Posted On: March 31, 2010

The Old Line State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Maryland

As Washington D.C. talks of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC).

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Maryland – The Old Line State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Maryland’s 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 the Old Line State.

Below, please find the highlights from Maryland:
 Immigrants made up 12.4% (or 694,590 people) of Maryland’s population in 2007.
 45.5% of immigrants (or 315,892 people) in Maryland were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 6.3% (or 353,956 people) and Asians 4.9% (or 275,299 people) of Marylanders in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $10.2 billion and Asian buying power totaled $12.0 billion in Maryland in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Maryland, the state could lose $15.3 billion in expenditures, $6.8 billion in economic output, and approximately 73,267 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Maryland and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Old Line State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 31, 2010

The Pine Tree State – The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in Maine

As Washington D.C. talks of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC).

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Maine – The Pine Tree State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Maine’s 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 the Pine Tree State.

Below, please find the highlights from Maine:
 Immigrants made up 3.4% (or 44,464 people) of Maine’s population in 2007.
 52.4% of immigrants (or 23,288 people) in Maine were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 1.1% (or 14,489 people) and Asians 1.0% (or 13,172 people) of Mainers in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $363 million and Asian buying power totaled $303 million in Maine in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Maine, the state could lose $137 million in expenditures, $60.9 million in economic output, and approximately 1,080 jobs.

For more data on their contributions to the Pine Tree State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 31, 2010

The Pelican State – The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in Louisiana

As Washington D.C. talks of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC).

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Louisiana – The Pelican State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Louisiana’s 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 the Pelican State.

Below, please find the highlights from Louisiana:
 Immigrants made up 3.3% (or 143,267 people) of Louisiana’s population in 2007.
 43.2% of immigrants (or 61,952 people) in Louisiana were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 3.1% (or 133,089 people) and Asians 1.4% (or 60,105 people) of Louisianans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $4.0 billion and Asian buying power totaled $2.2 billion in Louisiana in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Louisiana, the state could lose $947 million in expenditures, $421 million in economic output, and approximately 6,660 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Louisiana and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Pelican State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 31, 2010

The Hoosier State – The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in Indiana

As Washington D.C. talks of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC).

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Indiana – The Hoosier State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Indiana’s 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 the Hoosier State.

Below, please find the highlights from Indiana:
 Immigrants made up 4.2% (or 263,848 people) of Indiana’s population in 2007.
 36.5% of immigrants (or 96,401 people) in Indiana were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 4.9% (or 310,919 people) and Asians 1.3% (or 82,489 people) of Hoosiers in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $6.8 billion and Asian buying power totaled $3.1 billion in Indiana in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Indiana, the state could lose $2.8 billion in expenditures, $1.3 billion in economic output, and approximately 16,739 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Indiana and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Hoosier State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 30, 2010

H-1B Visa Season Quickly Approaching - Get Your H-1B Cases Ready Now To File On April 1

H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions should be filed on April 1, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010 and ends September 30, 2011. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B visa petitions for professionals that count against the FY2010 cap on April 1, 2010. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2010. In past years, the H-1B cap has been exceeded on the first day, April 1st.

If your company is interested in a consultation about this process, CONTACT OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!

H-1B nonimmigrant visas are for professional foreign workers with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Congress allows 65,000 visas to be issued annually to qualifying foreign workers. An additional 20,000 H-1Bs are reserved for professional foreign workers who receive U.S. Master’s degrees. Employers petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the professional foreign worker beginning six months prior to the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year. Frequently, employers interested in utilizing the H-1B visa program contact an experienced Immigration Business Lawyer for a consultation about the process, determine eligibility, discuss applicable lawyer’s fees and filing fees, and so forth.

Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now.

Employers should review their employment needs and determine whether any foreign national employees will be requiring H-1B visas. This is extremely important where employers are planning to hire foreign nationals who will soon graduate from U.S. universities. While many of these individuals may already have an employment authorization card, you may still have to file an H-1B petition for them. For instance, if you plan to hire an individual that will graduate in May 2010, that individual’s employment authorization card will be valid through the end of May 2011. After May 2011, this individual will no longer be able to work for you unless you have already filed an H-1B petition for them on April 1, 2010 asking the USCIS to change their status to H-1B from October 1, 2010. H-1B status grants such an individual up to three years of employment authorization from October 1, 2010.

The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change/transfer their H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.

DON'T DELAY...Contact MVP Law Group to begin the process TODAY!

Posted On: March 26, 2010

UPDATE on the Federalized Process for Obtaining PWD Requests

Effective January 21, 2010, the Department of Labor's iCERT online system was updated to allow the submission of electronic prevailing wage determination requests. This electronic process was intended to allow Employers and/or their Designated Representatives to submit and obtain prevailing wage determinations (PWD) for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and permanent labor certification programs through the iCERT portal. However, at this time, this federalized electronic process has caused delays in the issuance of prevailing wage determinations.

Prior to January 1, 2010, the date of enactment of the Federalized Process, employers and/or their designated representative were able to obtain PWDs from their State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), which normally took between two (2) to fourteen (14) days or even a months time. Currently, requestors are waiting between thirty (30) to sixty (60) days to obtain a response from the DOL further delaying the commencement of a new PERM case, or the filing of an AC-21 Portability Case.

Requestors who have submitted PWD requests to the NPWHC by U.S. Mail between January 1, 2010 and January 21, 2010, the launch date of the iCERT PWD System have received a response in regards to their PWD requests. However, at this time, there appear to be delays in the issuance of PWDs through the national DOL office with both hard copy and electronically submitted requests since January 21, 2010.

According to many interactive blog posts by various Immigration Law Firms, the DOL has reportedly not acted on any requests submitted online. The DOL has been advised of this situation and the effect that it has upon the Employment Based Green Card (PERM) and H-1B programs, as obtaining a PWD is the starting point in the PERM process for most foreign workers.

The DOL has recently issued updated FAQs to assist employers and others. The FAQs provide that the Department will provide PWDs as quickly as possible, on a first in, first out order. They have advised that determination times will fluctuate as they work to centralize the process. Additionally, they recommend that requestors submit their prevailing wage requests at least 60 days in advance of the employers' initial recruitment efforts.

THE LATEST: Our office submitted an electronic PWD through the iCERT portal on March 8, 2010 and received the determination back on May 5, 2010. Clearly, PWDs are taking anywhere from 45-60 days to be issued by the DOL.

You may still submit hard copy PWD requests to the address listed below:
U.S. Department of Labor-ETA, National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center,
Attn: PWD Request:
1341 G Street, NW
Suite 201
Washington, DC 20005-3142

Or, you may submit electronic PWD requests through the iCERT portal.

Please be aware of the current delays and plan accordingly!

MVP Law Group will continue to monitor the situation and will provide you with any information that becomes available.

Posted On: March 26, 2010

USCIS Issues Information Collection for Form I- 824, Application for Action on an Approved Application

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued information collection for Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application until May 24, 2010.

During this period, USCIS will be evaluating whether to revise Form I-824.

This form has multiple purposes: to request a duplicate approval notice, to request an approval notice be sent to another U.S. Consulate, or to request an approval notice be sent to a U.S. Consulate for derivative visas for family members.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments and/or suggestions to USCIS, especially comments regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time.

Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:
(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Comments may be submitted to:
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS,
Chief, Regulatory Products Division, Clearance Office,
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20529-2210.

Comments may also be submitted to DHS via facsimile to 202-272-8352 or via e-mail at rfs.regs@dhs.gov.
**When submitting comments by e-mail, please make sure to add OMB Control No. 1615-0044 in the subject box.

Posted On: March 26, 2010

USCIS Issues Information Collection for Form I- 102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued information collection for Form I- 102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document until May 24, 2010.

During this period, USCIS will be evaluating whether to revise Form I-102.

The purpose of this form is for a nonimmigrant to apply for a new or replacement Form I-94 or I-95 Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments and/or suggestions to USCIS, especially comments regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time.

Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:
(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Comments may be submitted to:
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS,
Chief, Regulatory Products Division, Clearance Officer,
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20529-2210.

Comments may also be submitted to DHS via facsimile to 202-272-8352 or via e-mail at rfs.regs@dhs.gov.
**When submitting comments by e-mail, please make sure to add OMB Control No. 1615-0079 in the subject box.

Posted On: March 24, 2010

The Prairie State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Illinois

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Illinois – The Prairie State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Illinois’ 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 the Prairie State.

Below, please find the highlights from Illinois:
 Immigrants made up 13.8% of Illinois’ population in 2007.
 43.7% of immigrants in Illinois were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 14.9% and Asians 4.3% of Illinoisans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $40.9 billion and Asian buying power totaled $22.5 billion in Illinois in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Illinois, the state could lose $25.6 billion in expenditures, $11.4 billion in economic output, and approximately 119,214 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Illinois and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Prairie State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 24, 2010

The Hawkeye State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Iowa

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Iowa – The Hawkeye State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Iowa’s 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 the Hawkeye State.

Below, please find the highlights from Iowa:
 Immigrants made up 3.9% (or 117,437 people) of Iowa’s population in 2007.
 34.5% of immigrants (or 40,473 people) in Iowa were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 4.0% (or 119,522 people) and Asians 1.6% (or 47,809 people) of Iowans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $2.4 billion and Asian buying power totaled $1.7 billion in Iowa in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Iowa, the state could lose $1.4 billion in expenditures, $613.4 million in economic output, and approximately 8,819 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Iowa and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Hawkeye State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 24, 2010

The Peach State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Georgia

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Georgia – The Peach State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Georgia’s 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 the Peach State.

Below, please find the highlights from Georgia:
 Immigrants made up 9.1% (or 868,413 people) of Georgia’s population in 2007.
 32.6% of immigrants (or 283,201 people) in Georgia were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 7.6% (or 725,401 people) and Asians 2.8% (or 267,253 people) of Georgians in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $15.1 billion and Asian buying power totaled $8.9 billion in Georgia in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Georgia, the state could lose $21.3 billion in expenditures, $9.5 billion in economic output, and approximately 132,460 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Georgia and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Peach State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 24, 2010

The Sunshine State – Florida’s Immigrants and Latinos are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Florida – The Sunshine State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Florida’s 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 the Sunshine State.

Below, please find the highlights from Florida:
 Immigrants made up 18.9% (or 3,440,918 people) of Florida’s population in 2007.
 45.6% of immigrants in Florida were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 20.6% and Asians 2.2% (or 401,527 people) of Floridians in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $101.3 billion and Asian buying power totaled $15.8 billion in Florida in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Florida, the state could lose $43.9 billion in expenditures, $19.5 billion in economic output, and approximately 262,436 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Florida and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Sunshine State, view the IPC fact sheetin its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 23, 2010

BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Offered Terms and Conditions of Employment Less Favorable than those Offered to the Foreign Worker

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of “Production Worker."

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on December 15, 2006. ETA Form 9089 indicated a requirement of three months of experience in the job offered and that the job opportunity’s requirements were normal for the position. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter requesting evidence of recruitment and other required documentation. The Employer responded by submitting copies of its newspaper advertisements, as well as the other required documentation. Thereafter the CO denied certification because the newspaper advertisements offered terms and conditions of employment less favorable than those offered to the Alien, in violation of 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(7). Specifically, the advertisements contained criminal background checks, not listed on Form ETA 9089. The Employer responded by requesting reconsideration stating that it was amending Form ETA to attest to its requirement for a criminal background check, the employer amended the form by changing the answer in section H-12 from “yes” to “no”. The CO asserted that by amending its response to “NO” in Section H-12, the Employer did not indicate that a criminal background check was required. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating that denial was proper because the newspaper advertisements offered terms and conditions of employment to the U.S. worker that were less favorable than those listed on ETA Form 9089 for the foreign worker.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(7) controls and it provides:

Advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation or in professional journals must “not contain wages or terms and conditions of employment that are less favorable than those offered to the alien.”

In the instant case, the advertisements contained a requirement for criminal background checks, which were not listed on Form ETA 9089. In Summary, the Employer did not amend its application to include this requirement, but instead changed its answer to question H-12, indicating that a job opportunity’s requirements were not normal for the occupation. This change did not cure the deficiency.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

Matter of Noll Pallet & Lumber Co.

Posted On: March 18, 2010

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on March 12, 2010 with processing dates as of January 31, 2010.

