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    Published on 01-16-2014 10:03 AM

    Business Leaders Who Support Immigration Reform & Why they Do

    by Derek Whitney

    No matter what the technology or which side of the political aisle, most business leaders as well as politicians seem to agree on one thing. The U.S. immigration system is a mess and needs fixing. How to fix it is another matter. It cannot be ignored, however, that there are millions of undocumented foreign nationals in the United States. They cannot all be located and deported, even if that is the aim. ...

    Published on 01-15-2014 04:00 PM

    "Defining Partnership Of 21st Century": E Visa Possibility For Indian Citizens

    by Michael Phulwani, David Nachman, and Rabindra K. Singh

    U.S. immigration laws specifically authorize the issuance of E visas to nationals of a country that has qualifying treaty[i] of commerce and navigation with the United States. Such qualifying treaties may include treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation (FCNs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs).

    A BIT is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. This type of investment is called foreign direct investment (FDI). BITs acts as a tool in protecting the FDI in a volatile market. Especially, they protect foreign investments in light of the risks that foreign investors face in many parts of the world, including cancellation of concessions, leases, or licences; expropriation of shares; windfall, royalty, and other taxes; exchange rate risks; prohibition on the repatriation of profits; political or court interference; environmental regulation and remediation responsibility; land rights issues; riots; and protests, to name but a few. Faced with such risks, and given the likelihood that local courts and laws may not provide a speedy, effective and unbiased means of resolving investment disputes, BITs provide foreign investors with an additional level of protection under international law.

    There are two types of E visas: Treaty Trader visa (E-1) and Treaty Investor Visa (E-2). The E-1 visa is applicable to a treaty national entering the U.S. solely to carry on substantial trade, which is international in scope and principally between the U.S. and the foreign state. For E-1 visa, the treaty national must be an essential employee, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential ...

    Published on 01-14-2014 01:31 PM

    Targeting Immigrant Taxpayers as a Matter of Course

    by Wendy Feliz

    shutterstock_167873873Unfortunately, there is a new fallback position for some members of Congress when it comes to finding ways to save money. That position is eliminating the Additional Child Tax Credit for immigrant taxpayers. This has been proposed in the past by other members of Congress; however, the latest iteration is in the form of an amendment that Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) proposed to “pay for a three-month extension of unemployment benefits by stopping a scheme that currently allow {sic} illegal immigrants to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.”

    Calling a program which allows immigrant workers to pay taxes and legally claim tax credits a “scheme” distorts reality. Immigrant workers—both undocumented and lawfully present immigrants—like all workers, are required ...

    Published on 01-14-2014 12:49 PM

    The Top 5 Biggest Issues with Immigration Reform

    by Derek Whitney

    There are several important issues to consider when pondering immigration reform.

    Many Illegal aliens come to the United States for better jobs, and they are hired by employers who pay them low wages. Other employers accept fake documents and hire illegal workers as if they were legal. If the hiring of illegal aliens is widespread in a given employment field, the willingness of workers to accept lower wages causes lower ...

    Published on 01-13-2014 05:10 PM

    Is my marriage a “valid marriage” for U.S. immigration purposes?

    by Michael Phulwani, David Nachman, and Rabindra K. Singh

    The validity of a marriage under the U.S. immigration laws frequently determines whether a foreign national may be able to obtain a family-based immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, legalize unlawful status, or file waiver of inadmissibility or deportability. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the basic body of U.S. immigration laws, does not define the term "marriage". Although INA defines the term "spouse", it limits the definition to what may be excluded as unconsummated proxy marriage. ...

    Published on 01-10-2014 04:51 PM

    2014: The Year of Immigration Reform

    by Victor C Johnson

    On November 9, 2012, three days after President Obama’s re-election with the massive support of Hispanics and other immigrant communities, I posted on this blog an analysis of the meaning of the election and its implications for immigration reform. I said that the election would occasion a titanic struggle in the Republican Party between those who wanted to double down on far-right ideological positions and those who understood that the party had to broaden its appeal to immigrants and others who supported the president (women, minorities) if it hoped to remain competitive in national elections. I said that immigration reform would be one of the venues for this struggle, and I said, “The Republican Party will abandon its anti-immigration posture on the day it decides that anti-immigration no longer ...

