(972) 386-9544
13355 Noel Rd #1940
Dalls, TX 75240
Request a Case Evaluation

25 Years of McCuistion: Immigration Policy from 1990-2015

December 4, 2015

Filed under: Immigration,Uncategorized — drgump @ 1:29 pm

25 Years of McCuistion: Immigration Policy from 1990-2015

Immigration is part of the founding myth of the United States which has gone through several immigration waves in its short history. Its first; the founding colonial wave, which was largely English. Since, we’ve had the primarily German/Irish wave of 1820-1870 with German immigration the largest to date, comprising 15% of all our immigration. The third wave took place from the 19th century to World War I. During the fourth wave, immigration policies became even more complex; as a human rights issue, jobs and economic issue, welfare issue, a cultural and a national security issue. Despite the succession of laws it still remains problematic. A 1986 law gave 3 million undocumented aliens some legalized status and had provisions to fine employers who abused the system by employing undocumented aliens.

Host, Dennis McCuistion, is joined by:

  • Richard A. Gump Jr. PC, Immigration Attorney
  • Pia Orrenius PhD, V.P. and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Adjunct Professor, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization
  • Hipolito Acosta, Former District Director U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, Houston, and Author of The Shadow Catcher


25 Years of McCuistion: Immigration Policy for the Future


This program addresses a huge question regarding immigration policy: what is the one thing we should do today to solve the immigration issue? As you might expect there is no one or simple answer and each of our panelists have diverse solutions.

Host, Dennis McCuistion, is joined by:

  • Rick Gump: Immigration Attorney
  • Professor Neil Foley, PhD: Southern Methodist University, Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Author: Mexicans and the Making of America
  • Pia Orrenius, PhD: V.P and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Adjunct Professor, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization

New Form I-9 Proposed in Federal Register

November 30, 2015

Filed under: Immigration — drgump @ 8:33 pm

New Form I-9 Proposed in Federal Register on November 24, 2015

In 1986, I studied the proposed worksite compliance laws and Form I-9. I handled the 13th worksite enforcement case ever filed in 1987. During that time, I began to wonder if it was time to bite the bullet and move toward a national ID card for U.S. citizens and a similar document for foreign nationals entitled to work in the U.S. Over the years worksite compliance has not gotten easier and we still have no simplified ID system in place. Now, almost 30 years after studying that first I-9, I am pouring over the latest (13th) proposed updated Form I-9 with drop downs for every box and zillions of pages of instructions, all proposed to make the process easier for employers and employees.

I pity the unprepared HR professional next Spring when he/she studies the new Form I-9 with its 15 pages of instructions, reviews all the drop down menus, reads every page of the 65 page M-274 and constantly checks I-9 Central for updates.

E-Verify may cut down on submission of fraudulent documents but it does not speed up the I-9 process and opens employers to scrutiny by ICE and the OSC for document abuse and fines for requesting certain documents from employees. Electronic I-9s may be the coming rage but they only help if the employers are truly compliant with the rules.

I-9 audits and fines for noncompliant employers are necessary to develop a culture of compliance in the workplace, but they are a trap for the unwary.

Immigrant Investor Visa Proram

October 30, 2015

Filed under: Immigration,Standard — drgump @ 5:25 pm

The Immigrant Investor Visa Program (also known as EB-5)…have you heard of it? Some people refer to it as a way for wealthy foreign nationals to buy their U.S. green card; however, others see it for what it really is: a program that creates thousands of new American jobs and supports business ventures that would otherwise never gotten off the ground.

The EB-5 program, which is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allows foreign national entrepreneurs and their families to apply for a green card (aka permanent residence) if they invest at least $1 million, or $500,000 in a rural or high-unemployment area, in a U.S. business that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified American workers.

Since 1990, the EB-5 program has been used to stimulate the U.S. economy and in FY2012 alone investments made through the EB-5 program supported 42,000 U.S. jobs and contributed $3.39 billion to U.S. gross domestic product. And the statistics keep growing with each passing year.

However, investors must be prudent in the types of business ventures they seek to invest. Without proper research and legal guidance the EB-5 labyrinth can cause serious problems for investors, including governmental investigations that can threaten the investor’s ability to secure his or her green card.

(change language of link to “SEC Announces Asset Freeze Against Alleged EB-5 Fraudster in Seattle Area)


(change language of link to “Judge Asked to Appoint Receiver in Path America EB-5 case”)


The Business of Texas

April 23, 2015

Texas is known as a business friendly state – low taxes, moderate regulations, and a good supply of workers. When it comes to immigration we have a mixed bag – (1) immigrants willing to work but may be here illegally and may have a low level of education, (2) resident tuition is available to immigrants but a proposal to abolish it if the individual does not have legal status has been introduced, and (3) local law enforcement focus on crimes, not immigration status but a proposal to forbid “sanctuary cities” has been introduced.

The proposals to limit resident tuition to those with legal status on its face makes sense until we realize it may not be wise to limit the education of children who don’t have status. Likewise, we don’t need to inhibit police efforts to solve crimes in the Hispanic communities by requiring them to check everyone’s immigration status.

We should be practical when it comes to educating children brought to the U.S. at an early age as well as supportive of police who want to focus on fighting crimes rather than be immigration cops frightening entire Hispanic communities.

Now we have a new immigration issue in the form of Executive Order No. RP-80, which requires state agencies under the direction of the governor, and contractors of such agencies, to use E-Verify for current and prospective employees. The problem for employers (the State of Texas agencies as well as private employers with contracts to do work for such agencies) is that federal law is clear that employer who sign up for E-Verify can only use it to verify newly hired employees except in certain limited circumstances (e.g. federal contracts under FAR rule). We don’t need this sort of confusion in Texas. While private attorneys and even the federal government agency responsible for E-Verify (USCIS) have pointed out the inconsistency to the governor’s office, RP-80 remains in effect. We encourage business associations, in particular the Texas Association of Business, which understands and promotes the need for fair and consistent immigration benefits and enforcement, to petition the governor’s office to rescind or amend RP-80 to conform with federal law.

Legal immigration is a net benefit to Texas businesses by encouraging entrepreneurs, trade and investment, as well as creating and filling jobs needed by employers. E-Verify is a wonderful tool to assist employers in determining whether prospective employees are authorized for employment but it must be enforced with one set of federal rules, without conflicting state rules.

Business Immigration Flash – Two Items to Consider

April 16, 2015

Recruiting, hiring and verifying a talented and legal workforce in a burgeoning economic hotspot like the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex is a continuing challenge for employers.

  1. H-1B Visas. The competition for international talent is strong in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex according to a report from the Brookings Institute. H-1B visas for professionals and persons in a specialty occupation are limited by a federal quota. DFW employers had 19,824 H-1B approvals during fiscal year 2013-2014, second only to New York in metropolitan areas and ahead of the Silicon Valley region. Statistics for fiscal year 2014 – 2015 are not yet available, but 172,000 petitions were filed in hopes of receiving one of the 65,000 visas available for that fiscal year.  The USCIS is completing its acceptance of H-1B visa petitions this week for fiscal year 2015 – 2016. Planning ahead and knowing the rules are paramount in being successful in this competition. H-1B wage and public file rules are strict and employers are subject to audits even after the visas are granted.
  2. E-Verify and Texas State Agency Contracts. E-Verify, the online electronic system for verifying employees, keeps gaining steam (500,000 employers currently enrolled at 1.4 million hiring sites, with 1,400 new employers joining weekly). E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Is the Texas Executive Order RP 80 (December 3, 2014) requiring all state agency employees and companies (including subcontractors) doing business with Texas state agencies to use E-Verify for all current and new hires legal? The general rule is that only new hires can be run though E-Verify with the exception of the Federal Acquisition Rule. Employers with state agency contracts in Texas are encouraged to discuss this issue with legal counsel before acting.

A Note on the H-1B Visa Cap

April 15, 2015

Why are we capping the entry of professionals and entrepreneurs who create jobs by developing technology and building businesses that enlarge the overall economy?

It hasn’t always been this way. Before 1990 there was no lottery. If you were of distinguished merit or a professional you could get an H-1 visa without a cap in numbers or a particular salary requirement.

Companies constantly complain about the inability to attract foreign talent to fill “C” level positions. Despite the launch of StartUp America in 2011 by President Obama, entrepreneurs have a very difficult time finding an appropriate visa to develop their ideas. Startup America is a White House initiative that was launched to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation:

“Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the idea that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country. And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs.”


But here we are today with a story from Bloomberg discussing how the co-founder of Instagram seriously considered packing up and going home in 2010 because he could not get a work visa. He finally received an H-1B visa but it took longer to get the visa than it did to develop Instagram!

We must go beyond words and implement new laws and policies that will move our economy forward and create jobs for Americans, and foreign talent often is needed to do that.

A new report shows how much immigrants contribute to the Texas Economy

September 19, 2014

The American Immigration Council recently posted a summary of a report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which details the many ways in which “immigrants in Texas are major drivers of the state’s economy. Among the findings of the report:

  • There are more than 4.2 million immigrants in Texas—roughly one-third of whom are naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to vote. Plus, nearly one-third are lawful permanent residents of the United States.
  • “Mixed-status” families are ubiquitous in the state. About 2 million U.S.-born Texas children have at least one parent who lacks legal status.
  • Immigrants are more likely to be of “prime working age” than the older native-born population, and have higher rates of labor-force participation. As a result, they play an outsize role in the Texas workforce. While immigrants comprise 16.5 percent of the state’s population, they account for 21.2 percent of all workers.
  • “Small businesses owned by immigrants contributed $4.4 billion in earnings to the state’s economy in 2011. This accounts for almost a fifth of total small business earnings.”
  • “In 2011, immigrants contributed $65 billion in economic output to the state in terms of wages, salary, and business earnings.”
  • Citing the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the report notes that unauthorized immigrants in Texas paid more than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.
  • “Texas is home to the 4th largest highly educated/skilled workforce in the country after California, New York, and Florida.” They hold jobs in a diverse range of occupations, including healthcare, engineering, and finance.
  • 37 percent of immigrants work in white-collar jobs, although the biggest employers of immigrants include construction, food service, housekeeping, and childcare.

