» Immigration Law

Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 26, 2011 – Seems more speeches and hints about immigration reform are beginning to pepper the president’s agenda. Does it mean anything? “More speeches on immigration reform are starting to find their way into the president’s busy itinerary. It’s still a hot button issue, and people still want to hear about it; want to know what, if anything, is going to be done about it. Or will it continue to hang around for ages, like the scent of skunk. The White House is even tweeting speaking engagements where comprehensive immigration reform will be the […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 20, 2011 – The EB-5 visa program that attracts immigrants to invest and start businesses in the U.S. is proposing some changes that will help expedite applications. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to improve its intake and review process and is examining the main things it can do to streamline the EB-5 program. A total of 10,000 visas per year are allotted for immigrant investors who create a business with a $1 million investment and 10 American jobs or who invest through USCIS regional centers. The investment can be lowered to $500,000 […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 13, 2011 – Three cheers for the State of Illinois and the return of what appears to be common sense in dealing with comprehensive immigration reform at the state level. “If Illinois wanted to set an example about using common sense to make decisions relating to comprehensive immigration reform, they took a gigantic step forward when they told the Department of Homeland Security they were not going to be a part of the Secure Communities Program, largely because they find it to be ineffective. On top of that, they also went ahead and passed […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 6, 2011 – Sugar Land in the greater Houston area is a great example of how immigrants can make a good impact on their community. The area used to be Imperial Sugar’s headquarters, which encompassed most of the town’s activities. But with worldwide companies moving into the town from the 1980s on, Sugar Land has dynamically changed for the better. The city’s 85,000 residents are made up of a diverse base of citizens, many attracted to the good school system. Asian, Indian, Hispanic and African Americans all account for a large part of the […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 30, 2011 – Tens of thousands of immigrants who were selected as eligible to apply for an immigrant visa and ultimately qualify to immigrate to the U.S. may now not be able to after the State Department announced that it was voiding the results of the 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery. A State Department official told reporters that a computer error had occurred, causing 90 percent of the winners to be selected from the first two days of applications, rather than from the entire batch of applications from the 30-day registration period. Because of this […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 29, 2011 – Once again, fingers are pointing to Washington for a federal solution to a federal problem – immigration reform. And once again, there is no solution. “If comprehensive immigration reform were a revolving door, it would be worn out right about now with all the various revolutions it has gone through over the years. These past few years however have been particularly hard. The ‘one step forward, two steps or more backwards’ movement of immigration reform has made pretty much zero headway, and because of that, states are going off on their […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 24, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Haitians living in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) an 18-month extension, allowing them to live here until Jan. 22, 2013. It had previously been set to expire in July. The program gives temporary legal status to foreign nationals whose homeland has sustained a crisis, such as civil war or environmental disaster. Haiti sustained massive amounts of damage after a massive earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. “In the extended aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, the United States has remained fully […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 21, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a guidance letter on the rights of all children to enroll in school. The guidance from their civil rights divisions is in response to student enrollment trends that, “chill, discourage, or exclude students because of their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status.” Both federal departments want to send a clear message to educators and school administrators that equal educational opportunities to all children living within a district are the law. Civil rights laws and Supreme […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 20, 2011 – Despite being one of the most-discussed issues in contemporary politics, immigration reform has been at a relative standstill at the federal level for almost a decade. But two former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service General Counsels argue that the executive branch of the government can actually implement change without waiting for Congress to pass a bill. Bo Cooper, Esq. and Paul Virtue, Esq., both former INS General Counsels, recently stated that law enforcement authority to use discretion in investigations and prosecutions is not just possible; it is “fundamental to the American […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2011 – San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey has announced that he will release illegal immigrants who are believed to have committed low-level crimes instead of jailing them and turning them over to federal authorities. Hennessey declared his distaste for the Secure Communities program run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle last month. Local law enforcement, which use the Secure Communities program, send the fingerprints of arrested criminal suspects to ICE to check them against federal immigration databases. A match can result in commencement of […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 14, 2011 – There is a movement afoot to suspend deportations