Gorman Law Firm, PLLC

Delivering Your American Dream

DHS Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”)

Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) Release Date:  June 15, 2017 On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.  The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action.  To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria: (1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;    Official website of the Department of Homeland Security Contact Us Quick Links Site Map A­Z Index AILA Doc. No. 17061602. (Posted 6/16/17) 6/16/2017 Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) | Homeland Security https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/06/15/rescission­memorandum­providing­deferred­action­parents­americans­and­lawful 2/2 (2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010; (3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief; (4) have no lawful immigration status on that date; (5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and (6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.” Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place. The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years.  This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.  The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.  For more information, see our frequently asked questions (/news/2017/06/15/frequently-asked-questions-rescission-memorandumproviding-deferred-action-parents) .

 

VIA AILA

Bankruptcy: An Introduction

Bankruptcy seems like a scary concept. It certainly carries a heavy stigma within society. But is it the big, bad monster it seems? The answer may surprise you.

In the past, when a borrower could not pay his debts, he and his family had everything stripped away and could even be placed into servitude. As societies evolved, it became clear that placing people into slavery for their inability to pay would not inspire economic growth. What could a nation do to encourage people to continue participating in the economic market while dealing with unpaid debts? The United States found a unique answer… bankruptcy. 

Bankruptcy is a process by which individuals, families, and businesses can eliminate or repay some or all of their debts. This process is guided and protected by the federal bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy acts as a means for individuals and businesses to not only reduce or wipe out past debts, but also restructure their finances so that they can start again with a “clean slate”, all while making more financially sound decisions in the future. For this reason, bankruptcy is also known as “debt restructuring”. There are two basic types of bankruptcy: “liquidation” and “reorganization.” For individuals, “liquidation” is considered Chapter 7 Bankruptcy while “reorganization” is Chapter 13 (of Title 11 of the United States Code).  

Chapter 7 allows for individuals who qualify to discharge (eliminate) most of their debts. This is accomplished by liquidating non-exempt assets to settle current debts. The process is relatively straightforward. Essentially, each state has a list of items (e.g. a home, a car, most personal property) that are exempt from the bankruptcy process. When you file a petition for bankruptcy, you are appointed a bankruptcy trustee. This trustee will usually assist in the process of identifying exempt property and selling non-exempt property. The “liquidated” property proceeds will then be distributed to your creditors in exchange for wiping out most debts. It is important to note that some debts, most famously student loan debt, cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy. 

Chapter 13 operates as a repayment plan and financial reorganization. Debtors who file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 work with the bankruptcy court, advisors, financial counselors, and attorneys to develop a repayment plan, which is then filed with the court. The plan details every debt owed by the borrower, as well as financial income and property ownership. The essential idea is that instead of losing non-exempt property, you create a repayment plan to pay back debts based on your income that is sustainable and fair to all parties. 

Are you struggling with financial debt? Have you begun to fall behind on payments? Do you receive harassing phone calls all day and night? Have you received threating letters about foreclosure or other means of financial collection? There is a light at the end of the tunnel. After filing a bankruptcy petition, a bankruptcy court will issue an “automatic stay” which provides notice to all creditors you list on your petition and forces them to discontinue collection efforts while the court handles your matter. At the end of the bankruptcy process, creditors receive a letter that the matter is closed and you no longer have to pay your debts (if the debt was discharged). 

The American system of bankruptcy acts as a life preserver to those individuals and businesses that find themselves in financial troubles too deep to overcome alone. It allows a debtor to effectively remove or reduce their debts and “start over” financially. So the next time you hear the word “bankruptcy”, don’t cringe. Think to yourself, “Now that is an incredible and innovative American solution!”

If you are facing financial crisis, know that you don’t have to face it alone. Give us a call at (704) 537-1400 to set up a consultation to meet with our attorneys and discuss your options today!

Immigration and DWI/DUI

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and other traffic offenses have unique consequences for immigrants in the United States whether they have been lawfully admitted or not. While all crimes may be considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in removal proceedings, certain crimes carry more weight. Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) may render an alien inadmissible or deportable depending on their status. DWI offenses may also lead undocumented immigrants to receive higher priority for removal proceedings. 

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has defined crimes involving moral turpitude as conduct that is inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed other persons, either individually or to society in general. Crimes involving moral turpitude require an element of intent that is absent from ordinary DWI cases. Intent for CIMT must be at least recklessness (knowingly endangering another’s health or safety). However, the addition of an aggravating factor such as driving with a suspended license or with a child in the car or the commission of an additional crime such as using illegal drugs is usually enough to trigger a CIMT. (It should be noted that illegal use of a controlled substance is another, separate, ground for inadmissibility, see 8 USC 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) and 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)) 

Certain traffic convictions such as Driving While Intoxicated may also lead to higher priority by DHS with regards to apprehension, detention and removal of undocumented immigrants. Because of the high volume of undocumented immigrants in the United States, DHS has created a priority system designed to streamline removal and prioritize the removal of aliens that pose a “threat to national security, border security and public safety”. 

