Monday, December 17, 2018

Provisional Stateside Waiver Approved

Provisional Stateside Waiver approved for a citizen of India. The immigrant visa application is in process, and once issued will allow our client, a spouse of a naturalized United States citizen, to return to this country with a Green Card.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Asylum Approved for Citizen of Yemen

Another asylum application approved, this time on behalf of a citizen of Yemen, overcoming Trump's travel ban. The application was affirmatively filed in August 2018, and was approved by the Trump administration 45 days after the interview was scheduled The next step is to reunite our client with her husband.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Retired Judges Call on ICE to Halt Immigration Arrests at Courthouses

For Immediate Release:
December 12, 2018

Retired Judges Call on ICE to Halt Immigration Arrests at Courthouses

68 Former Judges from 23 States Urge ICE Acting Director to Treat Courthouses Like Schools & Hospitals, Where ICE Limits Arrests

Today, a prominent group of former state and federal judges sent a letter to the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), urging ICE to halt arrests at courthouses. In particular, the judges are calling on ICE to add courthouses to its list of “sensitive locations,” where ICE is prohibited from conducting activities like surveillance, apprehensions, arrests, interviews, or searches. The judges calling for this change include 25 former state supreme court justices and 10 chief justices from across the political and ideological spectrum.

“We know firsthand that for courts to effectively do justice, ensure public safety, and serve their communities, the public must be able to access courthouses safely and without fear of retribution,” the judges wrote to ICE’s acting director Ronald Vitiello.

In the last two years, courthouse immigration arrests have grown in frequency. In 2017, immigration advocates, prosecutors, and sitting state chief justices asked the prior ICE director to stop courthouse arrests. ICE responded by formalizing its courthouse arrests policy for the first time, pledging to limit them in some circumstances, but made clear that such apprehensions would continue. At least 23 states have seen courthouse immigration arrests since 2017.

“Following nearly two years of high-profile ICE courthouse activity, only unequivocal guarantees and protections will restore the public’s confidence that it can safely pursue justice in our nation’s courts,” the judges wrote. “We urge you to restore that confidence by adding courthouses to ICE’s list of ‘sensitive locations,’ thereby assuring officers will refrain from courthouse enforcement activities except in exigent circumstances.”

In today’s letter – coordinated in part by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law – the judges wrote those arrests are having a chilling effect, dissuading victims of violence, criminal defendants, and parents seeking to protect their children from seeking protection and justice. Data from cities in California and Texas also show that Latino residents are seeking fewer orders of protection than they have in the past. The trend suggests that in the face of aggressive immigration enforcement, survivors of domestic violence are balancing the fear of an abuser with the fear of ICE. In Brooklyn and Denver, district attorneys acknowledged dropping cases due to witnesses’ fear that cooperating could lead to immigration trouble for them.

For 25 years, ICE has maintained a “sensitive locations” policy to not conduct enforcement activities in places such as schools, hospitals, religious institutions, and public demonstrations. The outspoken group of judges makes clear that so long as courts remain unsafe places for certain communities, justice cannot be fully applied.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country's systems of democracy and justice.

Link to the release:


Monday, December 10, 2018

A Review From a Satisfied Client

After receiving the notice for my case, I was wrought with uncertainty and worry. I did not know the next steps I should take. After hearing many accolades of his work, I went to discuss my matter with Matthew Kolken. While I did not know what to do, Kolken laid out the process for me step by step and he did not fail to deliver on any of his assurances. Not only did he keep me informed throughout the entire process, he also fielded my many questions and was quick to have me in his office for an in person meeting whenever I asked.
Kolken’s passion and determination was evident both in the courtroom, and in the office. He knew every detail of my case inside and out, and worked tirelessly. Although it was an unnerving process, I felt comfort in knowing the team in charge of my case was one of tenacity and skill. The entire Kolken & Kolken team was invested in the process from start to finish. They all worked so hard on my case. Matthew Kolken is a man of his word, he put me at ease throughout the entire process, and it is with great joy I can say that he was successful in winning my case. I recommend Matthew Kolken’s services wholeheartedly and without reservation, to anyone in need of immigration assistance.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Asylum Victory for Citizen of Pakistan

Another asylum victory before the immigration judge on behalf of an Ahmadi Muslim from Pakistan who fled persecution on account of his religious beliefs. The victory was in the face of the Department's strenuous opposition.