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    Published on 02-02-2016 09:47 AM

    Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Reopens


    The Background

    The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is a program whereby the province of Alberta nominates candidates to become permanent residents of Canada.

    There are a number of AINP streams including:

    • The Employer Driven Stream whereby foreign workers in Alberta (and in some cases, not yet in Alberta) may seek nomination for permanent residence; as well as
    • The Strategic Recruitment Stream, with subcategories for:
      • Compulsory and Optional Trade Categories
      • Engineering Occupations, and
      • Post-Graduate Workers

    The program has been popular, and has received numerous applications. Indeed, in an attempt to reduce their backlog, the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (AINP) put a pause on accepting applications in 2015.

    What’s New

    Published on 02-01-2016 12:12 PM

    Undocumented Population Continues to Decline in the U.S.



    Despite significant job growth and an economic recovery over the last few years, the undocumented population in the United States has continued to decline. According to a new report by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) released last week the undocumented population has decreased every year from 2009 to 2014, falling below 11 million for the first time since 2004.

    The undocumented population fell from 12 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2014, a decline of just under 10 percent in 6 years. The undocumented population from Mexico is the main driver of the decline falling by over 600,000 people in the last 5 years from 6.6 million in 2010 to 6 million in 2014.

    Interestingly, while the undocumented population declined nationwide, it fell especially in Illinois where the state lost 23 percent of its undocumented population in 5 years. Yet 11 states including, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado and Michigan saw an increase in their undocumented population.

    These numbers largely echo numbers reported by the Pew Research Center last year. While Pew estimates the undocumented population of 2014 at 11.3 million, they also see a decline of about a million people  from the 2007 high of 12.2 million. While there is some disagreement between the studies regarding the size of each state’s undocumented population both studies note increases in the undocumented population of Virginia and Pennsylvania and decreases in states with large immigrant populations like New York, Illinois, and California.

    The CMS study ...

    Published on 02-01-2016 11:05 AM



    Published on 02-01-2016 10:48 AM

    Preserving H-1B Extension For Spouse And Freezing Age Of Child In Rule Impacting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers


    The purpose of this blog is to draw attention to two little know legal concepts, which must either be preserved or introduced through the proposed rule entitled Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”. They are concepts worthy of promotion since they would greatly benefit delayed green card applicants, especially with respect to extending H-1B status beyond the six years and freezing the age of a child under the Child Status Protection Act under a new I-140 petition. While there are many other proposals in need of repair and improvement, I focus on these two since I have dwelt on them with passion in past blogs, here and here, and now is a time to advocate for their inclusion in the proposed rule.

    This rule when finalized will provide relief to skilled immigrants who are presently on nonimmigrant visas and are caught in the crushing employment-based backlogs. The centerpiece of this rule would allow beneficiaries of approved employment based immigration visa petitions, known as I-140 petitions, to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), although it has disappointed many by setting stringent criteria, which ...

    Published on 01-29-2016 12:37 PM

    Client Reviews Are Critical in Getting New Business



    I had an epiphany about the most important element in law firm marketing. When I had to find an out-of-state lawyer, client reviews made all the difference.

    It started when a friend of my in Tucson, AZ, asked me to help find a lawyer. His daughter in rural Iowa was getting a divorce and needed a new lawyer. Was there any way I could help?

    Certainly, I said, adding that I had access to many online databases of lawyers. 

    A test

    For years I have advised lawyers how to get clients online, and this would be a test of which lawyers did the best job. I did what most consumers do when they don't have someone to call for a reference: I searched online. Among the rosters of lawyers I found, the primary distinguishing feature was online reviews.

    I Googled for a lawyer, using "divorce" and the city name, and found many lawyer directories on the first page of results. My first stop was Avvo, whose "Find a lawyer" function produced no lawyers with a client review in this sparsely-populated area. However there was a "Pro" advertisement for a local lawyer with a 6.1 out of 10 rating, which did not inspire confidence. I kept looking.

    Next I tried Martindale.com, which found the same lawyer (who ...

    Published on 01-29-2016 10:30 AM

    SEC Enforcement Actions and Exam Priorities


    Kurt: Since 2013, when the SEC filed its first enforcement actions related to EB-5, it has been vigorously pursuing and investigating misconduct and abuses. 

    Last year I estimate there were twenty (20) SEC enforcement actions related to the EB5 program. The actual figure is unknown as the SEC doesn't publish all enforcement actions, however I was able to dig up ten (10) distinct SEC press releases.

    Lori, do you have any thoughts about how the SEC approached the EB5 industry last year and how it might approach 2016?

    Lori: As we have seen in the past several years, the SEC has been delving into what might be considered the more egregious of the EB5 projects, or at least those that were least able to account for their funds in some way. What the SEC essentially went after was the low-hanging fruit. And it seems to me that these more egregious cases might have piqued their interest in the industry and in EB5 in general.

    Then, of course, the SEC typically expands its scope. Originally, it was just this easily identifiable fraud, where money was taken or not spent as it was intended. But then the SEC began delving further, investigating immigration attorneys ...

    Published on 01-29-2016 09:48 AM



    The H-1B visa program permits a United States employer (“employer”) to temporarily employ nonimmigrants to fill specialized jobs in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA” or “Act”) requires that an employer pay an H-1B worker the higher of the actual wage or the locally prevailing wage, in order to protect U.S. workers and their wages. Under the Act, an employer seeking to hire a foreign national in a specialty occupation on an H-1B visa must receive permission from the Department of Labor (“DOL”) before the alien may obtain an H-1B visa. The Act defines a “specialty occupation” as an occupation requiring the application of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Act requires an employer seeking permission to employ an H-1B worker to submit and receive an approved Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) from the DOL.