An offense classified as a felony in the convicting state may result in an undocumented alien becoming classified as Priority 1 for removal. In North Carolina, habitual DWI offenders or a DWI offender paired with other aggravating circumstances may be convicted of a felony. Further, Driving Under the Influence is considered a “significant misdemeanor” for purposes of Priority 2 removal. Other offenses resulting in a sentence of time in custody of ninety days or more (not a suspended sentence) may also be classified as “significant misdemeanors”.  Aliens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses, other than minor traffic offenses, if the offenses arise from separate incidents, may also find themselves classified as Priority 2. 

Unfortunately, some criminal attorneys do not realize that there are significant repercussions for immigrants with convictions and consequently push for standard plea agreements that result in a “conviction” by immigration standards. Criminal convictions have the potential to prevent admissibility to the United States and may even lead to removal proceedings and a ban on the ability to return to the U.S.  Because of the complex nexus between criminal conduct and immigration, it is important to find an attorney who is educated about the intricate laws of immigration to help guide you through the process after any charge, from minor to significant. The attorneys and staff at Gorman Law Firm, PLLC understand the intricacies of criminal convictions and immigration. We can help you find the best path to reduce the damage of convictions while protecting your rights and interests as a non-U.S. citizen.

Immigration and Divorce

Can divorce affect your immigration status? If your U.S. Visa was granted because of your spouse’s application, you may find yourself wondering what could happen if you and your spouse separate or get a divorce. The answer varies depending on how far along you are in the immigration process. 

Approved visa petition (USCIS Form I-130): Form I-130 is a form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident petitioning for a close relative (here, a spouse) who intends to immigrate to the U.S. Approval of the petition does not create status and if you divorce at this point in the process, you will not be able to proceed toward U.S. immigration. 

Conditional Residence: If you used your spouse’s status to gain immigration status to the U.S. within two years of your marriage, you are a conditional resident.  Conditional Residence is a two-year green card given to a spouse whose marriage is less than two years old. To become a permanent resident, you and your spouse will jointly file a Form I-751 within the final 90 days of your conditional residence green card. Form I-751 is a petition to remove conditions on residence. If you divorce after being granted conditional residence but before filing Form I-751 to remove conditions, you may be able to get a waiver of the other spouse’s signing requirement, but you will have to show that the marriage was bona fide (genuine).  This is to ensure that the marriage was in good faith and not entered for the sole purpose of fraudulently obtaining a green card. Proving that the marriage was not fraudulent can be a daunting task and you will likely need an attorney’s help the specific evidence you will need to get a waiver of the spouses signature. 

Approved Permanent Residence: If you already have a green card and are a permanent at the time of the divorce, the divorce should not affect your status.  However, divorce may change your approach to U.S. Citizenship.

U.S. Citizenship/Naturalization: Divorce may delay your naturalization. Naturalization is the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship. If a permanent resident is married to a U.S. citizen, he or she has a three-year residency requirement for U.S. citizenship as opposed to a five-year residency requirement. If you divorce before the three-year residency requirement is fulfilled, you will have to wait until you have been a permanent resident for five years to apply for U.S. citizenship. 

Marriage Fraud: An allegation of marriage fraud by the spouse can lead to criminal liability and deportation. If your spouse seeks to obtain an annulment by claiming the marriage was fraudulent, you must contest the annulment to avoid the serious consequences that may follow.

Immigration is a complex area of law. It is important to seek an attorney who understands the intricacies of immigration and can successfully integrate the details of immigration into other areas of the law, such as divorce. If you are an immigrant and are considering a divorce, speak with an attorney that can help you protect your status. At Gorman Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys and staff are equipped to guide you through the processes of divorce and immigration. Our firm offers legal services in Immigration, Civil, Family, Personal Injury, Traffic, Business and Criminal matters. Contact us today to set up a consultation!

North Carolina Traffic Citations- Why Fight It?

A common question asked to me during a consultation for a traffic citation is “Why should I pay you to go to court for me when I could just pay my fine and be done with it.” It’s a fair question, as some times, a fee for a North Carolina Traffic Citation is less than it would cost to hire an attorney to challenge the citation in court. However, besides the fee, a citation usually comes with additional consequences-which are not always apparent to the individual who receives it.  There are a couple of major reasons why hiring an attorney to represent on your traffic offense may be a wise choice:

1.      YOU MAY REDUCE THE RISK OF LICENSE REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION BY THE DMV

In North Carolina, traffic citations result in a certain amount of “DMV points “which attach to the offenders licenses. Different citations carry different points, depending on the severity of the office. For instance, the offense of driving without being licensed ( “NOL”)carries  3 DMV points, while driving too fast for conditions carries 2 points. These points are not just arbitrary. If a driver accumulates 12 or more points within a three year period, the DMV may suspend their license. A first time suspension may be up to 60 days, a second suspension will last up to six months, and subsequent suspensions could last up to a year.

Once a driver has had their license suspended, they can only accumulate 8 points on their license in three years before they face another suspension.

The following is of traffic offenses and corresponding DMV points(PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MAY NOT BE A COMPREHENSIVE LIST AND POINT VALUES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE):
  • Violation of restriction on driver's license - wearing glasses, etc. - 2 points
  • Violation concerning license  ( such as No Operator License)- 3 points
  • Failure to obey policeman or authorized person - 2 points
  • Failure to stop for a red light - 3 points
  • Failure to stop for a flashing red light - 3 points
  • