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At the same time, the memo withdrew two other key immigration protections, one that would have expanded DACA and DAPA, which would have protected undocumented parents of citizens and legal permanent residents. Neither of these programs had been implemented because they have been held up in the court system for over a year.
Keeping the original DACA program in place is absolutely critical for 800,000 beneficiaries, their families, and our nation. Administration officials have also said to various news outlets that no permanent decision on DACA has yet been made. We need to keep fighting to keep this program in place and for a clear public signal – but we also can’t let Congress off the hook for the permanent solution our nation desperately deserves and needs.
The 800,000 hardworking young people whose lives have been transformed by this program are going to continue contributing to and improving our country every day, and they deserve a firm commitment from the Administration and Congress that they will continue to be allowed to live and work in America.
Individual people-to-people travel is educational travel that: (i) does not involve academic study pursuant to a degree program; and (ii) does not take place under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. The President instructed Treasury to issue regulations that will end individual people-to-people travel.
Yes. Group people-to-people travel is educational travel not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program that takes place under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Travelers utilizing this travel authorization must maintain a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.
The announced changes do not take effect until OFAC issues new regulations. Provided that the traveler has already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to the President’s announcement on June 16, 2017, all additional travel-related transactions for that trip would also be authorized, provided the travel-related transactions are consistent with OFAC’s regulations as of June 16, 2017.
The announced changes do not take effect until OFAC issues new regulations. Consistent with the Administration’s interest in not negatively impacting Americans for arranging lawful travel to Cuba, any travel-related arrangements that include direct transactions with entities related to the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services that may be implicated by the new Cuba policy will be permitted provided that those travel arrangements were initiated prior to the issuance of the forthcoming regulations.
Consistent with the Administration’s interest in not negatively impacting American businesses for engaging in lawful commercial opportunities, any Cuba-related commercial engagement that includes direct transactions with entities related to the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services that may be implicated by the new Cuba policy will be permitted provided that those commercial engagements were in place prior to the issuance of the forthcoming regulations.
No. The new policy will not change how persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction traveling to Cuba pursuant to the 12 categories of authorized travel may purchase their airline tickets.
The new policy will not result in changes to the other (non-individual people-to-people) authorizations for travel.]]>
Immigrants who have deportation orders and were allowed to stay in the country under the prior administration have become a target under President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies, with some getting arrested on the spot during check-ins with officers. These arrests have shocked family members and spread fear through immigrant communities.
Or, immigrants have been fitted with ankle-monitoring bracelets. Others have been released like they were during President Barack Obama’s administration in what appears to be a random series of decisions based more on detention space than public safety.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is tracking nearly 970,000 immigrants with deportation orders. The vast majority — 82 percent — have no criminal record, according to the agency. ICE declined to say how many must regularly report to authorities or are tracked by ankle monitors, and it is unclear how many are being arrested.
Trump boosted immigration arrests by 38 percent in the early days of his administration, but deportations fell from a year ago as activity on the U.S.-Mexico border slowed.
For authorities keen on showing they’re beefing up immigration enforcement, immigrants who already have deportation orders are seen as an easy target. They can be removed from the country more quickly than newly arrested immigrants, whose cases can drag on for years in immigration court proceedings and appeals.
Many immigrants with old deportation orders have lived in the United States for years and — despite having no legal status — set down roots here, which deportation agents were known to weigh to decide who was a priority for removal.]]>
These problems prompt Congress to pass the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, which required additional hiring measures including mandatory polygraph testing. This bill will now go to the Senate, where the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee passed a similar bill last month.]]>
DHS notice of request for emergency OMB approval and public comment on a new Form DS-5535, Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants, to collect information from visa applicants who have been determined to warrant additional scrutiny in connection with terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities. Comments are due 5/18/17. If granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. (82 FR 20956, 5/4/17)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Public Notice: 9984]
Notice of Information Collection Under OMB Emergency Review: Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants
ACTION: Notice of request for emergency OMB approval and public comment.
From the notice:
The Department proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in an application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:
Most of this information is already collected on visa applications but for a shorter time period, e.g. five years rather than fifteen years. Requests for names and dates of birth of siblings and, for some applicants, children are new. The request for social media identifiers and associated platforms is new for the Department of State, although it is already collected on a voluntary basis by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for certain individuals. Regarding travel history, applicants may be requested to provide details of their international or domestic (within their country of nationality) travel, if it appears to the consular officer that the applicant has been in an area while the area was under the operational control of a terrorist organization as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi). Applicants may be asked to recount or explain the details of their travel, and when possible, provide supporting documentation.]]>
After some time working with an aluminum manufacturing company, both he and the company realized they wanted to continue the relationship as he was the perfect fit for an opening they had after the training was completed. After consideration and long conversations with his family, he decided to accept the position and move here with his family permanently. They reached out to us to help with a way to make it happen.
The first option we offered was to apply for an H-1B visa to get a temporary work visa in the short term, so last year we helped the company to apply on P.C.’s behalf for him and his family. However, the H-1B did not work out because the government only grants a limited number of H-1B visas per year, and P.C.’s as petition was not selected in the H-1B lottery. We then had another meeting and offered to apply for an immigrant visa for him and proceeded with it with the company’s approval. The company is a manufacturing company located in a rural area in a very specialized industry and it is very difficult for them to find the right people with the skillset they need to fulfill their complex manufacturing needs.
We are happy to share that his green card has just been approved and both P.C. and the company are very pleased that he is here to stay for the long term.]]>
Immigrants have a long history in the U.S. military, dating back to the Civil War. An estimated 43 percent of Union soldiers were immigrants or the sons of immigrants.
Their contributions continue to this day. In 2016, for example:
An estimated 511,000 veterans living in the United States were foreign born.
The majority, (85 percent) of immigrant veterans became naturalized citizens.
2 million veterans come from an immigrant background—roughly 11 percent of all U.S. veterans.
Immigrants also make up an estimated 5 percent of today’s active-duty force. The Department of Defense has stated that around 18,000 noncitizens serve in the military at any given time, with 5,000 legal permanent residents (green card holders) enlisting annually.
Despite this and the foreign born’s ongoing dedication to American ideals, many immigrants who have risked their lives for their adopted country face serious immigration challenges.
For some immigrant veterans, the benefits—including citizenship—they believed they were also signing up for have yet to materialize. Beginning 2001, an expedited process for citizenship was established for eligible noncitizen military personnel in recognition of the risks that service members take on. Since then, nearly 110,000 service members have naturalized.
While the current administration has confirmed that the expedited path to citizenship for immigrants in the military is still in effect, veterans have come forward with their stories of the immigration battles they now face, after fighting for their adopted homeland.
While the government does not track deportations of veterans, a 2016 report by the American Civil Liberties Union counted at least 250 deportations of U.S. veterans since 1996, though other veteran support organizations estimate the real number is in the thousands.
Immigrants are vital to this country, and those who have served the United States in the armed forces deserve respect, due process, and support when they return home.]]>
Last week the WIL team was busier than usual.
Besides looking after and taking care of our clients, we attended a corporate relocation-focused conference where we met some very interesting corporations that work with ex-pats and immigrants and learned a lot about global mobility future trends. We also had some team building while making chocolate deliciousness.
Apprehensions normally go up and down over the year, and they were trending downward in the years before Trump was president. This was a result not only of intensified immigration enforcement, but also improving economic prospects in Mexico—as well as growth in the United States of the less-skilled jobs most commonly filled by undocumented immigrants.
As a result, there were more Mexicans in the United States heading back home from 2009 to 2014 than there were Mexicans coming to the United States. Regardless, declining apprehensions over the first four months of the Trump administration don’t mean that unauthorized immigration has fallen substantially. There are many factors aside from the administration’s rhetoric.
For example, cartels play a role in how many individuals cross the border, and there are reports that the price “coyotes” charge is on the rise. Higher costs could mean fewer people attempting to cross.
During the last few years the Mexican economy has improved and its unemployment rate is below 4%. More opportunity at home translates into fewer people leaving the country. The decline in apprehensions could also be due to the fact that the Border Patrol is unlawfully turning away asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
All of these factors make it very difficult to determine what is actually happening at the U.S.-Mexico border. There is no way to accurately measure the effectiveness of border-enforcement measures. The number of apprehensions is only assumed to reflect how many undocumented immigrants are trying to enter the country. But apprehension statistics don’t give any indication of how many undocumented immigrants actually make it into the country successfully.
Info from www.immigrationimpact.com
An attorney for President Trump is urging the court to focus on the religiously neutral text of Trump’s revised travel ban rather than the Republican’s anti-Muslim campaign statements.
Outside the courthouse, anti-ban protesters marched with signs and chanted. Inside the courthouse, the panel of judges questioned the attorneys about the constitutionality of the travel ban.
A major line of questions from the judges focused on whether President Trump’s campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. can be considered the intent of this ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries.
There is no date set for when the judges will announce their decision. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Hawaii will hear oral arguments on May 15 on the other injunction on the travel ban. If parties in either case choose to appeal their verdicts, the case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.]]>
Kirchner was the head of the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for the last 10 years. This has been designated as a hate group with proven ties to white supremacists and eugenicists. The organization was also very well known for its anti-immigrant positions.
If you wonder what the role of the ombudsman is, it is basically the nonbiased figure whose role is to give assistance to both immigrants and the Department of Homeland Security, independent from the influence of the agency or White House. In her new position, Kirchner will act in a number of roles, including as a connection between immigrants and their employers who are unable to resolve their immigration cases. She will also be responsible for submitting an annual report to Congress identifying and offering suggestions to fix issues with DHS.
Kirchner has called for reductions of refugee admissions and she has previously campaigned against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. During her term at FAIR, she helped launch an initiative to end the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship provision (it grants citizenship to all individuals born on U.S. soil, regardless of the status of their parents).
We believe that appointing Kirchner as Ombudsman undermines the purpose of the agency and shuts down one more opportunity for holding the government accountable to the rights and needs of non-citizens in this country.]]>
I’m sorry to tell you this but the answer is nothing. Problems cannot be avoided, or perfection would be reality. But the truth is that nothing goes perfectly. Instead of trying to focus on perfection and to make sure that everything is ideal, try to work on your reaction to situations when something doesn’t go as planned. You have basically 3 options:
Number 1: Freak out, lose control and cry yourself to sleep in the fetal position.
Number 2: Ignore the problem and hope for the best.
Number 3: Try to stay positive, open minded and look for a solution.
I don’t know which one of those sounds the best to you, but probably number 3 is a safe bet. The truth is that when things go wrong, all you can do is try to fix them or to find an alternative. Sometimes, the alternative ends up being better than the original, but you can’t experience that if you just freak out and freeze.
As Joyce Meyer said “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”
Almost as important as thinking positively throughout hardships, is that people around you do it too. If you are in a leadership position, you have to lead this attitude by example. If others see you calm, with a smile on your face, they will know that everything is okay and they will also be calm and think clearly. Let’s be honest: if you look back in five years at a bad moment, and it doesn’t seem that bad, then your problem really isn’t that big. And with a calm demeanor and positive thinking, you can always come up with a solution that will smooth things over.
Next time when you find yourself in a difficult situation, and you feel like there is nothing else that can do to fix it, take a moment, or a day, or a week; breathe and stay positive, then you will come up with an alternative or a solution for it.]]>
It is still a mystery how it is going to be determined who those beneficiaries are, and if there will be a change in the process of selection for the visas and companies. As you know, the petitions are drawn into a lottery, because the number of available visas is a total of 85,000 (of which 20,000 are for Master degree level applicants) and the number of petitions is around the 200,000. Actually, FY 2018 is the first in 5 years that USCIS received less than 200,000 petitions (they received 199,000).]]>
The Attorney General is demanding of all 94 U.S. Attorney offices in the country to focus their resources away from prosecution of serious criminals and national security threats, to prosecuting individuals who crossed the border without inspection. This will end up in rushed processes and overpopulation of prisons that will be filled with low risk immigration offenders paid by the taxpayers.
To ensure this is enforced, the U.S. Government will also make sure that every office has a Border Security coordinator as of last Tuesday, April 18. These will have the mission of collecting and reporting on statistics, giving legal advice to U.S. Attorneys, and overseeing prosecutions.
This looks like a waste of taxpayer money by prosecuting people who crossed the border without permission, many just looking to join their families and make a living, rather than going after violent offenders and gun and drug smugglers who pose a threat to American communities.
This further criminalization of border crossers is troubling but not really surprising in the world of federal law-enforcement, where half of all arrests are already for immigration-related offenses like entering or re-entering the United States without authorization.
Considering that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants entered the country to work or reunite with family members, this new policy announcement represents a very poor use of federal resources and is a huge step backwards.]]>
USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
The agency made the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap. As announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
* Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
* Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
* Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
* Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently]]>
The Congressional limit on H-1B new hires is 65,000, and an additional 20,000 for foreign professionals who graduate with an advanced degree from U.S. universities that meet certain requirements. For FY 2017, USCIS received more than 236,000 petitions during the five-business-day filing period.
The Trump administration declared that it would target the H-1B program and other employment-based visa programs to detect and prevent fraud and abuse and protect U.S. workers. It is unclear how they intend to define fraud and abuse, but the initial focus would appear to be on whether H-1B workers are receiving the proper wage for, and working in, their petitioned occupation. USCIS announced changes to the H-1B program that may predict larger changes likely to have repercussions for U.S. employers.
USCIS also announced that it has established a dedicated email address through which anyone, including H-1B workers, can report their suspicions about possible “fraud or abuse.” Unfortunately, this approach is along the lines of other DHS attempts to publicly shame individuals or jurisdictions that they believe are uncooperative.
There are many problems with these approaches. For example, with respect to their inability to validate basic information, USCIS used Dunn & Bradstreet’s Validation Instrument for Business Enterprise (VIBE) Program information for several years. When USCIS cannot confirm information in VIBE that an employer has included about itself in an H-1B petition, the agency issues a request for additional evidence. But many employers, especially small ones and non-profits, do not submit information to VIBE. This can result in VIBE having either no information or information that does not match with what the petitioning employer submitted to USCIS directly. Thus this is not a sign of fraud or abuse, and will likely result in additional delays and obstacles for those employers.]]>
We are borrowing this from the LA Times:
Earlier this week, the government has banned all electronics in flights arriving from 10 airports in certain countries, as announced by DHS. Devices will have to be checked in along with luggage. The restriction, a response to a supposed terrorist threat, includes devices such as laptops, tablets or cameras. Cell phones and certain medical equipment are excluded from it.
The measure only affects foreign airlines that fly from 8 countries of Muslim majorities: Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Emirates. The restriction does not apply to flights leaving the United States, but only in the ones arriving into US soil. Airlines affected by it must start applying the measure by tomorrow, which will stay in effect indefinitely.
Airlines affected are Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air y Royal Air Maroc—. The new norm will involve the following international airports: El Cairo, Estanbul, Kuwait, Doha, Casablanca, Ammán, Riad, Jeddah, Dubái y Abu Dhabi. This measure is part of the new immigration approach by the new government.]]>
With these numbers, we can´t really say that the countries banned are the ones with the most likelihood to be a terrorist threat.]]>
Significantly, both a ban on visa issuance and a suspension of refugee processing were included in the first Order and were enjoined by the Seattle district court. The proper method for seeking a modification of an injunction is to either request a reconsideration from the court that issued the injunction—which Trump tried and lost—or to appeal the injunction to the court of appeals. Within days of issuing the second Executive Order, Trump dismissed his pending Ninth Circuit appeal of the injunction, thus closing this second proper avenue for review. As the States of Washington and Minnesota argue in response to the second Order in Washington v. Trump, the federal government is attempting to evade the injunction by improperly repackaging previously enjoined conduct as a new Executive Order.
Other lawsuits also have renewed their challenges to the travel bans in response to the second Executive Order. Hawaii was the first, followed soon by the American Immigration Council, which on Friday filed an amended complaint, a new request for injunctive relief, and a new motion class certification in Ali v. Trump. The plaintiffs in these and the other cases updated this past week make a strong showing that the second order continues the unlawful discrimination against Muslims contained in the first Order, and must be rejected on this basis.]]>
Kelly’s directives do not overturn the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). But the expansion of the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement powers has heightened the risk for immigrants registered with the agency. Under the program, applicants are required to present proof of their identity, such as a passport or birth certificate, and show documentation of where they go to school or work.
The uncertainty threatens to place the program in a state of limbo and lower participation levels even if President Trump does not formally end it. Trump had mocked DACA as an “unconstitutional executive amnesty” in a speech in August, but he has been evasive since taking office.
DHS officials said concerns that DACA recipients would be targeted for deportation were unfounded, and they emphasized that the agency continues to process applications as it had under the Obama administration.
The mixed signals from the Trump administration have convinced us that DACA’s future remains doubtful and that its protections are flimsy. A White House draft executive order leaked last month, showed that Trump was considering a plan to halt new DACA applications, while allowing those already enrolled to continue until their two-year work permits expired. Trump has not signed that order.
But alarm grew this month after 23-year-old DACA recipient who was born in Mexico was arrested. Authorities have alleged that he has gang ties and he remains in federal custody. His attorneys deny any gang affiliation and are suing for his release. The arrest came after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (a division of DHS) apprehended 683 undocumented immigrants in six cities earlier this month.
DHS officials said that DACA requirements stipulate that recipients who commit crimes or have ties to gangs can be stripped of their protections. Since 2012, about 1,500 people have been removed from DACA over such infractions.
Obama’s creation of DACA in 2012 was viewed as a major victory for the “dreamers,” a group estimated at almost 2 million, who have lived most of their lives in the United States.]]>
As a women owned and all-women company, we fully support women´s rights and the fight for equality. This year fighting for Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. “The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” -Aung San Suu Kyi]]>
President Trump just signed a new executive order blocking visas from being issued to citizens of six countries to replace a controversial, now-suspended executive order known as “the travel ban.”
Like the one signed Jan. 27, the new executive order blocks arrivals from specific majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and suspends the refugee program for 120 days.
The new order blocks people traveling from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Iraq is no longer included because the country has promised to “increase cooperation with the U.S.” and share more information about its citizens.
Unlike the original order, the ban announced today:
Administration officials left open the possibility that other countries could be added to future visa bans, or that countries on the list could be removed.
It also omits a section about prioritizing refugees of minority religions — the part of the initial order that was one reason the order was challenged as a form of “Muslim ban.”
The Trump administration maintains that it will triumph in the legal battle over the original executive action, based on the president’s broad authority on immigration issues.
The issue could eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.]]>
This policy shift was inserted into Trump’s immigration enforcement executive order released on January 25. It could let the Trump administration release the names and private information of non-U.S. citizens — including refugees, college students, tourists, and people here on work visas. The new policy could also make it easier for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain information from other agencies that can be used to detain or deport people.
What the executive order did was exclude all of these people from receiving the protections of the Privacy Act of 1974, which limits the government’s sharing of personal information without permission. There are all kinds of personal information about noncitizens that the federal government collects that could be vulnerable to disclosure. Those who submit immigration applications could have their personal information — including home addresses — shared publicly, threatening their safety. Immigrant workers who report violations of workplace laws to the Department of Labor could have their information easily disclosed to hostile employers or immigration enforcement officials. The same could happen to refugees who have been resettled in the United States.
Federal agencies would also have to make sure that any record does not contain information about someone from the European Union or other designated countries that are entitled to privacy protections as a result of the Judicial Redress Act, passed by Congress last year and was a precondition of the U.S.-E.U. “Umbrella Agreement.”
The U.S. government promised it would protect Europeans’ personal data as a condition of these agreements. But both agreements may be in jeopardy if the Trump administration goes forward with its plans.
This policy change is flawed, unwise, and will needlessly strip away the rights of millions. Privacy is a human right that isn’t just for American citizens and permanent residents.]]>
According to eyewitness reports cited in local media, the man screamed out in distress over being returned to Mexico, shortly before jumping. The incident took place on the same day that the Department of Homeland Security issued documents detailing Trump’s new deportation procedures, which expand the pursuit to nearly every irregular migrant who has been in the country less than three years.
The guidelines include an order “to hire an additional 5,000 border agents and to empower state and local law enforcement to support federal enforcement of immigration law, to the maximum extent permitted by law”.
“All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States,” reads the fact sheet released on Tuesday.
According to official sources, it has still not been registered a considerable increase in deportations, but this event illustrates the risks to come. Given the wage differences, and the cases of people who have been living in the US for a long time, these measures will result in great desperation.
Mexico has been a target of Trump’s from the beginning, both in migratory and in trade issues. Yet for the last five years, more Mexicans have been returning to their home country from the US than have been entering. In 2014, the migration balance showed a record 140,000 more exits than entries. And the deportation of undocumented migrants – most of them Mexican – fell for the second year in a row. The total number of removals in 2015 was the lowest since 2007, according to official immigration statistics.]]>
Over the weekend, the media obtained two leaked memos signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly implementing the President’s Executive Orders on immigration enforcement. Although much attention has been focused on the building of the border wall, these memos also direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to drastically escalate harsh immigration enforcement nationwide. The memos reveal that DHS intends to take our nation backwards in terms of guaranteeing due process, providing a safe haven for those who need it, and building productive and safe communities where everyone can thrive.
What is in the memos?
While the feasibility of many of these depends on Congressional willingness to fund them and whether they pass muster in the courts, undeniably, these policies are thin on humanity and thick on punishment. They will separate families, cultivate fear among immigrant communities, and destabilize our economy.]]>
Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event. Several activists said that they did not know how the campaign began or how many people would heed it, and that as far as they knew, there was no national organization behind it.
In a city with more than 2,000 restaurants, the day of closures and absences may not be enough to prevent anyone from getting a table. But given the upscale, popular businesses involved, it will be noticed.
Adding to the uncertainty, a variety of fliers and Facebook pages were used online to promote the campaign, some announcing demonstrations or urging people to patronize immigrant-owned businesses.
