Comprehensive Immigration Reform is coming and we want to make sure the Sarasota-Bradenton area is informed and prepared. We began our informational campaign last week at the Multicultural Festival organized by the Manatee Technical Institute and Esperanza Gamboa.
The Annual Multicultural Festival features live music and performances by Latin dance troupes. Businesses and organizations sponsor for a table and promote themselves to the public. Jaensch Immigration Law Firm partnered with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union for a table. We brought informational flyers advertising our upcoming joint seminar on June 19, at Suncoast Community Capital at 6pm. Attorney Cesar Gomez spoke with interested attendees on a range of legal issues, mostly immigration related. He was also invited to speak to the crowd at large.
Employees of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm produced a short slideshow explaining the possibilities of immigration reform and the program that Manatee Community is developing to help immigrants finance their journey through the possible legalization process. You may view it below.
The event was a great success with the room full of attendees and businesses. The dancers displayed incredible talent and a good time was had by all. We want to take this opportunity to thank Manatee Technical Institute and Esperanza Gamboa for inviting us to the Multicultural Festival. We look forward to working with you in the future.
Latin dancers show off their skills at the Multicultural Festival
Hidden Provisions of Senate Immigration Proposal Could Benefit Sarasota-Bradenton
Sarasota, FL – Much of the recent discussion about immigration reform has centered on enforcement and legalization of undocumented aliens, but hidden in the Senate immigration bill are a number of proposals that could benefit the Sarasota-Bradenton area, including extended visitors visas for Canadians, a Retiree Visa, a short term visa for foreign executives and managers of companies with operations in the U.S. and a temporary visa and green card category for entrepreneurs.
Canadian Retirees (Sec. 4503)
The bill would allow Canadian retirees to visit the US for up to 240 days. They would have to be Canadian citizens, be at least 55 years old, maintain residence in Canada, and have purchased or signed a rental agreement for a property in the United States worth $250,000 or more.
Retiree Visa (Sec. 4504)
The bill would allow foreigners who purchase $500,000 or more worth of property, maintain ownership property, reside for more than 6 months/year in the US, and who are at least 55 years old to apply for a visa.
Executives and Managers (Sec. 4603)
The bill would create a temporary 90-day visa for executives and managers to travel to the US to oversee operations of their related companies. It would also create a 180-day visa for employees of multinational companies to come to the US to oversee operations of their related companies here.
Start-up Visas (Sec. 4802)
The bill would create a temporary start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs who have obtained $100,000 or more from outside investors for their company and have hired 3 or more American workers. It would also create a permanent start-up visa for entrepreneurs who founded, are employed as a senior executive at, and own a significant portion of a US business. The business would have to have created at least 5 jobs and received $500,000 in venture capital or created 5 jobs and generated $750,000 in revenues within the US in the previous 2 years.
H-1B Visa Reform (Sec. 4101)
The bill would raise the cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 110,000 with the possibility of increasing it to 180,000. The number of H-1B visas available would be partially dependent on a formula that would factor in the strength of the economy in a given year and determine the number of foreign workers to be admitted accordingly.
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.
The Sarasota-Bradenton area enjoys a preponderance of very high-quality athletic training facilities. For this reason many foreign athletes come to this area to train and pursue careers as professional athletes. Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, Tommy Haas, and Boris Becker are just a few of the names of top-notch immigrant athletes who trained in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. The presence of so much athletic talent in this area would not be possible without equally talented coaches and trainers to support and mentor it. Denis Pelegrin is one of those coaches.
Denis Pelegrin is a Sarasota-Bradenton immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He played tennis as a young man and found his true calling as a coach. He coached for the ITF, becoming internationally known, and in 2004 he was hired by IMG Academy to coach tennis there. IMG helped him obtain an O-1 visa. The O-1 visa is for aliens with extraordinary ability and is issued for up to three years. To qualify, the athlete or trainer must show he or she has received sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievement in the sport. Denis qualified and worked for IMG for 5 years. In the meantime he obtained his green card and began outsourcing himself, becoming a contractor for IMG. In 2010 Denis left IMG completely and establish his own academy, ProTennis Academy, in Bradenton. He reformed his old team of coaches, including his partner, Rodrigo Vallejo.
Today Denis Pelegrin and his fellow coaches offer private and semi-private lessons at an athletic facility he rents on 33rd Avenue Dr W in Bradenton. Including Denis there are 4 tennis coaches and 1 fitness coach. The facility includes hard and clay courts, a gym, and an Olympic sized pool. Denis and his coaches are currently working with up to 20 students. They concentrate on providing truly personalized training, only allowing two players per coach while other academies often place 4 or 5 students with each coach.
Denis plans on holding more clinics and traveling to coaching seminars in the future. The clinics would be 3-day quick courses on tennis, personalized to each athlete’s needs. The author is hoping to participate and report on one in the near future. Further ahead, Denis is developing plans to buy some land and set up his own, independent, athletic facility. We wish him all the best!
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.
As the president and Congress continue to hash out immigration reform, the $25.5 millionManatee Community Federal Credit Union in Bradenton, Fla., is already working on ways members of its community can afford to become citizens.
Manatee has teamed with the Jaensch Immigration Law firm in Sarasota, Fla., to allow immigrants to begin preparing for the costs of reform such as penalties and naturalization fees.
“Manatee was chartered to serve the low wage earning agricultural employees of the Tropicana Company,” said Sherod Halliburton, executive vice president for strategic initiatives at Manatee FCU.
“As a result of the credit union’s long history of successfully meeting the needs of agricultural workers and of underserved Latinos who make their living in theagricultural industry it’s a natural fit. We stand behind the residents of this community,” Halliburton said.
A February 2013 report from the Pew Hispanic Center said there may be as many as 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. The report also suggests that 20% of the 8.5 million now eligible for citizenship have not sought it because of the high cost.
The Senate is now considering a bill that imposes penalties of up to $2,000 per person over 12 years plus application fees. In addition, immigrants may have to pay back taxes, lawyer fees and other costs to gain a lawful status in the U.S.
“The members of our community are striving to make a better life for themselves,” Halliburton said. “And we want to help them any way that we can.”
Halliburton said that with proper identification – which can include the Matrícula Consular – the program enables an immigrant or family member to establish credit or improve a credit score to be eligible for future loans.
Eligible immigrants will be able to open a credit union account and receive a secured loan for $1,000, with the loan proceeds remaining on deposit as the loan recipient pays back the loan and interest.
A payment history is established, and the loan proceeds may be used for immigration-related expenses when paid off.
“The price will be well worth it, since they will be able to live, work and study in the U.S., travel internationally, and get driver’s licenses,” said P. Christopher Jaensch of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm. “But, it will be a costly process over a 10- to 12-year period. A credit union may be the best partner they have to help them achieve this critical financial goal.”
Sarasota, FL – Preparing for possible immigration reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm is building relationships with local financial institutions in order to help area immigrants get access to credit and obtain the funds necessary to pay the associated costs of immigration reform.
We will probably see an immigration reform bill very soon. The “Gang of 8,” which includes Marco Rubio, is finalizing a bill. Their plan will most likely include a path to legalization for the 11 million or so undocumented immigrants living in this country. Applicants will likely have to pay a penalty fee in addition to the normal government fee connected with the application. The total costs for immigrants and their families are uncertain, but expected to be in the thousands of dollars.
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm has developed a program with Manatee Community Federal Credit Union that will allow immigrants and their families to begin preparing now for these costs. In many cases, the immigrant and his or her family may have no credit or tarnished credit. The new program will enable an immigrant or family member to establish or improve his or her credit score in order to be eligible for future loans.
Under the new joint-initiative, any person with a social security or tax ID number who lives, works, attends school or worships in Manatee County will be eligible to open an account with the credit union and receive a secured loan for $1,000. The loan proceeds will remain on deposit with the credit union. During that time, the loan recipient will pay back the loan in full plus interest.
When the recipient pays off the loan, the proceeds remain as deposit money and he or she will have established a payment history with the credit union. The recipient may then use the funds to pay for immigration-related expenses and may be eligible for an unsecured loan which could be used for other costs associated with immigration reform.
“We see this as a triple-win for area immigrants,” says Managing Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch. “Immigrants would establish a relationship with a financial institution that understands their needs and educates them on financial management. They could build a credit history even if they have had problems in the past. And they could begin to save and prepare for the costs of comprehensive immigration reform, which could be significant.”
A key participant in developing this partnership is Sherod A. Halliburton, the current EVP of Strategic Initiatives at Manatee Community Federal Credit Union. “We believe that the immigrant population and their families may be underserved by local financial institutions and we are proud to create a program that improves their ties to the community and helps them achieve their goals,” says Halliburton.
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm seeks other financial industry partnerships to help as many area immigrants as possible.
Sarasota, FL – Preparándose para una posible reforma inmigratoria, Jaensch Immigraiton Law Firm está desarrollando relaciones con instituciones financieras locales con la meta de ayudar a los inmigrantes de Sarasota y Manatee Counties (MCFCU) a establecer buen crédito y obtener fondos para pagar los costos que llevará la reforma.
Creemos que veremos una propuesta para la reforma esta semana. El “Gang of 8” grupo de ocho senadores, que incluye a Senador Marco Rubio, está terminando su propuesta y es muy probable que su plan incluirá un camino hacia la legalización para los indocumentados. Para ser elegible un solicitante probablemente tendrá que incurrir en pagos de una multa, más los costos de gobierno para tramitar la solicitud. El costo final para inmigrantes y sus familias no es cierto, pero creemos que será entre los miles de dólares.
Una nueva asociación de Jaensch Immigration Law Firm y Manatee County Federal Credit Union permitirá a los inmigrantes y sus familias prepararse para poder costear los costos de legalización.
Bajo el nuevo programa que han diseñado, cualquier persona con número de seguro social o Tax ID que vive, trabaja, asiste a la escuela, o que está vinculado de alguna forma con el Condado de Manatee será elegible para abrir una cuenta con MCFCU y recibir un préstamo asegurado de $1,000. Los fondos se quedarán en el credit union por 12 meses y, mientras tanto, el recipiente paga el préstamo más interés.
A punto de pagar el préstamo, las ganancias se quedan como depósito y el recipiente tendrá una historia de pagos con el credit unión. El recipiente puede usar sus nuevos fondos para pagar los costos relacionados con la reforma inmigratoria y será elegible para un nuevo préstamo.
“Este es un triple-win para inmigrantes,” dice abogado gerente de Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Chris Jaensch. “Inmigrantes establecerán una relación con una institución financiera que comprende su situación y les ayuda a manejar bien sus fianzas, forjar buen crédito no obstante problemas pasados, y empezar a ahorrar para los costos asociados con la reforma inmigratoria, que pueden ser significantes.”
Sherod A. Halliburton, EVP of Strategic Initiatives en MCFCU concurre: “Nosotros sabemos que los inmigrantes y sus familias no tienen acceso a los servicios financieros que les corresponde. Estamos orgullosos de diseñar un nuevo programa que mejorará sus conexiones con la comunidad y les ayuda a lograr sus metas financieras.”
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm busca asociaciones con otras instituciones financieras locales para ayudar al máximo número de inmigrantes posible.
Sarasota immigrants should be aware that European and foreign insurers will NOT be able to sell coverage to any US citizen or legal permanent resident living continuously in the US after the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in January 2014. We learned this from our friend, and Sarasota immigrant, Peter Matthiessen. Read on to find out more about the implications of this act. We are posting this news as a guest post below:
Beginning January 2014, the new ACA (ObamaCare) Rules take effect. That means that all persons residing permanently in the USA, whether Citizens or Legal Aliens (Green Card or long term Visa Holders) are required to purchase a valid health insurance policy.
As a result of the new law (ACA-Affordable Care Act), European and foreign insurers do not have permission to offer or sell coverage to any resident (US Citizens or legal Aliens) living continuously in the USA. However, if you have any valid, currently active policy, you are not subject to this rule.
Travel policies covering only emergencies, for a limited specified time, are only possible when it concerns true travel arrangements (hotel, ticket receipts etc). Foreign health insurance policies are only available for transferred workers up to 36 months.
