ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
© 1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Carl Shusterman's Immigration Update

description

  1. Indian IT Company Agrees to Pay $34 Million Settlement

    http://assets.bizjournals.com/dayton/news/scales%20of%20justice*304.jpg?v=1
    Various companies have paid one million dollars or more to the government in order to settle cases involving immigration violations. However, the $34 million settlement that an Indian IT company recently agreed to pay is the largest yet.

    What did the company do to bring this on itself?

    The U.S. Attorneys’ Office in the East District of Texas accuses Infosys, a multi-billion dollar company based in India, of misusing B-1 business visitor visas to place foreign-born employees in professional jobs in the United States.

    USCIS.gov states that persons on B-1 visas are permitted to come to the U.S. to engage in any of the following activities:

    • Consulting with business associates
    • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
    • Settling an estate
    • Negotiating a contract
    • Participating in short-term training
    • Transiting through the United States
    • Certain air crewmen may enter the U.S. as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa


    However, in order to work as a computer programmer or a systems analyst in the U.S., a person must usually possess an H-1B visa. Most H-1B employers are subject to a numerical cap which, in practice, allows them to sponsor professional employees only during the first week of April each year. Also, applying for an H-1B worker involves an expenditure of several thousand dollars in attorneys’ fees and government filing fees.

    Infosys employs over 160,000 workers in more than 30 countries. Approximately 15,000 of these workers are employed in the U.S. 10,800 have H-1B visas and 1,600 have L-1B specialized knowledge visas. According to a confidential source, the number using B-1 visas is about 1,000. The company claims that it uses B-1 visas only for “legitimate business purposes”.

    In the settlement agreement, the government and Infosys essentially agree to disagree. The government states that the company provided their B-1 workers with a memorandum which instructed them “to deceive U.S. Consular Officials, including specific instructions to avoid certain terminology, to secure entry of the visa holder in the United States." Infosys, despite agreeing to pay the government $34 million, "denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage or immigration abuse. Those claims are untrue and are assertions that remain unproven."

    The matter began as a whistleblower case brought by a disgruntled employee. A civil lawsuit by the employee was dismissed. However, in 2011, the B-1 issue raised by the employee led the Department of Justice and the DHS to audit Infosys’ I-9 forms.

    This settlement does not subject Infosys to any civil or criminal judgment. It allows the company to continue to supply IT professionals to U.S. firms and to be eligible for federal contracts.

    Although $34 million sounds like a lot of money to you and me, given that Infosys’ market capitalization exceeds $30 billion, the settlement amount is simply “chump change” for the company. Indeed, news of the settlement had little effect on the company’s stock price. And making the payment certainly beats spending time in Federal Prison.

    However, this is should be a cautionary tale for any employer thinking of toying with U.S. immigration laws, especially those who don’t have a rainy day fund of several millions of dollars to tap. U.S. Attorney John Bales made the point succinctly: “We want other companies like Infosys to be on notice that we will be looking.”

    Also, the settlement may aid lawmakers in the House who are trying to limit the use of H-1B and L-1B visas by IT consulting firms in rounding up the necessary votes to do so. The Senate bill (S.744) already contains such a provision.

    Employers beware!

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:08 PM by CShusterman

  2. USCIS Launches Redesigned Websites

    http://www.hudsonlg.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/USCIS.jpg
    On October 30, the USCIS introduced new websites, in English and in Spanish.

    The new sites are designed to enhance the user experience. In the past, I’ve always had a difficult time finding the information I needed on uscis.gov. Because of this, I made sure that our website links to the most helpful pages on USCIS website from our temporary visas page, our green cards page, our citizenship page, our forms page, our USCIS page, etc. Hopefully, this saves our users a lot of time.

    However, it seems that it is much easier to find the information I need on the new USCIS website than on the old one. Bravo!

    The green menu near the top of the page contains the following items:


    1. Forms
    2. News
    3. Citizenship
    4. Green Card
    5. Tools
    6. Laws


    Place your cursor over the word “Forms”, and a pull-down menu provides links to a lot of useful information. The first row links to the most commonly searched for USCIS forms. The second row links to a chart showing the filing fees for various types of USCIS forms. It also links to a section regarding e-filing procedures and an explanation of how to order forms by phone and by mail. Finally, there is a link to the most searched for State Department forms and a link to the CBP page explaining the new I-94 procedures. The third row breaks down the forms according to category: Citizenship, Family-Based, Employment-Based, etc.