So if you are an immigrant, do your part and if you are not, please be understanding and patient.]]>
The new administration has made lots of promises to tighten our borders and take a harsher stance on immigration—like deporting millions of undocumented workers, building a wall along the southern border, terminating executive amnesty and tripling the number of immigration enforcement agents. But the question lingers: What will actually happen? And when?
In this new and uncertain year, we must thoughtfully organize for reflection and action.
Ask your immigrant friends how they’re doing. Take special care. Invite them into your homes. There’s no better time than now. Find good legal counsel.
Unless you’re an expert, avoid giving legal advice. You can best serve your immigrant brothers and sisters by helping them access good, accurate information and legal services. Watch out for “false lawyers”—notarios—who may look to defraud and exploit fears in this time of uncertainty.
Leverage your voice. Use your privilege to speak up for our immigrant friends. If you see or hear about discrimination, investigate and report it. With hate crimes on the rise, we must be a strong source of support for those who may be targeted. If there are people who have been emboldened toward injustice at this time, we must take extra measures of courage.
Wherever you live, stop and think for a minute about your unique context. Should you stop using your energy to debate on social media, and channel it toward local action? How might your community leverage this moment to host a similar dialogue? Who could you invite to join?
In this new and uncertain year, we must thoughtfully organize for reflection and action. Then, let’s lean into every opportunity to stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters.]]>
The America Immigration Council believes in judicial independence and commends the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Washington v. Trump which found that:
1. The President’s Executive Orders Are Reviewable by the Courts. The court rejected the federal government’s claim that the President’s immigration policies—even those involving national security concerns—are unreviewable by the courts. In fact, it is the court’s role to consider constitutional challenges to executive action. The court explained: “[t][here is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”
2. The States Have “Standing” to Challenge the Executive Order. In order to bring a lawsuit, a plaintiff must have “standing,” which is a legal stake in the outcome of the case. The Court found that Washington and Minnesota have an adequate stake because the states’ universities will suffer harm from the executive order. Specifically, the executive order prevents students and faculty from the banned countries from travelling for academic or personal reasons. It affects the universities’ ability to attract students and faculty from these seven affected countries. And, some of their students and faculty will be stranded outside the United States.
3. The Federal Government Is Unlikely to Win Its Appeal Because the States Have Alleged a Due Process Violation. The court declined to “stay,” or lift, the TRO because it concluded that the federal government was not likely to win on the appeal of the TRO. In fact, the court indicated that the district court properly issued a TRO because the plaintiffs have a viable due process claim. The court stated that the federal government has not shown that “the Executive Order provides what due process requires, such as notice and a hearing prior to restricting an individual’s ability to travel.”
4. The Federal Government Did Not Establish Harm Resulting From the TRO. The Court found that the federal government failed to allege any harm that would warrant staying the TRO. It pointed out that the government did not allege that any noncitizens from the seven countries perpetrated terrorist attacks against the United States. By contrast, the states did show harm to their public universities if the Executive Order were reinstated.
5. There Is A Strong Public Interest in Both Security AND the Free Flow of Travel, Family Relationships and Non-Discrimination. The Court noted the competing public interests on both sides of this suit: “On the one hand, the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies. And on the other, the public also has an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination. We need not characterize the public interest more definitely than this; when considered alongside the hardships discussed above, these competing public interests do not justify a stay.”
Here are four of the most compelling of these… As well as some tips on how to avoid them.
On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing Sections 3(c) [90-day travel ban on “immigrants and non-immigrants” from designated countries], 5(a) [120-day ban on U.S. refugee program], 5(b) [prioritization of certain refugee claims], 5(c) [indefinite suspension of Syrian refugee admissions], and 5(e) [case-by-case refugee admissions] of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on a nationwide basis. All U.S. land and air ports of entry are prohibited from enforcing these portions of the Executive Order until further order from the court.
DOS: DOS has confirmed that assuming there are no other issues in the case, provisionally revoked visas have been reversed and are once again valid for travel.
CBP: All CBP Field Offices have been instructed to immediately resume inspection of travelers under standard policies and procedures. All airlines and terminal operators have been notified to permit boarding of all passengers without regard to nationality.
AILA has also confirmed with CBP that individuals who arrived last weekend and had their visas physically cancelled as a result of the EO will not need to reapply for a new visa and absent any other admissibility issues will receive an I-193 waiver (Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa) upon arrival to the U.S. For those traveling by air, airlines have been instructed to contact CBP to receive authorization to permit boarding.
The Trump administration declared its intention to file an emergency stay of the order “at the earliest possible time.”]]>
The issues that will be discussed are:
Join tomorrow, at 2:00 pm EST here
We want to share Nazanin Zinouri’s terrible story which is an example of how last week’s discriminatory rules affect bright people and U.S. companies. We are working with Nazanin now to help her get her H-1B visa. She is a very smart, hard working industrial engineer who obtained a Ph.D. degree and has done a lot of good to the South Carolina community where she has been living during the past seven years. She is very valuable member of the team at her current job in a cutting edge engineering company helping American companies with increasing their safety and productivity. Also, among others, she cooperates with several associations to help promote engineering to young students and girls based on her passion for mathematics and problem solving, as well as her high academic performance. Nazanin is a shining example of the type of foreign nationals we want to encourage to come and stay here because they contribute so much.
She left South Carolina last week to go visit her family, as she does every year. She says her life is here but misses her family so she goes once a year to spend a few days with them and was going to stay until February 10. She left her puppy Dexter with a friend, parked her car at the airport and boarded a plane, not knowing that she was not going to be allowed to return home. Following the news and getting scared by the rumors, we advised her to return early in case these were true and so she changed her ticket.
In her layover from Tehran in Dubai on Saturday, she was asked to leave the boarding area as she was banned from getting on the plane to Washington without been given any more information. We still don’t know what is going to happen; hope that eventually some sense will prevail and allow Nazanin and so many others in the same situation to come here, to their home. The home they so hard worked on and which is been taken away from them for no reason. You can read her full story, told by herself, here:
“I was born in a middle-class family in Tehran, Iran. I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race, religion or background. I learned to value education for its contributions to community life, its role in advancing social justice, for its capacity to open to people worlds of cultural and artistic excellence, and in the largest sense for its contributions to human flourishing.
My passion for mathematics and problem solving started as a young girl. I studied hard for years and performed highly in university entrance exam, that is mandatory in Iran to get in college and university. I was admitted in one of the top ranked universities in Iran with full scholarship to study Industrial Engineering. Soon after I started the program, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school. I started considering options to study abroad. After lots of research, I decided America was a great choice. There were lots of universities offering great graduate programs in Industrial Engineering, well known professors that would have been great advisors. I knew I could achieve my educational and professional goals. Also, having friends in the United States, I had heard great things about how nice American people are and how the always welcome immigrants warmly. I took TOEFL and GRE test and prepared all my documents to apply to universities. I got admission from several universities and full scholarship from Northern Illinois University.
Unfortunately, around the same time my sister who is also a highly educated young woman with a masters degree in Electrical Engineering, was diagnosed with MS. This was heartbreaking for my family and made the decision of leaving my family even harder for me. However, I knew I could become a better person and help my family and society more by the education I could receive in the United States. I had to pursue my American dream to become a young professional that can make a positive change.
The process was not easy. Not having a United States embassy in Iran, I had to travel to Turkey for my visa interview. None of this was financially easy for me and my family but I didn’t give up because I had hope of a bright future. My visa was approved but had to undergo additional clearance process before getting issued. This was typical procedure for Iranian citizens and was understandable because any country needs to assure the person they are admitting to their country is not a threat. I was clear and granted a student F1 visa. I entered the United states August 13, 2010 for the first time.
I started my Masters program in the department of Industrial Engineering at Northern Illinois University. Soon I was offered multiple opportunities such as working as engineer in residence at Caterpillar Inc. I was granted membership to Alpha Pi Mu, Industrial Engineering honor society based on my high performance. I was also part of Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE) promoting engineering to young students. I received my Masters degree from Northern Illinois University with a 4.0 GPA.
My F1 visa was single entry and unfortunately, I didn’t leave the country to visit my family. I hadn’t seen them for almost three years, in January 2013, I got a phone call informing me that my father has been killed in a car crash. Despite the horrifying news, I managed to finish the semester, but I was determined to go be with my family. Even though I knew I had to re-apply for visa, I had to see my family and I had faith that I will be granted another visa without any issues since I had dedicated my life in the United States to education and academic activities. I didn’t have anything to worry about so I left for Iran in May 2013. I re-applied for visa and my visa went through clearance process again. I received my new visa without any issues after the clearance was completed and returned to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at Clemson University with full Scholarship in August 2013.
During my graduate studies, I wrote several papers and participated in multiple national and regional conferences. I promised myself to visit my family at least once a year to help my sick sister and my mother who was left with no help after my father’s death. I visited Iran again in March 2014. Once again, I applied for visa and I was granted a multiple entry visa this time which was the best news to me and my family. This enabled me to visit again in 2015 without having to re-apply for visa. After several accomplishments including receiving scholarships from IIE and Clemson University, I graduated with my Ph.D. in August 2016.
Soon I found a job at a technology firm in Greenville area and started working as a data scientist. I couldn’t be happier with my job and the team I was working with. I have always loved animals and I felt like after years of being in school, this was the time to adopt a puppy. I rescued a puppy that had multiple issues including GI problems. I knew he had less chances of getting adopted because of his issues. I knew he was the one and I adopted my adorable dog, Dexter.
I had my OPT on F1 and employment authorization form, legally enabling me to work and live in the United States. My company also started my greencard application process. Late January I took a three-week vacation to visit my family. I had a valid multiple entry F1 visa with valid OPT and employment authorization card. I had my employment letter and pay stubs, even my old visas just in case! I arrived to Tehran on Monday 1/22/2017. Before I could even enjoy being with family, on Wednesday I heard rumors about a new executive order that will ban citizens of seven Muslim countries including Iran from entering the United states for 30 days. It was shocking and I couldn’t believe a country like United states that is all about acting based on law and supporting human rights, will keep someone who has lived there for almost seven years and have valid visa and documents from returning to her home.
On Thursday morning on president’s agenda, I saw signing executive orders. I got alerted and looked for the first available flight back to the United states with Emirates Airline. But it was too late… The order got signed that evening. I still got on my flight and made it to Dubai, at Dubai International airport I was denied boarding the plane heading from Dubai to Washington. I was shocked, was that real? Did this happen to me? A million thoughts rushed through my mind, what happens to Dexter now? He is waiting for his mom to come home. Who is going to take him for doctor visits? What happens to my car at the airport parking? What happens to all my life’s possessions from the last six and a half years living in my home in the United States? What happens to my lease? Is my landlord going to think I just left and didn’t care? What happens to my job, my life, and my American dream?
No one warned me when I was leaving from Atlanta airport for Tehran. No one told me what to do when I was deported in Dubai. No one told me what to do with my life in the United States. No one even cared how I am going to go back to Tehran from Dubai, they said I don’t belong there, they said my life in the United States didn’t matter. They said that by removing me from that flight… And now no airline will board Iranians, except those with American passport, on any plane heading to the United States.
I humbly ask for your support in my return to the United States, to my home, my dog, my car, my career, and my friends. My story will be much like others who dedicated their lives to their dream – the American Dream – and whose intentions and lives were turned upside-down on Friday without notice or reason.
I very much look forward to having the freedom to return to my home.”
Georgia’s state colleges and universities require verification of “lawful presence” in the U.S. for in-state tuition. The Board of Regents had said students with temporary permission to stay under a 2012 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, didn’t meet that requirement.
A lawyer for 10 young immigrants who meet all the other requirements and who have been granted deferred action status argued in a petition filed in April that the federal Department of Homeland Security has said people who have qualified for the program are “lawfully present.”
Lawyers for the university system rejected that argument, saying the statement about lawful presence appeared in an FAQ section of the department’s website and not as an official policy or regulation.
Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan said that while an official policy would be helpful, the fact that it is part of the department’s official website means it should be taken as an accurate statement of the federal government’s position.
The judge found, therefore, that the Regents have refused to accept the “federally established lawful presence” of the students who filed the petition and many others who find themselves in a similar situation.
Trump has not clarified his plans for the Obama administration program that protects certain immigrants brought to this country as children. While campaigning, he called it an “illegal executive amnesty” and pledged to end it immediately. But he softened his stance after his election.
But what Trump decides to do may not matter in Georgia. State Sen. Josh McKoon, a Republican from Columbus who has been vocal in his opposition to illegal immigration, said he disagrees with the judge’s interpretation and plans to introduce legislation during the legislative session that begins next week that would limit in-state tuition to people who have legal status in this country, not just lawful presence.]]>
10 keys to make a conversation great:
Since the prevalence of social media and mobile messaging, having an actual face to face conversation is something almost exotic. We are in contact for short periods of time and in a very superficial way with a growing number of people but we feel lonelier.
To improve our relations with others, understanding them and been understood, it is essential to get back the good habit of talking with time and paying attention.
It is proved that not enough conversation makes people more prone to suffer psychological problems. Lack of communication with other people who can give their opinion and put things into perspective means that these will stay trapped in one’s mind.
When an experience gets stuck in the closed circuit of an individual, emotions are amplified and the facts end up distorted, which is something that can be avoided by a talk in good company.
An informal conversation is the first step so there can be empathy between two people. Even if we chat about a non relevant topic, in that first contact we are saying a lot because we start creating a bond with the other person. How many couples, great business or friendships start with an informal conversation? Probably, most of them. The art of conversation can be learned and promoted.
In another post we will share 10 tips to turn any conversation into a great one.]]>
To help you achieve your goals you must structure them in the SMART way.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results oriented and Time sensitive. When making your New Year’s resolutions, make sure your goals fit all of these criteria otherwise they are more likely to fail.
Specific – Write down the specific aspects of your goals and also outcomes and specific behaviors you need to do and also write interim steps to achieving them.
For example: I want to get my green card by the end of 2017.
This makes the smart goals because it is very specific results oriented and actionable there’s a lot of things that the person would need to do it at the same time it’s easy to measure whether somebody will get a green card or not by a specific date. If the goal includes a behavior change you will need to write what behaviors you will need to eliminate and what behaviors you will need to adopt. And of course start taking actions on both fronts.]]>
Happy New Year from the Weinstock Immigration Lawyers team!]]>
The legislature passed resolutions urging Trump to abandon his deportation promise, and introduced two bills aimed at protecting immigrants. One measure would set up a fund to pay for lawyers for immigrants facing deportation. Another would train criminal defense attorneys in immigration law.
As things stand, 68% of undocumented migrants being held in prison are not represented by a lawyer; neither do a third of those not being held but still facing deportation. Trump has said he will focus on deporting criminals, but also he intends to immediately deport two to three million immigrants. About 820,000 undocumented immigrants have been convicted of crimes, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group.
The bills followed closely on Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s nomination of US Representative Xavier Becerra as attorney general, a high-ranking Latino Democrat who challenged the incoming administration to “come at us” on such issues as climate change, immigration and worker protections.
At a news conference on Monday, Brown and Becerra avoided antagonistic language about Trump. But both men promised to protect the state’s interests. California, which voted decisively for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November 8 presidential election, has been readying for a battle with the White House over the coming four years. The Democratic Party has a two thirds majority in both houses, and its members hold most senior post in the state.
Democrats hold two-thirds majorities in both houses of the legislature, and every statewide office. The most populous US state, California has more than 2.7 million undocumented immigrants – about 7% of its 39 million population. Latinos make up 39% of the population of California, and has around 4 million undocumented migrants, the largest number in any state, the majority of them Mexican.]]>
They initially contacted three immigration attorneys in the Atlanta area who were recommended by family members and friends. However, they couldn’t assist with their immigration challenges. As a result this caused a lot of money and time wasted with the wrong attorneys. A bad strategy by one of the attorneys led to a rejection of an H-1B visa application that they presented to the U.S. authorities.
Before losing all hope, they reached out to Karen Weinstock after reading great reviews about her on the internet. They say they were impressed with Karen after their very first meeting. She was very professional and quickly identified the best option and approach to resolving their immigration challenges, which resulted in securing a L-1A visa for Pak.
Thanks to this L-1 Visa, Pak was able to start running a great daycare business in Stone Mountain, Good Foundation Academy for the Gifted Children. They believe in the uniqueness of every child and the importance of encouraging their talents. Both he and his family are now settled and happy and he is in the process of negotiating on securing a second business here in Atlanta as an investor. Their 3 boys are well adjusted and are able to get the special need education and support they need for their development and Pak’s wife, who has degrees in law and MBA can now get a job with her status as an L-2 work authorization.]]>
This number compares with just 63,405 prosecutions for all other federal crimes—including drugs, weapons, fraud, and violations of the thousands of other criminal provisions that the federal government is responsible for enforcing.
These comparisons are based on case-by-case records obtained as a result of lengthy litigation brought by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) against the U.S. Department of Justice.
The number of immigration prosecutions in FY 2016 was down 6.9% from levels in FY 2015 when such prosecutions totaled 74,791. It was also down 15.3% from the levels of five years ago when they totaled 82,250. Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 85.6% from the level of 37,529 reported in 2006 and up 823% from the level of 7,543 reported in 1996.
“Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.” (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 was ranked 1st a year ago, while it was the 1st most frequently invoked five years ago. It was ranked 2nd ten years ago and 3rd twenty years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge “Reentry of deported alien” under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326. Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326 was ranked 2nd a year ago, while it was the 2nd most frequently invoked five years ago. It was ranked 1st ten years ago and 1st twenty years ago.
Ranked 3rd was “Bringing in and harboring certain aliens” under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324. Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324 was ranked 3rd a year ago, while it was the 3rd most frequently invoked five years ago. It was ranked 3rd ten years ago and 2nd twenty years ago.
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 35 percent—was “False statement in application and use of passport ” (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1542 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease—76%—when compared with five years ago.
The Southern District of Texas (Houston)—with 24,549 prosecutions—was the most active through September 2016. The Southern District of Texas (Houston) was ranked 1st a year ago, while it was ranked 2nd five years ago. The district’s position ten years ago was 1st and 3rd twenty years ago.
The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd. The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 3rd a year ago as well as five years ago. The district’s position ten years ago was 3rd and 2nd twenty years ago.
The District of Arizona now ranks 3rd. The District of Arizona was ranked 2nd a year ago, while it was ranked 1st five years ago. The district’s position ten years ago was 2nd and 4th twenty years ago.
A recent entry to the top 10 list was Northern District of New York (Syracuse), now ranked 10th. This district ranked 11th one year ago and 15th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in immigration prosecutions compared to one year ago—15.9 percent—was Western District of Texas (San Antonio). This was the same district that had the largest increase—29.6%—when compared with five years ago.
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in immigration prosecutions—26.3 percent—was Arizona.]]>
Currently, the government detains many immigrants for prolonged periods without an opportunity to request release on bond. Alejandro Rodriguez, the lead plaintiff in the case and a lawful permanent resident who came to the United States at the age of one, was detained by immigration officials after pleading guilty in 2004 to misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, for which he received probation. After being detained, immigration officials denied him the right to ask a judge to release him for bond, asserting that he was ineligible for bond due to his controlled substance conviction and a conviction from five years prior for joyriding. Mr. Rodriguez was detained for over three years while fighting his immigration case, without being allowed to ask a judge for bond. After Mr. Rodriguez and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit challenging his detention, Mr. Rodriguez was released from detention. He was later granted cancellation of removal, a form of relief which allowed him to remain in this country as a lawful permanent resident.
The Ninth Circuit has held that immigrants like Mr. Rodriguez, as well as asylum-seekers who turned themselves in at the border, must be given bond hearings every six months, and that the government had to justify continued detention by presenting clear and convincing evidence that an individual posed a danger to the community or a flight risk.
Arguing for the Respondents, Ahilan Arulanantham of the ACLU directly addressed the Solicitor General’s reliance on individual habeas petitions as a remedy. He noted that the majority of detained immigrants are unrepresented, unfamiliar with our legal system, and thus, as a practical matter, unable to file habeas petitions. He then pointed out that, due to backlogs in the federal courts, habeas petitions take many months to adjudicate, which defeats the purpose of challenging an unreasonable delay.
The outcome of the case was far from clear at the end of the argument. However, as Mr. Arulanantham stressed throughout his argument, the case has strong implications for individuals who are caught up in immigration detention system. Many detained for immigration are held in conditions identical to jail, and languish in detention for months and years, even where they have very strong ties to the United States and have committed nonviolent offenses. More often than not, those who are detained without bond have families in the United States who suffer greatly when a parent, spouse, or child is detained. However the Justices rule, they should bear in mind how their decision will affect real people.
A decision is expected sometime next year.]]>
As a reminder to immigrant communities, the National Immigration Law Center released a helpful guide which explains what individuals should do if they encounter law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
The reminders include:
It’s also important to avoid “notarios” and other unethical people who make promises about immigration relief that are fraudulent or that they cannot deliver on.
The next few years may be a challenging time for the immigrant community. However, it’s important to educate ourselves and our loved ones and to continue to stand together.]]>
The Weinstock Immigration Lawyers team]]>
There are many reasons for encouraging children to learn a third or fourth language. Parents from two different countries often want to create a home for their children where both native languages are spoken. A bilingual family temporarily living overseas might want to encourage children to become fluent in the local language.
To work, a trilingual household needs rules, and rules must be enforced. Mr. Striuli says if his daughters get confused and use English at home, he ignores them—“but not in a rude way”—until he hears Italian.
“They know that Daddy equals Italian and Mommy equals Spanish,” he says.
The right time to commit to introducing a second or third language to a child is at birth. Parents need to create an environment where children are comfortable speaking, says Annick De Houwer, professor of language acquisition and multilingualism at the Universitat Erfurt in Erfurt, Germany.
