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  • Articles RSS Feed

    Published on 05-09-2016 12:16 PM

    The Cost of Welfare Use By Immigrant and Native Households

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    Published on 05-09-2016 12:03 PM

    Matter of Z-A-, Inc.: Recognizing The Global Role Of The L-1A Manager In A Globalized World

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    Despite the shrill rejection of globalization in the current presidential election cycle, the Appeals Administrative Office (AAO) has thankfully bucked the trend. It recently designated Matter of Z-A- Inc. as an “Adopted Decision, “which means that such a decision “establishes policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees. USCIS directs its personnel to follow the reasoning in these decisions in similar cases.”

    Under Matter of Z-A-, Inc., designated as an Adopted Decision since April 14, 2016, an L-1A intra-company manager who primarily manages an essential function can also be supported by personnel outside the United States within an international organization. A USCIS officer can no longer deny L-1A classification to such a manager because he or she is not supported by personnel ...

    Published on 05-09-2016 11:13 AM

    4 Problematic RFEs You Need to Know About

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    Over one in four H1B petitions receive and RFE, which is a drastic increase from just less than ten years ago, but not a new trend for the past few years. The number of H1B petitions filed has skyrocketed while the number of annual visas available has remained the same. At the same time, CIS trends regarding education for this visa have become much more strict. H1B filing season is over. That means now it is RFE season.

    The first step is to understand what ...

    Published on 05-06-2016 12:00 PM

    America's Concentration Camps Are a Warning, Not a Model

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    December 29, 2015

    Woodrow Wilson’s reputation has recently taken a well-deserved beating because of his racial policies. He restored segregation in the federal civil service, and the infamous movie Birth of a Nation highlights his support for the Ku Klux Klan. Those policies are dead today, with very few advocates.

    However, a more recent president implemented an even worse race-based policy against Americans, and some politicians say we should emulate it today. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order forcibly removed about 120,000 Japanese-Americans, mostly US citizens, from their homes.

    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, people feared a Japanese attack on the West Coast, and many regarded the Japanese American population in California as disloyal. On February 19, 1942, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the military to remove people from designated military areas.

    As explained in Greg Robinson’s By Order of the President, Roosevelt’s language was broad, but everyone understood “any and all persons” to mean Japanese-Americans and “military areas” to mean the West Coast. The removals included “Issei” — resident immigrants — as well as “Nisei” — native-born Americans with Japanese parents. Immigration from Japan had been banned since 1924, and all Japanese immigrants were ineligible for citizenship, although all had been living in America for at least eighteen years.

    They were forcibly removed to ten concentration camps. The government officially called them “relocation centers,” but Roosevelt himself used the words “concentration camp” in a recommendation as ...

    Published on 05-06-2016 11:47 AM

    Article: What happened in 2015 in OCAHO Decisions involving I-9 Penalties?

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    In calendar year 2015, the Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) issued 13 substantive decisions against employers in I-9 penalty cases (§ 1324a). This number has dropped from a high of 30 Form I-9 penalty decisions in 2013.

    The following are the I-9 penalty cases published in 2015 along with penalties sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and penalties assessed by OCAHO:

    An analysis of the above numbers demonstrates OCAHO lowered ICE’s proposed penalties on average by 32.8%. ICE sought $1,877,796 while OCAHO ordered $1,200,772. These reductions were substantially less than in 2014 and 2013, when the reductions were 35.25% and 46.50%, respectively. One reason for the decrease is there were no reduction in U.S. v. ESSG II and only a 25% reduction in the largest penalty case – U.S. v. Hartmann Studios, Inc. Even though the number of decisions is dropping, ICE is consistently collecting about $16 million per year in cases with final orders, which includes litigated and non-litigated cases.

    The two major industries involved in these decisions were manufacturing/food processing – five, and hospitality – three. These are two of the most common industries inspected by ICE. Nine of the 13 employers involved in these OCAHO decisions were classified as small employers – usually defined as under 100 employees.

    Significant Decisions

    There were a number of significant holdings by OCAHO in 2015. In U.S. v. ESSG II, the employer failed to have the individual, who reviewed the original employee documents, sign Section 2; rather, an individual at the corporate office reviewed copies of the documents, not the original documents and signed the Section 2 certification, contrary to the law. ...

    Published on 05-06-2016 09:52 AM

    New Office L-1A Cases

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    When processing L-1A Cases one should pay particular attention to the Business Plan. For example, the USCIS almost always examines the Business Plan to see whether the U.S. Petitioner plans to, within the first 12 months of their operations, employ at least one subordinate professional, as well as additional professionals and/or administrative workers.

    Also, the projected hiring schedule and any expansion plans (which should be listed in the business plan in detail) should not contradict other corporate documents including financials, lease (size and type of the offices should be sufficient to accommodate projected number of employees), or Beneficiary's past experience.

    We have attached to this email a PDF file graphically depicting some of the elements of the L-1A Business Plan. We hope your paralegal will find it helpful

    ...
    Published on 05-05-2016 12:57 PM

    Here’s Everyone Who’s Emigrated to the U.S. Since 1820

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    From 1920 to 2013, 79 million people obtained lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The interactive map below visualizes all of them based on their prior country of residence. The brightness of a country corresponds to its total migration to the U.S. at the given time.

    Use the controls at the bottom to stop / resume the animation or to move back and forth in time.

    Two Centuries of U.S. Immigration (1 dot = 10,000 people)

    If you are having difficulty viewing the map above you can watch the video here.

