Articles Posted in US Immigration

Immigration always seems to be a popular area of debate centered around presidential elections. The candidates have differing views but all seem to agree that reform is needed. Below is a summary some of the immigration proposals and initiatives the three democratic candidates and Joe Biden, not an official candidate but rumored to consider running.

flag-1536871Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been a leader in the democratic race for several months now. Clinton has allegedly stated that she would like to see immigrants have a path to citizenship. It is reported that she thinks undocumented immigrants should pay a fine to make up for illegal entry and be willing to pay any back taxes. She reportedly noted however that undocumented immigrants who committed a crime should not be allowed to stay in the United States.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is a democratic candidate for the 2016 presidential race. On his website Sanders states that he supports “fair and human immigration.” He reportedly pledges that he will sign a comprehensive immigration reform into law in order to help the 11 million undocumented workers come out of the shadows.   He also states that he is opposed to building a border fence as a mechanism to prevent undocumented immigrants from coming into the US.

More specifically he would work to reform immigration by expanding DACA, to include parents of citizens, parents of legal permanent residents and parents of DREAMERS. Going along with expanding DACA to DREAMERS, he would sign the DREAM act.   Sanders also reportedly pledges on his website that he would authorize and increase funding for representation to guest workers who need legal protection against employers. Additionally, Sanders reportedly intends to increase prevailing wages and rewrite certain Trade Agreements.

Martin O’Malley

Martin O’Malley is a former Governor of Maryland and democratic hopeful for the presidential nomination. O’Malley reportedly intends to expand Obama’s executive action for immigration reform and urge Congress to create a bipartisan deal for comprehensive immigration reform. It is also reported that O’Mally’s immigration position includes providing deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants. O’Mally also allegedly has indicated that he supports an end to restrictions limiting health care access for undocumented immigrants. While he was Governor of Maryland he supported immigration reform by signing the DREAM act into law.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has not announced his intention to seek the democratic nomination but there are rumors that he may be a contender. If Biden were to run it appears that he would be in support of a comprehensive immigration bill. He has indicated that he supports earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants residing in the country and he would support providing the 11 million undocumented US population with a path to citizenship.

Immigration issues can be serious and often speaking to an immigration attorney can be a good strategy. Contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal to discuss any immigration issue affecting your life. Attorney Khandelwal is an immigration attorney with more than 10 years experience in the immigration field.

 

Cited Sources:

A Fair and Human Immigration Policy, Bernie 2016

 

With the race for the 2016 Presidential Nomination dominating the news and major media sources, the candidates’ views on immigration are surfacing. The views on the Republican side range from Jeb Bush’s reported support of comprehensive immigration reform to Donald Trump’s alleged plan of increased border security and mass deportation. Below are four of the republican nominees frontrunners and a summary of reported views and initiatives the candidates support in regards to immigration.

white-house-1225488-1Jeb Bush

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is one of the leaders in the race for the republican nomination. Reports state that Bush has demonstrated support for “earned legal status” and that he would support moving the undocumented population out of the shadows if they agree to pay a fine, learn English and have a clean criminal record. Back in 2013, Bush was in support of a bill for comprehensive immigration reform and reportedly supported the DREAM Act, a proposed legislation that would grant conditional residency to undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. Bush also allegedly has indicated that building a wall at the United States border along with the mass deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants is not feasible or realistic.

Donald Trump

The current frontrunner in the republican race is Donald Trump. Donald Trump has been vocal about his immigration policies and has reportedly stated that he would support building a wall along the United States-Mexico border. Trump allegedly stated that he would attempt to make Mexico pay for this wall along the border. Trump also reportedly stated that he did not support birthright citizenship and he would attempt to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Trumps also reportedly stated in his immigration plan that he would make it harder for asylum and refugee seekers to stay in the United States.

Scott Walker

Republican potential Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has reportedly stated that it “makes sense” to grant citizenship to undocumented workers who are already present in the country. Other reports suggest that Walker would work to reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Some news medias state that Walker had been in support of ending birthright in the past.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, a former business executive, is a hopeful for the republican nomination. Reportedly she has indicated that she would support a path to citizenship for undocumented children but not adults. She has reportedly objected to comprehensive immigration reform but would pass bills one at a time in a series aimed at solving the need for new immigration laws. She is also reportedly opposed to amnesty but is in support of the DREAM act.

Immigration issues can be serious and complicated to navigate. Contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal to discuss any immigration matter you’re facing. Attorney Khandelwal has over 10 years of experience working on immigration cases and is located conveniently in the Silicon Valley.

Cited Sources:

How Realistic is Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan? August 20, 2015, John Burnett

A green card is the documentation granted to lawful permanent residents (LPR) by the USCIS which demonstrates that the holder is authorized to legally work and live in the United States. Green cards generally expire after 10 years. If the green card expires, it must be renewed for the holder to continue to receive the benefits of lawful permanent residence.

personal-files-1534344Things to watch out for
Expiration dates: The expiration date on the green card will determine the time to file for renewal.

Helpful Tip
The expiration date is printed on the front of the green card and is easily found.

Timelines to keep in mind
 – The type of green card dictates the timeline for renewal.     Conditional permanent residents have different timelines for renewal than LPRs.
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Criminal convictions are always accompanied with consequences.  However the consequence for immigrant visa-holders can be dire.  Depending on the nature of the crimes committed, immigrants can face deportation, inadmissibility or other visa problems. Serious crimes that involve violence or deceitful conduct such as aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude carry heavy penalties. Any visa holder that is facing criminal convictions should consult with an attorney to determine how the conviction will affect one’s stay in the United States.
to-protect-and-serve-542937-mWhile there are many different convictions carrying different degrees of seriousness and penalties, here are a few of the most serious convictions that can lead to deportation, inadmissibility or other consequences

Crimes of Moral Turpitude
A crime of moral turpitude is a phrase to describe a broad category of crimes, but generally is described as a crime that “shocks the conscience, ” is dishonest or is contrary to society’s rules of morality. These crimes include murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, fraud, and aggravated assault among others.  This triggers deportation as well as inadmissibility into the United States Continue Reading

Generally, every child born in the United States is granted American citizenship. This is known as birthright citizenship. This policy has recently been the subject of scrutiny as many opponents of birthright citizenship have expressed desire to end this historic tradition. The main argument for ending birthright citizenship is the concern that children of undocumented parents can become American citizens if born in the United States.

kids-1166018-mRepublicans in Congress have argued that birthright citizenship can lead to birth tourism, where immigrants come to the United States solely to have a child in order to gain American citizenship. Bills have recently been introduced in the House and Senate, which propose an end birthright citizenship.

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H-1B holders working at multiple worksites must have a Labor Condition Application (LCA) on file for each worksite. Last week the USCIS Administrative Appeals released a decision that states any geographic change in the workplace listed on the LCA accompanying all H-1B visas requires filing an amended application. Also, any material change in the terms and conditions of the employment requires the filing of an amended H-1B with a new LCA.

Matter of Simeio Solutions, Inc., the case decided last week, reinforced this requirement. In the instant case, a foreign worker in India obtained an H-1B and applied for the visa at the United States Embassy in New Delhi. During the interview at the embassy the applicant indicated that he performed services not reflected in his application. This prompted an investigation by the USCIS, which included a visit to the worksite.

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With the school year coming to a close, it’s time for foreign students to start thinking on ways to continue to remain in the United States, following the conclusion of their academic programs. Some college students on F-1 visas who are authorized to work pursuant to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program are able to find jobs in their field of study and may continue to remain in the US  their stay on an H-1B visa. However, moving from an F-1/OPT directly to H-1B can create a gap of time between the expiration of the OPT and before the H-1B visa starts. Fortunately there is a Cap-Gap, which allows applicants with pending or approved H-1B’s to extend OPT work authorization to cover this gap.

What’s required for an F-1 extension?

students-1197349-mIf you’ve secured an employer that will apply for an H-1B on your behalf, it’s essential that the H-1B is timely filed. The H-1B should be applied while the OPT is still in effect.

If the H-1B application is selected in the lottery and approved, an automatic F1/OPT extension will take place. On October 1st when the H-1B visa can officially take effect, the applicant should request a change of status. This will allow for a smooth transition from F-1/OPT to H-1B.

Things to watch out for

  • If the H-1B application is not chosen in the CAP or the H-1B application is denied, the applicant will be granted a 60-day grace period. During this time the applicant must make plans to leave the United States.
  • Once an applicant enters the 60-day grace period, the applicant is no longer authorized to legally work inside the United States.

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Reforms are expected to be in place for undocumented foreign nationals  applying for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and parents of United States Citizens or Legal Permanent Residences applying for DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents).  As with all immigration changes, it’s important to educate yourself and be aware of timelines, requirements for applying,  and the potential scams that often happen when such relief measures are announced

family-944773-m

DACA is an immigration policy available to certain people who came to the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously for a certain period of time.  DACA stops removal proceedings against the individual and allows work authorization for those who qualify.

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The April Visa Bulletin has been released. With it comes news of standstills for some and advancements for others. How the visa bulletin works is that every month, based on a complicated formula, the State Department publishes a chart for green card visa availability. The quota is based on one’s priority date. A priority date for a green card seeker based on an employer or business relationship is based on the date of the petition filed with USCIS or the date the labor certification application is accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (if labor certification is required). A priority date for a green card seeker based on a family relationship is based on the date the petition is filed with USCIS.

EMPLOYMENT BASED

There is a mix of good news and bad news for people seeking employment-based green cards. All of the categories that remained current this month in March are also current for next month in April. Advancements for the other categories with priority dates, however, have been modest. The largest advancement was a by month and a half for the EB-3 and “Other Workers” categories for green card seekers from the Philippines. Green card seekers from other countries only experienced advancements by a month, however EB-2 visa seekers from China only saw an advancement of less than a month.

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Some of our more regular readers may recall our article on one of the largest I-9 compliance busts ever late last year. It looks like I-9 compliance issues have made its way into the news again, but this time to a small restaurant in New York.

In Rochester, New York, the Black and Blue Restaurant was assessed with an $88,700 fine by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). This was a reduction from the $264,605 fine the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was seeking initially. Last year, however, its Buffalo, New York location was assessed with a $32,850 fine.

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