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1. 'B-1 in Lieu of H-1B' Option Under Threat - The Department of State is discussing with the Department of Homeland Security removing or substantially modifying the B-1 in lieu of H-1B option.
2. NLRB Updates Immigration Status Procedures During NLRB Proceedings - A new memorandum from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) provides a brief introduction to immigration status issues and an update on how such issues should be addressed during NLRB investigations and proceedings.
3. How to Protect Personal Data in Redesigned Green Card - USCIS provides a foil envelope encasing the new card, and advises permanent residents to keep the card in the envelope at all times to prevent unwanted wireless communication with the RFID chip.
4. USCIS Ombudsman Issues Advice to Employers on Documenting the 'Temporary' Nature of H-2B Work - The Ombudsman has provided information in response to reports that USCIS is issuing RFEs in H-2B nonagricultural worker cases that question the claimed "temporary" nature of an employer's business need for foreign labor.
5. Around the States: Alabama, Arizona, Massachusetts - A variety of harsh enforcement measures have gained ground in several states.
6. ICE Authorizes Employment Eligibility for Certain Libyan Students - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced special temporary relief until December 31, 2011, for certain F-1 Libyan students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Libya since February 2011.
7. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals - The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects.
8. New Publications and Items of Interest - New Publications and Items of Interest
9. Member News - Member News
10. Government Agency Links - Government Agency Links
 

 
 
1. 'B-1 in Lieu of H-1B' Option Under Threat
 

Amid reports that U.S. consulates (particularly in India) are cracking down on B-1 visa applications when they suspect the person may be "working" in the U.S., the Department of State and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are reportedly investigating Infosys Technologies Ltd. with respect to allegations that it may be using short-term B-1 visas for employees who should be subjected to the more difficult H-1B visa process. Infosys said it "received a subpoena from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The subpoena requires us to provide information to the grand jury regarding our sponsorships for, and uses of, B-1 business visas."

The probe comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by an Infosys employee alleging that Infosys has been misusing the B-1 visa program. After the lawsuit was filed, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter on April 14, 2011, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano demanding an investigation. The Department of State responded on May 13, and Sen. Grassley issued a comment on May 25. The Department of State said, "We are in the process of discussing with [the Department of Homeland Security] removing or substantially modifying the B-1 in lieu of H guidelines, which State first proposed eliminating in a 1993 Federal Register notice." The letter says such a change "requires DHS coordination and may require Federal Register notice, thus it may take some time before...any change is implemented."

Sen. Grassley's April 14 letter and May 25 comment are available at http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=34705. The Department of State's response is available at http://grassley.senate.gov/judiciary/upload/Immigration-05-24-11-response-from-State-using-B-1-to-circumvent-H-1B-doc.pdf.

 
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2. NLRB Updates Immigration Status Procedures During NLRB Proceedings
 

A new memorandum from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) provides a brief introduction to immigration status issues and an update on how such issues should be addressed during NLRB investigations and proceedings. The memo notes that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects all employees covered by the NLRA regardless of immigration status, but that immigration status issues may affect remedies and occasionally present other practical difficulties with respect to enforcement of the NLRA.

Supplementing earlier guidance (GC 02-06, available at http://www.lawmemo.com/nlrb/gc02-06.htm), the new memo provides further guidance for proceeding when immigration status issues arise during NLRB case handling. It also identifies immigration agencies that have discretion to provide immigration remedies and other assistance to discrimination victims or witnesses in NLRB proceedings. Among other things, the memo notes:

  • NLRB officials generally should presume -that employees are lawfully authorized to work. They should refrain from conducting a sua sponte immigration investigation and should object to questions concerning the discriminatee's immigration status at the merits stage.
  • NLRB officials should investigate the discriminatee's immigration status only after a respondent establishes the existence of a genuine issue (during the remedial stage).
  • NLRB officials should conduct an investigation by asking the union, the charging party, and/or the discriminatee to respond to the employer's evidence.
  • NLRB officials should consult GC 02-06 for additional direction.

