The merit based system

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

While a lot has been said about the 11 million illegal immigrants in the proposal by the Gang of 8, nothing has been said about the merit based point system.  This is business friendly, and hopefully both Republicans and Democrats can agree on this. 
It replaces the old diversity visa and other country specific visas. We can finally move away  from  the goal  to keep this nation white, and make it bright. Diversity visas were given to any one with a simple High school graduation. This at a time when our indigenous high school grads cant get work. 
Instead we move to having a merit based point system.  The points are: Doctorate degree 15 points, Master’s 10 points and Bachelors get 5 points. For experience, the proposal creates job zones. (Somewhat like the old preferences)   You get 1 point for high zone employment with a total of 20. 
However the point system is not perfect. A score of 80  on the TOEFL gets 10 points. Good knowledge of English is the same as a Master’s Degree?   And countries underrepresented in this country gets an extra 5 points.  And yes, community service gets 2 points. 
Looks very much like an Admissions rubric for s selective Universities.  Time to pad your resumes people. 
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Undocumented Immigration Into Texas At Lowest Levels In 20 Years

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The number of undocumented immigrants entering Texas has reached its lowest pint in two decades.

Immigration advocates believe that the unprecedented drop in the number of undocumented immigrants entering Texas may have a lot to do with the struggling U.S. economy, as well as increased border security. According to a demographic study released by the Center for Migration Studies and just published in the journal International Migration Review, 2000 was the biggest year for immigration in the state; more than 180,000 immigrants illegally entered Texas in that year.

As of 2010, the number of undocumented immigrants dropped to barely 55,000, a number so low, it had last been seen in the 1980s. The study tracked similar trends nationally, is one more factor for politicians unable to decide on the best approach for immigration reform. Fewer people are entering the state and more people are leaving, researchers found. The state of Texas is currently in a position of net zero growth, which may be seen as a positive atmosphere for pro-immigration reform advocates.

The study is similar to others which looked at population flux for undocumented immigrants for the past few years. But this study is one the first that offers concrete data on the choices made by the more than 1.6 million illegal residents that have left the U.S. since 2007. The census showed researchers that some 50 percent of those who left stated that they did so intentionally (i.e., not deported), while 27 percent were removed by immigration authorities. Others either were able to obtain legal residency or passed away.

Texas has an estimated 1.6 million undocumented residents curtly residing in the state, second in population only to California. And even as the U.S. economy continues to rebound, researchers have found that immigrants are still returning to their own countries or searching out new places outside the U.S. in record numbers. What will these new numbers do to affect the immigration reform debate? Advocates hope that they can make the argument that present budget estimates should cover current border security. Contrary to some arguments, say advocates, the net zero population statistics indicate that the border has never been more secure. But critics contend that as the U.S. economy continues to improve, immigrants will once again find coming to the county attractive, whether by legal or illegal means.

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

High Tech vs Low Tech

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Mark Zuckerberg created a PAC for Immigration Reform. The debate on Immigration is now between high skilled workers vs the undocumented people. The tech industry vs the fruit industry.  The Republicans vs the Democrats.
Yes, we need fruit pickers. But we can easily teach the 7 % unemployed people in the US to pick grapes in 3 hours.  We cannot teach them to program a computer.
And yes, this is a political issue. The Obama Administration wants “comprehensive Immigration.” it says that it wants high tech jobs. But all the administrative options that are available, seems only to apply  to  undocumented  immigrants.  That is good.  DACA is giving many kids the chance to drive legally.  But they are high school graduates, and many simply cannot find a job, even though they are getting the work permit. Similarly the procedure for I-601 waivers is made easier.  And it is helping many families stay intact.
But when it comes to the business immigration, we are simply not seeing those administrative solutions.  The “control” memo that puts a dent on the H-1B s for tech companies, introduced during the Obama administration is still here.  This year the H-1B quotas even for Master’s Degree holders from US Universities got filled in the first day, with lottery.  If these Master’s Degree holders don’t get into the lottery, will their OPT work permit be extended? And if not, why not? These are Master’s Degree (or even Bachelor’s Degree holders ) from US Universities. Are they inferior to the DACA people simply because they followed the law and maintained legal status? If the DACA people are given work permits for just being high school grads, why should Bach and masters of US Universities not be given the same opportunity? And what about highly qualified spouses of H-1Bs? What wrong did they do? 
And last but not least, the Obama Administration wants a “clear path to citizenship” for everyone. And yes, these 11 million people, (most of them poorly educated) has to stand in line behind all those in line right now. But what about the next high tech inventor who is now in grade school, dabbling in programming. If this kid invents the next google, and wants to come to the US, does she have to wait in line behind the 11 million people? And if so, will we then lose our technology edge in the world, simply due to political pandering of the Democrats? 
Lets make immigration like most countries do: The more qualified you are, the simpler and faster will be your immigration. Irrespective of whether you are legal or not.  We want people for the content of their brains, not for the color of their skin. 
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

National Immigration Reform Summit Held in California

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A national immigration reform summit was held on March 16 at UC Riverside in Southern California.

The summit was organized by UCR AIR, a student-led Alliance for Immigration Reform, and helmed by a UCR professor of ethnic studies, Armando Navarro. the immigration summit is deigned to allow hundreds of human rights advocates work together; the invited include legislators, human rights representatives, immigrant groups and immigration policy scholars to come together to discuss on depth the issues surrounding immigration reform in the U.S.

According to Navarro, the U.S. is at a critical juncture when it comes to immigration reform not unlike the way the country struggled with immigration issues leading up to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. That Act legalized millions of undocumented people who were residing in the U.S.

The National Leadership Summit for Immigration Reform invited attendees to learn about current proposals on immigration policy as put forth by Congress and the White House. They were asked to discuss the recent proposals and then attempt to reach a widespread consensus on what legislation should be enacted to move immigration reform forward. They were also asked to hammer out the best approach for that legislation, and make compelling arguments for the approach.

Speakers scheduled included legislative representatives from across California, as well as California former state senators, the ACLU staff attorney, representatives from the Texas Immigration Law Enforcement Monitory Project, attorneys for the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, based in Arizona, the Committee on Chicano Rights, California, and a representative from Justice for Immigrants Coalition-Inland Empire.

The summit was the brain child of students enrolled in one of Navarro’s courses, “Chicano Contemporary Issues.” The students decided to launch the summit as a “practicum in political change,” and is the only event of its kind in the U.S., inviting a wide range or immigration reform leaders to debate and discuss the issue in an open forum.
The UC Riverside campus is situated in Riverside, California, and is known for the diverse student population.

H-1B Cap

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

USCIS announced that it has received approximately 124,000 petitions. 
The cap is 20,000 for US Master’s Degree holders and 65,000 for general. 
USCIS has received more than the amount in all categories.  Thus it will do a lottery for the 20,000 Master’s Degree holders first. 
Those who are selected will get the receipt notice. 
Those who are not selected will be entered into the 65,000 general lottery 
So US Master’s cap will get two chances at the lottery. 
USCIS has not announced when they will do the first lottery. 
We will update each and every one of our clients as soon as we know anything. 
If you don’t get selected  the CIS will not withdraw your application fees. If you are on any other visa category, and applied for a change of status, your status won’t be changed and you can continue in your current status. 
If you were a student, and are working in your OPT, and don’t get selected even after 2 lotteries, you can either : (1) go back to student status, or (2) file H-1B from a non cap (non profit research) institute.
CIS also has the power to extend the cap gap or the EAD status until next year, but we cannot predict if the CIS will do so. 
If you are a student and get selected, you will need your receipt notice to apply for cap gap, if your EAD expires before October 01, 2013. 
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

The Unnatural H-1B quota

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Our laws impose the completely unnatural, unrealistic, uncapitalistic quota of 65,000 (plus 20,000 for US Master’s Degree holder) visas for H-1B, a visa reserved for professional skilled personnel.  Since the government year starts on October 01, and they accept visa applications 6 months before, the first day one can file the petition is April 01.  The job actually starts from October 01.
From  2006 to 2008 more than that amount was filed with the USCIS on the first day. The government resorted to a lottery.  Then came the economic downturn and the visa filings were slow.  Now again, as the service centers start counting the visas today, its expected to at least reach or exceed the quota this year.  This means that the economy looks better.
The counting starts today, on the day that the job records came out with a bleak report that hiring has slowed down in the USA. I am sure that the anti business immigration folks will scream about job preservation. Yet, the jobs lost in the US are federal government jobs and retail jobs partly seasonal and partly due to the sequestration. None of these jobs are tech jobs. If America idolized colleges for their US News and World Report rankings rather than the NCAA rankings, we would not face a shortage of tech  personnel.
However another major problem is the quota itself.  Computer consulting companies are the main users of the H-1B visas. They have to predict their usage for the year.  Once the quotas are gone, they cannot get labor to supply their clients, and have to take a major hit.
The other reason is that the educated spouses of H-1B holders, (on H-4 visas) cannot work. Dependents of L or J visas can.  But for some completely inane reason, dependents of H visas cannot work. So these H-4 visa holders approach Consulting companies for jobs. Consulting jobs are hard.  Not only do you have to know computer science, you also have to travel places with the job. Americans simply wont work that hard or travel that much.
Thus we should do away with this unnatural quota. Let the marketplace dictate needs. Yet the Obama Government simply will not handle immigration piecemeal. They want those Hispanic votes and wont do anything for the country until they get those votes.
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information