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Discussion Points for Punto Legal –January 02, 2019

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1. Happy New Year.

We are looking forward to 2019. In spite of President Trump’s effort to make it harder to immigrate, we are still fixing papers for the Latino immigrant community. We will continue to do so in 2019.

2. The Federal Government Shut-Down.

Portions of the federal government are shut down because no money has been appropriated by law to keep them in business. This is stand-off over the border wall with Mexico. But, the immigration service is open, largely because of the hefty government fees immigrants pay for immigration services. The immigration court system is another matter. The immigration court system is located in the Department of Justice, not the Department of Homeland Security. The normal immigration court system-that is, the court in downtown Denver-is shut down. They will have to reschedule cases that could not be heard because of the shut-down. On the other hand, the immigration court at the ICE detention facility in Aurora is open and is handling immigration bond and other cases for immigrants who are locked up. If you have a questions about an immigration court hearing, call me now and I will give you an 800 number so that you can check on your immigration court case.

3. 2018 ICE Statistics

I want to tell you about the 2018 ICE Enforcement and Deportation report I reviewed today. In 2018, ICE made 159,000 administrative arrests. These are civil arrests for being in the U.S. without permission or without documents. 87 percent of these arrests were of immigrants either convicted of a criminal offense or who had pending criminal charges. In other words, only 13 percent of all of ICE arrests were for immigrants with no criminal charges. Of the 20,464, immigrants, who did not have criminal charges, but who were arrested by ICE, 57 percent were put in immigration court. 23 percent had old orders of deportation, which were enforced by ICE. These statistics show– to a remarkable degree– that ICE is focused on people with criminal charges. And ICE, so far, has not made a concerted effort to arrest people with outstanding deportation orders. So if you stay out of trouble with the law, your chances of remaining the in U.S. much improved.

4. Criminal Practice at Ted Hess & Associates.

We have a criminal defense attorney who speaks Spanish! His name is Sam Crary. Sam is busy in the criminal cases in Eagle County and Glenwood Springs. He is handling a variety of criminal cases from DUI cases to sexual assault cases. He also understands immigration law. Now, you don’t have hire an American attorney-who can’t speak Spanish and does not understand immigration law. You can hire a criminal defense attorney who will (1) defend you in court, (2) know immigration law and (3) explain everything in Spanish.