    Most of the other 5 menu items also have multiple rows of menu items which link to commonly searched for topics. The “Citizenship” tab links to various items concerning naturalization, citizenship through parents, and State Department passport information. The “Tools” tab provides links to a host of helpful services. It explains how to get a copy of your file, find a civil surgeon, check the status of your pending application, etc.

    Other menu items may still need a little work. For example, the “News” item contains only 3 links in the pull-down menu. While the “News Releases” and “Alerts” links are up-to-date, the “Questions and Answers” link stops in July 2012. Perhaps there is a reason for this, but if so, the page does not explain what it is.

    There are other items which need additional work. For example, when I worked as an INS Attorney (1976-82), I spent a couple of years interviewing persons claiming U.S. citizenship through their parents. The laws pertaining to “acquisition” and “derivation” of U.S. citizenship are complex, and the legal requirements change every few years. For this reason, INS Attorneys always relied on 4 handy charts published by the government.

    When I created our website in 1995, I wanted to link to these charts on the INS/USCIS website. However, it was extremely difficult to find them. When I finally did so, I linked to them from our “US Citizenship Through Parents” page. However, every few months, the government would change the URL/Address of these pages, thereby breaking my links. After repairing the broken links over a dozen times, I decided to put the 4 Nationality Charts on our website.

    Ever the optimist, I hoped that the new USCIS website would make it easier to find the 4 charts. In order to test my thesis, I placed my cursor of the “Citizenship” tab and down came the various menu items. I clicked on the link entitled “Citizenship Though Parents”. Two charts instantly appeared, but where were the other 2?

    I decided to try a new approach. I clicked on the website’s internal search engine which reads “What are you looking for?” and entered the words “Nationality Charts”. I got 89,900 results, but wait, the first 4 were links to the elusive Nationality Charts. Eureka!

    However, when I clicked on the first link, I did not see the chart, but the following message:

    Please be aware that the Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 71 to 76 and Appendices 71-1 to 75-7 have been superseded by USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12: Citizenship & Naturalization as of January 22, 2013.

    Hmm… I then clicked the “Policy Manual” link, and from there, I clicked on “Part H: Children of U.S. Citizens”. This provided me with a lot of great information, but very complex. Where were the charts? Perhaps, if I were willing to spend a considerable amount of time clicking links, I would have found them, but for now, I’ll stick to my own website.

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:11 PM by CShusterman

    Tags: uscis, uscis.gov Add / Edit Tags
  3. ICE's Bed Mandate: Who Benefits?


    http://shusterman.com/images/bed-mandate-ice.jpg
    Illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexican border have diminished greatly. The Administration’s DACA policy has saved hundreds of thousands of young people from possible deportation. The GOP is pressing for deep cuts in the federal budget.

    So why is ICE locking up more persons than ever before, and spending much more money than in previous years?

    The simple answer is the “bed mandate”.

    The what?

    Back in 2009, the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-VA) amended a DHS appropriations bill to require ICE to keep a minimum of 33,400 persons locked up at all times. ICE thus became the only agency in the entire federal government to have a minimum quota on the number of people that they must keep in jail. Congress later raised the bed mandate to 34,000.

    Since 2005, the number of persons in ICE detention has risen 72%, and this costs the taxpayers $2 billion annually. Even former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano calls the bed mandate artificial and unnecessary. Instead of releasing low-risk persons with ankle bracelets, ICE is forced to spend $120 per prisoner per day.

    Ironically, the GOP has blocked efforts to repeal the bed mandate even though it smacks of government waste and inefficiency.

    Why? Follow the money.

    Private companies, the Corrections Corporation and Geo Group, imprison over 60% of ICE detainees. The stock of these two-publicly traded companies has roughly doubled over the past 3 years. In messages issued in 2012, an ICE administrator ordered employees to increase arrests in order to comply with the bed mandate. These days, the former ICE administrator is, guess what, an executive for one of the companies mentioned above.

    The Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill passed by the Senate last June would give ICE more discretion in determining who to imprison and who to release. However, if you own stock in the companies listed above, don’t sell your shares just yet.

    GOP Senators inserted an amendment into the CIR bill which would compel ICE to triple arrests in the Southwest. This would boost the cost of incarcerating inmates by over $1.5 billion over the next 10 years.

    Great news for stockholders, but for taxpayers, it’s just another example of government waste.

