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    Published on 10-27-2015 02:16 PM

    Updated Instruction for Using the DOS Visa Bulletin

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    Are you seeking to adjust your status and become a U.S. permanent resident under a family-sponsored or employment-based preference immigrant visa? If you have not yet had a relative or employer file an immigrant visa petition on your behalf, please learn more about the Adjustment of Status Filing Process. If you already have a petition filed or approved on your behalf, you may have to wait for an available visa in your category (if applicable) before you can file your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This article will help you determine when to file your adjustment of status application.

    When to File

    Use the ...

    Published on 10-27-2015 01:44 PM

    Why Potential EB-5 Investors and Business Owners Should Act Quickly

    by


    On September 30th, just as the Program was facing expiration, Congress extended the EB-5 Regional Center Program through December 11th  as part of a temporary spending bill that will keep the government running through that date. While it is probable that the House and Senate will again renew the Regional Center Program after the December extension (the program has already been renewed six times), many changes to the Program loom on the horizon. Six re-authorization bills are currently under consideration,[1] and most include reforms to enhance oversight, increase regulatory compliance, and make the program more efficient.[2] Though it is unknown which changes will ultimately be made, reforms to the Program are highly likely.[3]

    eb5images

    With all the uncertainty around the program’s future form, it is natural for investors, developers, and business owners to hold back on new EB-5 projects. However, now is the best time to move, as the barrier to entry into the program might increase for all parties involved.[4] Whichever legislation ultimately passes, petitioners filing I-526 petitions and I-924 amendments before December 11th will likely be grandfathered under the existing law and thus exempt from any additional requirements, should they be instituted.[5]

    For instance, at least three bills propose to raise the investment threshold. Currently, the minimum investment amount is $500,000 for projects located in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs)[6] and $1 million for non-TEAs. The Grassley-Leahy bill aims to raise these thresholds to $800,000 for TEAs and $1.2 million for non-TEAs. Another bill, introduced in the House (H.R. 3770), seeks to increase them to $1 million and $2 million, respectively. Finally, the SKILLS Visa Act (H.R. 2131) proposes annual increases in the investment threshold based on the Consumer Price Index.[7] ...

    Published on 10-26-2015 05:20 PM

    STIPULATIONS, JOINT MOTIONS, VOLUNTARY DISMISSALS, and SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS in EB-5 and RC PROGRAM

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    ...
    Published on 10-26-2015 05:12 PM

    Challenges and Benefits of Hiring H1B Employees to Your Start-Up Staff

    by


    The IT industry is growing faster than highly skilled US-born workers can fill all of the new jobs, and the vast majority of H1b visa holders come to the United States every year to fill these positions. In fact, so many apply for H1b Visas each year, even companies like Microsoft are only approved for around half of the H1b Visas they petition for each year.

    Hiring on H1b employees ...

    Published on 10-26-2015 04:04 PM

    From Know-Nothings to KKK to Tanton to Trump

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    From Know-Nothings[1] to KKK to Tanton to Trump

    By Rick Swartz and Jocelyn McCalla[2]
    October 15, 2015

    [NOTE: CLICK on Primer on Anti-Immigrant Movement to download the document and Associated materials]

    Anti-immigrant extremists are again pushing the GOP — and the country — towards zero-immigration policies. Their current standard-bearer, GOP presidential primary candidate Donald Trump, has significantly raised the bar by labeling Mexicans as rapists and violent people who bring crime and drugs to the United States. He has also ridiculed Asians and called for extreme and costly measures to control immigration: mass round-up of all undocumented immigrants followed by swift deportation, the construction of high walls the length of the Southern border with Mexico and ending birthright citizenship, among other things.

    trump001Mr. Trump’s immigration policy proposals – which according to the Wall Street Journal emanate from his “brain trust at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)[3] – are neither novel nor different than those promoted stridently by France’s “Front National”, a racist, far-right political party founded in 1975 in opposition to immigration and led by Marine Le Pen.

    “Migrants bring filth, crime, poverty and Islamic terrorism, Ms. Le Pen has suggested in recent weeks; a dead migrant child’s photo was simply a ploy to manipulate European feelings of guilt. France is about to be “submerged” in a “terrifying” wave of migrants who represent only a ‘burden.’”[4]

    Nonetheless, Trump’s immigration proclamations have upended the GOP race for the presidential nomination. In spite of being roundly condemned by corporate America, Trump leads the pack of candidates vying to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016. This is partly thanks to his populist appeals. In response, leading GOP primary candidates are wavering on legalization, retreating to the safety of a Borders-First stand, with many embracing some or all of Trump’s proposals or coming up with their own Trump-like proposals. Such stands put them in direct conflict with the GOP strategy for the 2016 elections which bets on peeling off enough Latino votes from Democrats to capture the White House and keep control of Congress.

