Immigrants: An Asset to Our Country

July 12th, 2013

While there is much debate about how to best deal with America’s immigration issue, a few of the financial questions surrounding the topic have seemingly been answered. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the current Senate immigration bill would reduce the federal budget deficits by $175 billion over the next 10 years and by $700 billion over the following decade.

This news effectively voids the idea that the government will pay too much to provide services for immigrants. The bill, which would increase federal spending by about $262 billion between 2014 and 2023, would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, ease the path for more guest workers and ramp up immigration law enforcement. But the government’s increase in spending would be offset by a sharp increase in revenue. The bill would raise $459 billion in new revenue over a decade as the labor force expands, and the government collects more in income and payroll taxes, the CBO projected.

Despite the hyperbole of some, projections like these from the CBO reinforce the idea that a diverse America is a strong America. In order for the nation to fully return from the brink and continue to recover, we must embrace this new wave of immigrants. As they help to lead in innovation, research and development in a number of critical industries, immigrants will, inevitably, help restore our country.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

 

Comment » | Immigration Policy Center

Highly Skilled Immigrants: The Spark Our Economy Needs

June 9th, 2013

If you pay attention to certain talking heads in the media, you may be inclined to believe that the higher the immigration rate, the harder it’ll be for workers already in the U.S. searching for employment to find a job. This notion couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, studies show that high-skilled immigrant workers actually create new jobs — particularly in the technology and engineering fields — for everyone.

According to a 2012 joint report from the Information Technology Industry Council, the Partnership for a New American Economy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, every foreign-born student who graduates from college in the U.S. and goes on to work in the STEM fields creates, on average, 2.62 jobs for American workers — primarily because they help lead in innovation, research and development. Additionally, the Institute for the Study of Labor finds that highly skilled immigrants actually improve the wages of native-born workers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Findings like these from credible bodies such as these make one thing very clear: In order for the U.S. to continue to grow its economy, it must build the best possible high-skilled workforce. And to build the best possible workforce, the U.S. must be willing to reform immigration law. Arbitrary decision-making by federal agencies has made immigration law unnecessarily complex. Many companies that recognize the need to diversify their teams with eager, smart talent are confused about how to legally open their doors to immigrants. And that’s where we can offer assistance.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Immigration reform

Debunked: 6 Myths About US-Mexico Border Enforcement

May 10th, 2013

Today, there are more agents along the 1,954 mile-long border that separates the United States and Mexico than ever before. According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), “Immigration Enforcement in the United States,” the amount of money the US Government spends on immigration has increased significantly in recent years — $18 billion last fiscal year alone. Currently, immigration is now the government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority.

With all of the political attention border enforcement receives, it’s no surprise that there have been a few myths that relentlessly permeate the discussion. Here, we debunk the myths and lay out the facts.

Myth #1: The US-Mexico border is violent.

While some areas of the border are dangerous, the US side is relatively safe. Two of America’s safest cities — El Paso, TX and San Diego, CA — are actually along the border. And although certain TV talking heads and  politicians claim the border is ripe with crime, the number of border apprehensions has decreased dramatically in recent years.

Myth #2: The border is a terrorist hub.   

According to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, “No known international terrorist organization had an operational presence in Mexico, and no terrorist group targeted US citizens in or from Mexican territory.”

Myth #3: The border is insecure.

With more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents assigned to protect the border and apprehensions at a 40-year low, it’s safe to say the border is  more secure now that it has ever been in recent memory.

Myth #4: Illegal immigration is on the rise.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, illegal immigration from Mexico has fallen to net zero or less.

Myth #5: There aren’t enough resources allocated to protect the  border.

The $18 billion that the US government spent on immigration enforcement in fiscal year 2012 is more than the amount spent on all other major federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined.

For more of the latest news that meets at the intersection of immigration and business, peruse our other blog posts.

SOURCES

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/07/ann-coulter-immigrants-want-to-live-here-illegally_n_2828772.html#slide=2151709

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/01/world/americas/border-graphic.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/jan-brewer-border-enforcement_n_2677777.html

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Immigration reform

New Reports Confirm Must-Needed Job Creation and Economic Stimulus from Immigration Reform

April 27th, 2013

We have periodically reported on new studies and reports that support the notion that immigrants and immigration stimulate the economy and create new jobs for U.S. business.  Here are some more:

  • A Kauffman Foundation report (February 2013), “Give Me Your Entrepreneurs, Your Innovators: Estimating the Employment Impact of a Startup Visa” states that between 500,000 and 1.6 million new jobs could be created over the next 10 years as a result of a “Startup” visa, a proposal to make 75,000 visas available for current holders of H-1B and F-1 visas.
  • The Center for American Progress (March 2013) reports that granting undocumented immigrants immediate citizenship would add $1.4 trillion to economic growth, increase tax revenues by $184 billion and create 203,000 jobs over the next decade.
  • A May 2012 report of The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Partnership for New York, concludes that America’s position as the global magnet for the world most talented and hardest-working is in jeopardy. In the report, entitled “Not Coming to America: Why the U.S. Is Falling Behind in the Global Race for Talent,” the authors compare America’s immigration policies with those of other nations — and finds our policies irrational and undirected, in sharp contrast with the targeted, strategic approaches seen elsewhere.  They outline six specific immigration reforms that the country should adopt to continue to attract the most talented, innovative, and necessary workers: (1) Provide visas to the STEM graduates educated in American universities. (2) Award more green cards based on economic needs. (3) Create a visa program to allow foreign entrepreneurs to build their firms in the US. (4) Let American companies hire the highly educated workers they need. (5) Give seasonal and labor-intensive industries access to foreign workers when they cannot find Americans to fill jobs. (6) Allow local governments to recruit more immigrants to meet regional needs. These are expected to be the main tenets of the new reform proposal.
  • And finally, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling added his voice to the choir in a recent White House blog, stating that common-sense immigration reform is good for the economy, and describing how it would grow America’s GDP, stimulate small business growth, create more jobs, boost demand for consumer goods, and more.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Immigration reform

