Articles Posted in Shihab Lawyers

On November 9, 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing an interagency Federal Export Enforcement Coordination Center. The Center will serve for the executive departments and agencies to coordinate and enhance their export control enforcement efforts. It will also serve as a conduit between Federal law enforcement agancies and the U.S. Intelligence Community for information relating to export control.

This order is directly related to the Obama administration’s efforts to create better enforcement of the immigration laws in relation to U.S. exports. Creating new agencies in this economic environment will create government jobs but will also add to the U.S. deficit. The Obama administration should encourage Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. But it has been unwilling to do so and will continue to ratchet up enforcement efforts with creating new government agencies such as this.

Isupreme court justice.jpgn yet another display for the need of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), the Supreme Court of the United States appears as though it will remain deadlocked on the issue of whether state laws may punish companies for hiring illegal immigrants. From all accounts, it appears that the Legal Arizona Workers Act, or the “business death penalty” will stand. The Supreme Court’s stalemate could very well signal trouble for other state and local immigration laws.

Lower courts have upheld the Arizona law, which imposes the so-called business death penalty on employers who are caught twice konwingly hiring illegal workers. The Obama Administration joined with the Chamber of Commerce in arguing that the state law should be voided because it conflicts with the federal government’s authority over immigration. Since Justice Elena Kagan announced that she would not participate in the decision, a 4-4 split is possible meanining that no precedent would be set and the law would be upheld.
Continue reading

Thumbnail image for h1b-visa.jpgA practice advisory published by the Association of International Educators (“NAFSA”) focuses on new H-1B attestations for employers seeking to employ a foreign national as an H-1B worker. This article is the conclusion to part 1 which looks at the proposed new Form I-129H Supplement and Data Collection Supplement in the H-1B context and advises H-1B employers on exactly what the new form means to them. Columbus, Ohio remains strong in H-1B employment chiefly due to its booming tech industry and strong banking and insurance sectors relying on foreign labor to implement new software systems and support existing ones.

Proposed New I-129 H Supplement: New Attestations
The new I-129 H Supplement will add statements that the petitioner will obtain and post a new LCA when the employee is “assigned to a position in a new location.” Employers interested in strict compliance with the H-1B regulations have always done this procedure, but now the form specifically asks that the employer attest to this fact in black and white. What this means for the employer is that it cannot now claim that it was unaware of such requirements. The Obama administration is enforcing the H-1B regulations in a more rigid manner than ever before. Employers need to be aware that if they do not comply, they will be audited, often resulting in huge civil penalties.
Continue reading

In a recent announcement, the U.S. Embassy in London posted a notice that certain O and P visa applicants are eligible to apply for a new visa without having to attend an interview with a U.S. consular officer. If the applicant previously provided a complete set of fingerprints and is applying to renew the same category of visa that is still valid or has expired within the last 12 months, the exemption may apply. The applicant can use the Visa Reissuance Wizard, available on the embassy’s website, to see if he or she is exempt. In all cases, a consular officer always reserves the right to request that an applicant appear for a personal interview.

h1b-visa.jpgA practice advisory published by the Association of International Educators (“NAFSA”) focuses on new H-1B attestations for employers seeking to employ a foreign national as an H-1B worker. Columbus, Ohio is one city in America where employmer sponsored H-1B employment remains strong. This article looks at the proposed new Form I-129 in the H-1B context and advises H-1B employers on exactly what the new form means to them.

Today’s H-1B Program: Strict Employer Compliance!
In the “Post-Neufeld” environment, H-1B visas for third party placement works are being more strictly scrutinized. The new I-129 form allows USCIS to quickly determine what kind of H-1B case and whether the employer has complied with the H-1B regulations. An H-1B audit is not something an employer would like to face in this economy so careful attention to the attestations on the new I-129 form must be done.
Continue reading

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has announced an expansion of its legal orientation and pro bono program (LOP). It is extending the LOP to serve DHS detainees who are in immigration proceedings before the Barick Street Immigration Court in New York City. In addition, EOIR is currently piloting an LOP program at the Miami Immigration Court for non-detained respondents who are unable to find legal assistance and may be mentally incompetent. EOIR also has created a LOP for custodians of unaccompanied alien children.

The Department of Justice announced that it has awarded $720,321 in grants to 13 organizations throughout the country to conduct public education programs for workers and employers about federal protections against immigration-related job discrimination. The grants range from $43,664 to $88,000, and are awarded by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. Recipients will assist discrimination victims; conduct seminars for workers, employers and immigration service providers; and place advertisements in local communities through mainstream and ethnic media to educate workers and employers about their rights.

_a out of jail.JPGIf you are in removal or deportation proceedings and you have a family based petition (Form I-130) petition pending or it has been approved, you could go home is as little as 30 days! This article addresses the new handling proceedures for individuals in removal or deportation (issued an NTA) with a pending or approved application or petition with USCIS.

Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) Expedites Removal:
A recent policy memo instructs the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on handling removal deportation proceedings of aliens with pending or approved I-130 applications or petitions. The new ICE policy outlines a framework for ICE to request expedited adjudication of an application or petition for alien relative in removal proceedings. The petition must be pending before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The case will be expedited if the approval of such an application or petition would provide an immediate basis for relief for the alien.
Continue reading

cheetah.jpgSince I began working at “The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates,” I have been amazed by the firm’s innovative approaches to processing H-1B visas. Innovation has streamlined the once cumbersome H-1B process. The firm can process an H-1B visa in as little as 5 business days! This is by far the fastest H-1B visa processing around. To do this every move has to be caclulated, detailed and swift, like a cheetah lurking in the wild and eventually pouncing on its prey. This article discusses how this is accomplished.

For a brief overview of the H-1B visa process, please visit our website here.
Continue reading