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Discussion Points for Punto Legal –November 20, 2019

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1. 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.

2. DACA.

Last week we talked about the arguments before the Supreme Court in the DACA case. Most observers think the Court will allow the Trump Administration to end DACA. The Supreme Court decision could come out in a month or on the last day of the Court’s term, that is, on June 30, 2020. What should you do if you need DACA to work for the next two years? Apply to renew your DACA now. The immigration service is still renewing DACA’s. Don’t wait until the Supreme Court’s decision comes out.

3. 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.

4. 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. 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?

In addition the cost of DACA renewals will go up. The Administration is not offering any evidence that this fee increase will reverse its slow and erratic service for immigration benefits.

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.