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    Published on 02-24-2016 10:14 AM

    Are Syrian Refugees a real threat?


    A belief amongst a growing number of government leaders and the general public that the presence of Syrian refugees in the United States will subject us to acts of terrorism on American soil is unwarranted and based on fear rather than fact.

    The State of Texas, as well as more than 20 other States, has taken action to prevent the resettlement of Syrian refugees within their borders in response to President Obama’s announcement that the United States will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees.

    Additionally, there is a growing sentiment amongst the general populous that this action is necessary to protect us against terrorism and in particular terrorism ...
    Published on 02-23-2016 12:43 PM

    When Do You Need A Broker Dealer in EB-5?


    Kurt: Lori, Could you give us your thoughts about the need for a broker-dealer in EB-5 transactions?

    Lori: Since I'm the only person on the panel who doesn't work for a broker-dealer, hopefully I'm objective. Let me begin by saying that every deal is different and thus all the facts are different. Obviously, we take that into account when we advise participants in an EB5 offering what they need to do. Generally, however, we believe that participants, whether issuers or regional centers, could have a better outcome if they associate with a broker-dealer, especially in regard to the following topics:

    • Reg D private placement exemptions;
    • Whether a general solicitation is possible (meaning you can advertise your private placement under 506(c));
    • Whether you've met the requirements which prove you've verified that all of your purchasers are accredited investors; and
    • Ensuring compliance with Reg S and that you’ve appropriately filed with the SEC.

    Now, all of these topics tend to involve actions that a broker-dealer is very qualified to undertake. A broker-dealer will perform the due diligence necessary to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of these particular regulations and that the offering is properly marketed and sold. Beyond that, a broker-dealer might also recognize or advise on other topics, such as whether you are taking some action that lead you to be “deemed” ...

    Published on 02-23-2016 10:47 AM

    Jamiel Shaw Ad: Trump’s "Illegal Immigration" and "Sanctuary City" Propaganda



    On February 13, presidential candidate Donald Trump, who last night won the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, released a television ad that attacks "illegal" immigration. Trump uses on the 2008 shooting of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw, a black high schools student, by an undocumented gang member to arouse anti-immigrant sentiment and develop support from the black population in South Carolina, where the ad was aired. “A wonderful young man, Jamiel Shaw Jr., whose father has become a friend of mine, was shot in the face for no reason by an illegal immigrant,” Trump said in a statement accompanying the ad. 

    The report from the Los Angeles Police Department says that Shaw was walking home at 8:40PM when two Latino men jumped out of a car and approached him. They asked him what gang he belonged to, and when he did not respond they shot him. Pedro Espinoza, a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, was convicted of first-degree murder of Shaw. He was sentenced to death in 2012. Espinoza was released from Los Angeles County Jail the day before he killed Shaw, and the Shaw family blames in large part the “sanctuary city” policies followed by Los Angeles for Shaw’s death.

    The ad, which gives a brief summary of the shooting before broadcasting general anti-immigrant and pro-Trump rhetoric through the voice of Jamiel Shaw’s father, seems to convey that 1) Espinoza embodies the criminal disposition that all or most undocumented immigrants ...

    Published on 02-23-2016 10:08 AM

    How to Properly Address H1B Education Requirements


    Your client’s or employee's H1-B eligibility is primarily about his or her education. There are two primary educational requirements CIS evaluates to determine whether or not to approve a candidate’s visa:

    1. Does the candidate have a US bachelor’s degree or higher?
    2. Does the candidate’s degree match their specialty occupation?

    Many H1-B candidates do not have ...
    Published on 02-22-2016 12:55 PM

    Canada to Resettle 2.5 Times More Syrian Refugees in 4 Months than the U.S. in All of 2016


    In fiscal year 2016, the United States aims to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees. Canada, on the other hand, is on track to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees—from November 2015 to February of this year! The stark discrepancy is amplified by the fact that the United States has a population ten times greater than Canada’s.

    How is it that a nation with almost one-tenth of the population and a more modest GDP is far more willing to accept more Syrians fleeing violence and persecution?

    There are three key reasons: overflowing compassion from the Canadian people and lawmakers, a streamlined refugee screening process, and the use of private refugee sponsorship. Clearly, there is a lot the United States can learn from its northern neighbor.  

    First, Canadian lawmakers have demonstrated great courage and empathy in accepting refugees from war-torn areas. A new report finds that 470,000 Syrians have died in the war since 2011. American politicians have fallen prey to fear as they call to reject refugeesa rejection of the classic American ethos of welcoming the most vulnerable. Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been a powerful voice championing refugee resettlement, even greeting new arrivals at the airport with hugs and winter jackets.

