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Legislature Debates In-State Tuition Rates for Undocumented Students

Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from ABC7’s
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.

Reposted from AILA National: Information for Venezuelan Asylum-Seekers

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from AILA National Youtube Channel.

Foreign Residents In Need of Loans Find Help

Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sabdell Bank

We recently learned that Sabadell Bank, a Spanish bank with offices in Florida, is offering some mortgage products and loans where credit record and income are not checked, which is useful for new permanent residents or nonimmigrants.  Here are the details:


*         5/1, 7/1 & 10/1 ARM’s STARTING AT 2.875%, 3.125%, AND 3.375% RESPECIVELY WITH NO POINTS AND NO PREPAYMENT PENALTY














*         ONE TIME CLOSE AS A 10/1 ARM

They also have some loans for foreign nationals looking to buy vacation homes or principal residences (and not investment property).  Here are the terms if you know anyone from abroad looking to buy a home here:




*         LIQUID ASSETS DO NOT HAVE TO BE U.S. ACCOUNTS OR MOVED TO THE U.S. (The advantage of being an international bank)

*         REQUIRES A SABADELL ACCOUNT WITH 6 MONTHS PITI (principal and interest payments)


*         3/1, 5/1, 7/1 AND 15 YEAR FIXED.  STARTING AT 3.00%, 3.75%, 4.50% AND 4.75% RESPECTIVELY

In short, if a borrower can show they have double the amount of the desired loan in liquid assets (e.g. bank and investments accounts) in the U.S. or abroad, then the bank will be interested in giving a loan.  Generally the loan to value is 60/40.  This means that the borrow must put down 40% of the purchase price or the actual appraised value, whichever is lower.

The contact person in Sarasota is Charles Campbell (  The west coast program is managed by this bank official in Naples: (

Florida Supreme Court Rules Unauthorized Immigrants Cannot Be Admitted to State Bar

Posted: March 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Unlike California, the Florida Supreme Court has decided not to admit unauthorized immigrants to the State Bar.

Read the full decision: FL Supreme Bars Unauthorized Immigrants.

Announcing German Film Festival, April 1-9

Posted: March 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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(English & Espanol) AILA South Florida Warns Venezuelans about the Dangers of Frivolous Asylum Applications

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Reposted from AILA South Florida website.

In response to incomplete advice recently released through the media, AILA South Florida is warning Venezuelans about the danger of filing frivolous asylum applications. Unlike what recently televised statements suggest, not all Venezuelans qualify for asylum and the loss of a claim can result in removal from the U.S. and the loss of the ability to return to the U.S. in the future. A judicial decision that an asylum claim was frivolous or fraudulent will result in permanently barring the applicant from returning to the U.S. or obtaining lawful status in the U.S.

Asylum law is a very complex and specialized area of immigration law and the United States has an extremely strict approval process for granting asylum. Applicants must prove to have been persecuted or face persecution upon return to their home country due to their, race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. General unrest, bad conditions, poor leadership and opposition to the current government in Venezuela do NOT warrant a grant of asylum.

As of this time, the U.S. government has granted no special relief to Venezuelan nationals.

AILA South Florida advises Venezuelans to be extremely cautious in their decision to apply for asylum in the United States. The professional organization highly recommends that all those considering an asylum application first consult with an immigration attorney with specialized experience in asylum cases to determine the merits of their claim and identify other alternatives for obtaining status in the U.S.

About AILA South Florida

AILA South Florida is one of the largest and most respected chapters of the national American Immigration Lawyers Association. The organization’s attorneys provide highly-qualified and personalized immigration law counsel to immigrant families throughout South Florida. Working with a qualified AILA attorney ensures that immigrants proceed with the best course of action based on their individual standing, immigration history, and potential reform changes. Learn more at

Debido a Reportes Falsos, AILA South Florida Advierte a Venezolanos Sobre el Peligro de las Solicitudes de Asilo Frívolas

En respuesta a información incompleta proporcionada recientemente en un informe de prensa de Miami, la división del Sur de la Florida de la Asociación Americana de Abogados de Inmigración (AILA) está advirtiendo a venezolanos sobre el peligro de presentar una aplicación de asilo frívola o fraudulenta. A pesar de las condiciones actuales del país, no todos los venezolanos son elegibles para asilo en los EE.UU. y los candidatos interesados ​​deben consultar con un abogado capacitado antes de continuar, porque las solicitudes de asilo denegadas pueden resultar en la expulsión de los EE.UU. y solicitudes fraudulentas o frívolas pueden dar lugar a una prohibición permanente de reingreso a los EE.UU.

En respuesta a asesoramientos incompletos recientemente reportados a través de los medios de comunicación, AILA South Florida advierte a venezolanos sobre el peligro de presentar solicitudes de asilo frívolas. A diferencia de lo que sugieren las declaraciones recientemente dadas por televisión, no todos los venezolanos tienen derecho a solicitar asilo y una solicitud rechazada podría resultar en la expulsión de los EE.UU. como también la pérdida de posibilidad de regresar a los EE.UU. en el futuro. Una decisión judicial declarando que la solicitud de asilo es infundada o fraudulenta, tendrá como resultado la prohibición permanente al solicitante de regresar a los EE.UU. o de obtener un estatus legal en los EE.UU.

La ley de asilo es un área muy compleja y especializada de la ley de inmigración y los Estados Unidos tiene un proceso de aprobación extremadamente estricto para autorizar asilo. Los solicitantes deberán demostrar que han sido perseguidos o que sufrirán persecución si regresan a su país de origen debido a su raza, religión, nacionalidad, opinión política o pertenencia a un determinado grupo social. Malestar general, malas condiciones, la falta de liderazgo, y la oposición al actual gobierno de Venezuela NO justifican la aprobación de asilo.

Todavía hoy, el gobierno de EE.UU. no ha otorgado ningún beneficio especial para los ciudadanos venezolanos.

AILA South Florida aconseja a los venezolanos a ser extremadamente cautelosos en su decisión de solicitar asilo en Estados Unidos. Esta organización profesional recomienda altamente que todos aquellos que estén considerando una solicitud de asilo, consulten primero con un abogado de inmigración con experiencia especializada en casos de asilo para determinar los méritos de su demanda e identificar otras alternativas para la obtención de estatus legal en los EE.UU.

Acerca de AILA South Florida

AILA South Florida es una de las divisiones más importantes y respetadas de la Asociación Nacional Americana de Abogados de Inmigración. Los abogados de la organización proporcionan asesoría legal de inmigración altamente calificada y personalizada a las familias de inmigrantes en todo el sur de Florida. Trabajar con un abogado capacitado de AILA asegura que los inmigrantes procedan con el mejor curso de acción basado en su situación individual, historia inmigratoria y los cambios potenciales de reforma. Obtenga más información en

(English & Espanol) TheDream.US Offers College Scholarships to Qualifying DREAMers

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

There is a new source of scholarship money for DACA recipients who qualify.  A CEO, a former Secretary of Commerce, and a well-known philanthropist came together and raised $25 million to be offered as financial aid to qualifying DREAMers.

The Dream.US

Each scholarship recipient is required to attend a partner institution. Currently, there are 12: The Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College and Kingsborough Community College in New York; Miami Dade College in Florida; Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C.; El Paso Community College, South Texas College, University of Texas Pan American and University of Texas El Paso in Texas; Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach in California; and Mount Washington College, a national online college.

Requirements include:

  • Be a first time college student applying to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program at one of the partner colleges,
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or greater (or equivalent GED score), and
  • Be DACA eligible and have applied for or received DACA approval.

It is highly recommended that applicants who want to obtain one of these scholarships be willing to pursue a career-ready associate’s or bachelor’s degree program.  Courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, the “STEM” majors, should fall into this category.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2014.

See more information in the Guidelines.

For more information on DACA, including whether or not you qualify, contact the attorneys at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, (941) 366-9841.

Existen nuevos recursos de becados para los beneficiarios de DACA . Un CEO, un ex-secretario de Comercio , y un conocido filántropo se reunieron y recaudaron $25 millones para ser ofrecido como ayuda financiera a los soñadores que califican.

Los ganadores de la beca tienen que asistir a una institución asociada con The Dream.US. Hay 12 : The Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College y Kingsborough Community College en Nueva York , Miami Dade College en la Florida, la Universidad Trinity de Washington en Washington , DC; El Paso Community College , South Texas College , Universidad de Texas Panamericana y la Universidad de Texas en El Paso, en Texas; Long Beach City College y la Universidad Estatal de California, Long Beach , en California , y Mount Washington college, una universidad nacional en línea.

Los requisitos incluyen :

  • Ser un estudiante de la universidad por primera vez la aplicación o programa de licenciatura de asociado a una de las universidades asociadas,
  • Tener promedio general de 2.5 o mayor (o puntuación de GED equivalente), y
  • Sea DACA elegible y habra solicitado o recibido la aprobación DACA

Es altamente recomendable que los solicitantes que deseen obtener una de estas becas estarán dispuestos a seguir un programa de licenciatura asociado con una carrera.  Cursos en Ciencias , Tecnología , Ingeniería y Matemáticas, los ” STEM ” grandes, deben entrar en esta categoría.

