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NMM Advisory: Immigration May Knock at Your Company’s Front Door Soon. What Do You Do?

With the Administration’s plan to build a huge wall along the United States-Mexican border stalled without funding and with waning support, the White House has increasingly shifted its immigration enforcement to employers.  Most of the 15,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers expected to be hired over the next year and beyond are expected to focus on employer immigration law compliance, including random employer inspections to conduct audits of a company’s Form I-9 records, site inspections for undocumented employees, and demands to review private corporate and employee records. [Read more…]

 

Raymond Lahoud Featured in NBC News Report on Impact of Trump’s Immigration Policy

In the national news report, filed by correspondent Chelsea Bailey, Lahoud shared his experiences over the past several weeks assisting individuals and families dealing with the uncertainty of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban and crackdown on undocumented citizens across the country. The firm is located in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, which has one of the largest Arab immigrant communities in the United States … [Read more…]

As featured on NBC

Immigration lawyer Raymond Lahoud looks exhausted.He admits he’s gone days without shaving, and that the aromatherapy candles in his Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, office are burning to mask the smell of the cigarettes he’s been smoking out of stress. It’s been a long week. “Am I frustrated? I’m extremely frustrated,” he said with a heavy sigh … [Read more…]

Establishing an Employer-Employee Relationship Is Essential for H-1B Visa Purposes

More companies are using the H-1B visa to hire and retain foreign workers. It allows workers to maintain their permanent residence outside the United States while continuing employment here. However, H-1B visas are capped at 65,000 per fiscal year, which makes them very competitive and difficult to secure. One area where an H-1B visa application might fail is in establishing an employer-employee relationship between the worker and the … [Read more…]

ETA Form 9089 and Its Role in the Hiring of Foreign Workers

If you wish to live and work in the United States, one of the easiest ways to make that happen is through employer sponsorship. This starts with ETA Form 9089. Your employer will need to fill this out and submit it before you can secure your work visa. Here is a general overview of how these matters are handled.
What is Form 9089?
ETA Form 9089 is the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, which is available … [Read more…]

Employment-Based Immigration Depends on Your Job

If you are looking to immigrate to the United States for employment purposes, some professions are preferred over others. Often called employment-based preferences, these are the positions for which an employment visa is most likely to get approved. Here is an overview of this hierarchy and how it can work for you.
Priority workers always come first
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs releases a visa bulletin … [Read more…]

Foreign Entrepreneurs Enjoy Numerous Immigration Options

Foreign entrepreneurs who are considering starting or moving their business within U.S. borders should rest assured that it is not an impossible process. In fact, the U.S. government has created a variety of time-tested pathways that allow foreign entrepreneurs to bring their trade overseas. Whether you are considering permanent or temporary immigration to the United States, it’s important to know the options the government … [Read more…]

Is a Child Entitled to an Attorney in Immigration Court?

With discussion of immigration appearing frequently in the news media, and given the tenor of coverage of related issues, it’s no surprise that disagreement and debate have come to encompass nearly every corner of immigration law in some way or another. But an ongoing case that’s playing out in federal court in Seattle may be poised to take the debate surrounding the rights of children in removal proceedings to the next level.
The case … [Read more…]

What Is a Habeas Corpus Petition, and What Role Does It Play in Immigration?

Facing detainment or deportation is a reasonable fear in the immigrant community. Even if people follow all procedures stringently with the assistance of an immigration attorney, administrative errors or unfounded criminal charges could place your legal status in danger. Fortunately, there is a possible remedy under habeas corpus if you or a loved one faces detainment.
General purposes of habeas corpus
The writ of habeas corpus is … [Read more…]

Understanding the Risks of a Plea Bargain

When you are facing criminal charges, the first instinct is often to conclude the ordeal as soon as possible. Facing the legal system in this adversarial manner is often terrifying, and that is especially true if you are not a citizen. One way these matters conclude quickly is through plea bargains or agreeing to a lesser offense in order to avoid stiffer penalties and drawn-out trials. Unfortunately, this easier way out for citizens often … [Read more…]

Voluntary Departure vs. Deportation

In fiscal year 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 235,413 individuals from the country. Nearly 60 percent of these were convicted criminals. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story of the removal process. Being detained by ICE or picked up by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not automatically result in deportation. Many detainees are eventually released and remain in the country. But of … [Read more…]

How Do You Sponsor an Employee for Permanent U.S. Residence?

Employers interested in sponsoring a current employee for permanent resident status in the United States—or hiring an employee who is not a permanent resident—are faced with a difficult and time-consuming process. However, it is not an impossible one. While there are a number of steps involved, as well as a need for accuracy and completeness when filing paperwork, sponsoring a worker for permanent U.S. residency can be made much more … [Read more…]

Know Your Options for Defending Against Deportation

It is a known fact that the process of entering the United States legally is complex and time-consuming. For those individuals who have been designated for removal proceedings, however, the good news is that the process of deportation is also not terribly swift. What’s more, there are numerous ways to defend oneself against deportation and remain in the United States—and the burden of proof lies with the government, rather than with the … [Read more…]

How the EEOC Protects the Rights of Immigrants—and What Employers Should Know

As a business owner or manager, it’s often your responsibility to understand the laws that protect both your business and your employees. Familiarity with how federal and state discrimination laws apply in the workplace can ensure that your company is appropriately conducting business and that members of your staff feel safe and comfortable on the job. In fact, each of your employees has specific rights, which not only need to be … [Read more…]

Know Your Options for Defending Against Deportation

It is a known fact that the process of entering the United States legally is complex and time-consuming. For those individuals who have been designated for removal proceedings, however, the good news is that the process of deportation is also not terribly swift. What’s more, there are numerous ways to defend oneself against deportation and remain in the United States—and the burden of proof lies with the government, rather than with the … [Read more…]

How the EEOC Protects the Rights of Immigrants—and What Employers Should Know

As a business owner or manager, it’s often your responsibility to understand the laws that protect both your business and your employees. Familiarity with how federal and state discrimination laws apply in the workplace can ensure that your company is appropriately conducting business and that members of your staff feel safe and comfortable on the job. In fact, each of your employees has specific rights, which not only need to be … [Read more…]

Massive Sweep Nabs 239 Foreign Nationals Suspected of Gang Activity

Officials from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) recently concluded a five-week operation, Project Shadowfire, which resulted in the arrest of 1,133 individuals, including 239 foreign nationals, on charges related to international gang activity.

While many of the individuals detained were American citizens, the nature of the operation meant that individuals from a number of other countries were also taken into custody. Individuals … [Read more…]

What Types of Protection Can a U.S. Embassy or Consulate Provide?

Though safety is a primary concern for most individuals, it is not always possible during moments of political, social or religious unrest. Fortunately, the U.S. government provides protections to certain individuals who are considered in danger or threatened while living in a foreign country. To be qualified for these safeguards, you must meet a set of criteria related to the different types of protections offered by a U.S. embassy or … [Read more…]

Upcoming U.S. Election, Court Cases Could Impact Future of DACA

While every presidential election has the potential to change the future of those living within a country’s borders, the upcoming 2016 national election in the United States brings a significant amount of uncertainty for young immigrants. In particular, the potential reversal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy could remove many opportunities for undocumented minors.
Understanding DACA
In an effort to protect … [Read more…]

Understanding the Consequences of Aiding Undocumented Immigrants’ Entry Into the United States

For foreign nationals, interest in coming to the United States shows no sign of slowing down. As the process for doing so within the bounds of the law is time-consuming and complex, some individuals attempt to circumvent the law, either by venturing onto U.S. soil on their own or with the help of a smuggler—and sometimes the latter approach is encouraged by relatives already living in the United States.
Unfortunately, the mere act of … [Read more…]

EB-5 Investor Program Offers Immigration Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Of the many ways in which U.S. immigrants can apply for a green card, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is among the lesser-known methods. This important program was initially created to help support the creation of U.S. jobs and to act as an incentive for foreign citizens to invest in U.S. markets. By uncovering the details of this program, foreign citizens can better understand the potential opportunities it provides to … [Read more…]

What Happens When a Non-Citizen Is Accused of a Crime?

Individuals who have entered the United States illegally are already putting themselves at serious risk of becoming entangled in the legal system. But what happens when a non-citizen winds up being accused of committing a crime? Regardless of the severity of the crime—whether it’s petty theft or a violent crime, such as murder—and regardless of his or her guilt, a person who is not a U.S. citizen but who has been accused of a crime in this … [Read more…]

What to Do When You Face Deportation

According to statistics compiled by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency and its government partners acted to remove 235,413 individuals from the United States during fiscal year 2015. Of these, 59 percent had been convicted of a crime.
While much of the debate surrounding illegal immigration in the United States centers on those who have unlawfully crossed a border (particularly the border with Mexico), there are … [Read more…]

Undocumented Students and the Right to Public Education

Throughout recent decades millions of individuals have immigrated—both lawfully and unlawfully—into the United States. It is not uncommon for the U.S. government and media to cover the legal implications of immigration, but one topic is all too frequently left out of the spotlight: education.
Challenges in educating immigrant students
According to U.S. law, all minors living within the country’s borders are entitled to an education. … [Read more…]

Applying for a Non-Immigrant Fiancé Visa

The U.S. government understands that relationships do not always adhere to the limits of national borders. If you and a foreign citizen wish to get married and reside together inside the United States, you must follow the strict set of laws that allow you to start the visa application process. In such circumstances, completing the fiancé K-1 non-immigrant visa allows the non-resident to come to the United States.
Steps to securing a fiancé … [Read more…]

Understanding the Different Categories of Immigrant Visas

With over 100 visa types available to those looking to enter the United States on a permanent basis, it’s no wonder the immigration process can be extremely confusing for even the most knowledgeable prospective visa holders. Fortunately, a basic understanding of the different immigrant visas available can be gained from dividing the different types into more manageable categories. While other types of immigrant visas exist, the two primary … [Read more…]

Man Convicted of Illegally Obtaining Citizenship Through Marriage Fraud

A Columbus, Ohio man was recently convicted of unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. The guilty verdict was handed down after a joint investigation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Homeland Security Investigations, which revealed that the man committed marriage fraud in order to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The 41-year-old man at the … [Read more…]

Form I-864 and the Role of the Sponsor

To ensure that a person looking to receive a green card and become a permanent U.S. resident is being adequately supported from a financial standpoint, the applicant has to go through a process in which a family member agrees to act as a sponsor. In the event that the sponsoring family member doesn’t make enough money, another person, such as another relative or a close friend, may act as a joint sponsor.

Being a sponsor to a prospective green … [Read more…]

Understanding the Process of Becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), 729,995 people became naturalized U.S. citizens during fiscal year 2015, and some 6.6 million have joined the ranks of U.S. citizens over the past decade. These numbers represent years of work on the part of foreign nationals who have demonstrated their commitment to participating in the fabric of American life.
Who is eligible?
The key requirements for naturalization are, in many … [Read more…]

The Significance of Your Student Visa’s Expiration Date

According to U.S. law, any individual from a foreign country must have a current, non-immigration visa in order to study within the country. Unlike other types of documentation, student visas are considered temporary, meaning that they can have strict limitations on their validity. Those who find themselves in the United States with an expired student visa can find themselves facing serious legal consequences.
When are you at risk?
To know if … [Read more…]

Can Military Members and Veterans Face Deportation?

Contrary to what many people believe, members of the U.S. armed forces can face deportation, even after they return from an overseas deployment. Though joining the military can sometimes present ways to hasten the citizenship process, those who serve as non-citizens may find themselves subject to complex, inconsistent and even unclear immigration laws.
The reality of veteran deportation
U.S. engagement in the Middle East led many immigrants to … [Read more…]

Alert: Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

WASHINGTON — The United States will begin screening passengers entering the United States under a visa waiver based on any past travel to a country known as a terrorist safe haven, the Obama administration announced Monday.
The new policy was one of several changes announced to the visa waiver program in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris Nov. 13.  While President Obama has resisted efforts by Congress to impose new restrictions on … [Read more…]

URGENT: Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

WASHINGTON — The United States will begin screening passengers entering the United States under a visa waiver based on any past travel to a country known as a terrorist safe haven, the Obama administration announced Monday. The new policy was one of several changes announced to the visa waiver program in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris Nov. 13.  While President Obama has resisted efforts by Congress to impose new restrictions on … [Read more…]

The Morning Call: A decade into a project to digitize U.S. immigration forms, just 1 is online.

A decade into a project to digitize U.S. immigration forms, just 1 is online Jerry MarkonWashington Post Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms. A decade in, all that officials have to show for … [Read more…]

Immigration Law is Complicated. You Need a Lawyer.

Day after day, individuals from all over the world download a few forms, fill them out and send them in to the United States Department of Homeland Security, with the hope that a Lawful Permanent Resident Card (the “Green Card”) will show up in the mail a few weeks later.  Immigration Law is not that simple.  Rather, it is a complex system of laws and regulations, where the smallest of errors can create the dreaded immigration catastrophe.  There … [Read more…]

The Morning Call: Immigration financing fuels part of Allentown’s revitalization.

The EB-5 Program – For the Investor Immigrant.
Allentown developer City Center Investment Corp. has been credited with resurrecting the city’s struggling downtown business district.  Several hundred thousand dollars of publicly subsidized office, retail and apartment construction situated around PPL Center, the city’s signature arena, has created new jobs, an invigorated restaurant scene and even a demand for luxury urban living.  To that list, … [Read more…]

DOS Publishes Updated Visa Bulletin for October 2015

On Sept. 25, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) published an updated Visa Bulletin for October 2015.  This bulletin supersedes the bulletin for October 2015 that was originally published on Sept. 9, 2015. Following consultations with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Dates for Filing Applications for some categories in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based preferences have been adjusted to better reflect a timeframe justifying … [Read more…]

Stopped by Immigration: You Have Rights. Know Them. Use Them.

If you are stopped by Police Officers, Immigration Agents or other public authorities, you have rights.  It does not matter if you entered the country by crossing the border in Mexico, if you are an overstay, green card holder or citizen.  As long as you are within the borders of the United States, you have rights.  Know them.  Use them.

The first one is to call the leading immigration law and deportation defense attorneys at Baurkot & … [Read more…]

USCIS Update for DACA Recipients Who Received 3-Year Work Permits

USCIS has accounted for over 99 percent of the approximately 2,600 identified invalid work permits requiring return.  Twenty-two of the approximately 2,600 recipients failed to return their work permits or certify good cause for not doing so by the deadline of July 30, 2015.  As a result, those 22 have been terminated from DACA.

The recall only applied to SOME individuals who received a card after Feb. 16, 2015.  There are approximately … [Read more…]

USCIS Announces Temporary Immigration Relief for Those Affected by Typhoon Soudelor

On August 2, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor caused extensive damage in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). USCIS announced that those affected by Typhoon Soudelor may be eligible for certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief
Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:

A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request … [Read more…]

Happy 2013 to All! May 2013 Bring Serious Immigration Reform to the United

Happy 2013 to All from Baurkot & Baurkot
On behalf of the Attorneys and Staff at Baurkot & Baurkot, we wish all of our Clients, former, current and future, our colleagues in immigration law — both those who represent the Government as well as those who work like our Firm in defending against deportations, all immigration related nonprofit organizations, our Friends at the American Civil Liberties Union as well as the American … [Read more…]

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DEPORTS NEARLY HALF A MILLION IMMIGRANTS IN 2012

Many Deportees Were Non-Criminal, Tax Paying Immigrants with American Citizen Spouses and Children Who Have Lived in the United States for Years.

In a shocking statement just released, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that it deported nearly 410,000 immigrants in 2012 – a number that shocked many and has exceeded the number of deportees from years prior. In the statement, ICE Director John Morton stated that the large … [Read more…]

Urgent Update: NY, PA, NJ and MD Immigration Courts Closed Due to Storm

The Executive Office for Immigration Review has announced that the following Immigration Courts (in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland) have been closed on Monday, October 29, 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy:

Philadelphia Immigration Court

900 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

New York City Immigration Court – Federal Plaza

26 Federal Plaza, 12th Floor,

Room 1237

New York, NY 10278

New York … [Read more…]

Urgent: USCIS Closes Many Offices – Cancelling Interviews in Several States

United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the closing of the following USCIS Field Offices and Application Support Centers (ASC) for Monday, October 29, 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy:

Philadelphia, PA Field Office & Application Support Center (both the 1600 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania location as well as the 10300 Drummond Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania fingerprint center)

York, PA Application … [Read more…]

Obama Immigration Proposal

Obama Sets Immigration Changes for 2010

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Flanked by his counterparts from Mexico and Canada, President Obama on Monday reiterated his commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform, despite his packed political agenda and the staunch opposition such an initiative is likely to face.

Mr. Obama predicted that he would be successful but acknowledged the challenges, saying, “I’ve got a lot on my plate.” He added … [Read more…]

Federal District Court Condemns Government’s Prolonged Detention

Federal District Court Condemns Government’s Prolonged Detention of Immigrants, Ordering a Bond Hearing for a Pennsylvania Man Who Has Been Detained for Over Twenty-Six Months

May 25, 2012

HARRISBURG, PA – A Federal Court strongly criticized the Department of Homeland Security’s prolonged detention of immigrants in removal proceedings. In a decision that came twenty-six months after Robert Bautista was first detained by immigration … [Read more…]

Obama Administration Denies Legal Immigrant’s Release

Obama Administration Denies Legal Immigrant’s Release from Immigration Custody, following Two Years of Confinement, Arguing that the Father of Three has No Rights.

York, Penn – (Jan 27, 2012) – With two years of continued immigration detention and no release date in sight, President Barack Obama’s Administration refused to release Robert Bautista from confinement at the York Immigration Detention Facility. Bautista, a long-time Easton, … [Read more…]

United States Citizenship & Immigration Service

United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) extends TPS Status for Eligible National of El Salvador

Baurkot & Baurkot Deportation Defense Attorney Raymond Lahoud announced this week that the Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to eligible nationals of El Salvador. Lahoud, an associate at Baurkot & Baurkot’s Pennsylvania Office, stated “that DHS has made a good decision in extending TPS … [Read more…]

United States Department of State Release

United States Department of State Release February 2012 Visa Bulletin

Baurkot & Baurkot recently announced that the Department of State released its most recent Visa Bulletin, covering priority dates for those wishing to immigrate to the United States from across the globe.

For a detailed breakdown of the Visa Bulletin, click here:

Visa Number Priority Dates … [Read more…]

Time for Electronic Filing with the Immigration Court System – Time to Save the Enviroment, Money and Time

Given the continued annual growth of actual deportations and commencement of deportation proceedings, Baurkot & Baurkot Deportation Attorney Raymond Lahoud called for the implementation of an electronic filing system for the Immigration Courts that is similar to that in the federal court system.

“Deportation proceedings are, without any doubt, the fastest proceedings that exist in the American Judicial System and potential deportees are … [Read more…]

Trial of PA Officers Accused of Obstructing Justice Over the Beating of Illegal Mexican Starts Today . . . Justice and Lou Dobbs’ Ignorance.

The Associated Press reported that the trial of three Pennsylvania police officers accused of obstructing justice in an investigation of the beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez, an alien from Mexico who entered the United States by crossing the border.  Last year, two young men were convicted of the beating death under Federal Hate Crime legislation.

The issue here is a bit deep and goes to what I refer to as “Lou Dobbs’ … [Read more…]

Is the DREAM Act Just a Dream?

What a surprise—the DREAM Act vote in the US Senate was postponed another week.  Hopes of millions of undocumented Americans have faded after yesterday’s United States’ House of Representatives passage of the Act.

Unsurprisingly, the House passed its version of the DREAM Act, weeks before Republicans take control following the GOP’s General Election victory.  The question is, however, is this DREAM Act going to become a reality or, is it just a … [Read more…]

Immigration Detention Hell

I just got off the phone with a deportation client. Of course, I can’t reveal lots of details about his deportation case. In any event, he is being detained under the ridiculous INA mandatory detention statute.

This client was charged with a crime in late-2000 and is a Permanent Resident. USCIS, DHS and ICE forgot this fact though. Instead, they waited until early-2010 to decide to commence deportation proceedings against him. Yes, 10 … [Read more…]