The Administration has adopted a schizophrenic approach to same sex marriage and immigration law. The President and the Attorney General have indicated that present laws which deny same sex couples who are married under State law are unconstitutional or at least morally wrong. At the same time the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to deny immigration benefits to same sex spouses and at present these couples who may have legal marital status under State law may still risk being deported. At least one Immigration Judge has stayed the removal proceedings of an individual who could benefit from Federal recognition of same sex marriage pending further review by the Department of Justice.
The ugly debate over immigration reform sometimes overshadows the heartwrenching decisions which Immigration Judges and the Appellate Courts address on a daily basis. Judge Pregerson's dissenting opinion in a recent unpublished Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision highlights the harsh consequences that follow when Courts apply an inflexible approach to interpreting complex immigration laws.
A new version of the Entrepreneur Visa bill provides hope for overseas investors seeking to invest or start up businesses in the United States. The bill if passed would provide an alternative to the EB5 investor visa which has rigorous employment creation and capital investment requirements in order to qualify for permanent resident Status ( green card).
“Public officials should create and administer laws that reflect the best of our aspirations as a just and caring society,” the church wrote in a statement. “Such laws will properly balance love for neighbors, family cohesion and the observance of just and enforceable law.
As noted by a Forbes Magazine Article “There is a growing recognition of the impact foreign-born entrepreneurs can bring to an economy”
“Today there are 1 million highly skilled immigrants in this country legally, if temporarily, on H-1B visas. Another 125,000 foreigners graduate from our universities each year. If only 10% of them launched businesses under this program, we'd have 110,000 new jobs right off the bat. Immigrant founders would then have superstrong incentives to expand their businesses in the U.S. so they could stay here.”
As reported in the New York Times, the Obama Administration is facing new legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Courts. If a constitutional challenge to DOMA is successful, then it is likely that the Federal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman would not be upheld for persons with same sex marriages seeking immigration benefits.
The Senate failed to pass the Dream Act in the lame duck session of Congress 2010.We strongly encourage immigration reform advocates to rethink their positions on the Dream Act and other aspects of Immigration Reform. The Dream Act is just one component of a multitude of challenges which we confront as a nation when considering the controversial topic of immigration.
H-1 B and L-1 fee increases already in effect. A recent change in the Law increased fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitions. Effective August 2010 the fee for certain H-1b employers [hyperlink to H-1 b page] increase by $2000 and for certain L-1 employers [insert hyperlink to l-1 page] increased by $2250. With these new fees, employers filing an H-1b petition could pay as high as $5320 to USCIS for the Government fees alone. An intra- company transferee petition for an L-1 visa [insert hyperlink] could cost as much as $4070 in USCIS fees.
Immigration fees continue to increase. Effective November 23, 2010 filing fees for many petitions or applications filed with USCIS will increase. The fee increases will make cost of obtaining immigration benefits even more expensive at a time when the economy has impacted many persons who would be seeking to obtain temporary visas or permanent visas to immigrate to the United States.