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    Published on 10-23-2015 01:32 PM

    Why Open Borders?


    Two dear friends of mine just experienced incredible struggles with immigration control in the United States, one from Australia and one from Canada. Both are enormously talented, in love with the freedom that America represents to the world — or once did anyway.

    One barely got in after months of waiting, even though a willing, begging employer was waiting. The other was deported with a single day’s notice.

    Each has been a captive of bureaucrats with awesome power. Their stories are tragic. Natives know nothing about this ghastly system and how it treats human beings. We never experience it.

    The labyrinth of bureaucracy is jaw dropping. The arbitrary power exercised by “our” bureaucrats is frightening. The loss to our nation’s productivity is mindboggling. Hearing these stories, you can’t help but apologize for the way our own government treats people who want to love this country and contribute to its greatness.

    And to think that for the first 100 years of this country’s existence we had zero national immigration restrictions. The whole world was invited in — and this invitation led to the most prosperous society the world has ever known. In these times, there were no passports. For the most part, everyone was free to move around the earth — and this was thought to be the very essence of liberty.

    Today, we have an effective ban on immigration. You can’t come to the U.S. to live and work legally unless you are family, highly educated, or get in as a refugee. Other than that, the barriers to legal immigration are impossibly ...

    Published on 10-22-2015 01:17 PM

    Important Changes to Employer Compliance Requirements for Non-LMIA Work Permits


    In February of this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced a procedure whereby employers were required to submit, in advance of the filing of any non-LMIA work permit application, ‘employer compliance’ documentation. This is carried out by way of submission of the ‘IMM5802' form, which sets out information necessary to establish the legal basis for the LMIA exemption request. Employers also needed to start paying a fee or $230.

    Now, further changes are in store with regard to this requirement.

    [LMIAs are ‘Labour Market Impact Assessments’, a procedure whereby foreign workers can be recruited only after an employer carries ...
    Published on 10-22-2015 01:00 PM

    Understanding the Visa Bulletin Fakeout


    We’re going to take a look at the visa bulletin fakeout, or fiasco, or visagate 2015 as its been called. You’ve heard about it because you were either hoping to file a green card application tomorrow, October first, or your employees have let you know they will suddenly not be able to proceed with an application now. So what happened? In this blog post we’ll take a look at what is going on, who is affected, why it happened, when it might be resolved, and how to deal with the aftermath. If you want to listen during your commute, download our podcast on iTunes.

    In a nutshell, the government announced on September 9, 2015 that people who had been waiting in line for years to apply for their green cards could file applications on October 1, 2015. Thousands of people began preparing their applications by hiring attorneys, attending medical exams, obtaining documentation, and raising ...

    Published on 10-21-2015 03:34 PM



    Published on 10-21-2015 12:49 PM

    Visa Bulletin Change Fails to Deliver



    A grave error was made last month by the Departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS) when they dashed the hopes of thousands of would-be permanent resident applicants who had expected to apply to adjust their status in October, but became ineligible after DOS reissued the monthly Visa Bulletin. When a second Visa Bulletin was issued for October, it drastically limited the eligibility period for submitting applications to adjust status in certain categories. The reissuance of the October Bulletin triggered a nation-wide class action lawsuit challenging this action. Many urged the government to remedy the situation in the November 2015 Visa Bulletin (published on October 9). Unfortunately, neither the lawsuit nor the November Bulletin has resulted in opening the application process to those who were suddenly excluded when DOS replaced the first October Bulletin.

    The ...

    Published on 10-21-2015 12:40 PM

    Fragmenting the Family: A Failure to Follow Law, Policy and Common Sense


    Published on 10-20-2015 04:33 PM

    “Sanctuary Cities,” Trust Acts , and Community Policing Explained


    Published on 10-20-2015 03:53 PM

    How Does Uncle Sam Waste Immigrant Visas?


