Discussion Points for Punto Legal- April 12, 2017

1. Visa Bulletin.

The May 2017 visa bulletin is out. The cut-off date for spouses and children of residents from Mexico is June 22, 2015. Last month it was at May 22, 2015. The cut-off date for brothers and sisters of citizens from Mexico is July 1, 1997. Last month it was June 15, 1997.

2. Attorney General Issues Memo on Prioritizing Prosecutions of Immigration-Related Cases

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors announcing a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement. He said the following crimes should be given priority: transportation or harboring of undocumented immigrants, illegal re-entry, and aggravated identity theft. He also called for each District to designate a Border Security Coordinator by April 18, 2017.

This means that the U.S. attorney in Colorado will have to appoint a Border Security Coordinator and we will see some new types of immigration prosecutions in Colorado.

3. DUI's and DACA.

As most of you know, a DUI disqualifies you from DACA. Colorado has a lesser offense called DWAI-Driving While Ability Impaired. A DWAI also disqualifies you from DACA. But what if you get a deferred sentence to a DUI or DWAI? You may be able to get or keep your DACA if you have deferred sentence to a DUI. In immigration law, ordinarily a deferred sentence is treated just like a straight conviction. But under a special DACA rule, it is treated as an expungement if you successfully complete the deferred sentence. In a deferred sentence arrangement, you plead guilty to an offense. There are things you have to do and conditions you have to meet. If you successfully complete the deferred sentence, the charge is dismissed for the purpose of Colorado law. Once you complete the deferred sentence, you may ask for DACA. The immigration service says it will look at deferred sentences on case by case basis. We have handle three of these cases and been successful each time.