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    Published on 08-08-2017 10:32 AM

    California Court of Appeal Rules Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Creates Enforceable Contract Between Sponsor and Immigrant

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    On July 28, 2017, the California Court of Appeal, First District handed down an interesting decision in a marital dissolution proceeding, In Re Kumar , during which an immigrant spouse sought to enforce her contractual right for support, based on the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support (“Form I-864”) that her U.S. spouse submitted to the U.S. federal government in connection with the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative he filed on her behalf. The court agreed with the immigrant that she had “independent standing to enforce the obligations of an I-864 affidavit against her sponsor, and may bring such an enforcement claim in state (or federal) court.” This continues recent court rulings which have expanded the scope of liability for family-based immigration sponsors through the Form I-864, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit did

    Published on 08-08-2017 10:29 AM

    RAISE Act Will Hurt Immigrants, Americans and America

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    Last week, President Trump lent full throated support towards the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act ( RAISE Act ), which will dramatically alter the immigration system in the United States the way we know it. Although this bill, proposed by Republican Senators Cotton and Purdue has little chance of moving through Congress, it has drawn significant attention as it intends to redefine America’s immigration experience over the last two centuries.

    The RAISE Act deemphasizes immigration through the family, and instead creates a points system based on skills. A successful applicant must get at least 30 points. The bill insists on English language proficiency, and allocates 0 to 12 points based on test scores. Those with US professional degrees or a doctorate in a STEM field will get the maximum of 13 points for education. By contrast, a high school diploma gets 1 point, a foreign bachelor’s degree gets 5 points, a US bachelor’s degree gets 6 points, a foreign master’s degree in a STEM field will get 7 points, a US master’s degree in a STEM field will get 8 points and a foreign professional degree or doctorate in a STEM field will get 10 points.

    The younger one is the more points he or she will get, and those within the 26-30 years age range will get the maximum of 10 points. 25 big points are given for extraordinary achievement, but you must have won a Nobel prize or gained comparable recognition in a field of scientific or social scientific study. There are no comparable points for extraordinary achievement in the arts or business fields. For sportspeople, you will get 15 points if you won an Olympic medal or placed first in an international sporting event in which the best ...

    Published on 08-07-2017 11:38 AM

    Right Education, Wrong Evaluation: Get that H1B RFE Overturned

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    Did you or your employee or client file with a credential evaluation only to receive an RFE anyway?

    The problem is, many credential evaluators don't understand how to work with visa cases. Think back to when you ordered. Did they ask about the job? Did they ask about the visa? Do they regularly work with RFEs and difficult cases? If the answer is no, ...

    Published on 08-07-2017 11:25 AM

    Trump Administration Not Suited to Reform Nation’s Immigration Policy

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    The nation needs conversation, not combat, over immigration. As it has on virtually every other action it has attempted in its first six months, the Trump Administration, starkly represented through its spokesman Stephen Miller, is confronting instead of communicating. On immigration, this approach will cause pain and not achieve progress.

    After enacting three major changes to immigration policy from 1986 to 1996, almost a quarter century has passed ...

    Published on 08-04-2017 11:09 AM

    The RAISE Act: The Opposite of Strengthening the US Economy

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    If we could give points for the most mean-spirited, misleading, and most unAmerican bill ever introduced, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act or “RAISE” Act would win hands down.

    The draconian bill the Trump Administration announced yesterday has been touted as strengthening the economy. In reality, it will do anything but that. Rather it strips away at the core value we as Americans cherish.

    In addition to eliminating the Diversity visa program, here are some of the highlights of what the RAISE Act would do:

    1. If you are a US citizen, your parents will no longer be recognized as your ‘immediate relative’ and therefore you cannot sponsor them for green cards. Instead, you will have to sponsor them for non-immigrant visas, that will be valid up to 5 years. But parents will have to prove that they can support themselves and you as the citizen son or daughter will have to ensure they have medical insurance in advance. How does this strengthen the US economy?

    2. The age of a child that you can include as a dependent will be reduced to 18 from 21! What? There was a reason Obamacare ...
    Published on 08-04-2017 11:06 AM

    The RAISE Act: A Big Lie?

