Senate Addresses Legal Immigration Policies and U.S. Brain Drain

By | News & Press | 158 Comments

As certain politicians continue to focus on illegal immigration, the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security focused on the challenges of America’s business brain drain and the inequities of the legal immigration process in late July. The CEO of NASDAQ, President of Cornell University, the General Counsel for Microsoft Corporation, the Associate Professor of Public Policy for the Rochester Institute of Technology, and an esteemed female doctor all spoke before a recent Senate hearing to discuss “The Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform”.

NASDAQ’s president Robert Greifeld spoke about how 14 of the active NASDAQ companies have foreign-born founders, and with outdated immigration policies the U.S. is on the brink of not incubating enough talent. He explained how an estimated 17,000 graduate students must return to their home countries as the U.S. green card backlogs have barred them from staying to contribute to the workforce or start their own company. Greifeld was also discouraged by the number of visas that are left unused because of bureaucratic red tape. Between 1992 and 2009, 506,410 green cards were not used, and only 180,039 were recaptured.

Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith explained how immigration laws must be brought up to 2011 standards. He voiced how structural changes to immigration have not been made since 1990, when the needs for high-tech jobs were still in the initial stages. In May, Microsoft had 4,551 unfilled job positions, and 2,629 of them were for computer science roles. But with immigration country caps, skilled individuals from India and China, for example, must wait for years before they can ever get lawful residency status in the U.S. And Smith is finding it hard to find talent stateside to make matters worse.

Esteemed endocrinologist Dr. Puneet S. Arora, who is also a member of Immigration Voice, spoke at the hearing too. As an immigrant from New Delhi, India, she has experienced the immigration process firsthand. She advocates for the country cap to be deleted in exchange for a first come, first serve immigration petition process. Arora echoes Smith’s suggestion of rolling over unused immigrant visa numbers to the next fiscal year. With the brain drain in important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields (STEM), the employment-based green card limit should be raised to 290,000 visas if not eliminated altogether for STEM jobs, she says. As many people wait for years without knowing when and if they will get a visa, she would like to see job portability so that an immigrant would not “lose their place in the green card line” if they changed jobs, but were still contributing to the economy.

In Texas, Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee has more than 10 years of successfully guiding individuals, families, and businesses through the maze of immigration matters. Attorney Banerjee is an immigrant, and knows the care and attention to detail that each person deserves to get their American dream underway. She has helped many immigrants contribute in big and small ways to the U.S. economy and make a better life for themselves and their family.

For more information:
Law Offices of A. Banerjee
131 Brooks Street Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139
Fax: (281) 242-2058

2027 Sheridan Street
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: (713) 793-6339
[email protected]

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 https://www.visatous.com.

The HALT Act Tries to Undermine The Violence Against Women Act

By | News & Press | 178 Comments

Domestic violence and human trafficking exists in all facets of life. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does give immigration protection to individuals who have been battered or suffered from mental or physical abuse from the crime of human trafficking. The USCIS allows these people and their children to file for immigration without the perpetrator knowing.

Through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) the following types of women can apply for naturalization:

– Those who have been abused in the United States by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, and entered into the marriage in good faith, not just for immigration benefits

– Those who have been abused by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abroad while the spouse was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services

– The parent of a child who has been subjected to abuse by their U.S. citizen or permanent spouse

– A mother who has been abused by their U.S. citizen son or daughter

VAWA went into law in 1994 and was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. This year it will expire if not reauthorized. Recently, the Senate held a hearing to celebrate “The Violence Against Women Act: Building on Seventeen Years of Accomplishments”. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has long adopted efforts to lessen violence against immigrant women, family violence, and programs to help victims.

On July 12, Texas House of Representative Lamar Smith introduced H.R. 2497, the Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act (HALT Act). Many immigration attorneys feel the HALT Act will hurt immigrant victims of domestic violence and battery as it will deny them protections against deportation that were allowed under deferred action mechanisms.

