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What Sarasota Immigrants Need to Know About Affordable Care Act

Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sarasota immigrants are asking what the new Affordable Care Act means for them.  ImmigrationSarasota.com decided to investigate.

2013.1028.Understanding the AFFORDABLE-CARE-ACT

Source: www.komu.com

Overview

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[1].  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.”

Exchanges

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.

Contact Information

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 – pm@deusagroup.com.

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.

Additional Resources

[1]“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>


Hope for Immigration Compromise Amid Government Shutdown

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: | No Comments »

We received this press release from the American Immigration Council yesterday.

House Democrats Unveil Comprehensive Immigration Reform Proposal

October 2, 2013

Washington D.C. – Today, in an important effort to keep the conversation and momentum on immigration reform moving forward in the House, a group of centrist Democrats introduced their version of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Although the full text has not yet been made available, it is said to be a modification of the bipartisan Senate bill of the same name adopted earlier this year. Among other reported changes, the House bill takes a different path on border security, incorporating a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Mike McCaul which passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Homeland Security in May of 2013. The House sponsors—including Representatives Garcia, Chu, Polis, DelBene, and Horsford—adopted provisions of the McCaul-Thompson bill as a replacement for the costly, controversial “border surge” strategy adopted by the Senate under the Corker-Hoeven amendment.  

Substantively, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today reflects a series of bipartisan policy and political compromises made during deliberations in the Senate. The original co-sponsors represent diverse interests from within the Democratic Party, including the New Democrats Coalition, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

The following is a statement from the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson:

“The introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House presents an important opportunity for bipartisan cooperation and is a reminder that Congress can and must work on more than one issue at a time.  The bill’s co-sponsors have demonstrated a willingness to take a fresh look at the decidedly imperfect Senate bill and use it as a starting point for shaping truly bipartisan legislation.  To succeed, Republicans must either seize the opportunity to turn this into a truly bipartisan moment for moving immigration reform forward, or put forward an alternative vehicle for fixing our broken immigration system.”


Immigration Reform Update: Senator Rubio Urges Fellow Republicans to Act

Posted: August 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform, National News | Tags: , , | 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.

Immigration Reform Author Marco Rubio

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.


What the DOMA Ruling Means for Sarasota Immigrants

Posted: August 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , | No Comments »

*Originally posted 7/3/13*

Updated 8/9/13:

State Department Issues FAQs Regarding DOMA Ruling

FAQs for Post-Defense of Marriage ActQ: How does the Supreme Court’s Windsor v. United States decision impact immigration law?

A: The Supreme Court has found section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Effective immediately, U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses.   This means that the same sex spouse of a visa applicant coming to the U.S. for any purpose – including work, study, international exchange or as a legal immigrant – will be eligible for a derivative visa.  Likewise, stepchildren acquired through same sex marriages can also qualify as beneficiaries or for derivative status.

Q: Do we have to live or intend to live in a state in which same sex marriage is legal in order to qualify for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa?

A: No. If your marriage is valid in the jurisdiction (U.S. state or foreign country) where it took place, it is valid for immigration purposes.  For more information, please review the following page on the United States

Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) website.

Q: I am in a civil union or domestic partnership; will this be treated the same as a marriage?

A: At this time, only a relationship legally considered to be a marriage in the jurisdiction where it took place establishes eligibility as a spouse for  immigration purposes.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen who is engaged to be married to a foreign national of the same sex.  We cannot marry in my fiancé’s country. What are our options? Can we apply for a fiancé K visa?

A: You may file a Form I-129F and apply for a fiancé(e) (K) visa.  As long as all other immigration requirements are met, a same-sex engagement may allow your fiancé to enter the United States for the purpose of marriage.  For information on adjusting status, please review the following page on USCIS’s website:

Nonimmigrant Visas (NIVs)

Q: Can same sex couples now apply for visas in the same classification?

A: Yes. Starting immediately, same-sex spouses and their children are equally eligible for NIV derivative visas.  Same-sex spouses and their children (stepchildren of the primary applicant when the marriage takes place before the child turns 18) can qualify as derivatives where the law permits issuance of the visa to a spouse or stepchild.  In cases where additional documentation has always been required of a spouse applying with a principal applicant, such documentation will also be required in the case of a same-sex spouse (see below).

Q: Are there nonimmigrant visa classifications which will require approval of certain documentation before an interview can take place?

A: Yes. Same-sex spouses and stepchildren (F-2 and M-2) of student (F-1 and M-1) visa applicants will need to obtain an I-20A prior to application.  Spouses (J-2s) of exchange visitors (J-1) visa holders will need an approved DS-2019.  Finally, same-sex spouses of victims of criminal activity (U-2s) and human trafficking victims (T-2s) will require completed Supplement A to Form I-918 or I-914, respectively, before an officer approves any derivative cases.  This additional documentation is also required for opposite gender spouses.

Immigrant Visas

Q: My foreign national spouse has children. Can they also be included with my spouse’s case?

A: Yes, the children of foreign national spouses can be considered “step-children” of the U.S. citizens and can therefore benefit from a petition filed on their behalf in the IR2 category.    In other categories, stepchildren acquired through same sex marriage can qualify as beneficiaries (F2A) or for derivative status (F3, F4, E1-E4, or DV).  You and your spouse must have married before the child turned 18.

Updated 7/17/13:

DOMA Ruling Could Enable Same-Sex Immigrant Couples in Sarasota to Apply for Immigration Benefits

Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

“After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.  To that end, effective immediately, I have directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.”

Click the link to read more.

We urge those who may be thinking of applying for their same-sex partner to contact a qualified professional to find out whether they qualify.

In the wake of the DOMA ruling Jaensch Immigration Law Firm has reached out to LGBT groups in the Sarasota area to offer them our assistance and to present them as resources to our clients as well.

  • Sarasota Pride is organizing the Sarasota Pride Fest for October 19, 2013.  For more information email sarasotapride@gmail.com.

Immigration Lawyer Peter Jaensch Attends Pro-Immigration Rally in Sarasota

Posted: July 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Immigration attorney of Sarasota, Peter Jaensch, attended the pro-immigration rally held in front of the V-Day statue on the Sarasota waterfront on Wednesday, July 24.  The rally was organized by the ACLU which chose Sarasota and Tallahassee as sites for a pro-immigration rally in order to send a pro-immigration message to Florida Congressional representatives Vern Buchanan and Steve Southerland.

The immigration lawyers at Sarasota’s Jaensch Immigration Law Firm learned of the rally earlier in the week and founding member, Peter Jaensch, decided to lend his support and attend.

The rally was a great success.  Dozens of people lined US 41 with signs and balloons, urging the cars passing by to honk for immigration reform.  The drivers were not afraid to show their support and the air was filled with the sounds of honking vehicles and cheers from the intrepid ralliers.  Immigration attorney Peter Jaensch took a few photos and was even featured in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune article covering the event.

Immigration Lawyer of Sarasota at Rally

Immigration lawyer Peter Jaensch (left) at pro-immigration rally

Immigration Rally Sarasota.Reporter Max Winitz (cropped)

Immigration Rally Sarasota.Reporter Interviews Immigrant (cropped)

Immigration Rally Sarasota.Maria Quezada, Jeanette Ocasio, Max Winitz (cropped)


Immigration Lawyers Attend Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Vern Buchanan; Learn House’s Perspective on Immigration Reform

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

On Saturday, July 20th, Congressman Vern Buchanan held a town hall meeting in Lakewood Ranch.  Jaensch Immigration Law Firm marketing coordinator, Michael Marquet, attended on behalf of the firm and several thousand of eligible local residents in order to ascertain the House of Representatives’ position on Immigration Reform.

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

After discussing the debt and deficit, issues most closely related to the Congressman’s work on the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Buchanan opened the floor to questions.  Several people spoke about the immigration reform bill the Senate passed earlier in July.  That bill, S.744, was co-drafted by Senator Marco Rubio, also of Florida.  Several attendees expressed their displeasure with S.744.

Congressman Buchanan hinted that the House might not take up the Senate’s version of immigration reform.  He spoke strongly against “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and reiterated his dedication to security measures such as increasing border securitycreating a system for prosecuting visa overstays, and creating a mandatory, nation-wide e-verify system.

We at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm understand that there is reluctance towards creating a pathway to legalization and citizenship for people who entered the country without inspection or overstayed their visa.  At the same time, from our reading of the bill S.744, we believe there are several provisions that we think would undoubtedly benefit our economy while maintaining or strengthening our system of rule of law.  These provisions include the expansion of the number of H-1B Work Visas so corporations can recruit more of the world’s best talent to our shores, the creation of a Retiree Visa for immigrants over a certain age who invest in our economy through the purchase of a home, the Extension of Stay for Canadians who purchase property in the US, and the creation of a Start-up Visa for immigrants who have the idea and drive to start a business in the United States.

All these provisions are contained in S.744 along with a pathway to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  At one point Mr. Marquet stood to address to Congressman to bring his attention to these economy-enhancing immigration reforms.  He urged the Congressman to consider the economic benefits of these reforms and asked the Congressman to speak clearly about whether the House would consider the Senate bill or break it up and vote on its provisions piecemeal.

Congressman Buchanan confirmed his view that the House was not going to take up the Senate Immigration Reform bill.  He mentioned a few of the immigration reform bills the House had already produced and said that more would probably appear after the August recess, in September and October.  

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

We hope that Mr. Buchanan will continue to consider the many ways that immigration reform could benefit our economy.  In Florida, from 2006-2010, there were 286,144 new immigrant business owners.  In 2010 these same business owners accounted for $13.3 billion in revenue, 23.8% of all business income in the state.  Immigrants invest, start businesses, and apply their expertise in our companies and corporations.  The legal entry of foreign persons who wish to pursue such activities should be encouraged.


Jaensch Immigration Law Firm Prepares for Immigration Reform

Posted: June 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Sarasota Immigration Attorneys Preparing for Increased Demand

Immigration Reform passed the Senate on Thursday, June 27 by a vote of 68-32.  It still has to go through committee and floor debate in the House of Representatives, reconciliation, and signing.  Nevertheless, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is already preparing in case the bill becomes law.

Immigration Reform Author Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio, member of the Gang of Eight, after the bill passed the Senate

Last year the firm established a Latin American Division, managed by Cesar Gomez, former director of the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce, to expand ties and establish strategic partnerships with the local Latin American community.  What’s more, over the last 6 months the firm has doubled its office space and increased staff by 20% with further increases planned.

“Comprehensive Immigration Reform could change almost every aspect of the immigration system.  It would create many new opportunities, not only for undocumented immigrants, but for investors, students, and workers as well,” says P. Christopher Jaensch, managing attorney of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm.  “Such a sweeping change would create new demand for our services and we want to be ready to handle that,” he adds.

The firm began disseminating information about the bill the moment it appeared.  They created a new website that collects and displays the latest immigration reform news.  They embarked on an informational campaign using emails, social media, and news articles.  The campaign educates the Sarasota-Bradenton area about the possibilities that immigration reform would bring.

Members of the firm traveled to Washington in April before the bill had entered the Senate.  Victoria Jaensch Karins brought letters from Sarasota area employers and individual immigrants demonstrating the need for immigration reform.  Soon after the Gang of Eight unveiled the legislation and submitted it to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The firm is conducting bi-lingual seminars in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, as well as Arcadia, to explain the provisions of the bill.  They also created a fingerprint data collection center where individuals interested in obtaining information about their own criminal and immigration detention history can have their fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI for a records search. 

“It will be especially important for those who may wish to apply for legalization to demonstrate the absence of a criminal record,” says Mr. Jaensch, “and for that they need to have their fingerprints taken.”  He adds that in the past, “this could only be done through the local jail or police office.”

All those interested in learning the latest on the progress of immigration reform can do so on Jaensch Immigration Law Firm’s news blog, ImmigrationSarasota.com/ImmigrationReform.


Latest News on Immigration Reform, From Across the Web

Posted: June 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

CBO: Senate immigration bill would cut deficits by $200 billion over decade. “The immigration bill under consideration in the Senate would reduce federal deficits by nearly $200 billion over the next decade, and continue generating savings in the years beyond, even after millions of new citizens became eligible for health-care and welfare benefits, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday. The long-awaited report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office marked a major victory for the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators who have spent months negotiating the details of the measure.” Lori Montgomery in The Washington Post.

Read: The CBO report.

…Here are the key numbers. “While the bill increases spending by $262 billion over 10 years, it increases revenue by $459 billion, for a deficit reduction of $197 billion in total. Additionally, it projects $690 billion in deficit reduction in the second decade of implementation, from 2024 to 2033. The reports predicts that the bill will add 10.4 million permanent U.S. residents and 1.6 million new temporary visa-holders, and reduce the undocumented immigrant population by 1.6 million.” Dylan Matthews in The Washington Post.

@petersuderman: CBO estimates that the immigration bill will cut deficits by $197b over 10 years. Basically: More legal labor=more revenue=lower deficits.

…It’s a free lunch, the CBO is saying. “This isn’t just a good CBO report. It’s a wildly good CBO report. They’re basically saying immigration reform is a free lunch: It cuts the deficit by growing the economy. It makes Americans better off and it makes immigrants better off. At a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs a bit of help, this bill, according to the CBO, helps. And politically, it forces opponents of the bill onto the ground they’re least comfortable occupying: They have to argue that immigration reform is bad for cultural or ethical reasons rather than economic ones.” Ezra Klein in The Washington Post.

@reihan: CBO analysis accounts for population increase, but not potential productivity gains. It also doesn’t account for technological risk.

2 amendments to immigration bill passed, 2 defeated. “Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.): The senator has several proposals regarding non-native children adopted by American parents, a longtime interest of hers. Under a 2000 law, children lawfully adopted by American parents are automatically granted citizenship. Landrieu’s amendment would extend those rights to children who turned 18 before the law was passed.” Ed O’Keefe in The Washington Post.

House panel approves enforcement-based immigration bill. “The House Judiciary Committee late Tuesday approved its first immigration bill, advancing on a party-line vote a proposal to boost interior enforcement and border security. After a day-long mark-up, the Republican-led panel cleared the SAFE Act on a 20-15 vote shortly before 11 p.m. It is one of several bills that Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) says the committee plans to send to the House floor in the coming weeks.” Russell Berman in The Hill.

@dylanmatt: The CBO report is a good reminder that the case against expanded immigration isn’t economic, it’s sociological.

Reid: Bill could pass Senate right now. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill can pass the Senate in its current form, although he’s open to border security changes that don’t destroy the bill’s pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants…As Reid spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Republican senators like John Hoeven (N.D.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) were working with some members of the Gang of Eight to craft a way to strengthen the bill’s border security measures while also not turning off Democrats.” Burgess Everett in Politico.

…And Reid is threatening to file cloture on immigration reform. “The Senate must speed ahead on its attempt to remake U.S. immigration policy, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday morning, threatening to file to cut off debate by Monday. Reid said the workload for the Senate will be heavier than usual and that if the Senate doesn’t get to work on agreement on tranches of amendment votes, it will find itself working on the weekend — a familiar threat from the Nevada Democrat. Reid hopes to finish the legislation before the July 4 recess.” Burgess Everett in Politico.

Boehner assures colleagues: No immigration bill without majority GOP support. “The fate of the sprawling immigration reform proposal winding its way through Congress may now be in the hands of some of the most conservative members of the Republican Party. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he will not advance any bill that did not have the support of a majority of the House GOP, which will mean engaging some of the proposal’s biggest detractors and harshest critics.” Ed O’Keefe in The Washington Post.

…And he says he’s not in favor of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he will adhere to the “Hastert Rule” on immigration reform and denied claims that he is for a “comprehensive” solution. Boehner’s remarks seek to appease conservatives who have grown increasingly restless about where House Republicans are headed on the thorny matter.” Molly K. Hooper in The Hill.

Keeping undocumented immigrants off the dole is easier said than done. “[T]he conflicts over eligibility for Obamacare subsidies and Social Security/Medicare could be more intractable. The question of whether unauthorized immigrants should be able to get public money for health care, or get retirement money based on work they did while in the country illegally, isn’t a technical one. It’s a moral and ethical one on which those concerned primarily with the welfare of poor immigrants and those concerned primarily with ensuring that legal processes are fair and don’t reward certain behavior, are bound to disagree.” Dylan Matthews in The Washington Post.


News on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Amendments, DACA Statistics

Posted: June 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, National News | Tags: , , | 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.

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/comprehensive-immigration-reform-proceeds-to-senate-floor-heated-debate-expected-to-

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. if they met certain requirements.

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.


House Votes to Defund DACA

Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | 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.


Digital March for Immigration Reform: Take Action

Posted: May 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: | 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.


Immigration Reform Means Economic Growth

Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, Investor Visas, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Hidden Provisions of Senate Immigration Proposal Could Benefit Sarasota-Bradenton

5/6/2013

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.

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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.


DV Lottery 2014 Results Now Available! And We Have a Winner!

Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News | Tags: , , | 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!

DV Lottery Winner

We Have a Winner!


Press Release: In Wake of Boston Bombings Congress Takes a Closer Look at Immigration Reform Bill

Posted: April 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | 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.


Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Response

Posted: April 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Gang of Eight

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.

Download the FINAL Bipartisan Framework For Immigration Reform.