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    Published on 12-04-2013 11:19 AM

    While Debates Continue on Illegal Immigration, the Wealthy and Talented Go Elsewhere

    by Tahmina Watson

    Startup Act Blog picRecently history shows the world competing for the wealthy and the talented reaffirming the importance of immigrants.. The wealthy, predominantly Chinese, are being enticed by the privilege of working and living in the best places.  Governments are vying for the talented, making every effort to ensure the next Facebook is created in their country.

    Countries are focused on immigrants who can: (1) buy an house (2) invest millions of dollars or (3) start a business.  While we have a decent investor visa option, we lack the other two. That means we are losing out on the opportunity for economic growth.  The US is nonchalant that people from around the globe actually still want to live in the US.

    Immigration reform is key to boosting our economy.  All three of the above visas must be included in any comprehensive reform proposal

    Let’s revisit recent developments.

    In November 2012, Australia launched the newly created “Significant Visa,” allowing residency to anyone with an investment of $AUD 5 million.  In May 2013, Australia issued its first ‘Significant Visa’ and since then, the visa has garnered much interest and Australia is in the process of fast tracking these cases.[1]

    Appreciating the appeal, in April 2013, Canada implemented its very own “Startup Visa Act”.  While the US high-tech industry has been green with envy with our neighbor’s new visa, Canada had no problem crossing the border to taunt us with their innovative achievement.  They even went to our technology hub, Silicon Valley, to poach our brightest entrepreneurs!  The head-hunting push began with an eye-catching billboard boasting the phrase “Pivot to Canada” followed by a visit from the Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenny.  Canada issued its first Startup Visa in September 2013[2] and continues to make improvements to the program.[3]

    Canada and Australia are not alone in their efforts: the UK is constantly reinventing their immigration laws and are not afraid of trial and error.  In 2012, the UK launched their well utilized Tier One Entrepreneur Visa which was further amended in January 2013. In October 2013, the UK announced relaxed visa rules for Chinese citizens enabling easier investments.

    Speaking of China, this is probably the only country that actively discourages entrepreneurs.  The Chinese government recently tightened immigration rules.[4] With a rapidly growing economy, attracting immigrants in the same way as other nations is not important.

    Back in Europe, Portugal implemented the “Gold Visa” allowing residence if one purchases a house for at least €500,000.[5]  The visa has already proven popular, particularly with the Chinese. Spain also created a similar ...

    Published on 12-03-2013 12:56 PM

    MPI Study Examines Latest Naturalization Data


    Who are the new Americans of today? A recent report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, paints a fascinating statistical portrait of the latest cohort of naturalized Americans. [See Naturalization Trends in the United States, by Gregory Auclair and Jeanne Batalova, Migration Policy Institute, 24.Oct.2013.]

    First off, the raw numbers: in fiscal year 2012, MPI reports, 40.8 million immigrants lived in the United States, including 18.7 million naturalized U.S. citizens, and nearly 8.8 million lawful permanent residents who were eligible ...

    Published on 12-02-2013 03:26 PM

    Military Families Stay Together Thanks to New Immigration Policy

    by Ann Cun

    Earlier this month, USCIS announced a policy change that would allow the immediate family (spouses, children and parents) of active military personnel who are in the process of applying to obtain their greencard, to potentially remain in the U.S. by being granted "parole in place."

    This policy shift is a good faith step by this administration to reconcile its stance in favor of immigration reform but keep its promise to ensure family unity, stemming from years of efforts by various groups and congresspersons.

    Parole in place, has been highlighted in the USCIS' recent announcement as a tool that will help to “minimize periods of family separation, and to facilitate adjustment of status within the United States by immigration **who are spouses, parents and children of military members.”

    What Exactly Is Parole in Place?

    Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, individuals who are “admitted or paroled” into the U.S. ...

    Published on 11-29-2013 10:54 AM

    Talking Turkey on Immigration 2013

    by Mary Giovagnoli

    shutterstock_77145988In an effort to preserve harmony at the Thanksgiving table, we have for the last several years offered up tips on making the case for immigration reform in front of, what is for many, the most hostile audience of all—their families. Even in the most congenial of families, there’s likely to be someone who can push your buttons on the immigration issue. But you can, and should, engage them, armed with this year’s advice on talking turkey about immigration reform.

    The cardinal rule is to Know your audience. One of the great successes of the immigration movement in this past year has been the diversity of support for reform from across the political, economic, and social spectrum. A growing number of Republicans, Democrats, business, labor, teachers, conservatives, liberals, police chiefs, the high-tech industry, low-wage workers, Evangelicals, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Hindus, farm workers, small-business people, start-up entrepreneurs, the agricultural and landscape industry, women’s groups, environmentalists, CEOs, mayors, governors, city councils—the list goes on and on—support immigration reform.  Which of these communities is your aunt or uncle a part of? Not everyone will buy your arguments just because you have identified their interest groups, but if you know the arguments that persuaded small-business ...

    Published on 11-29-2013 10:48 AM

    Top 5 Common I-9 Errors As Seen Through the Eyes of OCAHO

    Bruce Buchanan

    Today’s article is authored by Bruce Buchanan, Attorney at Siskind Susser, PC in Nashville, Tennessee.

    In reviewing the numerous OCAHO decisions issued so far this year, there have been some fairly common violations that have gotten employers in a lot of trouble. Here’s my detailed take on what some of those common errors are and why they consistently plague employers.

    #1 – The Missing I-9 Form

    The most common violation is the most basic: failure to prepare an I-9 form, especially failing to complete an I-9 Form until after being served with a Notice of Inspection (NOI).  This violation occurred in 25 of the 28 decisions this year, as published on the OCAHO’s website.  In several cases, U.S. v. Red Bowl Asian Bistro, ...

    Published on 11-27-2013 02:52 PM

    Can I Purchase a Regional Center or a Regional Center License? - Does the Final Policy Memorandum Shed Any Light?

    by Mona Shah and Yi Song

    Can I purchase a Regional Center?

    At this time there are 439 USCIS approved regional centers, however not all regional centers are active. Buying and selling USCIS approved RC’s some with exorbitant price tags has become a hot topic in the EB-5 arena.

    While such a contract for sale may be ...

    Published on 11-26-2013 12:27 PM

    Immigration in the Supreme Court in the 2012 Term: Individualized Decision-Making, No Immigration Exceptionalism

    by Kevin R. Johnson

    The Supreme Court has had a steady diet of immigration cases in recent years, with Padilla v. Kentucky (2010) and Arizona v. United States being the most well known of modern vintage.  

    In the 2011 Term, the Supreme Court issued five immigration decisions. Three of the cases involved removals based on criminal convictions, which have been before the Court in increasing numbers in recent years.  The recurrence of criminal removal cases should not be surprising given that the Obama administration has been removing noncitizens who have had brushes with the law in record numbers. 

    The immigration docket slowed a bit in the 2012 Term, with only two immigration decisions handed down by the High Court. However, the Court did decline to again enter the fray of state immigration enforcement laws. In 2012, the Court decided Arizona v. United States, the blockbuster ruling that curbed state laws purportedly seeking to enforce the U.S. immigration laws. This spring, the Court, with Justice Scalia in dissent, denied certiorari in Alabama v. United States, the Alabama immigration enforcement law case.  The state of Alabama had sought cert after having lost in no small part in the Eleventh Circuit.

    Moncrieffe v. Holder

    Adrian Moncrieffe immigrated to the United States from Jamaica at age 3 and grew up in the United States. He is the father of two U.S. citizen children. Moncrieffe was pulled over while driving in his home state of Georgia. Police found 1.3 grams of marijuana in his car, an amount the Supreme Court stated as enough for two to three marijuana cigarettes. Moncrieffe was ...

    Published on 11-25-2013 03:13 PM

    The Beginning of the End: The Immigration Act Of 1965 And The Emergence Of Modern U.S./Mexico Border Enforcement

    by Kevin R. Johnson

    Here is an introduction to an article that I am writing.  For a draft, please contact me at krjohnson@ucdavis.edu.

    In the celebratory wake of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress enacted the Immigration Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-236, 79 Stat. 911 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 8 U.S.C.).  Consistent with the emerging popularity of the respect for civil rights of racial minorities in the United States, the 1965 Act eliminated the discriminatory national origins quotas system from the U.S. immigration laws, which Congress had passed in 1924 when xenophobic sentiment was at one of its periodic highpoints in American history.  Needless to say, the end of the quotas system represented a major – and unquestionably positive – change in the law. 

    In the 1965 Act, however, Congress went considerably further than simply ...

    Published on 11-25-2013 02:40 PM

    Will "Nuclear Option" Lite Be Enough to Advance Immigration Reform Significantly?

    by Alan Lee, Esq.

    The "nuclear option" exercised on November 21, 2013, by the Democrats to curtail debate on presidential appointments at 51 votes instead of the previous 60, was a step in the right direction of unblocking the partisan charged lawmaking atmosphere in Washington by firing a warning shot across the bow of the Republicans ...

    Published on 11-22-2013 02:30 PM

    USCIS Introduces Social Security Number Locking Feature in E-Verify

    by Ann Cun

    Yesterday was a step forward for the E-Verify System.  Critics and proponents of the system have always lamented that the system did not prevent unauthorized individuals from using valid documents, including documents such as a social security card, during an E-Verify verification case.  However, things are going to be different.

    USCIS announced on November 18, 2013, that the E-Verify System will now be able to incorporate a security feature where a social security number that “appears to have been misused” will now be “locked” in the system, similar to what credit card companies currently do for clients.  The locking mechanism is triggered by a combination of complex algorithms, detection reports and other identification patterns built into the system.

    What Triggers the ...

    Published on 11-21-2013 12:38 PM

    What Will You Do If the Republicans Offer Only Bits and Pieces of Immigration Legislation?

    by Alan Lee, Esq.

    (Preface: The following was a talk given by Alan Lee, Esq. on November 20, 2013, as part of the Baruch College in New York City panel/discussion event "Documenting the Undocumented: Immigration Reform" sponsored by the Baruch College undergraduate student government, Amnesty International, Latin American Student ...

    Published on 11-20-2013 03:18 PM

    E-Verify Attempts to Thwart Identity Theft

    by Josie Gonzalez

    Users of E-Verify, the government database that allows employers to check the veracity of work authorization documents of new hires, have long known that the Achilles' heel of the program has been the ability of new hires to thwart the program by assuming the identity of another person. Now, through "a combination ...

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