Elimination of I-94 for Air and Sea Arrivals Commences on April 30

April 27th, 2013

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, for all air and sea arrivals — not land border port of entry arrivals — eliminating the paper Form I-94. The new process goes into effect on April 30, 2013.  The following is a description of the new automated admissions process and some key issues.

Electronic Record

CBP will no longer require international nonimmigrants to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. by air or sea. The agency will gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. This automation is designed to streamline the entry process, facilitate security, and reduce federal costs. CBP estimates that it will save over $15 million a year.  Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper Form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

The roll-out will be phased in throughout April and May; thus, nonimmigrants will continue to receive the paper Form I-94 until the automated process arrives at their airport or other port of entry.

Passport Stamp

Under the new process, CBP will issue an admission stamp in the passports of arriving nonimmigrants, as is current practice. The admitting CBP officer will make a handwritten notation indicating the status and authorized period of stay, similar to procedures used for travelers under the Visa Waiver Program. An electronic record for the arriving individual will be created upon admission.  This admission (or parole) stamp in a foreign passport will constitute evidence of alien registration as required under regulation. (Individuals without a foreign passport will be sent to CBP’s secondary inspection upon arrival into the U.S., where they will receive their electronic I-94 number. These individuals will be issued a paper I-94 with the pre-printed number crossed out, and the actual electronic I-94 number handwritten upon it.)

Computer Access to Arrival Record

Following automation, arriving nonimmigrants will be given a slip of paper directing them to www.CBP.gov/I94, a new CBP Web page (which is not scheduled to be live until the end of April) where individuals can view and verify the class and term of their admission in its electronic format. In order to access a given individual’s record of admission, seven data points will be needed, including name, passport number, date of admission, and port of admission. The Web portal allows nonimmigrants to print an admission record receipt. This data is expected to be accessible within approximately 24 hours of admission and available at any time. While CBP irons out the wrinkles of this new system, individuals are advised to check their admissions record.

Departing the U.S.

Individuals will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the United States. Those issued a paper Form I-94 would surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. The departure will be recorded electronically with manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP. If the individual did not receive a paper Form I-94, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.

Correcting Errors

If an applicant was admitted incorrectly to the U.S., the applicant should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or port of entry to have his or her admission corrected. A list of Deferred Inspection Sites and ports of entry can be found at www.cbp.gov, under the “Ports” link at the bottom of the page.  If an applicant received an incorrect I-94 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the applicant should refer to Form I-102 available at www.uscis.gov/i-102.

Land Arrivals and Other Exceptions

Nonimmigrants arriving by land and certain classes of foreign nationals, such as refugees, asylum applicants, and parolees, will continue to receive paper Form I-94.  Information gathered by CBP when issuing a Form I-94 at a land border already is automatically uploaded to the CBP database.

Other Considerations

While there appears to be no legal reason compelling a nonimmigrant to print and keep a copy of Form I-94 from the CBP website, nonimmigrants who will need to demonstrate their class and term of admission for any ancillary purpose (e.g., I-9 employment eligibility verification, driver’s license application, Social Security number application) will need to print a copy of their admission record.

At least initially, air- and seaport arrivals will continue to have the option to request a paper Form I-94 to document their class and term of admission.  Both common carriers and CBP are expected to continue making paper forms available upon request. Nonimmigrants who do not have ready access to a computer and printer should avail themselves of this option.  CBP officers may also issue the paper I-94 in their discretion. Information from paper Forms I-94 will be manually entered into the CBP database.

Since the beginning of 2012, when CBP first indicated that it intended to eliminate the paper I-94, stakeholders raised a myriad of concerns associated with the paper I-94’s elimination. Of paramount concern was (and still is) the ability of state motor vehicle bureaus to address the change. Another issue involves foreign nationals seeking to use the automatic visa revalidation process.  Although CBP has advised that it will verify the I-94 electronically to re-validate an expired visa if the traveler meets the conditions of automatic revalidation, there is concern that this will not happen smoothly and without confusion. Another issue relates to the immigration forms themselves. Many USCIS petition and application forms used to request benefits, such as Forms I-129, I-130, and I-539, ask for a Form I-94 number. It appears that USCIS will print out the Form I-94.  Finally, it is unclear at this juncture whether the USCIS “Notice of Action” approving applications for change or extension of status (Form I-797) will continue to be issued with a Form I-94 at the bottom, as is current practice.

At least one benefit for the nonimmigrant is the elimination of the need to file for a replacement I-94 and pay a $330 fee to replace a lost record of admission.

Given the central role of Form I-94 in documenting proper admission and maintenance of status, the impact of its automation on the immigration process and ancillary benefits programs may be profound.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Customs and Border Protection

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