The memo notes that NLRB discriminatees, witnesses, or voting-eligible employees may be taken into custody by immigration officials. In addition, immigration status may be inextricably intertwined with an unfair labor practice, such as where immigration threats or related conduct are the basis of the unfair labor practice allegation. Or the issue may be as simple as an employee volunteering information about immigration status or asking NLRB officials for immigration advice or assistance.

NLRB officials "should not provide immigration advice," the memo notes. "Resolution of these issues is best addressed when employees can obtain immigration advice through their union or from an independent immigration attorney." NLRB officials may refer interested persons to the list of accredited immigration services providers maintained by the Department of Justice and found at http://www.justice.gov/eoir/statspub/raroster.htm. The memo notes that individuals sometimes are mistaken about their immigration status and NLRB officials should not assume that immigration status information volunteered by an unrepresented person is correct.

The memo also notes that in certain cases where immigration status is of particular significance, the agency may decide to seek the assistance of one of the three immigration agencies (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or U.S. Customs and Border Patrol) to advance the effective enforcement of the NLRA. Such agencies may assist in providing visa remedies, deferring immigration actions during the pendency of the NLRB proceeding, and/or releasing individuals from custody or providing access to witnesses in custody.

The June 7, 2011, memo is available at http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d458049525b.

 
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3. How to Protect Personal Data in Redesigned Green Card
 

One of USCIS's recent improvements to the green card is an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip that allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry to read personal data embedded in the card from a distance and compare it immediately to personal data on file. Additionally, the RFID chip adds a level of security to confirm that the card has not been tampered with, and makes it more difficult to counterfeit cards.

USCIS provides a foil envelope encasing the new card, and advises permanent residents to keep the card in the envelope at all times to prevent unwanted wireless communication with the RFID chip. Because the RFID chip can be scanned by any RFID scanner within a reasonable distance, the envelope is needed to block the effective range of the chip, reducing the possibility that personal data may be electronically "pick-pocketed."

CBP has implemented "Ready Lane" pilot programs at various ports of entry, including El Paso and Donna, Texas, and Otay Mesa, California. RFID technology expedites travel across the land border because CBP officers do not have to manually enter traveler information during the primary inspection. Thus, RFID-enabled travel documents reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border.

To use Ready Lane, travelers should follow three simple steps as they approach a U.S. land port of entry with their RFID-enabled green card: (1) stop at the entry to the inspection lane and wait for a signal to move forward; (2) remove the green card from its protective envelope and hold it up with the flat front face of the card toward a window on the driver's side. The RFID chip will be read automatically while the vehicle proceeds to the inspection booth; and (3) stop at the inspection booth and be prepared to present documents for all travelers in the vehicle to the CBP officer.

For more information about the redesigned green card, see the USCIS fact sheet and card image at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=34233893c4888210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD.

 
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4. USCIS Ombudsman Issues Advice to Employers on Documenting the 'Temporary' Nature of H-2B Work
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) Ombudsman has provided information in response to reports that USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) in H-2B nonagricultural worker cases that question the claimed "temporary" nature of an employer's business need for foreign labor.

The Ombudsman explained that employers seeking to participate in this program must establish to USCIS's satisfaction that their need for temporary non-agricultural services or labor is either seasonal, due to a peakload need, intermittent, or a one-time occurrence. While temporary needs of a significant length may be approved as a one-time occurrence, the petitioner’s business need must be temporary, such as 10 months or less, the Ombudsman said. H-2B workers are commonly employed in the landscaping, hotel, recreation, and forestry industries based upon seasonal need.

To establish seasonal need, the Ombudsman noted, petitioners must show that the service or labor is related to a season of the year by an event or pattern that recurs annually. "It is recommended that petitioners also specify the period(s) of time during each year in which they do not need the services or labor," the Ombudsman said.

H-2B petitions are by their nature time sensitive, and petitioners are on tight time schedules for filing their submissions with the Department of Labor (DOL) and USCIS. Delays in submission or processing can have serious financial consequences for employer petitioners.

To minimize the likelihood of receiving an RFE, the Ombudsman suggested that petitioners may want to support their initial submissions to USCIS with additional documentation "that clearly demonstrates that a specific work need covered by the petition is temporary, tied to a predictable peakload period or is seasonal, and will reoccur annually on the same or similar cycle."

USCIS told the Ombudsman that it also would be helpful to include with the H-2B petition:

  • Signed work contracts, letters of intent from clients, and monthly invoices from previous calendar year(s) clearly depicting the type and regularity of work that was, or will be, performed during each month of the requested period of need.
  • Summarized monthly payroll records/reports over the past two calendar years that clearly identify and separately distinguish the petitioner's permanent employee staff from its temporary H-2B staff in the requested occupation.
  • Any other documentation (e.g., work schedules, company provided housing, transportation records) that evidences the cyclical trend of seasonal temporary hires, and that clearly reveals gap periods that fall between such seasons.
The Ombudsman's update is available at http://www.dhs.gov/files/publications/gc_1305648318975.shtm.
 
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5. Around the States: Alabama, Arizona, Massachusetts
 

A variety of harsh enforcement measures have gained ground in several states:

Alabama. Alabama's Governor Robert Bentley signed a new bill, HB 56 ("Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act"), which requires employers doing business with Alabama to use E-Verify, beginning in 2012, and ties it to state economic incentives. The employer's business license may be suspended if it fails to comply.

The law states that Alabama "finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this state and that illegal immigration is encouraged when public agencies within this state provide public benefits without verifying immigration status." The law therefore includes a number of other enforcement provisions, such as requiring public schools to determine the citizenship and immigration status of students enrolling.

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said the law "is designed to do nothing more than terrorize the state's Latino community." He said the only possible end result of HB 56 "is a permanent, largely Latino underclass in Alabama that would be driven even further into the shadows of society."

The text of HB 56 is available at http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/AL/HB56.

Arizona. On May 26, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting upheld the Legal Arizona Workers Act, requiring all Arizona employers to use E-Verify and suspending or revoking the licenses of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire unauthorized workers.

At issue in the case was whether the federal employment sanctions regime under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) preempted states like Arizona from enacting similar immigration-related legislation that would sanction employers who hire unauthorized workers. Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was introduced by IRCA, prohibits the hiring or the continuing employment of unauthorized workers.

Although IRCA preempted states from imposing criminal or civil sanctions on employers relating to the hiring of unauthorized workers, it created an exception with respect to "licensing and similar laws," which states could still regulate.

The Supreme Court held that the Legal Arizona Workers Act fell within the "licensing and similar laws" exception of IRCA and rejected arguments that the law was not truly a licensing law or that it conflicted with IRCA.

The Supreme Court decision will impact businesses that operate in Arizona and other states with similar laws. They will need to comply with a hodgepodge of employer compliance laws with respect to hiring workers. Furthermore, Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting will encourage other states to enact similar laws and to make E-Verify mandatory when hiring any worker, as Alabama has done. Because the Supreme Court's ruling is narrow and revolves around the "licensing and similar laws" exception, it is not clear whether the Court will uphold the constitutionality of broader state legislation, such as Arizona's SB 1070, whose most controversial provisions have thus far been found to be unconstitutional in the Ninth Circuit.

The full decision in Chamber of Commerce v Whiting is available at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-115.pdf. For a summary, see http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/litigationresourcecenter/blogs/litigationblog/archive/2011/05/26/a-summary-of-the-supreme-court-s-ruling-on-the-legal-arizona-workers-act.aspx .

Massachusetts. An official speaking anonymously reported that the U.S. government plans to require Massachusetts to participate in the Secure Communities program. Governor Deval Patrick had refused to support it, although his administration had pledged to sign a Secure Communities agreement. The program includes name and fingerprint checks of offenders against federal immigration and criminal databases. It is now being piloted in 42 states.

In a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement dated June 3, 2011, Massachusetts' Public Safety Secretary Mary Heffernan said that Gov. Patrick would not sign a memorandum of agreement. The letter notes that only about one out of four of those removed from the U.S. since the inception of Boston's pilot participation in Secure Communities were convicted of a serious crime, and more than half of those removed were identified as "non-criminal." Ms. Heffernan said this indicated that Secure Communities does not achieve the objective of focusing on the identification and removal of those convicted of serious criminal offenses. Ms. Heffernan said, "The Governor and I are dubious of the Commonwealth taking on the federal role of immigration enforcement. We are even more skeptical of the potential Secure Communities could have on the residents of the Commonwealth. The letter concludes, "We are reluctant to participate if the program is mandatory and unwilling to participate if it is voluntary."

Other governors refusing to sign Secure Communities memoranda of agreement include Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Pat Quinn of Illinois.

Ms. Heffernan's letter is available at http://altopolimigra.com/documents/Acting-Director-Rapp-6.3.11.pdf.

 
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6. ICE Authorizes Employment Eligibility for Certain Libyan Students
 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced special temporary relief until December 31, 2011, for certain F-1 Libyan students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Libya since February 2011.

ICE has published a notice in the Federal Register suspending certain regulatory requirements to allow eligible Libyan F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours during the school term, and, if necessary, reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status.

Approximately 2,000 F-1 students from Libya are enrolled in schools in the U.S. This relief applies only to students who were lawfully present in the U.S. in F-1 status as of February 1, 2011, and enrolled in an institution certified by ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The notice applies to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as elementary school, middle school, and high school students. The notice, however, applies differently to elementary school, middle school, and high school students, as discussed in the notice.

An ICE fact sheet is available at http://www.ice.gov/news/library/factsheets/libyan-student-employment.htm. The Federal Register notice is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-10/pdf/2011-14482.pdf.

 
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7. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals
 

Many foreign entrepreneurs want to start businesses or invest in the United States. Other wealthy individuals want green cards to live in the United States, but may be hesitant because of real or perceived immigration obstacles. Real estate developers and companies seeking capital for development projects are increasingly looking for EB-5 capital from foreign investors. Several visa options exist, but each has advantages, disadvantages, and limits.

A three-part webinar series, presented by the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) and co-sponsored by Invest In the USA, the association of EB-5 regional centers, helps guide individual investors and others, as well as U.S. companies that want to attract foreign investors and wealthy individuals. The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects. Each 90-minute webinar in the series explains immigration options and offers practical real-world strategies:

  • Session 1: Visa options for individual investors: E and L nonimmigrant visas; EB-5 green cards through direct investments or regional centers, was held on April 13. (A recording of the webinar is available for purchase.) Moderated by Bernard P. Wolfsdorf. Presenters: Kehrela Hodkinson, Mark Ivener, and Stephen Yale-Loehr. 
  • Session 2: EB-5 regional center applications and project pre-approval petitions, to be held July 6 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Laura Danielson. Presenters: Bryan Funai, H. Ronald Klasko, and Steve Trow.
  • Session 3: How to successfully navigate the back end of the EB-5 process for both individual investors and regional centers, to be held August 16 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Steve Clark. Presenters: H. Ronald Klasko, Robert Loughran, and Stephen Yale-Loehr.
All participants will receive a file with the PowerPoint presentation, relevant articles, and resources before each session, as well as a recording of the webinar. The cost is $89 for an individual session or $249 for all three sessions, live or recorded. To register, go to: https://securec9.ezhostingserver.com/abil-com/abil_webinar_signup.cfm. For more information, contact Lauren Anderson at lauren@abil.com or visit http://abil.com.
 
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8. New Publications and Items of Interest
 

Immigrant skills in U.S. metro areas. A new report by the Brookings Institution's Metro Policy Program, "The Geography of Immigrant Skills: Educational Profiles of Metro Areas," finds that immigrants in the U.S. who have a bachelor's degree now outnumber those without a high school diploma. In 1980, just 19 percent of immigrants aged 25 to 64 held a bachelor’s degree, the report notes, and nearly 40 percent had not completed high school. By 2010, 30 percent of working-age immigrants had at least a college degree and 28 percent lacked a high school diploma. The report also notes that 44 of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas are high-skill immigrant destinations, in which college-educated immigrants outnumber immigrants without high school diplomas by at least 25 percent. These destinations include Washington, DC, and large coastal metro areas like San Francisco. The 30 low-skill destinations, in which the relative sizes of these immigrant skill groups are reversed, include many in the border states of the West and Southwest, as well as in the Great Plains.

The report argues that a pragmatic approach to immigration "should include a more flexible admissions system to respond to labor market changes." With the United States at a critical point in both immigration policy and economic trajectory, the report notes, "policymakers should carefully weigh options to provide support for immigrant workers at all skill levels to keep the United States globally competitive."

The report is available at http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/06_immigrants_singer/06_immigrants_singer.pdf.

Business representatives conference. USCIS's Texas Service Center (TSC) will host a Business Representatives Conference on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. TSC will also offer scheduled tours of the Lewisville Lockbox facility on the Tuesday afternoon before and the Thursday morning after the conference. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to tsc.university@dhs.gov.

 
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9. Member News
 

Many members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) (both U.S. and Global) were named in the “International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2011,” including:

  • Eugene Chow (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-chow.cfm?c=HK)
  • Kehrela Hodkinson (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-hodkinson.cfm?c=US)
  • H. Ronald Klasko (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-klasko.cfm?c=US)
  • Marco Mazzeschi (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-mazzeschi.cfm?c=IT)
  • Sharon Mehlman (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-mehlman.cfm?c=US)
  • Cyrus Mehta (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-mehta.cfm?c=US)
  • Angelo Paparelli (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-paparelli.cfm?c=US)
  • Bernard Wolfsdorf (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-wolfsdorf.cfm?c=US)
  • Stephen Yale-Loehr (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-loehr.cfm?c=US)

Robert Loughran (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-loughran.cfm?c=US) was commended to researchers for "Who's Who" as a "top-tier practitioner."

For the “Who’s Who” list, including search fields, see http://www.whoswholegal.com/news/analysis/article/28997/most-highly-regarded-firms-corporate-immigration-2011/.

Also, the new Chambers Global 2011 lists various ABIL members in its North America section, including Mark Ivener (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-ivener.cfm?c=US), Mr. Klasko, Charles Kuck (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-kuck.cfm?c=US), Mr. Paparelli, Mr. Wolfsdorf, and Mr. Yale-Loehr. Go to http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Global to search for a particular lawyer. Chambers USA 2011 is now also online; go to http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA to search for a particular lawyer.

Charles Kuck has posted an analysis of Georgia's new HB 87 immigration law, "HB 87: The 'Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011' -- Arizona-Style Legislation -- What Does It Mean for You?", at http://www.immigration.net/hb87.

Mr. Loughran spoke at the Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues in May 2011. The topic was "Global Immigration: Short-Term, Technical, and Offshore Work in the Oil & Gas Industry." He was also quoted in a cover story on Mexican immigrant investors in the Austin American Statesman on June 4, 2011.

Ms. Mehlman will speak on a panel, "PERM Labor Certification: The Long and Winding Road to 'PERM' Residency and How to Get There," on June 18, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) annual conference in San Diego, California.

Ms. Mehlman also spoke on June 6 on "Worksite Criminal Cases" at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford's Worksite Immigration Compliance Symposium.

Mr. Mehta was presented with the 2011 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for his outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field. Mr. Mehta has most recently been Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) National Pro Bono Committee (2009-2011) and past Co-Chair of the AILA New York Chapter Pro Bono Committee (2007-2010). Under his leadership, AILA launched its first Annual Conference Pro Bono Clinic in San Diego, California, in 2011. In collaboration with the New York City Bar Association, Mr. Mehta and the AILA New York City Chapter launched the New York City Immigrant Advocacy Initiative to provide brief service clinics on a regular basis. Also in partnership with the New York City Bar, Mr. Mehta and the AILA Chapter joined with Legal Aid to create the Varick Street N.Y. Immigration Court project to represent detained immigrants. Mr. Mehta also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Volunteers of Legal Services, Inc. (VOLS), whose mission is to provide pro bono civil legal services to benefit poor people in New York City. With his assistance, VOLS has expanded its pro bono efforts to reach immigrant children and their parents in the public school system.

Mr. Mehta has posted several new blog entries. "BALCA Gets It Right!! Recruitment and the Prevailing Wage Determination's Validity Period" discusses the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals' decision in Matter of Horizon Computer Services, Inc., and is available at http://cyrusmehta.blogspot.com/2011/06/balca-gets-it-right-recruitment-and.html. "If Even the Chief Justice Can Misunderstand Immigration Law, How Can We Expect States To Enforce It Properly? Removal Orders and Work Authorization," written by Mr. Mehta's associate, David Isaacson, discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting upholding an Arizona law that imposed sanctions on employers for hiring unauthorized workers, and the aspects of ways in which someone who has been ordered removed from the U.S. may have valid employment authorization. It is available at http://cyrusmehta.blogspot.com/2011/06/if-even-chief-justice-can-misunderstand.html. "B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa in Jeopardy: Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater," which Mr. Mehta co-wrote, is available at http://cyrusmehta.blogspot.com/2011/05/b-1-in-lieu-of-h-1b-visa-in-jeopardy.html.

Mr. Mehta was quoted by FINS Technology (part of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network) in an article on June 24, 2011, "American Dream Fades for H-1B Hopefuls." He noted that the H-1B process "is costly, fees have gone up, employers have to pay lawyers' fees, and there are far more compliance issues." The article is available at http://it-jobs.fins.com/Articles/SB130652363641519729/American-Dream-Fades-for-H-1B-Hopefuls?link=FINS_hp.

Mr. Paparelli has posted several new blog entries. "First, Do No (Immigration) Harm (to Business Visitors)," which discusses the "B-1 in lieu of H-1B" option and Sen. Charles Grassley's efforts to eliminate it, is available at http://bit.ly/jkQ5ti. "10 Immigration Predictions: The Foreseeable Consequences of the Supreme Court's Arizona E-Verify Decision," is available at http://bit.ly/kAUC2F.

Mr. Wolfsdorf was presented with the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) Service Excellence Award for 2011. AILA said, "Over the years, Mr. Wolfsdorf has had a major impact on the practice of immigration law and he has demonstrated a long history of commitment to AILA. He is dedicated to AILA's mission of promoting justice, advocating for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and enhancing the professional development of its members. He has held numerous positions in AILA and has put in thousands of volunteer hours for the association and its members." Mr. Wolfsdorf is Managing Partner of the top-rated Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He has been a California State Bar-Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law for over 20 years and was named "Immigration Lawyer of the Year" in 2010 and again in 2011 by the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. The announcement is available at http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=35890.

Mr. Yale-Loehr has joined the New York State Bar Association's Special Immigration Committee, whose work includes activities such as creating written standards for immigration representation and methods to publicize and enforce those standards; providing specialized training and CLEs with regular updates; creating pro bono opportunities and resources; and improving immigration referral services across the state of New York.

Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article on the "B-1 in lieu of H-1B" option: "As Congress has made the H-1B visa category more expensive and more difficult to obtain, companies have searched for alternatives. The B-1 is one such alternative." The article is available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576343070058872708.html#ixzz1NMUgPTXH.

Mr. Yale-Loehr will speak on the advanced panel concerning EB-5 immigrant investors on June 18, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego, California.

 
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10. Government Agency Links
 

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State's latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:

USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do

Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/times.cfm

Department of State Visa Bulletin: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html

 
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