Surely you do not want to take on the risk yourself of unimaginable costs of health care. There is an easy way out. Act today to obtain relevant information without obligation. Suitable coverage and benefits with reasonable premiums are available by clicking on the blue links below.
We recommend the low-cost, indemnity coverage with fixed benefits offered by the century-long established Assurant/Time Insurance Company. Click on the link and proceed to “Access” for a free quotation. An online application may be made by clicking on “apply”.
A second recommendation is the well known Insurer United Health Care. For free quotes and application, click here.
With these links you can call up detailed information, brochure describing benefits of various plans. For help, explanations and recommendations send us an email. We would be pleased to hear from you.
Sarasota immigrants who need help preparing for an interview, understanding idioms, or just improving their social skills can find it with Accents Away.
Marcia Hoodwin is a certified speech pathologist living in Sarasota, FL. She learned her craft at Indiana University where she received her bachelor’s degree and San Diego State University where she received her Master’s in Speech Pathology. She worked for a small contracting business in New Mexico for several years before moving to Chicago and founding her own company, Accents Away. In Chicago she worked with corporate clients whose employees needed assistance improving their English-speaking abilities.
After a few too many Chicago winters, she was looking for a warmer climate and got a contract for a job in North Port, FL. The contract was for 3 months. 18 years later Marcia still lives in the Sarasota area and works improving the English-speaking skills of Sarasota and Tampa Bay area immigrants.
Accents Away offers accent modification, vocational rehab, and pediatric speech therapy. Marcia works mostly with foreign-born professionals looking to improve their language skills. She has helped all types, from doctors and nurses, to young children with speech impediments and she has quite a few success stories.
One story is about a young woman from Colombia, named Ruth, who immigrated to the United States with barely any English language ability. She worked her way through an accounting degree and is currently finishing a master’s degree in taxation. She had difficulty with interviewing and sought help with Marcia. Last year Ruth obtained her citizenship and recently accepted a lucrative job at a CPA’s office in Ft. Lauderdale. Everyone is inspired by Ruth’s work ethic, even her boyfriend who recently decided to enroll in engineering school himself!
Accents Away Success Story, Ruth
Another story involved a young woman from Japan who ran a successful Internet-based business and spoke English well but had difficulty in social situations. Marcia designed a 13-week course for her that touched on social situations. This helped the woman gain confidence and speak English better. Now Marcia is proud to report that her former client is quite active; dating and volunteering.
Accents Away can be helpful for foreign-born professionals who wish to improve their English skills, children with speech impediments, or foreigners who simply want to gain confidence in the use of English. Marcia’s #1 tip: Open your mouth and speak slowly.
It is easy to generalize about the 11 million+ undocumented aliens living in the United States. In order to give this large group a more human face we share stories about individual immigrants and the people that help them.
Immigrants come to the United States to work and start a family but their efforts are curtailed by several sources of uncertainty. The first, for those who are undocumented, of course, is their legal status. Another is insurance. Generally, it is difficult for an immigrant, much less an undocumented alien, to obtain life insurance.
Last week, insurance agent Carolyn Piano, LUTCF, told us a story of how she successfully helped an undocumented immigrant in Sarasota obtain a valuable life insurance policy despite his legal status and lack of documentation. The immigrant was a hard-working business owner with a young wife and 3 young children. Carolyn understood how important it was to ensure that even if something tragic happened to this man, his family could achieve the dream that he had for them; to get a good education, go to college, and become successful. Carolyn told us about her relationship with this man, how hard she knew he worked, how much he loved his family. She wanted to make sure he was protected and undertook the project of getting him insured.
Life insurance is useful because it is one of only 2 creditor-proof assets. The other is annuities. It can be used, as in this case, the ensure that a father’s family does not suffer financially if something tragic were to happen to him.
Carolyn spoke with her insurance providers, offering full disclosure. Due to the recipient’s lack of documentation the process was complicated and laborious. But, as Carolyn said, this was a “labor of love.” She succeeded in underwriting a $1 million policy for her friend – no mean feat.
