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    Published on 07-06-2012 09:34 AM

    Immigrants of the week: Iris Gomez and Rihanna

    by Greg Siskind

    Immigrant Of The Day: Iris Gomez - Author, Lawyer


    Not to many immigration lawyers have their books reviewed by Oprah Winfrey, but Colombian-born Iris Gomez has. That's probably because she's written the hot-selling novel "Try to Remember" about a teenage teenage Colombian immigrants struggles in her new country. I had the opportunity to meet Iris recently and am enjoying the book (along with various other folks at my office). Click on the book cover to go to the Amazon page where you can order your copy.


    Immigrant of the Day: Rihanna - Singer

    Published on 07-06-2012 09:15 AM

    I-9 And E-Verify Software Due Diligence After Rose Acre Farms

    Ann Cun

    Anyone who has purchased a home knows that conducting due diligence is critical. You have to go through a number of steps. Including property inspection and clearing the title before you close on the property. Failure to perform the necessary investigation before signing on the dotted line will raise many eyebrows and might leave you holding the bag!

    In the world of electronic I-9 and E-Verify software, the need to conduct due diligence on the software’s legal compliance and the vendor’s expertise is equally critical (if not more), not only because of the threat of scrutiny from government agencies, but also from resulting negative publicity, civil fines, payments of back-wages, legal fees and other “punitive-like” measures. (Read more examples here.)

    Last week, we wrote about the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major egg producer in the United States, which highlighted the government’s increased scrutiny ...

    Published on 07-05-2012 02:58 PM

    Right wing global warming deniers are also making the weather hot for immigration.

    For the past week, much of the capital city area of the country with the world's largest economy, most powerful military, and, according to what every school child is taught, most advanced values, has been sweltering without power in triple-digit heat, causing widespread suffering that would be an embarrassment to most third-world countries. Meanwhile, large parts of Colorado have been burning from uncontrollable wildfires. 

    Published on 07-05-2012 02:57 PM

    Asylum and Shari’ah Law

    I recently finished a book about the Quran, and it got me wondering about what Islamic Law (or Shari’ah) has to say about asylum. 

    Forget the Asylum Primer…

    With the help of the mighty Google, I found an interesting paper on the subject from 2009: The Right to Asylum between Islamic Shari’ah and International Refugee Law: A Comparative Study.  The study is by Prof. Ahmed Abou-El-Wafa, chief of the department of public international law at Cairo University, and was written for the United Nations.  The study was meant to begin a conversation and get feedback from various experts in preparation for publishing the second edition of the study.  This conversation is apparently on-going.

    Obviously, I am no expert in Shari’ah law, but I reviewed ...

    Published on 07-05-2012 02:56 PM

    Immigrants in Mayberry!

    Andy Griffith, one of America's most beloved actors passed away today. Those who are my age and older remember The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, and Mayberry RFD. My generation had just a couple of televeision channels to watch, and Griffith's shows ran in continuous reruns so even those who missed the shows in prime time were even more familiar with the series than those who worked for a living and didn't have time to watch reruns every day after school.

    The ...

    Published on 07-05-2012 02:53 PM

    Challenges Ahead on Implementing Executive Action to Prevent Deportation of Unauthorized Youth

    by Muzaffar Chishti and Faye Hipsman Migration Policy Institute

    President Obama’s decision to protect from deportation and provide work authorization to certain unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as minors — which represents the boldest immigration policy move of his administration — has generated considerable attention for its political implications. But while much of the focus has been on politics and legislative wrangling, less attention has been paid to the capacity and implementation challenges that ultimately will determine the scope and success of the administration initiative.

    Those covered by the new policy (see box: Who Qualifies?) would have qualified for more permanent relief under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which passed the House in 2010 but which the Senate ultimately blocked. Various versions of the DREAM Act, which would place certain unauthorized immigrants on a path to legal permanent residence if they met educational or military enrollment criteria, have been considered by Congress since 2001 but have failed to gain passage in both chambers.

    The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that up to 1.4 million people would qualify for relief under the president’s order), with the largest share of potential beneficiaries residing in California and Texas.

    Those who meet the criteria may be granted deferred action, a form of temporary relief from deportation that can be done administratively. The directive does not confer blanket status: determinations to grant deferred action will be made on a case-by-case basis. Those currently in removal proceedings, any qualifying immigrant who comes to the attention of immigration officials in the future, or those against whom a final order of deportation has been issued can have their cases reviewed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. Those who meet the criteria, but have not been apprehended, can affirmatively apply for deferred action at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices. Qualifying applicants will be subject to FBI background checks and those granted deferred action can apply for work authorization, which will again be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Both deferred action and employment authorization would be granted for two years and subject to renewal under the administration’s action. As an administrative action, however, this policy could be terminated at any point and would not be binding on a future administration.

