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Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action | Tags: Accion Diferida, AILA, AILA-CFC, Deferred Action | No Comments »
Visit our website, DeferredActionFlorida.com for more information on DACA and fill out our form to apply.
Cite as “AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14060545 (posted Jun. 5, 2014)”
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commends U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for releasing details of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process so that applicants can begin their renewal process in a timely manner.
“It is great to see USCIS continue this important initiative,” said T. Douglas Stump, President of AILA. He continued, “These two-year grants of deferred action have already made a tremendous impact on the lives of so many young people and on the communities in which they live, study, and work. It is vital that those granted deferred action not let those important grants lapse.”
The temporary grant of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is given in increments of two years and offers the chance for work authorization, in most cases a driver’s license, and in some areas, in-state tuition for public colleges and universities. Renewal applicants will need to submit Form I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization,” and the I-765 Worksheet. The $465 fee for filing and biometrics will need to be paid; USCIS will conduct a new background check for those renewing DACA.
“My message to DACA recipients is to start work on it now, so that you are ready to file when you come within about 120 days of the expiration of your current grant period,” Mr. Stump warned. He added, “Processing could take months and you do not want to lose your work authorization because you didn’t get your forms in on time. For anyone who has a question, has had a change in their circumstances since receiving DACA, or is still deciding whether to apply, I encourage you to seek the advice of qualified counsel. Sometimes an immigration attorney will find that you are eligible for another, more permanent type of relief or may help you discover that a change in circumstances changes your eligibility or your risks. Getting help is a good idea for anyone with questions to avoid submitting erroneous information to USCIS and clouding your future.”
Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: Accion Diferida, AILA, AILA-CFC, Deferred Action, Detainers, Unaccompanied Children, Unaccompanied Minors | No Comments »
AILA CFC Advocates for Unaccompanied Children at Border
Country conditions in Central American countries such as El Salvador and Honduras have resulted in over 50,000 unaccompanied minor children making treacherous journeys to seek safety in the U.S. since October 2013. Some may be able to stay in the U.S. if they can demonstrate that their lives will be jeopardized if they returned to their country of origin. The Obama administration has started to speed up the process of scheduling immigration hearings on these children. AILA National, AILA Central Florida and legal aid organizations in Central Florida are working together to ensure that children in this region at least have basic legal representation.
The Obama Administration is considering administrative fixes due to Congressional inaction on immigration reform. These include potential remedies for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens here, and revising the way available green card numbers are counted so as to reduce waiting times in employment and family-based categories. An announcement could come as early as this month. AILA has been on the front line of presenting potential administrative fixes to the administration.
AILA CFC Works to End Unlawful “Detainers”
Detainers are the so-called “immigration holds” that local police engage in on behalf of ICE. When someone suspected by law enforcement to be undocumented is detained by local police such as for a traffic stop, Sheriff’s offices are permitted to hold that individual for 48 hours while ICE determined their immigration status or whether to pursue removal proceedings against them.
Often Sheriff’s offices hold people for much longer than 48 hours. Some of these individuals are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Immigration violations are a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and these individuals should not be held indefinitely without probable cause that they have committed a crime. Counties incur substantial costs and liability in breaking the law on behalf of ICE.
Due to efforts by the ACLU, The Miami Law School Immigration Law Clinic, AILA Central Florida, and AILA South Florida, and other organizations, Sheriff’s offices throughout the state are ceasing these detainers unless there is probable cause to detain.
Posted: June 18th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Press Release, Victoria Karins | 1 Comment »
Victoria Karins Re-Assumes Role as Leader of Central Florida Immigration Attorneys
Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins
Sarasota, FL 6/16/2014: Sarasota attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins was re-elected Chair of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in June. She assumes this leadership role amid an era of change in immigration law.
The announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been followed by the stall of immigration reform in the House. During this time, the Obama Administration has made additional changes at the Federal level to immigration procedure that build on Deferred Action.
Changes have also occurred at the state level. Bills that allow undocumented childhood arrivals to qualify for in-state tuition and to practice law in Florida are among a few of the latest developments.
Ms. Karins brings continuity and experience to her role as Chair. This is the second year in a row she’s been elected to the leadership and she has practiced immigration law for almost 20 years.
She has been taking an active part in her role; traveling to DC twice to speak before lawmakers and blogging for the AILA website.
“I’m honored to have been elected to the leadership by such dedicated and hard-working peers,” Ms. Karins said. “It’s very interesting to be so involved at this time of transformation,” she continued.
Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Jose Samperio, Victoria Karins | No Comments »
Attorney Victoria Karins was asked to write a guest blog post on the AILA Blog. We reposted the article below.
Author: Guest Blogger on 05/08/2014
Last week, the Florida legislature passed two bills that are heading to Governor Rick Scott, who has stated that he will sign them. One grants in-state tuition to undocumented “Dreamers.” Another will allow Jose Godinez-Samperio, a DACA recipient and law school graduate, the ability to be a licensed attorney in the State. Jose was in Tallahassee in the gallery on the day the Florida House passed the bill. He was given a standing ovation.
I am still shaking my head. What happened to Florida? Gov. Scott ran on a platform in 2010 that called for Arizona-type laws to be enacted. Four years later, he is supporting significant pro-immigration legislation. I thought we could easily count on current Florida leadership to remain oppositional to any pro-immigration issue that was not forced upon them.
It would be easy to be cynical and chalk it up to politics. It is an election year, after all, and perhaps some politicians are finally realizing it is not a bad idea to try to garner favor in the immigrant community.
Certainly I believe that is a big part of it. But, I also think that we may be witnessing a change in attitude across the board.
After the vote last Friday, I was contacted by a local newspaper columnist who had written earlier in the week in support of the Jose Godinez-Samperio bill. He had received responses from readers asking questions such as “Why didn’t he apply for citizenship?” “Why does he need a special law, couldn’t he have started the citizenship process during law school?” “Didn’t he want to become a citizen?”
He contacted me to make sure he was not missing anything – that there had been no change to federal immigration law recently of which he was not aware. I assured him that no, there had been no recent change.
The columnist, Tom Lyons, from the Sarasota Herald Tribune, then wrote a follow-up column clarifying that Jose did not have the option of obtaining citizenship and said of the questioners:
the more I thought about those people who wanted to know why that would-be lawyer hadn’t applied for citizenship, the more I thought kindly of them. Though they apparently missed a key point in the nation’s immigration debate, I think their question was based on a nice assumption. They assumed that U.S. law couldn’t be as rigid and mean as it actually is.
This illustrates what I believe is also happening in Florida; people are becoming more educated about the issues. And as they get more educated, they may be becoming more compassionate…and passionate to do the right thing.
I only hope that the individuals in office at the national level take a look at what is happening in Florida since I hear Florida might just be a tad bit important when it comes to presidential elections. I hope they realize that the House really needs to follow Florida’s lead and move forward on immigration reform.
By Victoria Jaensch Karins, Chair, AILA Central Florida Chapter
Posted: May 6th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform | Tags: DACA, Immigration Law, Tampa Bay Immigrants | No Comments »
Reposted from Tampa Bay Times.
TALLAHASSEE — In a historic vote with strong political overtones, the Florida House joined the Senate on Thursday in backing a Pinellas County immigrant’s bid to practice law even though he’s not a U.S. citizen.
A beaming Jose Godinez-Samperio, 27, of Largo offered a grateful thumbs-up from the House gallery as members gave him a resounding ovation following a 79-37 vote that Speaker Will Weatherford called “an act of justice.” The Florida State University law school graduate has tried without success for 2½ years to gain admission to the Florida Bar and fulfill his dream of becoming an immigration lawyer.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously in March that it could not help Godinez-Samperio because federal law prevents giving taxpayer-funded public benefits to undocumented immigrants. Justices urged the Legislature to intervene and exempt Florida from that law, which led to Thursday’s vote.
The House amended the bill, though, adding that for a noncitizen to get a Florida law license, he must register for the military draft, which Godinez-Samperio has done. The Senate is expected to agree today, the last day of the session, which would send the bill (HB 755) to Gov. Rick Scott, who said Thursday he will sign it.
“I couldn’t believe how much support there was in the Legislature,” said Godinez-Samperio, a paralegal at Gulf Coast Legal Services. “I feel great that we have been able to educate a lot of people who felt differently.”
He has spent weeks meeting with individual lawmakers and his legal team has emphasized that Godinez-Samperio has met all of the Bar’s admission requirements, including a background check for character and fitness. Another key argument they made is that for other state-regulated occupations, citizenship is not a requirement to obtain a professional license.
As a so-called “Dreamer,” Godinez-Samperio is in the United States legally, but not permanently. He has work authorization, a Social Security card and a Florida driver’s license.
Thursday’s vote, combined with lawmakers’ support for cheaper in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrant students, are two watershed policy changes affecting undocumented immigrants that would have been unthinkable a year ago in Tallahassee.
“This is truly transformative,” said Patsy Palmer, one of Godinez-Samperio’s lawyers.
It also reflects a dramatic election-year shift in the Republican Legislature at a time when Scott appears to face an uphill battle winning re-election in a state where Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority.
Born in Mexico, Godinez-Samperio came to the United States with his parents at age 9, and never left because they overstayed their tourist visas. He learned English, became an Eagle Scout, was valedictorian of his senior class at Armwood High in Seffner and an honors student at FSU’s law school.
The opposition in the House was strongest among a group of conservative Republicans, some of whom described Godinez-Samperio as “illegal,” a term senators avoided. But Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, a lawyer and Iraq war veteran, championed the legal scholar’s cause and said that he was ready to defend his adopted country was “very compelling.”
Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, criticized Godinez-Samperio’s lobbying. “He knew the rules of the game before he started playing and we shouldn’t change the rules at the end of the game,” said Corcoran, who will become House speaker in 2016. “He won, and he shouldn’t have.”
How Tampa Bay members voted
Votes Thursday on HB 755, which includes a provision that will allow a noncitizen to be admitted to the Florida Bar.
Yes: Janet Cruz, D-Tampa; Mark Danish, D-Tampa; Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg; James Grant, R-Tampa; Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater; Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey; Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena; Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City; Betty Reed, D-Tampa; Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg; Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill; Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Dana Young, R-Tampa; and Carl Zimmermann, D-Palm Harbor.
No: Larry Ahern, R-Seminole; Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity; Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness; and Ross Spano, R-Dover.
Not voting: Jake Raburn, R-Lithia.
Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: DACA, Immigration Reform, In-State Tuition, Victoria Karins | No Comments »
Scroll to bottom to see her quote. Reposted from Herald Tribune Website:
Making a case for in-state tuition
/ Thursday, April 3, 2014
Mylena DeMaman has been working and saving for college since graduating from Sarasota High School in 2012, but the high cost of continuing her education can be disheartening.
The 19-year-old recently filled out an application to attend State College of Florida and was dismayed to learn she may have to pay much more than most students — $11,595 annually to attend full-time versus $3,074 for the typical Florida resident.
Mylena DeMaman is applying to State College of Florida and hopes to get an associate’s degree before moving on to a Florida university. But because DeMaman’s parents brought her to the country illegally as a young girl, the bright 19-year-old with ambitions of becoming a doctor will have to pay triple what other Florida residents do for college. (Staff photo by Mike Lang)
The extra cost stems from the fact that DeMaman’s family came to the United States from Brazil illegally a decade ago.
Undocumented immigrants pay the higher “out of state” tuition rate at most Florida colleges and universities, but that could soon change. In a surprising move that has divided Republicans and contradicts previous efforts by state leaders such as Gov. Rick Scott to crack down on immigrants who came to the country illegally, momentum is building to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students who have attended Florida high schools.
Political observers say the legislation — which has cleared the House and passed a second Senate committee this week — is a concession to the demographic changes shaping Florida.
Hispanics are an increasingly influential voting bloc. They made up 17 percent of the Florida electorate in the 2012 presidential election, up from 14 percent in 2008, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. These voters lean heavily Democratic: President Barack Obama won 60 percent of Florida Hispanics in 2012. Republicans would like to change that equation going forward.
“2012 was a demographic reality check for Republican strategists,” said New College of Florida political science professor Frank Alcock.
The in-state tuition bill is a significant step by Florida GOP leaders toward Hispanic outreach. It has been championed by House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican seen as a potential candidate for statewide office. But the legislation is not without political risks, especially for Scott.
The governor won office in 2010 touting a tough Arizona immigration law that critics said amounted to racial profiling. He also supported forcing Florida businesses to electronically verify that their workers are in the country legally.
Scott’s hard-line immigration views endeared him to the Tea Party and likely contributed to his closely contested primary victory. Many conservatives strongly oppose the in-state tuition bill and say Scott’s signature on the legislation would be a betrayal.
“He’d be making a mistake to support this bill,” said Beth Colvin with the Sarasota Patriots, a local Tea Party group. “I just feel the majority of the conservatives have faith in him because he does have his values and his heart in the right place and I just don’t feel like there’s any need for us to reach out to illegals.”
Yet Scott long ago stopped talking about the Arizona immigration law or E-verify, and appears to be moving toward the center on immigration issues. He expressed support for the Senate tuition bill this week, but avoided talking specifically about illegal immigrants.
Lawmakers have sweetened the legislation by including one of Scott’s top priorities in the bill, a provision that limits universities from hiking tuition without legislative approval.
That allows Scott to sell the legislation as a financial boon for all students, not just undocumented immigrants.
“On behalf of all of Florida’s families who dream of a brighter future for their kids, and all of our students who aspire to achieve success in the classroom and in the workforce, we will keep fighting to help every student in Florida afford a college education,” Scott said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday by a 7-2 vote, with four Republicans in support and two in opposition.
Alcock said Scott is walking a fine line with the tuition measure, trying to “have his cake and eat it” by quietly backing a priority of the Hispanic community while working to minimize Tea Party anger. Ultimately, the rewards are probably worth the risk.
“Tea Party people are going to show up no matter what and they’re not going to vote for” Scott’s Democratic opponent, expected to be Charlie Crist, Alcock said.
The legislation still has two more committee stops in the Senate. The fact that top Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted for the bill is a favorable sign for the measure. Supporters included Sen. John Thrasher, the former Republican Party of Florida chairman, and Sen. Andy Gardiner, the next Senate president.
Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, voted against the bill at an earlier committee stop but has agreed to let it be heard next by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, which Galvano chairs. Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, also is on the committee.
There is strong interest in the issue among the Hispanic population in Sarasota and Manatee counties, said Victoria Karins, a Sarasota immigration attorney who has helped DeMaman and roughly 150 other young people in the region gain a measure of legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program announced by President Barack Obama in 2012.
Deferred action allows younger immigrants who have been in the country for years to obtain a driver’s license, Social Security number and limited protection against deportation.
The in-state tuition bill is another step toward “being able to really fully integrate them into society,” Karins said.
DeMaman’s father works as a mechanic. Her mother cleans houses. They emphasize the importance of education.
“They always tell us, ‘The reason why we brought you to this country was to do good in school,’ and fortunately I really like school,” said DeMaman, who has lived in Sarasota since the fourth grade and speaks without an accent.
Bright and highly motivated, DeMaman has long been focused on a medical career. She took medical billing classes at the Sarasota County Technical Institute while in high school and served as president of SCTI’s Future Business Leaders of America club.
Working at a medical practice over the last year has sparked an interest in becoming a doctor. But the costs can seem daunting.
“It is discouraging,” she said. “And why would you want to discourage somebody from getting an education?”
Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Immigration Reform, In-State Tuition, Undocumented Immigrants, Victoria Jaensch Karins | No Comments »
Reposted from ABC7’s MySuncoast.com
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:56 pm
SARASOTA, Fla. — The Florida House of Representatives is taking up a bill that would offer in-state tuition rates to children of undocumented immigrants living in Florida, with hundreds of affected students in Tallahassee today urging more lawmakers to support the cause.
In-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants has been a controversial topic, though the move has gotten bipartisan support in recent months.
“I just started this semester and for two classes I paid almost $3,000,” says Thania Erresuris, a student at State College of Florida. While $3,000 for one semester may not sound all that alarming, that amount is 380 percent higher than the in-state rate. Erresuris is forced to pay the higher rate despite the fact that she’s lived in Florida for most of her life.
“I had to do the Dream Act, so I’m basically not a resident in the eyes of the school, so I have to do out-of-state tuition,” she says. “I don’t like it because I’ve been here since I was 3 and this is my home, and I feel like it’s unfair because I’ve never been over to Mexico or anything.”
Erresuris is one of the many undocumented students facing what she calls unjust tuition rates.
“If it was regular tuition I would be able to take more classes, but because of [the higher cost] I can only take two,” she says.
The issue has caught the attention of lawmakers, with the Senate Education Committee passing a measure to that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition. With the bill coming before the entire House Wednesday, immigration attorney Victoria Karins says passage would have a major impact
“This bill will largely benefit the Hispanic community, as that population is trying its hardest to advance in our society by attempting to get a better education [and] better jobs,” Karins says.
For dreamers like Erresuris, who is also a single mother on a fixed income, yes votes for HB 851 and SB 1400 would allow her to take more than two classes a semester, in turn helping her reach her ultimate goal much quicker.
“For me, education is important because I want to prove to my daughter that they need education. … I want to study nursing. I want to be a nurse. I want to actually further it to be a doctor, and I need this education to be able to further my self in life.” Erresuris says.
The House was still debating the measure as we published this story. We will update this page as more information about the vote becomes available.
Posted: February 3rd, 2014 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: AILA, Immigration Reform, Rebecca Tallent, Victoria Jaensch Karins | No Comments »
I recently returned from the AILA CFC conference where one of the topics of discussion was immigration reform. Below I’ve included some signs that AILA sees as positive for immigration reform this year.
- John Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent, a top immigration policy aide who formerly worked for Sen McCain
- Only 16 Republicans signed on to a recent letter to Obama stating their opposition to immigration reform
- Rep. Goodlatte took over the House Judiciary Committee (the committee from which any immigration bill will derive) from Rep. Lamar Smith, one of the most anti-immigrant legislators of the last two decades. Some of that anti-immigrant staff loyal to Lamar and the anti-immigrant slant remain on Goodlatte’s staff, who are still very publicly anti-immigration reform. But Goodlatte has of late been slowly stepping out publicly about immigration reform’s chances (for instance, saying that House Republicans will push to make it harder for undocumented to have a path to citizenship but easier to live and work in the U.S. – meaning some form of legalization seems to now be acceptable to House Republicans if there is no path to citizenship.
- NY Times: GOP Leadership Backs Legal Status for Many Undocumented Immigrants. According to The New York Times, the House Republican leadership’s outline of immigration principles will call for a path to legal status, but not citizenship, for many of the 11 million adult undocumented immigrants in this country. For immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, however, Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
Posted: November 21st, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Affordable Care Act, Immigrants and Health Insurance, Sarasota Immigrants, Victoria Karins | 1 Comment »
Re-posted from mysuncoast.com
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla.- The Affordable Care Act has had its problems the past few months, and adding to the confusion is the mandate that immigrants must have health insurance as well, or risk being penalized.
“The Affordable Care Act does apply to anyone who is legally present in the United States, so that includes obviously U.S. citizens, permanent residents, but also people here with temporary visas,” says Victoria Karins.
Victoria Karins is a well-known immigration attorney at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, in Sarasota county. She tells us the mandate may affect the economy here on the Suncoast.
“This may be one more thing that could possibly lead our snowbirds and other tourists that we rely on to go somewhere else. If it’s something that’s going to increase expenses and not benefit them, I think it’s a factor that they’ll take into consideration when deciding where they want to spend their tourism dollars, “said Karins.
We asked a couple from Scotland, who visit the Suncoast a few times a year, if they would consider buying a second home here despite the new mandate.
“It would stop us from coming because we have free national health service. When we come here on vacation we have to pay, so if coming to stay longer, we’d be paying even more money,” said Marion Elder, a tourist from Scotland.
However, some say it would be a dream to live in the United States and would want the coverage.
“We are prepared to pay, but within limits. It depends on how much it would cost for the health insurance,” said Bill Wiggs, visiting from England.
According to the latest census data, immigrants made up 12.2% of Manatee County’s population and 11.5% in Sarasota County. That’s more than 88,000 immigrants on the Suncoast, most of whom are migrant agricultural workers or have a second home here and both groups help fuel our economy.
Immigration law firms and insurance groups like, Professional Benefits Inc. in Sarasota, are great resources here on the Suncoast to help guide immigrants that have further questions.
Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: Deferred Action, Green Card, Health Care Mandate, Individual Mandate, Obamacare, Permanent Resident, Undocumented Immigrants | No Comments »
Sarasota immigrants are asking what the new Affordable Care Act means for them. ImmigrationSarasota.com decided to investigate.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed on March 21, 2010, is the largest overhaul of the United States’ health care system since 1965. Its purpose is to reduce the cost of health care and increase the number of Americans with health insurance. One of the ways it achieves these goals is through the “individual mandate,” a provision that requires anyone who is legally present in the US to have health insurance or face a penalty to be assessed in their taxes.
“The individual mandate goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and applies to all those legally present in the US,” says Victoria Jaensch Karins, president of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and attorney at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “This includes those on temporary visas such as F-1 student visas, E-2 investor visas, and H-1B work visas,” she continues.
This means that all legal US immigrants, including those on temporary visas, will have to buy health insurance if they don’t have it already.
“Immigrants should be made aware so they can make the appropriate preparations,” said Peter Matthiessen, CEO of Deusa Group and a licensed insurance agent in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. “They should also be advised not to buy a foreign health insurance policy. Most US medical providers don’t accept them,” he continued.
According to Taylor Tollerton, partner at Professional Benefits, Inc., Sarasota’s leading insurance group, immigrants should also know that, “some health insurance companies don’t offer coverage to legal residents if they have not been in the U.S. for longer than 6 months.” She added that, “utilizing experts in the industry to help navigate your way through is vital.”
The Affordable Care Act establishes healthcare exchanges for insurance providers and consumers. Temporary and permanent immigrants are eligible to participate in the exchanges.
Immigrants may also purchase health insurance policies that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act privately, outside the exchange, through a licensed broker/agent. They are identical, except that possible subsidies do not apply. Persons with privacy concerns should consider avoiding the exchanges.
Undocumented aliens are exempt from the mandate to have health coverage and barred from the health insurance exchanges. However, undocumented parents can apply for “child-only” coverage for their legal immigrant or citizen child through the exchanges.
Peter Matthiessen is the CEO of Deusa Group. For the past 17 years, Deusa Group has specialized in this very complex insurance matter pertaining to foreign nationals entering or living in the USA. Insurance outside the USA is also offered. Every situation is different and requires a solution on a case by case basis. Inquiries are welcome at any time – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1979 by Jim Tollerton, Professional Benefits Inc. (PBI) is Sarasota’s leading independent insurance group serving the community with insurance plans for individuals and employers by helping to establish employee benefits, executive compensation programs, and succession plans. In 2007, Mr. Tollerton partnered with Taylor Tollerton Collins and formed a second division of PBI with Benefits and Planning, Inc. managed by Mrs. Collins. Professional Benefits serves several local organizations including: Education Foundation, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, First Step of Sarasota, Argus, and the local National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisor chapter. Mrs. Collins is available for interview.
“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., date last updated (24 October 2013). Web. Date accessed (24 October 2013). <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act>
Posted: October 24th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: DACA, Deferred Action, Employment Authorization Document | No Comments »
Sarasota immigrants can now use the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) card as a primary form of identification at BB&T Bank. Also known as the U.S. Employment Authorization Document (EAD), the DACA card and a tax-identification number will allow any Sarasota immigrant to open up an account with BB&T. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank is one of the first financial institutions in the country to accept this form of identification.
The DACA program launched in August 2012 and allows children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country for two years and to apply for the U.S. Employment Authorization Card. These individuals must have entered the United States as children and meet several key guidelines to earn the deferral. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) statistics show more than 260,000 people have been approved for the DACA card and the number is growing rapidly. More information on the DACA program can be found on our website, DeferredActionFlorida.com, or by contacting attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins: 941-366-9841.
ImmigrationSarasota.com sat down with local BB&T representatives Abigail Collins and Rossana McConahay to learn more.
IS.com: Please tell me more about this new program.
Abigail Collins/Rossana McConahay: BB&T now accepts EAD cards as primary IDs. This allows us to help more people in an important and growing demographic that is sometimes under-served financially. We hope to offer an opportunity for EAD holders to open bank accounts with us. In addition, we offer comprehensive educational resources and bilingual staff in many of our banking centers. This allows BB&T to achieve our mission, which is to help our clients achieve economic success and financial security.
IS.com: EADs have existed for a while, how is this policy different from before?
A.C./R.M: In the past, our clients were asked to present a visa or a social security card with their EAD. Since people who apply for DACA have neither, this made it very difficult to open a bank account.
IS.com: What is the biggest obstacle you face in serving this perennially under-banked community?
A.C./R.M: Some members of the Hispanic community believe that providing their information puts them at risk for deportation. That’s why our bilingual staff members do our best to make our clients feel like they are a part of our family. We also urge them to tell their friends and family about their experiences with us.
IS.com: You also provide extensive educational material…
A.C./R.M: Yes, we believe in building a strong relationship with our clients and empowering them to make their dreams come true. BB&T e provides free educational material on topics such as education, getting a driver’s license, the world of work, how to prepare for an emergency, and the U.S. healthcare system. We want our clients to have the knowledge they need to be successful in this country.
BB&T Representatives Abigail Collins and Rossana McConahay
Feel free to contact Ms. Collins or Ms. McConahay for more information. Their office is located at 1201 South Tamiami Trail and their phone number is 941-366-5463.
Inmigrantes en Sarasota ya pueden usar los permisos de trabajo para abrir cuentas bancarias
Inmigrantes en Sarasota ya pueden usar la nueva tarjeta de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (conocida como DACA por su sigla en inglés) como una de las principales formas de identificación para las personas que no sean ciudadanas estadounidenses. Esta tarjeta, a la que también se le llama Tarjeta de Autorización de Empleo en Estados Unidos, y un número de identificación para el pago de impuestos, permitirán que cualquier persona pueda abrir una cuenta en BB&T, una de las primeras instituciones financieras del país en aceptar este tipo de identificación.
El programa DACA fue lanzado en agosto de 2012 y permite que los hijos de inmigrantes indocumentados permanezcan en el país durante dos años y que soliciten la Tarjeta de Autorización de Empleo en Estados Unidos. Estas personas deberán haber ingresado en Estados Unidos siendo niños y deben cumplir varias estipulaciones clave para obtener el aplazamiento. Estadísticas del Servicio de Inmigración y Ciudadanía de Estados Unidos (USCIS por su sigla en inglés) muestran que más de 260,000 personas han sido aprobadas para la obtención de la tarjeta DACA y esa cifra sigue en aumento rápidamente. Se puede encontrar más información sobre el programa DACA en la página de internet del USCIS.
Posted: September 24th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Immigration Reform | Tags: Deferred Action, Engineering and Math, Immigration Reform, Marco Rubio, Science, STEM, Technology | No Comments »
This article is reposted from Miami radio station WLRN’s website.
Florida college and university presidents are calling on Congress to pass immigration reform this year, saying it would be better for the state’s economy if foreign students could stay after graduation, instead of being forced to take their diplomas and leave.
The “brain drain” of U.S.-educated foreign students is worrying economic and education leaders who say the students soon become competitors.
Credit Florida Immigrant Coalition
In a conference call with reporters Monday, University of Miami President Donna Shalala said a high percentage of non-citizens earn degrees in the high-paying STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and then depart.
“Half of all of Ph.D. and masters students in the STEM fields in our research universities are students who come from other countries,” Shalala said. “Many of them would like to stay, and we need immigration reform to give them that opportunity and to capture the talent that we’re educating.”
In a Sept. 16 letter to Florida’s Congressional delegation, Shalala and the other presidents wrote that in 2009, 53 percent of students earning masters or doctoral degrees in STEM fields from Florida’s research-intensive universities were non-citizens. More than 60 percent of students earning recent doctorates in engineering were non-citizens.
“As soon as we hand them their diploma, we also basically are handing them an airline ticket and saying, ‘Thanks very much for coming here – go home,'” said Ed Moore, president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.
What’s worse, he said, is that those students usually end up working for Florida’s competitors in the global economy.
“Say they’re from China. They may end up being hired by a company in Brazil or a company in Italy or a company in England,” Moore said. “They go there and work to compete against American industry on the global market. It makes absolutely no sense.”
The Democratic-led U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June. It includes a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, a temporary worker program and more visas for skilled non-citizens. But the measure is stalled in the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Conservative opposition is fierce. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has played a leading role in the debate, was booed at the Americans for Prosperity conference in Orlando last month, taking the stage to shouts of “No amnesty!” – a reference to allowing illegal immigrants to become U.S citizens.
But Anthony Catanese, president of the Florida Institute of Technology, said he doesn’t see the issue as a political one.
“Getting these young people to the highest level of American technological education and then making them return – I think we should see that as a non-controversial reason for getting the STEM graduates, especially at the graduate level, to have an opportunity to work for the United States and put them on a path toward citizenship,” Catanese said.
In their letter to Florida’s U.S. House members, the presidents noted that a recent study by the Partnership for a New American Economy and the American Enterprise Institute found that for every 100 foreign-born graduates of a U.S. graduate program who stay in the country, working in a STEM field, 262 jobs are created for American workers.
“Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business, and immigrant-owned businesses in Florida generate about $13.3 billion in income for the state each year,” they wrote. “But in Florida our share of foreign-born STEM advanced degree holders working in STEM fields decreased by 17 percent between 2000 and 2010.”
Moore said that many House members have said they have too many other issues on their plates to deal with immigration reform.
“That’s nonsense,” he said. “I know they’re busy in Syria and all these other issues, but immigration should stay on the front burner of Congressional action this year.”
Posted: August 29th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: Port Manatee, Sarasota Airport, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce | No Comments »
On Thursday August 29th Cesar Gomez, Director of Latin Business Development, and I attended the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Port Manatee and SRQ Breakfast. We heard from Carlos Buqueras, Executive Director of the Manatee County Port Authority and Rick Piccolo, President & CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Big things are happening at two of the area’s largest links to the rest of the country and the world. Port Manatee completed construction of another berth and trade is forecast to grow, leading to impressive job creation. Moreover, the port’s leadership is thinking long-term and planning for the opening of the enlarged Panama Canal and the possibility that the government will further lift travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. Sarasota-Bradenton airport has been able to raise revenues and will soon be paying off their initial construction loan, a laudable feat. Unfortunately however, they have had some trouble attracting international flights, which we will explain below.
As reported by Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee expects to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new berth number 12 in a few months. The port is currently reporting a trade volume of $400m per year and expects that number to increase to $600m next year. Mr. Buqueras reported that every $250,000 of trade that passes through the port creates 1 new job in the area. So at current rates the port has created and sustains 1,600 jobs. At expected future rates the port could create and sustain 2,000 jobs.
Mr. Buqueras and the port leadership are planning for the future. With the Panama Canal enlargement slated to be completed in 2014, Port Manatee is already capable of accomodating the new Panamax super-tankers that will be coming through the canal. In fact, it is the closest deep-water port in the US to the Panama Canal. Mr. Buqueras is in constant communication with officials at the canal and shipping lines that pass through the canal to ensure that Port Manatee and Sarasota and Manatee counties have a prominent place in their minds.
There exists a possibility that the government will further lift travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. To prepare for this eventuality Mr. Buqueras has been in talks with a ferry company that could establish service between Port Manatee and Havana should the opportunity arise. The ferry service would take 10 hours. Travelers could leave port Manatee and be in Havana after a comfortable night’s rest the next morning. This is an exciting possibility.
Rick Piccolo spoke for Sarasota-Bradenton Airport. He discussed the many well-publicized awards the airport has won for being one of the best-run in the country. He also touched on how the airport has increased non-airline-derived revenues from $200k to $1.4m, contributing to the airport’s stability and ability to operate at peak efficiency. The airport’s biggest news is the fact that it expects to have its initial construction loan of $70m, granted in 1984, completely paid off next year.
We asked about issues with bringing international flights to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. To date, it has been difficult to attract international airlines to SRQ despite the large number of British, German, and Canadian tourists and immigrants who visit, invest, and live here. Here’s why. At one point the airport did bring in international flights. There were never enough to justify a constant presence of Customs and Border Patrol agents and the officers had to drive down from Tampa whenever an international flight arrived in SRQ. This proved to be rather expensive and the government decided to discontinue the practice. Airport leadership still wishes to attract international flights and hopes to work out a compromise where a certain number of CBP officers could be on call when needed at our airport. Such a scenario would require a change of government policy, however.
Port Manatee seems to be yielding impressive economic dividends for Sarasota and Manatee Counties. It is creating jobs and leading the way in strengthening our international trade connections with other parts of the world. While the airport has done well in paying off its debt and finding new sources of income, we could do more to bring international flights back to our community.
Posted: August 15th, 2013 | Author: Victoria Karins | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform, National News | Tags: CIR, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Sarasota Immigration Lawyers | No Comments »
Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and co-author of the immigration reform bill that the Senate passed in June, recently warned fellow Republicans in the House of the potential consequences of not acting on the CIR bill.
Senator Rubio argued that if the Congress does not act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform then President Obama will use an executive order to legalize the undocumented. The President’s has already used an executive order to grant deferred action to the DREAMers and legalization by executive order would build on that precedent. An executive order would legalize 11 million undocumented without including any of the provisions that Republicans believe should go with immigration reform, such as border security advances and E-Verify.
“I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order like he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen. Now, we won’t get an E-Verify, we won’t get any border security. But he’ll legalize them,” Rubio said on Tuesday.
“Unless we’re going to try to round up and deport 11 million people — something that not even the most vociferous opponent of the [Senate] bill proposed — then we are going to have to at some point address this issue,” Rubio said. “We can’t leave, in my mind, the way it is. Because I think a year from now we could find ourselves with all 11 million people here legally under an executive order from the president, but no E-Verify, no more border security, no more border agents, none of the other reforms that we desperately need,” he continued.
To read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/marco-rubio-immigration-executive-order-95487.html#ixzz2bxU4M895
What do you think of Senator Rubio’s warning? Let us know in the comments below.