U.S. Department of State Grants Temporary Protected Status to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) to people currently residing in the U.S. from countries stricken with Ebola. Eligible nationals from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of these countries) who are currently residing in the United States are now able to apply for TPS with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). TPS grants approved applicants protection from deportation and work permits valid for up to 18 months.
The 180 day TPS registration period for new applicants will run from November 21, 2014 to May 20, 2015. To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate they have been continuously residing in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, and they have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since November 21, 2014. Applicants must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records, those who pose a threat to national security, and persons who are inadmissible under INA section 212(a) are not eligible for TPS. Applicants may request that USCIS waive fees by submitting Form I-912, which documents inability to pay, or by submitting a written request with supporting documentation. TPS applications without the required filing fee or a properly documented fee waiver request will be rejected. Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS.
No individuals arriving from these three countries after the date of the announcement on Thursday, November 20, 2014 will be eligible for protected status, and successful applicants will not be permitted to travel back and forth from West Africa to combat the spread of Ebola. USCIS estimates 8,000 people from these countries will now be eligible to apply for TPS. Extensions of the TPS grant will be reassessed after 18 months based on how severe the Ebola outbreak remains in West Africa.
Last year USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions within five days of April 1, 2013. On April 7, 2013 the computer generated random selection process (lottery) was conducted to select 20,000 H-B petitions filed on behalf of persons with U.S masters degrees. All advanced U.S master’s degree petitions that were not selected were added to the random selection process (lottery) conducted for selection of 65,000 H-1B petitions in the general category. Prior to the recession in the financial year of 2008 the entire quota was reached before the end of the first day that petitions were accepted. The economy has picked up again and demand for H-1Bs from the IT sector is very high and last years’ experience indicates that we are back to the pre-recession H-1B demand. It is expected that USCIS will again hold a computer generated random selection process (lottery) for cap subject H-1Bs. Last year over 30% of H-1B petitions in the General category were rejected in the lottery. This year the percentage of H-1B’s rejected in the lottery is likely to be even higher.
What can you do to increase the likely hood that your enterprise will have sufficient H-1B petitions selected in the lottery system this H-1B season?
Advanced preparation is of key importance. The employer who is more likely to file sufficient petitions for his needs and have the selected ones approved without an RFE will successfully do the following: identify their H-1B needs and end-clients; in-house projects and candidates; know their beneficiaries qualifications in advance; and, make sufficient time to review and re-review their petitions for loose ends, missing documents and clerical errors. The employer who waits to do everything in March is more likely to find in the last minute that he has not been able to file sufficient petitions to meet his needs and that many of the petitions he has filed will not be approved without an RFE.
Steps to be taken to put your company ahead of other H-1B Employers:
First Week of February
1. Identify Current employees that will need or desire H1B status (examples are those working on OPT, L2-EAD, J-1, L-1, TN, E-3 etc)
2. Gather educational certificates and other employee documents of current employee’s (including End-client letter substitution documents)
3. Request attorney to file the LCA’s for current employees. While filing an LCA a few weeks early will result in grant of initial H1-B status for a few weeks less than 3 years, its is preferable to do so since:
Large amounts of last minute filings can be expected to slow down DOL processing;
You are required to create the public access file within one working day of filing the LCA, filing the LCA and preparing the PAF beforehand, permits you to not have to be concerned about a DOL site visit or audit in the last minute.
An LCA certified in advance will reduce last minute stress and conserve energy for activities like obtaining end client letters.
4. Gather documents for current employees to support in house project (please request attorney for an in-house project checklist)
5. Forward documents to attorney to assess missing documents and prepare H-1B package
6. Seek end-client letters for current employees to add to package upon receipt
February Second Week
7. Identify potential candidates for future employment (it is expected that you will have to add more candidates to this list as you go along but it is important to short list those identified ASAP)
8. Gather their educational certificates & educational evaluations
9. Prioritize and first select candidates with U.S masters as they are more likely to be selected in the lottery;
10. Identify candidates that do not have the equivalent of U.S bachelor’s degree or do not have appropriate qualifications
11. Identify potential End-client’s/projects (again it is understood that you will be adding on clients and projects as you go along)
12. Assess the number of new H1-B employees you will require for each end-client/ project, verify with clients how many end-client letters they will be providing
13. Request Attorney to file LCA’s for all candidates/projects identified (more can be filed at later date when you identify more candidates/projects)
14. Forward documents to Attorney to assess missing documents and prepare H-1B package
15. Seek end-client letters to insert into package as and when received
Third Week of February
16.Forward signed H-1B packages along with required checks to Attorney
17. Continue to seek end-Client letters and Contracts
18. Forward end-client letters to attorney as and when received
19. Continue to request attorney to file LCA’s for projects and candidates as and when identified
20. Continue to gather documents for later identified candidates as and when identified
21. Forward documents to attorney for assessment and preparation of H-1B petitions for later identified candidates
MARCH FIRST WEEK START TO FINALIZE ALL PACKAGES
MARCH 19th DEADLINE FOR FILING LAST MINUTE LCA’S (ONLY 7 WORKING DAYS LEFT TO MARCH 31st
MARCH 31st 2014 OVER NIGHT ALL PACKAGES TO ARRIVE AT USCIS ON APRIL 1ST 2014
This is my letter to Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss in reply to his response to my correspondence to him urging him to vote for S. 744, the Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. The Senator’s response encapsulates some of the Republican anti-immigrant rhetoric about “securing our borders” which is a simply a knee-jerk solution often chanted like a mantra in conjunction with “rule of law” by vocal minority groups within the party that have, nativist if not xenophobic leanings.
Thank you for your belated response to my correspondence which urged you to vote for S. 744 (the Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill). If we enact sensible Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which includes an intelligent guest-worker program, there will be little to no illegal immigration problem at the U.S./Mexico border, because the foreign people who want to work here will be able to get work permits and will not need to come here illegally and/or bring their families here due to the difficulty crossing the border. Like the “War on Drugs” which has done nothing to stop the flow of drugs into this country, the untenable fences and proposed militarization of the U.S./Mexico border is a huge waste of money which does nothing to solve the problem.
Your response encapsulates boiler-plate rhetoric used by a small but vocal minority in the Republican Party. Times change Senator, the U.S. economy has changed, our population has aged and baby-boomers are retiring and without immigration reform and new immigrants in the U.S., there will not be enough workers in the U.S. to support social security, Medicare and the U.S. welfare system. You must well know the damage to the Georgia Agricultural Industry and the Georgia economy our state “immigration law” has caused. Therefore, your excuse for not voting for S. 744 and your vote against Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) does not make sense.
I have voted for you in past elections, however in your siding with what is clearly a small minority in your party (who apparently are determined to doom and marginalize the Republican Party with their anti-immigrant rhetoric) and in the country as a whole is and will clearly be on the wrong side of history. I trust you will reconsider your position on this vitally important issue to our nation; otherwise I will not be able to vote for you in future elections should you continue to run for office.
H. Glenn Fogle, Jr.
Principal Member & Founder
The Fogle Law Firm, LLC
Here is Senator Chambliss’s correspondence to which I responded:
Senator Saxby Chambliss <email@example.com>
Jul 25 (3 days ago)
Dear Mr. Fogle:
Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding our nation’s immigration policies. Your taking time to contact me is appreciated.
For too long Congress and the federal government have failed in their Constitutional responsibility to uphold and enforce our federal immigration laws. When Congress overhauled our nation’s immigration laws in 1986, the American public was promised that the issue would be resolved once and for all, and that we would have a legal immigration system that served our national needs and prevented illegal immigration in the future. As we all now know, that was not what happened.
Because of a failure to secure our borders, and a failure to enforce many of the laws currently on the books, our immigration situation continues to deteriorate.
I voted against S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” because I believe it repeats the problems of the 1986 immigration bill and fails to provide adequate border security. I support immigration reform, but we must do it in the right way and S. 744 did not address the issue in the right way.
It is undeniable that we currently have a broken system that does not serve the best interests of our country, particularly from an economic perspective. I believe that Congress has a responsibility to secure our borders, to ramp up interior enforcement with the use of tools such as E-Verify, to ensure that our nation’s businesses have a reliable and plentiful workforce without displacing U.S. workers, and to put in place an efficient and market-based legal immigration system that allows the best and brightest of the world to come to the U.S. to grow companies and jobs here instead of abroad. We also need practical family unification immigration policies that emphasize upholding the law.
During the amendment process to S. 744, I cosponsored and voted for Senator Cornyn’s amendment #1251, entitled “Border Security – RESULTS.” The amendment would have required that four truly meaningful and accountable border security goals first be met within five years of enactment before anyone could adjust their status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Unfortunately, this amendment was tabled by a 54-43 vote, effectively defeating the proposal. I was disappointed a majority of my colleagues disagreed with ensuring the necessary border security measures were accomplished before the bill’s other major components took effect.
One portion of S. 744 that I spent a significant amount of time trying to improve was the section dealing with agricultural immigrant labor. This piece was not discussed extensively on the Senate floor by anyone other than me, even though it is vitally important to all Americans. The continued safety of the agricultural goods produced in the United States is an issue not just of convenience but of national security. Due to the importance of food safety, it is critical to know who is handling our nation’s food supply and who is working on our farms and ranches. Additionally, if our farmers and ranchers cannot access a stable and legal workforce, they will be forced to downsize or eliminate their U.S. operations, and that is happening today. This leads to more of the food we eat being imported from other countries. It is imperative that we do everything we can from a policy standpoint to keep that food and fiber production right here in the United States.
While this section of the bill incorporated several reforms that I have advocated for in the past, it remained highly flawed in areas that dealt with liability, wage rates, and fraud protection. I offered over a dozen common-sense amendments to this section of the bill. Unfortunately, after significant discussion and negotiation, none of these amendments were adopted. The supporters of the bill chose to protect the sanctity of a deal over sound policy.
On June 11, 2013, S. 744 passed the Senate by a 68-32 vote margin. Because I believe that immigration reform should first secure the borders, and then make the path for legal entry both smoother and smarter, I could not support the bill. I believe that Congress had a real opportunity to address a major problem facing our country, but this bill does not accomplish that. I sincerely hope the House of Representatives can fix some of the problems my colleagues and I have identified in this bill. We still have an opportunity to do this in the right way once and for all.
If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov . Please let me know whenever I may be of assistance.
Immigration Reform on the Horizon? We have been watching the prospects of Immigration Reform for the last several months and now the Senate version of immigration reform is on the floor of the Senate up for a vote in the very near future. The Senate test vote was 67-27 for the bill which is almost where supporters wanted it to be with a goal of 70 votes for the bill. As an Atlanta based immigration attorney for over 22 years my observations are, the Senate will clearly pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill by a large majority. The tricky part of CIR actually becoming reality will be in the House of Representatives.
The problem with the House is that it is a Republican majority with a very loud minority of Republican Congressmen who are either afraid of losing their seats because of their xenophobic/anti-immigrant constituents or who are simply xenophobic/anti-immigrant themselves. Even though a bill could pass in the House of Representatives with full or near full Democratic support and a minority of Republican support, various powerful Republican Congressmen have threatened to dethrone House Speaker John Boehner if he brought a bill to the floor of the House without a majority of Republican membership support.
Recent polls indicate that almost 70% of Americans, including a distinct majority of Republicans favor legalization of the estimated 11 million plus undocumented workers in the United States. The Congressional Budget Office has calculated the huge impact CIR and legalization of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will have in reducing the deficit and aid cash starved government coffers both Federal and State. American businesses, including hi-tech, blue collar, service, construction and agricultural industries cannot fill the available positions without immigrant workers. Top economists, businessmen and corporate leaders from all sides of the fence have called for immigration reform and a sane immigration system that makes sense for our twenty-first century America. The number of new businesses and the economic impact and power of new immigrants in our country goes without saying (Google, etc.). Economic forces and the tides of inevitability are far more powerful than the desperate machinations of those who want to keep our county in the past. Immigration Reform in the United States will happen and we will see that it will ignite one of the greatest periods of prosperity in our history.
En algunos condados de Georgia parece complicarse la obtención de la visa U, un beneficio migratorio para personas que cooperan con las autoridades tras haber sido víctimas de violencia doméstica u otros crímenes.
Así lo denunciaron a MundoHispánico abogados, defensores y sobrevivientes de abuso familiar, quienes responzabilizan a las agencias gubernamentales a cargo de certificar las denuncias.
Cuando una víctima de violencia doméstica solicita beneficiarse de la visa U, la policía o la oficina de víctimas de delitos del condado debe avalar que hubo una agresión y que la persona colaboró con la policía.
Pero los condados establecen sus parámetros para otorgar esta certificación y algunas víctimas no están siendo certificadas, lo que impide que continúen con el proceso para obtener la visa.
En Gwinnett, esto ha sido motivo de quejas.
Uno de los denunciantes es el abogado de inmigración Julio Moreno, quien dijo haber sometido allí seis peticiones de certificación de víctimas de violencia doméstica en el transcurso de un año, pero solo una fue firmada.
“Han negado muchas peticiones de nosotros, así que los abogados que someten algo en Gwinnett saben que normalmente te causan problemas porque ellos están añadiendo requisitos que no están en la ley”, dijo el abogado.
Moreno no fue el único que señaló trabas con Gwinnett. También lo hizo una trabajadora social de Tapestri, organización que ayuda a sobrevivientes de violencia intrafamiliar.
A sad future separated from his family by half a world could have begun Tuesday for Eddy Eddyto.
With help from high levels, the future changed.
Both a Republican and a Democratic congressman came to Eddyto’s aide. The nation’s secretary of Homeland Security heard of his case. Hundreds of letters came to the White House. Thousands of prayers were offered. A YouTube video hit the Internet.
On Saturday night, papers delivered by e-mail to his Pekin home let Eddyto step, possibly forever, from the doorway of deportation back to his native Indonesia, a nation he deems too dangerous for his American wife and children.
Eddyto, 36, is now back on the path to U.S. citizenship that had disappeared in a maze of lawyer fraud, legal denials and a decade of dwindling hope.
National NBC News article featuring Principal Attorney, H. Glenn Fogle, Jr., and Fogle Law Firm clients, Floyd Abdul and Ivan Stobert , about the Etowah Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama.
In 2006, he traveled from Moldova to the United States on a visa. While here, he fell in love and in 2008 married a U.S. citizen. He became a permanent legal resident, bought a house in the Atlanta area and started a cleaning business.
Ivan Stobert, a 25 year-old Moldovan national, speaks to his lawyer from his home in Atlanta. Despite holding a green card, he says he spent nearly a year in the Etowah County Detention Center last fall after accidentally checking the “U.S. citizen” box on a motorcycle license application.
“Finally I made my dream,” Stobert told NBC News. “I buy my house, I have my business. I thought, ‘Wow, I love America!’”
But the love affair ended in December 2010, when the slight 25-year-old found himself locked up indefinitely in the Etowah County Detention Center in northeast Alabama, charged with an aggravated felony and facing deportation.
More than 250 detention facilities around the country are used to hold the tens of thousands immigrants detained each year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, as they await court dates or deportation. Even those accused of relatively minor infractions, such as overstaying a visa, can be held for months – or even years – fighting their cases without the benefit of rights and resources guaranteed to those accused of criminal acts.
The Fogle Law Firm, LLC, a top nationwide Immigration Law Firm, is specifically dedicated to educating potential beneficiaries of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act, if enacted, would allow certain young immigrants brought into the United States as children, who are now out of or have no immigration status, to register and regularize their status in the United States.
Although the DREAM Act has not been enacted, President Obama on June 15, 2012 announce a new government policy to grant a form of relief called “Deferred Action” to young people in the United States (often referred to as “DREAMers”) who would benefit from the DREAM Act if enacted. This relief will allow those to qualify to live and work in the United States for a two year renewable period of time.
The Fogle Law Firm, LLC is available to educate and assist potential beneficiaries of President Obama’s DREAMer relief so please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
DREAMER RELIEF REQUIREMENTS
Pursuant to the Secretary’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:
Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
Not be above the age of thirty.
Individuals must also complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.
Applicants will need to provide documentation to substantiate and prove that they meet the above criteria. This can include but are not limited:
School Records (report cards, high school diplomas, etc.)
Affidavits from parents indicating when their child was brought to the U.S.
Other verifiable documents which show presence in the U.S.
Please note that in order to obtain this relief the packages will need to be submitted with the appropriate request showing that the applicant merits and deserves to be granted this relief. We strongly recommend use of an experienced and competent Immigration Lawyer or Law Firm to assist with filing for this relief. Contact The Fogle Law Firm at your convenience to schedule an appointment in order that we can prepare and file this relief on your behalf.
The Obama administration announced today that it will offer indefinite reprieves from deportation for young immigrants who were brought to the country as minors and meet other specific requirements. The move, hailed by immigration advocates as a bold response to the broken immigration system, temporarily eliminates the possibility of deportation for youths who would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act, giving Congress the space needed to craft a bipartisan solution that gives permanent residence to qualifying young people. In a statement from the White House, President Obama said the policy was “the right thing to do,” calling DREAMers “Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”