Impact of New Americans - District of Columbia & United States (Overall)

January 29, 2015

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2014)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. This is the last week of this group of blog posts. This week we will highlight the last two: the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall).

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the fact sheets click on the links below:

District of Columbia
United States (Overall)


Source of Information:

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

DACA Statistics – DACA Quarterly Report FY2014-Q4

January 28, 2015

The USCIS statistics on DACA Initial cases for the fourth quarter of FY2014, from 7/1/14 to 9/30/14 show a total of 26,995 DACA requests accepted for processing, (N/A) biometric services appointments scheduled, 29,120 requests approved, and 8,630 requests have been denied.

The USCIS statistics on DACA Renewal cases for the fourth quarter of FY2014, from 7/1/14 to 9/30/14 show a total of 105,470 DACA requests accepted for processing, (N/A) biometric services appointments scheduled, 22,393 requests approved, and D* requests have been denied.

This DACA Report includes data for FY2012, FY2013 and FY2014. The USCIS statistics on DACA cases from 8/12/12 to 9/30/14 show a cumulative total of 818,050 DACA requests accepted for processing, 778,738 biometric services appointments scheduled, 632,855 requests approved, and 32,400 requests have been denied.

The cumulative data also shows the number of accepted and approved requests from the top countries of origin and the top states of residence. Mexico was the top county of origin with 627,142 accepted to date and 488,910 approved. California was the top state of residence with 231,988 accepted to date and 187,465 approved.

Please view the (.PDF) USCIS Report, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process (Through Fiscal Year 2014, 4th Qtr)” for more details.
For further information regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, please visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.


*D = Data withheld to protect requestors' privacy


Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, 11/24/14, DACA data:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process (Through Fiscal Year 2014, 4th Qtr)
Data as of 9/30/14
Published 11/21/14

Talking to Kids about US Immigration

January 27, 2015

Guest Blogger: Melodie Hagner-Salava


As a Mom of an 11 Year old daughter, I frequently find myself in discussions with her about topics that appear on the news. Since the Immigration Crisis and Obama’s Executive Action had flooded the screens, I am sure I am not the only parent has fielded questions from their child about these issues. Unlike some parents, I am lucky enough to have more knowledge on the subject than most. However, it is still nice to able to have other resources to aid me in my discussions. I also want to make sure I am explaining things on her age and grade level.

During one of my Google searches, I came across an article that was published in the January issue of Time magazine on the subject of talking to children about immigration. The article recommended guidance for three different age groups, Elementary, Middle and High Schools, from William Perez, Professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University and author of the book “Americans By Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education.” Perez feels one of the most important ideas for all kids to understand that immigration didn’t stop at Ellis Island and it continues every day in our country.

Since my daughter will be attending Middle School next year, I paid close attention to his advice for Middle Schoolers. He recommended the kids read “narratives from families of different backgrounds about their immigration experiences.” Perez also mentioned that parents should urge this age group to ask their friends, classmates, or extended family members about their immigration experiences. Most kids know some information about their own family’s stories of immigration to the United States but it is beneficial for them to learn about other’s histories. In our racially diverse culture, it is relatively easy to find friends or classmates who have a more recent chronicle of immigration to the US. His or her family may have come to the US on a visa and have become Lawful Permanent Residents or naturalized citizens. I know several of my daughter’s classmates were not born in the US but moved here when they were very young. In the past, they have shared their experiences with their fellow students.

For Elementary School students, the discussion of immigration would be much harder. Often teachers, especially in the 3 and 4 grades, will teach units on early immigration to the US. Another way for this age group to learn about immigration is to listen to stories about different ethnic groups coming to Ellis Island. There are also some non-fictional books that are age-appropriate for elementary aged kids to read. My daughter enjoyed reading the American Girl book series of Rebecca. Her family emigrated from Russia to New York. Boys may enjoy the novel entitled “The Orphan of Ellis Island.” The story focuses on a 10 year old named Dominick who travels back in time to Italy in 1908 and accompanies two young immigrants to America. Perez suggests the parents and grandparents talk to kids about their own family history of coming to the US.

Given that High School kids have a better understanding of US and World History, it is easier for parents to discuss how our government’s “immigration policies affect immigrants and their families.” Perez recommends that High School students browse news stories about immigration from various sources, regions, and countries. Parents can urge them to grasp what they are reading by asking questions and having weekly discussions. It is a great way for both the teens and the parents to learn more about what they are hearing on the daily news.

In my Google search for advice on trying to find age appropriate information on immigration, I also came across some great websites for parents to use to guide their elementary through middle schoolers. On the PBS Kids website, there is a section called “It’s My Life”. They have an entire page dedicated to the topic of immigration. The website has several articles on the topic, a fact or fiction sheet, a word search puzzle as well as a page that asks kids “should they stay or go?” This page has the children “put themselves in the shoes of five kids who have to make a choice: stay in their home countries or risk starting over someplace new.” To visit the website, click on the following, http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/family/immigration/ another kid friendly web page for elementary school kids is from Scholastic Books. It is entitled “Immigration-Stories of Yesterday and Today.” The website contains sections such as “Meet Young Immigrants,” “Immigration Data” and “Explore Ellis Island.” These are educational but fun for Elementary School kids to learn more about immigration. Here is the link for the Scholastic page, http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/young_immigrants/

Whether you or a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc., it is important for all of us to help educate children on immigration. It is our hope in doing so; their generation will help change the way Immigration Policies are created in the future. Our younger generation needs to understand the meaning behind the Emma Lazarus sonnet, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” I am sure many of our kids do not know why this sonnet appears on a plaque is on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal. Lazarus was inspired to write this sonnet by her own Jewish heritage and her experiences working with refugees on Ward's Island. In 1883, she composed the sonnet for the "Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty.” Her words should still be significant to all Americans today as they were 132 years ago. I know anyone who visits Ellis Island gains a better understanding about our country’s history of immigration. For this reason, I am planning to take my daughter to New York this Spring to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I remember visiting it as a pre-teen and being very emotionally moved. Hopefully it has the same effect on my daughter and anyone else who visits.


Resources:

“How to Talk to Your Kids About Immigration,” by Carey Wallace, Time Magazine, January 13, 2015, http://time.com/3665776/immigration-how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-it/

American Girl Doll Book Series for Rebecca, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=578407

The Orphan of Ellis Island, http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/orphan-ellis-island#cart/cleanup

“Emma Lazarus”, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/emma-lazarus.htm


Post contributed by Guest Blogger: Melodie Hagner-Salava

Updated Service Center Processing Times

January 26, 2015

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on 1/12/15 with processing dates as of 11/30/14.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.


California Service Center (CSC)

National Benefits Center (NBC)

Nebraska Service Center (NSC)

Texas Service Center (TSC)

Vermont Service Center (VSC)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO)


**Please be aware that the data provided above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting.

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS (1-800-375-5283).

If you are a client of MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – Conditional Permanent Residence
How do I remove my conditions on my Conditional Green Card?

Answer #1
File Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence with the USCIS, within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional permanent resident card. You should file the petition jointly with your spouse through whom you obtained conditional status. However, certain exceptions do exist that may allow you to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement.


Question #2 – Family Based Immigration
Do I need to change my I-130 petition if I filed for my relative as a LPR, but now I have become a US Citizen?

Answer #2
Yes, you should contact the USCIS Office that is reviewing your application and inform them that you have become a U.S. Citizen by submitting a copy of your Naturalization Certificate.


Question #3 – Employment Authorization/Advance Parole
How long are EAD and Advance Parole valid?

Answer #3
There are multiple eligibility categories for the Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document. In most cases, EADs are granted for a one (1) year period, and may be subject to renewal. For 2012 DACA cases, EADs are valid for a period of two (2) years, subject to renewal. Under the Extended DACA program under President Obama’s Executive Action, EADs will be valid for a period of three (3) years, subject to renewal. You cannot file for a renewal EAD more than 120 days before your original EAD expires.

As for Advance Parole (I-131, Application for Travel Document), in most cases, Advance Parole is granted for a one (1) year period, and may be subject to renewal.


Question # 4 – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Are there educational requirements to be eligible for DACA?

Answer #4
Yes, there are educational requirements. In order to qualify for DACA, among other eligibility requirements, you must be:

Currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.


Question #5 – Naturalization/Citizenship
If I want to apply for Citizenship, do I need to be present in the US to start the process?

Answer #5
Yes, you must have lived in the state or district where you are filing your application for at least three (3) months.


Question #6 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Will a Master’s Degree better my chances for my H-1B application to be accepted during the Cap?

Answer #6
No. 65,000 H1B visas are available under the regular CAP each year; whereas, only 20,000 are reserved for those with U.S. Master’s Degrees. Each year the USCIS receives over 100,000 H1B petitions for only 85,000 available H-1B visas.


Question #7 – Green Card
Using my priority date, how can I tell my place in line for a Green Card?

Answer #7
If you received your priority date through an employment based filing, you should look at the latest Visa Bulletin and find your country of chargeability (listed horizontally), and then find your preference category (listed vertically) and the date that is listed in the column under your country of chargeability, and preference category would be the date that the Department of State is currently processing. If ‘C’ is listed, then that means your priority date is current.
For instance, an individual from India with an advanced degree has a Priority Date of September 17, 2009; the DOS is currently servicing cases with Priority Dates of September 5, 2005.

If you received your priority date through a family based filing, you should look at the latest Visa Bulletin and find your country of chargeability (listed horizontally), and then find your preference category (listed vertically) and the date that is listed in the column under your country of chargeability and preference category would be the date that the Department of State is currently processing. If ‘C’ is listed, then that means your priority date is current.
For instance, an individual who is a USC sponsored his sister in Bolivia, and she has a priority date of March 2, 2008, the DOS is currently servicing cases with Priority Dates of April 15, 2002.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration
How many years does the usual PERM Process take to complete? What are the filing fees?

Answer #8
The PERM process involves the Labor Certification Application and the test of the U.S. Labor Market. The PERM process does not normally take more than a year unless a Labor Application is audited, appealed or selected for Supervised Recruitment. The delay in Employment Based Immigration occurs at the I-485 stage because there are only so many Immigrant Visas that can be allocated annually. USCIS filing fees are applicable only at the I-140 and I-485 stages; no filing fees are required during the PERM process.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can I get my H-1B Visa Reinstated without counting against the upcoming Cap? I worked for the company for only a year and a half before I had to return home to my country.

Answer #9
It depends upon some other factors; however, yes, you should be able to have your H-1B reinstated without being counted against the CAP if you meet one of the following:

You have already been counted against the CAP AND: (1) was previously granted status as an H-1B nonimmigrant in the past 6 years; (2) is applying from abroad to reclaim the remaining portion of the 6 years, or (3) is seeking an extension beyond the 6th year limitation based upon sections 104(c) or 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).


Question #10 – General – INFO PASS APPOINTMENT
Why would someone need an Info Pass appointment with their Local Immigration office? Does it help speed up the case processing time?

Answer #10
Various reasons – question that cannot be addressed by calling the I-800-375-5283 Customer Service Number; applicant has not received their Green Card; Applicant needs emergency Advance Parole; applicant needs proof of Lawful permanent resident status for travel purposes; etc. It depends upon what is being asked at the InfoPass Appointment, sometimes it does speed up processing (i.e., emergency Advance Parole), other times it does not, again it depends.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 6, 2015!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Washington State, first-in-the-nation, moves around UPL by formally licensing non-lawyers to provide legal services

January 22, 2015

Guest Blogger: Klaudia Hall, Esq.

