Category: Immigration reform


Highly Skilled Immigrants Can Help Boost the American Economy

October 4th, 2012 — 2:53pm

The United States of America is a nation built on the skill and ingenuity of people from all over the globe, but its current immigration policy no longer reflects that history. Under current policies, 20,000 American-educated immigrants are forced out of the country every year, which is a massive loss of potential talent. By creating a complex business immigration law system, and thus making it difficult for skilled immigrants to obtain the proper paperwork to work in the United States, our already struggling economy is taking an extra, unnecessary hit.

Loss of Talent, Loss of Jobs

According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, 40 percent of current Fortune 500 companies in the United States were founded by either immigrants or their children. In addition, the same report discovered that those immigrant-founded companies generated more revenue than the GDPs of every country outside of the United States, save China and Japan. These immigrants and their children seem to be more willing to take risks, and those risks have clearly paid off.

Between 1995 and 2005, half of the startups in Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants. And in 2005, American companies that had been founded by immigrants provided over 400,000 jobs in the engineering and technology industries and did $52 billion in sales. But unfortunately, 20,000 American-educated immigrants are forced to leave the country every year by the country’s current caps on immigration—that’s a lot of lost opportunity.

A Potential Solution

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS), which President Obama signed into law in April of this year, is aimed at making it easier for startups to succeed by legalizing crowdfunding and encouraging small companies to consider an initial public offering. This is a step in the right direction, but the JOBS Act ignores the immigrant demographic.

The Startup Act 2.0, which has bipartisan support, was introduced earlier this year to address that issue. The act is aimed at reforming America’s visa system—it would eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based immigrant visas; put immigrants with a master’s or Ph.D in science, technology, engineering, or math in line for green cards; and allow immigrant entrepreneurs who employ American citizens to be granted visas. While these are all good ideas, the bill could still use some work before Congress considers passing it. For example, giving green cards to those with high-level STEM degrees is a valid proposition, but it ignores entrepreneurial immigrants who earned degrees in non-STEM areas. Under this act, the founders of PayPal, YouTube, and Skype would all have been denied.

In any case, the Startup Act 2.0 is definitely a huge step in the right direction toward taking advantage of the nation’s valuable highly skilled immigrants. However, the current system remains incredibly complicated, making it difficult for businesses to hire immigrant workers. For more information or guidance concerning business immigration law, contact Zulkie Partners LLC, one of America’s top business immigration law firms.

http://blogs.providencejournal.com/ri-talks/this-new-england/2012/09/steve-case-we-need.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2011/06/19/40-percent-of-fortune-500-companies-founded-by-immigrants-or-their-children/

http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/10/startup-act-2-0-great-for-foreign-graduate-students-but-not-foreign-tech-entrepreneurs/

Comment » | Immigration reform

Business Immigration and the Political Climate

August 28th, 2012 — 5:02pm

In the midst of nationwide turmoil over the issue of immigration in America, several things have been overlooked. While most of the fight arises over illegal entry into the country, there are many citizens who are completely opposed to any kind of immigration. This is where the oft-discounted practice of corporate immigration becomes a larger part of the issue. On top of this, the international legal marketplace has been dealt a sharp blow by recent anti-immigration legislation on the federal government’s part.

Federal Moves

Policymakers have developed a habit of lumping business immigrants in with immigrants who undertake the move for socioeconomic advancement. The distinction lies in the fact that business or corporate immigration is brought about by firms and companies on American soil. They recruit workers from overseas, based on their skills and talents, and bring them into the country by legal avenues (i.e. work visas) on temporary or permanent bases.

The shift in attitude toward immigration, which was always strained but has deteriorated over the last few years, started with the recession and has not been able to take recovery steps since. In an attempt to improve the economic situation, officials from the agencies for U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of Labor have implemented inspections of American businesses in targeted industries that have high rates of non-immigrants working in them.

The goal of conducting these audits is, on the surface at least, to make sure that every firm observes the correct eligibility screening procedures and pay rates. While many companies have certainly cut back on foreign recruitment and reduced the number of foreign born hires coming into the country in the wake of the global financial downturn, the government has taken its methods to a higher level with much stricter checks for background and eligibility and generally higher criteria, making it increasingly difficult for companies (and the business immigration law firms that assist them) to hire workers from outside of the country.

Presidential Election

The current campaign for the White House has already become a battleground over immigration policy, one of this election’s biggest hot-button issues. Evidence of this lies in President Obama’s recent muscle-flexing in the arena, which has drawn diverse reactions across the board. While the Democratic Party has traditionally been more lenient on immigration matters, the Obama administration has developed some fairly intense measures to hinder and deport undocumented immigrants.

Whether Obama wins and serves another term in office or Mitt Romney prevails, the U.S. is sure to see some interesting changes pertaining to the issue. With the enforcement of the Secure Communities directive expected to be nationally implemented in 2013, it is clear that developments in the laws pertaining to immigration are imminent. Whether these upcoming measures are firmer or more permissive, they will undoubtedly have an effect on business immigration practices in law firms as well as in the businesses sector.

For education, guidance, and legal assistance with any issues concerning business or corporate immigration, consult Zulkie Partners.

Comment » | Immigration reform

Immigration Laws: Federal vs. State

August 13th, 2012 — 10:37am

With the upcoming 2012 presidential election, voters are honing in on several key issues. Even a brief glance across the headlines of America’s newspapers shows that immigration is without a doubt one of the main topics. Immigration to the U.S. has been a consistently widespread trend since around 1820, and the intense debates regarding the issue are now coming to a pinnacle with the coming election.

