Discussion Points for Punto Legal- May 4, 2016

  1. Do you know what the Board of Immigration Appeals is? The Board of Immigration Appeals is where you go if you lose in immigration court before an immigration judge. This is also where the Government can go to appeal if you win your case in immigration court. The Board of Immigration Appeals is the most powerful body in the United States for interpreting immigration law. It is also where you go if your

    I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is denied by the immigration service. Let me give you an example.

    In a case just decided, a U.S. citizen brother filed a petition for his sister. The petitioner submitted delayed birth certificates for himself and the beneficiary, along with an undated family photograph and an affidavit from two persons asserting that they are relatives who had knowledge of the brother-sister relationship. The birth certificates, which showed that the petitioner and the beneficiary were both born to the same father and mother, were issued more than 25 years after their births. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said that this evidence was insufficient to establish the claimed relationship. In response to the request for additional evidence, the two submitted DNA test results. An accredited lab that performed the testing submitted a report indicating that there was a 99.8% chance that the parties were full siblings. The immigration service had a policy that said that only DNA testing performed between children and a common parent would be considered in adjudicating brother-sister visa petitions. The Board stated that DNA results should be considered in this type of case and told the immigration service to reconsider its denial.

  2. The Department of Homeland Security proposed a new fee schedule for government immigration forms. Overall, the fee increase is 21%, but the application for citizenship will cost less. Here are some examples of the price increases: The I-485 application to fix your papers in the U.S. goes from $1,070.00 to $1,140.00. The advance travel document goes from $360.00 to $575.00. If you are thinking about applying for an immigration benefit, you will save money if you move ahead now-before the prices go up.

  3. Colorado State Bill on Notarios

    This bill prohibits anyone other than attorneys from helping an immigrant select an immigration program; assisting, advising, or selecting the answers on an immigration form; preparing documents in an immigration matter; explaining a question on a form; or taking money to prepare an immigration document in the future.

    For example, it is illegal to take money in anticipation that DAPA will happen.

    Notarios may not state orally or in writing or on a website or a business card that he or she is a NOTARIO PUBLICO, NOTARIO, IMMIGRATION ASSISTANT, IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, IMMIGRATION SPECIALIST, or anything similar.

    Finally, notarios who advertise is Spanish or another foreign language must include the following language in their ad:

    I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF COLORADO AND I MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT, NOR AM I AN EXPERT ON IMMIGRATION MATTERS.