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    Today, President Trump publicly endorsed Senate Bill 354, the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, first introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) in February 2017. If enacted, this bill would slash legal immigration into the U.S. by over 40% in its first year, and by 50% in its tenth year. Wolfsdorf Rosenthal previously blogged on an earlier version of the RAISE Act, and noted the overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the clear economic benefit of immigrants in the U.S. For example, a 2011 study by Partnership for a New American Economy demonstrates that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

    Nevertheless, Senator Perdue has indicated that “Returning to our historically normal levels of legal immigration will help improve the quality of American jobs and wages.” However, ...

    Published on 08-02-2017 05:57 PM

    Potential TEA Definitions: The Most Recently Proposed Legislation

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    Though very unlikely to actually expire, the EB-5 Regional Center Program is again set to sunset in the coming fall and the industry continues to go through another round of negotiations this summer. It is expected that the Program will be reauthorized in some form or another – most likely accompanied by reform. Any changes to the Program will likely be far-ranging, from integrity measures, to investment amounts, to TEA definitions and processes.

    Here is a quick overview of the TEA definitions proposed in the two most recent legislative proposals, one from Senators Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy and one from Senator John Cornyn, both introduced in April. Though different in their specifics, the proposals follow very similar trends.

    Published on 08-02-2017 09:33 AM

    Priority Processing Rather Than Premium Processing

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    Published on 08-02-2017 09:25 AM

    Vetting Investor Funds Saves Regional Centers Huge Headaches Later On

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    Published on 08-02-2017 09:21 AM

    H-1B Entry Level Wage Blues

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    Those who filed under the FY 2018 H-1B visa lottery and were selected must have been pleased. As premium processing was eliminated, the approvals have just started coming in this summer. Cases that are not readily approved receive Requests for Evidence (RFE). Many of the RFEs object to the H-1B worker being paid an entry level wage.

    The RFE attempts to trap the employer. It challenges whether the Labor Condition Application, if it indicates a Level 1 wage, appropriately supports the H-1B petition. According to the DOL’s prevailing wage policy guidance , a Level 1 (entry) wage is assigned to positions that require a basic understanding of the occupation, and such an employee performs routine tasks that require limited, if any, exercise of judgment. Such an employee also works under close supervision and receive specific instructions on required tasks and results expected.

    The RFE – which meticulously parrots the Level 1 duties from the DOL’s wage guidance – then asserts that the position described in the H-1B petition appears to be more complex than a position that is assigned a Level 1 wage. Therefore, the RFE asserts that the employer has not sufficiently established that the H-1B is supported by a certified LCA that corresponds to the petition.

    Employers who receive such an RFE should not panic. Just because the position is assigned an entry level wage does not necessarily mean that the position cannot qualify as an H-1B specialty occupation. Moreover, even an occupation assigned with an entry level wage can be complex and thus require a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field. The DOL’s worksheet within its wage guidance indicates that if the occupation requires a bachelor’s degree and up to two years of experience, ...

    Published on 08-01-2017 12:25 PM

    How Going Back to the Basics Can Solve Your RFE Woes

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    At TheDegreePeople.com, we see a lot of seemingly complicated H1B RFEs this time of year. Clients come in with RFEs that can be virtually impossible to answer by their own instructions. This is a frustrating time of year, especially given that CIS approval trends change from year to year.

    If you or your employee or client received an RFE on their ...

    Published on 07-31-2017 02:46 PM

    UC Davis Immigration Clinic Challenges Trump Administration's Immigration Programs

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    Stephen Magagnini for the Sacramento Bee wrote a very nice story about the great work of Professor Holly Cooper and the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic .

    The Immigration Law Clinic, which is directed by Professors Cooper and Amagda Perez , was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Given its proximity to the Central Valley, California ’s agricultural center, the Clinic is in a unique position to serve the state’s large community of both documented and undocumented immigrants. Over the years, the Clinic has represented people from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and Eastern Europe.

    The Clinic is one of the only clinics in the nation devoted to representing ...


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