    One needs only look across the Atlantic to Hungary to get a flavor for what Trump’s policies would yield. Prime Minister Viktor Orban shut off the country’s border to refugees fleeing war and political persecution from the Middle East. He says that “he is acting to save Europe’s ‘Christian values’ by blocking the main overland route used by Muslim refugees, who travel through the Balkans and cross his country mainly to reach Germany or Sweden.”[5]

    clip_image001Trump’s success in tapping into the GOP primary voters’ fear of the future by singling out immigration as a threat to their livelihood is surprising to many. However, considering that the ground for it has been seeded by groups and institutions that have promoted an anti-immigrant agenda for decades, it is no accident. Indeed, Trump’s immigration policy prescriptions derive almost verbatim from those posited by such groups. Guided by population-control ideology, they have consistently opposed and undermined reasonable attempts to reform immigration policy. They will keep doing it, whether or not Mr. Trump captures the GOP presidential nomination. Thus one must see and go beyond the Trump phenomenon in order to address immigration policy.

    Which groups are driving the anti-immigrant agenda?

    The groups driving the anti-immigrant agenda include the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Numbers USA and their offshoots throughout the country. These groups seek nothing less than a zero-immigration policy and zero tolerance for immigrants. To cover their tracks, these groups deploy the rhetoric of “controlled immigration,” casting themselves as reasonable proponents of “common sense” immigration reform.

    Virtually all of these organizations are connected to one man: John H. Tanton. Roy Beck, Executive Director of Numbers USA, is the former Washington editor of The Social Contract, a quarterly journal founded in 1990 by Tanton who retains the title of publisher. In 1979, Tanton founded FAIR which six years later, in 1985, gave birth to CIS as a so-called impartial think tank.

    clip_image002According to Human Life Review, Tanton is “the father of the population-control wing of the modern anti-immigration movement. Born in 1934, Tanton became an avid environmentalist at a young age. From early on he believed that population growth was the great enemy of environmental conservation. [6]

    In the 1970’s Tanton served on the board of Zero Population Growth (ZPG). “It was during that time that he concluded that controlling population growth required not only abortion, family planning, and other efforts to decrease fertility, but also required ending all immigration.”[7]

    In 1975, John Tanton authored “The Case for Eugenics,” in which he advocated a “passive” form of Eugenics. He received early support from the Pioneer Fund, an organization created for the express purpose of promoting eugenics. Tanton used funds from the Pioneer Fund to develop FAIR.[8]

    NNS_JOHN_TANTON3






























    Thus, he labored to develop “a network of radical anti-immigrant groups (including those mentioned above), all of which receive a significant portion of their funding from foundations such as the Colcom Foundation founded in 1996 by Cordelia Scaife May who, like Tanton (who undoubtedly influenced her views on immigration), had concluded that “the well-intended actions of most environmental organizations are doomed to failure unless and until they recognize that the degradation of our natural world ultimately results from the press of human numbers.”[9] Translation: control populations, and restrict or end immigration altogether. Ms May died in 2005, but left the Colcom Foundation with a war chest of $400 million.[10] We note that Colcom’s Vice-President of Philanthropy, John H. Rohe, published several articles in Tanton’s Social Contract from 1991 to 2006. He is the author of a biography on Tanton and his wife entitled clip_image003 “Attacking individuals based on their religion or ethnicity appears to be a specialty of FAIR. The Miami Herald has reported that FAIR’s founder, expressed the concern that ‘too many new American immigrants are Roman Catholic.’ The Wall Street Journal wrote of an active FAIR member who is engaged in an effort to sterilize women in the Third World, in part to limit the potential pool of future immigrants. The Executive Director of FAIR [Dan Stein] has made anti-Catholic statements of his own, telling a reporter, ‘Certainly we would encourage people in other countries to have smaller families. Otherwise they’ll all be coming here, because there’s no room at the Vatican.’”[11]

    A 2011 New York Times profile of Dr. Tanton notes that:

    “The immigration-control movement surged to new influence in last fall’s elections [2010] and now holds near veto power over efforts to legalize any of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

    One group that Dr. Tanton nurtured, Numbers USA, doomed President George W. Bush’s legalization plan four years ago [2007] by overwhelming Congress with protest calls. Another, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, helped draft the Arizona law last year [2010] to give the police new power to identify and detain illegal immigrants.

    A third organization, the Center for Immigration Studies, (CIS) joined the others in December [2010] in defeating the Dream Act, which sought to legalize some people brought to the United States illegally as children.”[12]

    FAIR recently appointed its Communications Director, Mr. Bob Dane, as its Executive Director. Mr. Stein became its President. The change in leadership does not signal a change of policy or philosophy. Mr. Dane has served as FAIR spokesperson since 2006 and is on record as praising Trump’s immigration policy proposals as the “American Workers’ Bill of Rights.”[13]

    The anti-immigration champions in congress

    clip_image004In the current debate, Donald Trump is simply the standard-bearer of a nativist agenda that extends far and beyond him. The two most prominent nativists in Congress are Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Representative Steve King (R-IA). Both are staunchly opposed to even the slightest immigration reform measures, except sealing of the borders. Many credit Sen. Sessions with shaping Trump’s immigration policy proposals.

