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  1. DID YOU MOVE AGAIN!?!

    by , 02-14-2014 at 09:01 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Maria Schneider

    Project to project, location to location, client to client. Many of our clients regularly relocate as their jobs demand.A reminder that whenever you change your home address, we ask that you contact our office so we can update our records.Most immigration forms require that we list your home address and we want to make sure that we have your correct address.

    In addition to updating our law firm, you’ll need to report a change of address to the USCIS within 10 days of moving. You can update your address with the USCIS by filing a form AR-11 in hard copy or online. Please note that if you have an application currently pending with the USCIS you must update your address online to ensure the new address is assigned to your pending application.

    You can obtain the change of address form from the attorney or paralegal handling your case or on the USCIS website. Complete the information requested on the form, including present address, last address (most recent only), A number or registration (I-94) number, country of citizenship, date of birth, and your signature. You do not need to include temporary addresses as long as you maintain your present address as your permanent residence and continue to receive mail there.

    When filing an AR-11 either online or in hard copy you should always keep a copy of the confirmation page and/or the form itself for your records.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. GOP Pundit Demolishes Arguments Against Immigration Reform. By Roger Algase

    There is no more reliably conservative Republican columnist anywhere than George F. Will of the Washington Post. For as long as anyone can remember, he has been bashing the Democrats and upholding right wing positions on almost every topic imaginable.

    A left-wing firebrand who is anxious to see endless Democratic victories is exactly what George F. Will is not. Therefore, it is highly significant that in his February 13 Washington Post Column Why Immigration Reform Matters, Will demolishes, one by one, all of the specious arguments which have been raised by many other Republicans for opposing immigration reform, and shows why reform is essential to advance the basic Republican goal of promoting economic growth.

    He dismisses the argument that the GOP must avoid "divisive" issues such as immigration by warning that the Republicans could become "what completely harmonious parties are: small."

    He also writes that the "identity politics" of worrying that future immigrants may turn into Democratic voters is "unworthy of Republicans."

    He also, courageously, wades into the issue of anti-immigrant racism, which he calls "cultural concerns", by pointing out that today's immigrants from Latin America are assimilating just as fast as their European predecessors.

    Regarding border security, Will points out that net immigration from Mexico is now zero and sensibly argues against the "East Germanization" of the Mexican border.

    With regard to the familiar argument by hate organizations that immigrants take jobs from Americans, Will points out that 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

    He concludes:

    "Opposition to immigration because the economy supposedly cannot generate sufficient jobs is similar defeatism. Zero-sum reasoning about a fixed quantity of opportunity is for a United States in a defensive crouch, which is not for conservatives."

    Whom will the Republican leaders listen to on immigration, a responsible, reputable conservative such as George F. Will, or bigoted anti-Latino and anti-Asian fanatics such as Ann Coulter?

    This will decide the future of immigration reform, at least for the near term.

    Updated 02-25-2014 at 02:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. Immigrant of the Day: Simon Shnapir - Olympic Figure Skater

    by , 02-13-2014 at 09:43 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Simon Shnapir is one of rare immigrants on a US Olympic team who entered the country as a refugee. Like gold medal-winning swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg, Shnapir's family were Jewish refugees who left Russia under the Lautenberg program named for the the New Jersey Senator who passed away last year.

    Shnapir competed in Sochi in the new team skating competition as well as in the pairs figure skating competition. He leaves Russia with a bronze medal in the team competition and a top 10 finish in the pairs competition with his partner Marissa Castelli.

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  4. Company Ordered to Forfeit $185,000, Restaurant Owner Fined $10,000;by Bruce Buchanan

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    Premier Paving Inc. (PPI), a Denver-based corporation, was sentenced to forfeit nearly $185,000 in criminal proceeds for its criminal practice of hiring undocumented workers. The forfeited money will go to the Department of Transportation federal highway fund as some of the undocumented workers performed work on federal transportation projects.

    At approximately the same time, late January 2014, Juan Carlos Angel, owner of several Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina locations in Jacksonville, Florida, who had previously pled guilty to engaging in a pattern of hiring undocumented workers, was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for hiring five undocumented workers.

    PPI Hires Undocumented Workers and Settles with ICE for $11,000 in Penalties
    According to the plea agreement with PPI, the investigation began in 2007 when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audited PPI's employment records and found it had committed violations of hiring employees not authorized to work in the U.S. PPI knowingly hired and continued to employ workers who were not authorized to work because they did not possess the documents required by law to complete an I-9 form. In 2008, PPI and ICE entered into a settlement agreement whereby PPI paid $11,000 in penalties and would only “hire only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the United States."

    PPI Continued to Employ Undocumented Workers - Forfeits $185,000
    Despite the 2008 agreement, PPI began working with an employment agency, “Servicios de Migracion Para Todos.” (“Immigration Services for Everyone”) and continued to employ workers who were not authorized to work in the U.S. Another review by ICE in September 2012 determined that the company employed unauthorized workers, and failed to adequately complete I-9 forms for a number of employees hired between January 1, 2011 and September 20, 2012.

    Owner of Restaurants Guilty of Hiring Undocumented Workers and Pays $10,000 fine
    In the Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina case, in June 2013, ICE agents arrested four employees for document fraud after conducting an inspection of the restaurant’s Form I-9s, pursuant to a Notice of Inspection. Based on information gathered from the inspection, ICE agents determined Juan Carlos Angel hired five employees who were undocumented and not legally permitted to work in the United States. Thus, Angel pled guilty and paid a $10,000 fine. A copy of the Factual Basis and Plea Agreements are available here .
  5. "Refugee Status" as a Mitigating Factor in Death Penalty Cases

    The U.S. Department of Justice recently gave notice that it would be seeking the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber. Mr. Tsarnaev and his brother allegedly killed three people in the bombing and one more person during their flight. Over 260 people were maimed or injured.



    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

    The DOJ determined that the death penalty is appropriate in the case because of the "heinous, cruel and depraved manner" that the murders were committed, that there was "substantial planning and premeditation," multiple victims, and a "vulnerable victim" (a reference to Martin Richard, an eight year old boy killed in the attack). The notice also mentions several "non-statutory aggravating factors," including the fact that Mr. Tsaenaev--


    received asylum from the United States; obtained citizenship and enjoyed the freedoms of a United States citizen; and then betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people in the United States.


    Other "non-statutory aggravating factors" are that Mr. Tsarnaev targeted the "iconic" Boston Marathon and that he showed a lack of remorse for his crimes.


    I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I don't believe it serves as a deterrent, and I do think there are serious racial and class disparities in its application. In addition, there is a real danger that innocent people or people with mental disabilities will be put to death. On the other hand, if the death of the murderer brings comfort or closure or a sense of safety to the victim's friends and family, I believe those feelings are legitimate and should be given considerable weight.


    In some ways, the Tsarnaev case is less complicated than the average death penalty case. There are no issues (at least I don't see any) regarding race, class or mental health, and there seems to be no doubt that Mr. Tsarvaev is guilty. But what about the fact that Mr. Tsarnaev is a refugee?


    In its death penalty notice, the DOJ mentions Mr. Tsarnaev's asylum status as an aggravating factor--We helped him by granting him asylum, and then he betrayed us by bombing the marathon. Mr. Tsarnaev's attorneys will, no doubt, view his asylum status quite differently, and could try to use that status as a mitigating factor. The relevant U.S. Code section (18 U.S.C. § 3592) lists several possible mitigating factors, including the following:


    Impaired capacity.—
    The defendant’s capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct or to conform conduct to the requirements of law was significantly impaired, regardless of whether the capacity was so impaired as to constitute a defense to the charge.


    Duress.—
    The defendant was under unusual and substantial duress, regardless of whether the duress was of such a degree as to constitute a defense to the charge.


    Disturbance.—
    The defendant committed the offense under severe mental or emotional disturbance.


    Other factors.—
    Other factors in the defendant’s background, record, or character or any other circumstance of the offense that mitigate against imposition of the death sentence.


    The first three factors seem like a bit of a stretch, but you can imagine some type of argument tying Mr. Tsarnaev's mental state to the trauma of being a refugee. Indeed, I would guess that there are at least two types of trauma that refugees suffer: The trauma of the events that led them to flee their country, and the trauma of the refugee/resettlement process itself. There are certainly examples of refugees who engage in self-destructive behavior (I've written about that issue here), but without something more--such as a diagnosed mental illness--I doubt refugee status alone would qualify Mr. Tsarnaev for mitigation under one of the first three factors listed above.


    The fourth factor--the catch all--provides the most likely opportunity for Mr. Tsarnaev to demonstrate how his status as a refugee might mitigate his punishment. He could argue that he was young, isolated in a new country, heavily reliant on his older brother (who participated in the bombing and was later killed), and influenced by terrible events in his homeland. While I can believe that Mr. Tsarnaev's refugee status helped shape, and perhaps distort, his worldview, I have a much harder time accepting these problems as a mitigating factor here.


    Had his crime been substance abuse, or even some type of impulsive, violent act, I could see how refugee status might be viewed as a mitigating factor and how there might be opportunities for positive intervention in his life. But in this case, Mr. Tsarnaev and his brother planned, prepared, and carried out a terrorist attack. This is not the type of crime that results from a traumatic past. It is the type of crime that comes from having a distorted world view and a total disregard for human life.


    I have known many refugees, and many people who have suffered severe trauma--much more severe than anything I have heard about in the Tsarnaev case. While most such people work hard to overcome their past difficulties, some turn to drugs or alcohol; others commit crimes. But none are like the Tsarnaevs. Their's was a carefully planned and orchestrated act. To allow Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to use his refugee status as a mitigating factor would be an insult to the many refugees who have overcome their terrible past. While there may be other factors that allow Mr. Tsaenaev to avoid the death penalty, his status as a refugee should not be one of them.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

    Updated 02-14-2014 at 10:04 AM by JDzubow

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