Musings on Immigration

Our Globally Recognized Team of Immigration Lawyers Sharing Knowledge and Providing Counsel on Immigration Issues that Affect You, Your Business and Your Family

Ex-Policía de El Salvador Que Fue Amenazado a Muerte y Disparado Por Miembros de Las Maras Podrá Quedarse en Los Estados Unidos

Tuve el placer y la bendición de trabajar con un hombre de El Salvador que solía trabajar en su país como oficial de la Policía Nacional Civil (PNC). Él llegó a los Estados Unidos (sin documentación) después de huir de El Salvador por las diferentes amenazas a muerte que él recibió después de haberse encontrado con varios miembros de la Mara contantemente dada la naturaleza de su trabajo. Después de litigar este caso por varios meses, mi cliente tuvo su audiencia final este pasado Viernes, Marzo 11, 2016 en Lumpkin, Georgia, donde el juez de inmigración decidió que él podrá quedarse en el país.

Este hombre, quien ha estado detenido en el centro de detención de Stewart (en Lumpkin, Georgia), sufrió gran daño en El Salvador antes de venir a los Estados Unidos: fue amenazado a muerte contantemente por miembros de la Mara contra los cuales él testificaba en corte, y en dos ocasiones, él fue disparado con un arma por miembros de esta pandilla--el último incidente resultando en una herida de bala, la cual le hizo reconocer que, o huía de su país, o seguramente moriría.

Si un inmigrante sufre algún daño fuera del país o teme daño futuro si regresara a ese país, esta persona tiene el derecho de pedir protección bajo la ley Americana. Por favor contacte a un abogado de inmigración si usted o alguien que usted conoce necesita ayuda para defenderse en proceso de deportación.

Johanna Cochran, Abogada
404-949-8170

Ex-Police Officer From El Salvador Who Was Threatened And Shot By Members of The Mara Gang Will Get To Stay in The U.S.

I had the pleasure and blessing to work with a man from El Salvador who used to work as an officer of the National Civil Police (or Policía Nacional Civil—in Spanish). He arrived to the U.S. (without documentation) after fleeing El Salvador following death threats and several encounters where he was shot by members of the Mara gang. After litigating the case for several months, my client had his final trial this past Friday, March 11, in Lumpkin, GA, where the Immigration Judge decided that he will get to remain in the U.S.

This man, who was detained in Stewart Detention Center (Lumpkin, GA) had suffered great harm in El Salvador before coming the U.S.: he was threatened to death constantly by gang members he would arrest and testify against, and on two occasions, he was shot at by gang members—the last incident resulting in a bullet wound, which made him realize he either fled his country, or he would surely die.

If a foreign national suffers harm abroad and/or fears he will suffer harm in the future, he has the right to apply for protection under U.S. law. Please contact an immigration attorney if you or someone you know needs help fighting deportation.

Johanna Cochran, Associate Attorney
404-949-8170

Kuck Immigration Partners Welcomes Hiba Ghalib as a Partner

Kuck Immigration Partners is pleased to announce that Hiba Ghalib, Esq, has been named a New Partner, effective March 10, 2016.  With the addition of Ms. Ghalib, Kuck Immigration Partners now has 4 partners, 5 associates and more than 20 paralegals and legal assistants.

Ms. Ghalib has decade of experience in immigration law and enjoys a reputation as a leading immigration attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Ms. Ghalib guides families through the immigration process and assists with both consular processing and applications for family members already in the United States. Ms. Ghalib represents clients in complex deportation and removal defense. Ms. Ghalib also works with employers in leading them through the proper processing of hiring and employing foreign nationals. She routinely advises companies regarding compliance with regard to immigration laws and regulations, and works hand-in-hand with investors in navigating the complex EB-5 immigrant investor program.  She works frequently with refugees from Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, assisting them in resettlement and in the filing of asylum applications. Ms. Ghalib is a member of the Middle Eastern Interest Group (MEIG) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Islamic Speakers Bureau. Ms. Ghalib is a volunteer attorney for the International Refugee Assistance Project and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is also fluent in Arabic.  

Ms. Ghalib can be reached at hghalib@immigration.net or at 404-949-8164. 

“We are very excited to be able to call Hiba Ghalib a partner in our firm.  She brings a level of experience and insight that further expands our ability to represent our clients locally, nationally, and globally,” said Charles Kuck, Managing Partner of the firm. 

Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, along with its managing partner, Charles Kuck, is ranked as one of the America’s premier immigration law firms.   We provide global immigration services to our wide range of clients including large and small businesses, investors, families, and individuals in all areas of immigration law, including visa processing, green cards, immigration employer compliance, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, family and juvenile immigration matters, removal defense, asylum, and federal court immigration litigation.  All of our partners, attorneys and staff are dedicated to providing exceptional service and high quality legal representation at affordable prices for our clients around the world. 


USCIS Amended F-1 STEM OPT Rules Go Into Effect May 10, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released amended regulations, which will expand optional practical training (OPT) for students with U.S. degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) and create new obligations for F-1 students and F-1 employers starting May 10, 2016.

Extension period to increase from 17 to 24 months. Under the amended regulations, F-1 STEM students will be able to extend OPT for an additional 24 months beyond the initial 12-months, replacing the 2008 regulation that  allowed F-1 STEM students to receive a 17-month extension of OPT, providing work authorization for employment related to their field of study.

Reporting requirements for F-1 students and university officials. New reporting requirements include a six-month validation requirement, confirming the F-1 student applicant’s application for work authorization through the OPT program. Second, F-1 students will be required to complete an annual self-evaluation for designated school officials to review. Third, there is an affirmative requirement for both F-1 students to report any change in employment status or material departure from the adopted Training Plan. This is in addition to the previous requirement for F-1 employers to report similar changes to the designated school officials within five business days, which remains in effect for F-1 employers.

F-1 Employers Required to complete formal Training Plan with F-1 Student. The new regulations will also increase DHS oversight over the OPT program. In addition to the previous E-Verify requirement, F-1 employers will be required to complete a formal Training Plan, Form I-983, and comply with new wage requirements. F-1 employers will be required to set out the terms and condition of employment, including the specific duties, hours, and compensation.
As part of the Training Plan, F-1 employers will attest that the F-1 employee is paid a salary commensurate with similarly situated workers and that: “(1) it has sufficient resources and trained personnel available to provide appropriate training in connection with the specified opportunity; (2) the student will not replace a full- or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker; and (3) the opportunity will help the student attain his or her training objectives.”

DHS to conduct on-site visits. The new regulations state that DHS has discretion to conduct employer site visits to ensure F-1 employers meet the requirements of the OPT program. Generally, DHS will be required to provide notice 48 hours prior to the inspection, unless the visit is conducted in response to a complaint or evidence of noncompliance.


Cap-Gap Extension language clarified. DHS has revised the Cap-Gap extension regulation to clarifying, that the extension for F-1 students with pending H-1B petitions and requests for change of status, temporarily extends the OPT period until October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.