USCIS Updates Immigration Documents to Prevent Fraud

By | News & Press | 68 Comments

In a move to cut down on fraud, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services revamped the Employment Authorization Document and the Certificate of Citizenship form last fall.

The new forms will deter fraud and strengthen security, according to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “These enhanced documents are more secure than ever,” he said in a press release. “They advance our efforts to safeguard against fraud and protect the integrity of the immigration system.”

The application process for these forms is unchanged. But the look and feel of the documents is radically different.

The forensic laboratory at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement helped USCIS develop the new EAD card. It uses new technology and tactile elements in order to help with easy card authentication, according to the release.

The new card, which looks similar to a driver’s license, has a photo of the cardholder as well as his or her fingerprint – and are both laser engraved. The card number and the case number are now both published on the front of the card.

The ICE forensic laboratory, which has been around since 1978, is the country’s authority on document authentication.

The old cards are still valid until they expire and will be replaced with new ones as people apply for renewal.

The agency hopes the new card will help law enforcement and employers more quickly identify the card and recognize the holder as being authorized to work in the country, according to the release.

USCIS also redesigned the N-560 Form, or the Certificate of Citizenship. This document goes to people who became citizens while living in the United States or people who were born outside the country to American citizens and applied for U.S. citizenship.

The agency has applied more tamper-proof printing methods to the new documents (which look similar to a birth certificate). It has a multi-colored background and a watermark to discourage fraud. It also has a digitized approval signature.

Previously issued Certificates of Citizenship are valid indefinitely, according to the release.

The new certificate does not make the list of accepted I-9 documents. Until 2007, the certificate was usable for proof of employment eligibility and identity under list A. The certificate is still on I-9’s list C that establishes employment authorization.

The agency is in an ongoing effort to update more secure and fraud-resistant documentation. USCIS created new Permanent Residency Cards in 2010 and redesigned the N-550 Certificate of Naturalization adding a photo and a signature.

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

Where in the Melting Pot does Jeremy Lin fit?

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
 America had, I think wisely adopted the melting pot method.  No matter where we originate from, we are all Americans, one nation, one people.  This is very different from countries like Canada and England where they have the cultural mosaic theory, where each individual maintains their own cultural identity. We are all supposed to be one people on America. Yet, minorities who look foreign, are seldom recognized as American. And the same is the case with Jeremy Lee. He can technically become a President, yet in the US he is looked upon as an Asian American, and in China (note his parents are from Taiwan) he is looked upon as Chinese.

There are plenty of good blogs, claiming what a wonderful Asian player he is. But it is inherently stereotyping that is going on here. To claim that he is a wonderful Asian player, is to say the same thing of a black mathematician. Jeremy Lin is a good player. PERIOD. What does it matter if he is Asian, or black or white? Or whether his parents came over as immigrant or his ancestors landed on the Mayflower?

Even David Leopold, the ex president of  American Immigration Lawyer’s Association wrote a blog on Huffington Post stating that if the anti immigration restrictionists had their way, Jeremy Lin would not be here.  So he too sees Lin as an Asian American rather than just American.  Yet Steve Nash is Canadian/South African, and no one claims that has the restrictionists had there way, he would not be here? Or Dirk Nowitzki? Because they look like “Americans?”

My children, like Jeremy Lin, were born in the US. People ask them where they are from. They say , “Houston.” Yet very often, people ask, “where are you originally from?” No one asks a white person, if they are from UK, or Ireland. We as Americans can ask if they are from New York or Texas. But asking someone who does not identify with the “mother country” where they are from is just plain Un-American.

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

New Study Shows Skilled Immigrants Boost U.S. Jobs

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The American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership for a New Economy recently commissioned a study looking at the relationship between immigration and the job market in the United States.

The groups did the study to help advise policymakers in hopes that immigration policy changes could spur economic growth, according to a press release from AEI.

The study found that the current immigration policy is not hurting but enhancing the job market. The agencies conducting the survey sought to use the data to advocate for specific policy changes that could boost U.S. job growth.

Researchers looked to find out if immigrants take jobs that would be filled by U.S. citizens, if they create jobs, or if there is no net effect. They also looked into what types of jobs were being taken or created by the immigrants.

The study outlined two broad schools of thought on how immigration impacts the labor market. The first idea says that immigrants and native-born Americans share the same skill sets and must compete for the same jobs. The second idea says that Americans and immigrants have different skills and complement each other in the resulting diversified work force.

