Sunday, February 24, 2013

ICE Detaining US Citizens

When people think of ICE, also known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, most people would think of federal law enforcement officers tracking down and arresting undocumented immigrants. However, for 800 or so US Citizens, ICE "detainers" resulted in them being held by the immigration authorities who, generally, have no business "detaining" US Citizens. Read the article below for the full story.,0,3564318.story

If you or a loved one are ever detained by ICE and placed in removal proceedings, it is imperative to speak to a qualified and licensed attorney who can advise you on what forms of relief are available to prevent deportation. Visit for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Leaked: Obama's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Plan

President Obama's version of comprehensive immigration reform was leaked this past Sunday to the public, amid an uproar from the GOP, with Senator Marco Rubio (part of the bipartisan "Gang of 8" senators working towards immigration reform) calling it "dead on arrival".

Critics were quick to assail the administration's plan, with many in the House and Senate arguing that immigration reform should be a product of the Congress, not the White House. Assuming this is what the White House is proposing (or indirectly telling Congress that this is what immigration reform should look like, lest the bill be vetoed), there are some notable features that are worth mentioning.

First, the President's plan calls for a new type of visa, a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa for the nation's 11 million plus undocumented immigrants. Next, there are the oft-mentioned provisions that call for increased employer scrutiny with regard to new hires by using E-Verify, increased border security, and most significantly, an 8-year path to lawful permanent residency.

 This 8-year path is certain to raise some eyebrows, as many were operating under the premise that any immigration reform plan would require immigrants to "wait at the back of the line". That "line" is, for some prospective immigrants, over 15 years long (brothers and sisters of adult US citizens from Mexico and the Philippines in the F4 family preference category). And don't forget the English-speaking and criminal background check requirements many pundits believe will be a part of any immigration reform bill, no matter where it originates from.

Comprehensive immigration reform won't be easy. There are too many competing interests and ideologies, not to mention a certain measure of hostility from certain voting blocs, for this to be a quick and easy process. Expect more wrangling, name-calling, threats, and back room deal-making in the weeks and months to come... For more information on this, or any other immigration matter, please visit or call this office at 949-440-3240.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Startup Act 3.0" - Encouraging a New Wave of Highly Skilled Immigrants

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), along with Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), today introduced Startup Act 3.0 – the updated version of their bipartisan jobs and high-skilled immigration plan to jumpstart the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses. This proposed legislation, according to proponents, will encourage an increased level of immigration by highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs, both critical to maintaining America's leadership in the global economy and fueling economic growth.

In some ways, this new bill is a hybrid of the E-2 "Treaty Investor" visa, a nonimmigrant visa that allows recipients to come to the US and invest (unofficially, at least $100,000) in a business and renew the visa indefinitely as long as the enterprise is profitable, and the EB-5 "Immigrant Investor Program" which affords recipients a "Green Card"and requires investors to put up at least $500,000 in order to qualify for the program. It appears as if the new bill would create an immigrant visa (meaning permanent residency) for those willing to invest $100,000 in the US and create American jobs.

Also, it would encourage additional numbers of STEM graduates, that is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, to come to the US where their expertise is badly needed in certain sectors of the economy.

It remains to be seen how all this will play out in the larger context of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. A recent bill sponsored by Republicans was halted by Democrats and the White House indicated that it opposed the legislation as it "does not meet the President's long-term objectives with respect to comprehensive immigration reform."

Highlights, provided by Senator Moran's office include:

· Creates an Entrepreneur’s Visa for legal immigrants, so they can remain in the United States, launch businesses and create jobs;
· Creates a new STEM visa so U.S.-educated foreign students, who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, can receive a green card and stay in this country where their talent and ideas can fuel growth and create American jobs;
· Eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas – which hinder U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow;
· Makes permanent the exemption of capital gains taxes on the sale of startup stock held for at least five years – so investors can provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth;
· Creates a limited research and development tax credit for young startups less than five years old and with less than $5 million in annual receipts. This R&D credit is designed to allow startups to offset employee taxes – freeing up resources to help these young companies expand and create jobs;
· Uses existing federal R&D funding to support university initiatives designed to bring cutting-edge research to the marketplace more quickly where it can propel economic growth;
· Requires all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed “significant rules” with an economic impact of $100 million or more. This new requirement will help determine the efficacy of regulations and their potential impact on the formation and growth of new businesses.

For more information on upcoming legislation, especially the widely-anticipated comprehensive immigration reform program, or any other immigration matter, please visit: or call 949-440-3240.