Guilty Plea for Illegal Alien Smuggling Reversed on Grounds of Insufficient Evidence

By | News & Press | One Comment

Defendant Fernando Garcia-Paulin was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting an illegal alien into the United States. It was claimed that Garcia-Paulin received payment to falsify Jaime Cajica-Cano’s Mexican passport’s work status, and also for giving him advice on how to illegally come into the United States.

Garcia-Paulin admitted to knowingly have placed a fraudulent immigration stamp on to Cajica-Cano’s Mexican passport and for receiving a 15,000 pesos fee for doing so. He then informed Cajica-Cano that he would still have to come into the United States illegally, even though the new stamp he placed on his passport would allow him to work in the U.S.

The state’s statute 8 U.S.C. Section 1324(a)(1)(A)(i) makes it an offense to “bring to [or attempt] to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry…” Garcia-Paulin’s attorneys argued the meaning of the word “bring”. In Garcia-Paulin’s appeal, they stated their client took no such action and has pleaded guilty to an erroneous factual basis and would not have done so if he had known.

Aiding and abetting would have not been an issue concerning Garcia-Paulin’s case; therefore, Texas’ Fifth District Circuit vacated and remanded the guilty conviction for insufficient evidence. The actual act of “bringing” did not fit the established legal meaning of the word and they found that Garcia-Paulin did not actually violate the statute. Because of plain error, Garcia-Paulin’s case was reversed.

It is important to note that smuggling aliens is a harsh reality in the southwest border of the United States and there have been a plethora of elaborate smuggling rings that continue to jeopardize lives. Border Safety Initiative (BSI) has worked with Mexico and U.S. Government agencies to lead a strategy to help rescue aliens from being smuggled into the United States in various inhumane ways. BSI hopes to reduce injuries and fatalities at the southwest crossing borders. In 2000, BSI saved approximately 2,500 aliens, and the numbers continue to rise.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

Texas Students Start Hunger Strike in Support of DREAM Act and Against DADT Ban

By | News & Press | 162 Comments

Students from University of Texas campus at Austin, UT Dallas, and UT Pan Am are joining a hunger strike in hopes of influencing Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson to vote for the DREAM Act.

Approximately 40 students are hoping to gain attention in support of the 10-year-old DREAM Act, which enables students to get their degrees regardless of immigration status as part of the immigration reform movement.

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) would provide conditional citizenship for six years to immigrants who are 35 years and younger who came into the before they were 16 years old. Additionally, they must have lived in the United States for five years and have a high school degree. The DREAM Act will allow undocumented youths who meet this requirement to attend college and join the military.

The DREAM Act did not pass in the Senate in September, receiving a vote of 56 to 43, a result of the Republic filibuster of the defense authorization bill. However, Congress has a chance to talk over the bill this week before the new Congress arrives.

Many people are rallying and students are banning together on hunger strikes as a last ditch effort to pressure the powers that be to make the DREAM Act a reality. Up on the block for discussion is also the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” bill. Supporters from the DREAM Act and those looking to have Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed are now working together.

Support for the DREAM Act is coming from various people and organizations, including the National School Board Association (NSBA), the National Jewish Committee, women and moms from the Legal Momentum and MomsRising, and faculty and students from several universities all over the United States.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – who won his seat in Nevada mostly through Latino voters – had promised to bring the DREAM Act to the floor after Thanksgiving. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who voted for the earlier version of the bill, publicly announced that she currently opposes it.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

Speedy Travel at the Airport

By | News & Press | 128 Comments

Although I am not going anywhere, as summer rolls along, visions of distant lands dance in my head. However, that vision is marred by long lines at the airports – getting your luggage checked, getting into a plane with carry-on bags and no overhead place, and finally the immigration and customs line ups.

This year, for a fee, the government and even some airlines are helping to ease that pain.

The U.S. government (and some foreign governments as well, like Holland) has introduced the Global Entry Program. U.S. citizens over the age of 14 can pay a fee of $100 (valid for 5 years) and enroll in the program. They have to enter their data in the following website:

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After the completion of the process, there will be a one-time CBP interview.

However, once it’s complete, you do not need to stand in any immigration line. There are kiosks in most major airports. The traveler has to scan in their passport at airport kiosks, and zoom down to luggage claim.

Similarly, in Houston IAH, international travelers who are U.S. citizens and have no checked luggage can go through the lines used by pilots and flight attendants for faster processing.

This process can be used by anyone, but because of the lengthy process to get into the program, it is probably feasible for frequent business travelers only. The travelers also get expedited check-in kiosks at other participating countries, as well. As more countries sign on, the price may come down.

There is a chance that this may simply become a requirement for foreign travel in the future. It will save money on personnel for countries participating in this program. Additionally, some airlines are also letting passengers cut in line for boarding the plane or for checking in for a fee. Both American and Southwest airlines are going to be offering this perk for a fee ranging from $10 to $50 per ticket.

This will be the future of travel, in a world increasingly short for time. But then, in this world, will there even be time for vacations?

Annie Banerjee, J.D.