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
National Benefits Center
Nebraska Service Center
Texas Service Center
Vermont Service Center

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS. (1-800-375-5283)
If you are a client of the MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

Posted On: March 17, 2010

The Centennial State – The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in Colorado

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Colorado – The Centennial State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Colorado’s 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 the Centennial State.

Below, please find the highlights from Colorado:
 Immigrants made up 10% (or 485,170 people) of Colorado’s population in 2007.
 31.5% of immigrants (or 152,957 people) in Colorado were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 19.9% (or 967,442 people) and Asians 2.7% (or 131,261 people) of Coloradans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $21 billion and Asian buying power totaled $4.8 billion in Colorado in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Colorado, the state could lose $8.0 billion in expenditures, $3.6 billion in economic output, and approximately 39,738 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Colorado and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Centennial State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 17, 2010

The Golden State – Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians Indispensable to California Economy

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

California– The Golden State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of California’s 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 the Golden State.

Below, please find the highlights from California:
 Immigrants made up 27.4% (or 10 million people) of California’s population in 2007.
 43.6% of immigrants (or 4.4 million people) in California were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 36.2% (or 13.2 million people) and Asians 12.3% (or 4.5 million people) of Californians in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $249 billion and Asian buying power totaled $162.8 billion in California in 2008. Together, Latinos and Asians account for roughly 30% of the state’s total consumer purchasing power.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from California, the state could lose $164.2 billion in expenditures, $ 72.9 billion in economic output, and approximately 717,000 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in California and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Golden State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 16, 2010

April 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

The April 2010 Visa Bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

Already applied in EB3, thinking about filing in EB2...if you are eligible, contact MVP Law Group toll free at 1-800-447-0796.

Filed in EB3 or EB2 and still waiting...and married to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?...you may be eligible to file a Family Based Immigrant Petition for faster processing.
Questions, contact MVP Law Group toll free at 1-800-447-0796.

Click here to view the April 2010 Visa Bulletin.

Posted On: March 15, 2010

H-1B Visa Season Quickly Approaching - Get Your H-1B Cases Ready Now To File On April 1 for October 1, 2010 Start Date

H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions should be filed on April 1, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010 and ends September 30, 2011. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B visa petitions for professionals that count against the FY2010 cap on April 1, 2010. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2010. In past years, the H-1B cap has been exceeded on the first day, April 1st.

H-1B nonimmigrant visas are for professional foreign workers with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Congress allows 65,000 visas to be issued annually to qualifying foreign workers. An additional 20,000 H-1Bs are reserved for professional foreign workers who receive U.S. Master’s degrees. Employers petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the professional foreign worker beginning six months prior to the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year. Frequently, employers interested in utilizing the H-1B visa program contact an experienced Immigration Business Lawyer for a consultation about the process, determine eligibility, discuss applicable lawyer’s fees and filing fees, and so forth.

If your company is interested in a consultation about this process, CONTACT OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!

Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now.

Employers should review their employment needs and determine whether any foreign national employees will be requiring H-1B visas. This is extremely important where employers are planning to hire foreign nationals who will soon graduate from U.S. universities. While many of these individuals may already have an employment authorization card, you may still have to file an H-1B petition for them. For instance, if you plan to hire an individual that will graduate in May 2010, that individual’s employment authorization card will be valid through the end of May 2011. After May 2011, this individual will no longer be able to work for you unless you have already filed an H-1B petition for them on April 1, 2010 asking the USCIS to change their status to H-1B from October 1, 2010. H-1B status grants such an individual up to three years of employment authorization from October 1, 2010.

The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change their H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.

Contact MVP Law Group to begin the process now!

Posted On: March 12, 2010

Passport Day in the USA – March 27th

The Department of State (DOS) has designated Saturday, March 27th as “Passport Day in the USA.” The DOS knows that Americans lead very busy lives and as such wanted to make the process of obtaining or renewing a U.S. passport as convenient as possible. On March 27th, all of the regional passport agencies will open to the public for extended Saturday hours. Passport seekers around the country will be able to walk into any of the passport agencies without appointments and without needing to show proof of imminent travel. Additionally, thousands of passport acceptance facilities, including those operated by the U.S Postal Service, will be open for extended hours to assist travel-hungry customers.

The first Passport Day in the USA was held last year and on that day, more than 57,000 passport applications were received nationwide. Due to the addition of new passport agencies in Detroit, MI; Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; and Tucson, AZ, the DOS expects even more Americans to join in celebrating Passport Day in the USA.

Each passport facility is publishing details of their events in their local communities. Customers can find addresses of the nearest passport agency or participating passport acceptance facility on the DOS website.

The DOS Press Release also made reference to the proposed passport fee increases – total cost for a first time applicant aged 16 and older, applying for a passport book would be $135, and for those younger than 16, the price would be $105. Additionally, the cost of a passport card for a first time applicant 16 or older would run at $55 and at $40 for those younger than age 16. Passport books and cards for those aged 16 and older are valid for a period of 10 years, whereas they are only valid for a period of 5 years for those younger than 16. Currently, the public comment period for the proposed passport fee increases ends on March 11, 2010, and Brenda Sprague, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services indicated that if the fees are to be increased they would not be implemented until April with enough notice to the general public.

Accordingly, the proposed passport fee increases will not affect Passport Day in the USA this year. The current cost of a new passport book for an individual 16 or older is $100, and $85 for anyone younger than 16. The current cost to renew a passport book for an individual 16 or older is $75, and $85 for anyone younger than 16. The cost of a passport card for an applicant 16 or older is $55, and $35 for an applicant younger than 16. The current cost to renew a passport book for an individual 16 or older is $20, and $35 for anyone younger than 16.

The DOS comes from the perspective that the U.S. passport book and card are not just for travel anymore because they serve as proof of a bearer’s identity as well as of U.S. citizenship, something other portable documents do not do. Having a U.S. passport book or card means that wherever you go domestically or internationally, you can prove that you are a U.S. citizen entitled to the many benefits of U.S. Citizenship.

If you are a U.S. citizen and do not have a U.S. Passport or need to renew your passport, please visit your nearest passport agency or participating passport acceptance facility on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010 is PASSPORT DAY IN THE USA!

Posted On: March 11, 2010

BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Failed to Post Job Order for the Mandatory 30 day period

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of “Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators & Tenders."

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on May 17, 2007. ETA Form 9089 indicated that the position was a nonprofessional occupation. The CO denied certification on the grounds that the job order was not placed with the State Workforce Agency (SWA) for a period of 30 days in violation of the regulations. The Employer responded by requesting reconsideration stating that it had placed two different job orders but did not provide any supporting evidence that reflected proof of either of the posting dates listed on Form 9089. The Employer further added that “any errors are immaterial and minor in the overall effect and outcome of the labor certification.” The CO issued a letter of reconsideration finding that the application was denied because the job order placed with the SWA was not posted for a period of 30 days.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17 (e) controls and it provides:

(2) Nonprofessional occupations: If the application is for a nonprofessional occupation, the employer must at a minimum, place a job order and two newspaper advertisements within 6 months of filing the application. The steps must be conducted at least 30 days but no more than 180 days before the filing of the application.

(i) Job Order. Placing a job order with the SWA serving the area of intended employment for a period of 30 days. The start and end dates of the job order entered on the application serve as documentation of this step.

In the instant case, the Employer did not place the job order with the SWA for a period of 30 days. As Form 9089 indicates, the first job order was placed for only a period of 29 days, and the second job order would have run afoul of the regulations, as it was filed less than 30 days before submission of the application. Additionally, the Employer did not produce any evidence of either of the job orders. BALCA stated that failure to post a job order for a period of thirty days is a substantive violation of the regulations.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

Matter of Monir Attar, Inc.

Posted On: March 10, 2010

The Natural State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Arkansas

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Arkansas – The Natural State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Arkansas’s 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 the Natural State.

Below, please find the highlights from Arkansas:
 Immigrants made up 4.2% (or 118,405 people) of Arkansas’s population in 2007.
 28.1% of immigrants (or 33,316 people) in Arkansas were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 5.2% (or 147,409 people) and Asians 1.2% (or 34,018 people) of Arkansans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $2.7 billion and Asian buying power totaled $972 million in Arkansas in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arkansas, the state could lose $798 million in expenditures, $ 354 million in economic output, and approximately 6,660 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Arkansas and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Natural State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 10, 2010

The Grand Canyon State – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Arizona

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Arizona – The Grand Canyon State

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Arizona’s 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 the Grand Canyon State.

Below, please find the highlights from Arizona:
 Immigrants made up 15.6% (or 991,584 people) of Arizona’s population in 2007.
 29.7% of immigrants (or 294,541 people) in Arizona were naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2007 who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 29.7% (or 1,882,610 people) and Asians 2.4% (or 152,130 people) of Arizonans in 2007.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $31.3 billion and Asian buying power totaled $5.8 billion in Arizona in 2008.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arizona, the state could lose $26.4 billion in expenditures, $ 11.7 billion in economic output, and approximately 140,324 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Arizona and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Grand Canyon State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Posted On: March 9, 2010

BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Failed to Submit Proper Documentation to satisfy the Business Necessity Requirement

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of “Truck Driver."

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on June 1, 2007. ETA Form 9089 indicated that knowledge of a foreign language was required to perform the job duties. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter requesting further documentation justifying the business necessity for this job requirement. The Employer responded by stating that the “job opportunity requires the capability to speak a foreign language because the products that the company hauls are shipped to Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.” The Employer added that the community speaks either Spanish or German, and a truck driver who did not speak either of those languages would be at a disadvantage. Further, the employer asserted that the truck drivers it currently employs are fluent in English, Spanish and German. Thereafter the CO issued a denial letter; the Employer responded by requesting reconsideration and asked the CO what type of evidence it needed to submit to address the business necessity requirement and that it would be willing to provide any and all supporting documentation needed. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating that the Employer had not justified its foreign language requirement by demonstrating business necessity.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h) controls and it provides:

(2) A foreign language requirement can not be included, unless it is justified by business necessity. Demonstrating business necessity for a foreign language requirement may be based upon the following:

(i) the nature of the occupation (e.g., translator); or
(ii) the need to communicate with a large majority of the employer’s customers, contractors, or employees who can not communicate effectively in English, as documented by:

(A) the employer furnishing the number and proportion of its clients, contractors, or employees who can not communicate in English, and/or a detailed plan to market products or services in a foreign country; and
(B) a detailed explanation of why the duties of the position for which certification is sought requires frequent contact and communication with customers, employees or contractors who can not communicate in English and why it is reasonable to believe the allegedly foreign-language-speaking customers, employees, and contractors can not communicate in English.

In the instant case, there is no evidence establishing that the occupation of “Truck Driver” normally requires a foreign language requirement, and only mere assertions were made to attempt to satisfy the business necessity requirement without any actual supporting documentation provided by the employer. BALCA stated that the Employer did not meet its burden of justifying the foreign language requirement by demonstrating a business necessity.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

Matter of UMC Logistics, Inc.

Posted On: March 8, 2010

ICE Serves Form I-9 Audit Notices to 180 Businesses in 5 States

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a bold new audit initiative in 2009 to combat the problem of hiring of an illegal workforce.

On March 2, 2010, 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee were served with Notice of Inspections (NOIs) indicating that ICE would inspect their hiring records (Form I-9) to determine whether they are in accordance with the employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

Audits involve a comprehensive review of Form I-9s. Form I-9 must be completed and retained for each new hire. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), all employers must verify that every person that is hired is either: a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or a foreign national with authorization to work in the U.S. Within three business days of beginning the job, a new employee must furnish identity and employment eligibility documents (i.e., passport, permanent resident card, employment authorization card, driver’s license, birth certificate, military id, etc). It is the responsibility of the employer to examine the documents to determine whether they are genuine and relate to the specific employee. Once the I-9 form is completed, they are to be kept in office for the longer of three years after employment begins or one year after employment is terminated. Most importantly, if an employee has temporary employment authorization, a re-verification of employment eligibility must be conducted prior to expiration of the employment authorization.

DHS/ICE officers conduct an estimated 60,000 I-9 audits a year on employers around the country and have issued fines in excess of $1,000,000. Additionally, each mistake on an I-9 Form counts as a separate violation. All employers are further subject to civil and criminal penalties for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ aliens who are not authorized to work in the U.S.

In the News Release announcing the issuance of the NOIs, Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans stated that “ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law. This effort is a first step in ICE’s long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment.”

Accurate completion of I-9 forms is a good faith defense to a charge of hiring unauthorized workers. Therefore, the best way for an employer to avoid IRCA problems is to establish a meaningful I-9 audit system.

If you are interested in conducting an internal I-9 Audit to ensure your company’s compliance with the employment eligibility verification laws and regulations, contact our office today.

Posted On: March 5, 2010

Updated Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released on March 2, 2010 with processing dates as of March 1, 2010.

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

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 13 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 24 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 24 months. Most other cases are within USCIS's processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: March 4, 2010

RECENT UPDATE on the Federalized Process for Obtaining PWD Requests

Effective January 21, 2010, the Department of Labor's iCERT online system was updated to allow the submission of electronic prevailing wage determination requests. This electronic process was intended to allow Employers and/or their Designated Representatives to submit and obtain prevailing wage determinations (PWD) for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and permanent labor certification programs through the iCERT portal. However, at this time, this federalized electronic process has caused delays in the issuance of prevailing wage determinations.

Prior to January 1, 2010, the date of enactment of the Federalized Process, employers and/or their designated representative were able to obtain PWDs from their State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), which normally took between two (2) to fourteen (14) days or even a months time. Currently, requestors are waiting between thirty (30) to sixty (60) days to obtain a response from the DOL further delaying the commencement of a new PERM case, or the filing of an AC-21 Portability Case.

Requestors who have submitted PWD requests to the NPWHC by U.S. Mail between January 1, 2010 and January 21, 2010, the launch date of the iCERT PWD System have received a response in regards to their PWD requests. However, at this time, there appear to be delays in the issuance of PWDs through the national DOL office with both hard copy and electronically submitted requests since January 21, 2010.

According to many interactive blog posts by various Immigration Law Firms, the DOL has reportedly not acted on any requests submitted online. The DOL has been advised of this situation and the effect that it has upon the Employment Based Green Card (PERM) and H-1B programs, as obtaining a PWD is the starting point in the PERM process for most foreign workers. Although the DOL is aware of the situation, no guidance, alternative route or explanation has been made available, as it is now March 4, 2010 and the delays continue.

You may still submit hard copy PWD requests to the address listed below:
U.S. Department of Labor-ETA, National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center,
Attn: PWD Request:
1341 G Street, NW
Suite 201
Washington, DC 20005-3142

Or, you may submit electronic PWD requests through the iCERT portal.

Please be aware of the current delays and plan accordingly!

MVP Law Group will continue to monitor the situation and will provide you with any information that becomes available.

Posted On: March 3, 2010

The Last Frontier – Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are a Growing Economic and Political Force in Alaska

As the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Day of Action is swiftly approaching on March 25, 2010, we thought that it would be an appropriate time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by research conducted through the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Counsel (AIC). The AILA National Day of Action is an opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the problems plaguing our immigration system so that they can be more effective in crafting, promoting and supporting legislative solutions.

The IPC has complied research on the Immigrant, Latino and Asian community for most of the states within our Nation. Every Wednesday, we will provide in our blog post, the highlights from the research conducted by the IPC.

Alaska – The Last Frontier

The IPC has complied research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of Alaska’s 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 the Last Frontier.

Below, please find the highlights from Alaska:

 Immigrants made up 7.2% (or 48,928 people) of Alaska’s population in 2007.
 51.2% of immigrants in 2007 (or 25,046 people) in Alaska were naturalized U.S. Citizens who are eligible to vote.
 Latinos accounted for 2.6% (or 8,000 people) and Asians 2.3% (or 7,000 people) of Alaskans in 2008.
 The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $1.2 billion and Asian buying power totaled $1.1 billion in Alaska in 2009.
 If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Alaska, the state could lose $484.7 million in expenditures, $ 215.3 million in economic output, and approximately 1,980 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions Immigrants, Latinos and Asians make in Alaska and the important role they will play in the state’s political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Last Frontier, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

Immigration Reform will not come until we as a Nation are fully aware of the problems plaguing the current system.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.