Washington State will start this spring licensing legal technicians, non-lawyers, to provide legal advice and assistance to clients in certain areas of law without the supervision of a lawyer. Also known as "triple-LTs," they will be free to set their own fees, work independently of lawyers, and open their own offices. To become an LLLT, an applicant must have at least an associate's degree and complete 45 credit hours of core curriculum taught at community colleges in the state. Proponents maintain that LLLTs will help to address the justice gap where low income people with legal problems are unable to obtain or afford legal representation.

*UPL = Unauthorized Practice of Law


Link for the complete article:

ABA Journal, 1/1/15, Article:
Washington state moves around UPL, using legal technicians to help close the justice gap

Post contributed by Guest Blogger: Klaudia Hall, Esq.

Impact of New Americans - West Virginia, Wisconsin & Wyoming

January 21, 2015

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2014)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; West Virginia, Wisconsin & Wyoming.

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the state-by-state fact sheets click on the links below:

West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Source of Information:

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

The 2015 State of the Union Address is tonight!

January 20, 2015

MVP Law Group would like to remind everyone to watch President Obama's State of the Union Address. He will be speaking Tuesday Evening, January 20, 2015 at 9:00 PM EST live from the U.S. Capitol. The White House has suggested that the focus of the address will be Internet Access, Education, Jobs, Cuba, Health Care and his Executive Actions on Immigration. We will be listening for any new or expanded information on his proposal for Immigration Reform and his Executive Actions on Immigration.

As usual, we will be posting more information on any of the President’s Immigration Reform Proposals and/or Actions that are included in the speech on our Immigration Blog!

Remember: 2015 State of the Union Address
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 9:00pm EST

Source of Information:

Whitehouse.gov, Webpage:
Home - 2015 State of the Union

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 23, 2015

January 19, 2015

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, January 23, 2015. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

IG Report says Drones at the U.S. Border are Expensive and Not Effective

January 16, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been operating nine military grade drones (Predator B) to police our southern border with Mexico since 2005. They originally had eleven drones but there have been two crashes since the program’s inception. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with operating the drones for DHS. They would like to expand the program by buying 14 more drones at an additional cost of $443 million dollars.

The problem is that DHS’s Office of the Inspector General has released a new Watchdog Report critical of the first 8 years of this Border Drone Program. The report entitled, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations” has pointed out three (3) main problems.

Problem One:
The drones really only operate regularly in the Tucson, AZ Sector and the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the border. The drones have been documented to have been involved in 1.8% of the apprehensions in the Tucson Sector and 0.7% in the Rio Grande Sector.

Problem Two:
CBP has a program goal of 16 hours of air patrol time a day using the drones and the IG reports states that it is really only getting less than 4 hours.

Problem Three:
CBP states that the operating cost of the drones is $2,468 per hour of flight time, the IG report states it is more like $12,000 per hour.

The first couple sentences of the Report states, “Although CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft System program contributes to border security, after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures.” For more detailed information please review the news articles and the IG’s report listed below.


Source of Information:

International Business Times, 1/6/15, Article:
Immigration Reform: Drones At The U.S. Border Are Expensive, Not Proven Effective, Report Says

Foxnews.com, 1/13/15, Article:
Federal report says Border Patrol's drone program doesn't fly

DHS’s Office Inspector General, 12/24/14, Watchdog Report:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations

Impact of New Americans - Vermont, Virginia & Washington

January 15, 2015

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2014)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; Vermont, Virginia & Washington.

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the state-by-state fact sheets click on the links below:

Vermont
Virginia
Washington


Source of Information:

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times - 1/1/15

January 14, 2015

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of 1/1/15.

If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is current; for an I-129 L1 Appeal is current. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is current; for an I-140 EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is current.

*Current = 6 months or less

**Most other cases are within USCIS's processing time goal of 6 months or less.


Source of Information:

USCIS.gov, (1/8/15), AAO Processing Times