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Showing posts from February, 2013

Top 3 Immigration Myths that You Need to Know

written by Hiba Ghalib, Associate, Kuck Immigration Partners

Forecasts of snowstorms and rainfall are not the only ones being made on our evening news lately. Predictions of major reform to our complex, archaic immigration laws are also being announced as bipartisan congressional leadership hunker down in Washington to tackle comprehensive changes in our current immigration system, set to happen in 2013.  And, as the winds of change blow, families hoping to fix their immigration problems have begun to come out to ask what they can do.

Over the past several weeks, the attorneys at Kuck Immigration Partners have been fortunate to travel to several local venues to speak to the community about immigration, allowing families and individuals with immigration questions the opportunity to address them.  However, after meeting with a few hundred people, you start to see the same questions cycle back and forth.  We cannot guess what reform will do, but before we try to predict the future of ou…

What You Need To Know About The "Line" in 2013

Four years ago, I wrote about the "Line" that determines how long it takes to immigrate to the United States.  The "line" was long then, and is longer now, with more than four million people waiting for an immigrant visa to become ready for them to immigrate to the United States.  There is a good number of these more than four million people already in the United States, either working under valid visas, or as undocumented members of our society.

An example is appropriate   We know from a recent meeting with the Department of States that there are approximately 44,000 EB-3 India cases with priority dates prior to August 2007.  Right now, the priority date (the date people who filed on that date can now apply for permanent residence) for India is November 22, 2002.  Available visas count both the principal applicant (the person who's job it is), PLUS each family member.  Hypothetically and because of "per-country limits," that means that if there are …

Why A Company Should Not Self- Audit its Own Forms I-9!

Much has been made recently of the increased ICE enforcement activity against employers. The majority of this enforcement activity is directed towards the Form I-9 and whether or not employers have either properly completed the Form, or have somehow knowingly hired individuals who are not authorized to work.

In support of this enforcement activity, in May 2010, ICE released the "ICE Guide to Administrative Form I-9 Inspections and Civil Monetary Penalties." That agency field manual provides insight into the administrative procedures and penalty scheme for administrative inspections for the agency’s special agents and forensic auditors. This "fine guideline" only briefly discusses the remedial impact of "auditing" a company's Forms I-9 PRIOR to ICE serving a Notice of Inspection on the company.
There have been countless seminars over the last several years talking about the need for Human Resource professionals to "audit" your company…

Why Georgia DACA Students are Entitled to In State Tuition

Ever since President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program the question has been asked in Georgia by DACA beneficiaries, can I now pay "in-state" tuition at Georgia Colleges and Universities?  The question is simple, but the answer is complicated because of the differences between "lawful status" and "lawful presence," terms that are poorly understood outside of the immigration lawyer community. Now that clarifications have been issued by the Department of Homeland Security on "lawful presence" and "lawful status" within the DACA context, it is clear that the Georgia Board of Regents must allow DACA beneficiaries to pay in-state tuition, by the words of their own policy Manual.
Initially when this issue percolated through the Georgia state legislature in 2010, and in order to stop actual laws from being enacted on this issue, the Georgia Board of Regents, which is tasked with det…

Dealing with ESTA, Prior Visa Applications and The Visa Waiver Process

Having your country be part of the ESTA, or Visa Waiver program to come the United States is a wonderful thing!  But like many good things, there is a downside. The downside to ESTA is in not disclosing all prior visa refusals (which may make you permanently ineligible to use ESTA), even if you do not know you were refused a visa!  Huh?  Is it possible that I was refused a visa at an U.S. Consulate and do not know it?  Oh, yes it is. 
In an advisory sent out today by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, there are at least TWO instances in which a person could have had a visa refused, and not know or understand what has happened. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") may deem the failure to disclose visa refusals for administrative processing or incorrect visa category on the Form DS-160 as a misrepresentation when completing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form, which could make the applicant inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i). Therefore,…

Grumpy Ex-Consular Officer Not The Best Source of Immigration Reform Advice

Having been an immigration lawyer for almost one-quarter of a century, I have heard thousands of stories of surly, rude, grumpy and downright mean Consular Officers at U.S. Consulates around the world. Songs are sung of the families they have kept apart, the U.S. employers they have left without key employees, and the souls who's dreams they have crushed.  One example of such an officer, apparently, is the writer of an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune this week, who believes that there is no reason whatsoever for immigration reform, and that anyone who came in without papers, or who overstayed their visa, is the lowest form of humanity, regardless of their reason for doing so.  

This attitude and letter reminded me of this video about the reasons why a person can be denied a visa.  I wonder if consular officers sing this song at night to be prepared to interview the next day.   (Actually, I know many consular officers and they are stellar human beings and terrific at issuing vi…

Immigration Reform Good for Economy

Lane Beattie, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, and a Partner of Kuck Immigration Partners co-authored an op-ed that appeared in the Sunday, February 3, 2013 edition of The Salt Lake Tribune entitled, Immigration Reform Good for Economy. "No one benefits from our outdated and broken immigration system. Bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows will enhance our recovering economy and position us for continued growth. Fixing the system will attract and retain the most educated and hardest-working talent for decades to come." A Partner of Kuck Immigration Partners also appeared with University of Utah Sociology Professor Theresa Martinez as featured guests on KSL Channel 5's Sunday Edition with Richard Piatt to discuss the recently announced immigration reform proposals.  Sunday Edition - Segment One (Feb 3, 2013)