Use your widget sidebars in the admin Design tab to change this little blurb here. Add the text widget to the Blurb Sidebar!
Posted: June 19th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Deferred Action, National News | Tags: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DACA, Deferred Action | No Comments »
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Survives Early Test:
On June 11th, the U.S. Senate voted to move the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744), the comprehensive immigration reform bill drafted by the “Gang of Eight,” to the floor for debate, where it is expected to face dozens of amendments in the coming weeks. The final vote to begin debate on the landmark legislation was 84 in favor and 15 against.
Sen John Cornyn (R-TX, Minority Whip) introduces “RESULTS” amendment which would have strengthened border security. It is eventually opposed and dropped.
Mayor Bloomberg announces support for immigration reform for students.
John Boehner and Marco Rubio met to discuss reform last week.
The divide between the Republican Party on immigration reform was highlighted on Friday during the annual Faith and Freedom conference in Washington, D.C.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush argued for immigration reform, stating that more legal immigration would add to the American workforce and create more revenues from payroll taxes.
However, U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., argued at the same meeting that passing the immigration package currently on the table would be a mistake.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Obama administration celebrated the one-year mark of the Deferred Action announcement, an executive order that announced that thousands of undocumented youths would be allowed to stay and work in the U.S.
New Deferred Action Statistics Released:
These newly-released USCIS statistics on DACA cases from August 15, 2012 to May 31, 2013 indicate a decline in DACA applications; the statistics show 520,157 DACA applications accepted for processing, 507,301 biometric services appointments scheduled, 365,237 requests approved, and 3,816 requests denied.
Posted: June 17th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Investor Visas | Tags: Employment Visas, Investor Visas, Merit-Based Bisa, Work Visas | No Comments »
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill (S. 744, “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,”) could overhaul the entire immigration system. It could accelerate current Green Card applications, increase options for immigrant workers, investors, and entrepreneurs. It could enable immigrant students to obtain green cards upon completion of certain courses of study. It could create a path to legalization and citizenship for this nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
In addition, the bill could introduce a merit-based visa. Once enacted, it would enable 120,000 immigrants to obtain permanent visas each year through the accumulation of points based on their skills, employment history, and level of education. Visas would be allocated in two tiers with 50% of visas in each tier. Tier one would encompass high-skilled immigrants and tier 2 would encompass low-skilled immigrants. The points would be allocated as follows:
In both tiers employment history will play the biggest role, followed by education. This system seeks to attract the best and brightest to our shores, those who can contribute immediately to our economy. It seeks to discourage “chain migration” by downplaying family ties.
Immigration Reform would eliminate the diversity visa, the green card lottery that the US government holds every year. Through the lottery, 50,000 green cards are given to applicants from countries with less than 5,000 immigrants from the previous year. The program was designed to increase diversity in our immigration system and adjust for the large numbers of immigrants that come from over-represented countries. The merit-based system would partially replace this system as well as the allowance for siblings of US citizens to apply for family-sponsored visas.
The biggest advantage of the merit-based system would go to legal immigrants who are already working in the US. Immigrants who currently hold an E-1, E-2, L-1, H-1B or other similar working visa do not have a clear path to a permanent visa. These visas are temporary and the immigrant must re-qualify from scratch every time they wish to renew; previous successful renewals and time spent in the country are not taken into account. This creates quite a bit of uncertainty. A Merit-Based Visa would create a direct path to a permanent visa for such people.
Posted: June 13th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Kerkering Barberio, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »
Mary Garcia assists Sarasota immigrants with tax and accounting issues
Mary Garcia did not speak English when she arrived in Sarasota as a child with her mother. She worked hard at Booker High School to master the language and get into college. After studying two years at SCF, she transferred to the University of Florida to work on her Bachelor’s degree. She likes to tackle her challenges head-on and when she went to UF, she decided to major in English. From early on, she knew she wanted to aid the immigrant community and during her college years in Gainesville, she volunteered and taught English as a Second Language to migrant workers.
After college, she worked at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. During this time, she also discovered a passion for business and accounting. While working full-time, she took accounting courses at USF and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Her personal connection to immigrant issues and the earned experience while working at Jaensch and other accounting organizations, ultimately helped her land her dream job. Through tenacity and persistence, she earned a position working for the largest accounting firm in town. As an In-Charge Accountant at Kerkering Barberio, Mary now helps other immigrants with their accounting and tax issues.
For an idea of what she does:
The International Taxation Team of Kerkering Barberio offers unparalleled experience in the highly complex and increasingly regulated area of taxation of non-citizens and non-resident aliens. We have a wealth of experience providing consulting and compliance services to our clients and business associates who are looking for a responsive, local source for advice in this complex area.
Change of Residency
Compliance Requirements for Non-Citizens
Estate and Gift Taxation of Non-Citizens
Real Property Taxation
Selection of Business Entities
Tax Treaty Consulting
Mary is currently pursuing her CPA designation and living her career goal of assisting Sarasota’s immigrants with accounting and tax issues. You can find her in the offices of Kerkering Barberio or contact her via email: MGarcia@kbgrp.com.
Posted: June 12th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: EB-5 Adjudication, Eb-5 Green Cards, EB-5 Investor Visas, USCIS | No Comments »
USCIS released a memorandum on EB-5 Investor Visa adjudications recently which reviews many important points about the program and provides updates on certain procedures.
The EB-5 program will be 23 years old this year. Congress passed it to create an incentive for wealthy foreigners to invest and create jobs in the US. Investors contribute $1 million dollars or more and are placed in conditional permanent (Green Card) resident status for 2 years. If, at the end of 2 years, the immigrant-investor meets the requirements of the EB-5 program, they can obtain unconditional lawful permanent resident status.
In 1993 Congress amended the law to allow for Regional Centers. These are investment projects where immigrants can pool their money and the center is responsible for creating the jobs.
USCIS adjudicates EB-5 cases according to the preponderance of evidence standard of proof. As opposed to the “clear and convincing” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” standards that apply in other legal matters, preponderance of evidence merely requires that the applicant show that what they claim is more likely to be so than not so. If the applicant submits enough evidence to prove that what they claim is more likely than not or probably true, then they will satisfy the standard of proof.
There are 3 elements of the EB-5 program:
- The immigrant invests capital (must be acquired lawfully and can include equipment, other property, and promissory notes. The amount must be no less than $1,000,000 – or $500,000 in “Targeted Employment Areas” – and must be invested in a single commercial enterprise)
- A new commercial enterprise (must be a commercial enterprise that was established or restructured after 1990)
- The creation of US jobs (the investment must lead to at least 10 new US jobs)
Every step must be documented and requires a preponderance of evidence in order to be met satisfactorily.
USCIS also has forms that need to be filled out:
- Form I-526 must be filed with the evidence documenting the immigrant’s investment in a new commercial enterprise.
- If the immigrant wishes to invest in a regional center, that regional center must be approved. Part of the approval includes filing Form I-924 together with supporting evidence
Read the entire USCIS Memo on EB-5 Adjudication by clicking the link.
Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: DACA, Dreamers, Drivers Licenses | No Comments »
What the recent vote to defund DACA means for you
The Jaensch Immigration Law Firm has been contacted by the public about some disturbing news this week which has Immigrants even more uneasy while nervously awaiting Congressional action on the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
First, The House of Representatives in Washington voted Wednesday to “defund” the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). It means the House wanted to not make money available for the DACA program. While this sounds very alarming in reality it is a symbolic gesture. DACA is not funded separately, so funds cannot be taken away. The Republican-controlled House wanted to show that they oppose President Obama’s program to allow young undocumented immigrants – the so-called “Dreamers” – to live and work in the U.S. The Republicans want to stall the Government’s DACA program and want Congress to vote on the controversy of allowing illegals to become legal. Any cancellation of DACA would require approval in the House and the Democrat-controlled Senate as well as the President’s signature, an unlikely prospect. So, the House vote has no effect on DACA at the moment. And the rumor that Dreamers will be deported is also nothing more than a rumor and very unlikely to happen.
Second, Governor Scott last Tuesday vetoed a law to go into effect that would allow DACA applicants to obtain driver’s licenses. The Florida legislature almost unanimously had voted for the bill but Gov. Scott used his authority to not put the law into effect. The Governor said in his veto message that he rejected the President’s policy of creating DACA with his own policy power without having the force of law. In the meantime, those DACA applicants who have been approved and have their work authorization will continue to obtain driver’s licenses and their current one remains valid.
Posted: May 22nd, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: National News | Tags: Immigration Reform | No Comments »
Immigration Reform supporters are uniting on May 22 and 23, 2013 to take digital action. Use the widget below to contact your senator and let them know that you support legislation that will bring further innovation and investment to our nation.
Posted: May 16th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: Frank G Berlin Small Business Awards, International Business of the Year, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce | No Comments »
Jaensch Immigraiton Law Firm was recently honored as a finalist for International Business of the Year at the Frank G. Berlin Small Business Awards. The awards featured the best of Sarasota businesses and were even attended by our Congressman, Vern Buchanan. Congratulations to all the other finalists and winners!
Posted: May 8th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Gang of 8, Manatee Technical Institute | No Comments »
Comprehensive Immigration Reform is coming and we want to make sure the Sarasota-Bradenton area is informed and prepared. We began our informational campaign last week at the Multicultural Festival organized by the Manatee Technical Institute and Esperanza Gamboa.
The Annual Multicultural Festival features live music and performances by Latin dance troupes. Businesses and organizations sponsor for a table and promote themselves to the public. Jaensch Immigration Law Firm partnered with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union for a table. We brought informational flyers advertising our upcoming joint seminar on June 19, at Suncoast Community Capital at 6pm. Attorney Cesar Gomez spoke with interested attendees on a range of legal issues, mostly immigration related. He was also invited to speak to the crowd at large.
Employees of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm produced a short slideshow explaining the possibilities of immigration reform and the program that Manatee Community is developing to help immigrants finance their journey through the possible legalization process. You may view it below.
The event was a great success with the room full of attendees and businesses. The dancers displayed incredible talent and a good time was had by all. We want to take this opportunity to thank Manatee Technical Institute and Esperanza Gamboa for inviting us to the Multicultural Festival. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Latin dancers show off their skills at the Multicultural Festival
Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Investor Visas, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Gang of 8, H-1B Visas, Retiree Visa | No Comments »
Hidden Provisions of Senate Immigration Proposal Could Benefit Sarasota-Bradenton
Sarasota, FL – Much of the recent discussion about immigration reform has centered on enforcement and legalization of undocumented aliens, but hidden in the Senate immigration bill are a number of proposals that could benefit the Sarasota-Bradenton area, including extended visitors visas for Canadians, a Retiree Visa, a short term visa for foreign executives and managers of companies with operations in the U.S. and a temporary visa and green card category for entrepreneurs.
Canadian Retirees (Sec. 4503)
The bill would allow Canadian retirees to visit the US for up to 240 days. They would have to be Canadian citizens, be at least 55 years old, maintain residence in Canada, and have purchased or signed a rental agreement for a property in the United States worth $250,000 or more.
Retiree Visa (Sec. 4504)
The bill would allow foreigners who purchase $500,000 or more worth of property, maintain ownership property, reside for more than 6 months/year in the US, and who are at least 55 years old to apply for a visa.
Executives and Managers (Sec. 4603)
The bill would create a temporary 90-day visa for executives and managers to travel to the US to oversee operations of their related companies. It would also create a 180-day visa for employees of multinational companies to come to the US to oversee operations of their related companies here.
Start-up Visas (Sec. 4802)
The bill would create a temporary start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs who have obtained $100,000 or more from outside investors for their company and have hired 3 or more American workers. It would also create a permanent start-up visa for entrepreneurs who founded, are employed as a senior executive at, and own a significant portion of a US business. The business would have to have created at least 5 jobs and received $500,000 in venture capital or created 5 jobs and generated $750,000 in revenues within the US in the previous 2 years.
H-1B Visa Reform (Sec. 4101)
The bill would raise the cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 110,000 with the possibility of increasing it to 180,000. The number of H-1B visas available would be partially dependent on a formula that would factor in the strength of the economy in a given year and determine the number of foreign workers to be admitted accordingly.
It is important to note that the Senate bill is not the final word on immigration reform. It must still go through the legislative process, which could cause it to be changed significantly. Then, it must past the Senate. At the same time, an immigration bill must also pass the House of Representatives and the two bills must be reconciled. Supporters of these proposals should email Senator Marco Rubio (http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact) and Senator Bill Nelson (http://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm) to express their views and preserve these provisions. To read the full text of the bill as it stands please visit http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s744/text.
About Jaensch Immigration Law Firm: The law firm was established in Sarasota in 1984 and provides a wide range of immigration legal services to students, investors, entrepreneurs, professional and skilled workers, athletes, coaches, aliens with extraordinary and exceptional credentials and more. The law firm is comprised of five immigration lawyers, Peter J. Jaensch, P. Christopher Jaensch, Victoria Jaensch Karins, and Kevin Runyan. The main website of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is www.VisaAmerica.com. For more information contact marketing coordinator, Michael Marquet, at 941-366-9841 or send email to mmarquet@VisaAmerica.com.
Posted: May 3rd, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: AILA-CFC, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Sarasota Immigration Attorney, Victoria Jaensch Karins | No Comments »
Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is proud to announce that attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins has been elected chairperson of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Central Florida Chapter (AILA-CFC). The Central Florida Chapter includes over 300 immigration attorneys and, aside from southeast Florida, covers the entire state. Previously Ms. Karins served as the Education Chair and the Vice Chair Tampa Region for AILA-CFC. She is the first AILA-CFC chairperson ever from Sarasota.
As chair Ms. Karins will serve as the initial point of contact between AILA-CFC and outside organizations, companies, and agencies. She will be in charge of the chapter’s general operations and communications to and from the national level.
“It is an honor to be elected to this post. I look forward to serving my fellow immigration attorneys with enthusiasm,” says Ms. Karins, who obtained her law degree in 1994 and has been practicing immigration law ever since. Together with her brother, managing attorney P. Christopher Jaensch, and the other attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, she is part of the largest immigration law firm on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
“With major potential changes in immigration law on the horizon it is very important for immigration attorneys to work together for positive reform,” says Ms. Karins, referring to the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill. She herself has already been to DC to lobby for reform. ”The political climate seems amenable to immigration reform,” says Ms. Karins, “the bill still has to go through the committee process and floor debate and we look forward to helping shape it throughout the process,” she continued. ”That being said,” she added, “it is also important for us to educate the public to reduce the potential for fraudulent activities from unlicensed and fly-by-night organizations, otherwise known as notarios.”
Immigration reform could bring far-reaching changes such as the creation of a start-up visa, retiree visa, and most controversially, a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. ”Certain people are too focused on the provisions regarding the path to citizenship, the bill contains so much more,” says Ms. Karins. ”The creation of a start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs, a W visa for foreign workers, the expansion of the H-1B visa program, and the creation of a retiree visa could all be very positive in terms of increased vitality and economic growth,” she continued.
For further questions Ms. Karins can be reached via her email – email@example.com – or by phone – (941) 366-9841.
Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News | Tags: Diversity Visa, Green Card Lottery, Visa Lottery | No Comments »
If you applied for the 2014 Diversity Visa lottery, you can now check your status online.
Be wary of emails that claim you won. The US Government will NOT inform you directly if you won or not.
You can check your status here.
We checked today and we have winner!
We Have a Winner!
Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Athlete Visas, Bradenton Immigrants, O-1 Visa, Sarasota Immigrants, Sports Visas | No Comments »
The Sarasota-Bradenton area enjoys a preponderance of very high-quality athletic training facilities. For this reason many foreign athletes come to this area to train and pursue careers as professional athletes. Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, and Boris Becker are just a few of the names of top-notch immigrant athletes who trained in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. The presence of so much athletic talent in this area would not be possible without equally talented coaches and trainers to support and mentor it. Denis Pelegrin is one of those coaches.
Denis Pelegrin is a Sarasota-Bradenton immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He played tennis as a young man and found his true calling as a coach. He coached for the ITF, becoming internationally known, and in 2004 he was hired by IMG Academy to coach tennis there. IMG helped him obtain an O-1 visa. The O-1 visa is for aliens with extraordinary ability and is issued for up to three years. To qualify, the athlete or trainer must show he or she has received sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievement in the sport. Denis qualified and worked for IMG for 5 years. In the meantime he obtained his green card and began outsourcing himself, becoming a contractor for IMG. In 2010 Denis left IMG completely and establish his own academy, ProTennis Academy
, in Bradenton. He reformed his old team of coaches, including his partner, Rodrigo Vallejo.
Today Denis Pelegrin and his fellow coaches offer private and semi-private lessons at an athletic facility he rents on 33rd Avenue Dr W in Bradenton. Including Denis there are 4 tennis coaches and 1 fitness coach. The facility includes hard and clay courts, a gym, and an Olympic sized pool. Denis and his coaches are currently working with up to 20 students. They concentrate on providing truly personalized training, only allowing two players per coach while other academies often place 4 or 5 students with each coach.
Denis plans on holding more clinics and traveling to coaching seminars in the future. The clinics would be 3-day quick courses on tennis, personalized to each athlete’s needs. The author is hoping to participate and report on one in the near future. Further ahead, Denis is developing plans to buy some land and set up his own, independent, athletic facility. We wish him all the best!
To contact Denis Pelegrin you can visit his website, http://protennisacademy.net/, or call (941) 580-7794.
Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Immigration Reform Bill, Senator Marco Rubio | No Comments »
Download this press release in English and Spanish.
Sarasota, FL – On April 16 the long-awaited Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, written by the “Gang of 8″ – Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Bennet, Flake, and Rubio – entered Congress.
The bill makes border security a prerequisite to legalization and reform of the legal immigration system. It seeks to achieve an Effectiveness Rate (the number of apprehensions and turn backs in a specific sector divided by the total number of illegal entries) of 90%.
The bill would appropriate $3 billion for border security. It asks for additional resources such as more border patrol agents, the use of the National Guard, and drones. It would also appropriate $1.5 billion for additional fencing on the southern border.
The bill lists several border security measures it would enact including the creation of an exit visa system to track visitors who overstay their visas.
In the wake of the Boston bombings it’s likely that the bill will experience a few changes to its security measures.
“We expect to see more security measures added to the bill as it goes through the legislative process in response to the Boston bombings,” says Cesar Gomez of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “The revelation that the Boston bombers were foreign will cause many Congressmen to scrutinize the bill more closely but we do not foresee this tragedy completely derailing the possibility of reform.”
Jaensch Immgration Law Firm is working closely with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union to help area residents prepare for the potential changes in the law. “We will continue to work together for as long as immigration reform stays alive in Congress,” says Sherod Halliburton, EVP of Strategic Initiatives. “Reform has the potential of helping millions of hard-working folks in this country and, if it passes, we will be ready,” he continued.
The other day Marco Rubio made a statement reinforcing his commitment to immigration reform, using the Boston attacks as further justification of the need for reform, and asking for cooperation in his attempt to improve the immigration system so attacks like that are less likely to happen again.
Sarasota, FL – El 16 de abril, el “Gang of 8”, que incluye a senadores Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Bennet, Flake, y Rubio, entrego su propuesta de reforma migratoria comprensiva. El proyecto de ley entró en el Senate Judiciary Committee donde empezará el proceso legislativo.
Los senadores proponen que se fortalezca la seguridad en las fronteras antes de que se abra un camino hacía la legalización. Si entrara en efecto, intentaría lograr una tasa de efectividad (el número de arrestos dividido por el número total de entradas ilegales) del 90%.
El proyecto de ley se utilizaría un presupuesto estimado en los $3 billones de dólares para medidas de seguridad en la frontera. Para esto el Congreso pedirían recursos adicionales como agentes fronterizos (border patrol agents) adicionales, el uso de la guardia nacional, y drones.
También ampliaría la cerca que ayude a proteger la frontera del sur de los Estados Unidos. Este proyecto usará un presupuesto estimado en $1.5 billones de dólares.
Medidas adicionales incluirán la creación de un sistema para asegurarse de que ningún extranjero con visado temporal se quede más de lo que su visado permite.
Debido al atentado en Boston, es probable que la reforma migratoria experimente algunos cambios.
“Creemos que veremos algunos cambios y medidas adicionales en cuanto a las propuestas de seguridad en la reforma migratoria,” dice Cesar Gomez de Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “La revelación de que los terroristas en Boston eran inmigrantes hará que muchos congresistas estudien la propuesta más cuidadosamente pero no creemos que esto sea negativo para la reforma.”
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm y Manatee Community Federal Credit Union se han asociado para ayudarles a las personas de los condados de Sarasota y Manatee prepararse para cambios potenciales en la ley. “Vamos a continuar a trabajar juntos mientras este proyecto de ley se quede vivo en el congreso,” dice Sherod Halliburton, EVP de iniciativas estratégicas. “La reforma tiene la posibilidad de ayudarles a millones de personas muy trabajadoras en este país y, si la aprueban, estaremos listos,” continuó.
De hecho, hace unos días, Marco Rubio salió con un mensaje para la prensa que manifestó su apoyo para la reforma y pidió cooperación con sus intentos de mejorar el sistema migratorio.
Posted: April 18th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Gang of 8, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Manatee Community Federal Credit Union | No Comments »
As the president and Congress continue to hash out immigration reform, the $25.5 millionManatee Community Federal Credit Union in Bradenton, Fla., is already working on ways members of its community can afford to become citizens.