We want other immigrants in the Sarasota-Bradenton area who might be thinking about getting insurance to know that Carolyn is willing to help. She now has experience underwriting policies for immigrants, event those who may be undocumented.
Carolyn Piano can be reached over the phone or via email:
New fields for e-mail address, phone number and foreign passport in Section 1
On March 8, 2013, USCIS released a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Employers should begin using the new Form I-9 with revision date 03/08/13 immediately for all new hires. The revision date is on the lower left of the new form (Rev. 03/08/13)N. Employers may continue to use previously valid Forms I-9 (Rev. 08/07/09Y and 02/02/09N) for 60 calendar days. Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must only use the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N. In the cases of reverification or rehires the new version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N must be used. For more information, please refer to the Federal Registernotice. You may obtain the new Form I-9 (Rev.03/08/13)N by visiting I-9 Central or the USCIS website.
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. NOTE: State agencies may use Form I-9. Also, some agricultural recruiters and referrers for a fee may be required to use Form I-9.
Do not file Form I-9 with USCIS or U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Employers must have a completed Form I-9 on file for each person on their payroll who is required to complete the form. Form I-9 must be retained and stored by the employer either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.
Jane Lees is a Sarasota Immigrant with a Green Thumb
Jane Lees ran a landscaping business in Great Britain. She visited Sarasota in 1998 for a friend’s wedding and happened to meet her future partner. No longer content to stay in Great Britain she and her partner began searching for ways for Jane to immigrate to the United States.
For most people the easiest way to immigrate would be to marry their partner, but in a same sex relationship like Jane’s, that was not an option. She had to find another way.
Immigration attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins advised forming a landscaping business in Sarasota and transferring Jane as its manager from the UK to the US under an L-1 visa. Jane agreed. Her partner opened a corporation for the business here in the US and the new business venture, JML Gardens of Sarasota, was born.
A year later the L-1 renewal was denied despite the fact that her business was thriving. Now Jane was an undocumented alien, in legal limbo. Jane could not return to the UK without triggering a bar from coming back to the US. Even worse, the business in the UK was struggling without her attention.
Victoria advised applying for a green card under Section 245(i) and appealing the L-1 application. For four years Jane remained in the United States in legal limbo and during that time, her Mother became seriously ill. Finally, in early 2004, Jane’s green card application was approved and she was able to see her mother before she passed away, which occurred in April 2004.
Today Jane still runs her business out of her home, with 1 full-time employee and her partner, who is also her business partner. She became a citizen of the US in August 2012. The business supports her and was recently featured in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Spring is a very busy time for her and she advises all the green thumbs reading this article to check their irrigation systems are functioning correctly to minimize water loss, fertilize their gardens and get ready for the growing season.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments for and against California’s Proposition 8. Jane can attest to the legal disadvantages of being gay, not only in terms of immigration law, but in terms of healthcare and tax law as well. The decision is still months away but could be momentous. In the meantime, immigration reformers are considering whether to expand the definition of married immigrant couples to include LGBT couples. Although this is now a non-issue for Jane, she knows there are other couples out there who are kept apart because of this law and she hopes reformers consider her story when deciding on this issue.
Ever wonder how to make your workout quicker and more efficient? Sarasota immigrant and investor, Hugh Elsam, used to wonder the same thing. One day, the Canadian businessman visited a 20 Minutes to Fitness studio. The quick and effective workout made Mr. Elsam think there might be more demand for the slow-cadence fitness routine, especially in the Sarasota area. He found it made sense to start a new 20 Minutes to Fitness studio in downtown Sarasota.
Around the same time Mr. Elsam was contemplating a more permanent move to the Sarasota area. He discovered that he could use the investment in the new fitness franchise to qualify for a US investor visa.
Thus a new immigrant-owned business venture in Sarasota was launched. Hugh hired 4 physical trainers and soon the studio was seeing 24-40 clients a day!
The studio recently moved to 1819 Main Street, Suite 110. This is the building across Links Ave from the Oyster House. Since we often share stories about immigrants and immigrant-owned businesses we thought we’d let our readers know more about this one. We made an appointment for a free consultation to see how this intriguing fitness philosophy works. You can see the video of our interview with general manager Michele below.
