H-1B Cap Count

By | Commentary, H1-B, Immigration, Uncategorized | No Comments

On April 11, 2017 the Citizenship and Immigration Service did the lottery of the 2018 H-1B visa cap. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced today, that it had received 199,000 petitions for the 65k+20k cap quotas. Citizenship and Immigration Service has begun sending receipt notices.

If prior years is a guidance, we get receipt notices until about mid May. Then we start getting the rejections in the mail.

Keeping fingers crossed

For more information call Banerjee & Associates

Travel Ban II

By | Commentary, Terrorism, Travel, trump, Uncategorized, Visa | No Comments

The second travel ban executive order, expected to take effect today has been halted, by two federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland. Trump had recrafted the travel ban to exclude Permanent Residents and US Citizens, originally hailing from the seven countries. He has also halted the processing of refugees from those seven countries.
Although the second travel ban is not, on its face unconstitutional, it does have desperate impact on persons of Muslim faith. Since Customs and Border Patrol officers have wide discretion as to who to “suspect” and “admit” their innate biases do play a factor. Report of abuses in recent times are rampant. Even Mohammad Ali’s parents were detained simply because they were of the Muslim faith.
“There is nothing “veiled” about this press release: “Donald Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Judge Watson of Hawaii wrote. And one may also argue that there has not been any recent incidents of terrorists trying to enter the United States from those seven countries.
Thus this useless travel ban encourages discrimination towards certain religion. If we weigh whether America can be safer with the travel ban vs. whether discrimination towards Muslim is a legitimate State interest, the travel ban becomes clearly unconstitutional. The purpose of enacting it is nothing more than fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to ban Muslims and serves no more than fueling hatred towards Muslims. The budget cuts to the Department of State will only enhance and prolong this process.

For more information visit Banerjee & Associates

No Premium Processing for H-1B

By | Commentary, H1-B, Premium, Uncategorized | No Comments

From April 3rd, 2017, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) will NOT accept any Premium Processing for H-1B. That means no new H-1Bs can be filed in premium. Due to the fact that most H-1Bs are filed in Premium these days, the CIS is really behind on ordinary H-1Bs. This suspension may last up to 6 months. The only way to get faster processing will be through “Expedited Criteria, with definitive proof of one of the following criteria:

“USCIS review​s​ all​ expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.​ The burden is on the applicant or petitioner to demonstrate that one or more of the e​xpedite criteria have been met.​​

​USCIS may expedite a​ petition or application if it meets one or more of the following criteria:​

Severe financial loss to company or ​person​;​
Emergency situation;​
Humanitarian reasons;​
Nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States​;​
Department of Defense or ​n​ational ​i​nterest ​s​ituation (These particular expedite requests must come from an official U.S. government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to the government.);​
USCIS error; or​
Compelling interest of USCIS.”

For more information contact Banerjee & Associates

 

Trump’s Immigration Enforcement

By | Citizenship and Naturalization, Commentary, trump, Uncategorized, Visa | No Comments

I do not do removals (Deportation) and thus I do not have any financial stake in Trump’s massive deportation project. I do not object to a President enforcing a law, whatever it is. My objections are entirely based upon my Centrist fiscal views.
1. By detaining individuals, we are simply feeding, clothing and paying all expense (including medical) for the illegal immigrants. And that is our Tax payer dollars
2. They are given a bond hearing, and when most of them can’t pay the bond, we have to keep them detained.
3. Do the Math: there are 5000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Officers in the US. There are a total of 242 Immigration Judges in the US. There are 11 to 13 million illegals in the US. So to get a hearing will take a long time, during which, us, Taxpayers will house, feed and pay medical expenses for them.
4. Lawyers can further delay the process by filing appeals. This process can go on for years
5. Once we do deport them, if there is no Comprehensive Immigration plan, and there are jobs in the US, the individuals will come right back in. They just earned a plane flight back to their home country on the US Tax payers.
Solutions:
1. Create a Comprehensive Immigration Plan. If there is employment available for the people, they should be given a guest worker status. That status should be renewed every year, and if there are no jobs, they need to return to their home country. This will be applicable even if they have US Citizen wives or children. There is no reason why a family cannot survive in their home country. (Yes, I know this is easier said than done)
2. These guest workers should be able to buy their own health care, and be treated accordingly.
3. There are a lot of people from Mexico, who cross the border to get free health care in the US. They have to pay for such care in Mexico. Allow hospitals to refuse such care and send them back. Once we do this for a few time, the flow will stop
4. Do what Obama did. Deport all criminals.
5. Stop thinking about a wall. There will inevitably be tunnels under the wall.

