According to an article on  “The Justice Department responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling by establishing a telephone hotline and email address to receive reports of possible civil rights violations conducted under the auspice of SB1070, which equally incensed Brewer.”

Could Arizona’s state government waste anymore taxpayer money on this issue?  Of course they can, and with Brewer at the helm, they most likely will.  In addition to setting up the hotline and e-mail address, yesterday the federal government canceled agreements with Arizona local law enforcement that allowed them to check the immigration status of suspected undocumented persons.

The “victory” that Brewer claimed after yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling was essentially rendered meaningless by these actions by the DOJ. Alleged cases of abuse by law enforcement will certainly be scrutinized by the federal government to ensure that the single surviving provision of the law is implemented in a fair and legal manner.  The infamous Sheriff Arpaio and his team had better watch their tactics and treatment of those they choose to detain or even stop without cause.

For any readers who happen to be in Arizona, the hotline is:  855-353-1010 and the e-mail address is:  Please spread the word to any people (documented or otherwise) who believe they are unlawfully stopped and/or questioned about their immigration status by local law enforcement.

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We have been getting a fair amount of calls about the “Deferred Action Process for Young People who are low Enforcement Priorities” announced by the DHS earlier this month.  Currently, relief is only available to those who are in removal proceedings.  In the next few weeks, it is expected that qualifying DREAMers who are  not in removal proceedings, will be provided with instructions on how to apply.

So, if you are not in removal proceedings and you meet the criteria enumerated below, you should prepare the documentation to have available when individuals are permitted to apply affirmatively.

To qualify under this directive:

  1. Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Not be above the age of thirty.

Try to locate evidence to prove numbers 1 through 3 enumerated above.  Also have copies of your:  passport, birth certificate and any immigration documentation available.  Then simply wait.  Details regarding the requisite forms, photos, and other documentation that will be required are not yet available.

AILA is warning DREAMers to be careful not to hire “notarios” or unqualified “immigration consultants” who will be more than happy to take your money and may do nothing or even worse, put you in a less desirable immigration situation than you were in to begin with.

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According to an article on  “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled largely in favor of the federal government Monday in a case involving Arizona’s immigration law, but it upheld the most controversial provision involving police checks on people’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.”

Avoiding a free for all with each state enacting its own immigration laws is a good thing.  Federal immigration laws are complex enough as they stand and need to be reformed to be more in line with the country’s needs and core values.

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According to a DHS Press Release:  “Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.”

Pro-immigrant groups are applauding this move as a positive start given that Congress has no intention of passing any meaningful immigration legislation.  Of course this is a smart political move by the Obama administration.  It will be interesting to see how Republicans handle the immigration issue as we approach the November elections.

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According to a USCIS News Release:  “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013. Yesterday, June 11, 2012, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013.”

This is much earlier than last year and the increased demand indicates that U.S. companies are being restrained in their efforts to grow by these arbitrary limits on H-1B petitions.  Forcing the best and brightest from around the world to return to their home countries does not make much sense.

It is an often-repeated fallacy that the H-1B program takes jobs away from equally qualified U.S. workers.  Remember that H-1B employers must pay the higher of the prevailing or the actual wage to beneficiaries.  Frequently the prevailing wage is substantially higher than what an employer normally pays for a particular position.  Moreover, legal and filing fees that must be borne by an employer are often substantial (H-1B filing fees alone range from $325 to $2325).  It logically follows that in the great majority of cases, employers hire H-1B candidates when they believe they are the best fit for the company’s needs.  They are in no way “cheap labor” as the wage offered must be at least what is offered to U.S. workers and there are legal and filing fees.  Moreover, the bureaucracy and paperwork requirements that are unavoidable when dealing with two federal government agencies (the DOL and the USCIS) are added responsibilities that employers do not have to deal with when hiring U.S. workers.

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H-1B CAP COUNT (6/1/2012)

According to the USCIS, as of June 1, 2012, the agency had received 55,600 out of 65,000 available cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY-2013 and 18,700 out of 20,000 available petitions under the H-1B Master’s Cap Exemption.

The pace of filings accelerates as the cap gets closer to being exhausted.  It is likely too late to begin working on a cap-subject H-1B petition today.  Given that it takes seven days for the LCA to be certified, by the time the petition is actually filed with the USCIS, the cap will, in all likelihood, have been exhausted.  Those that are in works and ready to be filed in the ext few days stand a good chance of getting one of the few remaining receipt numbers.

Remember that this limitation applies only to H-1B cap-subject cases.  Some organizations are cap exempt.  Finally, if an H-1B is not available, perhaps you are eligible for another status.  A consultation with a qualified immigration attorney may help you come up with an immigration strategy that suits your specific needs.

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