    The large number of people who could qualify for relief under the policy presents significant implementation challenges that need be addressed:
    • Capacity: Case-by-case review and determinations are a labor-intensive process that will require considerable staff capacity, especially for USCIS, which is expected to be ready in 60 days to process applications. Of the immigration agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS will have the largest workload. Already, the agency processes more than 5 million applications for immigration benefits per year. The two-step process — a grant of deferred action status, followed by a work authorization application — will only add to staff workload. Also, groups and individuals representing applicants (legal defense, advocacy organizations, etc.) will have to significantly increase their capacity to prepare necessary documentation, and advise clients of the consequences of applying, including the possibility of being placed in removal proceedings. Indeed, alerts have already been issued warning people of the possibility of fraud by unscrupulous or fraudulent service providers.
    • Training and Supervision: Officers at ICE, CBP, and USCIS will have to be trained to adjudicate applications for deferred action and work authorization under the new criteria. Since there is no appeal process for deferred action and work authorization, there will be stronger need for appropriate supervision. There will be a particular ...
    Published on 07-03-2012 11:40 AM

    How Will SB1070 Impact U.S. Employers?

    by Ann Cun

    By now, the headlines regarding Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law have been splattered across many news outlets. Many wonder what practical impact it would have on U.S. employers when it comes to I-9 and E-Verify? For more details on the immigration impact for global employers in the U.S., please visit our sister blog, Case Management Guru. We’ll take a closer look today as it relates to worksite compliance.

    Some Background

    Back in April 2010, Arizona enacted into law S.B. 1070, a fairly comprehensive immigration law for the state. Despite the law being challenged in court by many groups, many other states subsequently followed in Arizona’s footsteps by enacting their own state immigration laws. The federal government ultimately sued to prevent certain provisions of S.B. 1070 from going into effect, arguing that those provisions interfered with the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction of immigration laws. The case traveled from the District Court all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court over the course of about a year. The case, Arizona v. United States, was subsequently submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on certiorari. After a grant of review, the U.S. Supreme Court made its decision yesterday.

    The Outcome of the Provisions in S.B. 1070

    The Supreme Court was asked to review four primary provisions of S.B. 1070. Click here to read the review of those four provisions. Section 2(B) was upheld to be constitutional while three other sections (3, 5(C) and 6) were struck down as having been preempted by the Supremacy Clause.

    The Takeaways ...

    Published on 06-29-2012 11:19 AM

    Justice Department Sues Major U.S. Egg Producer for Discrimination Caused by Electronic I-9 System

    by John Fay

    On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice announced the filing of a lawsuit by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major U.S. egg producer, for discrimination in the I-9 process. As with other recent OSC defendants and respondents, Rose Acre is accused of requesting excessive I-9 documentation (also known as “document abuse”) from newly hired non-U.S. citizens (such as permanent residents, nonimmigrant visa holders, & those who have work authorization incident to status) in order to verify employment eligibility.

    Unlike recent cases, however, the OSC specifically charged that Rose Acre purchased an electronic I-9 software system in June 2009 that may have prompted human resource officials to demand certain documents from non-U.S. citizens. Is it possible for an employer, through its electronic I-9 system, to commit document abuse? And if so, can OSC prevail in its demand for monetary damages and civil penalties? Let’s take a closer look!

    What exactly is Document Abuse?

    The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits unfair I-9 documentary practice which occurs when employers treat individuals ...

    Published on 06-29-2012 09:54 AM

    On Deferred Action

    by Merrill J. Clark, Esq.

    With the President's historic announcement of "Deferred Action" on June 15, 2012, it is helpful to compare the well-known "Deferred Action" with the already-existing but little-known "Special Immigrant Juvenile." If there is an option, the youth should opt for Special Immigrant Juvenile, which provides for a pathway to citizenship. However, Deferred Action actually has some benefits that are not available in Special Immigrant Juvenile, most notably it is available to those over 21 years of age. Specific details and the application process for Deferred Action have been promised by about August 15, 2012.

    Published on 06-28-2012 03:35 PM

    The H4 Visas' Curse

    by Shah Peerally, Esq.

    President Obama in his remarks in El Paso last May said, "In recent years, a full 25 percent of high-tech startups in the United States were founded by immigrants, leading to more than 200,000 jobs in America." This was echoed, in the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which stated in its report, "Highly skilled immigrants create jobs, they do not take jobs." More recently, In a State of the Union address, President Obama again observed that "Innovation is what America has always ...

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