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Kiplinger Letter Predicts Immigration-Related Employer Audits, Site Visits, and Raids on the Rise

June 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgump @ 4:13 pm

The May 29th Kiplinger Letter predicts the workplace will be “…a growing target for aggressive immigration enforcement…as the Trump administration increases raids, audits and site visits to identify undocumented workers and find violations of temporary work visas.” We agree. Employers should shore up their compliance by independent audits of their I-9 policies and procedures as well as their H-1B and L-1 visas.

Automatic Extension for Certain EAD Categories

February 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgump @ 5:40 pm

As of January 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a new EAD automatic extension for certain EADs. While the automatic extension provision is a welcome relief to many foreign nationals who depend on EADs for documentation of employment eligibility, the new regulation carves out this benefit only to certain employment authorization categories.

The automatic extension takes place if a renewal EAD is not received before the current EAD expires and lasts for a period not to exceed 180 days, provided that the renewal application is:

  1. Properly filed with USCIS before the expiration date shown on the face of the expiring EAD,
  2. Based on the same employment category shown on the face of the expiring EAD, and
  3. Falls into one of the following fifteen eligibility categories:
Eligibility Category Code   

Description

(a)(3) Refugee
(a)(5) Asylee
(a)(7) Aliens admitted as parents or dependent children of aliens granted permanent residence
(a)(8) Citizen of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, or Palau
(a)(10) Withholding of Deportation or Removal Granted
(a)(12) Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted
(c)(8) Asylum Application Pending
(c)(9) Pending Adjustment of Status under Section 245 of the Act
(c)(10) Suspension of Deportation Applicants (filed before April 1, 1997)
Cancellation of Removal Applicants
Special Rule Cancellation of Removal Applicants Under NACARA
(c)(16) Creation of Record (Adjustment Based on Continuous Residence Since January 1, 1972)
(c)(19) Pending  initial application for TPS where USCIS determines applicant  is  prima facie eligible for TPS and can receive an EAD as a “temporary treatment benefit”.
(c)(20) Section 210 Legalization (pending I-700)
(c)(22) Section 245A Legalization (pending I-687)
(c)(24) LIFE Legalization
(c)(31) VAWA Self-Petitioners

 

USCIS has provided the following guidance on how employers and employees should complete Form I-9 when this automatic 180-day period takes effect, but they have not yet made any statements on whether an individual will be able to renew an expired driver’s license based on this same principle.

Instructions for an Employee Completing Section 1 of Form I-9

If you are a new employee:

When completing Section 1, new employees should:

  • Select the option “An alien authorized to work until”; and
  • Enter the date that is 180 days from the “card expires” date of their EAD as the “employment authorized until mm/dd/yyyy”

If you are a current employee:

Current employees whose employment authorization was automatically extended should:

  • Cross out the “employment authorized until” date in Section 1;
  • Write the date that is 180 days from the date their current EAD expires; and
  • Initial and date the

Instructions for Employers Completing Section 2 of Form I-9

If your employee is new and presents an automatically extended EAD that is still within the 180-day extension period:

When completing Section 2, the employer should:

  • Enter into the “Expiration Date” field the date upon which the automatic extension period expires, not the expiration date on the face of the expired The automatic extension expiration date is the date 180 days from the “card expires” date on the EAD; and
  • Enter the receipt number in the “Document Number” Note that this expiration date may be cut short if the employee’s renewal application is denied before the 180-day period expires.

If your employee is currently working for you:

For a current employee, update Section 2 of Form I-9 with the new expiration date as follows:

  • Draw a line through the old expiration date and write-in the new expiration date;
  • Write EAD EXT in the “Additional Information” field of Section 2; and
  • Initial and date the

The new expiration date the employer should enter is the date 180 days from the “card expires” date, which is the date on the face of the EAD.

Note: This is not considered a reverification; do not complete Section 3 until either the 180-day extension has ended or the employee presents a new document to show continued employment authorization, whichever is sooner. At the end of the 180-day extension, the employer must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3 of Form I-9.

