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Immigration Denver News: Obama Will Seek Citizenship Path in One Fast Push


“WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of theimmigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week.

Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, the officials said, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces — separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farmworkers or highly skilled foreigners — which might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept.

The president and Democrats will also oppose measures that do not allow immigrants who gain legal status to become American citizens one day, the officials said.

Even while Mr. Obama has been focused on fiscal negotiations and gun control, overhauling immigration remains a priority for him this year, White House officials said. Top officials there have been quietly working on a broad proposal. Mr. Obama and lawmakers from both parties believe that the early months of his second term offer the best prospects for passing substantial legislation on the issue.

Mr. Obama is expected to lay out his plan in the coming weeks, perhaps in his State of the Union address early next month, administration officials said. The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status, the officials said.

The president’s plan would also impose nationwide verification of legal status for all newly hired workers; add visas to relieve backlogs and allow highly skilled immigrants to stay; and create some form of guest-worker program to bring in low-wage immigrants in the future.

A bipartisan group of senators has also been meeting to write a comprehensive bill, with the goal of introducing legislation as early as March and holding a vote in the Senate before August. As a sign of the keen interest in starting action on immigration, White House officials and Democratic leaders in the Senate have been negotiating over which of them will first introduce a bill, Senate aides said.

“This is so important now to both parties that neither the fiscal cliff nor guns will get in the way,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a Democrat who is a leader of the bipartisan discussions.

A similar attempt at bipartisan legislation early in Mr. Obama’s first term collapsed amid political divisions fueled by surging public wrath over illegal immigration in many states. But both supporters and opponents say conditions are significantly different now.

Memories of the results of the November election are still fresh here. Latinos, the nation’s fastest-growing electorate, turned out in record numbers and cast 71 percent of their ballots for Mr. Obama. Many Latinos said they were put off by Republicans’ harsh language and policies against illegal immigrants.

After the election, a host of Republicans, starting with Speaker John A. Boehner, said it was time for the party to find a more positive, practical approach to immigration. Many party leaders say electoral demographics are compelling them to move beyond policies based only on tough enforcement.

Supporters of comprehensive changes say that the elections were nothing less than a mandate in their favor, and that they are still optimistic that Mr. Obama is prepared to lead the fight.

“Republicans must demonstrate a reasoned approach to start to rebuild their relationship with Latino voters,” said Clarissa Martinez de Castro, the director of immigration policy at the National Council of La Raza, a Latino organization. “Democrats must demonstrate they can deliver on a promise.”

Since the election, Mr. Obama has repeatedly pledged to act on immigration this year. In his weekly radio address on Saturday, he again referred to the urgency of fixing the immigration system, saying it was one of the “difficult missions” the country must take on.

Parallel to the White House effort, Mr. Schumer and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican, have been meeting with a group of at least four other colleagues to write a bill. Republicans who have participated include John McCain of Arizona, who has supported comprehensive legislation in the past; Jeff Flake, also of Arizona, who is newly elected to the Senate; and Mike Lee of Utah. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida participated in one meeting last month.

Democrats in the meetings include Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat; Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado.”

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Immigration Lawyer in Denver Colorado

Deferred Action for DREAMers!

The Dream Begins: Immigration is accepting Deferred Action requests


The Dream Begins: Immigration is accepting Deferred Action requests


Aretz & Heise Immigration applauds Immigration’s on-time implementation of the promised Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, originally announced on June 15, 2012.   While not a permanent fix, the deferred action initiative gives new hope to young people who qualify to live free from fear of deportation.  The guidelines, which can be found on our website at are seemingly straightforward, although there are a number of potential issues that may arise in a person’s request.

“This is a tremendous initiative on the part of DHS and USCIS, and a tremendous opportunity for young people who were brought to the United States; for many the United States is the only country they know,” said AILA President Laura Lichter.

Lichter continues, “there are potentially over a million young people eager to take a first step forward into a promising future. The best thing they can do is to educate themselves so they don’t get scammed. While many will be successful in requesting deferred action, immigration law is extremely complex. No one considering applying should do so without first consulting with qualified counsel, whether one-on-one with a lawyer, or through one of the many community programs providing immigration services or pro bono programs in which AILA lawyers throughout the country are participating.”

It is important to note that although Immigration has begun accepting requests, as of August 15, 2012, there is no deadline for filing!   Therefore, it is highly recommended to first review your case legally with a reputable attorney before submitting your case to Immigration.  “Having the right advocate on your side is absolutely essential,” Lichter said.

We look forward to USCIS conducting these reviews promptly and efficiently, but as of now, Immigation advises that the process will likely take “several months.”

For more information about this program and to review your eligiblity with experienced and caring immigration attorneys, call  Aretz & Heise Immigration TODAY at 303-495-2013.

The Obama Administration Announces Deferred Action Program for DREAMers


On June 15th, the Obama administration announced that it will temporarily stop deporting certain young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements.

Under the new policy, people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military are eligible for this temporary authorization to remain in the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

It also will allow those meeting the requirements to apply for work permits, Napolitano said, adding that participants must be in the United States now and be able to prove they have been living in the country continuously for at least five years.

The change is part of an effort by the Department of Homeland Security to target resources at undocumented immigrants who pose a greater threat, such as those with criminal histories and those trying to enter the country now, Napolitano said, adding it was “well within the framework of existing laws.”

Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, in the form of deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:

1.) Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;

2.) Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

3.) Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

4.) Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

5.) Are not above the age of thirty.

Final details are still being worked out of exactly how this program will develop and how requests for Deferred Action should be submitted.  Aretz & Heise Immigration is available to meet with individuals to conduct consultations and, if eligible, to assist young people in applying for this program.  Call(303) 495-2013  today to determine whether this is a program that will benefit you or your family member! 


For more information call Aretz & Heise Immigration, Immigration Lawyers in Denver Colorado


The “Detention-Bed Mandate”

On Tuesday, November 19, National Public Radio (NPR) aired a story from the Department of Homeland Security’s detention center in Florence, Arizona, highlighting the large number of people currently held in immigration detention centers nationwide. All 34,000 beds in 250 detention facilities are full, thanks to Congress’s 2009 “detention-bed mandate,” in which Congress instructed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to operate detention facilities at maximum capacity. To meet this high quota, police and immigration officials have ramped up arrests of undocumented aliens. Anyone who lacks the proper residency documents can be detained in ICE facilities, even those with no criminal record. Francisco Rincon, a Mexican national with no prior trouble with the law, told NPR that he was arrested when he took a wrong turn in Tuscon, Arizona, and was subsequently detained for three weeks. Like Rincon, many of the 34,000 currently detained aliens found themselves in detention when they were arrested for minor traffic or criminal violations.

Each detained alien costs taxpayers $120 per day, and the “detention-bed mandate” is estimated to run a total of $2 billion a year. Supporters, like Rep. Hal Rogers (R- KY), believe that the bed mandate is necessary to compel the enforcement of existing immigration laws. Opponents believe that less expensive alternatives, like GPS-monitored ankle bracelets and routine check-ins with ICE, which cost a fraction of the price of detention, are sufficient to ensure the achievement of USCIS and ICE objectives. Those in favor of tougher enforcement vehemently disagree with this contention, citing the roughly 870,000 immigrants who have remained in the United States in hiding after receiving deportation orders. The debate continues in Congress, where the Senate passed a bill earlier this year calling for increased use of alternatives to detention, but the House has yet to pass any similar provisions.

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