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Why was my hearing scheduled for November 29, 2019? – Immigration Black Friday

Respondents in removal proceedings have been having their upcoming hearings rescheduled in recent months, to a date in 2019. This date happens to be the day following Thanksgiving in 2019. Over the past several months, many immigration courts around the country, including Denver, have been vacating or cancelling scheduled hearings and resetting those hearings to November 29, 2019. This date, however, is merely a “place holder” on the court’s docket to...
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2719 Hits

Updating Gender Markers on Immigration Documents

For several years now, USCIS has permitted its customers to update gender markers on their immigration documents, such as work permits, green cards, and other documents. The process for doing so is a very relaxed process. Transgender and intersex people can file fairly easily-accessed documentation, and USCIS has been very responsive to those who wish to update their records. This process was memorialized with temporary guidance issued by the agency on...
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2323 Hits

Bryon M. Large to Present at AILA Conference in Rio de Janeiro

Kolko & Associates, P.C., is pleased to announce that Senior Associate Attorney, Bryon M. Large, has been invited to present to the Latin American and Caribbean Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at its annual conference, being held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 6, 2015. Bryon will be presenting on complex grounds of inadmissibility and waivers, discussing criminal grounds of inadmissibility, fraud, administrative processing, and...
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2115 Hits

Some H-4 Visa Holders to Receive Employment Authorization

USCIS has announced that it will extend employment authorization to some non-immigrants in H-4 visa status. This is very welcome news for spouses of some H-1B visa holders. Beginning May 26, 2015, some H-4 visa holders will be granted employment authorization. To qualify, the H-4 visa holder must be married to an H-1B visa holder. In addition, the H-1B visa holder must either be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140...
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2302 Hits

Travel Permits Available for DACA Applicants

USCIS’s preview instructions for the updated DACA request form, Form I-821D, show that DACA requesters may additionally apply for advance parole at the same time as filing for DACA. This appears to be available for both initial requesters and DACA renewals. Effectively, this means that DACA requesters will not have to wait until their DACA request is approved to send in their advance parole (travel permit) filing. Both packets can be...
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2502 Hits

The Stocking Stuffers – What Santa Left Us, Besides Just Deferred Action

Kolko Staff Christmas Stockings 2014
While wide-spread immigration relief was something we were all excited to see during this holiday season, there was much more than simple deferred action left for us.  Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (“DAPA”) will provide much needed relief for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and that’s easily the biggest gift left for us under the Christmas tree this year, but we shouldn’t overlook all of the great things...
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2609 Hits

Kolko Attorneys Participate in Artesia Pro Bono Efforts

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Earlier this month, our attorneys had an opportunity to participate in pro bono efforts, assisting detained women and children in Artesia, New Mexico, from the Denver Immigration Court. Women and children refugees, fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, have been approaching the southern border, seeking refuge, in record numbers over the past several months.  Most cross into the United States, and immediately seek Border Patrol officers and request asylum...
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Expansion of the OPT Program Expected

As part of the President’s administrative action on immigration, the administration announced a program to reform the Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) program. OPT is a program for F-1 student visa holders to seek an additional 12 months in status to seek temporary employment in their field of study. Secretary Johnson has asked USCIS and ICE to develop a program to extend benefits and expand programs eligible for OPT, as well as...
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2403 Hits

Provisions to Promote Research and Development in the United States Announced

As part of the President’s administrative program to expand immigration benefits under current law, two important aspects related to research and development in the United States are included. First, DHS Secretary Johnson directed USCIS to issue guidance or promulgate regulations to clarify the standard for which a National Interest Waiver might be granted. A National Interest Waiver permits certain non-residents to seek lawful permanent residency without an employer sponsor if they...
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USCIS to Clarify “Same or Similar”

Among the announcements made during President Obama’s administrative immigration reform on November 20, 2014, was the announcement that USCIS is being directed to clarify the term “same or similar” pursuant to AC21. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson directed USCIS to issue written guidance clarifying what constitutes a “same or similar” job under current law. Secretary Johnson cites a difficulty with qualified immigrants seeking new job opportunities or promotion opportunities due to the...
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2476 Hits

USCIS to Clarify “Extreme Hardship” and Adjudicate I-601 and I-601A Waivers More Consistently

On November 20, 2014, related to the President’s executive order on administrative immigration reforms, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a memorandum directing USCIS to issue guidance on the definition of “extreme hardship.” “Extreme hardship” is a legal term of art, and is the basis for qualifying for various types of waivers, including an unlawful presence waiver prior to immigrating to the United States. This is a very commonly sought waiver...
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3844 Hits

Administrative Relief Announcement Expected Soon

Pro-immigration advocates expect the White House to announce administrative relief to millions of undocumented individuals currently residing inside the United States. The President has signaled that he would act on his own before the end of the year if Congress does not act. Pressure has been mounting on the White House to act in the absence of a comprehensive immigration reform law from Congress. The immigration system is overloaded and the...
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2319 Hits

ICE Closing Controversial Artesia Facility

Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") announced yesterday that it would be closing its controversial family detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, by the end of the year. ICE, in claiming that the Artesia facility had always been temporary in nature, announced that a new residential facility in Dilley, Texas, would be operational by December. The Artesia facility opened in response to a surge in Central American refugee seekers in the spring...
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2239 Hits

How Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Made Colorado a Marriage Equality State

Marriage equality is now the law of the land in Colorado! This morning, the United States Supreme Court declined to review seven cases involving marriage equality decisions. By declining to hear the cases, this gave the legal effect of marriage equality in Colorado and several other states. County clerks around the state are now scrambling to update computer systems and begin issuing licenses. Some counties, including Pueblo County, have already started...
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2569 Hits

Adam Walsh Act and Immigration

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law in 2006 with very good intentions. However, in the realm of immigration, part of the Adam Walsh Act prohibits some United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from filing visa petitions for their family members if they have been convicted of a crime specified in the Act. This has created serious obstacles, mostly for American citizens, who wish to...
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8285 Hits

Marijuana – A Menace in Immigration

Colorado and Washington have recently legalized marijuana use and possession in small quantities. In fact, they join a total of 23 states and the District of Columbia which have some sort of permissible marijuana use, including medical marijuana. 14 states have decriminalized its possession or use. However, marijuana possession and use are still crimes for federal purposes as they are Schedule I substances regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. This brings...
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3514 Hits

Domestic Violence Victims Protected Under Asylum Law

  This week, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a landmark ruling, Matter of A-R-C-G, recognizing domestic violence survivors as a particular social group under American asylum law. The decision expands the domestic violence social group and clarifies the state of the law for other people seeking refuge in the United States when their governments cannot or will not help them. The respondent in A-R-C-G- was a Guatemalan woman who had...
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2357 Hits

Entering the United States? There’s an App for That!

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  Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection launched a mobile app to expedite the entry process into the United States. The app can only be used for entry at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for now as part of a pilot program, but shows the direction CBP is moving with regard to paperless travel nationally. Following the app download, travelers will create a profile with passport information. Upon arrival to...
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2590 Hits

CBP Issues New Customs Declaration Form, Expands Definition of Family

Customs and Border Protection announced yesterday that it issued a new updated Form 6059B Customs Declaration Form that expands the definition of family members. The form indicates that “the term ‘family’ is defined as ‘members of a family residing in the same household who are related by blood, marriage, domestic relationship, or adoption.’” The updated language allows more people entering the United States to file a joint customs declaration and reduces...
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2842 Hits

Denver Post Highlights Unaccompanied Migrant Children Issue

This past Sunday, the Denver Post ran an article discussing a local effort to mobilize assistance to help out in the present refugee crisis at our border. Managing Attorney, David Kolko, was featured in the report.   The article, available here, discusses how local attorneys and non-governmental organizations are coordinating efforts to provide assistance to children who end up in Colorado. Mr. Kolko, as the current Chair of the Colorado Chapter...
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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.