Instructions for Employers Completing Section 3 of Form I-9

When the automatic extension of an EAD expires, an employer must reverify the employee’s employment authorization in Section 3. At that time, the employee must present any document from List A or any document from List C, or an acceptable List A or List C receipt described in the Form I-9 Instructions to reverify employment authorization.  Note that employers may not specify which List A or List C document employees must present.

For E-Verify Employers

An employer may create a case in E-Verify for a new employee using the information provided on Form I-9 from Form I-797C. The receipt number entered as the document number on Form I-9 should be entered into the document number field in E-Verify.

Our office is happy to assist any employers or employees who may have questions about this new policy and we will provide updates regarding driver’s licenses and other things impacted by this as they come out in the coming months.

Report Finds That Immigrants Make Essential and Beneficial Contributions to U.S. Economy

September 23, 2016

Filed under: Immigration,Uncategorized — drgump @ 2:02 pm

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) released a report, The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, that examined a decade’s worth of data to come to the conclusion that immigrants and their offspring make important contributions to economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the U.S. Immigrant workers will be vital in replacing the tax and economy loss of retiring Baby Boomers and they serve as an essential counterpart to other native born workers. As has been found in a number of other reports before, the NAS report showed that immigrant workers cause little to no negative effects on the wages or overall employment levels of native-born workers and adverse consequences are generally found only for U.S. workers without a high school degree.

The report also found that the estimated GDP growth due to contributions of immigrant workers from 2015 to 2016 amounted to nearly $2 trillion. Children of immigrants continue to be some of the top economic contributors among the U.S. population. While first generation immigrants may be slightly more costly to the government than a native-born American, that is usually due to a lower income and paying less in taxes, not because they are a drain on federally-sponsored programs. Furthermore, Americans now spend less on consumer goods and services like child care, food preparation, house cleaning and repair, and construction thanks to immigrants.

Our immigration system is in dire need of reform; but, even in its current broken state, immigrants continue to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on the U.S. economy. Any reforms that could potentially be passed by a newly elected Congress next year could only continue to provide economic benefits throughout the nation.

 

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.

http://www.frtv.org/2015/11/re-air-25-years-of-mccuistion-immigration-policy-from-1990-2015/
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

http://www.frtv.org/2015/11/re-air-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

Happy Veterans Day!

November 11, 2015

Filed under: Holidays,Military,Uncategorized — drgump @ 7:01 pm

The Law Offices of Richard A. Gump, Jr. wants to say thank you to all of our country’s veterans.

In 2010, the Department of Defense launched several of initiatives to assist military members, veterans and their families navigate our complex immigration system. This included assistance with naturalization as well as other immigration benefits. Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard), individuals serving in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and individuals who previously served, as well as their family members are all eligible to benefit from these initiatives. One of the forms of relief for these individuals is “parole in place”. Parole may be granted to individuals who are already in the U.S., thus allowing them to adjust their status, even if they entered the U.S. illegally. Absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors, parole in place is generally granted to spouses, parents and children of current and former military members.

One of our most rewarding cases was assisting a U.S. citizen in the Army obtain a green card for his wife before he was deployed to Afghanistan. His wife’s status in the U.S. weighed heavily on his mind and her ability to obtain a green card based on his military service enabled him to focus his attention on his military service.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes……consular processing?

October 2, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgump @ 7:38 pm

Let’s face it: people love to be in love.  As the famous playground tune, sung in numerous languages and versions around the world, goes: “[Name] and [Name] sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage…” the institution of marriage is recognized by many cultures as the next step in the circle life once a couple has falling in love.

The great thing about love is that it knows no boundaries; religious, cultural or geographic.  As immigration lawyers, we see this day in and day out as people come to our office looking to bring their foreign fiancées, husbands or wives to the US.  Perhaps they met while studying abroad, travelling for pleasure or business, or online.  Regardless of how they met or the nature of their relationship, the common denominator among them all is that they are in love and want to start a life together in the US.

