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Carl Shusterman's Immigration Update


  1. California Immigration Laws Challenged in Federal Lawsuit

    On March 6, 2018, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in Federal Court challenging 3 California immigration laws.

    The lawsuit contends that the laws “reflect a deliberate effort by California to obstruct the United States’ enforcement of federal immigration law” and that they “impede consultation and communication between federal and state law enforcement officials.”

    California Governor Jerry Brown responded calling the lawsuit a “political stunt”.

    The California immigration laws which are being challenged are as follows:

    The California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) became effective on January 1, 2018. It prohibits businesses from allowing federal immigration agents to gain access to employee records without a court order or subpoena. However, if federal agents have a Notice of Inspection, they can gain access to I-9 forms within 72 hours. California employers are required to provide notice to employees about any Notice of Inspection as well as the results of I-9 audits by the Federal government. Employers can be fined up to $10,000 for violating this law.

    The California Values Act (SB 54) which also went into effect on January 1, 2018 limits state and local agencies from sharing information with federal officers about criminals or suspects unless they have been convicted of serious crimes.

    The Detention Review Act (AB 103) which was enacted as part of the California state budget prohibits new contracts for immigration detention in California and gives the state attorney general the authority to monitor all state immigration detention centers.

    US Department of Justice Challenges California Immigration Laws

    California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450)

    California Values Act (SB 54)

    Detention Review Act (AB 103)

    We will keep you informed as the lawsuit makes it’s way through the Federal Court system

    Updated 03-09-2018 at 05:04 PM by CShusterman

  2. Immigration Law Changes in Budget Bill

    On December 16, it was announced that members of Congress had finalized a 2,009-page budget bill. The bill is expected to be approved and signed by President Obama before the end of the year.

    The bill contains a number of immigration law changes, each of which is listed below:

    1. H-1B and L-1 Filing Fees - Additional filing fees will be imposed on companies which employ 50 or more workers in the US, and whose workforce consists more than 50% of H-1B and L-1 employees. The additional fees amount to $4,000 per H-1B petition and $4,500 for each L-1 petition. These fees will also apply to extensions as well as to first-time petitions. These fees will remain in effect until September 30, 2025.

    2. EB-5, Conrad 30, E-Verify and Non-Ministerial Religious Workers – Each of these programs will be extended to September 30, 2016 without any material changes. Changes to the EB-5 program are essential. It is anticipated that Congress will amend the EB-5 investor program sometime in 2016.
    3. H-2B Workers – Returning workers who were counted against the 66,000 cap in fiscal years 2013-15 will not be subject to the fiscal year 2016 cap. Employers will be required to pay workers at the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher.
    4. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – The rules will be tightened on this program which allows tens of millions of people from 38 countries to enter the US as visitors without visas each year. For example, persons who visited Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan (or any country designated by DHS) since March 2011 will be barred from visiting the US without a visa. These immigration law changes are meant to promote security and increase "vetting" of foreign visitors to the United States.

  3. Big Government Comes to Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) must be rolling in his grave. The conservative Republican senator from Arizona ran for President in 1964 on a platform condemning "Big Government". As a kid, I read Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative" and came away with a strong conviction that America was founded on the principle of individual freedom, and that no matter what the perceived threat was, internal or external, American citizens should beware of "trusting the government" rather than upholding our rights as individuals.

    Today, the citizens of the State of Arizona are justifiably upset about the violence caused by Mexican drug cartels and coyotes who smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. So upset that yesterday, the Arizona Governor signed a bill into law which would require all persons in Arizona to carry proof of their legal status in the U.S. Police would be required to check the paperwork of persons who they suspect of being present in the U.S. unlawfully.

    Why aren't the citizens of Arizona protesting in the streets of Phoenix and Tucson about Big Brother and this governmental intrusion into our individual rights?

    After all, how many of us routinely carry our U.S. passports or birth certificates every time we go to work, take our kids to school or go out to a movie? The only time that I ever carry my passport is when I travel out of the country. If I lose my passport, how long before I got another one? And how much do I have to pay? No way am I going to carry my passport with me every time I work out at the gym!

    I have the feeling that most U.S. citizens in Arizona are not going to carry around their passports with them either. Since most Americas have never bothered to get a passport, this is probably a pretty safe bet. So, why aren't these people alarmed about the new law?

    Probably because they don't have foreign accents. If a police officer pulls them over for a speeding ticket, and in the unlikely event that they are asked for proof of their citizenship, they can smile and answer "Officer, I was born in Phoenix. I went through school here, and I work at the local bank. I am so American that I'm voting for J.D. Hayworth against John McCain because John is too soft on illegal aliens." The officer will probably smile and send them on their way.

    But suppose that the U.S. citizen is Hispanic or Asian or European and speaks with an accent. Same facts as above, except that the officer is not sure if the person is a citizen. "I was born in Mexico, but I became a naturalized U.S. citizen over ten years ago. I would carry my Certificate of Naturalization with me, but I have it framed on the wall in my computer room. Please let me call my wife on my cell phone, and she'll read the certificate number to you." But he can't reach his wife because she is picking up the kids from school. The officer responds, "I'm real sorry sir, but you know that you are legally required to carry proof of citizenship with you. I'm afraid that I am going to have to take you down to the station." One prominent religious leader has likened the new Arizona law to "German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques". In my opinion, that's a bit over the top.

    However, no one can deny that the new law forces us, for the first time, to carry around documents proving our citizenship or immigration status. If this isn't a government power-grab, I don't know what is.

    If the average person felt personally threatened by the new law, the Arizona legislature never would have passed it and the governor would not have signed it. Fortunately, the law really doesn't apply to you or me, but only to the "other guy".

    Shame on all of us for not standing up for traditional American freedoms. Arizona's Governor should formally apologize to Senator Barry Goldwater.

    This is a sad day for America.

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    Updated 12-02-2013 at 04:38 PM by CShusterman

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