Employers and policymakers both point to two groups as being critical to the U.S. economy – immigrants with advanced degrees and temporary work visa holders. Researchers looked at Census Bureau data and temporary worker applications to look at states individually to try and learn how likely an American citizen is to have a job in states with more immigrants. The study went on to look at the benefits these immigrants receive relative to their taxes.

Researchers came up with four significant findings. Immigrants with advanced degrees boost U.S. employment; temporary workers, skilled and unskilled, boost U.S. employment; no evidence shows immigrants hurt U.S. employment; and foreign-born workers pay more in U.S taxes than they use in benefits.

The data on immigrants with advanced degrees showed that workers who studied in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – at U.S. universities had a big positive impact on jobs here. For every 100 skilled workers with advanced degrees from U.S. schools, 262 jobs were created for American-born workers between 200 and 2007.

Foreign-born workers with advanced STEM degrees from schools around the world including the United States also had a positive impact on jobs with 86 jobs created for every 100 high-skilled immigrant working here.

The addition of 100 temporary workers also resulted in more jobs for native-born Americans, according to the study. H-1B workers created 183 jobs for every 100 immigrants and H-2B workers created a whopping 464 jobs for Americans.

The researchers used the data from the survey to make policy suggestions aimed at boosting the American economy.

The American Enterprise Institute suggests giving priority to immigration applicants with advanced degrees in STEM fields and increasing the number of green cards for high-skilled workers.

A qualified immigration attorney can help skilled workers and employers work with immigration services to get visas to work in the United States.

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

Advancing Priority Dates and Marriage

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
As most people now know, the Priority dates of Second Preference for India and China are advancing rapidly, and many people with Priority dates in 2010 can file their I-485s.  This has presented a small but important problem for Indian beneficiaries. Many of them are young , unmarried and will get married through the traditional  arranged marriage system.  Under the traditional Indian system mixing between girls and boys are frowned upon. Usually the families pick out several  ‘suitable mates”, the prospective bride and groom talk to each other, decide as to who to marry, and if both parties are willing, they get married.

With their child in America, working on the H-1B visa, and many of them not visiting India because of the highest rates of H-1B visa denials from the consulates in India, many parents were reluctant to start looking for a suitable mate for their children. Yet the looming prospect of getting their Green cards fast has produced a rush.

This is because almost every immigrant visas in the United States depend on per country quotas.  And the wait for  a green card holder from India to bring in their spouse is currently almost three years.  That means that once the beneficiary gets the green card,  and before they become a citizen, (in 5 years)  if they marry, they cannot bring in their spouse for 3 years. This of course creates a lot of strain especially in an arranged marriage situation for the newly weds.

If they have their H-1B , they have to go to India, get their visas (a huge If in Indian consulates) get their spouses an H-4 visa and come back and file for adjustment of status for their spouse. Deciding to marry one person from the list given to them by their parents in a hurry can be harrowing.

If they don’t get the H1B visa, the beneficiary can travel back with the travel permit, wait and get their Green card and then file a following to join petition. In this situation, the green card holder can file a following to join application, once he gets the Green card, but cannot travel during the process.  This is also not easy.

Unfortunately such is the price of US Immigration.

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

Kansas tires to introduce legislation to authorize illegal immigrants to work

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
A traditionally conservative group of Business Association consisting of  Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau , various building and manufacturing firms and Agricultural industry is trying to get the Kansas legislature to introduce a bill making it possible for undocumented (yes, illegal) workers to work there legally.  They claim that the shortage of labor in various industry has had devastating consequences in States that enacted strict legislation for excluding undocumented immigrants. For instance in Georgia, 50% of the produce has not been picked loosing the State $4.2 million and would rise to $20 Bn, if all undocumented immigrants left Georgia. They also state that deporting even a third of undocumented aliens will cost US $80 billion. 

The immigrants do work that US workers simply will not do. Even Arizona, an early proponent of anti immigration legislation is backing off due to the terrible economic loss that the State has been hit with. 

The Kansas bill would require certain illegal immigrants with clean record stay in Kansas for 5 years. 

What’s interesting about this legislation is that its been promulgated by Republicans. Unfortunately the Republican party has two factions, the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives. The social conservatives (consisting of mostly white and racist people) have pegged their hatred about the mostly brown (Mexican) illegal immigrants on grounds that these people are here illegally. The fiscal conservative group is seeing the devastating economic consequences of these hard line bills and not liking them. It will be interesting to see who wins. 

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