For individuals trying to bring their fiancée to the US, there are many considerations to take into account.  The process of obtaining the fiancée visa itself is complex and in some countries, may take a year or more to complete. During this time, the foreign national must remain in his or her home country until the visa process has been completed. Many couples fail to understand that immigration law requires that the wedding take place within 90 days of the fiancée entering the U.S. on their K-1 fiancée visa.  As if wedding plans aren’t difficult enough, trying to work out immigration papers in the midst of planning the big day can be a nightmare.

Depending on a couple’s cultural or religious traditions, they may prefer to get married abroad, in lieu of, or in addition to, having a more westernized wedding ceremony.  When a couple marries abroad and decides to process their immigrant visa at the local US consulate, the processing times and potential delays can be discouraging, especially given personal considerations such as family planning and employment goals.

Whether it’s investigating the qualifications for applying at a particular consular post, evaluating the reputation of a consulate to determine where a foreign national should process their immigrant visa or fiancée visa application, or helping the client present a flawless application proving up the bona fides of their relationship, our firm guides our clients through every step of this daunting process to ensure that their immigration matters don’t get in the way of their happily ever after.

Freedom is relative, not absolute!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgump @ 7:37 pm

In high school, my civics teachers’ mantra was “Freedom is relative, not absolute!” As a young kid, that phrase didn’t hold a lot of meaning to me.

50 years, a wife and kids, and a successful law practice, have made me realize that freedom is meaningless chaos without responsibility. Even the freedom to drive an automobile requires the responsibility to obey the traffic laws and drive safely.

Let’s look at the U.S. Government, U.S. citizens, and immigrants today:

  • The Senate was free to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year which covered more visas for workers at all levels, enhanced border security, and a path for illegal aliens to become legal.
  • The House was free to dislike the Senate bill and last week, passed a bill enhancing border security and overturning the administrative action benefiting illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children.
  • The President was free to enact an administrative measure called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and consider other administrative actions to enhance border security and defer deportation of other classes of illegal aliens.
  • Illegal alien children from Central America under a 2008 law are free to cross the border, turn themselves in, and have the right to a hearing before being admitted or deported.
  • Illegal adult aliens are free to complain about the lack of comprehensive reform they believe they deserve because they work hard, pay taxes, and aren’t criminals.
  • U.S. citizens are free to complain about the presence of illegal aliens in the U.S. even though they often are hiring them directly or indirectly and complain when they get fined and their illegal alien gets deported because of antiquated laws.

Does anyone else see the disconnect between the freedoms above and the lack of responsibility to come together to find solutions?

The concerns are genuine: border security, humanitarian care, safety and health, and a 21st century international and mobile workforce. The solutions are hard and will demand compromise but isn’t that the role of the U.S. Government and our leaders? Immigrants who are not legally here don’t really have a free voice nor should they but U.S. citizens need to come together and tell our leaders we need solutions and compromise is not a dirty word.

We work hard for our clients to understand the difficult and often conflicting immigration laws that make their business and personal lives a challenge to manage.

The Real Impact of the H-1B Cap

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgump @ 7:34 pm

By failing to address the need for immigration reform, America is losing its ability to attract and secure highly skilled workers, which negatively impacts this country’s economy and global competitiveness.

One example to this negative societal impact is the H-1B nonimmigrant visa, which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as jobs that would normally require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specific field. In FY 2013, the top 10 H-1B occupations were:

  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Occupations – All Other
  • Software Developers – Applications
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Software Developers – Systems Software
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Management Analysts
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • Financial Analysts

Source: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/h_1b_temp_visa.pdf

When the H-1B program was implemented, the US government restricted the number of H-1B visas allowed each fiscal year: 65,000 for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree and an additional 20,000 for individuals with a Master’s degree or higher. Due to the excessive number of H-1B applications received each year (172,500 applications for fiscal year 2015 were received within 6 days of the filing period being opened), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) initiates a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to determine whose H-1B petition is selected for adjudication. Applications not selected in the lottery are returned to the applicant, along with the associated filing fees. In April of 2014 (when applications were accepted for FY2015) this resulted in almost 100,000 applications being rejected by the USCIS.

