Minnesota Construction Law Services adds Immigration Counsel as Supreme Court DAPA Ruling Approaches

Attorney Courtney Ernston photoMinnesota Construction Law Services is dedicated to serving owner-operated construction firms. Because many construction companies are owned by or employ immigrants, we have retained immigration attorney Courtney Ernston to further serve our clients’ needs.

It is especially important to have competent immigration counsel this year because the Supreme Court is scheduled to vote in June on whether to uphold President Obama’s executive order on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

DAPA Benefits and Requirements

If DAPA is upheld, social security cards and work permits will be available to individuals who have:

  • resided in the United States continuously since 2010 and on the date of their DAPA application
  • were physically present in the United States on Nov. 20, 2014
  • had no lawful status on Nov. 20, 2014
  • have a child who is a U.S. citizen born on or before Nov. 20, 2014, or a lawful permanent resident
  • have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more minor misdemeanors.

Under Deferred Action, immigration officials may offer an individual protection from deportation for up to three years. If granted, the person would receive a work permit and protection from deportation unless revoked or terminated for cause. However, undocumented immigrants who have committed felonies or serious misdemeanors, are gang members or who unlawfully entered the United States after January 1, 2014, still are considered priorities for deportation. If they petition for deferred action, it could trigger deportation.

If the Supreme Court upholds DAPA, MNCLS will offer its contractor and business clients and their employees, expedited, low-cost DAPA petitions. Business owners may want to offer this service to retain or recruit workers. DAPA petitions cannot be submitted until and unless the Supreme Court rules.

Courtney Brings Broad Immigration and Construction Experience

Courtney has worked at her family construction business for 12 years, where she learned  first hand the challenges that contractors face.  Her primary practice areas in both law school and as an attorney have been in the immigration and small business sector.

Courtney graduated from the University of Minnesota and received her JD from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where she founded the Oklahoma International Law Society. She received the Pros for Africa Fellowship her first year and spent the summer in Kampala, Uganda working with the local government. She spent her last semester in Costa Rica working for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She also traveled to  Colombia to work with indigenous tribal leaders. After law school, Courtney lived in Daegu, South Korea, where she taught English and worked with human rights organizations.  Most recently, she has been involved in an initiative with the Minnesota State Bar Association in Kosovo.  

Contact Minnesota Construction Law Services now to be prepared for DAPA.

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