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    Published on 06-07-2018 11:04 AM

    Trump’s Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy Treats Parents like Criminals

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    Since the implementation of a “zero-tolerance” policy in April 2018 toward illegal entry (as well as attempted illegal entry) into the United States, criminal prosecutions of unauthorized border-crossers under the Trump administration have started to rise.

    Criminal prosecutions of migrants apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the southwest border with Mexico jumped a full 30 percent from March to April. Since January alone, criminal prosecutions are up 60 percent—from 5,191 in January to 8,298 in April.

    The greatest number of prosecutions in April took place in the Western District of Texas (2,767), followed by the Southern District of Texas (1,959). However, while Texas dominated in terms of absolute numbers, the greatest increase in prosecutions from January to April occurred in New Mexico, where prosecutions jumped 110 percent.

    This increase follows Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement on April 6, 2018, that anyone caught crossing the border would now face prosecution, as opposed to to their countries of origin without facing criminal charges. The Attorney General told U.S. Attorney’s Offices all along the southwest border to adopt this enforcement ...

    Published on 06-07-2018 09:42 AM

    中国客户相关的E-2问题

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    我律所的同事Oliver Yang最近几周都在中国,而我也准备着5月份即将到来的中国行程。此次行程我们的精力主要集中在和感兴趣的中介公司和客户讨论通过格林纳达护照获得E-2签证的相关问题。

    基于我们和中国客户交流的经验,我们总结并回答了一些经常被问及的问题:

    1. E-2签证的最低投资额是多少? ...
    Published on 06-06-2018 11:18 AM

    Local Limits on Immigration Enforcement Successfully Slow Deportation Machine

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    Immigration policies may be crafted on a national scale, under the purview of the federal government, but it is at the local level that immigrants live their lives. And it is at the local level that heavy handed immigration enforcement disrupts the lives of immigrants, as well as the lives of the native-born Americans with whom they work and reside.

    This dynamic has been on full display since the inauguration of President Trump, whose administration has wasted little time in upending the immigration-enforcement priorities put in place by the Obama administration. As a report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) describes, President Obama focused on apprehending criminals, recent border crossers, and anyone with a recent removal order, which targeted 10 percent or so of all unauthorized immigrants currently residing in the United States. President Trump, on the other hand, has vastly expanded the scope of

    Published on 06-05-2018 12:30 PM

    Just asking: H-1B Denials based on OOH Handbook

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    We do a meticulous research, and ensure we cover all legal standards when we are submitting an H-1B petition/RFE response. To our dismay, we get the dreaded denial notice stating the opposite of what we contend, for example:

    As stated in the OOH, the occupation allows for a wide range of educational credentials to qualify. While the OOH indicates that it is common for computer systems analyst to obtain a degree, the OOH clarifies that a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a specific specialty is not normally the minimum required for entry into the occupation. Further, the OOH also indicates that computer systems analysts have degrees in a wide range of unrelated degrees including computer related degrees, business degrees and liberal arts degrees. As a result, the proffered position cannot be considered to have met this criterion (A bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position.) [1]

    Legally speaking, what is the limited use of OOH? Is it accurate for USCIS to rely on OOH in determining if a job qualifies as a ‘ specialty occupation’ under the H-1B visa ...

    Published on 06-04-2018 12:47 PM

    USCIS Publishes Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Guidance – No Good News Here

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    USCIS issued new guidance regarding the Child Status Protection Act (“CSPA”) through an update to the USCIS Policy Manual . Sadly, the updated guidance does not offer expanded protection for children who may age out and, for the most part, simply mirrors existing language in the Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”) which was updated over a year ago.

    As we have written extensively in the past , CSPA protection involves technical requirements . The updated Policy Manual confirms that a child may only deduct the time an immigrant petition was pending from the child’s age to calculate the CSPA age. It also states that the CSPA age is calculated at the time of visa availability and that one must “seek to acquire” lawful permanent resident ...

    Published on 06-04-2018 12:22 PM

    5 Major Restrictive Steps Taken by USCIS are Depriving U.S. Employers of the Opportunity to Hire the Best & Brightest Graduates. The Long-term Damage to the U.S. Economy Will be Devastating!

