Robin Gray

Robin Gray

Monday, 21 November 2016 19:26

IMMIGRATION UPDATE

There has been much concern in the past few days about the direction of immigration and the effect of a change of administration may have on the US Immigration laws.

The best course of action is to wait and see what happens. Everyone needs to remember that nothing is going to change, if anything does, for several months. The Constitution still requires a process between the House, Senate and President. One branch cannot make a decision without the approval of the other branch of government. The House and the Senate have to agree. Then the bill gets passed to the President who can approve or veto. It the bill is vetoed, then it goes back to either the house or the senate. Does anyone remember School House Rock? There was a whole lesson with a poor bill sitting on the steps waiting to be a law and how the process works. It still works that way.

Please remember as well there were also many Republican Congressmen and Senators who were in favor of amnesty and a moderation of the immigration policies. The immigration policies have been broken for years and the entire immigration system is not going to be changed over night, if ever. No one

Yes, it has been reported that Trump says he is going to deport 1 million to 2 million “illegal immigrants.” The media is also reporting that the focus seems to be on “illegal” immigrants with substantial criminal records. We do not yet know what is meant by “illegal.” Currently, the law permits immigration officials to deport anyone who is here without any type of Visa, whether or not they committed a crime. The current immigration laws also permit the removal of lawful permanent residents is they commit certain crimes. The immigration courts have become more and more difficult over the past eight years when determining the fate of an immigrant or green card holder who committed a crime.

There is no indication that anyone seeking Asylum will be turned away, or children falling under DACA or any other category of individuals. Again, nothing has been done. It is all talk and speculation.

Everyone also needs to remember that more individuals have been deported in the past eight years than have been deported for the past 20 years. This is something the media has not covered.

The information also being reported by some news channels and the newspapers is that the President of Mexico wants to have a dialogue with President Elect Trump to see what can be done to help out both the United States and Mexico and work out some type of immigration remedy between the countries.

The most pressing item from Immigration right now is that the filing fees with USCIS are going up dramatically. Anyone who wants to file for permanent resident status or other visa petition should file prior to December 23, 2016. Otherwise, you will be paying a significantly higher filing fee.

Many individuals who are in the United States on any type of Visa and who are seeking to adjust status should continue with their plan and keep taking steps necessary to stay in the United States. If the Petitions or Applications have not yet been filed, then the paperwork should be filed before the fees go up.

No matter what the policy or what happens, there will be laws to obey and due process to follow. All immigration attorneys are keeping abreast of any and all changes to the immigration laws if and when they occur and will answer any questions you may have. Currently, it is business as usual. All of the immigration attorneys in the area will continue to represent their clients with their immigration needs, whether it is filing with USCIS or representing clients in removal proceedings throughout the United States.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:46

United States Supreme Court Makes It Easier .....

United States Supreme Court Makes It Easier For The Government To Deport Immigrants Who Committed Crimes Under State Law

In a 5-3 decision by the United States Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan made clear that immigrants can qualify for removal from the United States, even if the state laws they violated lack an element in corresponding federal laws that trigger deportation, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Justice Hagan stated that “the whole point of the deportation provision [for permanent residents] is to make clear that a listed offense should lead to swift removal, no matter whether it violates federal, state, or foreign law.”

The government, under the immigration laws, enumerates several offenses, which they deem to be offenses against moral turpitude that can cause a permanent resident to be deported unless there are compelling reasons to qualify for a waiver. Despite a negotiated plea or similar disposition at the state level, the government has its own definitions of crimes against moral turpitude and will only look at those definitions when determining if an immigrant should be deported. This can happen no matter if the permanent resident has lived in the country for a year of 32 years, as in the case of George Luna, who was the subject of the recent US Supreme Court decision. However, the United States Supreme Court, in its decision in the case of Luna Torres v. Lynch (Slip Opinion 5/20/2016), made it easier for the government to deport immigrants by refusing to limit the definition of the crimes to that of the federal definitions, but also deferring to the state definitions or even foreign law.

If you are arrested and charged with a crime and you are a permanent resident or have already been sent a notice to appear due a conviction, you should contact my office. I would be happy to review your case and discuss all of your options.

Monday, 11 April 2016 18:01

Advantages for Businesses To Hire Foreign Workers

 

I write articles for the Lehigh Valley Business Journal with a focus on employment related issues, including immigration.

I recently received a response to my February article and the person left me a message that I am un-American, and I should leave the country. This is not the response that I wanted, but the response was important because it let me know that people are reading these articles but more importantly, that there is a great misperception about hiring foreign workers as being in opposition to hiring domestic workers.

US Companies, both large and small, need employees to be successful and to grow. US Companies want to hire domestically but sometimes, hiring just domestically does not fulfill the needs of the company. US workers are trained and obviously, the more that people work, the more they can provide for their families and contribute to the overall economy. However, there are many times that foreign workers may possess training and experience that US companies need but cannot find with domestic workers.

Immigration is more than migrant workers and undocumented individuals “living off the dole”. It’s about major companies like Goldman Sachs hiring outsourcing firms who often need to hire overseas and bring employees into the United States in a tight, high skilled labor market, according to Forbes Magazine.
Business leaders in Silicon Valley and other high-tech centers say they need more foreign workers to keep America competitive. Microsoft’s chairman Bill Gates made the case before Congress this spring.
According to BILL GATES, Chairman, Microsoft: “Now we face a critical shortage of scientific talent. And there’s only one way to solve that crisis today: open our doors to highly talented scientists and engineers who want to live, work and pay taxes here.”
The law allows 65,000 specialized workers, ranging from engineers to architects, and even including fashion models, into the U.S. each year, plus another 20,000 graduate degree holders. They, plus some categories like teachers not included in the cap, get what is called an H-1B visa.
With that temporary pass, they can stay and work here for up to six years. Today, there are more than 260,000 H-1B employees in the U.S.
Companies insist they need foreign workers because there are not enough qualified Americans to fill the jobs.

Foreign workers can bring specialized training and skill sets, job loyalty and a strong work ethic to any position. Again, this is not saying that US workers do not possess the same traits, but there is a shortage of US workers who possess the scientific and engineering training for today’s demanding hi-tech jobs.
There is also a shortage of workers for jobs in factories, groundskeepers, construction, and other labor intensive jobs. These jobs also require skill sets, work ethic and job loyalty for the employer to be successful. Foreign workers can fill the need of these employers.
As the world is changing and demand for skilled workers increases, the need for foreign workers is also increasing. There is room in the US for both domestic and foreign workers to fill this need and to contribute to the overall United States economy.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 19:42

The Real Economics Of Illegal Immigration

Americans, for the most part, believe that illegal immigration is wrong and that all illegal immigrants should be deported back from whence they came. The problem with that line of thinking is that many large agricultural corporations and economic tensions may not permit illegal immigration to stop.

According to the Wall Street Journal, after Arizona passed a series of very tough, anti-immigration laws, many farms could not find help for their crops, even when offering higher paying wages. The migrant workers and their families are not returning to Arizona because of the strict immigration laws and severe penalties. There is now a labor shortage in Arizona, especially in the agriculture and construction areas.

On the flip side, the lack of illegal workers is that the wages and benefits have increased to well over minimum wage, which should help the workers and the overall economy of the community where these businesses are located. Unfortunately, the benefit is not that significant.

The problem with this labor shortage, brought on by tougher immigration laws, also shows the lack of work ethic and/or motivation by US workers to perform the same tasks as illegal workers, for much higher wages and benefits than the illegal workers were making. It can be argued that there is a reason that these companies operating on the border hired illegal workers and lobbied for the United States to turn its head. Many of these farms and construction businesses cannot operate to full capacity; thus, there are fewer jobs and less business being conducted in these communities.

The solution to the immigration problem is very complex. There are so many competing interests, political agendas, and so much misinformation given to the general public that it is very difficult to see that a real solution is forthcoming. However the problem is no only immigration reform but reform in our education system as well as instilling a work ethic in the areas of agriculture, construction and other trades that seems to have gotten lost. Only when the real problems are addressed, will we be able to reform immigration and hopefully our domestic issues as well.

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