“Children do not just pick up a language,” she says. “They must be in a continuous language bath, where they also get a chance to talk.”
Before elementary school age, children usually can learn a second, third or even fourth language without much formal instruction, says Xiao-lei Wang, acting dean at the School of Education, at Pace University, in New York City, and author of a book, “Growing Up With Three Languages.” In many trilingual households, the unwritten rule is each parent speaks only one language to the children and encourages the children to reply only in that language, she says.
Parents can start with baby talk, Dr. De Houwer says. Language-based play groups or frequent video chats with grandparents all help children understand the value of learning another language and culture. “It’s a lot of work,” she adds.
There are more than 1,000 language-immersion programs in U.S. public schools, says Nancy Rhodes, a foreign language education consultant at the Center of Applied Linguistics, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that works to promote language learning and cultural understanding.
Being bilingual or trilingual can put young children somewhat behind their peers in English vocabulary development or grammar, but most catch up by seventh grade, says Camille Du Aime, head of the primary school at the Atlanta International School, a private school with immersion programs in Spanish, French and German. “We see some delay in the mechanics of spelling or punctuation,” she says.
But eventually, when efforts pay off, the result is the envy of any adult struggling to learn a foreign language—a child who can converse with ease in three languages. Mr. Striuli’s daughter Letizia says she is the go-to translator between English and Spanish in her fifth-grade class. It’s a bother sometimes, she says, but ultimately “really cool.” She is still searching for the perfect translation for one of her favorite English adjectives: “I haven’t found the substitute for ‘awesome’ yet,” she says.
The downside? When one parent and a child share a language, the other spouse can feel left out. “There’s concern about family cohesion” in trilingual families, Dr. Wang says.
Patrick Pélata, father of 14-year-old twins Chloe Ami and Zoe Ai, says he often stays out of the conversation when his daughters converse in Japanese with their mother, Ayami Nakao. When the discussion turns to soccer, though, he says he asks them to switch to French. “It’s very pragmatic,” says Mr. Pélata, 61, a San Francisco-based management consultant. “If I see I’m not very important, I will just let them go on.”
Magdalena Sikora, mother of 5-year-old Livia and 3-year-old Beatrice, speaks Polish with the girls. Her husband, Dr. Eugen Ivan, speaks Romanian with them. Dr. Sikora, a 39-year-old physician in Lawton, Okla., says pulling the plug on American television made it easier to enforce family language rules. Rather than give in when the girls want to watch English-language cartoons, Dr. Sikora permits them to watch DVDs or play games in Polish or Romanian.
“They’ve learned already that if they watch it in Polish or Romanian then I’ll let them watch it longer,” Dr. Sikora says.
As children get older and spend more time at school and friends’ homes, it can get harder to maintain second and third language skills.
Caroline Scriven, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mother in Princeton, N.J., put time into studying and refreshing her Spanish skills, and spoke the language with her sons when they were very young. Her husband, Thomas Scriven, speaks to the boys in his native Swiss German.
Lately, though, 6-year-old Oliver and 4-year-old Henry often use English to reply to one of her questions in Spanish. And she has reverted to English when explaining concepts to them such as death, or the Hail Mary pass.
As they get older, she says, “we can’t pretend we don’t speak English.”
Vanessa Liu speaks her native Cantonese at home in New York City with her children, 8-year-old Nara and 6-year-old Vik. Her husband, Harold Brunink, uses English when disciplining the children, she says, so they have a positive association with his native language, Dutch. When they are all together, they converse in one of the three languages, using Dutch most often outside the home, so they can discuss private matters in public, Ms. Liu says. “We refer to Dutch as our ‘secret language.’ ”
So what inspires immigrants to start successful companies? Is it work ethic? Systemic discrimination? According to a study recently written about in the Harvard Business Review, the answer is in cross-cultural experiences. “By living in different cultures, they encounter new products, services, customer preferences and communication strategies. This exposure may allow the transfer of knowledge about customer problems or solutions from one country to another.”
The researchers cited Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington (Greece), Red Bull’s Dietrich Mateschitz (Austria), Tesla’s Elon Musk (South Africa) and Google’s Sergey Brin (Russia) as prime examples of the trend. But being born outside the U.S. wasn’t the only road to inspiration. The researchers discovered the ability to think creatively also surfaced in students who had spent time studying abroad.
The researchers tested the entrepreneurial capabilities of 128 students before and after a semester of living and studying abroad. They asked them to come up with business ideas in the context of media and food retailing. The researchers did the same for a control group of 115 students that continued their studies at their home university. The business opportunities were then rated by four venture capitalists and industry experts blind to the source.
The group with the cross-cultural experience saw a 17% increase in their VC/expert ratings of their business ideas after the semester abroad. The ratings of the control group’s business ideas actually declined 3% at the end of the semester.
The researchers added that their findings imply that managers ought to pay special attention to people who have such cross-cultural experiences, since they’ve been primed to identify opportunities that others without those experiences are less likely to recognize.]]>
We are very proud to be selected in this list and we work hard every day to maintain the highest quality in our services and to offer the best client experience. It is a wonderful recognition to our efforts and we want to thank our clients, colleagues and outstanding staff, who altogether make our office the go-to immigration firm in Atlanta.]]>
In Silicon Valley, the immigration discussion has centered mostly on those who come to America to study at universities and who are skilled in technology or the sciences—only to be forced out before they can apply their skills in the US workforce. Barring the door to these people is wrong and socially self-defeating. But even in Silicon Valley, calls for immigration reform shouldn’t just be a matter of keeping high-skilled technologists and scientists in the country. A much larger group of immigrants
remain trapped in an agonizing state of limbo. The result is that some of our nation’s most industrious individuals are barred from employment in the formal economy. And their talents, creative energies, and ideas are often trapped with them. These are the people who, in this ugly and alarming political season, have been demonized when they should be welcomed.
Individual success in America always heavily depends upon the qualities people bring to their endeavors. But many of those are also immigrant qualities—the resourcefulness, the patience, the craving for work and opportunity, the resilience, the self-reliance. First-generation immigrants are significantly more likely than the general population to become entrepreneurs, according to data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
What is most maddening about this is also what is most hopeful: Granting legal status to undocumented immigrants would unleash massive potential, add an estimated 150,000 new jobs annually, and $1 trillion to America’s GDP. Rarely in our complex world exists such a clean and comprehensive policy solution. A majority of Americans supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. According to a recent Gallup poll, 84% of all adults take this view, including 76% of Republicans.
The trouble is that exclusionary and even xenophobic views are overrepresented right now in our political discourse. We cannot allow the views of that minority to drive policy. When we start dividing people into the ones we accept and the ones we reject we jeopardize the social compact at the very heart of the American experiment.
More than ever, we need the contribution of every American to power our next era of growth. But the economic argument for inclusion is not the most fundamental one. Immigrants have not only made our society wealthier and more productive but also more decent. They have enhanced our national character and made us more ethical people. For America, this is our identity crisis: How a society treats immigrants is a great test of its decency, and we are failing.]]>
Before throwing in the towel, he decided to take one last chance and contacted us for an expert opinion in his matter. He came to our office asking whether something could be done to get his case resolved and make him a U.S. citizen. He talked to Nellie Navidi, our specialist in family immigration, about filing a mandamus law suit to sue the government for all the waiting and the hassle he was encountering. Nellie asked him to give her one last chance- a single shot at going to immigration for him herself to try to resolve the matter once before filing the law suit. We are happy to share that just a few hours later, Richard’s case was rescued from the bureaucracy black hole where it had been lost and due to Nellie’s assistance he was approved and his naturalization ceremony scheduled for a week later (see picture here).
Richard’s case is not unique, however. Sometimes, applications get lost or stay in the bottom of a shelf. When this happens, it is important to have by your side someone who knows how to deal with the administration to make sure it is rescued and moves forward.]]>
Trump accused Clinton of being in favor of “amnesty”—the short-cut word used to describe any policies that are not punitive or enforcement-centric or that favor a more holistic approach. He also said that President Obama (and Clinton’s) border policies have led to increased drug trafficking, which he claims can only be thwarted by “stronger borders.”
In Trump’s naively conceived world, platitudes take the place of real policy solutions. This is most apparent when he talks about the border. Trump ignores the history and efficacy of past efforts at border security. In fact, it’s been well-documented that more targeted law-enforcement efforts, like narrowing in on drug cartels and their funding sources, are far more effective for dealing with “bad hombres” than throwing more money at a border wall which can be easily penetrated or hiring thousands more border guards.
In fact, the Border Patrol’s massive growth over the past decade has done little to minimize the illegal flows of humans and drugs. It is now the nation’s largest law-enforcement agency and plagued by scandal and mismanagement.
Clinton, in contrast, began her answer to the immigration question by talking about families. She also reiterated her promise to quickly begin efforts to pass immigration reform early in her term, if elected.
While she had little time to provide more specifics in this final debate, in a speech in July before the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) she promised to create a path to citizenship for those in the country without authorization, ensure future legal flows of immigrants, and to end the practice of detaining families seeking refuge in the country.
With the election a few weeks away, the final debate provided no clarity, but reaffirmed what we have learned over the past year on where the two candidates land on the issue of immigration. Trump will begin with enforcement and then see where he lands, and Clinton will begin with a holistic view of reforming and updating the immigration system. Now it’s up for voters to decide who has the right vision for America.]]>
The Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed a petition for rehearing with the Supreme Court in July, asking that a full nine-Member Court hear the case because this is a case of significant importance. While the U.S. Senate is yet to confirm a ninth justice to the court, there was no deadline requiring the Supreme Court to reject the petition this week.
This is not the end of the case as it will now go back to Judge Hanen’s district court in Texas for further proceedings.
At the same time there is another lawsuit ongoing which may offer relief for some individuals to get DAPA and expanded DACA. Filed in late August 2016, the case, Batalla Vidal v. Baran, et al., involves Mr. Batalla Vidal, a New York resident and DACA beneficiary, whose three-year employment authorization was rescinded and shortened by one full year due to the United States v. Texas litigation. Mr. Vidal argues that the federal court judge in Texas did not have the authority to issue a nationwide injunction that harmed residents of New York such as Vidal. Therefore, Vidal argues, DAPA, expanded DACA, and other provisions from the November 2014 executive actions on immigration should be permitted to move forward in New York and the 23 other states that did not join the Texas suit.
The decision by the Supreme Court and the ongoing litigation emphasize the need for Congress and the next administration to find permanent solutions for the millions of individuals who live under the constant fear of being separated from their family members and loved ones.]]>
It turns out that there is some truth behind the question. A series of recent scientific studies suggests that we think and make decisions differently if we process the information in a language other than our mother tongue. For instance, the proportion of people willing to sacrifice a person for the larger good shot up from 20% to nearly 50%.
Even if we grasp the notion equally well in both languages, our final decision on the matter will tend to be better thought out, less emotional and more results-oriented.
The proportion of people willing to sacrifice a person for the larger good shot up from 20% to nearly 50%, with the only difference being that they processed the question in a second language.
Many other studies have confirmed these findings. It appears that processing information in a foreign language makes us less prone to emotional thinking and more focused on efficient results. We become less moralistic and more utilitarian.
Tests have been conducted on fully bilingual individuals, and tried with Spanish, English, Italian, German and other languages. The particular language used in each case does not seem to affect the outcome.
The research also finds that thinking in another language increases our tolerance for risk-taking on anything from planning a trip to embracing a new breakthrough in biotechnology. These insights might be useful during negotiations that require participants to put personal feelings aside.
Also, we are less offended by insults delivered in a different language.
As the Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman explains, our brain seems to have a System 1, which focuses on fast, instinctive and stereotypic thinking, and a System 2, which deals with issues requiring greater consideration.
In our native language, we may be more prone to using System 1, while the additional effort required for thinking in a foreign language might trigger System 2. This could explain the higher percentage of people who overcome loss aversion and moral dilemmas in a foreign language.
For instance, these insights might be useful during negotiations that require participants to put their personal feelings to one side and focus on the greater good.]]>
The modern definition of success lies in the eye of the beholder. As an immigrant, how I define success is largely influenced by my life experiences. Over the years, my perspective has changed: from when I was a child watching my parents struggle to make ends meet to becoming an adult entrepreneur chasing the American dream, and eventually to the present day, as a husband, a father to twin boys and the CEO of an international corporation.
What has remained constant over that time is my identity as an immigrant. My experience has had a lasting effect on what defines me both personally and professionally. As second-generation Americans, I hope my children maintain that aspect of their identity—grateful for the opportunitiesafforded to them as citizens, understanding and appreciative of the sacrifices my parents made, and maintaining an emphasis on the value of hard work and determination. Perhaps easier said than done in this hyper-connected age where, as The New York Times noted last year, “For the first time in modern memory, a whole generation might not prove wealthier than the one that preceded it.” But, as I said earlier, success is a personal definition.
As a child, I watched my parents struggle to build a life for our family in America. Like so many immigrants, we experience inauspicious beginnings. My parents exhausted their life savings to emigrate from Armenia and arrived in California—unable to speak English—when I was 6 years old. With the rest of our family still back in Armenia, we had no support network to call on for guidance or assistance. My father eventually secured a position working at a parsley farm. Shortly thereafter, my mother found a job at a local bakery.
My parents’ goal was to provide us with a better future. I saw my parents regularly skip meals to ensure my siblings and I had enough to eat. I saw them work countless hours at multiple jobs, seemingly never sleeping. I saw them sacrifice any semblance of a life of leisure by devoting their time, energy and spirit to the needs of their children.
Although my family struggled, I’m aware that our situation could have been exponentially worse (and for many Americans—recent immigrants or otherwise—that is the unfortunate reality they experience each day). I merely mention some of these struggles to demonstrate how they shaped my perception of success, as well as my motivation and work ethic. Witnessing the sacrifices my parents made in an effort to provide a better life for our family has been the primary source for motivating me to succeed since I was 6 years old. Ensuring their sacrifices were never in vain remains of utmost importance.
My childhood perspective helped me understand the important of taking nothing for granted. That environment instilled a hunger inside of me, a desire to succeed at all costs. My parents were never shy about conveying the ills, and in some cases atrocities, present in our native Armenia, and reminding us of what life would be like if we didn’t succeed in America. For me, this instilled a visceral fear of failure and strengthened my appreciation for our new life. That fear generated motivation and a sense of urgency and necessity. Necessity is often referred to as “the mother of invention,” which I believe often determines the success of immigrants during their first years in America—for if they don’t succeed, their only remaining option is failure. These factors influenced and pushed me to succeed as an entrepreneur.
The impetus for immigrating to America is traditionally rooted in a desire for a better life. Whether that involves seeking freedom from persecution, obtaining an education, securing a successful career or simply forging a new beginning that provides greater opportunities, the common denominator among immigrants is typically the hope for a better future.
Last year, a Pew Research study found that the poverty rate among second-generation Americans was actually lower than that among all U.S. adults. Additionally, the study found that children of immigrants are more educated than their peers and—when compared to the general public—place more importance on hard work and success.1
A 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor U.S. report that was issued jointly by Babson College and Baruch College indicated that “first-generation immigrants are starting businesses at nearly twice the rate of their children’s generation and a 27 percent higher rate than Americans who are not immigrants.” Donna J. Kelley, lead author of the study and an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Babson college concluded that first-generation Americans “see more opportunities, perhaps because they view their surroundings with a different frame of reference than those who have been in the U.S. for a long time.”
Perhaps there is a unique sense of urgency, an appreciation for how devastating failure would be, that serves to motivate American immigrants, and is somewhat responsible for their success. From my experience, achieving success has much to do with the magnitude of one’s initial sacrifice. Immigrants often risk everything for the opportunity at a better life.
Having achieved financial and professional success, my greatest challenge now comes from my role as a father. How will I raise my children—proverbial “trust fund babies” who will never want for anything—to be self-motivated and maintain that sense of urgency, to appreciate the sacrifices my parents and I have made, and to strive to achieve success themselves. What will be their motivation to become productive members of society, given their level of privilege?
I’ve worked hard to ensure they have every advantage in life. But to maintain my identity as a second-generation American (not to mention a respectable citizen with morals and convictions), I want them to appreciate how fortunate they are. I want them to live their lives with a work ethic that reflects that of my parents. I want them to learn to never take anything for granted and—once they reach an appropriate age—will insist they undertake traditional jobs of the manual labor or fast-food service variety. They will be introduced to the concept of work as if they had no advantages, and it is my hope that, in doing so, they will understand how fleeting and uncertain success and financial stability can be.
A positive aspect of all this is that once they have developed a strong work ethic and demonstrated their appreciation for the privileges they are blessed to have, they will eventually have the freedom to pursue any field, unencumbered and with the unconditional support of their parents. My children’s success will entail pursuing a field of work for which they have a true passion, and striving to meet and exceed their potential for excellence. They will be successes to me if they apply a respectable work ethic in each of their endeavors, and demonstrate an appreciation for the value of hard work, regardless of what they do or much money they make. If they live their lives to reflect that, failure is impossible.
Some might argue that the American dream is not what it used to be, that the opportunity to become a self-made success story is growing increasingly impossible. I am living proof that the American dream is alive and well, and the opportunity to achieve one’s dream remains possible for anyone willing to make the effort and devote themselves entirely to it.
Ultimately, the NAS study shows that, even without reforming our outdated immigration system, the contributions of immigrants are overwhelmingly positive and that America’s proud two-century-long tradition of welcoming immigrants is paying off.
For those trying to find the correct forms to show they’re legal residents, the challenges are intimidating and can mean the difference between having insurance or going without it.
Consumers who haven’t provided adequate citizenship or immigration status documentation within 95 days have their plans terminated. Data issues go beyond health or inconvenience for the individual consumers. It jeopardizes the balance of sick and healthy individuals insured, which increases insurers’ costs and makes them more likely to raise premiums or drop out of the market.
About 11 million people are currently insured on the federal and state health exchanges. The uninsured rate is now below 9% — the lowest in history — but the National Health Interview Survey showed the rate of progress has slowed dramatically.
Retention of those already enrolled was a top concern mentioned by Burwell, but enrolling the healthier people who haven’t felt the need for insurance is at least as critical.
Data problems appear most tied to HealthCare.gov, the federal Affordable Care Act exchange that handles insurance sales for 38 states that don’t have their own marketplaces for individual health plans.
When it comes to increasing the number of healthy people getting insurance, immigration advocates say HHS should take a bigger step and allow health coverage for the young people covered by the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Unlike others who are here legally, these likely healthy young people can’t buy insurance on the exchanges.]]>
Many changes have been made to the immigration system in the last fifteen years and while many were intended to target terrorism, these policies have had a b impact on all immigrant communities. Some of the most notable include:
Not all of the post 9/11 response has been negative, however, with some states and localities promoting policies intended to welcome immigrants and integrate them into social, cultural, and economic life in their communities. State level-policy making has recognized that strategies that embrace newcomers rather than ostracize them will be more successful at combating the isolation and resentment that can fuel acts of violence.
Fifteen years after 9/11, advocates and political leaders must return to a broader approach to reforming our immigration system. Keeping the nation safe will always be important, and many steps have been taken to ensure that those entering the U.S. do not do us harm. However, we must look at immigration reform more broadly and create a new system for the twenty-first century that keeps us safe without compromising the ways in which immigration benefits the country economically, culturally, and socially.]]>
The poll shows the number of Americans who say that immigrants “strengthen American society” has increased from 55% in January to 64% in September of this year.
Similarly, only 15% say they support deporting all illegal immigrants. This 15 percent who favor mass deportation is in contrast to the 79 percent who instead favor a pathway to citizenship with background checks. Previous Post-ABC polls asked a different question — whether people would support or oppose an effort to deport all illegal immigrants (with no alternative named). In March, 36% supported this approach.
The 64% who say immigrants strengthen American society — a new high in the 2016 campaign — is spurred by an increase in Democrats (up 14 percent) and independents (up 12 percent) who say they agree with that statement. The increase among Republicans is smaller.
All of which suggests Trump’s polarizing approach to illegal immigration may be having the opposite of its intended effect. It may not be damaging Trump’s campaign in a direct way, but it does appear to be helping immigration reform activists rally supporters.]]>
The first politician accepted the invitation, the second turned it down.
Hillary Clinton said on Monday that unlike her rival, Donald Trump, she wouldn’t be meeting with Peña Nieto. In an interview with ABC television, Clinton politely said that for the moment she preferred to stay focused on the US economy.
Peña Nieto met with Trump last week, surprising just about everybody.
Peña Nieto sent a letter to Clinton and Trump on August 26 inviting them to meet him. Trump, whose campaign has seen him insult Mexicans and Mexico time and again, saw an opportunity and on Wednesday, August 31, arrived in Mexico City aboard his private jet.
After the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, Peña Nieto and Trump held a press conference. During the question-and-answer session with reporters, Trump said that he and the Mexican president had not discussed who would pay for the wall he has said he will build along the border between the United States and Mexico if he is elected president. He has repeatedly insisted that Mexico will finance the project.
Once Trump was in the air and on his way back to the United States, Peña Nieto tweeted that he had told the Republican presidential nominee that Mexico would not pay for the proposed wall.
On the same day, at a meeting in the border state of Arizona, Trump reiterated his anti-immigration stance, insisting that Mexico would indeed pay for a wall. “[The president] just doesn’t know it yet,” smirked Trump.
The meeting with Peña Nieto provided Trump with a rare opportunity to play the statesman thanks to the press conference at the official residence of the Mexican president. His speech a few hours later in Arizona showed that he had not moderated his message, and indeed had toughened his rhetoric.
If, by inviting both candidates, Peña Nieto’s plan was to meet the next president of the United States, then the move has backfired badly. Clinton, who was secretary of state between 2009 and 2013, and who has already met the Mexican president, has avoided any possible embarrassment, preferring to leave diplomatic experiments to Trump.]]>
Not surprisingly, immigration restrictionists have chosen to ignore the growing body of evidence on the “complementarity” of immigrants and natives. Rather than acknowledge the enormous economic contributions that immigrants make, they persist in their nonsensical quest to scare the native-born population into believing that immigrants are the greatest threat to their livelihoods.
However, even by the shaky intellectual standards of the restrictionist movement, a September 6 report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) makes little sense. The report, titled Immigrants Replace Low-Skill Natives in the Workforce, begins with the observation that “the United States has been a magnet for low-skill immigration even as low-skill natives have worked less and less.” The report notes, correctly enough, that “this does not imply that immigrants push out natives from the workforce, but it does mean that immigrants replace natives.” More precisely, “as natives leave the workforce—whether because of competition from immigrants, insufficient wages, overreliance on welfare, distaste for manual labor, or some other reason employers turn increasingly to immigrants.” If immigrants are replacing less-skilled natives in the labor force for reasons that may have nothing to do with immigration, then what exactly is the point of the report? Apparently, the point is that:
“…immigration functions as a band-aid over the problem. Instead of searching for ways to get natives back to work—through higher wages, less access to welfare, or social pressure—government and business leaders have brought in immigrants to do the work. Limiting immigration would not solve all the problems facing low-skill natives, but it would provide the incentive to get them back to work and back into the mainstream of society.”
This is nonsensical. Why would you use immigration policy to solve a problem that you acknowledge may not be related to immigration policy? Isn’t the first step in solving a problem to correctly identify the cause? CIS’s reasoning is comparable to saying that you’re going to reduce the number of medical mistakes at hospitals by shutting down all hospitals. Yes, that would “fix” the problem, but it’s a “solution” that kind of misses the point.
Beyond CIS’s reasoning about employment levels, it is important to recognize that workers aren’t just workers. All workers create jobs as consumers and entrepreneurs. They spend their wages buying food, clothes, appliances, and cars. Moreover, businesses respond to the presence of these new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores, and production facilities. And immigrants are more likely than the native-born to start their own business. The end result is more jobs for more workers.
Immigrants don’t “steal” jobs—they fill necessary jobs in the labor market that suit their skills and they also create jobs. CIS might want to mention this in its next report on immigrants and the economy.]]>
Policy barriers are one main obstacle for immigrants seeking workforce development training and services, but other significant challenges remain, such as a lack of cooperation between workforce organizations and immigrant-serving organizations, according to a report released Aug. 25 by the Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative. Immigrants and their families are an increasingly important part of the country’s economy, making up 13 percent of the U.S. population and 16 percent of the labor force, according to the report. However, immigrants are much more likely than the native population to live in poverty and they’re underserved by public workforce development programs, according to available data, the authors said. Although immigrant workers ‘‘demonstrate significant need’’ for employment and skill-building services, the public workforce development system appears to serve ‘‘very few’’ of them, according to the report. ‘‘We think that immigrants are a critical part of our labor force, and recent developments have raised the urgency to think about how to better connect immigrants to workforce training and development services,’’ Marcela Montes, a co-author of the report and a senior research associate for Aspen WSI, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 26.
Overall, the report found a lack of partnering and communication between organizations that work directly with immigrants and organizations that provide support for workforce training, Montes said. These two pieces of the puzzle ‘‘don’t work in the same space,’’
she said. Significant constraints to access exist for immigrant and workforce organizations, such as lack of knowledge and understanding about each other’s types of organization and work; lack of leadership, information and support to wade into new partnership territory; and lack of time and resources to engage in the time consuming
and sensitive work of building partnerships, the report found.
Policy and system reforms can help to address these barriers, but additional approaches are needed as well, such as leadership development, capacity building, peer learning, technical assistance and documentation/ dissemination of good practices and models, it said. The report, ‘‘Improving Immigrant Access to Workforce Services: Partnerships, Practices, and Policies’’ is based on interviews with leaders across the immigrant and workforce development fields, conducted in fall 2015. Lack of Funding, Understanding at Local Level. The report found that partnerships between grass-roots immigrant-serving and workforce organizations can be very valuable. But getting them up and keeping them
going are hampered by a lack of time, resources and committed partners willing to work through organizational and cultural differences.
For example, respondents said leaders aren’t encouraging such partnerships enough, and without commitment from the heads of organizations, the alliances usually don’t even get off the ground. It’s a new type of partnership, outside the norm, so organizational leaders
may find it difficult to give them a high priority in terms of resource allocation, according to the report. The authors also cited barriers stemming from a lack of partnerships between immigrant-serving organizations and entities in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity
Act system, such as public one-stop job centers, in favor of partnerships between immigrant serving organizations and community colleges. In many communities, respondents identified a general lack of knowledge among WIOA-funded entities of the existence of immigrant-serving organizations, and vice versa.
This lack of understanding could be due to many immigrant-serving organizations perceiving the workforce system as underfunded and overtaxed with serving too many special populations. Immigrant-serving organizations tend to not reach out to the workforce system, believing it likely would be a fruitless effort, the report said. Increased communication between these two separate fields would greatly help in overcoming these barriers, Montes said, and community colleges are good starting points. In addition, the report found that including worker centers and unions as partners with community colleges or immigrant integration organizations could also be a promising approach to serving immigrants better. Montes said many of these efforts are very localized to the unique needs of a particular community and more research is needed to figure out how these problems are addressed.
Policy Barriers and Legal Status. The number one problem that prevents people from trying to find these services is their undocumented status, Karen Weinstock, managing attorney at Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 26. ‘‘Part of the solution is to fix the broken immigration system’’ to give undocumented workers an opportunity to legalize their status, said Weinstock, who wasn’t affiliated with the report. Implementing this solution would also be a path to improving access to English education and career advancement and job training services, she added.
Given that comprehensive immigration reform is stalled at the federal level, the report said, local solutions at the state or municipal level might help immigrants access workforce development programs more quickly. However, the report found that success might vary depending on the state. For example, interviewees said partnership and policy work at the state and local level is more easily conducted in states such as New York and California,
which have historically been more amenable to reforming policies affecting immigrants, versus states like Texas and Arizona, where the political environment is more difficult.
BY GENEVIEVE DOUGLAS
To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve
Douglas in Washington, D.C., at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony
Harris at email@example.com
The proposed rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Under this proposed rule, DHS may parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup enterprises:
Under the proposed rule, entrepreneurs may be granted an initial stay of up to two years to oversee and grow their startup entity in the United States. A subsequent request for re-parole (for up to three additional years) would be considered only if the entrepreneur and the startup entity continue to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue or job creation.]]>
This is a great recognition to her and our efforts and we are happy to share this news with all our clients and colleagues. Congratulations, Karen!]]>
“Shooting stars” are actually just different-sized particles of dust, some finer than a grain of sand, that comets and asteroids leave behind during their orbits around the Sun. The resulting particle cloud (called meteoroids), thawed by the Sun’s heat, disperses in the space around the comet, and every year our planet crosses through it during our orbit around the Sun. During this meeting, the dust specks disintegrate upon their high-speed entrance into Earth’s atmosphere, creating those famous streaks of luminescence. From our point of view, all the trajectories of different shooting stars converge into a point of the sky called the radiant. The constellation where that radiant point is found determines the name of the meteor shower. Thus, the Perseids meteor shower is found in the Perseus constellation, while the Geminids are found in the Gemini constellation.
According to standard models, the Perseids’ activity will include about 100 meteors per hour (Zenithal Hourly Rate). Like every year, the Perseids’ reach their peak in the middle of August. For 2016, with maximum visibility expected between 13:00 and 15:30 UT/GMT. While they’re active between July 17 and August 24, the nights of August 12 and 13 will be the best moment to observe the shower. A crescent moon, which will disappear for the second half of the night, should not pose a problem for seeing the Perseids; on average, a stargazer will be able to see one every two minutes, including some very bright ones (due to the high speeds at which they enter into the atmosphere) for those watching from dark places with clear horizons, far from light contamination.
So just get a little away from the city and look up!]]>
Some like basketball star Kyrie Irving, Boyd Martin who competes in equestrian, rugby player Madison Hughes, and water polo player Tony Azevedo were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents. Others, like sailor Bora Gulari, tennis player Denis Kudla, and fencer Dagmara Wozniak, came to the U.S. as children with their parents. Still other Olympians, like canoeist Michal Smolen, immigrated for college or as adults.
Other athletes are the children of immigrants who came to the U.S. to make a better life for their families. Their stories remind us how immigrants come from all over the world and contribute their talents to the U.S.
Here are some New American athletes to watch:
All members of Team USA–foreign born and native born alike–are proudly representing their country in the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.]]>
The changes in the rule, which goes into effect on Aug. 29, 2016, expands eligibility for the provisional waiver process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. USCIS expects to update its Policy Manual to provide guidance on how USCIS makes “extreme hardship” determinations in the coming weeks.
Until now, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek such provisional waivers before departing the United States for the processing of their immigrant visas. This regulation expands eligibility for the process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver.
To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.
If you qualify for this extension, call us today! 770-629-9515 or 770-913-0800
Current TPS El Salvador beneficiaries who want to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from July 8, 2016, through Sept. 6, 2016.
The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of March 9, 2018.
USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EAD until after their current work permits expire. Therefore, we are automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs with a Sept. 9, 2016 expiration date for six months. These existing EADs are now valid through March 9, 2017.
To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit:
If you qualify for this process, we can help you with it! give us a call today! 770-913-0800]]>
According to Politico magazine, when run through the Flesch-Kincaid grade test, Trump’s speeches score at a fourth-grade reading level. This means his vocabulary and sentence structure are on a par with those of a nine-year-old. Nevertheless, his strategy has been useful and brought him to become the Republican Party’s only candidate for the US presidential elections next fall. His anti-establishment attitude and opposition to “political correctness” has tapped into a fraction of Americans who champion Trump’s disrespect for other individuals and religions, as he demonstrated in his response speech to the Orlando attacks, to cite an example.
Just like a fourth grader, Trump picks his fights. He rants and freestyles, he bashes on anyone who criticizes him and uses a large amount of simple taglines to conquer his audience. In the past months, he has left behind some astonishing remarks: “Our leaders are very, very stupid;” “I don’t have a lot of respect for Jeb [Bush]. Jeb is a lightweight, he’s a spoiled child.” And he doesn’t just take on politicians, he also targeted journalists. Last August, following a Republican debate, Trump said of female moderator Megyn Kelly that her questions were “ridiculous” and “off-base,” and stated: “You could see she had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
In line with such comments, here’s a compilation of the most notable Trumpisms:
One of his main interests is Education. With capital “E”. and he says that we are not educating the generations to come properly. We are harming them by extirpating feelings and creativity from the classroom.
Now that school is in a break and the new academic year is soon to start, what do you think?
Here is his talk for to you listen and decide.
Senator Toomey’s “Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act” literally transforms state and local law enforcement officers into federal immigration enforcement agents and distracts from their ability to protect and serve their local community. The bill also tries to punish these so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions by taking away millions of dollars in federal funding for programs that make communities stronger, including the Community Development Block Grant from any city, state or county that does not fully comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers and notification requests.
The term “sanctuary city” is often used incorrectly to describe a trust act or community policing policy that limits entanglement between local police and federal immigration authorities. These policies, in reality, make communities safer and increase communication between police and residents without imposing any restrictions on federal immigration agents in carrying out their job of enforcing immigration laws.
Community policing policies also help ensure that law enforcement officers do not run afoul of the law by detaining persons they do not have legal authority to hold.
Senator Cruz’s bill which seeks to increase mandatory minimums for certain immigration penalties, would further criminalize immigration which has proven to do nothing to deter unauthorized immigration and would cost tax payers billions.
Instead of spinning their wheels on punitive, piecemeal legislation, Senators should focus on passing more meaningful reforms that move our nation forward.]]>
The Obama administration responded Thursday at last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on immigration with an awards ceremony honoring more than 50 cities and counties, including Atlanta, for their innovative immigrant-friendly programs.
At a White House ceremony, Atlanta and the other cities were celebrated for creating a friendly environment for immigrants, including education initiatives to help guide the newcomers through the citizenship process.
Such policies not only are the right thing to do ethically, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said. Welcoming immigrants also is smart. According to the numbers, foreign-born individuals start companies at a higher rate than US citizens. And not only that, they grow their businesses faster.
During a conference call with reporters, Reed and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed disappointment with last week’s court ruling. But both pledged their cities would continue moving forward with programs to ease immigrants’ adjustment to their new homes.]]>
We want to wish you a happy 4th of July weekend!]]>
As a starting point, the survey examined how many Americans are worried about a terrorist attack. Given the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino and in Paris at the end of 2015 (it was conducted before the Orlando massacre), just over half (51 %) of survey respondents “report feeling somewhat or very worried that they or a member of their family will become a victim of terrorism.” This marks an increase of 18% points since late 2014, when only 33% of respondents harbored such a fear.
Yet, despite these fears, most respondents did not give in to the temptation to scapegoat all immigrants or all Muslims for the actions of a relatively small numbers of terrorists. For instance, 58% “oppose placing a temporary ban on Muslims from other countries entering the U.S.,” compared to 40% who support such a measure. Likewise, 55% “oppose passing a law that would deny Syrian refugees entrance to the U.S.,” while 44% support such a law.
Nor did most respondents buy into Trump’s views on the U.S.-Mexico border, undocumented immigration, or the economic impact of immigrants. Among the respondents:
61% “say immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be allowed a way to become citizens,” compared to 21% say that they should be deported.
58% oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while 41% support the wall.
47% believe that “immigrants strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents,” while 43% say that “immigrants are a burden on the country because they take jobs, housing, and healthcare.”
68% say that “new immigrants mostly take jobs Americans do not want,” compared to 25% who believe that these “immigrants take jobs away from American citizens.”
So is he really speaking what the people think? Or just trying to continue spreading information which is simply not true?]]>
The Department of Homeland Security reports higher numbers of arrivals this year compared to last year, but still not as high as 2014. Many of the individuals crossing are mothers and children who are immediately confronted with inhumane, often hostile conditions.
A National Public Radio story reported that, upon arrival, Border Patrol agents pack “bewildered young immigrants elbow-to-elbow into frigid cells.” Unfortunately, the story went on to make multiple mistakes, first suggesting that the crowded, cold holding cells were a practice of the past and stating, “today, the government has new family holding facilities, and unaccompanied kids are sent to cheery church camps.”
The truth is that the initial processing of family units and adult border crossers still takes place in Customs and Border Protection’s short-term detention facilities, known as “hieleras,” or ice-boxes. Attorneys working directly with these families confirm this ongoing practice, and litigation against DHS is attempting to unseal the conditions of these facilities and stop the government from detaining individuals in horrific conditions.
The family detention facilities in Texas to which many families are transferred after being held in the “hieleras” are jails owned and operated by private prison corporations. The conditions of these have been the subject of ongoing complaints that describe a lack of access to legal counsel, insufficient or nonexistent access to medical care, and inhumane living conditions.
The asylum process is very difficult for anybody to complete. When individuals express a fear of return to their native country, they begin the asylum process with an initial screening interview, known as a “credible fear interview” with an asylum officer. Only if they receive a positive determination from that initial interview are they then considered for release with a “Notice to Appear” in immigration court to pursue their claims for asylum. They must attend a series of hearings, submit an application for asylum (with accompanying evidence), and prove they are eligible—this without the assistance of a lawyer, unless they are able to retain one because the government refused to guarantee appointed counsel to everyone in court, even children.
Therefore, being represented by an attorney is often the exception. If for any reason the individual misses a hearing, they can be ordered deported “in absentia.” And the government has said it will go after families with deportation orders, and has, in fact, rounded up hundreds of families in raids and swiftly deported them. And as was recently reported, many Central American families are being removed to worse conditions than the ones they originally fled.
The U.S. asylum process is a difficult and complex journey for any individual to undertake and so far the U.S. government’s treatment of asylum-seeking families from Central American is not something to be proud of.]]>
There’s a reason for this. Immigration law doesn’t vary from state to state or court to court. But immigrants’ odds do, and by the numbers, Atlanta is one of the worst places in the country to be an undocumented immigrant hoping to avoid deportation. Justice Department-appointed judges in that court denied asylum 98% of the times in the 2015 fiscal year, the highest rate of any immigration court that heard more than five cases. 88% of cases that went before Atlanta immigration courts ended with a removal order. That’s way over the national average: In the country as a whole, immigration judges denied about 52 percent of asylum claims, and 69 percent of cases resulted in a deportation order.
Atlanta immigration judges have been accused of bullying children, badgering domestic violence victims and setting standards for relief and asylum that lawyers say are next to impossible to meet. Given Atlanta immigration judges’ reluctance to grant asylum, some immigrants who fear returning to their native countries don’t even try.
ICE is set to ramp up its raids in coming months on Central Americans who came to the U.S. in or after a 2014 surge in border apprehensions of mothers and children. Officials won’t say where they’ll focus their efforts, other than that they will target people who were already denied asylum or other deportation relief in the courts. In Atlanta, that’s almost everyone.]]>
EOIR’s data suggests that children appear in immigration court—and that when children are represented by counsel, appearance rates are even higher. This data suggests that children who do fail to appear are victims of the system’s deficits. Given the relationship between representation and attendance, the appointment of counsel to children would help ensure attendance at proceedings in a more cost-effective, humane, and fair manner.]]>
It honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.
Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials.
7. “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
8. “Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: “What does his voice sound like?” “What games does he like best?” “Does he collect butterflies?” They ask: “How old is he?” “How many brothers does he have?” “How much money does his father make?” Only then do they think they know him.”
9. “One must require from each one the duty which each one can perform. Accepted authority rests first of all on reason.”
10. “Nothing in the universe remains the same if somewhere, we don´t know where, a sheep ate, or not, a rose.”]]>
CARRP (Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program), which first began in 2008, is designed to identify security risks among immigrants who apply for visas, asylum, green cards, and naturalization in the U.S.
In January, a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed how the FBI, against their own guidelines, offered immigration assistance to Muslim immigrants affected by CARRP’s delays in exchange for spying on their communities.
For years immigration lawyers and civil liberty organizations have claimed that CARRP is unconstitutional because it violates the right to due process and the right to a timely review of immigration files as guaranteed by the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Due to its secretive nature, it is unclear how many people currently fall under CARRP, nor what fraction is Muslim. What is known is that between 2008 and 2012, the case files of over 19,000 people from 18 Muslim-majority countries were rerouted through that program.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry lived in a time where society was in a free fall straight into despair. As an aviator, he traveled around the world. This is how he found that every human being, regardless of religion or skin color hid a unique treasure: the power of love.
Back then, love was hiding because of hatred among European nations. He found the need to rescue the positive values that seem to be doomed to extinction. In a beautiful metaphor, Saint-Exupéry used a child´s innocence to remind us what we really are.
We take these ten lessons from The Little Prince that can help us live a fuller happier life:
More than 185,000 citizenship applications were submitted in the final three months of 2015, a 14% increase from 2014 and up 8 percent compared with the same period prior to the 2012 elections.
Experts are attributing the rush in naturalization partially to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy positions during the presidential campaign.
A new report from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials finds that eight million Latino voters could be impacted by new voting laws. In 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated a provision of the Voting Rights Act which obligated certain states with a history of discrimination to obtain “pre-clearance” from the U.S. Department of Justice to make any modifications of electoral laws. According to NALEO, approximately 8 million Latino voters live in jurisdictions that must no longer be pre-cleared by the federal government despite their histories of discriminatory voting practices.
19 states have enacted or implemented new restrictive laws since the November 2012 election that will make it harder for some voters to cast ballots in 2016. Eight states have laws that make it more difficult to register to vote by making voters register much further in advance, restricting community volunteers from helping with voter registration efforts, or requiring additional documentation. Six states have laws making it more difficult to vote by shortening early voting periods, and another six have placed restrictions on absentee voting. Nine states have passed voter ID laws, requiring potential voters to present certain documents proving citizenship either to register to vote or to vote. Multiple studies have found that Latinos and other minorities are less likely to possess the necessary documents.
All of these restrictions have passed despite evidence that voter fraud is a problem.
NALEO estimates that more than 875,000 Latinos and other in these 19 states could be seriously held back from participating in the 2016 Presidential election. While Latinos and other immigrants and new citizens feel compelled to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the elections, many may be discouraged from having their votes counted. The barriers to full civic participation in the U.S. are troublesome and must be addressed.]]>
The Adonia just got to Havana. The first cruise connecting the U.S. and Cuba in over a half century arrived yesterday to the port surrounded by great expectation. A numerous group of people was there to welcome them from the Malecón.
This historic trip means the first step of months of negotiations. It is also one of the clearest moves forward in the normalization of the relationship between United States and Cuba. While we wait for this to happen, why not take a peak and go visit the island?]]>
It was heartwarming to meet and be able to talk to all of them. Listening to their stories made us reinforce why we are working in immigration law, helping people to keep their families together. Below are some pictures of the event.
One of these couples had a very sad story. They met and got married and went to an attorney in Alabama to file their immigration paperwork. The U.S. citizen wife was disabled and could not work, and her husband who came from Mexico was her only means of support. The attorney who did not know about the waiver process, which our firm has done hundreds of times successfully, took their money and gave them the wrong advice. That attorney recommended to the couple to leave the U.S. and for them to get married there and file the paperwork from there lying about the fact that they were living here. At the end of the case the agency found out about this material misrepresentation and denied the case. The husband became subject to a permanent bar for the misrepresentation all the while thinking the attorney was there to help them! Had they stayed in the U.S. and told the truth they could have been approved for a hardship waiver and the husband could have gotten his green card because he meets the qualifications.
The bill urges the Department of Homeland Security to readmit veterans who have been deported and have not committed a serious crime. It also prevents the deportation of veterans who have served in the military at least six months and have not committed a serious crime.
An immigration law passed in 1996 makes many immigrants, including those who have established legal residency, deportable for non-violent crimes, such as drug possession. The law also allows the deportations to be retroactive.
It seems extremely unfair that those who fought for our flag and put their lives on the line be subject for deportation unless they committed some serious crime. Don´t you think?]]>
The two justices who may side with the U.S. government are Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy.
It was very interesting that Texas was actually not able to challenge the President’s authority for the executive action.
The challenge that Texas and the other states raised were involving having to issue and subsidize driver’s licenses for millions of people who they were not planning on doing so because Texas subsidizes its driver’s licenses, meaning the fee the DMV charges is less than the cost to produce the license.
The issues that Texas was not able to adequately overcome is standing – how can the state have standing to sue the federal government when it is clear that the federal government has the authority to issue deferred action and EADs to immigrants? Will every time the state has to incur a cost to implement a federal rule or regulation will they be able to sue? That will open up the flood gates to many law suits from states that do not want to implement federal laws. Also there is no direct injury to Texas as a state.
We hope that at least Chief Justice Roberts will rule for the federal government and we will have a 5-3 decision overturning the injunction and allowing the DAPA and expanded DACA to continue.]]>
En el centro del caso están dos cuestiones. La primera es si el Estado de Texas tiene legitimidad para declararse en perjuicio por la regulación de indocumentados. La segunda es si el presidente se excedió en sus competencias al decidir que se cancelasen las deportaciones de un grupo específico de sin papeles y otorgarles un permiso de trabajo y residencia temporal.
La reforma migratoria es uno de los casos que se verán afectados por la falta de un sustituto al juez conservador Antonin Scalia, fallecido el pasado mes de febrero. Faltando un miembro, un empate a cuatro votos hará prevalecer la sentencia de la Corte de Apelaciones que estudió el caso por última vez y que dictaminó en contra, por lo que las reformas seguirían bloqueadas. También cabe la posibilidad de que el Supremo rechace la viabilidad de la demanda porque estime que Texas no ha demostrado que le afecte directamente la regulación de indocumentados ni que Obama se haya excedido en sus competencias. Cualquiera de estos dos últimos casos resultaría en un dictamen favorable a la reforma, que entraría en vigor inmediatamente. Obama cerraría así su presidencia con el legado de haber sacado de las sombras a casi cinco millones de personas.
Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly-skilled foreign professionals submit their applications for the pool of H-1B visas beginning on April 1 each year. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.
Congress has a limit of 65,000 visas for new hires and 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a Master’s or Doctorate from a U.S. university. In the last years, demand for H-1B visas has outstripped the supply and the cap has been quickly reached. In FY 2015, more than 230,000 petitions were received. This leaves some employers with no ability to access the workers they have determined they need. This year is no exception. USCIS also noted that it received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.
This shows how far away from reality our immigration law is, and how they are hurting businesses and economic growth. If a company cannot hire the people they need, how are they going to compete in an ever changing global economy?]]>
Scammers pretend to be a government official and call immigrants saying there is a problem with their immigration record. Sometimes they know personal information about the immigrant. They ask for personal and sensitive details, and demand immediate payment to fix the problem. They get angry and threaten people with deportation if payment is not made immediately with electronic money transfers.
Sometimes, scammers use special software to make it look like USCIS 800 number is calling. Other times they leave a message to call a number that sounds exactly like USCIS 800 number.
Remember, USCIS officials rarely call customers on the phone, and THEY WILL NEVER ASK FOR PAYMENT OVER THE PHONE. If they need payment, you will receive a letter on official stationery requesting payment.
If you receive a call like this, hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state. If you have a question about your immigration record, please call customer service at 800-375-5283, or make an InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov]]>
Professor Susan B. Long, Co-Director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse research center at Syracuse University, analyzed data provided by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). She found that, in immigration proceedings completed between July 2014 and August 2015, 44% of unrepresented unaccompanied children present in court for their hearings were ordered to leave the United States, as compared to 14% of children with legal representation. Of the remaining unrepresented children, half had their cases put on hold through a process called “administrative closure,” and only the remaining 28% ended in a decision allowing the child to remain in the United States.
Given that the government’s own “expert” on vulnerable populations, Judge Weil, believes that three and four year olds can be trained on immigration law, it is not surprising that the government continues to insist that children can obtain a fair hearing without legal representation. Meanwhile, courts order thousands of unrepresented children deported each year.]]>
What Happens Now that The Cap Has Been Reached?
Except as noted below, USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that were received after March 15, 2016 and that request an employment start date before April 1, 2016.
Petitions That Are Exempt from the Cap
USCIS will continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes the following types of petitions:
Petitions Including H-2B Returning Workers
To avoid processing delays, petitioners who are including H-2B returning workers on their petition must complete and include the H-2B Returning Worker Certification and are encouraged to write “H-2B Returning Workers” prominently on the envelope and any cover page. You can find more information about this in the web alert, H-2B Returning Workers Exempted from the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016.]]>
Filed on March 9, 2016, the lawsuit argues that two policies, which bar undocumented students from attending the state’s five best public universities and force undocumented Georgia residents to pay international student rates at the state’s public universities, are unconstitutional. The Georgia Board of Regents, an unelected body that oversees the University System of Georgia, approved the policies in 2011.
The federal lawsuit names each Board of Regents member as a defendant in the case. They argue that this system violates the Constitution because the policy is preempted by federal immigration law and the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration.
Rather than encourage Georgia’s young immigrant community to come forward and enroll in higher education, the Board of Regents is putting up road blocks to student success. It’s unfortunate that those responsible for the oversight of the state’s higher education system are so short-sighted.]]>
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Robert H. Schuller]]>
Two new pieces of research detail those benefits. For undocumented immigrants, Obama’s plan would raise incomes and decrease poverty. For state and local governments, the changes could increase tax revenue by more than $800 million.
Obama’s executive actions on immigration would provide temporary relief from deportation and enable qualifying immigrants to gain work authorization. Issued in 2014, they are designed for parents of legal residents and undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. A federal court temporarily blocked the program in February 2015, an appeals court upheld the ruling in November and last month the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Texas and 25 other states argue that Obama’s plans impose “substantial costs” – for health care, law enforcement, education, even issuing driver’s licenses. This argument falls apart when you look at U.S. Census data.
The majority of the 3.6 million undocumented immigrant parents eligible for the DAPA program have lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, and 85 percent of their minor children are U.S. citizens. If the parents were authorized to work, average annual family income would rise by 10 percent. Poverty among these families would decline by about 6 percent. Nor would this cost Americans jobs, because most eligible men are already in the work force.
None of this should be a surprise. A lot of studies have found that legal work status or citizenship for undocumented immigrants would set free entrepreneurial energy and allow immigrants to invest in businesses, homes or simply their own human capital to improve their situation and the community they live in. New York, California and 13 other states argue that their economies would gain if undocumented immigrants gained lawful employment.
Before the Supreme Court accepts the weak economic arguments put forth by Texas, it should look at the evidence that refutes it. Keeping people in limbo, it turns out, is expensive.]]>
Well, here is Madeline telling the world about it.]]>
Undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy in many ways: they fill essential jobs, sustain U.S. businesses through their purchase of goods and services, and pay taxes to federal, state, and local governments. Their contributions would be even greater if they had a chance to earn legal status and didn’t have the danger of deportation constantly hanging over their heads. A winning scenario for the immigrants themselves and the native-born population, right?
In a recent report titled Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) explores in depth not only the present tax contributions of undocumented immigrants, but how much these would increase under two different scenarios. One is the temporary reprieve from deportation and the renewable three-year work authorization that the Obama administration is trying to grant to some undocumented immigrants via executive action. The other is the granting of legal permanent resident (LPR) status to all undocumented immigrants. Not surprisingly, immigrants with legal status pay more in taxes than those who are undocumented.
Undocumented immigrants pay sales taxes. And they also pay property taxes, even if they rent. ITEP estimates their current and possible future tax contributions at the state and local level. Let’s see how.
Current contributions: Undocumented immigrants paid $11.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2013. Range goes from roughly $2.2 million in Montana (only 4,000 undocumented immigrants) to $3.1 billion in California (more than 3 million).
These estimates should be kept in mind as political commentators and presidential candidates debate how best to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who now live in the United States. Despite their undocumented status, these immigrants—and their family members—are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs as well. If they had legal status, they would contribute even more. On the other hand, the only alternative—mass deportation—would be very costly and needlessly destructive. Common sense should dictate which route to take.]]>
A team of engineers and computer experts of the University of Washington have developed a method called Passive WiFi. This will use 10.000 less energy than traditional WiFi networks and 1.000 times less energy than other wireless platforms, such as Bluetooth. Passive WiFi allows transmitting at 11megabits per second at distances longer than 900 feet. A connection of this kind could not only be useful to get your battery to make it through the day but it would also be able to push forward having objects connect to the Net without having to link them to a computer or phone.]]>
To begin to remedy this injustice, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), along with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), introduced the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act.” The bill would provide unaccompanied children and other vulnerable populations with attorneys to guide them through the complicated immigration court process. The legislation would also require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Attorney General to make sure that legal orientation programs (trainings that give a basic overview of immigration law and the court process) are available to all detained immigrants.
KIND and other groups provide legal assistance to kids facing immigration court alone, but do not have the resources to represent all children that are forced to go through the immigration courts on their own. About half of minors and about 70 percent of families still go through the process without legal counsel.
It is out-of-line that a country that values due process has allowed such an unjust practice to go on for so long. Fortunately, it looks like some members of Congress are looking for a remedy.]]>
Regardless of the language we speak, something we all humans share is laughter. And it tends to sound the same in every language. However, with social media, expressing it is very different depending of the culture and the language we communicate in.
Here are a few examples:
The country’s demographics and economic mainstays are changing. For example, more retirements and fewer births mean a smaller native-born workforce. Manufacturing companies are in decline.
Immigrants play an outsize role in establishing “main street” businesses (retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services), which are important for generating neighborhood-level economic growth and revitalization.
Ensuring that immigrant entrepreneurs can maximize their potential is important for states and localities, especially those struggling with an economic or population dip. In Chicago, those business owners operate the majority of stores in the city’s “Little Village,” an area that contributes the second most business tax revenues to the city. In 2011, Chicago recognized it could do more to foster immigrant entrepreneurship and began drafting its New Americans Plan, to lower barriers to entry for immigrant-owned businesses.
On top of the economic benefits, welcoming initiatives and integration plans are building stronger communities and pushing back against anti-immigrant sentiment.
These local efforts partially address a gap in U.S. immigration policy: the lack of federal attention to immigrant integration. They also provide the foundation for national efforts and give an example to other areas and cities of how it is possible to integrate immigrants in a way that everybody (locals and immigrants) benefits from it.]]>
Musicians Juanes and John Legend visited an immigration jail there and offered a small concert outside the facility to draw attention on a huge problem: terrible conditions of detainees and unjust detention of people fleeing violence in Central America.
With this gesture they wanted to offer hope to the inmates, show them that they are not alone. They wanted to witness the situation and put the spotlight on what is happening on detention centers.
The raids are yet another depressing sign of the failed state of American immigration policy.
More than 2 million people have been deported in the last eight years alone. The vast majority are not criminals. One-quarter of the recent deportations have been of a parent of a U.S. citizen child. In the name of enforcing our laws, we are breaking up families.
The immigrants in our communities came to this country with hopes and dreams for a better life for their children. They are no different from the generations that came before them, such as the Irish and Italian families. Most of the 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. have been here for five years or more. About two-thirds have been here for at least a decade. And this is why our failure to enact comprehensive reforms is so cruel.
Millions right now are living in the shadows of this society in a limbo, without full human rights and hope for the future. It is hard to imagine the stress and anxiety they feel – the constant fear that one day without warning they won’t be coming home for dinner and may never see their families again.
The DAPA and DACA programs together would provide immediate relief and peace of mind to up to 5.2 million of these people. About 5.5 million U.S. citizen children could benefit directly from their parents receiving deferred action under the DAPA program.
Right now, U.S. immigration policy betrays our country’s founding principles and historic commitment to be a beacon of hope for the peoples of every nation. The common good can never be served by deporting some little girl’s dad. A just and compassionate society must not allow this.]]>
What is the answer to immigration? Banning international travelling and closing borders? This seems like a rather utopian option in a world so interconnected and dependent as it is the one we live in.
So maybe the answer is, instead of been skeptical and rejecting what immigrants bring into our communities, to embrace them and help them integrate into our society. What do you think?]]>
Individuals re-registering for TPS:
Current beneficiaries under South Sudan’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register from January 25, 2016 through March 25, 2016. U.S.
Individuals applying for TPS for the first time:
For South Sudanese nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) who do not currently have TPS, the TPS redesignation allows them to apply for TPS if they have continuously resided in the United States since January 25, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since May 3, 2016. Applicants must meet all other TPS eligibility and filing requirements.
If you qualify for this Temporary Protected Status, call us today and we will file it for you: 770-913-0800.]]>
The President unveiled the programs in November 2014; implementation was blocked in response to a challenge brought by Texas and 25 other states. Since then, the nearly 4.3 million immigrants who would have been eligible have been caught in legal limbo.
If the Court gives a green light to the programs, Obama will see them implemented before he leaves office. The Supreme Court’s ruling will come down in the midst of the presidential campaign and will settle an issue that has been pending for over a year now.
At issue is the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) aimed at the approximately 4.3 million undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, as well as an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) targeting teenagers and young adults who were born outside of the U.S. but raised in the country.
In the case that the Supreme Court finally lets the Obama administration move forward with it, this could be his legacy on immigration matter.]]>
The first 180 Cuban refugees were scheduled to fly to El Salvador as part of a coordinated effort with the Costa Rican and other Central American governments. There are some 8,000 Cuban refugees waiting in Costa Rica to travel to the United States.
In November, the Nicaraguan government closed its borders and prohibited the Cubans from crossing over after Managua accused the government of San Jose of violating international laws by allowing the refugees to travel without transit documents. Hundreds were deported after they reached Nicaragua.
The Cubans had arrived by plane in Ecuador, which had lifted travel visas for those from that country, and crossed to Colombia and Panama before they found themselves stranded and living in makeshift camps on the Costa Rican border.
The refugees hope to obtain US residency under the Cuban Adjustment Act.
While many are excited, the refugees have mixed feelings about their journey because they are unclear how they will cross Mexico once they arrive by bus in the southern city of Tapachula.]]>
To help you achieve your goals you must structure them in the SMART way.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results oriented and Time sensitive. When making your New Year’s resolutions, make sure your goals fit all of these criteria otherwise they are more likely to fail.
Specific – Write down the specific aspects of your goals and also outcomes and specific behaviors you need to do and also write interim steps to achieving them.
For example: I want to get my green card by the end of 2017.
This makes the smart goals because it is very specific results oriented and actionable there’s a lot of things that the person would need to do it at the same time it’s easy to measure whether somebody will get a green card or not by a specific date. If the goal includes a behavior change you will need to write what behaviors you will need to eliminate and what behaviors you will need to adopt. And of course start taking actions on both fronts.]]>
We want to wish all our friends and clients a very happy New Year 2016. May this new year turn all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into achievements!]]>
Perhaps the New Year is a good time to start making some small changes towards a happier life!]]>
After months of negotiations that ended last Thursday, the agreement was finally reached on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro’s historic announcement that Washington and Havana would begin normalizing relations.
The importance of the “Memorandum of Understanding” that restores daily commercial flights is that it will serve to pressure the US Congress into lifting travel restrictions against US citizens despite the 54-year-old trade embargo.
Although US citizens are still officially barred from traveling to Cuba for tourism purposes, trips to Cuba by US citizens have increased by more than 50 percent since the normalization of relations was announced, according to Jeffery DeLaurentis, business chargé d’affaires at the American Embassy in Havana. Republicans in Congress have held up the naming of an ambassador to Cuba.
Since the announcement of the normalization of relations American companies such as Netflix and Airbnb have begun to set up businesses, while some ship cruise lines are ferrying passengers on a limited basis.
Since Obama and Castro announced the normalization of diplomatic ties on December 17, 2014, the countries have taken some steps towards bringing their nations closer together. Washington and Havana reopened their own embassies in both countries this past year.
The re-establishment of direct mail service between the two nations was also announced several weeks ago.
But conversations about human rights, the closing of the Guantánamo naval base, the trade embargo, and compensation for US companies nationalized following the Cuban revolution have hit stumbling blocks.]]>
Take time to relax every day and you will enjoy life much more. The relationships we establish can be a source of happiness or just the opposite. We are in contact with others on a daily basis, from your partner, children, coworkers, cashiers or the taxi driver that takes you to your destination. It is not easy to have a life that you are proud of and still be happy if you don’t enjoy yourself. And ultimately, if social relationships are stressful, your life will be also.
Easy going men and women are people that it is nice to count on and share free time with and they become the model that we would like to follow. The reason is very simple: their presence makes us feel good.
Don’t worry, changing our way is possible. Run away from “this is how I am” and learn some new skills. You may need to work on a few of them, but you cannot fail at them all. Don’t stress, change requires the will to renovate. Plan, take action train through repetition and be patient. Look for the good side of things. If you have doubts on the intention of the comment of somebody, it is better to ask him/her before assuming it was said or done to irritate or hurt you. If you constantly think that everyone has bad intentions, you will never know how many good things they can do for you.
In another post next week we will give you 10 tips to follow in order to be a person that everybody wants to be around. Could be a New Year’s resolution. Stay tuned!]]>
However, this time the lawsuit is to prevent the resettlement of one Syrian refugee family in the state. Texas is the first to take legal action to try to block refugees.
The federal government and experts have stated repeatedly that governors do not have the power to decide whether or not refugees can resettle in their state. The Refugee Act of 1980 directs the federal government to manage resettlement of refugees and the Supreme Court and several lower courts have maintained that immigration—which includes refugee and asylum matters—is the responsibility of the federal government.
It is important to keep in mind that refugees are subject to rigorous screening processes prior to be considered for resettlement—many individuals and families undergo these security checks for a two-year period before ever stepping foot on U.S. soil. Not only this, Syrian refugees, including many children, are fleeing violence and had to abandon their lives and their homes and should be welcomed by all states, Texas included. It is a lack of compassion to try to block the resettlement of these families.]]>
Today, the Administration is fighting to defend these initiatives. The Supreme Court has said it is well within the executive’s power to decide how and when to use its enforcement resources. In fact, every Administration since 1956 has used its discretion to grant temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance.
Unfortunately, the slow pace of progress on the executive actions announced last year, coupled with the suspension of the expanded DACA and DAPA initiatives, has real-life consequences for millions of immigrants who live and work in this country. The Administration should continue to push forward in the areas where its authority is unchallenged: better prioritizing enforcement and modernizing the visa process. It must aggressively defend expanded DACA and DAPA in the courts, in hopes of being able to begin implementation of these initiatives before the President leaves office.]]>
Also, if you have any questions, feel free to use the comment box and we will be happy to answer them. Don’t be shy!]]>
This policy, called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, was announced in November 2014 and would allow for more than 4 million undocumented immigrants nationwide to apply for three-year renewable work permits and reprieves from deportation proceedings.
The next step for the administration will likely be an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. Only time will tell if the high court, which began its current term last month, will take the time to consider the case and what the outcome will be.]]>
The statement also notes the many contributions the Hispanic community has made to the US economy and cites examples such as California where its input accounts for $70 billion each year. This happens in the week where the polls are showing that Trump is losing support and Carson climbing up to a leading position.
Below is the full statement released by Enrique Krauze and Carmelo Mesa-Lago:
The undersigned – Hispanics who occupy academic positions in the United States, as well as intellectuals, artists and scientists from Mexico, other Latin American countries and Spain – cannot remain silent in the face of alarming statements from the candidate to the Presidency of the United States, Donald Trump. Since the announcement of his candidacy, Mr. Trump has accused Mexican immigrants of being criminals, rapists and drug traffickers; and has promised to deport 11 million of them and build a big wall along the border with Mexico. Trump’s hate speech appeals to xenophobia, sexism and political intolerance; it recalls historical campaigns against other ethnic groups that led to millions of deaths. Physical attacks on Hispanics and public assertions that Spanish should not be spoken in public have already occurred.
Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults are not based on tested facts, but only on his personal, baseless opinions. Not only does he disdain Hispanic immigrants, but he also exhibits a dangerous attitude toward his opponents, stigmatizing them as stupid or weak. He has insulted and expelled a prominent Hispanic reporter from a press conference who asked him an uncomfortable question and made sexist comments about female interviewers, while his supporters and personal bodyguards have attacked peaceful demonstrators.
The expulsion of Mexican immigrants would be catastrophic for states such as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where Mexicans carry out most manual work. In California our immigrants harvest 200 agricultural products, serve in hotels and restaurants, and collect garbage. California is the leading producer of wine in the country and the principal destination for tourism. These sectors generate $70 billion per year. Without Mexican workers, the economy of the state, followed swiftly by the rest of the country, would go to ruin.
Several of the undersigned are Hispanic immigrants who have been well-received by this great nation and contributed through their various endeavors toward greater knowledge, scientific progress, entertainment, and prosperity for all Americans. Mr. Trump’s conduct is not worthy of a candidate to the Presidency of the United States, the most powerful country in the world. All of us condemn his behavior and hope that the American people will no longer tolerate his absurdities.]]>
We are very proud to be selected in this list and we work hard every day to maintain the highest quality in our services and to offer the best client experience. It is a wonderful recognition to our efforts and we want to thank our clients, colleagues and outstanding staff, who altogether make our office the go-to immigration firm in Atlanta.]]>
Irritability and sharpened jabs infused the night as struggling candidates like Mr. Bush and Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio ripped into their less experienced rivals and tried to portray them as unqualified for the White House.
The free-for-all of verbal assaults reflected the new volatility in a race that Donald J. Trump dominated for months. It appears to be shifting in favor of candidates like Mr. Rubio and Ben Carson as the first nominating contests near and voters start paying closer attention to the field.