Employers whose applications were rejected were forced send their H-1B candidates back to their home country, and search for new employees, resulting in significant loss of revenue, technological setbacks and deadlines not being met.

In addition to eliminating the ability of the American employer to secure a highly-specialized “player” to help further its business growth, the H-1B cap creates a significant lost opportunity for the American economy in that these highly-skilled immigrants want to come to our country and contribute. As many American industries still attempt to recover from the latest recession, the avoidance of additional job creation opportunities makes absolutely no sense. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), “H-1B visa denials in 2007 and 2008 caused these [high-tech] areas to miss out on creating as many as 231,224 tech jobs for American-born workers in the years that followed…[as well as] cost U.S.-born, college-educated workers in computer-related fields as much as $3 billion in aggregate annual earnings.”

Unfortunately, the H-1B cap issue is only the tip of the immigration reform “iceberg.” The United States must remain competitive, and the only way to do that, is to fix our broken system immediately.

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 1:21 pm

Welcome to TNT Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Deferred Action And Diploma Mills

March 18, 2014

A high school diploma is one of the most important documents to have in today’s society. Almost every job will require an individual to have either a high school diploma or a GED and is essential for any college and/or university enrollment. Yet many students drop out each year due to personal responsibilities and/or lack of effort.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) was introduced in the summer of 2012 by President Obama. DACA is a program that gives work authorization to children who were brought to the United States by their parents at a young age and are in the United States illegally. The program provides unrestricted work authorization to individuals who qualify, and also allows young people to obtain a social security number and a driver’s license.

Young adults must meet several criteria to be eligible for the program. One of the criteria is that the applicant must be enrolled in school or a GED program, or have a high school or GED diploma.

DACA has inspired many students to further their education and enroll in an educational program. Unfortunately, many are looking to the internet for an easier way to get a high school diploma instead of enrolling in a credible school or GED program. What many students find are online programs that promise a legitimate high school diploma (equivalent to a real high school diploma or GED)…which ultimately turns out to be an internet “diploma mill”. Diploma mills charge a flat fee for a high school diploma and mislead people into believing that the diplomas are legitimate and accepted by universities and employers across the United States.

Degree mills love to use official-sounding terms to impress potential students. These terms often sound good, yet mean little in terms of educational quality. Be wary of these terms and phrases: “authenticated,” “verifiable,” “licensed,” “internationally approved,” “notarized,” and “accredited by UNESCO.”

Most online programs claim that their diplomas are legitimate but before enrolling in a program that could turn out to be a fake, it is important to review the following:

  • Is the school accredited? – The site may contain information and links to the school’s “accreditations”. Unfortunately, the majority of internet degree mills are accredited, but not by an agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education. The problem is that they are accredited by bogus agencies that they themselves have created.
  • Does the school ask for transcripts, academic records or other evidence of the individual’s previous education?
  • Does the website over-emphasize the ease and speed of obtaining a high school degree (“To get your high school diploma you only need to pass our high school equivalency test and pay $299.99″)
  • Is any attendance required of students, either online or in class?
  • Are few assignments required for students to earn credits?
  • Is one of the requirements for graduation possession of a valid Visa or MasterCard?
  • Does the operation provide any information about a campus or business location or address?
  • Does the operation provide a list of its faculty and their qualifications?
  • Does the operation have a name similar to other well-known colleges and universities?

If you have suspicions regarding the validity of an online program, you can always contact your local college or university and ask if the program will be accepted by the college as evidence of a high school diploma or GED.

To find legitimate programs in your area, simply contact your local school district and ask about high school completion and GED programs. Most offer day and night classes as well as flexible schedules. If you must use an online program, do your homework and make sure you do not become a victim of a diploma mill.