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In this video, we cover the requirements for winning self employment H1B and the possibility of whether an H1B can lead to a Green Card.

Did you know that forty percent of Fortune 500 companies in the United States were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants. From 1995 to 2005, half of Silicon Valley startups had an immigrant founder and in 2005 alone those businesses did $52 billion in sales creating more than 400,000 jobs. Iconic American companies that built whole new industries like US Steel, Dupont, Google, eBay, Honeywell, and Intel were started by immigrant founders. Chobani Yogurt, founded in 2005 by the immigrant entrepreneur Hamdi Ulukaya in upstate New York, has created 1,500 American jobs.

Just as we find common ground that unites families and protects communities, so too should we ensure that the world’s most talented innovators and entrepreneurs who are educated in our great universities are able to stay and contribute, rather than be forced to set up competitor businesses abroad. Many end up leaving because our visa options for self employed founders are limited.

Foreign Start Up founders often struggle with visa options to stay and launch a company in the US. The options are limited, if your country is part of a US Investment treaty, one can apply for the E2 visa and start a small company by investing some money. If you have a million dollars, you could also invest in your business, and could apply for the EB5 Immigrant Visa. But what if you don’t have money, and your country is not a member of the E2 treaty? Well until recently you were out of luck.

Now we have more options to offer our clients due to some changes to the H1B work visa. On Aug. 2, 2011, the USCIS announced a number of immigration initiatives to boost the economy by attracting and retaining foreign entrepreneurs. Rather than tackling the nearly impossible task of passing immigration legislation in the Congress, the Administration has decided to re-interpret the current immigration laws in favor of foreign entrepreneurs.

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Great article by our Law Clerk, Andrew Desposito about Arizona Style Immigration movement. An immigrant-rights group has released a report predicting that 25 states may try next year to pass anti-illegal-immigration laws similar to Arizona’s controversial legislation.

The number of states considering legislation modeled after SB1070, the bill that Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law this spring, is apparently growing: Earlier, pro-enforcement groups said 22 states were considering the bill, the Washington Independent’s Elise Foley notes.

The new efforts are going forward even after a federal judge ruled key parts of the Arizona law unconstitutional and enjoined its enforcement in Arizona in July. That decision is now under appeal before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court.

Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina are most likely to pass a similar law next year, the new report says. Tennessee, Utah, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri, Idaho and Kansas made the report’s “maybe” list. In Maryland, Nevada, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Rhode Island, the legislation is seen as less likely to pass.

The report notes that from 2006 to 2008, municipalities passed a host of local laws and statutes cracking down on employers hiring illegal immigrants.

This next wave of legislation, the report says, will be aimed at getting local law enforcement to check immigration status in routine police stops, as SB1070 mandates.

Such a trend only goes to show how reactionary immigration views have become since Arizona passed SB1070. Because there has been so much talk about how the Federal government has not done enough to prevent illegal immigrants from coming to the U.S., more and more people in other states are identifying with Arizona and its current attempt to curtail illegal immigration through their state legislatures. As evidenced above, more states look to address the issue in the coming year.

Lawmakers may be influenced by how the Ninth Circuit rules on SB1070, and how the Supreme Court rules on the state’s 2007 employer-sanction law passed. Finances may also influence local politicians’ decisions, as more immigration-related arrests and court battles end up costing cities and counties that adopt such rules.

One industry stands to benefit from such laws. In Arizona’s case, the private prison industry helped guide the process that made SB1070 law and even gave the legislation its name while working with legislators, NPR reports. Thirty of the cosponsors to SB1070 later received money from the private prison industry or its lobbyists. With certain lobbyists behind the push for such a law, it is a concern that not only those who hold conservative views on immigration would be behind passing such a law, but also those who stand to benefit financially as well.

Of course, if more people voice their concerns over such laws in the states considering such an anti-immigration law, then perhaps there will be more discussion in the Federal government for what it will do to prevent states from entering the area of regulating immigration.

Hong Kong welcomed a record 3.4 million visitors in August, its highest-ever monthly figure, tourism officials said Thursday. The total was 21 per cent higher than the same month in 2009 and brought the total arrivals so far this year to 23.5 million, a year-on-year increase of 24 per cent.

Both the short and long-haul markets increased, according to figures from the Hong Kong Tourism Board. However, mainland China still accounted for the largest proportion of the influx. Of the total arrivals, 61 per cent, or 2.4 million visitors, were from mainland China, a 28-per-cent increase on August 2009.

The Tourism Board said the growth was fueled by the peak summer travel season and the implementation of a scheme for residents in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that made it easier for them to come to Hong Kong.

A Ukrainian citizen has approached the Bombay High Court against the Ministry of External Affairs, India, challenging a policy that mandates a minimum annual salary of $25,000 (over Rs. 11 lakh) as compulsory requirement for getting an employment visa. On June 3, she made an application to the Indian embassy in Kiev for an employment visa along with all supporting documents of her employer. “Petitioner submits that she was curtly told by the consul officer at the embassy that she would not be granted employment visa as the rule has been introduced from April 2010 mandating a salary in India equivalent to $25,000 per annum for issuance of an employment visa.”
It is now mandatory for any foreign worker to have an annual salary above Rs. 11 lakh to get an Indian employment visa. Many companies across the country hire foreigners legally at lower salaries though it’s not a publicized fact. Ms. Stelmakh Leonid Lulia, 25, was not granted visa by the Indian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. She explains that her job at J P Morgan will lapse if she does not join in a week’s time. “This is a sensitive constitutional matter on foreigners’ right to employment and will have wide ramifications on foreign employees in the Indian services industry,” says Prashant Uchil, Stelmakh’s counsel.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council, which runs the registration service, stated, “a report was made by us to the UK Border Agency about concerns regarding a potential sham marriage”. He continued, “Oxfordshire County Council registration service takes such matters extremely seriously and we have a statutory duty to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.”
UK immigration officials have arrested a couple just minutes from getting married. The registrar at the Oxfordshire Register Office tipped off police that the wedding, between a 30-year-old Indian man and a 19 year-old Polish woman, was sham. Some 529 suspected sham marriages were reported by registrars last year, up by 54 per cent on the year before. This indicates that a growing number of people are looking to gain UK marriage visas through unscrupulous means.

UK immigration official, Terry Gibbs, from the UK Border Agency explained how registrars spot a sham wedding: People who plan on getting married have to have an interview beforehand to give notice of their wedding. Registrars do this day in and day out, so if they believe something is not quite right with the couple, they notify us.

Great poem by Leslie Holman, AILA Secretary, 5/7/10
They’ll take you out of the ball game
They’ll pick you out of the crowd.

They’ll hand you a warrant, your bags they will pack
They’ll make sure you never get back
‘Cause they root, root root
For their “home” team.

If you’re not white it’s a shame.

Don’t say uno, dos, or tres strikes
you’re out
At an AZ ball game.

Here is a creative idea to report from the the New York Times, four immigrant students set out on foot from downtown Miami on Friday, starting a four-month walk to Washington to protest what they called the Obama administration’s lack of action on legislation granting legal status to illegal immigrants.

Three of the four protesters, who are current or former students at Miami Dade College, do not have legal-resident status and risk detention by immigration authorities during the 1,500-mile walk.

The students’ trek showed the resolve and also some limitations of groups supporting an immigration overhaul that would include measures to legalize illegal immigrants. Those groups said this week that they would start a national campaign in January to pressure President Obama to push for the overhaul before midterm elections in November.

But as immigration enforcement has continued at a steady pace during the first year of the Obama administration, many illegal immigrants are clinging to jobs and families in this country and may be afraid to participate in public demonstrations. With unemployment holding at 10 percent, immigrant advocates acknowledge that their campaign could awaken passionate opposition in Congress and around the country.

This is a risky move, but 2010 will also be a defining year for Immigration reform. I expect more arrests and more Immigrants on the run before we have our much desire CIR passed. Will keep you posted. Click here for the NY Times article

Interesting update, the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP) reported on a new study from the New York based, Fiscal Policy Institute. The findings: Immigration and economic growth go hand in hand.

For their report, Immigrants and the Economy: Contribution of Immigrant Workers to the Country’s 25 Largest Metropolitan Areas, the Fiscal Policy Institute examined the economic impact of all foreign-born workers, including undocumented immigrants, in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas.

The results of the study provides further evidence of why passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is so critical for the economic recovery of the United States. In an interview with OCPP, Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA, adds that, “A path to citizenship for undocumented workers would allow them to contribute even more to Portland and Oregon’s economy,” Lopez said. “It would make undocumented immigrants less vulnerable to exploitation, lifting the bar for all workers, and provide the security needed to start a business. Everyone would win.”
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Have you been following the heated debate on Health Care reform? You think that is a Challenge, enter Immigration Reform 2010 debate. The Immigration system is broken, and in order to fix it….well who has the solution. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports:

From our vantage point, any immigration reform is dependent on making sure the border between the U.S. and Mexico is secure. It also requires tougher enforcement laws against illegal immigrants and employers who knowingly hire them.

In the face of rising unemployment, Napolitano said the enhanced enforcement will actually protect American workers from being displaced by lower-paid, easily exploited illegal immigrants and will help the economy “as these immigrants become full-paying taxpayers.”
The issue of border security drew immediate criticism from some Republicans, who point to a significant gap in physical impediments to entering the country illegally.

“How can they claim that enforcement is done when there are more than 400 open miles of border with Mexico?” asked Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

Napolitano argued that security has improved, with more than 600 miles of border fence now in place and the Border Patrol having been increased to 20,000 officers.

Immigration reform is as important a topic here in Central Washington as is health care reform, perhaps even greater. With Hispanics accounting for more than 40 percent of Yakima County’s population, much is at stake. Guest-worker details in any reform initiative will be especially critical for the Yakima Valley’s agriculture industry, which estimates that from 50 percent to 70 percent of its farm-worker labor pool is here illegally.

The failure of President George W. Bush and Congress to pass reform in 2007 underscores how difficult it will be for the Democrats under Obama to succeed in navigating the thicket of opposition that comes with any measure offering legalization provisions.

If the White House can’t satisfy that overriding concern, immigration reform will never be taken seriously. I couldn’t agree more.

Some surprising news from our border, according to the LA Times, arrests of illegal immigrants along the California-Mexico border declined 25% this year as a weak economy and bolstered enforcement efforts appear to be discouraging treks north.

The downward trend is evident across the Southwest border as apprehensions fell to levels not seen since the early 1970s. The U.S. Border Patrol arrested 556,000 people last year, 152,200 of them in California, according to statistics released for the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Apprehension levels, considered the best available indicator of illegal crossing activity, have fluctuated for decades, but have steadily declined since 2000, when there were 1.6 million arrests.

Federal officials say the declining numbers show that increased enforcement, including fencing, staffing and infrastructure, are affecting migrant flows. Showing progress in securing the border is crucial for the Obama administration’s efforts to garner support for immigration reform legislation. We know that without an enforcement plan, any reform is bound to fail.

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