Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Arizona is at it again!

Arizona's most recent controversial law permits law enforcement to demand proof of immigration status of anyone that appears to not be from the US. Now, they are after the innocent children!

Arizona is more than likely introducing new legislation that denies US birth certificates to children born in Arizona to parents who do not have valid immigration status. The idea behind this proposed law is to prevent these US born children from assisting his or her parent in applying for lawful permanent residence in the US...which he or she cannot do for 21 years! Per already existing immigration laws, these children will not be able to sponsor a parent for an immigration benefit until he or she turns 21 years old.

Does Arizona truly believe harming these innocent children is fair?

I hope the hospitals in Arizona's neighboring States are ready for a busier maternity ward!

Monday, June 14, 2010

If you have been a victim, speak up!

It took almost 2 years but finally, in June 2010, a Pennsylvania "attorney" and 5 other people were sentenced to 40 months in prison for filing fraudulent asylum applications on behalf of hundreds of foreign nationals.

David Lynn was the master mind behind this scheme to defraud innocent people. His group of criminals made millions of dollars in profits by filing almost 400 bogus asylum applications for clients. A majority of the Lynn's victims are in removal proceedings or may have been ordered removed and have no knowledge of the order! Some have already left the country knowing they were going to be deported. He ruined hundreds of lives.

If you have been a victim of this scheme,please seek assistance regarding your immigration matter.

For information regarding Lynn's accomplices and details of the indictment, please see the attached link.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

YDP Partner Tsui Yee to Present Seminar on Immigration

On June 8, 2010, YDP partner Tsui Yee will present a free continuing legal education program "Immigration Law: Hot Topics and Ethical Issues." This event will be hosted by TD Bank and is sponsored by the Network of Bar Leaders and the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Time: 6 -8 PM EST
Location: TD Bank at 2 Wall Street, NY, NY.
URL: Register at http://networkofbarleaders.org

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Current H-1B Cap Count

USCIS reports that as of May 14, 2010, it has received approximately 19,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Under the H-1B program, there is a numerical limitation (cap) of 65,000 available visas per year. Foreign nationals who have obtained a U.S. Master's degree or higher are exempt from this cap, and may filed H-1B petition under a separate cap of 20,000 visas. As of May 14, 2010, USCIS has receipted 8,100 H-1B petitions for foreign nationals with such advanced degrees.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Governor Paterson to Grant Pardons to Immigrants with Old or Minor Convictions

Yesterday, Governor Paterson announced that the State of New York would expand consideration and granting of pardons to lawful immigrants for old or minor convictions, in the hopes of avoiding deportation. Describing the immigration laws regarding deportation as "embarrassingly and wrongly inflexible,” Paterson emphasized the importance of giving permanent residents who have been convicted of old or relatively minor crimes a second chance.

This is a welcome and marked departure from Arizona Governor's Brewer's recent signing into law of SB 1070, which requires law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that they are undocumented.

Paterson's new policy does not require legislative approval. To implement the policy, Paterson will establish a five-member panel called the "Special Immigration Board of Pardons" to review cases. Review of cases is expected to take several weeks, and it is anticipated that hundreds of pardon applications will be filed by the end of the year.

Many individuals are unaware that having permanent resident status (a green card) does not protect against deportation, even for crimes that may have occurred many years ago, or that seem very trivial in nature.

For more information regarding Governor Paterson's new initiative please go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/nyregion/04deport.html?nl=nyregion&emc=ura1

Monday, February 1, 2010


Attorney General Cuomo sued International Immigration Foundation, Inc. and International Professional Association, Inc. for providing fraudulent legal services and scamming immigrants out of thousands of dollars. In addition to “stealing” their money, some of the innocent victims of these scams have suffered disastrous consequences such as being placed in removal proceedings.

If you used the services of these organizations at any time, it is advisable to have your immigration case reviewed immediately.

For more information, please go to http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=31099.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Questions Regarding Immigration Status Can an Employer Ask During the Hiring Process?

The process of interviewing for a job can be made more stressful for many applicants, particularly for immigrants, if a company engages in screening policies that, intentionally or not, discriminate.