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:14 PM by CShusterman

  4. Immigration: While Washington Waffles, California Acts!

    http://shusterman.com/images/jerry-brown-california-seal-570x3871.jpg
    In October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed 9 immigration bills into law. This stands in marked contrast to the U.S. House of Representatives which has yet to pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill since the Senate passed one on a bipartisan basis last June.

    One bill that Governor Brown signed will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses. This legislation was strongly supported by the law enforcement community. At present, many of the undocumented fear that if they are involved in a traffic accident or if they are pulled over for a moving violation, they will be turned over to ICE and deported. Starting on January 1, 2015, they will be able to apply for Drivers Licenses. Law enforcement officials predict the number of hit and run accidents will decline, and that more of the undocumented will be able to purchase insurance.

    Governor Brown stated: “When a million people without their documents drive legally and with respect in the state of California, the rest of this country will have to stand up and take notice. No longer are undocumented people in the shadows.”

    It should be noted that the new driver licenses will contain markings indicating that the holder is undocumented. Thus, they cannot be used to qualify for governmental benefits. However, undocumented drivers will no longer have to worry about their cars being impounded or being turned over to ICE for minor traffic offenses.

    A number of other states have also enacted similar law this year.

    In addition, Governor Brown signed the Trust Act which prohibits local enforcement officials from turning people arrested for minor violations over to the Federal Government for deportation. Many states have balked at the so-called Secure Communities program which is supposed to allow ICE to place immigration holds on those convicted of serious offenses. Unfortunately, many persons charged with minor offenses have been turned over to ICE and deported, even though the charges against them were dropped. Interesting enough, former DHS Security Janet Napolitano urged the Governor to sign this legislation.

    It is time to recognize that most of the people that we call the “undocumented” are good people who have come to the United States to find work and support their families. Most of our agricultural industry as well as our hotels, restaurants and many other businesses would close down immediately if the government suddenly deported all of those lacking the proper paperwork. The current administration has deported more people during the past 5 years than were deported in the previous 50 years, but an enforcement-only approach will not solve the problem.

    Throughout most of U.S. history, there were no quotas of the number of people who could immigrate to our country. These days, the number of people on waiting lists to legalize their status number in the millions, and many of them live and work in the U.S.

    I am a former INS prosecutor, and am certainly not an advocate of “open borders”, but the present situation calls for immediate action. Deport those who are security risks or have serious criminal records. Let the rest pay fines, file income tax returns, learn English and wait in line for green cards. Provide a pathway to citizenship. It’s time to be realistic and I am proud that California is leading the way.

    As Governor Brown stated when he signed the new drivers license bill into law, “Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due.”

    Amen!

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:15 PM by CShusterman

  5. Driver’s Licenses for the Undocumented in California

    http://shusterman.com/images/california-drivers-license.jpg
    On September 13, the California State Legislature passed a bill which would enable undocumented immigrants to apply for California State Driver’s Licenses. The State Senate passed the bill, AB60, by a 28-8 vote while the Assembly’s vote was 55-19. Governor Jerry Brown has indicated that he will sign the bill into law.

    The driver’s licenses issued to the undocumented would allow them to drive legally, but not to apply for other benefits. There will be a notation on the license stating that the document “does not establish eligibility for employment or for public benefit”. The licenses will contain the initials “DP” (Drivers Privilege) instead of “DL” (Drivers License).

    Like other applicants, the undocumented will have to pass both a written and a driving test, and comply with applicable rules issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. These drivers would then be eligible to purchase automobile insurance.

    “These licenses will include a special watermark on the front and language on the back that makes it clear this license is for driving only and not identification,” said Kim Raney, who is the President of the California Police Chiefs Association. “TSA and federal officials and law enforcement will all be aware that these grant driving privileges only and aren’t confirmed identification.”

    Nine other states have enacted laws allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for state driver’s licenses, six this year. Prior to 1993, a person’s immigration status was not a criterion for obtaining a California Driver’s License. Approximately 2.6 million undocumented persons reside in California.
    Although some persons criticized this measure as a “quasi-amnesty”, it was strongly endorsed by the California Police Chiefs Association, the insurance industry and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. The police chiefs believe that the measure will increase traffic safety and diminish the number of hit and run accidents.

    A statement issued by Governor Brown stated that “This bill will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally…Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due.”

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:15 PM by CShusterman

Page 11 of 42 FirstFirst ... 91011121321 ... LastLast
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: