Non-Criminals Targeted for Deportation

As reported by NBC News, “ICE arrests of noncriminals increased 66 percent in the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year over the same period a year earlier”.

The article warns that the danger of deportation is now more probable for people with minor offenses, such as traffic violations. It cites the case of Ruben Moroyoqui, a 45-year-old mechanic in Tucson, Arizona, who was simply pulled over while he was picking up some auto parts, asked for his license, and, immediately afterwards, about his immigration status. The police simply handed him over to ICE without ever charging him with any traffic violation, according to his attorney, cited in the article.

Similar cases are presented in the NBC’s piece, with the conclusion that being put in deportation procedures is now more and more the default option not only for drug kingpins or people suspected of high crimes, but for any small offense. The entire article is HERE

As with any news of increased harshness on the part of the authorities against immigrants that have still not resolved their immigration status in the US, we advise that you seek the help of an immigration lawyer immediately, so that you can be informed about your legal rights, should such circumstances occur.

AILA’s Reaction to AG Jeff Session’s Remarks

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in a speech to a gathering of newly minted immigration judges, Attorney General Jeff Sessions further revealed his contempt for the fundamental principles of America’s legal system, as well as for those in the legal profession who dare to challenge his narrow view of the world. The Attorney General compared immigration lawyers and federal criminal defense lawyers to “water seeping under an earthen dam,” and perfunctorily concluded that they have no duty or interest in upholding the integrity of the system. These comments are a shocking statement from the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and reflect his disdain for lawyers who take a solemn oath to uphold the law, as well as a complete disregard for the role of independent judges in overseeing our adversarial system. America’s judicial system is the envy of the world, and the lawyers and independent judges who are sworn to uphold its integrity play a critical role in protecting it.

AILA calls on the Attorney General to retract his offensive comments and calls on Congress to pass legislation to create an Article I immigration court, one that is independent from the Department of Justice and that ensures a robust process and an unbiased arbiter.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

George Paul Tzamaras
Senior Director, Communications and Outreach
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Suite 800
1331 G Street, NW,
Washington, DC  20005-3142
Office:  202-507-7649
Cell:      240-476-4299
E-mail:  gtzamaras@aila.org

Immigrant Health Care, a Burden? New Study Says No

“Immigrants cost us money because they exploit our health care system and we pay for their health care” – this is one of the most often heard positions against immigrants to the US. A recent study invalidates that opinion. It shows that immigrants actually pay more into the health care pool than they withdraw. Effectively, this means that they are actually contributing to, not depleting the national budget.

The study, carried out by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Tuffs University of Medicine, draws the following conclusions:

“Overall, immigrants almost certainly paid more toward medical expenses than they withdrew, providing a low-risk pool that subsidized the public and private health insurance markets. We conclude that insurance and medical care should be made more available to immigrants rather than less so.”

The researchers analyzed all the peer-reviewed studies that appeared in PubMed after the year 2,000, that had to do with health care related expenditures by immigrants, and were written in English in the United States.

The study was published in the International Journal of Health Services, on August 8, 2018. You can read the details HERE.

Having solid science on the side of defending immigrants’ rights is paramount. Our practice makes it a priority in staying on top of the latest developments and putting them in the service of defending our clients.

Keep coming back to our web site for more up-to-date immigration related matters. If you have questions, feel free to contact us by phone at 305-859-9580 or to send us an email: lis@lsnyderlaw.com.

Stricter Denial Policies on Immigration Applications Starting September 11, 2018

Starting September 11, 2018 USCIS, Will Deny Some Cases Without Issuing Requests For Evidence or Notices of Denial

A recent USCS memo (available HERE) released on July 13, 2018 changes previous  policy by allowing immigration officials to reject visa applications immediately if there is missing or inaccurate information.

Presently the USCIS has required officials to serve “RFE – Requests for Evidence” to remedy any gaps in paperwork unless there was “no possibility” that the mistake could be corrected, and then “Notices of Intent to Deny” were issued, giving 30 day warnings to applicants that they would likely be rejected.

The new policy, which will take effect Sept. 11, allows USCIS to “deny the (application) for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence.”

This means that visa applicants can suddenly find themselves on a path toward deportation. This also seems to be another attack on legal immigration and the administration seems to be seeking to deport legal applicants for minor technicalities.

Whenever possible, it is now even more important to file applications/petitions as early as possible to give applicants the best chance of having their case adjudicated before their status or visa expires. It is essential to make sure the files are complete and accurate.

Baby Boomers: The EB-5 Entrepreneur Visa as a U.S. Retirement Options for High Net Worth Foreigners

Overview of U.S. Retirement Options and Visa

Many countries offer retirement options to attract high net worth foreigners to their shores. At this time, contrary to popular belief, the United States does not formally offer a visa classification allowing foreigners to retire in the U.S. As a result of this misconception, many foreigners simply purchase homes in the U.S., mistakenly believing that owning a home allows permanent residence in the U.S. as is the case with many other countries. Instead, if an individual has a net worth of at least $ 1 million, he or she should first consider the option of investing in a Regional Center EB-5 Project in order to move the U.S. eventually as a lawful permanent resident prior to investing in personal real estate.

With regional center investment, the EB-5 program requires the principal investor to be a limited partner in a U.S. regional center and spend at least two years as a conditional permanent resident following initial approval. The investor is not required to “develop and direct” the business actively as with most investor visa applications. In conclusion, this can be a good option for an individual who has at least $ 500,000.00 to invest. An added perk is that immediate family members receive the same classification and can also reside permanently in the U.S.; live here, work here, attend public schools and universities– all very attractive options for many high net worth foreigners who can prove the lawful source of their investment funds.

Steps to investing in a regional center or becoming a resident of the U.S.

Proper investment planning must be followed well in advance of moving to the U.S. First, the appropriate tax and estate laws, treaties, currency restrictions and immigration regulations must be carefully consulted and analyzed by meeting with the appropriate professionals. Once concern is the processing time for the EB-5 program, currently taking more than a year once filed. Second, medical insurance should be purchased to cover a stay in the U.S., especially since social security benefits would not be available for at least five (5) years following approval of the visa. Third, real estate trends including foreclosure and growth rates, local schools, and crime statistics should be considered. Overall, the United States is considered a safe place to invest and reside for foreigners.

It may not be enough to simply purchase a home in the U.S.

If your intention in purchasing a “vacation home” in the U.S. is truly to vacation here, you may be still be able to do so using a non-immigrant classification such as a tourist visa, the “ESTA” program available to certain nationalities or even a student visa. However, as a cautionary note, these are temporary visas, not designed for use as retirement vehicles or for permanent residence as an immigrant to the United States!

On the other hand, permanent or immigrant visas resulting from approved EB-5 entrepreneur and certain business or family petitions would allow you to reside in the U.S. permanently as a immigrant or retiree. Taking one of these routes would ensure that you could successfully meet your family’s goal of remaining in the U.S. without forced interruptions such as required travel to your country of origin every 90 or 180 days, or more.

For example, although the ESTA system allows certain foreign nationals from 38 countries to travel to the United States temporarily for 90 days or less as a tourist or business visitor, these tourists can purchase homes and form corporations, but they generally must depart after 90 days and are not permitted to live in the U.S. permanently as they are considered “non-immigrants”.   Even so, future entries at the U.S. border could be compromised if an individual is suspected of living in the U.S. more than in his or her home country or if that non-immigrant no longer has a residence anywhere but in the U.S. Understanding the distinctions between non-immigrant and immigrant visas is critical to retirement planning.