    Second, Canada has aptly sensed the urgency of the Syrian crisis, and accordingly has sped up their refugee screening process. Five hundred additional Canadian officials were sent to Jordan and Lebanon to screen candidates. The entire operation, from the original application to ultimate arrival in Canada, is only a 10 month process—far more expedient than the United States’ two to three-year ordeal. And no evidence suggests their approach is any less safe than ours. Indeed, Canada is relying on American intelligence and databases ...

    Published on 02-22-2016 11:09 AM



    Published on 02-22-2016 10:14 AM

    The Peter Liang Case – A Potential Horror for Democrats and Immigration Reform


    The consequences of the NYPD officer Peter Liang conviction for having his service revolver go off in a dangerous housing project’s dark stairwell at night in one of the most crime-ridden parts of Brooklyn, East New York,1 and killing a Black man, Akai Gurley, off the bullet’s wall ricochet striking him one level down as he stepped into the stairwell has the nightmare possibility of undoing part of the Democratic coalition which has produced victories in the last two presidential campaigns. Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians played a large part in President Obama's two successful runs for the White House, but most persons of Chinese ancestry across the nation, the largest group of Asians, now feel abandoned by the Democrats - that Officer Liang was unfairly prosecuted and scapegoated to show that the justice system was fair to Blacks. The circumstances as they appear to Asian communities are of a ...

    Published on 02-19-2016 11:54 AM

    Understanding the Central American Refugee Crisis: Why They are Fleeing


    Published on 02-19-2016 11:07 AM

    H-1B Cases - Questionnaires and Checklist


    As we approach the H-1B Cap filing season, we thought that you may find the attached H-1B Questionnaires and check-list helpful in collection the required information and documentation from your clients.

    Published on 02-19-2016 10:48 AM

    Department of State Announces New NVC EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk


    Not to be outdone by the recent USCIS guidance regarding inquiries and increased processing times, the Department of State (“DOS”) has announced a new EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk with a dedicated email address specifically for EB-5 immigrant visa applicants.  DOS explains:

    Customers with questions related to an approved I-526 petition will soon be able to correspond with the National Visa Center (NVC) using a dedicated e-mail address:  NVCeb5@state.gov.  The newly created EB-5 Investor Assistance Desk, which launches on February 22, is part of NVC’s continuing efforts to improve customer service.

    Upon receipt of an approved petition from USCIS, our Investor Assistance Desk will oversee the addition of potential derivative applicants and creation of fee bills.  Customers will e-mail their derivative’s relationship documents to NVCeb5@state.gov, ...

    Published on 02-18-2016 01:43 PM

    Increased Central American Migration to the United States May Prove an Enduring Phenomenon



    Indigenous women in Guatemala cash food vouchers. Severe drought has been a significant driver of Central American migration to the United States in recent years. (Photo: H. Avril/EU ECHO)

    More than a year and a half after the 2014 surge in child and family migration from Central America to the U.S. border reached its peak, recent flows have increasingly shown the characteristics of an enduring phenomenon, with significant policy implications for the United States and the region.

    While apprehensions of unaccompanied children and families from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras dropped in January after rising sharply in November and December 2015, this monthly decline may be an aberration. Evidence suggests the deeply rooted push and pull factors propelling these flows show no signs of relenting. During October 2015 – January 2016, which represent the first four months of fiscal year (FY) 2016, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 20,455 unaccompanied children (UACs) and 24,616 family units (the term used by the government to describe a parent, typically a mother, traveling with children), primarily from Mexico and the Northern Triangle. This quarterly total amounts to half the unaccompanied children (39,970) and family units (39,838) apprehended in all of FY 2015. If the current pace of apprehensions continues and tracks the patterns of recent years, projected yearly totals would be significantly higher than the record 69,000 children and 68,000 families who arrived at the border in FY 2014 and touched off a political crisis for the Obama administration amid the scramble to process and house the arrivals.

    A ...

    Published on 02-18-2016 12:44 PM

    USCIS EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) Provides New Guidance for Inquiries to Address Increased Processing Times


    With USCIS recently announcing that average processing times for EB-5 cases have reached 16 months, adjudication times have been a primary focus for stakeholders.  Long adjudication times affect a number of issues relating to an investor’s family, travel plans, the release of investment funds from escrow, and job creation statistics, among others.  During the February 3, 2016 Stakeholder Engagement, IPO Chief Nicholas Colucci discussed the increased processing times and steps the IPO is taking to address the issue.  Specifically, the IPO has focused on processing the oldest pending cases and hiring additional adjudication officers.  Despite these efforts, the unprecedented surge in I-526 filings at the end of 2015 has made it difficult for IPO officers and staff to quickly adjudicate filings.

    Recognizing the need for stakeholders to inquire about their cases, the Read More Read More

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