    Through time, the immigration sources trace a clear path through the world. Starting in Western Europe with Ireland, Germany, and the U.K., the source moves east to Italy, Russia, and Hungary before shifting to the Americas and finally to Asia. The same trend is clear looking at the history of New York City’s foreign born population.

    Here are the largest immigration sources charted over time, showing the progression.

    While it may seem that immigration over the last few decades has been higher than ever before, the picture looks very different when ...

    Published on 05-05-2016 10:55 AM

    Managing Conflicts of Interest in EB-5

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    Scott: In dealing with conflicts of interest, investment advisors have a fiduciary duty to do what's in the best interest of their clients. The broker-dealers in the EB5 space has a suitability obligation to assess their clients’ financial circumstances and investment objectives, and here in the EB5 space that would include a desire to get a Green Card, in assessing what specifically is an appropriate investment for a registered broker-dealer to recommend.

    I do think that there are various kinds of conflicts of interest. Probably the clearest indication would be in a context of when you look at an attorney. For an attorney who represents, say, both the issuer (or regional center or the developer) and the investor.

    As a securities attorney, I've focused my career on the securities space, just the idea of representing both the issuer and the investor strikes me as difficult.

    In the context of an attorney, the number one problem I foresee is the conflict of interest provisions in the various attorney-disciplinary rules that are required to be complied with.

    Additionally, there are also conflicts of interest which have to be disclosed in the offering documents. The failure to disclose those conflicts of interest could, at times when the information is considered to be material, be considered to be fraud, and could be deemed as fraud by various regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Kurt: How would you know when you've got sufficient disclosure?

    Scott: The rule is you have to disclose all facts that a reasonable investor would want to know. Information is material if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable investor would consider it important in making an investment decision. You have to put yourself into the investor’s shoes, so to speak.

    Investors, usually, are primarily concerned about the safety of their investment and their returns. Of course, in the EB5 space we know there is a higher, more prevailing desire, and that ...

    Published on 05-05-2016 09:32 AM

    Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) Are Back

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    In August 2015, Canada introduced ‘Electronic Travel Authorizations’, more commonly known as eTAs. Subject to some exceptions (notably U.S. citizens), an eTA is an approval required by non-visa nationals before traveling to Canada. A full explanation of the requirements for, and the exceptions to, eTAs, is found in our previous ImmPulse™ release at http://www.kranclaw.com/2016/01/electronic-travel-authorizations-beware-the-ides-of-march/

    Though the program was introduced last August, the date on which the requirement was to become mandatory was set to be March 15, 2016. Just prior to that date, however, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) announced that the mandatory implementation date would be postponed to a future date, as yet undetermined.

    IRCC has now announced the new mandatory eTA implementation date: September 29, 2016.

    Read More Read More

    Published on 05-04-2016 12:06 PM

    Sorry Trump, Immigration is Still Associated with Less Crime and Safer Communities

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    Donald Trump opened a political rally in Southern California last night by sharing the stage with activists who have lost loved ones at the hands of immigrants in the U.S. without legal status. While no one can minimize the pain associated with losing a family member, Trump’s motive behind placing these families at center stage is suspect at best.

    The fact is that Trump has aligned himself with America’s most anti-immigrant politicians, some of whom hold hearings and bring forth these same families time and time again in an attempt to stir up anti-immigrant fervor by playing on emotions rather than relying upon facts. Trump is only the latest presidential candidate to advocate for the draconian immigration policies designed by the nativist fringe of his party. Trump’s plan for the mass round up and deportation of undocumented immigrants is not unique to him. These echo presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s losing self-deportation scheme. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s empathy does not extend to the millions non-violent and non-threatening individuals he would deport and rip away from their families; or the friends and family members who would feel ...

    Published on 05-04-2016 10:49 AM

    NEWS AT THE 2016 AILA SPRING CONFERENCE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S.C.I.S., AND DEPARTMENT OF STATE (PART 2)

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    In our last article, “News at the 2016 AILA Spring Conference on U. S. v. Texas, CSPA, I-601A Proposed Rule and H-1B’s” on April 20, 2016, we said that there were other important subjects covered in the conference that would be the subject of another article. Below are areas discussed by the Labor Department, U.S.C.I.S., and Department of State:

    Department of Labor
    The Department of Labor complained about lack of funding as affecting its operations and said that Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) fee based applications were its big hope to alleviate compromised programs, but that it would be about 2-3 years before the fee base became effective to wean it ...

    Published on 05-04-2016 10:25 AM

    A Closer Look At The Form I-983 – Training Plan for STEM OPT Students

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    As we previously blogged about here, on March 11, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule amending regulations to expand Optional Practical Training (OPT) for students with U.S. degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM). This new rule will take effect on May 10, 2016 and will replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension previously available to STEM students most significantly expanding the extension period to 24 months. But the new rule sets forth various requirements that must be met by schools, students and employers. In addition, it raises questions regarding how OPT will be perceived going forward.

    The standard 12-month OPT program will remain intact. Eligible students can still engage in a 12-month program of OPT during or after the completion of an academic program. They can work at a regular job for any US employer for the duration of the authorized OPT period provided the employment qualifies as related to their major area of study in the US. But one of the more confusing aspects of the STEM OPT program is that even after engaging in regular employment for 12 months, a student wishing to apply for a STEM OPT extension, will have to prove, through submission of an elaborate Training Plan, that he or she will, for the next 24 months, be no more than a mere trainee! When ...


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