La fecha límite para aplicar para el ano escolar que viene es el 31 de marzo de 2014.

Ver más información en la Guía.

Para obtener más información sobre DACA, incluyendo si usted califica o no, póngase en contacto con los abogados de Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, (941) 366-9841.

Loss in the Family

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Sarasota Immigrants | 11 Comments »

2014.0306.Victor Machado

It is with great sadness, that I have to report that there has been a loss in the family. Victor Andres Machado passed away on March 4, 2014. Victor was my brother in law and was a vital member of staff at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm for many years. 

Victor first came to Sarasota from Venezuela in the early 90s to prepare for becoming a professional tennis player. His sister (my wife, Rebeca) was his chaperone and they both knew quickly that they preferred the American way of life and felt more at home here than in their home country.

Victor trained in tennis with incredible intensity for a young man and competed in tournaments around the world. He mentioned Japan and Denmark as two of his favorite places.

Eventually, his body could not withstand the rigors of the sport and he stopped playing competitively at the elite level. He got a scholarship to attend Berry College in Georgia and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.

Victor joined the team at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm in 2002 soon after he graduated from college. He worked in a number of areas of specialization within the field of immigration law including H-1B visas, employment based green cards, and O and P visas for extraordinary individuals and internationally recognized athletes. One of his lasting legacies will clearly be the vast number of immigrants he helped to achieve their goal of residence in the U.S.

Victor’s impact on the law firm was profound over the past 10 years. He helped to develop many of our office processes and procedures, including our custom-made case tracking system. He took it upon himself to train new members of the firm and was the person we all turned to when something needed fixing. He even came up with the original concept for our current firm logo.

Victor was always a very serious and intense individual who believed in structure and following the rules. And yet, he had a remarkable sense of humor and could tell a joke and appreciate a good joke better than anyone. His laugh made others smile. He had a creative and artistic talent that he expressed with writing, music and the most fantastic Halloween costumes.

Victor reserved his friendship and affection for those he felt were special. As a result, his friends always knew they had an exceptional place in his heart.

In respect for the privacy of his family, members of the law firm have been asked not to answer questions about Victor and let this tribute be the singular communication on the subject from the law firm.

As a friend, colleague, brother, cuñado, and employee; Victor Andres Machado will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.

Sincerely, Chris Jaensch

Chile Added to Exclusive List of Visa Waiver Countries

Posted: March 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from

Press release dated 2/28/14:

WASHINGTON—Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources  Heather Higginbottom, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes, announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Chilean passport holders, while maintaining strong security standards. Starting May 1, 2014, eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States without nonimmigrant visitor visas.

“This announcement furthers our important partnership with Chile and will benefit the security and the economies of both our nations,” said Secretary Johnson. “The addition of Chile to the Visa Waiver Program will enable us to work together to maintain the highest standards of security, while also facilitating travel for Chileans visiting the United States.”

“The United States and Chile have a robust partnership – from advancing peace and democratic values in the hemisphere to supporting shared economic growth through trade and investment,” said Deputy Secretary Higginbottom. “Today’s move will continue to bring our governments – and, more importantly, our citizens – closer together, strengthening the foundation of our enduring partnership for years to come.”

Chile will join 37 participants in the VWP—which permits visa-free travel to the United States for eligible travelers visiting the United States for 90 days or fewer for business or tourism.  In Fiscal Year 2013, the VWP accounted for about 19.6 million visits to the United States, or approximately 60 percent of tourist and business travelers entering the United States by air.

In accordance with the VWP designation process, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) , in consultation with the Department of State, determined that Chile complies with key security and information-sharing requirements—such as enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States; timely reporting of lost and stolen passports; and the maintenance of high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards.

Like other VWP travelers, eligible Chilean passport holders will be required to apply for advanced authorization through the ESTA, a DHS Web-based system.

For more information, visit or

International Athletes Compete in Sarasota for Possible Olympic Opportunity

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Reposted from Sarasota Herald Tribune website.  Article originally posted on March 3rd, 2014.

SARASOTA – International triathletes — ranging from established elites to up and coming athletes under 19 — won’t just be competing for prize money at the Sarasota Pan American Cup at Nathan Benderson Rowing Park.

The sprint championships — held in addition to competitions for juniors and mixed teams of men and women — will likely be indicative of how elite triathletes will perform in qualifying events for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In addition to the championship events, two triathlons for youth and age-group competitors will be held on the same course during the competition this weekend.

“We’re trying to create a weekend event that caters to all types of athletes from the elites down to the age groupers,” Race Director Bill Burnett said.

While the 2016 Olympic qualifying period does not begin until May 15, the Sarasota competition for juniors is an important pathway in earning a spot at the Olympic Youth Games scheduled in Nanjing, China, this summer.

Hosted by Sarasota, the North American Junior Championships determine which 16- and 17-year-olds can compete in the Olympic Youth Games qualifying event in Mexico this May and includes triathletes under 19 from the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

This is the second year that Sarasota has hosted a Pan American Cup, a competition also held more recently in Clermont — near Orlando — and Dallas, Texas. Roughly 100 men and women from eight countries have registered for the main sprint championship this year, Burnett said.

Part of the appeal is the venue: a 600-acre rowing park on Cattlemen Road with the infrastructure to support swimming, biking and running, and lots of room for spectators.

American Tommy Zaferes, a Santa Cruz, Calif., native, came in second at last year’s sprint championships. Zaferes appreciated the opportunity to compete in two Pan Am cups, as the Clermont race is held a week before Sarasota’s race.

“There are only 3 Pan Am Cups in the USA, so having the chance to race in Clermont one weekend, then Sarasota the next weekend was a good opportunity for some good racing without the hassle of insane travel,” said Zaferes, who is training in New Zealand.

The sprint distance events in Sarasota include a 750-meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run. Youth under 16 will compete on an abbreviated course and the mixed teams (two men, two women) will complete shorter circuits of all three events each.

While the sprint championships events for elite triathletes comes with $10,000 in prize money, the race is perhaps more crucial for junior athletes, who range from 16 to 19 years old.

The event will serve as a selection event for the Panamerican Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships this spring — a key race in making the world championships — in addition to the Olympic Youth Games qualifying event in Mexico.

“These are some of very best athletes out there who are looking to eventually go to the Olympics,” Burnett said.

It’s a quest shared by many others.

Zafares will not compete in Sarasota this spring because he has chosen to start the racing season in New Zealand. Making the Olympics, he explains, relies on his ability to frequently compete, train up to 30 hours a week and rack up wins in key races.

Florida has been an important part of his development as a triathlete. He earned his pro card at an elite development race in Clermont during 2010, and he remembers the Sarasota’s Pan-American Cup as a fast course free of traffic.

“That race went great,” he said. “I just got outsprinted the last 200 meters by a Portuguese Olympian, so I can’t be bummed.”

New EB-5 Center in Florida

Posted: March 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Investor Visas | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A major regional center operator/developer team with a record of success are working together in their first joint project in Florida.

CMB Regional Centers

CMB Regional Centers, a nation-wide regional center operator, is once again collaborating with top ten U.S. real estate developer, (a multibillion dollar company) Hillwood Development Company, LLC.  The two companies have worked together in the past.  According to company documents, investors in CMB’s Group VIII project, involving a $65 million EB-5 financing of Hillwood commercial industrial projects in Southern California (which includes projects in located at Hillwood’s AllianceCalifornia Development at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino) received approvals of their I-526 petitions.

CMB Regional Centers is a major EB-5 Regional Center Operator

Hillwood Development Company, LLC

Hillwood Development Company, LLC has authorized CMB Florida to raise $8 million for the Group 26 project.  The purpose of the loan is to provide financing for project construction and bridge financing if necessary.

Hillwood Development Company, LLC is an experienced development company.  In 2009, it won a competitive bid to become the Master Developer of the 4,474 acre Cecil Commerce Center, which is a portion of the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field owned by the City of Jacksonville, Florida.  Hillwood is rebranding the Cecil Commerce Center project with its premiere Alliance brand, which the company reserves for large scale, long term, multimodal, public-private projects.

Group 26 Regional Center

The Regional Center in Jacksonville will include a modern 510,000 square foot distribution facility located on 40.69 acres.  The site is situated between Normandy Blvd., a State highway, and 103rd Street; both are modern four-lane divided highways.  The location provides access to Cecil Field, the former Naval Air Station, as well as the high-speed interchange for Interstate Highway 10.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 1


The site has many advantages, according to CMB, including comparatively low property-tax rates, no income tax, and Foreign Trade Zone status.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 4


Hillwood is required to substantially complete an aggregation of at least 400,000 square foot of new building area by the end of 2014.


2014.0227.Alliance FL 2


Hillwood will provide full development services and has engaged CBRE Jacksonville to provide on-site marketing and leasing.

CMB EB-5 capital will be directly employed in all construction activities of the project including pre development activities, horizontal infrastructure, site improvements, vertical construction, and tenant specific buildout of the facility.

More Information

For more information about this new EB-5 project please contact P. Christopher Jaensch: (941) 366-9841.