The full summary can be read here, or click here to read the full report.

In the US legally but unable to work? H-4s wish for work authorization

September 18, 2014

Filed under: Immigration — Tags: , , , , , , , — drgump @ 7:51 pm


Three Little Words All Employers Hate to Hear

August 20, 2014

Notice of Inspection

Those are three words an employer never wants to hear.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division has issued more than 10,000 Notices of Inspection in the last four years alone. Companies that receive an NOI will undergo an extensive review of their I-9 forms, policies and procedures and, at the end of the day, could receive significant financial fines due to errors in I-9 completion and retention.

Through their attempts to hire a legal workforce, while at the same time weeding out illegal employees from their current personnel, employers continue to remain caught in legally questionable situations.

One of the best solutions to combat the formidable employment verification process is through the use of E-Verify, a free, web-based program that allows employers to further verify their employees’ employment eligibility once hired. It is important to note that E-Verify does not replace Form I-9 compliance; the I-9, whether a hard copy or electronic version, must still be completed. However, the added benefit of E-Verify usage is that this government program compares the data from the employee’s completed Form I-9 with that of the Social Security Administration as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This government initiated program expands the compliance initiative aimed at establishing a wholly legal workforce.

While numerous benefits exist to utilizing E-Verify, such as an improved level of Form I-9 compliance and extra security in knowing that the employee’s I-9 information matches that in the government’s database, it is important to note that employer implementation of E-Verify does carry with it additional concerns. Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented data-mining strategies to track E-Verify users who are potentially violating immigration laws. When certain trends are discovered through data-mining, USCIS shares its findings with other government agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), for investigatory purposes.

Current data-mining trends include:

  • Verifying existing employees
  • Failing to verify employees within three days of hire
  • Failing to print TNC notices
  • Intermittent use of E-Verify
  • Employer requests specific documents from Lawful Permanent Residents

Consequently, employers must be prudent in their compliance endeavors when utilizing E-Verify, as enrollment alone does not safeguard companies from future investigations and liability.

Verifying a Mobile Workforce

July 31, 2014

As the construction industry claws its way out of the Great Recession, employers need to be acutely aware of on-going company procedures that pose to threaten their re-acquired stability. At the heart of this introspection is the employer’s workforce itself, without which a company would be useless. As the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to significantly increase its number of, often times, industry-driven audits (in the past four years alone more than 10,000 employers have been audited), it is imperative for employers to verify their workforce. While this may pose no concern for those already established in their culture of compliance, it is essential for all employers to take a second glance at their company’s protocols.

The construction industry revolves around a transient workforce and must adapt to ever-changing worksite locations. Therefore, when headquarters is based in a different location than the worksite, employers must ensure that correct employment verification processes are not abandoned for the sake of convenience. When verifying a mobile workforce the most common error involves Section 2 of the Form I-9. In most circumstances, it is the employer’s responsibility to complete Section 2 within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. Through this certification process, the employer or the employer’s agent is saddled with the responsibility of inspecting the List A, or List B and List C supporting documents. However, if this employer is not in the same location as the new hire then a fairly straight-forward I-9 process quickly transforms into a complex scenario full of hidden violations.

These violations are caused by none other than the thing that has transformed all employers into fierce competitors who can operate on a global scale: technology. Known for its rapid speed and instantaneous gratification, it would make perfect sense to utilize technological measures in order to verify a remote hire. Have the remote hire take a picture of his or her supporting documents with a cellphone and email/text it to the employer; utilize Skype; or make a copy/scan it to headquarters. While all options make sense, they are nonetheless Form I-9 violations and employers will be held accountable for them. Why? Because Section 2 requires the employer or the employer’s agent to physically examine each original document to ensure its genuineness. Failing to do otherwise can result in significant fines (in 2012, worksite I-9 audit fines were reported at nearly $13 million).

The answer to this frustrating problem involves some degree of creativity and a mandatory company procedure regarding the verification of remote hires. One option is to ensure that an I-9 trained employer representative or agent (e.g. notary public) is available at each worksite location to verify every new hire’s employment authorization. This would allow for the physical inspection of the supporting documents; however, it is imperative to note that the employer and potentially the agent will be liable for the actions taken, thus, correct I-9 training is key. The government has taken note of the difficulties employers face when attempting to verify a mobile workforce but has taken no action. Therefore, a current effort to consider the utilization of post offices to assist in Section 2 completion is underway. Bottom line: employers must have a plan of action for verifying their mobile workforce, which must include correct training, physical examination of supporting documents and periodic auditing practices.

With the number of ICE audits increasing annually, the need to develop and maintain ongoing compliance measures is key towards avoiding costly fines. And as employees become more mobile, developing an acute awareness of acceptable employment verification processes will only ensure continued success in an employer’s remotely linked workforce.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »