Hey You

By | DACA, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Uncategorized | No Comments

I came to America from India. One day, in an undergraduate English class in the top liberal arts college in India, the female Rhodes Scholarship winning teacher said, “for our men we are happy when they get a good job, but for our females, we are happier when they get married.” And that summed up my life in India. I would always be someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s mother. And so, like you, I came to America—–like you, whose forefathers came for a better life, like you whose parents came illegally, crossing the border so that they could give you a better life. I know you were too young to tell your parents to stop doing any illegal act. I know you were a child.
You went to school, here in America. You made friends and you played football with them. Your parents worked as maid and gardener. You were not rich, you wore second hand clothes. But there was always food on the table. Your parents did not tell you to study. They themselves can barely read. In high school, your parents did not buy you a car like the other kids. But you made it anyways. You graduated high school, you did not get into trouble.
Then you got into graphic design. When DACA came along, you got a job. You got a driver’s license. I remember the look in your face. Gone was a depressed little boy who did much of nothing. You had new enthusiasm. You got a job. In fact 2 jobs. You wanted to save up. You wanted a house, a wife like everyone else. You worked out, ate healthy and lost weight. You started looking good. There was a sense of purpose about you. You are today, what America made you.
And you paid your taxes. Paid for your Driver’s License, your car insurance, your health insurance. You gave back to America everything you could, because you love the only country you’ve lived in, the country that gave you everything.
And then you hear that you may be thrown out. As someone educated in USA, you will find a job in Mexico. But you don’t know anyone there. You don’t celebrate the same things, you don’t eat the same food. If we send you away, you will benefit the country that did nothing for you.

Banerjee & Associates

DACA Rescind

By | CIS, Citizenship and Naturalization, DACA, DAPA, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform, Travel, Uncategorized | No Comments

FACTS:
1. If your Work Permit expires March 5, 2018, you can file DACA extension for 2 more years—–but the application has to be received by Citizenship and Immigration Services before October 5, 2017
2. If your application is pending, the Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process them. Do your fingerprinting and answer all Request for Evidences
3. Anyone else cannot apply. It is advisable not to travel, even if you have a valid advance parole

Trump has asked the Congress to come up with an Immigration plan within 6 months

MORAL OBLIGATION:
The Republicans are not going to hear “emotional stories” of family unity. The only explanation is a logical one: We educated the children brought in without intention of coming illegally. They can work and pay taxes. They have already proven to be productive. Besides, they have no ties to their home country.
POLITICAL AGRUMENT:

I think both Democrats and Republicans would be open to extending DACA —-although the Obama era name might go. But if Democrats push for Citizenship, ie votes, then the outcome might get harsher. Republicans control the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, and Democrats need to be prudent

 

For more information visit Banerjee & Associates

Joe Arpaio—the legacy of hate

By | Immigration, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform, Uncategorized | No Comments

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a place not so far away, there was a land ruled by Joe Arpaio. Maricopa County, Arizona in the 1990s and 2000s. If you were brown, you would be caught for anything and everything. If you were lucky to be put in brick and mortar jails, you would be given stale bread and milk, and moved constantly and not be given time to sleep. Coffee and TV were banned in those jails. But if they are going to lock you up for a long time for say drinking and driving, the jails will be overfilled. Then you would be put in one of Araipo’s tents. No matter the weather in the Arizona desert, you would be placed in a tent with just a pink underwear beneath your prison garb. Cruel? Racist? Yes, it was unequal justice. But Joe Araipo thought he was above the law.
In the Mid 90s Joe Arpaio gained enormous popularity in the State. He also increased the cruelty standard. He was sued by the Justice Department for wrongful death in 97, and settled with the family for 8.25 million.
The cruelty continued to rise. Araipo installed webcams in jails, including those of female inmates using the bathroom. Of course those web cams generated millions of views and strengthened Joe’s support in Arizona. Luckily however in 2004, a court ruled that those webcams violated the rights of pre trial detainees who have not yet been convicted.
In 2007, Arpaio turned his hatred full force towards Mexicans, jailing anyone who was brown. A Mexican man, on a valid visa was detained and sued Arpaio. The ACLU went on to have a class action lawsuit against Arpaio for racially profiling Mexican people.
In 2012, the Justice Department also sues Arpaio and so does the ACLU. Arpaio then launches an “investigation” that Obama’s birth certificate is not legitimate. He also of course supports Trump in 2016.
Also in 2016, he loses his reelection to the former police Chief in Maricopa County. Following a pattern that is uniquely Trump’s Arpaio does not produce documents —the first one to not do so in 50 years. He gets convicted, but Trump, his guru pardons him.
Had he served his jail sentence even for 6 months, the sense of justice that the community wanted would be served. But Trump has no desire to unite this country, he is interested in being loyal to his criminal friends. And so the sense of injustice remains, and this is how, Joe Arpaio will be remembered.

 

For more information Contact Banerjee & Associates

A Path to Citizenship for DACA

By | Citizenship and Naturalization, DACA, Executive Order, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Uncategorized | No Comments

A bipartisan (Yes, seriously) bill to extend the Dream Act was introduced today on the Senate. It was introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (IL).
The so called “Dream Act” promises to not deport individuals who were brought to the US when they were kids, had completed High School, and have an unblemished moral character. Introduced by Obama as an Executive Action in 2012, Trump said in June 16, 2017, that he has not made a decision on the DACA program yet, and will not immediately cut it.
Today’s bill would actually extend a path to Citizenship to the Good Hombres. Applicants will receive a Conditional Residency for 8 years. If they prove themselves under the following conditions for 8 years, they get their Permanent Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). 5 yrs after that, they can apply for Citizenship.

They can apply for green card on the basis of:
1. Work track: Demonstrates employment over a total period of 3 years
2. Higher education: Completes at least 2 years of higher education.
3. Military service: Completes at least 2 years of military service or receive an honorable discharge.
4. Waiver: Receiving a “hardship waiver” that exempts an applicant from having to follow the tracks outlined above.

Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham said that the “Day of Reckoning” has come for the Republican party. The Question for the Republican Party is, what do we do with these people? How do we treat them? Here’s my answer: We treat them fairly, we do not pull the rug under them.”

The White House has indicated that Trump won’t sign the legislation. However, if this bill passes the Senate and the House, it will be so huge, that my guess is that Trump will sign.

For All your Immigration needs, contact Banerjee & Associates

Creating Hopes that wont Materialize

By | Citizenship and Naturalization, Houston Immigration, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Uncategorized, Visa | No Comments

From time to time, our lawmakers meet with lobby groups, with Constituents or with other interest groups and promise them the moon. They of course are given gifts and campaign contributions. In return, these lawmakers introduce bills in the Congress or the Senate. The bills might be debated or might be killed immediately. But most of them don’t make it out to the other House, and some that do, might die in the next house. During my career, I have seen countless bills die. Yet for a fleeting moment, they bring hope to people.
Whenever such bills are introduced, we lawyers get a flurry of calls. Can this be true? Can we get work permit? Can we get the green card soon? And as an Attorney, it becomes our duty to crush these dreams.
Good attorneys crush dreams. Bad attorneys sign on clients. For instances, when DAPA was introduced by the Obama administration, giving dreams of working and driving legally, to parents of children born in the United States who entered illegally, many attorneys took retainers and signed on clients. Clients think, they engaged an attorney and will get their dreams realized. But that executive action died in the Supreme Court.
Today, I got calls from Indian tech employees. They are legal residents, working in the tech sector, being productive. Yet, they have to wait 12 to 18 years after they file their petition, to ultimately get their green card. Most are Master’s degree holders and many times, their employers abuse them. They work hard. They make the best of their situation.
How does a lawyer tell them, that bills to alleviate their wait times will probably die?

 

For your Immigration needs call Banerjee & Associates

How to cut waste for the H-1B program

By | H1-B, Immigration, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform, Uncategorized | No Comments

We went through hectic preparation and filing in March; held our breath in April for the lottery results. And now we have finally come to the very painful end of the H-1B process. We are getting the actual petitions filed by us, which did not make the lottery; being returned to us by Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Because H-1B have a high burden of proof, the files are big, and it costs the Citizenship and Immigration Service a lot of money to send it back to us by Propriety mail. Although tax payers don’t have to pay for it, it’s still a waste of resources.
What Citizenship and Immigration Service should do to make the process more efficient is:
1. Take names of the employer/employee, Date of birth, evidence of education and do the lottery. We had one client who got selected twice, thereby taking two visa numbers.
2. Once the lottery and the alternative list is done, we need to file before September 30.
I realize that this is not in the interest of Immigration Attorney’s pocket book. But the above is the best solution. However, if Citizenship and Immigration Service wants to enrich our, (Attorney’s) pocketbook, then it could just send the rejection letter and the checks. They could actually e mail it to us, Attorney’s or to Employers.
To see a tear, (a rejected petition) enclosed in a jewel (expensive Priority mail boxes), makes it that much harder.

For more information contact Banerjee & Associates

Sanctuary Cities in Texas

By | Immigration, Immigration Policy, Sanctuary Cities, Uncategorized | No Comments

Texas Governor Gregg Abbot signed the SB-4 into law via Facebook live on May 7th 2017, and it’s said to take effect on September 01, 2017. The law takes away “sanctuary cities” by allowing Police Officers to ask people’s immigration status if they are lawfully detained. In its present form, police officials who do not believe in immigration will have ample reason to detain people of brown skin color and harass them. It will also prevent undocumented people to seek police help, thereby increasing crime. This law is being challenged in court.
Although the bill does say that it will be at the police officer’s discretion, it has the potential of discrimination and harassment of people based solely on their skin color. This will be especially true in the rural areas where the KKK still has cells.
The problem is that entering illegally is not a “crime”, but rather a civil violation. Thus allowing the Police question that status serves merely to make a segment of the population to go underground. We have all seen them, folks who drive rickety cars, slowly, seldom making eye contacts. Yet they clean our houses, mow our lawns, and construct our homes and offices. They provide valuable service. If Americans would do these jobs, we would not need them. And if undocumented people don’t have jobs, they would go back. But American citizens simply won’t do these jobs. As a society we reap the benefits and comfort that these people provide us, while hiding them in shadows and denying them access to safe living. And it will only serve to make Texas less safe.
The ACLU has already issued a travel ban to Texas. Texas had spent much of last eight years opposing anything the federal government proposed. Now it is all eager to help the federal government. And so:
The people at night
Are frightened and hide
Deep in the heart pf Texas

For all your Immigration needs contact Banerjee & Associates

The H-1B solution

By | H1-B, Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

Every year the mad dash of H-1B filings in the first week of April sends thousands of petition to the Citizenship and Immigration Service’s doorstep. If the Citizenship and Immigration Service gets more than 65K + 20 K for US Master’s Degree holder, they do a lottery, and a lucky few get in.
This year, even before the mailings began, the Citizenship and Immigration Service and Department of Labor separately issued “plans to protect American people from H-1B discrimination”. This blog demonstrates that while fraud does exist in the H-1B situation, and Government should take measures to stop the fraud, the measures proposed by the Government may not achieve their goals.
Designed to get the brightest and the best from other countries, we do see many H-1B employees not qualified to do the job. Indian Computer Consulting Companies usually from the Andhra Pradesh region of India bring in people from that region, even though, often, their qualification is suspect. They make up false “resumes” with skill set they do not possess; are placed in big companies and they then “learn on the job”. They thereby slow up American productivity. The employees have several “resumes” highlighting skills they do not possess, and placed in those jobs. That should be prohibited, and yes, penalties should be enforced for those consulting companies.
To remedy that, Citizenship and Immigration Service has said that it will target site visits and audits of these companies. It has also established an e mail address to report fraud in the system. The problem with the e mail approach is that the email might be used by hate groups to report non white employers falsely, creating a waste of government resources.
The Department of Labor has the following plan to remedy this situation:

• Rigorously use all of its existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B program violators. This effort to protect U.S. workers will also involve greater coordination with other federal agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Justice for additional investigation and, if necessary, prosecution
• Consider changes to the Labor Condition Application for future application cycles. The Labor Condition Application, which is a required part of the H-1B visa application process, may be updated to provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
• Continue to engage stakeholders on how the program might be improved to provide greater protections for U.S. workers, under existing authorities or through legislative changes.
The problem is that laws already exist to protect the American people. The Employers have to pay the Employee a prevailing wage, and H-1B employees cannot be paid more than American workers. Site visits wont do away with fraud, because the fraud is not that the Employee is not getting paid, but that the employee is not qualified. My proposals are:

1. DO away with an artificial H-1B quota. This quota and lottery leads to a mad dash of filings, and the lottery does not, and cannot pick the brightest and the best.

2. Change the nature of the Computer Consulting business. Right now, when big companies have a project, they contract the project out to a “Vendor”. These vendors then contracts with other vendors and staffing companies to get the necessary personnel. Instead, the companies themselves need to hire staff who will look for Employees to fill the project. These are all short time, part time projects. This staff can look for the project leader and they will be given time deadlines to get projects finished. If it is discovered that someone cannot work efficiently, and if that person is on H-1B, then their visas will be taken away, and they will not be permitted to enter USA again. Drastic, I know, but necessary to stop fraud. Google and Facebook does not tolerate this. Why should big Companies with short projects do?

For more information contact Annie Banerjee at 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

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.