Manatee has teamed with the Jaensch Immigration Law firm in Sarasota, Fla., to allow immigrants to begin preparing for the costs of reform such as penalties and naturalization fees.
“Manatee was chartered to serve the low wage earning agricultural employees of the Tropicana Company,” said Sherod Halliburton, executive vice president for strategic initiatives at Manatee FCU.
“As a result of the credit union’s long history of successfully meeting the needs of agricultural workers and of underserved Latinos who make their living in theagricultural industry it’s a natural fit. We stand behind the residents of this community,” Halliburton said.
A February 2013 report from the Pew Hispanic Center said there may be as many as 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. The report also suggests that 20% of the 8.5 million now eligible for citizenship have not sought it because of the high cost.
The Senate is now considering a bill that imposes penalties of up to $2,000 per person over 12 years plus application fees. In addition, immigrants may have to pay back taxes, lawyer fees and other costs to gain a lawful status in the U.S.
“The members of our community are striving to make a better life for themselves,” Halliburton said. “And we want to help them any way that we can.”
Halliburton said that with proper identification – which can include the Matrícula Consular – the program enables an immigrant or family member to establish credit or improve a credit score to be eligible for future loans.
Eligible immigrants will be able to open a credit union account and receive a secured loan for $1,000, with the loan proceeds remaining on deposit as the loan recipient pays back the loan and interest.
A payment history is established, and the loan proceeds may be used for immigration-related expenses when paid off.
“The price will be well worth it, since they will be able to live, work and study in the U.S., travel internationally, and get driver’s licenses,” said P. Christopher Jaensch of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “But, it will be a costly process over a 10- to 12-year period. A credit union may be the best partner they have to help them achieve this critical financial goal.”
Posted: April 13th, 2013 | Author: Chris Jaensch | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News | Tags: CIR, Comprehensive Immigration, Gang of Eight, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | No Comments »
Gang of Eight
The Gang of 8, made up of Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake released their framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
in anticipation of the imminent full-text bill which we should see early next week. The attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm read it and presented their thoughts below.
The framework rests on four legislative pillars:
- Creating a “tough but fair” path to citizenship
- Easing the immigration process for families and workers
- Creating an effective employment verification system
- Improving the process for admitting future immigrant workers
In their discussion of a path to citizenship, the Gang of 8 does not have much to say that is new. They will require those who entered or stayed in the US without permission to register with the government. Registrants will have to pass a background check and pay a fine and back taxes. In return they will receive a legal probationary status that will allow them to live and work in the US. If a registrant has a “serious criminal background,” or poses a threat to national security, they will be subject to deportation. If they pass the first background check they will proceed to “the back of the line” for a potential green card. In order to obtain a green card they will have to pass an additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, and demonstrate a work history and current employment, among other requirements. They will not receive a green card until “every individual who is already waiting in line for a green card…has received their green card.”
What is new is that no one will be able to even get in line for a green card until the border is fully secure. The framework calls for improved use of technology, more drones, more agents, more fence, the creation of an entry-exit system that will ensure that those who enter the country on temporary visas leave on time, and the creation of a commission of southwest state governors, attorneys general, and community leaders that would determine when security measures are adequate.
Lastly, the framework seems to promise a different path to legal status for those who entered the country as young children, referring to the DREAMers and DACA, and agricultural workers.
From there the framework goes on to discuss improving the legal immigration system. It mentions the need to reduce backlogs in the visa processing system but no specific measures for how to do so. It announces that immigrants who get a Master’s or PhD in a science, math, engineering, or technology field will obtain a green card immediately.
The framework discusses employment verification next. It declares that employment verification should be necessary. Prospective workers will be required to demonstrate both legal status and identity through electronic means that cannot be forged (easily). Whether the Gang of 8 intends to expand the currently operating but not mandatory E-Verify system or create an all new employment verification system remains to be seen.
Lastly, the framework touches on what the future immigration system might look like. It seems to advocate for improving the H1-B work visa process to make it easier for employers to find and hire labor from abroad. It specifically mentions creating a workable system to meet the agricultural industry’s needs, perhaps hinting at the creation of a new temporary visa for agricultural workers. It proposes making our immigration system more adaptable. It proposes permitting, “workers who have succeeded in the workplace and contributed to their communities over many years to earn green cards.” This could mean creating a path to legal permanent resident status for H1-B holders and, perhaps E-2 visa holders. We are definitely in favor of that.