“USCIS grants Deferred Action to approved self-petitioners awaiting adjustment so they can work legally and escape their abusers’ economic control,” the AILA said in a letter to House representatives. “By eliminating Deferred Action as a tool for helping victims of domestic violence and other victims of crimes, HALT would restore a powerful weapon to batterers’ and crime perpetrators’ arsenals against victims vulnerable to removal.”
VAWA has been a cause that both political parties have embraced for 17 years. But if legislation like HALT takes precedence and VAWA is not re-authorized, immigration attorneys worry what the legacy for an immigrant woman’s rights will be.

Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee sees the importance of VAWA every day in her immigration law practice. She champions her clients’ rights to a safe environment, opportunities to remain lawfully in the United States, and achieve their citizenship goals. The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee are known for their skill at helping individuals and families with all their immigration concerns for more than 10 years.

For more information:
Law Offices of A. Banerjee
131 Brooks Street Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139
Fax: (281) 242-2058

2027 Sheridan Street
Houston, Texas 77030
Phone: (713) 793-6339
[email protected]

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 https://www.visatous.com.

Advice for Foreign Students

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
A question is sometimes get form foreign students is , “what school should I go to?”  The answer to that is probably simple, the school that is best ranked by US News and World Report. There was an ex Taliban student from Afghanistan, who got a visa to go to Yale.

The rationale for that is US needs bright students. But what if you cant get into Harvard or Yale?

Usually its harder to get a visa from a foreign country (especially India) if you are going to a community college.  Try for at least a 4 year degree college. A community College degree is useless anyways, so dont waste your money on them.  The colege has to be SEVIP approved. Ask and find out if it is.

There are numerous colleges and Universities in the US. Online colleges and degrees obtained from them are not given the F-1 visa. In general, online colleges are not good colleges, and most places dont recognize such degrees.

The procedure is simple.  After getting admission, the College will send you the I-20. One needs to take that, and proof of financial Support to the consulate to get the student visa and come in.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

The decade Since 9/11 in Immigration

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
I was working on a sunny morning when my legal assistant came in looking agitated and said,”Did you hear, the World Trade Center got hit by a plane.” I did not think much about it. I did not have a TV in the office, so I did not get the impact. Then my husband called and said, the towers are falling. The news took a long time to sink in, actually.  It was unbelievable that such a thing could happen, right in the middle of NYC. 

That past summer we were in NYC, and although we don’t usually do the touristy thing in NYC, we thought it would be fun to take the children on top of the twin towers. That night my son clutched the bear he bought from the gift store on the top and said, “you are safe bear, although a lot of your friends may have not survived.”

Thankfully all our friends who worked at the WTC were safe. Yet the specter of death, the sheer magnitude of it gave rise to tremendous nationalism. Flags went up everywhere, and we could not help but feel solidarity towards the people. We were one America, scared by the ravages of terrorism.

Yet, as so often happens in Nationalism, there was a backlash to internationalism.

Soon people began to discriminate against others who looked like Muslims, or looked foreign. For their part, the Muslims began to bad mouth America as well. Thus began a mutual distrust and hatred, which saw the passing of the Patriot Act. In those early days, Immigration Services showed up at the door of illegal Muslims, without any warrant, or any documents, and deported them, simply because they were from Pakistan, or Iran.

The Immigration Service instituted the ‘Special Registration” a process by which citizens of Muslim countries had to register, with their information to the Government and testify as to whether they know of any terrorists. They had to let the Immigration Service know when they exited the country and when they got back. This process was so similar to the Japanese internment that we all wondered if America, the home of the free was lost forever.

This was followed by the notoriously slow FBI name checks. If you applied to become a Permanent Resident or a Citizen, the FBI had to (1) clear fingerprints, and (2) Do a name check. The fingerprints were unique so they cleared quickly. But the name check involved a computer search of the name or combination of names that could match any known criminals on the FBI database.  That database was never released to the public. Of course since Muslims have common type names like Muhammad , their names would very often get a hit.  But so would Hispanic names or simply names like Jones or Smith. If the name got a hit, an individual officer would have to go into the files and manually make sure that the applicant was not the same as the criminal.  The problem is that this would take 3-4 years.  Our plea that if these people really were criminals, would it not be safer to do the check as soon as possible and deport or prosecute them were not heard.  99% of these cases ultimately cleared, yet these individuals had to wait a long time before they could get their green cards.  Many times they were scared to visit or for legal reasons could not visit their home country until they got their green card. This meant they could not see many a dying parent, although they never committed any crime.

Yes, we went into two wars, we have to go through lengthy process of checks at airports.

Yet, things seem to be getting better.  The FBI name checks eventually got quicker, and is not much of a problem any more. The Special Registration process was scrapped earlier this year.

Of course we can never replace the lives lost that fateful day, and we may never become the trusting country that we were pre 9/11.  Yet maybe that’s a good thing.  The world is becoming very small and the trusting simplicity that America, Canada and UK have are not matched by most other countries. That day 09/11/2001, we had lost our ignorance and we stand now, like the rest of the world, distrusting our citizens.

Even now it is so much easier to pull the wool over the eyes of these countries than it is to do that to the rest of the world. Routinely applicants for Asylum concoct their stories and very often the US government buys those fib. I have been asked by Muslim citizens from certain countries whether they can convert to Christianity and claim Asylum. Thankfully I dont do Asylum. Same is true , although to a lesser extent to many immigration cases. Its time the Government smarten up and treat their citizens like the rest of the world does. No one can do that to the Israeli, Chinese or even Indian Government.

And for my part, I would happily succumb to a search at the airport if this means we all can be safe.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Choosing a Lawyer– clients beware

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
A lot of clients come to me and ask things like: Can you help me find a job? Can I just say something not true. And when they don’t like what I tell them, they go to another lawyer.

Yes, there are lawyers who for a price give them jobs, and the promise of Immigration. And very often deliver.  But what if the lawyer gets caught? CIS investigates every case that the attorney had represented, and investigates. So people who get their green card by dishonest means can loose it after several years, when they are settled here and gotten used to the US lifestyle. Please remember , if the attorney does something illegal for you, he or she is probably doing this for many others. And eventually the CIS will catch on, and investigate the lawyer. And if your case is found to be a fraud, you will be banned permanently from the United States.

Thus the stakes are high.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information.

Immigration, If Bachman/Perry Rules

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
This blog is obviously not true, but after bad news on job growth, Texas weather, Vermont weather , we need a laugh. So here’s my projection of what the form I-485 would look like if Bachman or Perry was to become President in a Republican dominant legislature.

Instructions on Form I-485, Application to adjust status to Permanent Resident: Do not fill out this form if you are gay, lesbian, transsexual, or bisexual.  We will simply deny your case.
Questions:
1. Do you believe in God?
2. Is it a Christian God?
Only proceed If the answer to the above two questions are yes
3. Do you believe in Science?
4. Have you ever in your lifetime aided or abetted any terrorism or any scientific endeavors?
5. Do you drink?
6. Do you believe in abortion?
7. Do you believe in Evolution?
8 Did you ever get an A or a B in any of your grades?
Only proceed if the answers to questions 3 to 8 is no
The rest of the form hopefully will look the same as the current I-485.
For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Talk Policy and Results

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
President Obama is going to speak to the Congress today about job creation. The Government speaks, and people get hopeful. But does this translate to policy and if so, how long does that take?
The Obama Administration had before that announced that ICE would use prosecutorial discretion to not deport students brought over the the US when they were very young and not by their own will. Yet shortly after there were reports that the Administration is still deporting these types of individual.
On August 02, 2011, both Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director, Mr. Mayorkas announced that they are going to promote start up enterprises and entrepreneurs.  Yet, we continue to receive extensive and unnecessary Requests for Evidence for L-1 and other types of entrepreneurial visas.
How long does it take to make it from the words of President Obama, or the Administration to the execution level of the Administrative Department of our Government? And at this level, when will be see a rise in jobs?
For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee