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Showing posts from September, 2013

A Happy Ending

One of the things that I enjoy most about my job as an immigration attorney is seeing how our work changes people’s lives.Recently, I had a particularly moving case that reminded me of how lucky I am to be doing what I do.
A young lady came to see us a few weeks ago.She was a United States Citizen who had successfully filed a visa petition for her husband.Because he originally entered the United States without a visa, she had also filed a separate petition to forgive this offense.Both were approved after she successfully established that she and her children would suffer extreme hardship if her husband were denied a visa to the United States.
About a year and a half ago, her husband went to the consulate in Mexico to receive his visa.When he arrived he was told that the government had made a mistake and that instead of a visa he was going to receive a permanent bar from ever returning to the United States.
This young lady was desperate.She was unable to join her husband in Mexico as she …

I-9 Immigration Compliance-How to Advise Employers

On September 30, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ends its fiscal year.  As we look back on 2013 we will see that Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), the principle investigative arm of DHS, continues to focus on employer compliance.  According to reports, ICE audited over 3,000 businesses in 2012. How does that compare to prior years? In 2007, ICE conducted 250 workplace compliance audits, 2008 that number doubled to 503. In 2009 the amount of I-9 audits more than doubled to 1,444, 2000 in 2010 and 2,496 in 2011. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million.  Statistics released by ICE in July 2012 reveal that overall $87.9 Million in fines have been imposed on employers for violations. In 2012 there were 520 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations.  Criminal charges range from harboring to knowingly hiring illegal aliens.  Statistics for 2013 are expected to be released January 2014 the…

Georgia Businesses and E-Verify--The Perfect Storm Has Arrived

As a business owner, one of your most important jobs is having the “right” person on board, in each of the specialty occupations in your business.Whether it’s an office manager, billing coordinator, office or factory workers, or even landscaper, each position is integral to running an effective operation. It is also common knowledge, particularly in large cities, that getting the “right” staff can be almost impossible, given the dearth of applicants for many of these jobs.Obviously, employers also want to ensure that all employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.Starting July 1, 2013, the Georgia legislature wanted to ensure that all new hires for Georgia’s restaurant are, in fact, legally allowed to work.
Under current Georgia law (effective July 1, 2013) all Georgia employers with more than 10 employees on January 1, are required to enroll in the federal E-Verify program. This new law will supposedly be enforced by requiring the E-verify registration information b…

Post - 9/11: A Moment to Discrimi... Reflect

Today we pause to remember the tragic events that took place 12 years ago. No matter how many years pass between us and September 11, 2001, it forever remains a vivid memory in our minds and hearts. It stays with us as constant reminder that bad things happen to good people. That tragedies we hear about happening across the globe can take place at home too. That we as a nation are not immune from acts of hate directed towards us from within, and abroad. Of course we also realized that our vulnerability as a nation correlates directly with our love and unity, because as much sorrow we experienced, 9/11 also drew us closer and strengthened our resolve. It made us appreciate the fragility of life and reminded us to be humble. It reminded us of how much we as Americans have to be proud of, the extent of our values that need our protection.

And in the years just after 9/11, we recall the aftershocks that shook us to our core. That trampled over the very essence of our identity as a “land …