Various readers of this blog have been making this suggestion, but when folks say the same thing in the Wall Street Journal, that gets more attention. CNBC correspondent Erin Burnett also pointed out this piece this morning on Morning Joe on MSNBC.
March 16, 2009
Kudos to the Washington Post for writing a strong editorial supporting the Uniting American Families Act which would treat same sex couples the same as heterosexual married couples for purposes of receiving immigration benefits.
British-born author Neil Gaiman is having a big 2009. His new novel, The Graveyard Book, just won the Newberry Medal, the equivalent of the Oscar for children's literature. And another one of his books, Coraline, has been adapted for a new animated feature film (in 3-D!). He's also a successful comic book artist.
A reader sent me a link to a story in the Washington Post which discusses a little known program where the Border Patrol is paying musicians to write songs warning Mexicans about the dangers of crossing in to the US. And they seem to think its working (though I have no idea how they really could tell).
How ironic to find this out on a day when the President announced a policy to aid small businesses.
"We know that small businesses are the engine of growth in the economy," said Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. "We absolutely want to do things to help them."
An immigration lawyer recently received an internal work sheet inadvertantly included with a petition denial that advises USCIS examiners when to refer cases to the Center Fraud Detection Operation (CFDO) for further investigation on the possibility of fraud. The document details many criteria that could potentially show fraud - multiple filings in comparison to the number of employees, suspect documents, questionable education credentials, etc. That's all well and good.
But the part that made my eyes pop open is the following language in the instructions:Instructions: In order to ensure an actionable fraud referral is sent to the Center for Fraud Detection Operation (CFDO), all petitions that possess 2 of the 3 10/25/10 criteria must be referred to the CFDO:
- Gross Annual Income less than $10 million
- Company claims less than 25 employees
- Company established for less than 10 years
In other words, a good portion of the nation's small businesses - one has to imagine that a huge portion will not meet two of these three tests (the 10/25/10 tests) - is subject to a much tougher H-1B application process than that facing large company employers.
In bold type on the bottom of the form are the words "DO NOT RELEASE UNDER FOIA". FOIA, for those of you who don't know, stands for Freedom of Information Act. And if I was institutionalizing discrimination against the nation's small employers, I probably wouldn't want pesky reporters and nosy immigration advocated asking questions either.
This is not really new policy for USCIS. Try filing an L-1 petition if you're a small company. The basic view of USCIS is that companies that are small are "fly-by-night" operations that don't deserve the same benefits as large emploeyrs. The last White House either didn't realize this was going on, didn't care or just couldn't get control over a USCIS that seems to often be completely out of touch.
I hope the Obama White House is serious when it says it is committed to helping small businesses succeed. Secretary Napolitano and President Obama need to make it clear to USCIS that policies that punish employer petitioners merely because they are small businesses will not be tolerated.
Reacting to criticism from farmworker labor organizations, Secretary of Labor Solis has suspended for nine months the new H-2A regulations. According to Farmworker Justice:
I expect to see the new H-2B regulations revisited soon as well. Stay tuned.
March 12, 2009
Kudos to America's Voice for calling Lou Dobbs out over his latest outrageous statements.
There is one option I don't discuss in the article and it's near and dear to my heart. I founded my law firm 15 years ago when I was worried about my job security at a large law firm. But this lack of security was actually a blessing since it led me to take the plunge and start up my own business. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have loved being my own boss and found that being an entrepreneur is really fulfilling. Not everyone is cut out for running their own business and many of you won't have the financial means to go this route. But if running your own business is something you've wanted to explore, there are a number of immigration options available.
Some think you need to invest $1,000,000 to qualify. But that is often not the case. Many people can qualify for a fraction of that amount – perhaps in the $100,000 to $200,000 range if they pursue an E-2 non-immigrant visa. And while the EB-5 green card sometimes requires a minimum investment of $1,000,000, you can sometimes invest in a targeted employment area with a high unemployment rate or in a non-metro area and cut the requirement to $500,000.
I’m going to be giving a seminar at the International Franchise Expo in Washington, DC on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 2 pm. You can get free tickets to the seminar as well as the entire Expo by going here. The event is one of the largest franchise expos in the world so if you’re looking at going this route to starting your business, this is a great event to attend.
Below you'll find my slides from next Saturday's event. I'm also going to be sharing the panel with John Reynolds from the International Franchise Association and business broker Stephen J. Wain. I hope to see you there.
The Senate has passed by unanimous consent HR 1127 which extends the Conrad 30 and religious worker green card programs until September 30th. The President is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
March 11, 2009
About time. According to the AP:
The U.S. Justice Department said in a letter to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio that investigators will focus on alleged patterns of police discrimination based on national origin.
Frank Sharry, director of immigrant advocacy organization America's Voice had this to say:
“Sheriff Arpaio’s actions have long been the best example of why the federal government needs to take back control of immigration enforcement. While Arpaio’s abuses are particularly vile, we support Secretary Napolitano’s call for a full review of the 287(g) program and were troubled by the recent GAO report questioning its effectiveness.
Napolitano’s review should ensure that communities continue to have good relationships with their local police departments, not be scared of them. The only real solution is enacting immigration reform law that secures our borders, legalizes undocumented workers, and re-establishes a coordinated intergovernmental immigration strategy. This remains our best path forward to fix a broken system and guard against future abuse.”
Many Americans are today learning who Tomoaki Kato, MD is. The Japanese born surgeon and professor at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York performed one of the more amazing surgeries about which I've ever heard. He removed six organs - the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, large and small intestine - from a young girl, then extracted a baseball-sized tumor, and then put the organs back in the girl's body. The surgery happened about a month ago and today the little girl is doing very well. Kato performed a similar surgery on a 62 year old woman in Florida. Kato is the first surgeon in the world to perform such a surgery, according to news reports.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org