The Law Office of Annie Banerjee Helps with EB-1 and NIW

By | News & Press | One Comment

For people who have questions about EB-1 and National Interest Waiver (NIW), The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee, a Houston based immigration law office, can provide guidance with the application process and resolve any questions that arise.

When aliens seeking work in the U.S. qualify as an outstanding professor or researcher, they also qualify for First Employment Based Preference (or EB-1, for short). Usually an employer would sponsor the person to hold a tenure track or a permanent position, for example. If an employer does not sponsor an alien, he or she may still qualify under EB-1 if the person holds “Extraordinary Ability”, or under the Second Employment Based Preference (EB-2) for National Interest Waivers (NIW).

“The difference between Extraordinary Ability and National Interest Waivers is that the requirements are higher for Extraordinary Ability. Generally, the higher the preference, the shorter time to get permanent residency,” said Annie Banerjee from the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee.

Extraordinary Ability Aliens must meet at least three requirements, one more requirement than Extraordinary Aliens must meet. The requirements are: The alien must have nationally or internationally recognized prizes and be members of an association that requires outstanding achievements. The alien should have substantial publications in major journals and should list all publications. Also, others should have cited your work in a publication. It would help if you had participated in a panel or have judged the qualifications of others in a peer review. Also weighing heavily is evidence of original scientific or artistic contributions such as patents or copyrights. Lastly, evidence of earning a high salary would also be one of the requirements.

For National Interest Waivers, one must have a master’s degree or higher and must meet all three of the following qualifications: Work must be of substantial intrinsic merit. For example, it can not an esoteric field of law. Secondly, the scope of the work is national and not merely local; it must appear in national journals, for example. Lastly, the work benefits the national interest to a “substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.” This means that it significantly exceeds the norm in some way. It must establish that there is no need to protect normal U.S. workers through a labor certification process.

Banerjee also stresses the importance of reference letters. “Reference letters from professors or researchers in the field is always very useful for all the categories,” Banerjee said.

To learn more, visit


By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

I wonder if this Thanksgiving, somewhere a little child in Mexico will have food because his father works very hard, day in day out as an illegal worker here

I wonder if somewhere in India a dying father will get medical treatment because his son is working at an H-1B job, staying far longer than other US workers, and after work going home and saving the money

I wonder if somewhere in US, a first generation parent will be offering thanks because her child got into the ivy league in early decision

I wonder if somewhere in the US, a wife of an immigrant soldier will heave a sigh of relief that her husband is still alive trying to defend this country

I wonder if somewhere in the US, a foreign student will graciously pick at his turkey, when his friends invite him to Thanksgiving dinner, even though the meat does not appeal to his taste buds

I wonder how many families will infuse their turkey with masala, vodka, chorizo, or dashi

To all the hard working people of this country, Thank You

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Banerjee Explains How to Apply for Permanent Residency through Employment

By | News & Press | 4 Comments

Labor certification allows beneficiaries to enter the U.S. through employment. Before employers hire aliens, they have to prove to the Department of Labor that there are no qualified citizens or Green Card holders to fill the position, and must thoroughly test the labor market to find qualified applicants. This is done by posting and advertizing the position and interviewing candidates.

“Applying for Permanent Residency can be a daunting lengthy process; therefore, it is helpful to know how many employment-based permanent residency categories there are and which closely describes you,” said Annie Banerjee of The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee, a Houston-based immigration lawyer.

There are five categories under employment-based green cards. Note that there are labor certification requirements for all categories except EB-1 and EB-5, which go directly to 1-480 (Visa Petition status) or the 1-485 (Adjustment of Status).

(Employment Based) EB-1 is generally for L-1A managers, outstanding professors or researchers and extraordinary ability aliens. They do not require labor certification like the others but they have high standards and requirements to meet and would only need to file I-140 and I-485.

With an EB-2, a labor certification is required and is for the beneficiary who holds an advanced degree – a minimum of a master’s degree. He or she would have to meet the Exceptional Ability requirements.

EB-3 holders are usually members of a profession holding at least a bachelor’s degree. They would also need a labor certification and EB-4s are reserved for religious workers.

Investors need an EB-5. Although there is no labor certification required, they must at least invest $1 million in cities – or $500,000 in “targeted employment” – and employ at least 10 full-time U.S. employees.

A qualified immigration law office can guide skillful aliens through the application process and advise them of the steps and requirements they would need for an employment based permanent residency Green Card.

To learn more, visit

Madden Says Texas Should Follow Arizona’s Immigration Law

By | News & Press | 6 Comments

Rep. Jerry Madden (R-Richardson) and Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland) – two Dallas County officials – attended a conservative group’s task force that drew up Arizona’s controversial immigration law in Austin on Oct. 29.

Rep. Jerry Madden favors the stipulation of the Arizona law. The Arizona immigration law makes it a misdemeanor crime if someone fails to carry his or her immigration documents and gives the police power to detain anyone who is suspected to be an illegal immigrant. While Madden favors the broader scope of jurisdiction and power, Driver, however, remained silent about it and did not comment further.

“I believe we ought to be enforcing the federal law, and that’s primarily what Arizona does. So the answer to that is ‘yes’,” Madden said, in response to a question about his feelings about Arizona’s immigration law.

Both lawmakers are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which passed a bill similar to the immigration measures, introduced two months earlier in Arizona.

Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070’s main provision is to deter illegal aliens from unlawfully entering the U.S. Its legislative intent is to also enforce federal immigration laws throughout the state through local government agencies and state policies.

Other provisions in the bill include transferring verified illegal aliens to federal custody and restricting state and local government from imposing bans or restrictions on not exchanging an individual’s legal immigration status. It also allows a legal resident of Arizona to sue if the local government adopts a policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws, to name a few.

A similar bill passed in the Texas Senate in May 2009. It would have allowed sheriffs and probation departments to check felons for their immigration status, but the Texas House ran out of time on the bill and it didn’t go any further.

A good immigration lawyer can guide you as to the latest news on immigration law is and what your rights and options are in your case. Annie Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer that has many years experience in this area.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

Request for Evidence in Immigration Cases

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

Generally in an Immigration Petition, the burden of proof is on the applicant or the Petitioner. The petition is filed usually with the forms, supporting letters/briefs and copies of documents to prove the elements of law. Unless there is some evidence in the petition that prima facie negates the elements of the law in a case, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) cannot deny the petition without due process. Thus they issue “request for Evidence” or RFEs. Although RFEs are supposed to give the applicant due process rights to prove their cases, the CIS Officers use it for anything and everything, and the RFEs vary in intelligent quotient with the IQs of the officers. Here are some weird reasons for the RFEs:

Officers need more time

Some Officers use it for additional time, and give a template with an exhaustive list of things way beyond what would be normally necessary for the petition. They know that the applicant will take time gathering all these thousands of documents and meanwhile its not the officer’s fault that the petition has not been adjudicated

Officers are Either Stupid or Lazy or Both

These are the DUH RFEs. I have been asked by the Texas Service Center to prove that Breast Cancer research is National vs Local in scope for a National Interest Waiver Case. Does Dallas have those little pink ribbons for Susan Komen Foundation every October? An Immigration Attorney friend of mine was asked, “whats the difference between Cylon and Sri Lanka?”

Officers are Plain Lazy

There are ample instances where if the petition is little thick, the officers will simply ask for documents that are already in the original petition.

Officers have not met their denial quota

I don’t know if there is such a quota, but some RFEs are so lengthy, you can tell that the officer is fishing for any reason to deny the case.

Currently the standards for RFEs vary enormously. However the CIS is looking into standardizing RFEs, if that is they can be standardized. But standardizing RFEs is just one equation, inputting common sense into the officers are easier said that done.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Federal Government Involved in Class Action Lawsuit for Special Immigrant Juveniles Status

By | News & Press | 9 Comments

One of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. is undocumented minors who are removed from the homes because of abuse.

They are taken away and placed into the care and custody of the state’s child protection services. It can be very difficult to untangle the multitudes of undocumented minors who are separated from their families, who cannot obtain lawful employment or attend college and are subjected to an array of harsh realities such as the threat of arrest, incarceration or deportation.

There are few child welfare personnel who are familiar with immigrant children and family issues, which can be wide-ranging and often difficult. Due to the increase in immigration enforcement and the details of immigration laws, the child welfare staff is usually at a loss to give effective support services to an undocumented minor.

Undocumented children who obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile status get legal permanent residency by obtaining a green card. They are often eventually able to legally work in the United States, qualify for state tuition and apply for citizenship after a period of five years.

The Perez-Olano Full Class Notice proposed a settlement and hearing in a class action lawsuit for Special Immigrant Juveniles in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California scheduled for Dec. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif. It will be heard by Honorable Dean D. Pregerson.

This is a nationwide settlement that will affect the rights of many young immigrants (including minors in removal proceedings) who are eligible for SIJ status. The settlement was proposed from class counsel of The Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Immigrant Litigation Fund is supported by The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. They both support and encourage immigration attorneys in private practice or working with non-profit organizations to go after remedies in the courts for the immigrant and refugee populations.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

When life, liberty and property goes by Government mistake

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

The purpose of modern democratic Government is to look at the welfare of the Public. It is not to hang people, it is not to deport people, it is to protect people. Yes, the Government should enforce the law, but they do not have the right to restrict the life and liberty of innocent people. Yet very often that’s what happens.

Recently, the Innocence project of New York uncovered that a man executed in Texas in 2000 by a proof of a single strand of hair was a mistake. The hair did not match DNA evidence. The New Yorker Magazine last summer also uncovered how a Texas man was put to death for a fire that killed his children, a fire he did not set. Not only did he loose his children, but he also lost his life falsely at the hands of the Government.

Similarly TRAC came out with a report that of all the persons that ICE seeks to deport, the judges have found 33% were wrongly held. Many people born here cannot speak the language, and are assumed to be illegal. If ICE is doing such a poor job, I shudder to think what Arizona will do.

Yet when the country was founded, it was founded to ensure that the Citizen’s life liberty and property were protected. The founding fathers guaranteed that in our Constitution. Yet more and more we are moving away from a benevolent state to one were laws are enforced sometimes unfairly.

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee