Current Posts

March 24, 2014 | Permalink
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for writs of certiorari and thus declined to review decisions of the Third and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeals, respectively, which struck down immigration-related ordinances in the towns of Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Farmers Branch, Texas. See City of Hazleton, Pa. v. Lozano (U.S. Mar. 3, 2014), and City of Farmers Branch, Tex. v. Villas at Parkside (U.S. Mar. 3, 2014). In deciding against hearing the two towns’ appeals, the Court left intact the circuit court rulings which had found these local laws to be preempted by federal law. read more
March 17, 2014 | Permalink
The Canadian federal government’s recent announcement that it was terminating two key visa programs for immigrant investors has left many foreign investors with the need to explore other jurisdictions for immigration and investment opportunities. Along with recent improvements in the American EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, this development may help make the United States a more attractive destination for wealthy foreigner citizens with capital to invest. read more
February 18, 2014 | Permalink
A recent report authored by Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy—which scrutinized the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744) and the House Republicans’ one-page “Standards for Immigration Reform”—analyzed the common ground that might lead to bipartisan legislation that would include a path to lawful status for the currently undocumented population. read more
February 4, 2014 | Permalink
Citing how immigration reform would grow our economy and shrink our deficits, President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union Address last week stated simply: “Let’s get immigration reform done this year.” Two days later, House Republicans released a one-page document, “Standards for Immigration Reform,” outlining their own priorities in reforming our immigration system. After months of stalemate, there is fresh hope that some kind of immigration reform may actually happen. read more
January 27, 2014 | Permalink
Employers hoping to hire new employees in H-1B visa status in the 2015 fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2014 can file petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) beginning on April 1. Because demand for new H-1Bs is likely to be greater than last year, the annual quota is expected to be reached quickly. For this reason, prudent employers are planning ahead by assessing their H-1B needs, gathering supporting documentation and preparing the necessary paperwork. This blog post will focus on one aspect of such planning, which is advance preparation of the required labor condition applications (LCAs). read more
January 21, 2014 | Permalink
The recent diplomatic imbroglio between the United States and India over an Indian consular official’s indictment for visa fraud, based on her alleged mistreatment and underpayment of a domestic servant, appears to have been diffused when the official was allowed to leave the United States. While the dust may thus have settled with respect to some of the most incendiary issues this situation revealed—including local law enforcement’s arrest procedures and the limits of diplomatic immunity—the incident still serves to highlight a little-known provision in U.S. law allowing diplomats and certain others to bring domestic servants from abroad with them to the United States. It also highlights the risks of noncompliance. read more
December 2, 2013 | Permalink

Whether or not we see comprehensive immigration reform legislation anytime in the near future, an easy reform that could be implemented without the need for new legislation would be for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to create a “Trusted Employer” program to help streamline the filing and processing of employment-based immigration cases. Such a program would provide huge savings in both time and money for both employers and for the government.

read more
November 20, 2013 | Permalink

A pilot program to provide lawyers for all detained immigrants in the New York metropolitan area was launched in early November. The program seeks not only to alleviate the immigrant representation crisis in New York, but to serve as a model that can be replicated in other places around the country.

read more
November 7, 2013 | Permalink

The state of Alabama has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a coalition of civil rights groups challenging key provisions of the state’s immigration enforcement law, H.B. 56, which has widely been considered to be the toughest such law in the nation. Pending approval by the court of the proposed final order, several provisions of the law which had been temporarily enjoined will now be permanently blocked, and racial profiling under the so-called “show me your papers” provisions will be significantly limited. The state of Alabama will also pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $350,000. The state is entering into similar agreements in a case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and another one brought by church leaders.

read more
October 22, 2013 | Permalink

Immigration-related operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have resumed since the re-opening of all federal government operations, but delays and other problems have occurred. It will likely be several days or weeks before everything is back to normal, due to the flood of cases which both agencies are now receiving.

read more