of gay married spouses. Whether it succeeds, may be questionable. “The movement to suspend the deportation of married gay spouses exist largely because the Obama Administration considers the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. It is interesting that they feel that way because deporting people because they are married and gay is also unconstitutional. That aside, the Defense of Marriage Act bars married gays from citizenship rights,” said Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rikfin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 8, 2011 – Businesses that hire H-1B specialty occupation visa workers should be mindful of an increase in audits by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS has its inspectors go on-site to these businesses and also audits I-9 forms for compliance. Non-compliant employers will face penalties, so it is recommended to get legal counsel involved early on to ensure a business’s hiring and documentation processes are done correctly. The USCIS Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program can check any business in any industry to verify that they are not employing undocumented […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 3, 2011 – Businesses that hire H-1B specialty occupation visa workers should be mindful of an increase in audits by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS has its inspectors go on-site to these businesses and also audits I-9 forms for compliance. Non-compliant employers will face penalties, so it is recommended to get legal counsel involved early on to ensure a business’s hiring and documentation processes are done correctly. The USCIS Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program can check any business in any industry to verify that they are not employing undocumented […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 27, 2011 – In April, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the 35th annual report to Congress on the state of human rights around the world. The yearly report details the legal status of human rights in more than 190 countries around the world. Clinton said that the State Department was “particularly disturbed” by three growing trends in 2010, which included crackdowns on civil society activists; violations against the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly through limited Internet freedoms; and the repression of vulnerable minorities. She expressed disappointment that Venezuela and […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 26, 2011 – The Partnership for a New American Economy may have some answers to fixing the economy. Interestingly, those answers may involve immigrants. “The Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) has some high profile Americans ostensibly working in concert to point out the economic benefits the U.S. could derive from immigration reform. I’m sure there are a number of other people across America who may be muttering in the coffee ‘that it’s about time.’ It’s no secret that having immigrants in the U.S. that pay taxes would boost the economy exponentially, so, […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 23, 2011 – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently released its annual report regarding naturalization in the U.S. for the 2010 year. The data shows that naturalization has declined by approximately 426,000 since 2008. The total number of persons naturalized has also consistently declined since 2008 from every region of the world except for Africa. USCIS opines that the declining rates do not suggest a historical trend, but that the 2008 rates were caused by a surge due to an impending filing fee increase for naturalization applications, and the current figures reflect […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 20, 2011 – The 2012 application period for H-1B petitions is now open at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Beginning April 1, the USCIS will start accepting applications with the correct fees until the cap of 65,000 is reached. Interestingly, the first 20,000 applicants with U.S. master’s degrees or higher are waived from this H1-B cap. “It is very important for make sure all the statutory and regulatory guidelines are met as a petition for H-1B status is prepared,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Otherwise, delays, requests for more documents, and the […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 12, 2011 – When the winds of fortune change, politicians tend to change with them. Too bad that may not help comprehensive immigration reform. “It’s indeed interesting that a hunger strike by students in San Antonio didn’t stop Senator Kay Hutchison from voting against the DREAM Act. Fast forward to what the political landscape looks like now, and Hutchinson is saying she will work to pass a scaled down version of the act; one that wouldn’t offer illegal aliens citizenship,” said Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rikfin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 9, 2011 – After the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, Japanese nationals in the U.S. with certain American immigration status questions can seek help from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (USCIS) The USCIS will assist individuals and families who are stranded due to the circumstances or whose immigration documents are about to expire. “The USCIS wants to help people maintain their lawful immigration status,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Seek an immigration attorney’s counsel for your particular situation and we can help push your needs through the USCIS.” The following relief […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 25, 2011 – Bipartisan co-joining may just boost religion back into the immigration reform debate. In fact, perhaps the door to negotiations may be slowly swinging open once again. “Immigration reform has taken so many twists and turns lately, especially in the last four to five years, that many don’t really know where it stands any longer. All they can determine, based on what they see in Washington and read in the media, is that things are on stall and likely permanently. It comes as a large surprise that two influential politicians are now […]


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