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Discussion Points for Punto Legal –December 04, 2019

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1. Immigration Service Fee Increase.

The Trump Administration is proposing to increase immigration fees in the very near future. The overall fee increase is 21%. But fees for citizenship would increase by more than 80%, from $725 to $1,170. For marriage-based green cards filed within the United States-that is, for adjustment of status–application fees would increase by 56%, from $1,760 to $2,750. That is a $1,000.00 fee increase. I think the fee increases will take effect in early 2020. Do you get the feeling that President Trump doesn’t want new citizens or new permanent residents?

After President Trump took office, the immigration service became slow and erratic. So this fee increase is an insult.

If you believe you can fix your papers because of a marriage or a citizen child turning 21 and want to avoid the fee increases, come see us soon.

The cost of DACA renewals will also go up. If you need DACA for two more years, you should renew as soon as possible for two reasons: To beat the fee increase and get ahead of a bad DACA decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

2. Some Good News.

By now, you know about the SB-251 driver’s license. That is the license for undocumented immigrants in Colorado. You also know how difficult it has been to get appointments for the license. Now DMV offices in five more Colorado communities will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and ID cards beginning next year. On January 2, the DMV office in Glenwood Springs will offer SB-251 licenses and ID cards.

3. New Spanish-speaking criminal defense lawyer.

We have a new Spanish-speaking criminal defense abogado. His name is Brian Roche. Brian is fluent in Spanish. He has seen a lot of criminal cases as a public defender in Denver. And he served as prosecutor in Eagle County. Working as a prosecutor actually makes you a better defense lawyer. Now you can hire a lawyer who is ready to defend you and explain everything to you in Spanish.