    The employer should be extremely cautious in making attestations on the LCA and complying with the regulations governing it. Knowingly and willingly furnishing any false information in the preparation of the LCA and any supporting documentation, OR even aiding, abetting, or counseling another to do so is a federal offense, punishable by fine or imprisonment up to five (5) years or both. Other penalties may also apply to the fraud or misuse of the LCA and to the perjury with respect to the ETA 9035.

    Where and When Should Employers Post Notice of the LCA?

    The notice requirement of an LCA mandates that employers post notice of their intent to hire nonimmigrant workers. An H-1B employer must provide notice of the filing of an LCA. When there is a collective bargaining representative for the occupation in which the H-1B worker will be employed, the employer must provide such ...

    Published on 01-28-2016 12:21 PM

    Are Immigrants Still Assimilating in America? The melting pot isn't broken


    Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, two of the smartest conservative thinkers today, have spilt much ink worrying over immigrant assimilation. Salam is more pessimistic, writing articles with titles like “The Melting Pot is Broken” and “Republicans Need a New Approach to Immigration” (with the descriptive URL slug: “Immigration-New-Culture-War”), which rely on a handful of academic papers for support. Douthat presents a more nuanced, Burkean think-piece reacting to assimilation’s supposed decline, relying more on Salam for evidence. 

    Their worries fly against recent evidence that immigrant assimilation is proceeding quickly in the United States. There’s never been a greater quantity of expert and timely quantitative research that shows immigrants are still assimilating.

    The first piece of research is the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) September 2015 book titled The Integration of Immigrants into American Society. At 520 pages, it’s a thorough, brilliant summation of the relevant academic literature on immigrant assimilation that ties the different strands of research into a coherent story. Bottom line: Assimilation is never perfect and always takes time, but it’s going very well. 

    One portion of NAS’ book finds that much assimilation occurs through a process called “ethnic attrition,” which is caused by immigrant inter-marriage with natives, either of the same or different ethnic groups. Assimilation is also quickened with second or third generation Americans marrying those from other, longer-settled ethnic or racial groups.

    The children of these intermarriages are much less likely to identify ethnically with their more recent immigrant ancestors, and, due to spousal self-selection, they are likely to be more economically and educationally integrated as well. Ethnic attrition is one reason why the much-hyped decline of the white majority is greatly exaggerated

    In an earlier piece, Salam addresses ethnic ...

    Published on 01-28-2016 10:39 AM



    As the H-1B Cap cases season is approaching we thought you might find the attached H-1B Wage Levels Salary Calculator useful.

    This Faveo Paralegals Excel Sheet calculator (obtained here) enables you to simply enter hourly wage for the H-1B Position your client is considering, and our calculator will list the annual salaries under several employment full-time ...

    Published on 01-28-2016 10:17 AM

    Article: Consistent With The Purpose Of Concentrating Pooled Investments In Defined Economic Zones


    Published on 01-27-2016 12:54 PM

    Government Guidance Raises New Questions on Correcting I-9s through Self-Audits


    The New Year is upon us, and once again it’s time for employers across the U.S. to revisit that thorny, lingering compliance concern that we’ve been trying oh so hard to forget: all of those really old (and frequently terrible) I-9 forms lurking in our files. Many of these I-9s are just screaming for attention. They’re incomplete, incorrect, or sometimes just plain illegible. Either way, they represent a potential liability for the unprepared employer who gets a visit from an I-9 auditor this year.

    But all is not lost! As we discussed in our last blog post of 2015, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have released joint guidance on how to properly conduct an internal I-9 audit without getting yourselves into more trouble than you were before (an important goal, for sure).

    In today’s blog, we’ll dig a bit deeper into this new guidance and discuss their recommendations on how to resolve some very tricky (yet very common) I-9 mistakes. 

    Forms with Multiple Errors in Section 2 or 3

    Conducting an internal I-9 audit can sometimes feel like medical triage – once you have all the I-9s together, you quickly scan the room in the hopes of identifying those most in need of help. Some I-9s have minor cuts and bruises (a missing a DOB, a business without an address, etc.), whereas other I-9s are in really bad shape. Symptoms might include invalid documents, ...

    Published on 01-27-2016 09:45 AM

    United States v. Texas: A Constitutional Dialogue Years in the Making


    Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari in United States v. Texas, and the nation may receive the final word on the lawfulness of the 2014 program expanding deferred action for the undocumented parents of parents of lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizen children. The case raises important, complex, and significant legal issues with national ramifications. Although the immigration issues are critically important, the more general issues implicated by the case, such as the relative power of the Legislative and Executive Branches in the enforcement of the law, go well beyond immigration.

    The case is rooted in many years of controversy over immigration and immigration reform. The legal issues are technical and have been, and will be, much-debated over the coming months. Many critics have vociferously challenged the Obama administration’s executive action is attempting to arrogate power bestowed by the Constitution on Congress. My firm sense is that the constitutional dialogue is a healthy one about the boundaries on congressional and executive power on immigration.

    To fully understand United States v. Texas, one also must appreciate that it is a product of at least a decade of national debate over immigration. There are many actors in long dialogue on immigration reform.


    Over at least the last decade, Congress has debated various forms of immigration reform legislation. An enforcement-oriented bill passed by the House of Representatives led to memorable public protests in cities across the country in 2006.  To this point in time, no legislation has been passed and frustration exists among many Americans, immigrants, and political leaders.

    In this vein, a potent political movement led by undocumented college students had demanded more narrowly focused reform of the immigration laws. The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) has been proposed regularly in Congress, with support from, among others, conservative

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