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Discussion Points for Punto Legal –October 16, 2019

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1. New Spanish-speaking criminal defense lawyer.

We have a new Spanish-speaking criminal defense abodgado. 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. The Public Charge Rule.

On Friday, federal judges in three states – New York, California and Washington – issued temporary injunctions against the Trump administration’s "public charge" rule, preventing it from taking effect today.

The controversial rule would make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards if it looks as though they might need public assistance in the future.

The New York judge said: "The Rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification. It is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility. Immigrants have always come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their posterity. With or without help, most succeed."

As you know, the rule is just one in a series of efforts by the White House to limit both legal immigration to the U.S.

3. State Department’s Public Charge Rule.

Keep in mind that the public charge rule we have discussed applied only to immigrants fixing their papers in the U.S. If you are fixing your papers outside the U.S, for example, in Ciudad Jaurez, then State Department rules apply. A separate State Department public charge rule will take effect today-but it won’t be implemented until a new form is approved. The State Department public charge rule may apply in the near future to your spouse, child, or mother who is fixing his or her papers outside the U.S.

Just six days ago, the Department of State (DOS) issued a rule without any prior notice and comment instructing how consular officers will determine whether an alien is ineligible for a visa because he or she is likely to become a public charge. The rule was issued to make the State Department’s rule conform to the DHS’s rule we have discussed all along. The Department of States says it will be issuing a new form, the DS-5540, Public Charge Questionnaire. The DS-5540 will be required for use by applicants to help consular officers decide whether to approve you or exclude you as a public charge.

Another complication of this issue is the October 4, 2019 Proclamation issued by President Trump suspending entry of immigrants who do not have approved health coverage or the ability to pay for foreseeable medical issues within 30 days of entering the United States. The proclamation becomes effective on November 3, 2019.