    Published on 01-09-2014 02:28 PM

    The Story is Not the OIG Report

    by H. Ronald Klasko

    Immediately prior to resigning under a cloud of suspicion and investigation, the Deputy Inspector General of DHS issued his long-delayed report on the EB-5 regional center program.  This blog will not focus on that report, which has a number of inaccuracies that others have pointed out, most especially because it is at best of historical interest only.  All of the findings and recommendations pre-date the May 30, 2013 Policy Memorandum, the establishment of the D.C. Investor Unit and the other significant reforms shepherded through by Director Mayorkas that render moot a substantial number of the major findings in the OIG report.

    Rather, ...

    Published on 01-09-2014 02:10 PM

    Immigrant Entrepreneurs are Investors in their Communities

    Paul McDaniel


    Cedric Francois, a medical researcher from Belgium, came to Louisville, Kentucky, after hearing that researchers there were beginning work on the first hand transplant. Later, he co-founded two pharmaceutical companies. Suhas Kulkarni, an immigrant entrepreneur himself who founded Louisville-based IT firm Omnisys, understands the need for integrating and helping immigrant entrepreneurs get their start and is leading the area’s new Refugees and Immigrants Succeeding in Entrepreneurship (RISE) initiative. This is a collaborative effort among public and private organizations to support immigrants and refugees in the entrepreneurial endeavors in the Louisville area. RISE recognizes that Louisville “has an untapped pool of talent for city-wide economic development in the form of immigrants and refugees” and that “this population has the potential of becoming drivers of economic growth” for the region. Immigrant entrepreneurs are often vital assets in communities. They start businesses, create jobs, and encourage community revitalization efforts. Immigrant businesses can help revive dilapidated or aging retail corridors. And they provide an opportunity for immigrants to reinvest in the area. Take for example Vilmar Zenzen, originally from Brazil, who is opening a new upscale Brazilian steakhouse in downtown Louisville. Zenzen already operates another Brazilian steakhouse in Knoxville, Tennessee.

    Immigrant entrepreneurs, through their business and ancillary endeavors, make civic ...

    Published on 01-08-2014 03:01 PM

    2013 Fox in the Henhouse Award -- How CCA turns Federal Immigration Policy into Gold

    by Gerry Chapman

    Over the last several years, the total number of federal inmates has increased dramatically, primarily due to higher incarceration rates of aliens. Estimates indicate that some 55,000 aliens account for more than one-fourth of the total prison population in federal facilities today. The approximate annual cost to the US government of housing those aliens is nearly $1.6 Billion. (What those figures ...

    Published on 01-08-2014 02:09 PM

    When A Visa Extension Is NOT a Status Extension

    by Danielle Conley

    In a recent unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) issued a rather devastating opinion on the subject of immigration status and adjusting to permanent residence.  The BIA held that the foreign national accrued “unlawful status” (but not “unlawful presence) during the pendency of his ultimately denied H-1B extension of status petition and after the initial H-1B had expired.  As a result, the foreign national was subject to the provisions in INA Section 245(k) barring him from eligibility for adjustment of status because he had accrued more than 180 days of unlawful status. .  In yet another weird twist ...

    Published on 01-07-2014 04:08 PM

    California Court Rules Undocumented Immigrant Can Be a Licensed Attorney

    by Amanda Peterson Beadle

    6871164506_07dd6d5643_cThe California Supreme Court ruled last week that Sergio Garcia, a Mexican undocumented immigrant who has spent more than 17 years living in the U.S., should be licensed to practice law in the state of California. In the unanimous decision, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote it is “extremely unlikely” that Garcia would be deported under current immigration policy. “Under these circumstances, we conclude that the fact that an undocumented immigrant’s presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar,” she wrote.

    As Immigration Impact explained in September before the state Supreme Court heard Garcia’s case, he is the son of farmworkers who first brought him to the U.S. as a toddler. After living for a period in Mexico, he returned in 1994 at age 17, and his father, who was by then a lawful permanent resident, filed a visa petition for him. Since that petition was approved about 18 years ago, Garcia has been waiting for a visa to become available so that he can apply for a “green card.” He completed high school and paid his way through college and law school in the U.S. At 36, Garcia has been self-employed since 2004, pays his taxes, and has no criminal record. He passed ...

    Published on 01-06-2014 04:22 PM

    Republicans to Sideline Hispanics and Other Minorities By Piecemeal Immigration Legislation?

    by Alan Lee, Esq.

    As 2014 gets underway with rampant speculation that the Republican Party will do something positive following House Speaker John Boehner's tirade against the Tea Party and hiring of Rebecca Tallent, a long time immigration advocate, questions are arising as to the amount of changes that the Republicans are likely to support and whether Hispanics and other minorities will accept them as a sign of Republican softening ...

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