    Rep. King who takes great pride in deriding immigrants from Latin America, is a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC) which champions causes and legislation in tune with FAIR’s aims. The HRIC was established in 1999. At its height it claimed a membership of more than 100 House Representatives. Its ranks dwindled in 2013 to about 58 members, among them Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) who serves on the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, along with Reps. King and Raul Labrador (R-ID).

    Their approaches are out-of-line with mainline Republican thinking on immigration. However they resonate with the House Freedom Caucus, a loose group of about 40 conservative extremists, which appears dead set on torpedoing any pro-immigration reform measures and those in the GOP who lean in favor of such measures. Sessions, King and the Freedom Caucus have turned their backs on the immigration principles laid out by the late President Ronald Reagan who famously said in his 1989 farewell address to the American People:

    “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. [I]n my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get here.”

    Costs to the American Economy of Implementing the Nativists’ Immigration Proposals

    Trump, Sessions, King and their supporters boldly claim that their proposals will “improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.” Most economists disagree.

    According to the American Action Forum, “the federal government would have to spend roughly $400 billion to $600 billion to address the 11.2 million undocumented immigrants and prevent future unlawful entry into the United States. In order to remove all undocumented immigrants, each immigrant would have to be apprehended, detained, legally processed, and transported to his or her home country [over a twenty year period]. In turn, this would shrink the labor force by 11 million workers and reduce real GDP by $1.6 trillion.”[14]

    The National Journal estimates the cost of building an immigrant-proof wall along the Southern border at $6.4 billion. According to Stephen Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, undocumented immigrants contribute $15 billion annually to Social Security. This sum would vanish along with the deported.[15]

    In short, far from enhancing the average American worker’s prospects of a better living standards once undocumented immigrants disappeared, these proposals would increase their burden of shouldering the economy.

    Moreover, these proposals ignore the key role that remittances play in sustaining livelihood in Latin America and other parts of the world. The World Bank estimates that remittances from the USA totaled some $123 billion in 2012. “Mexico had almost $23 billion in remittances, and migrants from each of India, China, and the Philippines sent over $10 billion home.”[16]

    The way forward

    By casting immigration in the worse possible light and by riding it for all it’s worth, perhaps all the way to the nomination, Donald Trump has brought the debate on immigration policy and reform to the forefront. Unwittingly, he is forcing people and corporations to take sides. Some companies – Macy’s, NBC, Serta, and Univision, among others – have distanced themselves from him. The Club for Growth has launched a multimillion dollar campaign against Trump, claiming that he is “the worst Republican candidate on economic issues.” The National Immigration Forum Action Fund has also launched an ad campaign focused on “the idea that when we focus on freedom, not fear, America is better.”[17]

    clip_image005Polls after polls, surveys after surveys say that the majority of the American people do not subscribe to Trump’s nativism. CBS News/New York Times surveys over the last two years through September 2015 consistently show that Americans overwhelmingly agree that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to legalize and eventually gain citizenship.[18] A Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, conducted in late July 2015 at the height of the anti-immigrant frenzy stirred up by Trump’s campaign, found that the majority of Republicans favored legalization over deportation for undocumented immigrants.

    “Building a nation,” said Pope Francis on the occasion of his recent visit to the United States, “calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best.”  He added: “Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction: Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.”[19]

    Let us then resolutely seize the opportunities at hand to engage the greater public accordingly. We believe that it’s in the best interest of immigration reformers, corporate America and the country to step up efforts to expose the nativist groups’ influence on policy formation, on the media, on the political process and on the government. Sunshine is, after all, the best disinfectant.

    It is especially important that the larger public know about the links these groups have to population control groups, in particular to proponents of eugenics. Only by exposing them can the process of marginalizing and ultimately defeating them take root. We hope that this report will deepen understanding of the politics of immigration reform and galvanize anew commitments to an inclusive, fair-minded and welcoming America. Feel free to share widely: we welcome your ideas, critique and suggestions.

    Rick Swartz, rs@sswdc.com

    Jocelyn McCalla, jmccalla@jmcstrategies.com

    October 15, 2015


    [1] The “Know-Nothings” developed as a secretive nativist movement that was pro-slavery and opposed to the immigration and naturalization of German and Irish Catholic immigrants as well as Chinese immigration. In 1854, they successfully captured seats in Massachusetts and influenced elections in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Emboldened by their victories, they formed the Native American Party but ...

    Published on 10-23-2015 01:44 PM

    Having to Choose: A Nation’s Agonizing Immigration Duty

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    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that no nation can sustain open borders. Even the wealthiest most popular “nations of immigrants” like the U.S. cannot possibly accept everyone who wants to immigrate here or even qualifies to do so. Nations have the core right and duty to choose who can immigrate: come in, stay, work and become a citizen. They do it through immigration laws established by democratic representative government ...
    Published on 10-23-2015 01:32 PM

    Why Open Borders?

    by


    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

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    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

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    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

    MUSINGS ON IMMIGRANT INVESTMENT MISCONCEPTIONS

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    Published on 10-21-2015 12:49 PM

    Visa Bulletin Change Fails to Deliver

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    8540260447_4f0facc60e_o

    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

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    ...

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