If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Sarasota immigrant Lourdes Gallagher you’ll know her by her welcoming personality and inspiring energy. She will be humble and kind but once you start asking her questions you will realize she has an unbelievable wealth of experiences. We recently sat down with Lourdes to record her story for SMILEforImmigrationReform.org.
Lourdes grew up in in Rio de Janeirol. Through constant application (working during the day and going to school at night) she became a Project Design Engineer. She worked designing oil and sugar refineries for 5 years. She always enjoyed design and after leaving industrial engineering started a furniture and closet manufacturing company with a partner. She ran that for a few years until she was invited by Aeroglobal to become a director of operations in North America purchasing small airplanes and developing new business. The company took her to Montreal and Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia she decided to contact an American friend she’d made in Brazil through her hobby, car racing. His name was Steve. Steve was in Detroit so Lourdes requested a transfer to Detroit, Aeroglobal agreed to establish the company in Detroit and obtained an H1-B visa for her. One and half years later Lourdes and Steve decided to get married and Steve was able to sponsor Lourdes for a Green Card. A few years later she was working for the same automotive company as her husband.
Lourdes lived in Detroit for the next 18 years. She bought airplanes, became a stock-broker, worked for the Airlines, worked as an Engineer, become a Professor and interpreter. She was working for AT&T when the company gave her the option of relocating to Phoenix or Sarasota. She chose Sarasota. When AT&T laid her off in 2009 she went back to school for IT project management.
Lourdes and her partners’ latest project entails installing solar panels that will provide electricity to residential homes. She is currently working on providing “green” energy for 14 thousand homes in Brazil. She also has another project that will bring clean water to rural villages in a remote region of Africa. We wish her all the best.
UnidosNow Concentrates on Friday to Urge Approval of Comprehensive Immigration Reform During Senator Rubio’s Visit to Sarasota
The Nonprofit Group Prepares a Peaceful Rally to Show its Support of Bipartisan Efforts to Pass Immigration Reform During this Legislative Cycle
For immediate release Media contact: Beatriz Paniego Béjar
UnidosNow, the non-profit organization advocating in Southwest Florida for the approval of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform, has prepared a peaceful rally that will be held this Friday, March 15th, at 4pm at 1233 N Gulfstream Avenue in Sarasota. María Quezada, a DREAMer and a Future Leader, Manuel Chepote, successful business owner, as well as faith leaders and farmworkers, will be sharing their own personal immigration stories at 4.30pm, putting faces to the reform’s debate.
The advocacy group, who stands behind the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ principles on immigration reform, plans to show its support to the bipartisan efforts presented by the Senate’s “Gang of 8” during Senator Marco Rubio’s visit to the area.
“The stance and leadership that Senator Rubio has shown in the campaign for immigration reform is the kind of leadership we expect to find in our Congressman Vern Buchanan, especially now that he has become co-Chairman of the Congressional Delegation for Florida”, says Frankie Soriano, Executive Director of UnidosNow.
Community leaders have also joined this concentration to demand action from Congress, and push the approval of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, one of the most discussed bills since the beginning of the year, but which has not yet materialized into a formal bill.
“If we do not act today, tomorrow we will not have reform”, says Manuel Chepote, Hispanic business owner and community leader in Sarasota and Manatee counties. “The time is now; if we don’t act now, we’ll have to wait another two, four or more years for the immigration reform debate to become again an issue politicians are willing to address”.
Asking everyone who attends to dress in white and bring their American flags, organizers expect more than 100 people to attend this concentration. “We want to send a positive message, expressing our support for the first steps taken by Senator Rubio and the Gang of 8. Therefore we will wear white, the color of peace and reconciliation”, explained Adriana Cerrillo, Community Coordinator with UnidosNow.
UnidosNow is part of the statewide campaign Say Yes, seeking support to pass immigration reform during this legislative cycle.
“The sentiment that the time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform is now already exists in the Capitol. We just need to remind our elected officials that the community is here to support their efforts, and that we are awaiting for their leadership to pass reform”, concludes Soriano.
For more information, visit UnidosNow website, www.UnidosNow.org, or call 877-598-4466.
For media, please contact Beatriz Paniego Béjar, at email@example.com, or at 941-914-1286.
UnidosNow is dedicated to mobilize Southwest Florida’s Hispanic and associated communities to integrate and access the benefits of the state’s civic, economic, and cultural weave. Their goal is to increase civic participation among our immigrant and Hispanic population –recognizing and speaking to issues that affect this community-.
UnidosNow se concentra este viernes para pedir la aprobación de una Reforma Migratoria Integral durante la visita del Senador Rubio a Sarasota
El grupo sin fines de lucro prepara una concentración pacífica para mostrar apoyo a los esfuerzos bipartidistas para aprobar la reforma durante este ciclo legislativo
Para publicación inmediata Contacto de prensa: Beatriz Paniego Béjar
Una concentración pacífica preparada por UnidosNow, la organización sin fines de lucro defendiendo la aprobación de una Reforma Migratoria Integral en el Suroeste de la Florida, tendrá lugar este viernes, 15 de marzo, a las 4 de la tarde en 1233 N Gulfstream Avenue, Sarasota. María Quezada, soñadora (DREAmer) y Futura Líder, Manuel Chepote, exitoso dueño de negocios, así como líderes de fe y trabajadores del campo compartirán sus propias historias de inmigración a las 4.30pm, poniendo caras al debate de la reforma.
El grupo de defensa, que respalda los principios de reforma migratoria del Caucus Hispano del Congreso, planea mostrar su apoyo a los esfuerzos bipartidistas presentados por la “Banda de los 8” del Senado durante la visita del senador Marco Rubio a la zona.
“La postura y el liderazgo que ha mostrado el Senador Rubio en la campaña por una reforma migratoria es el tipo de liderazgo que esperamos encontrar en nuestro Congresista Vern Buchanan, especialmente ahora que se ha convertido en Presidente de la Delegación de Congresistas de la Florida”, dice Frankie Soriano, director ejecutivo de UnidosNow.
Líderes de la comunidad también se han unido a esta concentración para reclamar acción en el Congreso y sacar adelante una Reforma Migratoria Integral, una de los proyectos de ley más discutidos desde comienzos del año pero que todavía no se ha materializado en un proyecto de ley formal.
“Si no actuamos hoy, mañana no tendremos reforma”, dice Manuel Chepote, dueño de negocio y líder comunitario hispano en los condados de Sarasota y Manatee. “El momento es ahora, sino tendremos que esperar otros dos, cuatro o más años para que el debate de la reforma migratoria vuelva a ser un tema que los políticos estén dispuestos a abordar”.
Pidiendo a los asistentes que atiendan vestidos de blanco y lleven sus banderas estadounidenses, los organizadores esperan que más de 100 personas acudan a esta concentración. “Queremos mandar un mensaje positivo, manifestando nuestro apoyo al primer paso tomado por el Senador Rubio y la Banda de los 8. Por ello nos vestiremos de blanco, el color de paz y la reconciliación”, explicaba Adriana Cerrillo, coordinadora de la comunidad con UnidosNow.
UnidosNow es además parte de la campaña estatal Di que Sí, buscando la aprobación de la reforma migratoria durante este ciclo legislativo.
“El sentimiento de que el momento de pasar una Reforma Migratoria Integral es ahora ya existe en el Capitolio. Solo tenemos que recordar a nuestros oficiales electos que la comunidad está aquí apoyando sus esfuerzos y esperando su liderazgo para pasar la reforma”, concluye Soriano.
Para más información, visite la pagina web de UnidosNow, www.UnidosNow.org, o llame al 877-598-4466.
Para los medios de comunicación, por favor póngase en contacto con Beatriz Paniego Béjar, en firstname.lastname@example.org, o en el 941-914-1286.
Acerca de UnidosNow
UnidosNow se dedica a movilizar a las comunidades hispanas y asociadas del Suroeste de la Florida para integrar y acceder a los beneficios de la trama cívica, económica y cultural del estado. Su objetivo es aumentar la participación cívica de los inmigrantes y nuestra población hispana, reconociendo y dirigiéndose a los problemas que afectan a esta comunidad.