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 their own, and were stranded without lawful status or work authorization.
The end to this program is supposed to be implemented gradually over six months. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the immigration agency in charge of reviewing and deciding DACA cases, has reported it will accept applications until October 5, 2017, for DACA renewals for individuals whose current work authorizations expire on or before March 5, 2018. No new applications for initial DACA will be accepted. Applications that are currently pending (filed before September 5, 2017) are supposed to be adjudicated. We expect to receive more detail over the next weeks and months.
In the past several days, grassroots organizations and Senators and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle have spoken out to oppose the end of DACA, and to call for the Dream Act to be passed. The Dream Act would provide a path to residency and citizenship for individuals who have DACA or meet similar requirements as the DACA program, if passed into law. The Dream Act has failed to pass for many years. But it's possible that the end of DACA will light a fire under Congress to protect this vulnerable and deserving population.
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 ...
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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:
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
The TPS designation for Nepal is effective today, June 24, 2015, and w ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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:
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 ...More
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:
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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:
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More
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 ...More