One of the central conflicts plaguing the nation’s mutable immigration policy is the clash between federal and local governments over what kind of action to take. A program known as Secure Communities was introduced by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (or ICE) in 2008. The program called for the arrest of all crime-causing illegal immigrants, regardless of the crime’s scope. This detainer extends the person’s holding time in jail by up to 48 hours, allowing custody to be transferred to ICE where they can initiate the deportation process.

Federal proponents of the bill, like ICE director John Morton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, are now seeing that the major flaw of Secure Communities lies in its dependence on the cooperation from state and local authorities. This has been a particular source of trouble in Cook County, Illinois. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel informed the media in a press conference last month that he does not wish for the city’s police force to follow the Secure Communities guidelines, a sentiment echoed by many of the county’s officials.

Especially in the wake of Arizona’s notorious blitz on illegal immigrants two years ago in the form of Senate Bill 1070, local governments all over the country are retaliating against the stringent new measures. In addition to Cook County’s move, which has pervaded the news since Emmanuel’s July 9th announcement, places like San Francisco, Santa Clara County, Washington D.C., and Taos, New Mexico have refused to accept federal measures, even establishing decrees against jails allowing detainers for minor crimes in some cases.

Inevitably, White House officials have responded in kind with vows to try and make dissenting governments comply with Secure Communities. Admittedly, their accomplishments have not been small so far. The Obama administration has already racked up over 1.2 million deportations, 200,000 of them under the provisions of the 2008 act and boosted the deportation rate of criminal illegals by almost 90% in three years. The act now encompasses 3,000 localities and is expected to achieve national compliance next year.

Still, resistance continues to grow as well. California – a state that contends more than any other with immigration problems – approved a senatorial bill prohibiting detainers statewide, prompting Supreme Court debates over the legality of such unilateral policy decisions. As the most heavily-populated state in the country and certainly one of the bluest, California’s opposition to the federal mandate is sure, as TIME writer Adam Sorensen says, to put them “on a collision course with the Obama Administration.” <http://swampland.time.com/2012/07/16/obamas-next-immigration-battle-local-federal-authorities-on-collision-course-over-detention-requests/?iid=sl-main-mostpop1>

Luckily, these rigorous measures by the federal government will not directly affect legal maneuvers, like business immigration, which allow desirable workers from foreign countries to come into the United States and be allowed to work in various fields on temporary or permanent bases. At the same time, though, the Obama administration must ask itself how acts like Secure Communities will affect the U.S.’s international relations; after all, it may seem a tad unwelcoming for a country that was largely built by immigrants to take such a tough stance on the practice.

For information, education, and help regarding immigration law, visit ZulkiePartners.com, one of America’s top business immigration law firms.

Comment » | Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration reform

Relief for DREAMers

July 16th, 2012 — 11:08am
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as young children and who meet several eligibility criteria may receive “deferred action” and work authorization for a period of two years.  Deferred action means that the government will not seek to remove these individuals. 

In order to be considered for deferred action, the individual:

  • Must have been under the age of 31 and present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • Must have been under the age of 16 when brought to this country;
  • Must have continuously resided in the U.S, for at least five years before June 15, 2012;
  • Must be currently in school or have graduated from high school (or have received a GED), or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Must have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor,” or multiple misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  • Must be at least 15 years of age at the time of application;
  • Must complete a background check.

Applications are not yet being accepted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but  guidance on the process is expected no later than August 15, 2012.

Comment » | Department of Homeland Security, Immigration reform

Alabama Enacts Immigration Law

April 26th, 2012 — 3:26pm

The new Alabama law targeting undocumented immigrants has come under attack by advocate groups and federal judges, who have found key provisions of the law to be unconstitutional. In addition to being ruled as unconstitutional, agricultural interest groups have claimed the law has created labor shortages in the fields and business groups fear it is fostering a hostile economic climate throughout the state.

Recently, flaws of the immigration law were exposed when a Mercedes-Benz executive, visiting from Germany, was detained for hours by the local police, after failing to prove his legal status when his only identification was his German I.D. State lawmakers are undeterred and instead of repealing the law, they are tweaking it in hopes of avoiding future embarrassment. Unfortunately, throughout the process, they have made things much worse.

The modifications not only leave intact much of the law’s original features, but make some aspects even harsher. For example, a revision concerning the checking of legal status of detained individuals was changed to require police officers to conduct such checks only when issuing a traffic citation. The trouble is that police officers can almost always find reasons to issue traffic citations, if they are so inclined. Another provision of the law states that the legal status of passengers can be checked if the driver is believed to be an illegal immigrant. This invites racial profiling, and in some instances, even makes profiling okay.

Religious groups worry that the new laws will make it illegal for them to offer aid to struggling, undocumented immigrants. The existing law states it is illegal to offer aid to ten or more illegal immigrants, but the revision would lower this number to five. Virtually anything can be considered “offering aid,” even simply giving them a ride to work. Similarly, the revised law seems to favor large corporations over small or family-owned business when the law would allow firms’ licenses to be revoked if the revocation “serves the public’s interest.”

Although relatively few undocumented immigrants inhabit the state of Alabama, the thousands that did have since fled the state. Zulkie Partners, LLC, a business immigration law firm, boasts a team of attorneys, who are experts in corporate immigration law. If you feel you need assistance in navigating the complicated and convoluted immigration laws of the United States, Zulkie Partners, LLC, can help. The attorneys of Zulkie Partners understand that clients are looking for value beyond simple legal expertise and are dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

Comment » | Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration reform, Worksite enforcement policies

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