There is still a long way until the election so we will see how this all evolves.]]>
The reasons that the State of Texas is using to deny the certificates is that they are no longer accepting the parents “Matricula” card, which is an identification card issued by the Mexican Government through its consulates.
The parents of these children are arguing that their kids are denied the certificates because their parents lack proof of U.S citizenship or legal status. Children born on U.S. soil are entitled to U.S. Citizenship regardless of the immigration status of their parents. The Supreme Court has consistently upheld birthright citizenship over the years and this seriously calls into question Texas’ decision to deny these children birth certificates.
We are expecting to see if the trial date is set soon and what happens.]]>
The message they are delivering is clear: immigrants are not welcome. However, this is not the only state letting the anti-immigrant movement influence its policies: Texas and Michigan have had a similar type of initiative proposed.
While this legislation is a major setback for immigrant rights, it does not come out of the blue. It is the result of a long-standing strategy promoted by a powerful anti-immigrant lobby.
The truth is that anti-immigrant groups like CIS (Center for Immigration Studies) are less concerned about public safety and more concerned with reducing levels of immigration, particularly people of color. (As their own words and actions have long indicated, the contemporary anti-immigrant movement has deep roots in racism and nativism.)
Nor will CIS stop until they’ve increased the number of immigrants swept up in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation scheme regardless of status. Truth is that many immigrants are victims of crime, survivors of domestic violence, community members targeted by racial profiling or criminalized based on the color of their skin, kids getting into mischief, and people genuinely making mistakes but ultimately not deserving of family separation.
She is the favorite of the polls. Her political experience includes serving as Secretary of State, former Senator for the State of New York and First Lady. In the last years she led the Clinton foundation together with her husband and her daughter Chelsea. During her political career she has defended women’s and girls’ rights around the world, access to education and opportunity equality. She also defended the Iraq war and has foreign policy views more aggressive than President Obama. In the current campaign she is her biggest enemy because of the email scandal during her time in the Department of State which is still under investigation.
The Senator of Vermont is one of the big surprises of the Democrat Party in this campaign. He has managed to attract some of the younger voters through one of the more liberal proposals that have been heard in the last years. His weakness point is his left wing policies and the fact that he defines himself as a democratic socialist, which is seen as a negative term here.
The ex governor of Maryland has always had the Support of the African American and Hispanic voters. He can also boast about approving one of the most ambitious immigration policies at state level regulating the situation of Dreamers and proving that this reform was good for his state. He is also one of the main defenders of the prison system reform to end jail overpopulation and to help social reintegration.
He is former governor of Rhode Island. He was the only Senator who voted against the Iraq war in 2002. His followers are the democrats who are more reluctant to military interventions overseas He uses this argument as his main weapon against Clintonbut struggles to expand his proposal further.
Former senator in Virginia State and veteran of the Vietnam War. He is one of the more conservative candidates, especially when it comes to foreign policy and economics. He is far from the mainstream tendency on topics like inequality, education, immigration or gun control.
He is a University Harvard professor who runs in the race with only one proposal: to reform the United States electoral system. He wants to stop the influence of the donations from SuperPACS on the electoral process.]]>
The number of people deported in the last year is the lowest since 2006 and the percentage of individuals deported on criminal grounds rose from 56 to 59%. This is a good indicator because it shows that they are focusing on quality over quantity. In prior years, DHS had spent too many enforcement resources deporting individuals who have minor criminal convictions or no criminal records at all. In November 2014, one of the measures announced in the executive action on immigration was to focus resources on individuals who pose threats to “national security, public safety, and border security.”
This doesn’t mean that the enforcement is diminished, but rather it shows a better use of the resources and an improvement in the efficiency. DHS has not necessarily seen the light and is now deporting only dangerous criminals. Recent illegal entrants remain a high priority target for ICE, even though being a recent unauthorized border-crosser says nothing about whether or not an individual has a criminal history or violent proclivities; it also does not speak to a person’s ties to the United States or past residence here. But if DHS is investing more time and resources focusing on potentially deportable immigrants who may be a danger to society than trying to deport every potentially deportable immigrant this seems like a turn in the right direction, don’t you think?]]>
We all have bad days. This is why it becomes so important to be able to cheer ourselves up. If going to a meditation retreat or jogging for a couple of hours is simply not an option, we can try other things to come back to a good mood. The great news is that just a few seconds can change everything.
So what could you do in just 30 seconds to improve your mood and become your own cheerleader? Here are 8 easy tips (oh, and free!):
Little did Leah know that learning Spanish would change her life, as six years afterwards she met Victor, an immigrant from Mexico who did not speak any English. Leah felt like it was love at first sight. But just like any good story, it had a big obstacle: Victor was undocumented. He didn’t want anybody to think that his relationship with Leah was an interested one, so for several years he refused to pursue legal status through Leah. They got married and he finally agreed to search an attorney and start the green card process after having an accident at work and having time to reflect about his future. Two months after they made the decision, we started the application and Victor applied for the provisional waiver based on extreme hardship to Leah, which was approved.
The final step, the consulate appointment in Mexico was coming. Getting Victor there was not easy, as it was a costly trip and they were still facing significant financial hardships after losing a job. At first a friend of theirs offered to drive with him and suggested that her brother would let them stay with them for the two weeks in El Paso so Leah could wait for Victor. But right before they left, their friend could not go. They were disheartened but moved heaven and earth to find an alternative and Leah accompanied him. At last, a family member who works for an airline graciously gave them tickets which allowed them to attend the interview on time.
Victor went to the consulate appointment and got his immigrant visa approved. He also go to see his mother and sister in Mexico for the first time after 15 long years of separation and spent some time with his family rejoicing in these moments. After only being outside of the U.S. for a short time, Victor now has his green card and is back in the U.S. with his family.
The Pinedas have been wonderful and cooperative clients, very proactive and even when they encountered setbacks they continued on to find alternatives. It has been our pleasure to be part of their story and to facilitate their family stability and their happiness. Here are some pictures of Leah and Victor and the family reunion.
The growing call to end family detention has brought more attention to the abuses and problems in both privately and government – operated immigrant detention facilities. Yet family detention is one part of a larger industry using taxpayer dollars to lock up immigrants.
ICE’s pilot program with Geo might seem like an ideal option. But the fact that a for-profit company will operate the program points to another problem: private prison companies have expanded their presence in the immigration detention system. About 62 percent of detention beds are in privately-run facilities, according to a 2015 Grassroots Leadership analysis. When government functions are contracted to entities motivated by profit, oversight mechanisms are compromised.
The involvement of private prison companies in immigrant detention was scrutinized last week, when several Senators of both sides of the aisle introduced the Justice Is Not for Sale Act. The bill calls for the elimination of private prisons in both the criminal justice and immigrant detention industries in an effort to take profit out of the equation.
As more research sheds light on the deep problems in immigrant detention, Congress and the Administration have the power to choose whether taxpayer dollars are used to implement responsible, humane and effective immigration policies or to help companies make profit.]]>
We all learned the phrase Hakuna Matata 21 years ago thanks to a Disney movie. Did you know this is a real expression? It summarizes the attitude of Kenyan citizens.
Kenya, a place of golden savannahs, undulating prairies, jungles and volcanic flatland, goes from the idyllic coasts of the Indian Ocean all the way to the Mount Kenya summit. It is very easy to let this magical place trap you because it offers infinite options. Safari means “trip” in Swahili, and it is precisely in Kenya where this word was coined.
In the 56 national parks and sanctuaries, Kenya has some of the oldest and most diverse species on Earth. The reserves are among the best in Africa and nearly 10% of the country is protected land. Perhaps what the tourists don’t know is the magnificence of its beaches. It is one of the few places in the world where you could do snorkel in one of the most beautiful coral reefs.
On top of its natural resources, Kenya is a living museum. Dhows are the oldest vessels that plow through the sea with the sails unfurl. These ships have brought monkeys and peacocks, so precious for King Solomon. And they were also used to bring the leopards and lions that the Romans used for their entertainment.
But Kenya is also known for its culture. The country is shared by 40 different ethnical communities who speak about 80 different dialects that form a country full of contrast in miraculous harmony.]]>
First, let’s look at the requirements to apply for welfare as an immigrant:
A recent study from the Center for Immigration Studies (an organization that advocates for reducing immigration to the United States) has concluded that 51% of all households created by immigrant receive welfare. How is this number even possible? The answer is that it is by counting households as unit of analysis. When doing so, a household with an American spouse who therefore qualifies for welfare is categorized as “an immigrant household using welfare”.
However, groups such as the American Immigration Council argue that immigrants have long given more to the welfare system than take from it. Their estimation is that they pay around $90 billion and year in taxes and use about $5 billion in public benefits.
A report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2013 found that more than half of undocumented immigrants have federal and state income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes automatically deducted from their paychecks. So even though they don’t qualify to benefit from it, they are helping to underwrite the welfare system.
Under the light of these facts, can they really say that immigrants take welfare benefits from American-born citizens?]]>
For example, for this month, the final action date for citizens of India in the EB-2 category is May 1, 2005 and now Indian nationals can file their adjustments if they have priority dates prior to July 1, 2011 (a 6-year lead).
This new measure will save a few years of waiting for adjustment of status benefits which includes work authorization documents and travel documents independent of visas, being stuck out of the country for visa stamping and receiving work authorization and travel documents for derivative spouses and children. This is great news for many of our clients waiting in line.
If you think you are eligible, if you have an employee whom you think is eligible, or know of someone who may be eligible, please contact our office at 770-913-0800 or e-mail Alina at ACox@visa-pros.com.]]>
In addition to this immigration programs, E-verify, the web-based program through which U.S. employers can attempt to verify work authorization, will expire on September 30, 2015.
Members of Congress have introduced bills that would re-authorize these programs, with changes in them, in some cases. However, it is unclear what (if anything) will happen by September 30. It is possible that these programs could be reauthorized without change for a short period as part of the continuing resolution. It also is possible Congress will fail to reauthorize them and they will sunset. There also could be a last minute reauthorization of all or parts of these programs. We will wait to learn what happens.]]>
If a person has lived in the United States undocumented for a year or more, there is a 10-year ban on that person reentering the United States. So, in that case, there would be the 21-year wait for the child to mature to adulthood, plus the 10-year wait.
All told, the parents of the so-called anchor baby face a 31-year wait to even enter the United States, much less obtain a visa and green card or become a citizen.
Immigration courts reject claims that an undocumented parent must remain in the United States to care for a U.S. citizen child. The rare legal exceptions are for children who are so seriously ill or profoundly disabled that one parent must care for them full-time, or for a child in need of medical care unavailable in their parents’ home country.
These parents are given something called “humanitarian parole”. And this is very rarely applied to people already living in the United States illegally. And, even then, humanitarian parole is generally granted for limited period of time.
In 2011, there were at least 5,000 children in state custody or foster care because an undocumented parent or parents has been deported, according to a study released by the Applied Research Center, a New York-based think tank that focuses on racial and social justice issues. Some estimates put that figure even higher today.
So really, do you still think that the anchor baby is an immigration option?
None of the candidates openly supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Moreover, some of them who had previously talked in a positive way about it backed up and started talking about enforcing the law and securing the border.
However, their approaches are different. While Jeb Bush began by saying that those who come to the U.S. do so seeking a better life, Trump refused to back down from his previous controversial statements and said he would build a wall in the border. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the other candidates all endorsed the increase of security and border control and focused on more enforcement mechanisms.
This approach has failed to work for the last thirty years, so these candidates would be wiser to rethink their immigration policies.
It is still early to anticipate who will be the candidate and what will be their proposals but we will keep an eye on all of them to see how this unfolds.
At that time I was attending law school and about to graduate from the university. We immediately fell in love and decided to get married. The big question arose, how do we even make this union possible? Romanian citizens cannot travel to the U.S. unless they have a tourist visa and at that time most tourist visas were denied to Romanian citizens. We wanted to do the right thing, play by the book and get the right visa. Jonathan is a very cautious person, he likes to research a lot and he took this huge task on himself and decided to apply for a fiancée visa by himself. He built a strong case by documenting every detail about our relationship. We were very nervous. Our whole destiny depended upon approval by the American government. After the USCIS application was approved, the next step was for me to attend the interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bucarest.
I still remember that day. It was very nerve-wrecking. I was so nervous that I even forgot my engagement ring at home. I played so many scenarios in my head about how to explain to the officer why I did not bring my ring with me. At the interview, a girl in front of me got denied and she left the Embassy crying. Now, it was my turn. Can you guess what happened? I stood in front of the officer, she asked a lot of questions but nothing about the ring, and then she said: “Have a nice trip to America!” I was amazed. Speechless. A new chapter in my life was starting to unfold. I flew to America soon after the interview. I remember how my husband held my hand into his telling me that everything was going to be “OK”.
Looking back, the only thing I would have done differently is hiring an attorney. It took us months of research and being separated, as well as very high stress levels that could have been avoided if we had quality legal representation. Now, after 7 years of living here and after becoming a U.S. citizen, I can say that I found my happiness in America next to my husband and our daughter.
The major difference I still encounter in the American culture versus the Romanian one is that America has a great ability to embrace so many different people from all over the world and offer them a home. Even though I could practice law in Romania, I can only work as a paralegal in the U.S. because of the U.S. BAR requirements. I love being an immigration paralegal because I want to help other foreigners like me to obtain legal status in the U.S. and I like Weinstock Immigration lawyers because they are so determined to make this dream come true for their clients.
Each year millions of women, men and children are trafficked for profit. They are sexually exploited, made to undertake work in homes, farms and factories across the globe, and find themselves victims of one of the many other forms of abuse such as forced marriage or organ removal.
At least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination are affected by trafficking in persons, and over 510 trafficking flows crisscrossing the world, so no country is immune. A closer look shows that Atlanta is at the top of the national list in human trafficking in the U.S. Society’s most vulnerable appear to be increasingly targeted by those responsible for this crime: 33 per cent of known victims are children. Girls make up two out of every three child victims. Together with women, they now account for 70 per cent of trafficked persons worldwide.
Yet legislation in some countries still fails to cover all forms of trafficking and their victims, leaving billions of people inadequately protected and vulnerable. In some areas this has resulted in extremely low levels of action against traffickers.
There is an equal urgency to provide support services to those directly affected by traffickers.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his statement for the World Day urged support for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. This is a mechanism which works with NGO partners across the globe to help survivors of this crime, providing shelter, basic health services, vocational training and schooling, as well as psychosocial, legal and economic support.
If you are or know somebody who is suffering this, ask for help. You can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1 (888) 373-7888.]]>
The American Immigration Lawyers Association has posted a Practice Alert that breaks everything down. It identifies all of the steps the government has taken and will continue to take in order to comply with the judge’s order. It also includes hyperlinks to the letters sent to affected individuals.]]>
We reject compliments when we believe we are not worthy of them. But this is not the only reason- sometimes, rejecting a compliment is a ploy of our ego. At times, we are not the ones reacting to them, but our body. We blush and look down as if we wanted to be invisible.
Not accepting praise is almost a matter of good manners. If we did, we could be implying that we think we deserve them; paradoxically, that is not well received in our society. Therefore, when somebody confirms that our work is well done, what the rule says is that we should follow protocol and not accept it.
Even though accepting a compliment may seem vain, deep down it is a sign of humbleness. Insecurity lives inside every human being. It is a sign of identity. Precisely because of this, we need and must accept a compliment. By doing so, we are showing that we need it. Arrogance would make us act like we don’t need it because we are completely self assured.
There are, however, disingenuous compliments. How to expose these, distinguish from the authentic? It is not an easy task. Maybe it is not a matter of separating the real from the fake compliments, but look at where they take us. For instance, if you are complimented on how well you do something, and right after you are asked to do a project and you accept it. The important thing here is not if the compliment was or was not real, but if you wanted to do the job or not.
At times, praise changes from good to bad. We cannot live without them. And we fall in the trap of forgetting what we really like to go searching the praise. A good example is the Facebook “like”: do we enjoy more eating a wonderful meal or the amount of “likes” that it gets online?
Not all compliments are received equally. Some are self-interested and turn out toxic. Others smell like politeness and don’t really have any effect. The ones that really nourish us are the ones that come from deep down. What we like about them is the specifics- it is not the same “good job” that “I like how you worded your paper, it has a really good structure and presentation”. Detailing it makes it more authentic and helps us improve.
Knowing this, what would happen if today everybody would start giving honest compliments to others and avoiding the “polite” ones?]]>
The report, by the Center for American Progress, National Immigration Law Center, and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, surveyed Dreamers to gauge economic and educational effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
The survey found that 76 percent of DACA recipients were employed, while 20 percent were in school and not working. Forty-five percent were working and in school. Of those who were working, 69 percent said they had better pay after gaining coverage from the program and 54 percent said they had better working conditions.
The higher wages mean more tax revenue and economic growth, suggesting that the program benefits the economy, according to the study. Many of the findings had already been seen in other studies, but the significant jump in wages was a surprise. Theoretical studies projected wages would rise an average of about 8.5 percent for DACA recipients — far less than the 45 percent jump shown in the survey.
The report found that 89 percent of DACA recipients had received a driver’s license, and 21 percent bought their first car. Undoubtedly this helps the economy positively, unlike what the lawsuit against the Executive Action proposed by the President in November suggest. Maybe this study has some effect in the decision that will be made after the hearing last Friday on U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A decision date by the Fifth Circuit Court on the legality of Obama’s 2014 deferred action programs is unknown.]]>
The reality in many STEM education programs at American universities is that more than half of the graduate students are foreign-born, and nearly a third of them will be forced to turn down opportunities to work at American tech companies. And so, with their diploma in hand, much of our domestically educated but foreign-born talent is forced to leave the country after graduation to return to their home or other countries where they will use their top-tier American education for the benefit of the U.S.’s global competitors.
Additionally, the infrastructure that supports our technology sector crosses borders. If we don’t do something, we may wake up tomorrow to find that the next or even current era of tech companies have set up shop in Dublin or Shanghai. Microsoft is exemplifying this with its decision to open a new training center in Vancouver, Canada, only a few hours’ drive from its global headquarters in Washington State.
Other companies are seeking the more modern immigration regulations to the north. Amazon, Salesforce, Twitter and Facebook purchased additional office space in Canada and posted numerous job openings to fill the new expansion efforts. Whether it’s Canada or Costa Rica, major U.S. tech companies are demonstrating a willingness to shift operations wherever they need to remain competitive.
To compound the problem, some American policy-makers, like Mr. Trump, are looking at immigration in the wrong way. Immigration reform is vital to sustaining U.S. economic growth and ensuring American competitiveness through an increased talent pool of STEM workers, but it also happens to bolster, rather than detract from, native-born U.S. workers’ incomes.
Since 1990, skilled STEM immigrants have accounted for more than a third of total U.S. productivity, meeting demand for skilled workers and driving industry innovation and productivity. The data shows that 187 new American jobs are created for every 100 H-1B visa holders admitted. That’s real growth.
Should America’s tech industry continue to outgrow immigration reform, we may one day be waving as it leaves our shores and goes abroad altogether. Perhaps then, Mr. Trump, you will understand that technological innovation, much like your merchandise, can also be “made in China.”]]>
When the child arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia she was detained and deprived of any contact with her parents; then held for twenty hours in CBP custody with her grandfather and given nothing to eat other than a cookie and soda and no place to nap—and then deported to Guatemala as her parents awaited her arrival in New York.
After her deportation, the child’s father hired a local attorney to fly to Guatemala to retrieve her. Once home she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her detention and her separation from her parents. The lawsuit, filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), sought damages for the harm she suffered as a result of this ordeal. In June, the government agreed to pay her family $32,500 to settle the case.
This is the latest indictment of an agency that treats individuals with little regard, humanity or decency. This small measure of justice is a victory, but much more has to be done to hold CBP accountable for the way it treats individuals in its custody.]]>
It was first Univision and NBC followed publicly saying that they were breaking their contracts with his companies because of his statements about the Mexican immigrants. This Monday Carlos Slim, the second richest man of the world, and Televisa (the biggest media group in Spanish) turned their backs on him too.
Both Ora Tv, founded by Slim and presenter Larry King, have canceled a project for a program they had together with one of Trump’s companies. This was announced by Slim’s spokesperson with the argument that cooperation with somebody so narrow-minded would not work for them. According to them, Trump’s comments were unmistakably racists.
Televisa has also said that they will not participate in any communication project related with Donald Trump. They argue that he has not showed any understanding or respect towards the Mexican immigrants and he has offended the whole Mexican population. It is important to remember that Televisa has 46% of the Mexican television audience.
The reactions to Trump’s words continue. On Tuesday it was announced that Mexico will not be competing in Miss Universe pageant 2015 and celebrities such as Rob Schneider or Cher have openly criticized his speech.
Both Univision’s and NBC’s reject create an urgent problem to the millionaire, as they were the broadcasters of Miss USA pageant in July and Miss Universe in January. Ironically these two show the big presence of the latino world. Their current queens are the Colombian Paulina Vega (Miss Universe 2014) and Miss USA Nia Sanchez, granddaughter of a Mexican.
In addition to this, Macy’s declared yesterday that they are removing Donald Trump brand merchandise from their stores, saying that the company “stands for diversity” and have zero tolerance for discrimination.]]>
One political scientist said that while the Republicans must finesse immigration-related issues so as not to alienate anti-“amnesty” conservatives who are influential in the GOP primary, Clinton’s pro-reform stance appeals not only to Democratic primary voters but also to less partisan general-election voters.
Even so, Clinton’s pro-immigration agenda is a recent development for her and a break from the policies of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, under whose administration, the United States started the “big militarization of the border” through Operation Gatekeeper, which was aimed at stopping illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego by deploying more Border Patrol agents, and installing fencing, ground sensors, lights and other technology.