For more information, please contact Banerjee & Assoiates

National Security

By | Assimilation, Commentary, Defense, National Security, Terrorism, trump, Uncategorized | No Comments

The 9th Circuit today, in an unanimous decision, indefinitely stayed the Executive Order banning individuals from the 7 Muslim countries. The broadly written order, called by Mr. Trump as “Beautifully written….which even a bad high school student would understand”, banned anyone coming in from the seven countries and applied to Green card holders, visa holders and everyone. The Trump administration argued that the seven countries were identified by Mr. Obama as terrorist breeding ground. After the defeat, Mr. Trump has said that he would issue another executive order. Hopefully this one will be narrowly drawn and exclude people possessing a green card or a visa.
But the real issue is that Trump is ruling by creating fear in the minds of people. That fear when generalized lead to the hatred of all Muslims. So far, this country is everyone’s country. You did not have to be Christian or white to belong here. Is there a particular dress code or food or entertainment that defines America? If this was Saudi Arabia, we women would have to cover ourselves head to toe. If we were to live there, we would curse at the heat and the cover and would not like that country. Similarly, getting people to not wear the hijab in France has led to Muslim people feel alienated. And thus, the most number of radicalized Muslims are from France.
I hear a lot of talk of how America needs to “assimilate” the Muslims. Is eating pork, or dressing in shorts American? Is eating beef American? How do you define America? And CAN you define America? You feel American if the general people love you and are friends. So far, America had done an amazing job doing just that, accepting everyone, no matter what our ethnicity is. We listen to Fareed Zakaria or Arianna Huffington, no matter their accents. Trump’s America might fail to do that. By hating Muslims, they will effectively shove Muslims to become radicalized.
And this brings me to my final point—Travel ban. I will even refrain from uttering the word Muslim. Is travel really essential to learn to become a terrorist? We have the internet. I have done many things that I would normally not have; simply by watching you tube videos. A recent New York Times article investigated the so called “lone wolf” attacks and proved that ISIS is behind all those killings. And the hatred for Muslims will only exacerbate the situation. Maybe Trump has no qualms about putting America in danger, because an unsafe America will only increase his power.

For more information contact Banerjee & Associates

Travel Ban take 2

By | Commentary, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Travel, trump, Uncategorized, Visa | No Comments

No Current Plans to Expand Travel Ban Beyond Current Countries (Updated February 2, 2017)

We have been hearing rumors that no one is allowed to get into the plane in Karachi, Pakistan. There are also rumors that other countries will be added to the ban. Thus American Immigration Lawyer’s Association asked Department of State to clarify.

In response to rumors of plans to expand the travel ban to other countries, DOS informed American Immigration Lawyer’s Association that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This includes Columbia and Venezuela which have been widely rumored to be under consideration and Pakistan. DOS confirmed that there is no information that supports such a rumor and asked that AILA members help end the spread of this false information.

So as of now, only people holding passports of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are being detained. Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) holders and visa holders from these countries are also being put to secondary inspection which is taking at least 6-7 hours after they come to US from foreign travel. Some officers might be prejudiced and worse than others. The Green card holders might even be asked to give up their green cards. Never do that. Resist and ask for an attorney

So far, if you were born in these countries, but have other passports, then you are not stopped.

No refugees form these seven countries will be allowed in from these seven countries for at least 90 days

However please note that when Trump made the Executive Order the Department of State was not informed about it. They learned it just like all of us.

Written by Banerjee & Associates

Travel in these Uncertain times

By | Commentary, Executive Order, Uncategorized | No Comments

We recommend that all non immigrants refrain from leisure travel outside the US for the next 90 days

For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States.

Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) holders of the United States traveling on  the above passports will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for security at arrival ports of entry.  They may be taken to Secondary Inspection and this might take time, upon arrival

DHS and the Department of State have the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to issue visas or allow the entry of nationals of these countries into the United States when it serves the national interest. These seven countries were designated by Congress  as posing a significant enough security risk to warrant additional scrutiny in the visa waiver context.

The Refugee Admissions Program will be temporarily suspended for the next 120 days while the “Government” review screening procedures to ensure refugees admitted in the future do not pose a security risk to citizens of the United States.

The Executive Order does not prohibit entry of, or visa issuance to, travelers with diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas. All other visa applicants are advised not to make applications to US Consulates or attend visa interviews abroad, because the chances of getting a visa will be slim

Upon resumption of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, refugee admissions to the United States will not exceed 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.

The Secretary of Homeland Security will expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system of all travelers into the United States.

If you meet the requirement to become a Citizen, do so as soon as possible.

 

For more information contact Banerjee & Associates

New National Interest Waiver Test

By | Commentary, Houston Immigration, Immigration, SCOTUS, Uncategorized | No Comments

Immigration law is a field where hardly anything new ever happens. Yet during the last days the Obama Presidency, there was a case that clarified National Interest Waivers (NIWs) Just like bad facts make bad law, good facts make good law. Dr. Dhanasar had 2 Master’s degree and a PhD. He was a Scientist in the field of Rocket Propulsion. Dhanasar replaced the old NYSDOT test.

  1. Under the old NYSDOT test, the research had to have intrinsic merit—-This excluded pure and theoretical sciences. In many cases of pure Math, there are no direct impact. For instance, Einstein’s theory of relativity in itself is just purely a theory, and does not have any immediate consequences. Yet, there are so many uses which is based off of this theory. We could not file NIW under NYSDOT, but can do so under Dhanasar
  2. Local in scope. The other weird thing about NYSDOT was that the impact had to be national and not local. This presented a huge problem for those of us who worked with oil industry geologists. They did research on say, North Texas oil basin. That would lead to discovery of oil in Texas. But although the research did not have direct national consequences, discovery of significant oil reserves would reduce the US dependency of foreign oil, and lead to national economic benefit
    Maybe if Mr. Trump restricts Immigration, the courts will step up and make things easier.

For more information visit Banerjee & Associates

The Immigration Legacy of President Obama

By | Commentary, DACA, H1-B, Houston Immigration, Immigration, L-1, Uncategorized | No Comments

On this last day of Obama’s presidency, I want to, no need to, look at all the Immigration actions he took, including ones that were the right thing to do, yet made him unpopular with his party.
DEPORTATION:
He has been called by Democrats as the “Deporter in Chief”. Yes, he deported more people than anyone else. But let’s be clear, we ONLY deport criminals. These are people who have come in illegally, or are not yet citizens of the US, and they have committed a felony. If these people get a lawyer, the process stretches out indefinitely. Do we, as a society need more felons, or drug users? I applaud Pres. Obama on standing up to his party.
DACA:
The legislature would not cooperate with President Obama and openly said that they wanted him to fail. Yet, despite that, he started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals through executive action. This makes sense, because these people were educated by us, the US Taxpayers. They had to have at least a high school diploma and have no criminal records. If we don’t deport them, (we simply don’t have the resources to), you might as well let them earn and pay taxes. They get Driver’s license and car insurance. I do hope this program continues with the next President, because if this is scrapped, we will all lose.
ENDING CUBANS WET FOOT DRY FOOT POLICY
Again, breaking with the Democratic Party ideal, the ending of the absurd policy of Cubans getting Immigration as soon as they land in American soil. Unlike the 70s, when actual Cuban refugees came through, in the 80s, Castro opened Mariel Island, from where people could come by boat to Miami. Castro also opened up the jails and mental asylums. So people coming into Florida were either hard core criminal or criminally insane. Others came in from different countries and since they were born in Cuba, they were given residencies, but did not suffer any hardship from the Castro regime.
BUSINESS IMMIGRATION
The Democratic Party does not favor Business Immigration. Nancy Pelosi once said that businesses should pay the filing fees of the illegal Immigrants. But Pres Obama was hard where he needed to be, and soft in other places. In 2010, under his administration, the Citizenship and Immigration Service introduced the Control memo, which along with the Semieo case has been helpful to cut down on H-1B fraud. On the flip side, Obama with executive order has given H-1B’s spouses work permit, if the H-1B had an approved I-140. That helped save a lot of marriages. His executive order also clarified and simplified L-1 filings.

Thus the 43rd and 44th President of USA did what was fair and just despite opposition from both parties. Pres. Obama, you are my President, you always shall be.

For more information contact Banerjee& Associates 

Canadian Visitors need to check I-94

By | Canada, Canadians, CIS, Commentary, I-94, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Uncategorized | No Comments

Canadians historically have crossed the border and have not been issued an I-94, nor have their passport been stamped. Snowbirds came to Florida or Arizona, and stay the entire winter, which might stretch more than 6 months. The Customs and Border Patrol (hereinafter CBP) has recently, without any warning whatsoever, started issuing I-94.  Since the I-94 is issued electronically, the Canadian nationals may not even know about it and thereby have illegal stay.

Moreover under 8 CFR §214.2(b)(2), Canadian visitor’s with a B visa has to be given a minimum of 6 months. I-94s might be given for shorter duration.

This procedure, done very quietly by CBP, might put a lot of Canadians in illegal status. Then depending on the length of their illegal stay, they may be barred from entering the United States for 3 to 10 years. This bar means no cross border shopping or even visiting your winter home down south.

Please go here to check your I-94 and get the date by which time you will need to leave USA.

For more information, please contact Banerjee & Associates.