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    In April 2018, the U.S. unemployment rate reached a low of 3.9%. Yet with restrictive immigration policies at the heart of President Trump’s agenda, DHS is actively pursuing an onslaught not only against undocumented persons or criminal alien’s but is actively seeking to restrict legal immigration in every way possible. Last month current USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna provided an update to Senator Charles E. Grassley on USCIS’ plans to restrict eligibility for, or even remove, specific nonimmigrant worker programs in its effort to comply with the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order issued in April 2017.

    These actions are likely to have a devastating long-term impact on our economy and endanger our national security. As China and India leap ahead in technology, the US is actively finding ways to remove the best and brightest in an environment where industry urgently needs qualified graduates. This isn’t making American great, this is potentially destroying our technological advantage to pander to rightwing restrictions views. A new report from the National Foundation for American Policy, a research organization focused on immigration and the economy found 81 percent of full-time graduate students in electrical and petroleum engineering programs at U.S. universities are international students, and 79 percent in computer science are. Clearly U.S. students are not studying math and science and if we deport all the smart graduates, we stuck with the children of immigrants as a key source of science and math graduates.

    This dangerous trend is being ignored as the rightwing restrictionist debate is channeled into talk of violent M13 immigrant gangs and other absurd nativist rhetoric.

    They include:

    1. Restricting the H-1B Visa program. USCIS ...
    Published on 06-04-2018 12:17 PM

    EB-1 To Become Current in October 2018 Again for China and India – Is the Extraordinary Ability Visa the Best Option for Chinese Nationals?

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    Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division within the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), recently noted that the Final Action Date (“FAD”) for China employment-based first-preference (“EB-1”) will become current again at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2019, on October 1, 2018. This is encouraging news, as this visa category has been subject to an FAD since April 2018 and those with approved I-140 petitions have not been able to move forward with immigrant visa processing. ...

    Published on 06-01-2018 02:59 PM

    Matter of Y-M-C- States Limit on Service Ability to Automatically Deny I-212 Because of Another Possible Ground of Inadmissibility

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    Please find attached a non-precedent decision of the AAO, Matter of Y-M-C-, ID #151-8339 (AAO May 25, 2018), withdrawing the Director’s decision and remanding to determine whether the applicant merits conditional approval of the I-212 application as a matter of discretion. The Acting Director had denied the application on the basis that the applicant had filed a false I-102 and that, because he was also inadmissible under §212(a)(6)(C)(1) of the Act, there would be no purpose in granting the applicant permission to reapply for admission while he remained under this ground of inadmissibility. (The conditional I-212 application was filed as part of the I-601A process, and the I-601A only forgives the unlawful presence grounds of §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) or (II)). The applicant contested inadmissibility under the 6(C)(1) section on appeal.


    The AAO pointed out that the applicant was not seeking to adjust status inside the United States, and that it is the consular officer’s responsibility to determine an applicant’s inadmissibility and to have an applicant file a form I-601 if required – accordingly, the Director’s finding of inadmissibility under §212 (a)(6)(C)(1) of the Act was premature, and the matter had to be remanded for him to determine whether the applicant merited conditional approval of his application as a matter of discretion.


    The case shows that in a conditional I-212 matter in which the applicant must make final application for an immigrant visa to an American consular officer overseas, U.S.C.I.S. should not automatically deny the application as having no purpose where there is another ground of inadmissibility, but leave that decision to the consular officer, and confine itself to deciding whether the applicant should be granted or denied the I-212 as a matter of discretion.


    www.alanleelaw.com

    ...
    Published on 06-01-2018 11:39 AM

    Specialty Occupation RFE: Know the Job Inside and Out

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    Last year, we saw an unprecedented number of RFEs targeting computer programmers making level 1 wages. These RFEs questioned whether this job met H1B specialization requirements, which states a specialty occupation requires a minimum of a US bachelors degree or higher or its equivalent for entry into the position.

    Here's why:

    ...

    Published on 06-01-2018 11:13 AM

    Holding Anti-gang Beliefs Is A Political Opinion, Leading To Asylum, Rules Immigration Judge

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    A 23-year-old pastor in Honduras, who converted a gang member, and cooperated with police “caused him to have the imputed political opinion of holding anti-gang beliefs,” ruled Immigration Judge Michael W. Straus [Hartford, Connecticut, 13-page Decision, dated November 14, 2017].

    The decision is available on the “Gang Based Asylum” page of the Louise Trauma Center: www.louisetrauma.weebly.com

    Facts

    Respondent, a native and citizen of El Salvador, moved to Honduras as a teenager. He began preaching at his father’s church. He converted a gang member named Selbin, who then quit the gang. The gang threatened respondent; then it kidnapped and murdered his fiancée,

    Respondent told the police he believed a gang member named Duanis was involved in the murder. Duanis was arrested, but was soon released. Respondent went to El Salvador, where he was attacked and beaten by members of another gang. “The men who attacked him told him that the attack was for what he had done in Honduras.” Decision, at page 6.

    Respondent returned to Honduras, where Duanis shot at him with a gun. Respondent fled to the United States.

    Argument of DHS

    The DHS criticized respondent for not having secured witness statements from anyone who knew about the attack in El Salvador, and for not reporting the attack to the El Salvador police.

    Police in El Salvador are ineffective; no need to report to them

    The Immigration Judge [IJ] found that being threatened, beaten, and shot at, rises to the level of persecution. Respondent testified he did not report the attacks to the police in El Salvador, “because he believed that the police were corrupt and would not be able to help him.” Id. at 9. The IJ agreed: the 2016 Department of State Report found that the effectiveness of El Salvador’s National Civilian Police was limited by “insufficient government funding... and instances of corruption and criminality.” Id. at 10.

    Holding anti-gang beliefs can lead to the imputation of a cognizable political opinion

    “Respondent believes that gang members perceive him to have anti-gang beliefs because he converted a gang member and cooperated with the police following the murder of his fiancée.” Id. at 10.

    “In Delgado v. Mukasey, the Second Circuit held that an individual’s refusal to provide assistance to Columbian criminal organization FARC could constitute an imputed political opinion of opposition to FARC. See 508 F. 3d. 702, 706-07 (2d Cir. 2007).” IJ Decision at page 11. FARC “exerted control over significant regions of the country and functioned as a defacto government.” Id. at 11. The government of Columbia had “peace talks and negotiations with the criminal organization.” Id.

    In El Salvador, “the country condition reports support that large gangs, such as the MS-13 and 18 Revolutionaries, function as de facto governments throughout the region.” Id. “The government of El Salvador has attempted to negotiate with the gangs and set truce agreements number times….” Id.

    Furthermore, ...

    Published on 05-31-2018 12:00 PM

    Demystifying Economic Reports with Kimberly Atteberry of Vermillion Consulting

    by


    Demystifying Economic Reports with Kimberly Atteberry of Vermillion Consulting

    EB-5 Investment Voice

    Mona Shah & Associates Global Podcast Series

    Reported by Hermione Krumm, Esq.

    EB-5 Investment Voice is the only Podcast series that focuses on and the United States immigrant investor visa, EB-5 and foreign direct investment. Mona Shah, Esq. welcomes guests from the industry, including: Developers, Regional Center Operatives, Attorneys, Legislators and Politicians.

    Economics is essential to EB-5 yet can be confusing and complex. It is very much involved in ...

    Published on 05-30-2018 01:13 PM

    Does USCIS Follow DOS’ 90-Day “Misrepresentation” Rule?

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    We previously blogged on the U.S. Department of State’s new September 2017 guidance relating to the term “misrepresentation” in 9 FAM 302.9-4(B)(3) . In short, the guidance indicates that a U.S. consular officer may seek “potential revocation” or find an alien inadmissible if the alien violates or engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status within 90 days of entry. Since then, in April 2018, the Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”) has been updated at 9 FAM 302.9-4(C)(1) to require consular officers to submit an Advisory Opinion “where an applicant engaged in inconsistent conduct within 90 days (the 90-day rule).”

    However, USCIS updated its Policy Manual in March 2018 ...


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