Clinton also signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a sweeping bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress that was aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants through a wide range of punishments. However, there is big doubts that Bill Clinton’s old positions on border security and immigration enforcement will hurt Hillary Clinton with Latinos.]]>
Think of this number next time you go pick up your child at school, or when you drive by a playground. Does it seem fair to take away the parents of these children? While it is debatable whether there is blame to attach to the parents, there is no reason to punishing their children, who are citizens of the United States. And yet, they are been punished every day and deprived of fair chances that other children have.
Fear and uncertainty live in their homes and they know that their parents can be deported at any time. A Los Angeles study found that 43 percent of children with a father legalized in the 1986 immigration reform act received some college education, compared with 14 percent of similar children whose father remained an unauthorized immigrant. Legalization can place these young people on a life trajectory equal to that of their peers.
If we look at this evidence, the challenge is not so much to close the borders, but to protect and offer a better chance to these children.]]>
While the Democratic party seems to support a comprehensive reform, increasing the number of visas, green cards and easing the process for foreign entrepreneurs, the Republicans talk about a step-by-step change and are more focused on the economic side of it. Many Republican representatives say they support legal immigration but they object to increasing the H-1B cap and employment-based immigrant visas concealing their true colors as anti-immigrants.
The problem seems to be the specifics of how to do it. This is something that requires a long term solution, as it has a really big impact on millions of people’s lives as well as our economic growth. One highly skilled immigrant supports at least one U.S. additional jobs, and in many case more than that.]]>
At the peak of the immigration crisis in 2000, 1.6 million undocumented immigrants entered the country. Since 2012, the numbers are around 400,000 and estimates are that it will be even lower for this fiscal year. However, conservatives are crying wolf about an illegal invasion that threatens our way of life and our values. If we look at numbers, demographers, who get their numbers from the Census, estimate the undocumented immigration population to be around 12 million, versus the 30 million that conservatives are claiming.
Additionally, a number of studies show a remarkable decline not just in the number of Mexicans immigrating without visas, but also in the number who wish to come here overall.
Wayne Cornelius, who surveys Mexicans from the state of Yucatan, found a decline in the number who said that were planning to come to the United States. In 2006, 24% of those surveyed said they were planning to come in the next 12 months. By 2009 the number had dropped to 8 percent. This year, it is down to 2.5%.
These numbers are supported by official statistics that show Chinese immigrants replaced Mexicans as the largest group of new foreign-born persons last year.
Another reason this number has declined is the increased presence of enforcement in the southern border. We’ve more than doubled our number of border agents to more than 18,000 now.
We spend more on Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Biometric Identity Management — some $16.2 billion last year — than on all other federal criminal law-enforcement combined (including the FBI, Drug Enforcement, Secret Service, Federal Marshal Service and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).
So why continue to talk about an “immigration invasion” from Mexico? Who does it benefit?]]>
Patrizia soon discovered that the US and New York in particular had a lot to offer her with respect to her acting career. She met many people from the film industry and received several offers and auditions for film productions. When she met filmmaker Ric Klass, who wanted her to take part in his upcoming projects, she decided to move to the US for a while and pursue the opportunities that unfolded to her.
After two years of going back and forth from Germany to the US with ESTA to participate in several of Ric’s projects, Patrizia decided she would give it a try and live more permanently in the United States. Through a friend, she was recommended to us and thanks to our team’s hard work she got her O-1 artist visa for three years. This enabled her to live in New York City and pursue her dream of acting and modeling.
She was last seen in the motion picture Avalanche Sharks and has been doing acting and modeling work in the last several months and who knows? She may be starring in the next blockbuster film that you go to the movie theater to see. Here are some pictures she gladly shared with us.
The decision made public this Tuesday is not the end of the matter, as the federal district court still must decide the ultimate issue of whether Obama’s program is constitutional. Meanwhile, the Administration still could appeal the decision not to lift the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is also something that will most likely effect the candidates for the presidency in the election next year, as immigration is one of the key topics discussed during their campaigns so we will see the reaction of the different candidates.
We will wait to see how it all unveils and keep you informed.]]>
Lorella’s background as an activist is very important as she’s part of a cohort of young immigrant rights activists (mostly DREAMers) who have learned the ins and outs of how political change happens largely on their own. You don’t have to agree with their goals or their tactics to recognize how influential they’ve become, not just with other immigration advocacy groups but within Latino politics as a whole. They’ve become effective organizers, seasoned lobbyists, and political strategists. They led the push for executive action on immigration in the first term of the Obama administration, and made it something that both the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign are staking their relationship with Latinos on.]]>
How could we forget the picture? It was June 2000, a six year old was in a closet with a US military pointing at him with a weapon. This put an end to six months of litigation between his father, who lived in Cuba and family members residing in the US about his custody.
It all started when a five year old boy was rescued from the sea after the boat in which he traveled from Cuba with his mother capsized in the Atlantic. All the 12 adults in the boat died at sea, while Elián was found floating a few miles from Miami. His grandfather lived in Miami and asked that the child stay with him, while his father started a fight to bring his son back to Cuba.
The first part of the story is the same as hundreds of Cubans’ who try to get to the US every day in search of a better life. What makes this story unique is the fact that it divided the Cubans living in Miami and the public opinion about who should Elián stay with. A family issue was turned into a political fight between two governments.
Six months after he got to Miami, he was brought back with his father in Cuba and he became a symbol for the Cuban government. In recent interviews, a 20 year old engineering student remembers that traumatic experience as a kidnapping. He is happy that his father won the battle and that he got to grow up in the country he was born with his family. However, in an interview yesterday with ABC he stated that he would like to come to the US to visit and he would forgive his family members living here if they apologized.
However, thanks to the organization “Angels of the border” (Angeles de la frontera), two of these moms had the opportunity to hug their children for two minutes. Lourdes Barraza was deported two and a half years ago and since then didn’t have the opportunity to hug her 9 and 11 year old children. Yolanda Varona hadn’t seen her daughter and granddaughter in 5 years until border patrol agents allowed her to cross the “door of hope” to hug them for two minutes. Closely watched to make sure she was not crossing the white symbolic line that separates the two countries, she could feel the touch of her daughter and encourage her to be brave while she is trying to find a way to reunite with her again.
You can see a video here.
Awaz, her husband, and her daughter have lived the United States for more than 20 years but finally their happiness and family is now complete. Awaz does not regret her sacrifice so many years ago. Her parents received their permanent residency but also the opportunity to finally live with their family in a place where they do not have to fear for their daily safety.
The 50-state analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released on Thursday found that roughly 8.1 million of 11.4 million undocumented immigrants who work paid more than $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, even while they were living illegally in the country.
These results come as we are waiting for news on the court challenge brought by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican state officials who claim Obama exceeded his constitutional authority and that the measures proposed would harm the economy of their states.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues. Here are its key findings:
Undocumented immigrants contribute significantly to state and local taxes, collectively paying an estimated $11.84 billion in 2012.
The effective state and local tax rate for undocumented immigrants’ nationwide is about 8 percent.
Under the light of these numbers, who can really argue that there will be benefits for all the states and cities welcoming these immigrants? Estimations say that if the 11.4 million undocumented immigrants were able to regularize their status, state and local tax contributions would go up by an estimated $2.2 billion a year.]]>
USCIS has started sending receipt notices to employers and attorneys and also unfortunately rejection letters for petitions that were not selected in the lottery…. Stay tuned in the next 2-3 weeks to receive news regarding H-1B petitions that we filed…
This arbitrary cap hurts U.S. employers, it hurts job creation and stifles economic growth. Unfortunately with the current deadlock in Congress the situation is not likely to be improved in the near future….
After the 7th Summit of the Americas held in Panama, the US leader seemed to have patched up relations with the rest of the continent by formally recognizing, and meeting with, the Cuban president.
This change was well viewed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who, after more than a year of differences with Washington over spying allegations, will travel to the United States for her first official visit on June 30. But the US president, who will leave office in January 2017, is still facing a tough battle on Capitol Hill.
Despite prior speculation, Obama didn’t announce that the US will remove Cuba from its official list of the countries that sponsor terrorism. And there is still no date set for when the two nations will reopen their embassies in Havana and Washington after more than 50 years.
Washington lawmakers will have to decide whether the United States will lift its trade embargo with Cuba – tough negotiations between the president and Congress that are expected to be hammered out in the coming months. In another thorny issue, Havana is also demanding that the United States return the land at Guantánamo Bay, which the US navy has occupied for more than a century.
Obama has not complied with his first campaign pledge to shut down the prison facility in Guantánamo, where the United States has run a military holding center for alleged terrorists since 2002.
Obama has not complied with his first campaign pledge to shut down the US prison in Guatánamo
Nevertheless, time is running out for Obama and the Democrats who will have to defend their new policy toward Cuba.
With Sunday’s announcement by former Secretary of State and former first lady Hillary Clinton that she will seek the party’s nomination for president next year, the race for the White House is expected to be tenacious if she ends up facing Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who is opposed to Obama’s foreign policy.
But it is not only Rubio. Obama still has to convince many Democrats that his nuclear pact with Iran was the best course of action.]]>
We will be on the lookout to see what happens with this. Let’s hope it gets solved soon!]]>
A 37% of these students are enrolled on STEM coursework (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 86% of them are from Asia.
In the last five years, the number of female international students has gone up 68%, most of them been from China or India. A lot of U.S. technology companies would like to keep a lot more of those students in their staff than they can right now after they graduate, but at the moment offering green cards to STEM graduates and other immigration changes look a bit difficult to achieve.]]>
Even Broadway and big cable channels have incorporated the language in their programming, as some plays and tv programs are in Spanglish. Do you speak Spanglish? Do you think it should be studied in school? Is this a new language or just the misuse of two?]]>
This operation is part of the Executive Action announced by President Obama, who said there would be priority of deportation of gang members and people convicted of serious crimes. However, during this operation there were also arrested 15 people who were under the DACA program.
They need to find a way to identify the people under this program to not prosecute them and only arrest the people who are a danger to society.]]>
The AC-21 extension refers to an approved H–1B extension of stay because the H-1B worker is the beneficiary of a permanent labor certification application or an employment–based immigrant petition that was filed at least 365 days prior to reaching the end of the sixth year of H–1B status.
Currently, an H-4 spouses of H-1B worker is not allowed to work. This new regulation is not yet effective, it will take effect on May 26, 2015 and we will keep you updated soon. We are very happy DHS issued this rule, because it helps many people who wait for a long time for their employment-based green cards to come through. Now at least they will have a temporary measure to be able to legally work in the U.S.]]>
The legal battle has just begun. However, due to this decision the measures are temporarily paralyzed. The first of measures announced by Barack Obama (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals expansion) was going to be available starting tomorrow, February 18th. DACA has allowed over half a million young undocumented people who were brought to the country as children and grew up here to stop their deportation and obtain a temporary work permit over the past two years.
All the organizations that support the immigration reform have said they will continue to work for the measures announced in the executive action to be available. We will have to wait to see what happens. In the meantime, we would like to warn you: please beware of scams and don’t pay anyone to start the process until they are confirmed or effective. If you have any doubts, consult with an experienced attorney before doing anything.]]>
The legislation makes improvements, by making the regional center program permanent and creates new designations for targeted employment areas. It would also require that USCIS implements a transparency policy. Processing times would be streamlined too. Proposals would have to receive an answer no later than 180 days after filed.
Regional Centers are made more resistant to fraud under the newly proposed legislation as well. New standards would be set for owners, operators, and managers to be regulated to combat fraudulent activity.
On top of this, the legislation tries to alleviate visa congestion by not requiring spouses and children of immigrant investors to count against annual visa limit.
Hopefully, the Act will be passed and changes will cooperate to tend to the high demand from foreign investors. It is exciting to see that there is discussion in the House of Representatives and comprehensive program reform might happen.]]>
As a part of the new immigration policy announced in November by President Barack Obama, Deferred Action will be expanded starting this very month, providing temporary protection from removal for millions of unauthorized immigrants already in the United States.
In the last few years, a big number of Silicon Valley companies have been requesting a higher number of H-1B and F-1 visas, which allow companies to hire more highly skilled international workers.
Instagram’s co-founder Mike Krieger knows about the immigration process. He came from Brazil to study at Stanford University before forging his path in the tech industry. One of his frustrations is to not be able to hire talented employees because of H1-B cap not allowing them to stay in the country.]]>
A permanent injunction was issued on Thursday, based on the harm caused to the young immigrants by not being able to have a license.
The known as Dreamers are now able to get driver’s licenses since last month, after the United States Supreme Court let stand a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to stay the ban.
Some of the reasons given by supporters are that this would mean access to employment and education for immigrants.]]>
Challenging these claims, Washington State filed its own “friend of the court” brief, joined by attorneys general from Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont, and the District of Columbia. They argue the states are not harmed, and will benefit economically from the President’s actions. Furthermore there will be the additional societal benefits that come from keeping families together and improving public safety.]]>
The bill was introduced in 2013 but did not move to Congress. Based on it, major Silicon Valley firms would be allowed to bring programmers to keep up with the demand. Even though an immigration reform doesn’t seem to hit Congress, there is hope that a more targeted bill to help the tech sector would move forward.
The current cap of high-skilled workers allows 65,000 H-1B visas per year. The new bill would increase it to 115,000. It also would allow the annual cap to go up to 195,000 depending on demand. It would also allow the spouses of people with those visas to get a job in the U.S.
Besides that, the bill would let the government reissue green card numbers that were approved in previous years but never used and allow more people with advanced degrees enter the country.]]>
Leaders of big and small cities consider the actions taken by the President will help stabilize their communities and help the American economy grow stronger. The executive action adds support to the local leaders and organizations that have been working already on immigrant integration. It is a first step but it can only be changed by Congress.
Actions like this encourage people to feel accepted, share their talents and ideas with those around them. Communities around the country and across the globe already are recognizing that a welcoming approach helps all residents.]]>
A survey of New York school districts conducted by New York Civil Liberties Union found that as many as 20 percent of schools on Long Island were erecting illegal barriers to unaccompanied or undocumented students.
In May, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice attempted to preempt such issues by issuing a letter to local and state school officials around the country making it clear that minors who are in the country without proper documents must be allowed to enroll in schools. This letter reminds school authorities of their obligation to provide equal education opportunities to all children living in their district.
It is hard enough for immigrant children to be in a foreign language to also be deprived of the right to education.]]>
2. Changes to Enforcement Priorities: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the enforcement arm of USCIS, has a list of priorities it uses to determine which undocumented immigrants are the most dangerous and should be deported first. ICE will now change these priorities slightly to clarify which are the most dangerous immigrants to deport and when to use their discretion to not deport people or enable them to apply for lawful status.]]>
1. DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood arrival will be extended to include all people who arrived here as young children without age limitation. Currently the program is limited to people who are under age 30. Other eligibility requirements include good moral character, graduation from high school or enrollment in a GED program.
2. Deferred Action to parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, which like DACA will give work authorization, driver’s license and defense from removal for immigrants who are here illegally. Some other eligibility requirements include length of time in the U.S., good moral character, payment of taxes, etc.
3. Expansion of the 601-A provisional waiver program, to spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents. Now it is only available for U.S. citizens.
4. Ability of employment based immigrants caught in visa retrogression to pre-apply for Adjustment of Status and receive work authorization documents in the mean time
5. Termination of secure communities program joint with police and a new program for enforcement of criminals.
6. Expansion of prosecutorial discretion for removal cases, stopping deportation for people except those who are in top enforcement priorities including terrorists, criminals, etc.
Now what do you think about these measures? Are they excessive or are they not enough?]]>
Without legislation, the president is handcuffed by how far he can go to help the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Immigration activists and human rights groups have pressed Obama to act aggressively, urging the White House to halt deportations for as many illegal immigrants as possible. But the administration says it is determined to act only within the law.
Those experts suggest Obama has options to act, although there are some limits on what he can do.
There are different ways the president could act:
• Issue a prioritization memo on deportations. President Obama could direct prosecutors to focus deportation efforts on individuals convicted of serious crimes —not those with minor criminal convictions.
• Expand DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, announced in 2012, affords temporary legal status and work permits to children brought to the country illegally. The administration is reviewing whether to extend it to those children’s parents or to illegal immigrants with children born in the U.S.
• Roll back Secure Communities. Activists have asked the president to limit the program, which allows local governments to share the fingerprints of individuals who are arrested with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those flagged as illegal immigrants can be deported, even if they are not convicted of a crime.
• Reinterpret existing law. The administration could more charitably define waivers and visa requirements to allow individuals — especially those with family ties to the U.S. — greater opportunity to enter the country, even if they had previously violated immigration law.]]>
The fact that President Obama is not issuing executive orders on immigration reform until after the midterm elections is making Latino voters support decrease. Comparing polls released in June and October respectively, Democrats’ approval rating dropped from 49 to 37%, with the only difference been the announcement of not taking executive action until after the midterm election.
Lower Latino participation in next month’s election would be hurting Democrats more than Republicans. This is an opportunity for Republicans, who see as an urgent priority to improve their perception among this group in 2016, when voter turnout will be higher and the electorate more nonwhite.
We will have to see how things evolve and what are the actions taken by the government.]]>
The president highlighted last week the career of the popular Spanish chef as an example of success story of an immigrant in the nation when given access to the opportunity. “José Andrés is the number one example of what happens when we give immigrants the opportunity to put down roots and create jobs and business”, he said in a fundraiser in one of the restaurants owned by the Spanish in DC. José Andrés is very popular in the US, where he arrived 23 years ago with Spanish cuisine as a standard and got his citizenship in November last year. The president and the first lady chose his restaurants for several special occasions, like Valentine’s Day the last two years.]]>
Greg Raiten, general counsel at 500 Startups., said his firm sees big potential for Bridge US as it is tackling a major pain point for startups and large corporations alike – struggling with an immigration process that could be improved greatly with software and automation.
The innovation they are offering is tracking what documents are needed and when they need to be submitted, sending notifications to avoid missing deadlines.]]>
He also assured that we will take executive measures before 2015. Obama spoke in the annual gala of the Institute of Hispanic Caucus in Congress (ICHCI), where an attendant interrupted his speech and asked him to stop deportations. The President said he shared the pain and frustrations of the families and he guaranteed that he will take action before the end of 2014. President Obama confirmed it will be between the November election and the end of the year. He mentioned that Congress has failed to do its duty and solve the problem of the 11 millions of undocumented people who live in the country through legislation. However, he pointed that he needs support so the measures can last. He committed to advocate on immigration reform and why it’s good for the economy before the elections, and he also asked the Hispanic community to come and vote.]]>
The groups filed the case on behalf of mothers and children locked up at an isolated detention center in Artesia, New Mexico. The complaint blames the Obama administration of enacting a new strong-arm policy to ensure rapid deportations by holding these mothers and their children to an erroneous standard to prove their asylum claims, and by placing obstacles before them.
According to the complaint, DHS is violating the law by enacting policies that have:
Not only illegal, this is an outrageous treatment by DHS of thousands of human beings fleeing violence and seeking the protection of the U.S. Has DHS lost its humanity?]]>
Average salary of the company is $75.062.15.800 foreigners were part of their team.
The US offices welcomed 7.178 indian employees. They had a $76.920 income.
3. Tata Consultancy
Among their workforce were 6.732 foreign workers, receiving $64.350.
Paid an average $82.630 to the 6.190 foreign employees hired.
5. Deloitte Consulting
The company employed 4.735 people from different nationalities with an average salary of $98.305.
The technology giant included in its team 4.067 foreigners with a $109.566 salary.
7. L&T Infotech
They included 3.253 non-US employees, receiving $59.241.
The company with Dublin headquarters hired 2.653 foreign workers in 2012. The average salary paid was $72.704.
9. Ernst & Young
Among its workers counted 2.316 foreign nationals whose income went up to $86.428.
10. Mahindra Satyam
With offices worldwide, including 8 in the United States, Mahindra hired 2.310 non US workers and paid them a $70.495 salary.
In a letter to DHS supporting the change, Intel wrote that the proposed rule should do more and authorize children of H-1B employees to work, too.
Intel received 1,455 new and renewed H-1B visas in 2012, equivalent to 3 percent of its total U.S. work force. Intel says it needs those visas because it can’t find enough workers with advanced technical skills in the United States.
Immigration reform has been one of Intel’s top lobbying priorities for many years but congressional leaders have essentially ruled out taking action before the November elections.]]>
More than a dozen options are available to applicants to satisfy the California residency requirement, including a lease agreement, mortgage bills, home utility bills, tax returns, federal government-issued IDs and other documents.
An estimated 2.5 million undocumented immigrants live in California. The DMV estimated that about 1.4 million individuals will become licensed with the enactment of AB60.
After the public hearings, the department will deliver its final recommendations to the Office of Administrative Law for review. The law requires the DMV to begin issuing licenses to undocumented applicants by Jan. 1.
Cards provided to approved applicants will indicate on the back that they are only IDs for driving. The cards do not establish eligibility for employment, voting or public benefits. Approved drivers also become eligible for insurance and training, including written and driving tests required by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A great move by California to ensure people who are driving have the ability to get driver’s licenses legally and obtain insurance, both public safety concerns.]]>
Things like a traffic stop can lead to deportation for somebody who entered the U.S. undocumented. Just a few months ago, the city of Philadelphia stopped cooperating with ICE through an executive order signed by the mayor, Maria Quinones-Sanchez. But this is not the only case, other cities and counties have decided to reduce or stop cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
Even if somebody is in the country undocumented, it is unconstitutional to hold somebody without a probable cause. When an undocumented alien is arrested for allegedly violating the law, they could be subject to a detainer to turn them over to ICE. According to the letter, 54% of the people subject to detainer requests had no criminal records. If we consider individuals with minor offense in their history, the percentage goes up to 86%. This reality makes immigrants distrust police, as they fear that any contact with them (even reporting a crime) could lead to their deportation.]]>
The administration will ask lawmakers to modify existing statutes to make it easier to return unaccompanied children to their home countries.
