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Posts Tagged ‘ICE

Another 1000 Companies to be Audited by ICE

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that it will be expanding its audit program and that it has notified 1000 companies last week that they would have to undergo a review. ICE, in its first audit, reviewed 654 companies and fined 61 of the 654 companies audited.

According to ICE, the audit is the Obama Administration’s plan to crack down on companies that hire and rely on such illegal workers and to reduce illegal immigration by forcing companies to get rid of unauthorized workers.

Although the identity of the 1000 companies to face an audit was not revealed, ICE officials suggested that audits will affect private companies are involved with infrastructure operations like gas and electric utilities and contractors on military bases but not retailers and manufacturers of nonessential goods.

Typically, an audit consists of ICE officials checking each worker’s E-Verify form, known as an I-9, to confirm that the employees were eligible to work before they were hired.

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Written by MithrasLaw

November 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Having a Criminal Record Can Affect Your Immigration Status

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If you are not a US Citizen and have a criminal record of any sort, it has become increasingly important to know and understand the immigration consequences on your immigration status.

This article explores how having any contact with the criminal justice system can affect a non-US citizen’s immigration status. A non-US citizen includes non-immigrant visa holders as well as green-card holders.

Firstly, it must be understood that being convicted is defined differently for immigration purposes than under state criminal law.

A person is considered to have been convicted if a court has adjudicated him or her guilty or entered a formal judgment of guilt against him or her. Also, a person is considered convicted for immigration purposes even if the court has withheld adjudication on the basis that (1) the person was found guilty or entered a guilty plea or nolo contendere and (2) the judge ordered some form of restraint or punishment on the person’s liberty.

Secondly, convictions for minor offenses or misdemeanors, or a sentence to only probation, or court supervision, or for that matter very old convictions, can have an impact on your immigration status. The different outcomes vary from:
1. Having your application for lawful permanent residence or naturalization denied;
2. Being placed in deportation proceedings;
3. Being put in detention while removing proceedings are ongoing;
4. Deportation to your home country;
5. Being barred from returning to the United States for certain number of years, or permanently.

Under federal immigration law, crimes of moral turpitude are crimes that shock the public conscious or involve fraud as an element. If a non U.S. citizen is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude s/he may be deported. Crimes of moral turpitude include theft, transporting or receiving stolen goods, embezzlement, fraud, adultery, assault, bigamy, kidnapping, rape, murder, etc, and even charges that may appear seemingly minor such as shop lifting, can trigger deportation proceedings.

Reproduced from e-Sandesh where the article written by our attorney , Hanishi T. Ali, was orignally published: http://iswonline.org/iswSite2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=212:criminal-record-can-affect-immigration-status&catid=95:community-orgs&Itemid=200

Written by MithrasLaw

November 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Does the U.S. need an exit monitoring system for visitors?

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The arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19-year-old Jordinaian who was accused of plotting to blow up Dallas skyscrapers has drawn attention from both parties of Congress that the U.S does not have an efficient system in place to trace foreign visitors on expired visas and that the US needs a universal electronic exit monitoring system. Mr. Smadi is a most recent example of a visitoir who entered the country legally but overstayed his visa.

It is estimated that about 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States came on legal visas and overstayed their visas. In FY ’09, of the 39 million temporary foreign visitors that were admitted in to the US, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 may have overstayed their visas and remained in the US.

Although the Department of Homeland Security officials express concern that the an universal exit control system can be an expensive and daunting option with more than one million crossings a day, it is one of the few ways to assure a systematic follow up that the visitors have departed and not overstayed their visas.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has indicated he would attempt to apply federal stimulus funding to the building of an exit monitoring system.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Sharp Increases in Prosecution of Federal Immigration Cases in Obama Administration

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The latest data obtained by the Justice Department for the months of 2009 (i.e. from January to September 2009) reveals that prosecution of federal immigration cases has continued to surge in the Obama Administration. It is estimated that if prosecution continues at the same rate for the remaining part of 2009, the total will be more than 90,000 prosecutions, indicating an increase of 14.1 percent from last year.

The States registering the largest number of immigration prosecutions are Texas, Arizona,  New Mexico,  California, Florida, and New York.  For more information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) click here.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Secretary Napolitano Announces an Additional $30 Million in Grants to Effectively Enforce Immigration Laws

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Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced an additional $30 Million in Operation Stone Garden to support security initiatives along the southwest border, particularly states along the U.S.-Mexico border, which are Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Operation Stonegarden’s
grants will enhance DHS’s capabilities to effectively deter violence, enforce immigration laws and combat illegal trafficking.

The $30 Million additional funds supplement the $60 million in Operation Stonegarden grants announced by Secretary Napolitano in June. Based on greater risk, heavy cross-border traffic and border-related threat intelligence, more than 84 percent of fiscal year 2009 Operation Stonegarden funds will go to the Southwest border—up from 59 percent in fiscal year 2008.

To see the breakup of how much is going to each state see: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/opsg/index.shtm

Share your opinion:  Do you think this is monies well spent?

Written by MithrasLaw

August 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

US Government Fails to Meet its Own Standards for Detaining Immigrants

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A study based on inspection of reports of dozens of facilities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the American Bar Association and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees between 2001 and 2005 and recently released shows that the US government has failed to meet its own standards for detaining immigrants, such that immigrants have limited access to phones, mail, and law libraries, in violation of set federal standards.

Immigration advocates recommend that detention standards should be legally binding on the government.

For the recent article in NY Times see here: Immigration Detention Violation Standards

Written by MithrasLaw

July 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Posted in Immigration

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Thinking of Obtaining a Non-immigrant Student Visa (F or M visa) in the US?

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If you are looking to obtain a non-immigrant F or M student visa in the United States or change your status to a student visa because you need to sharpen your skills or because you have been laid off from your job or because you are thinking of pursuing a new career, below are the overview of the steps required by US Customs and Enforcement:

If applying from outside the United States:

Non-immigrants must:

  • Apply to and be accepted by, an SEVP-certified school.

See link for updated approved SEVP schools:  http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/ApprovedSchools.pdf

  • Be able to pay for the cost of schooling and living expenses while in the United States and furnish proof of sufficient funding to the school. Non-immigrant students have limited work opportunities, so unless the school has promised an on-campus job, non-immigrant students should not expect to work to pay expenses.
  • Attend school full-time (except for Mexican or Canadian residents who live at home and commute to a United States school within 75 miles of the U.S. border.)
  • When a school accepts a non-immigrant applicant, it issues a Form I-20 for initial attendance. Prospective non-immigrant students may apply to more than one SEVP-certified school but must choose one and use the Form I-20 from that school when applying for a visa.
  • After receiving the Form I-20, the prospective non-immigrant student must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
  • The prospective non-immigrant student must then obtain a student visa from an embassy or consulate abroad or, if from a visa exempt country such as Canada or Bermuda, apply for admittance at a U.S. POE.
  • After obtaining an F-1 or M-1 visa, the prospective student may apply for entry into the United States through a U.S. POE no more than 30 days prior to the program start date on the student’s Form I-20.


If applying from within the United States :

The prospective non-immigrants must:

  • Be in the United States in a valid non-immigrant status and eligible to change to F-1 or M-1 status
  • Receive approval from USCIS for the change of status.
  • Be prepared to depart the United States immediately if the change of status application is denied.
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