An employer is legally permitted to ask an applicant if he or she is authorized to work in the United States. The employer may also ask if the applicant now or in the future will need employment sponsorship. If the applicant will need sponsorship, an employer may legally choose not to hire that person. However, if an applicant has indicated that he or she is authorized to work, the employer may not ask for evidence of such work authorization until the person is actually hired. A potential employer cannot ask an applicant whether he or she has a green card.

Once someone is hired for a job, the employer will need to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification within three days. An employee must provide documentation evidencing both identity and his or her authorization to work. The I-9 form has lists of acceptable documentation for each category.

If an employee submits a document (or documents) that appears on the list, an employer cannot ask for a different type of document. Therefore, if a foreign national provides a valid Driver's license and a Social Security card that does not list a restriction "valid with INS work authorization only" then the foreign national has met the requirements of the I-9 form. Since the employee has submitted documentation to establish identity and work authorization, an employer would not be allowed to ask for a copy of the employee's green card or employment authorization card simply because the employee "appears" to be a foreign national. An employer cannot demand a specific type of documentation but must allow an employee to submit any documentation that satisfies the I-9 requirements.

A future blog entry will focus on the requirements of E-Verify and what it means for employers and employees.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Temporary Protected Status Designated for Haiti

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti due to the devastating earthquake and aftershocks. The duration of TPS designation for Haiti will be 18 months. As a result, Haitians in the US (and other individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) will be able to file applications for TPS. DHS estimates that approximately 100,000 to 200,000 individuals will be eligible for TPS.

To be eligible for TPS, individuals must:

* Be a national of Haiti, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti
* Have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2010.
* Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the date of the Federal Register Notice publication, and
* Meet certain immigrant admissibility requirements, and other TPS eligibility requirements (See INA § 244(c), 8 U.S.C. § 1254a and 8 C.F.R. §§ 144.2-244.4.)
* Satisfactorily complete all TPS application procedures as described in the Federal Register notice announcing Haitian TPS, the TPS application instructions (Form I-821), and regulations at 8 C.F.R. §§ 244.6 - 244.9.

When to apply for TPS:
The registration period will start on the date the Federal Register notice is published and continue for 180 days from that date. Applications must be filed during this 180-day registration period.

Individuals must register by filing both an Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821) and an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765), with any appropriate fees.

For more information regarding how to apply for TPS, please see http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=e54e60f64f336210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e54e60f64f336210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Friday, January 15, 2010

Controversial Detention Center in Manhattan to be Closed

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced that next month it will close a controversial detention center in downtown Manhattan and transfer the center’s roughly 300 detainees to a county jail in Hudson County, New Jersey. Known as the Varick Street Detention Facility, the detention center is used to process males who are subject to removal (deportation) due to criminal convictions. The Varick Street jail has long been criticized for falling short of national detention standards, not allowing weekend visits for families, and failing to allow lawyers adequate phone access to detainees, among other complaints.

While Varick detainees will be transferred to the Hudson County Correctional Center by the end of next month, they will still return to Varick Street for immigration court hearings. The Hudson County Correctional Center, located in Kearny, NJ, is purported to be an improvement over the Varick Detention Center.

Possible TPS for Haiti?

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that has struck Haiti, the Obama administration has wisely suspended the deportation of Haitians. For years, however, many have called for the administration to designate Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") to Haitians, due to the series of natural disasters and political upheaval that have afflicted Haiti.

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of certain countries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the country) designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security because those countries are experiencing temporary negative conditions, such as armed conflict or environmental disasters, that make it difficult for the nationals to return safely or for the countries to accept their return. Individuals who are given TPS are granted a stay of removal and allowed to work in the US during the designated TPS period.

As one positive sign that TPS designation for Haitians may soon come to pass, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated the following Thursday on CBS’ Early Show:

“Well, we have, as you know, many Haitian Americans. Most are here legally. Some are not documented. And the Obama administration is taking steps to make sure that people are given some temporary status so that we don’t compound the problem that we face in Haiti.”

We urge that the Obama administration will grant TPS to Haitians very soon.