Over 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children have been detained on the border this year so far, a large increase over previous years. The surge, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, has caught the administration off guard and pushed Obama to order a multi-agency response to the crisis.
The escalation of enforcement is likely to be met with skepticism from immigration advocates, who have expressed concerns about the treatment and welfare of the children. The Obama administration had announced plans to send more immigration judges to South Texas, where most of the influx is occurring, and build more detention facilities for families that have been apprehended and are awaiting hearings.]]>
The real problems emerged after the Bureau of Consular Affairs updated the software for the Oracle-based CCD on July 20, as recommended by the operating company.
The system was down until July 23, when its operations were partially restored. However, the system is still not working at full capacity.
The glitch has already affected a large number of potential visitors to the US, as over 200 US consulates around the world issue thousands of visas on a daily basis.
The problem is hitting travelers during peak vacation season, as those who applied for a US visa cannot travel to other countries while their passports are with US authorities. They have to have patience and wait until the situation is resolved.
Even diplomats who need to visit the UN headquarters or financial institutions in New York for urgent negotiations have not been spared the delays.
In 2013 alone, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs issued 9.1 million non-immigrant visas and nearly half a million immigrant visas, along with issuing some 13 million passports.]]>
The measures that may be available upon request include:
If you meet these requirements, we advise you to contact us at your earliest convenience so we can help you benefit from these measures.]]>
All the business leaders said immigration reform is needed to grow the economy, fill employers’ needs for both low-skilled and high-tech workers, and bring undocumented workers out of the shadows.
A new poll conducted for the Partnership for a New American Economy found that 85 percent of voters think America’s immigration system needs to be fixed. More than 60 percent said they would support “an immigration reform plan that secures our borders, expands visas for high-skill workers and farm workers, provides an employer verification program, allows young persons brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents an opportunity to earn citizenship, and provides visas to live and work here legally to undocumented immigrants without a criminal record who pay penalties and back taxes.”
House Speaker John Boehner won’t act on immigration reform . 72 percent of voters said enforcement concerns are no reason for Congress not to address the problems with our current broken immigration system. We hope it plays a role in the upcoming midterm elections.]]>
In countries like El Salvador, poverty and violence make some parents confront the choice of sending their children away to an uncertain future or stay with them and live in poverty and be exposed to gangs to recruit them or have them killed.
Poverty used to be the main reason for young people to immigrate to the United States, however, the resurgence of violence and gangs have shifted. The gangs in El Salvador and the increase of violent deaths and human trafficking in Guatemala are forcing children of these countries and their families to face a very difficult decision.
But how is this affecting not only the present, but the future opportunities of those children? Do their parents know that if they are caught and deported the possibility of having a future in the U.S. will be taken away for them? Entering the U.S. after an order of deportation is entered against the person is extremely difficult and in some cases impossible. We will follow up on this story soon.]]>
Also, the DOL OFLC (Office of Foreign Labor Certifications) released statistics regarding the H-1B LCA data for Q3 of 2014. Unsurprising, the top 10 occupations were computer-related, with the top 3 computer systems analysts, software developers and programmers. The top state, by far, requesting H-1B employees was California, followed by New York and Texas. The top employers requesting H-1B visas were the consulting companies. See below:
The employment-based EB-3 retrogressed to April 2011, or about 1.5 years back from where it was just a month ago. People with 2012 priority dates for EB-3 need to hurry up and get their I-485 applications filed in May before the visas retrogress further.
EB-2 for China retrogressed to May 2009 and EB-2 for India is at November 2004. China may move forward some after unused visas from EB-2 third countries are released closer to the end of the fiscal year. But it doesn’t look very promising for Indian nationals. Only immigration reform can fix that.]]>
In better news, the proposed rule allowing work for spouses of H-1Bs will benefit H-4 spouses whose H-1B principal either has an approved I-140 form, or have been granted an AC21 extension by having a labor certification or I-140 pending for over 1 year. This is a more generous proposal that we originally thought and may benefit more people.]]>
The proposed changes will be published in the Federal Register this week and then be open to 60 days of public comment before the administration can implement them. It’s a great step in the right direction, especially since Congress is not moving on immigration reform and visa numbers are extremely retrogressed, especially for Indian nationals.
Kudos to the Obama administration and lobbying groups like Zuckerberg’s FWD.us who push for these changes politically!]]>
The Washington Post reports that this signals a good shift towards immigration reform as it increases the pressure on the local and state level which may in turn increase the debate in the federal level. It just needs to happen very fast before the midterm elections…]]>
According to the NY Times, there may be narrow window for an immigration bill that will open early in the summer — after most of the midterm Republican primaries — if Congress and President Obama build cooperative good will on smaller bills in the coming weeks. Let’s hope this prediction will actually happen and at least something passes other than hot air in Congress.]]>
USCIS reminded the public today that the premium processing 15-day window does not start immediately but will start on April 28, 2014 because of the volume of cases received and the time it will take to issue the receipts.]]>
While USCIS did not say in the release how many advanced degree petitions were received, it is more likely that on the advanced degree cap most applicants will get selected, but for the regular cap perhaps 50% or lower chance of selection. Keep your fingers crossed!]]>
Karen Weinstock, an immigration attorney who has practiced immigration law in Atlanta for the past 12 years, opened the new firm to provide a full-service immigration practice for businesses and individuals with a different approach.
“I am so pleased that I still have my entire team with me at my new firm,” said Atlanta immigration attorney Weinstock. “I have been working with my team members for many years, and I know that each one of them is committed to helping our immigration clients as much as I am. I know our clients will be in good hands no matter which person they choose amongst our team members. We will continue to provide the same high level of immigration expertise and quality customer service that our clients have always received,” added the immigration lawyer.
Weinstock Immigration Lawyers has a diverse team of professional immigration attorneys and paralegals who are sensitive to cultural differences. The firm offers services in English, Spanish, French, German, Turkish, Russian and Hebrew. “What sets us apart is that we are very proactive in our representation and immediately responsive to our clients, keeping our clients very well-informed during their process. We advise our clients ahead of time on all possible scenarios so they stay informed, and we do not let things fall through the cracks,” said Weinstock.
Karen Weinstock, the managing attorney, specializes in solving complex immigration problems and providing case strategy and management for organizations and individuals. Her expertise is in representing U.S. and international companies in the technology and healthcare industries as well as universities, researchers, physicians and investors with their immigration needs. She is the author and editor of “The H-1B Book,” and is a speaker on immigration law topics in conferences around the world.
Weinstock Immigration Attorneys’ team includes the following top-rated attorneys:
Raju Patel, manages the firm’s business and employment-based immigration practice areas. Raju has been practicing law for 12 years. She has successfully worked with both small and large companies in meeting their business needs and making sure they are able to keep their important employees legally in the United States or bring them from abroad.
Leslie Diaz, who manages the firm’s litigation and removal defense practice areas. Leslie has been practicing law for 13 years. She has successfully won relief from removal proceedings and approval of permanent resident or citizenship status for hundreds of clients. This Atlanta immigration lawyer is an expert in handling immigration cases involving criminal matters. Several of her appeal cases in federal circuit courts of appeals have been granted. She is well-respected by the immigration judges and the government attorneys.
Zulma Lopez, who manages the family-based immigration practice of the firm. Zulma has been practicing law for 10 years. She is driven to provide excellent advocacy to her clients in order to guide them through the oftentimes complicated immigration process, both before the government agencies and in the community at large, serving in a leading role in a number of organizations. This Georgia immigration attorney is a native of Puerto Rico, she is fluent in Spanish and understands the special needs and cultural sensitivities of the Hispanic community.
“Together we have a collective 37 years of experience in immigration law,” said Weinstock, the immigration attorney in Atlanta. “Together, we were able to achieve some major successes, awards and recognitions that most others do not achieve in a lifetime, such as Best Immigration Law Firm and Best Lawyers in America. I am certain that better and greater things are yet to come because of our shared unique values and culture and strong commitment to zealous and proactive client representation.”]]>
Passports: Passport processing will be delayed as many offices are inside buildings that will be shut down.
Since a path to citizenship is included in the Senate’s comprehensive bill, immigration reform advocates are moving forward to launch several campaigns to get the House to vote on the Senate’s bill. One campaign that was both poignant and topical involved sending cantaloupes to more than 200 House members, with a note that said “This cantaloupe was picked by immigrants in California. You gave Steve King a vote. Give us a vote for citizenship.” In a speech last week, Steve King (R-IA), stereotyped immigrants as drug runners who taped marijuana to their calves making them the “size of cantaloupes.” This is not the first time that he made bigoted remarks.
Advocates also mentioned that if the Senate’s comprehensive bill were to be voted on in the House today, there would be enough bipartisan support to pass the bill. Therefore, advocates believe efforts to rally enough outcry from key constituent groups and the accompanying media coverage over the next 5 weeks can help pressure House GOP members and its leadership to act on this bill.
I want to encourage everyone to contact their Congress members in the month of August to support immigration reform, whether by calling their Washington D.C. office, local offices, writing letters or visiting with them if possible. Please do this as we need a final push to get the immigration reform bill passed!]]>
The effort was organized by Carlos Gutierrez, who was secretary of commerce under President George W. Bush and was a founder of a “super PAC,” Republicans for Immigration Reform.
Immigration reform is vital to America’s economy. That simple reality is driving four Republican senators, some of whom are the most conservative members of Congress, to champion the immigration reform bill now being debated on the floor of the US Senate.
Sen. Marco Rubio recently wrote that an immigration reform bill that includes bringing millions of undocumented aliens out of the underground economy “will improve the labor market, increase entrepreneurship and create jobs, leading to a net increase in economic growth.”
For Georgia, the economic stakes are high because of what immigration reform could do to sustain and boost Georgia’s “Essential Economy,” defined by a recent report by Georgia Tech’s Innovation Services Group as the goods and services that are essential to our way of life and that have to be produced right here in Georgia.
A significant percentage of the approximately 440,000 people in the state illegally makeup the workforce that drives Georgia’s essential economy.
That workforce includes the men and women on the frontlines of Georgia’s agriculture industry, harvesting crops, picking produce, and staffing the state’s many poultry plants. It also includes the hotel maids and restaurant workers, the backbone of the hospitality sector that makes Georgia an attractive place to visit or to start or relocate a business.
The essential economy workforce is made up of truck drivers, warehouse personnel and construction workers who have turned manufacturing, logistics, and trade into three of Georgia’s most promising prospects for long-term economic growth. And it includes landscapers as well as nursing home attendants and personal care assistants who are in increasing demand as the state’s population ages.
According to the Georgia Tech report, the essential economy contributed $49 billion in 2010 to Georgia’s gross domestic product and its workforce contributed more than $110 million in sales tax revenue through purchases of goods and services in 2011. Despite the national recession that began in 2008, the essential economy has remained a steady and often times growing part of the economies in Georgia’s 159 counties for the past nine years.
These numbers illustrate that the future of Georgia’s economy depends on sustaining and growing the essential economy, which in turn, creates the foundation for all the jobs in the aspirational economy – the high-skilled, high-wage jobs that Georgia continuously tries to create and attract.
The alternatives to immigration reform – maintaining the status quo or trying to deport the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally – are both impractical and potentially disastrous for the state’s economy.
The status quo does not work in part because Georgia’s population, like the rest of the country is aging. More than 60 percent of the state’s population will be more than 60 years old by 2030, according to the Department of Human Services.
As Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican pushing immigration reform, recently explained, “Unless there is another baby boom in America, the only way to bring new workers into the country is through legal immigration – hi-tech, low-tech, and everything in between. We will be cutting our throat economically if we don’t improve our immigration system to have more legal immigration.”
As for deportation, which Sen. Rubio explains is not a practical solution, many of Georgia’s business leaders can tell you that it is the worst thing we do could to the essential economy. Georgia learned that lesson with House Bill 87, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011. After the state legislature passed that law, approximately 40 percent of the state’s agriculture labor needs went unmet as unpicked crops rotted in the field, costing Georgia businesses more than $140 million.
Republicans championing immigration reform in the Senate have been instrumental in identifying bipartisan solutions to challenging issues like improving border security and addressing the inadequacies and dysfunction of our current immigration system. But they have also kept their focus on the issue Americans say they care the most about – improving the nation’s economy.
One of the best ways we can achieve a stronger economy in Georgia is to support bi-partisan immigration reform in Washington that gives business owners and their employees certainty about their futures, and ensures that our essential economy has what it needs most to thrive – a robust and vibrant workforce.
Sam Zamarripa, a former Georgia state senator, is founder and co-president of The Essential Economy Council. Todd Stein, who served as majority counsel on the U.S . Senate committee on homeland security and governmental affairs, is a lawyer with Kitchens New Cleghorn LLC and a lecturer at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech.
I mentioned earlier that I was able to watch the proceedings from the Senate gallery. Though I’ve made dozens of trips to DC over the years to work on immigration issues, this was actually my first time in the gallery for one of the two chambers in the Capitol. The atmosphere was somewhat party-like as the Senators gathered for a vote that turned out to be more lopsided than many would have initially imagined.
It’s a pretty sure bet that the final vote on a Senate bill will come on Thursday. But there could still be more amendment votes. Senator Corker told reporters this afternoon that a deal for 10 amendments to be offered by each side might be considered. No word yet on which amendments might make the cut. Things are moving on the House side as well. The House Judiciary Committee is set to mark up the E-Verify and high-skilled worker bills. Those bills and the other enforcement bills that have already passed. This week we could also see the much-awaited House bipartisan bill (written by the Gang of 7) finally be introduced. It’s writers clam to be finished with negotiating the framework.Whether that bill will be considered is still not known. Speaker Boehner says he would like a bill passed on the floor by the end of July. That would then lead to the House and Senate setting up a conference committee to try and hammer out a compromise. So there are many steps remaining before the bill would make its way to the President’s desk for his signature.]]>
Section 4101 changes. The language creates a new concept of having a base H-1B allocation for each fiscal year and then a possible addition to that base number depending on how strong demand is for H-1Bs. The cap will float between 115,000 and 180,000 depending on market conditions.
The base cap is 115,000. The cap can rise based on the following formula:
- If the cap is hit before day 45 then 20,000 more numbers will be made available beginning on day 46
- If the cap is hit between day 46 and 60, then 15,000 more numbers will be made available on day 61
- If the cap is hit between days 61 and day 90, then 10,000 more numbers will be made available on day 91
- If the cap is hit between day 91 and day 275, then 5,000 more numbers will be made available on day 276 The cap can also be lowered based on the following formula:
- If the number of approved petitions is at between 5,000 and 9,999 fewer than the base allocation for that fiscal year, then the base will decrease for the next year by 5,000
- If the number of approved petitions is at between 10,000 and 14,999 fewer than the base allocation for that fiscal year, then the base will decrease for the next year by 10,000
- If the number of approved petitions is at between 55,000 and 19,999 fewer than the base allocation for that fiscal year, then the base will decrease for the next year by 15,000
- If the number of approved petitions is more than 20,000 fewer than the base allocation for that fiscal year, then the base will decrease for the next year by 20,000
Changes Section 4102 regarding work authorization for H-4s.
Previous version only gave EADs to H-4s if their countries reciprocated rights to US employees. New language gives DOS discretion on this issue.
The non-displacement language in Section 4211 is modified and no longer applies to all employers. “For an H-1B skilled worker dependent employer” that is not an H-1B dependent employer, the employer cannot have displaced and will not displace a US worker in the 90 days before and after the filing of the H-1B. H-1B skilled worker dependent employers aren’t subject to the provision unless the employer is filing the petition with the intent or purpose of displacing a US worker from the position to be occupied by the beneficiary of the petition or workers are displaced who provide services at government work sites or are public school teachers. In the case of applications filed by H-1B-dependent employers, the employer did not displace and will not displace a US worker employer by the employer during the period 180 days before and after the filing of the H-1B.
“H-1B Skilled Worker Dependent” means an employer who employs H-1Bs in the US in a number greater than 15% of its full-time equivalent workers in the US employed in jobs in O*NET Job Zone 4 and Job Zone 5. H-1Bs who are intending immigrants don’t count in making this determination. The Hatch amendment makes changes to S.744’s H-1B recruiting requirements. The amendment increases recruiting requirements by adding a provision that says an employer must take “good faith steps” to recruit US workers using procedures that meet industry-wide standards and offering compensation at least as great as that required to be offered to H-1B non-immigrants. The DOL web site recruiting is still required and an additional requirement has been added to require posting positions on a State labor or workforce agency web site.
There is a significant change in the advertising rules. In the original S.744, the employer must have offered the job to any US worker who applied and is “equally or better qualified” for the job for which the non-immigrant is sought. Now, this requirement only applies to H-1B skilled worker dependent employers. Modifies the rules that exempt counting certain employees from the H-1B dependency count if an employer has filed green card application. Previously, covered employers had to file I-140s for not less than 90% of the people for whom an employer filed a labor certification during the 1-year period ending on the date the employer filed an application for a labor certification for the worker. Labor certification cases pending for longer than a year would be treated as if the employer filed an immigrant status petition. The language is modified and a “covered employer” is an employer that has filed I-140s for not less than 90% of current employees who were the beneficiaries of labor certifications that were approved during the 1-year period ending 6 months before the filing of an application for which the number of intending immigrants is relevant.
Great move by the chamber!]]>
Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert made powerful examples against allowing Super PACs to continue during his coverage of the 2012 presidential elections last year. However, since Congress is unlikely to do anything about that any time soon, I am very happy that some of the tech leaders are putting serious money towards immigration reform specifically needed to combat our legal immigration crisis – no sufficient H-1B visas and immigrant visas for legal, skilled, professional and advanced degree workers.]]>
This is insane because many legal immigrants only have their foreign passports as proof of I.D. at least for the initial time in the country.
The ACLU of Georgia issued a very detailed letter explaining all these changes.
This is bad for people, including the legal immigrants in the state of Georgia. Call Governor Deal at (404)656-1776 and ask him to veto HB125.]]>
It is amazing that such a large percentage of our college-educated people living in the United States were born abroad. Unfortunately, the immigration system in our country prevents many qualified college graduates to get here and remain here. It’s time for immigration reform!]]>
Huffington Post’s Elise Foley has a great piece laying out where we are in the immigration reform debate.
Surprise! Kris Kobach Doesn’t Favor Obama’s Not Yet Announced Immigration Plan
The anti-immigrant crusader thinks that Obama is out of touch with the public. This from the guy who convinced the whole GOP that self-deportation was an electoral winner. I guess we should ask President Romney and Majority Leader McConnell what they think.
Paul Ryan Backs Rubio Immigration Plan
This has got to be a disappointment for the hardcore right wingers. Tea Party darling Paul Ryan is embracing immigration reform by endorsing Marco Rubio’s immigration plan. The Rubio plan looks pretty similar to comprehensive immigration reform packages of the past and includes legalization of illegally present immigrants. So at least three Republican contenders for the presidency – Jeb Bush, Rubio and Ryan – are now backing immigration reform plans that include legalization paths for illegally present immigrants. Two of them – Ryan and Rubio – are recent converts to the cause. And one of them – Paul Ryan – carries a lot of weight in the Republican House of Representatives. A good day politically for the cause of immigration reform.
Maybe immigration reform is going to happen?]]>
Here are a few ideas of my own:
First, get rid of the Neufeld memo requiring “employer-employee” relationship in the H-1B context. This is ridiculous that an entrepreneur who is a majority shareholder in a business cannot legally work in it under an H-1B visa. It was allowed before and should be allowed now. Other temporary visa types permit this, why is the H-1B different?
Second, limit the RFEs or request for additional evidence in legitimate cases. Open up communications with immigration lawyers who can pinpoint problems in the system and punish/discipline USCIS officers who are abusing the system and creating problems for legitimate applications.
Third, approve National Interest Waiver or NIW petitions for entrepreneurs that have technology inventions or employ a certain number of U.S. citizens.
I have a few more ideas but the top 3 are the most critical right now.
Paul Ryan Interested in Immigration Reform
This is a bit surprising given everything said during the campaign. From Politico: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Wednesday that Paul Ryan had reached across the aisle to work with him on immigration reform and added that the Wisconsin Republican told him, “I want to do it because it’s the right thing.” “I saw my good friend just coming off running for vice president of the United States, Congressman Ryan, we’re going to see each other next week. We’re talking. He says to me, ‘Luis, I want to do it because it’s the right thing. I don’t want to deal with it from a political point of view.’ I think that’s very, very encouraging,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC. Not to be cynical, but perhaps Ryan wants a high profile role in immigration reform because of this guy.
Lindsey Graham Suggests Full Citizenship for Legalization Beneficiaries Possible Refreshing.
From America’s Voice: In an interview with CQ yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reiterated his support for comprehensive immigration reform and even “suggested that he could support citizenship…with preconditions, including an emphasis on granting citizenship first to immigrants who are currently waiting to receive it,” writes CQ reporter, John Gramlich. Said Graham, “I don’t like the European model of having millions of people in our country who can’t assimilate. It’s just not good for the culture. It’s just not good policy.”
This is a very annoying requirement of HB87 and has caused lots of problems in delaying renewal of professional licenses by several weeks per person, the majority of whom are American citizens. A U.S. citizen should not have to prove his or her citizenship every year to keep their business or professional license. Instead, this should only be required once.
“This requirement that Americans prove their citizenship to do their jobs is contrary to the goal of getting Georgians back to work and should be immediately repealed in January”, said House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “We are pleased that Rep. Buckner is moving forward to tackle this issue. This should be a bi-partisan bill that everyone can support to support professionals and small businesses.”
For more information, visit www.gahousedems.com
I hope this passes… but doubt the Republican controlled Congress in Georgia will do anything…]]>