    I'm going to explain exactly how the government wastes on average tens of thousands of immigrant visas every year, contrary to Congressional intent, systematically compromising the workforce and keeping families apart. Every number in this report represents a green card which could have been issued to a waiting immigrant, but was not handed out due to government mismanagement and ineptitude. This loss of numbers impacts the very lives of legal immigrants in significant and permanent ways. To understand how this happens, we have to look at numbers. Because the formulas and calculations get a little complicated, and because the system of numerical limits set up by Congress in 1990 doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm going to use an analogy. We'll talk about how the system is like a theater that distributes tickets. The show is the American Dream, and not everyone gets seated. In fact, in this theater, not every seat gets filled even though there are plenty of people wanting to see the show.

    The theater analogy is based on real immigrant categories and numbers. First, the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are spouses, parents and minor children of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives can immigrate in an unlimited number, so we will call them the VIPs. Second, are the family immigrants, such as the spouses of permanent residents, adult children of citizens, and brothers and sisters of citizens. We'll just call them family immigrants. Third, are the employment immigrants, such as advance degree holders, individuals of extraordinary ability, outstanding researchers and professors, and other professionals. So the three categories are VIP, family and employment.

    In 1990, Congress ...

    Published on 10-20-2015 03:31 PM



    “Our nation has always attracted individuals with great drive and entrepreneurial spirit. As the world's greatest economy and a global leader in innovation, the United States must continue to welcome and retain the next generation of foreign entrepreneurs who will start new businesses and create new jobs here in America.”

    The above is an extract from the USCIS’ Entrepreneur Pathways Portal which provides guidance on how entrepreneurs can obtain nonimmigrant visa status through a startup entity. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched its Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative in 2012 and later the portal. Prior to that, in an August 2, 2011 press release, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that "The United States must continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world to invest their talents, skills, and ideas to grow our economy and create American jobs.” Through the Entrepreneurs in Residence program, USCIS officers are supposed to be trained to recognize the unique nature of a startup and to understand that a nonimmigrant petition based on a startup will not present the characteristics typical of a petition filed through a more established business entity. Startups often lack a formal office space; they may operate in stealth mode in an effort to hide information from competitors; and the foreign national seeking nonimmigrant status in the US often has a majority interest in the startup. Unfortunately, too often a benefit conferred on one hand is taken away by the other hand. USCIS has created these seemingly great avenues for entrepreneurs but other USCIS initiatives and other agencies such as the Department of Labor (DOL) make it harder for those same entrepreneurs to continue to obtain benefits. 

    One example is the DHS’ proposed rule, “Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students,” which was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015 for comment. In sum, the rule proposes to amend the F-1 student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Under the current rule, students can receive ...

    Published on 10-19-2015 12:54 PM



    Published on 10-19-2015 12:32 PM

    The EB-5 Regional Center Program – Extended for Now – But What’s Next?


    The EB-5 Regional Center Program was scheduled to “sunset” on September 30, 2015. In a rare demonstration of bipartisan support, Congress passed, in an eleventh hour majority vote, a temporary funding bill, which included an extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program through December 11, 2015. The measure was finally signed into law by President Obama late Wednesday evening, successfully preventing another government shutdown as well as delaying the impacts of anticipated program reforms. [1] In order for proposed legislation reforming the program to pass, both the House and the Senate must settle on identical language for the bill, meaning that the proposed legislation will most likely change before the new December 11th deadline.[2] As such, it is impossible to know for certain what the future holds for the EB-5 Regional Center Program, but experts have made educational assumptions regarding the matter and those in the EB-5 community have been planning and preparing accordingly.

    eb5 cartoon

    According to the National Law Review, “For months the EB-5 community has been concerned about what might or might not happen with the expiration the EB-5 Regional Center Program. As Congress has been working toward an EB-5 reform package, many in the community have been viewing the September 30th sunset date as a hard deadline for filing regional center-related petitions.”[3] The short-term extension of the current legislation only prolongs this sense of urgency as most everyone in the EB-5 community will continue to file I-526 petitions and I-924 amendments prior to the December 11th deadline, in the hopes that their projects will be grandfathered into the existing program and exempt from at least some of the impending changes.[4]

    While admittedly at this point we can still only speculate about the upcoming modifications to the program, there is almost unanimous consent among experts on four ...

    Published on 10-16-2015 03:04 PM




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