aimed at helping nearly five million unauthorized immigrants through a program termed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”).  A group of states challenged the execu ...


It’s Time to Prepare Your H-1B Application


Most H-1B status applications must be filed by April 1, 2016, and now is the time to start preparing the necessary forms and documentation.  H-1B is a temporary status for foreign nationals in “Specialty Occupations,” meaning jobs that require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.  H-1Bs are highly coveted because the cap of 65,000 visas available per year  (there are an additional 20,000 visas for those with U.S. Masters degrees) has been reached every year for t ...


El Salvador Temporary Protected Status


USCIS has recently announced that El Salvador Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries who have requested a new work permit, and that request has been pending 90 days or more, USCIS will automatically issue you a 180-day Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

You should receive this temporary EAD soon. You do not need to take any action.  

Approximately 6,000 El Salvador TPS renewal applications were pending adjudication as of late September.  These indiv ...


Attorney Eric Johnson Presents on the U.S. Legal System in Colombia


Johnson Knudson LLC partner Eric Johnson and Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett collaborated with legal experts from Colombia to compare and contrast the U.S. and Colombian legal systems at Forum de las Americas at the Universidad Libre in Colombia on August 12, 2015.  DA Garnett and Mr. Johnson will spend two weeks in Colombia meeting legal and political leaders to further the dialog and understanding between our countries.  

Here is a link to local coverage of the Fo ...


TPS Approved for Nepal! Registration open NOW


The U.S. has announced its decision to designate Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months based on the conditions resulting from the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent aftershocks. As a result, eligible nationals of Nepal residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The TPS designation for Nepal is effective today, June 24, 2015, and w ...


Immigration Relief Bill for Nepali Nationals Introduced


In response to the first major earthquake to hit Nepal in the past several weeks, Representative Green of Texas introduced H.R. 2033 to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of Nepal present in the U.S. to remain in the U.S. temporarily while Nepal rebuilds. TPS is a status that may be authorized for nationals of certain countries, present in the U.S. during a designated timeframe, who are affected by natural disasters, epidemics, ongoing armed conflicts and other emergencies ...


Kristin Knudson Elected to AILA Colorado Executive Committee


On May 13, 2015, Kristin Knudson was elected to the Executive Committee of the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the premier immigration lawyers association in the United States.  AILA is dedicated to encouraging advocacy by its members at the local, State and national level for immigration-related interests of our clients and society, and educating its members and the public to ensure just administration of our immigration laws and competent advoca ...


New Colorado Felony DUI Law will Affect Non-Citizens


Colorado used to be one of only 5 states without a felony driving under the influence statute.

That ended May 6, 2015, when after a long, hard-fought process, the Colorado state Senate passed a bill 34-1 to create a felony charge for a fourth DUI conviction in the state. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper who previously indicated he'd sign the bill if it made it to his desk.

The new statute will create a class 4 felony AFTER three or more prior co ...


Important information for citizens of Yemen


Due to the current unstable security situation in Yemen, there are a few new immigration relief options that may assist eligible Yemeni nationals.

Immigration relief measures that may be available include:

  • Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even if the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired.
  • Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS.
  • Expedited ad ...


Immigration Expertise Is Essential to Defending Non-Citizens in Criminal Matters


Anybody can find themselves on the wrong end of the legal system.  Sometimes you make a bad decision that can have a lifetime of consequences.  Sometimes an argument can lead to your arrest.  Sometimes an accusation means your life, and that of your family, is in turmoil.  If you are not a United States citizen, then you probably know how much more complicated these situations can be for you.  Johnson Knudson is a unique immigration law firm with expertise ...


Executive Action Update (DACA and DAPA)


A Federal Judge in Texas has issued a temporary injunction that will delay the implementation of President Obama's expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative that was supposed to begin February 18, 2015, and may also affect his new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program that is supposed to begin accepting applications in May.  Here is what you need to know:
  1. There are 3 separate Deferred Action programs:  (a) the or ...


White House Announces New Deferred Action Program


The White House announced a new deferred action program that will provide employment authorization for millions of people currently in the United States without valid immigration status, removing the imminent threat of deportation. 

The 2015 Deferred Action Program will be available for the following people:

  • Parents of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who are present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and who have been physically p ...


Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea designated Temporary Protected Status


Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson has designated Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months.

The Secretary has determined that due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, these countries are experiencing extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent their nationals from returning in safety and that permitting such aliens to temporarily remain in the United S ...


President Obama To Announce Major Executive Action on Immigration


President Obama will announce the details of his plan to extend Deferred Action to millions of undocumented immigrations Thursday evening, November 20, at 6pm MST.   Deferred Action is essentially a determination by the government that it will not deport the recipient during a set period of time.   It creates a quasi-legal immigration status during that period.  Recipients of Deferred Action are also eligible for employment authorization if they can demonstrate an eco ...


Colorado Same-Sex Marriages Should Be Valid for Immigration Purposes


On Monday, October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear seven same-sex marriage cases, allowing the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals in favor of same-sex marriage to stand.  Colorado is one of the states affected by this decision.  A cascade of events rapidly unfolded Tuesday, removing all legal impediments to issuing marriage licenses in the state.  Colorado Attorney General John Suthers ...


DACA Renewal Procedure Announced Today


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the process for renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status today, June 5, 2014.  DACA is a grant of prosecutorial discretion—essentially a promise not to deport an individual during the period authorized.  DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children before the age of 16, who satisfied all requirements, to earn work authorization and the accompan ...


I Wasn’t Selected in the H-1B Lottery: Now What?


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last week it had completed the lottery to select applications for the 65,000 regular cap and 20,000 more U.S. masters cap H-1B visas for the next fiscal year.  From the start of the filing period on April 1 through April 10, 2014, approximately 172,000 petitions had been filed.  Employers will either receive a receipt notice indicating they were selected, or their complete filing back in the mail.  Due to the extreme s ...


Law Enforcement Certification: A determinative step in your U visa case


Applying for a U nonimmigrant status—a lawful, temporary status for immigrant victims of certain crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault, who are helpful to law enforcement—is a lengthy process that is only possible with the essential signature known as the law enforcement certification. 

Requesting a law enforcement certification is the first step in the application process.   Police, sheriffs, district and city attorneys, judges and other agenc ...


Federal Government Partial Shut-Down Affects Some Immigration Cases


The federal government has shut down operations considered “non-essential” as of October 1, 2013, because Congress has failed to authorize adequate funding for the government.  This will affect some immigration cases immediately.  If the shutdown continues for an extended timeframe, it will likely have more extensive effects.  For now, here is some important information:

  • The downtown Denver immigration court is closed for business.   ...


Business Leaders Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform, (And With Good Reason)


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recently spoke out publicly in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, urging changes to our system that would support the growth of the tech industry and allow the undocumented to pursue their dreams1.  Zuckerberg made his comments before the screening of “Documented,” a film by Jose Antonio Vargas, a high profile undocumented immigrant and journalist.  

This came just a few months after th ...


Attorney Kristin Knudson Talks Immigration Reform with El Comercio de Colorado


In an interview (in Spanish) with Attorney Kristin Knudson published in El Comercio de Coloradoon July 11, 2013, she opines the Senate's version of the immigration reform bill contains many positive provisions that would allow some undocumented individuals to start on a path to citizenship, if the law were to go into effect.  Ms. Knudson explains some of the limitations of the law, including that it includes several new grounds of inadmissibility for those with even minor crimin ...


Kristin Knudson Speaks About Immigration Reform


In an article published in El Comercio de Colorado (in Spanish) on June 27, 2013 about the immigration reform forum hosted by Mi Familia Vota and Regis University's bilingual campus, Attorney Kristin Knudson explained the significance of the Senate passing the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.  Although it is a giant step forward for comprehensive immigration reform, the law also must be passed by the House of Representatives a ...


The Supreme Court Strikes Down The Defense Of Marriage Act


Same-Sex Spouses May Now File Petitions Under the Immigration Laws


Yesterday, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as between a man and a woman in the case United States v. Windsor. This definition excluded same-sex spouses from receiving the same treatment as other spouses under federal law.

For immigration purposes, DOMA meant that many legally married ...


Immigration Reform: What Now for Those It Would Benefit?


The proposed immigration legislation contains many new provisions that would overhaul the Immigration and Nationality Act as it exists today. Still, the focus of the commentary and controversy is the registration of an estimated eight million of our nation’s undocumented as “Registered Provisional Immigrants,” starting those individuals down an eventual path to citizenship. Even though immigration reform has not passed, it may not pass, and if it does, it is not clear at thi ...


Colorado ASSET bill qualifies undocumented students for in-state tuition


After many years in the works, Colorado's Governor John Hikenlooper signed Senate Bill 33, the ASSET bill, into law on April 29, 2013. This gives qualifying undocumented students residing in the state of Colorado the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, drastically reducing the cost of a college education. Essentially, this means that many more people will now be able to afford college in Col ...


Driver’s Licenses for Colorado’s Undocumented


Multiple states, including Colorado, have moved in favor of promoting public safety despite vocal opposition by providing undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses.

On June 5, 2013, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper privately signed a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain Colorado driver’s licenses s ...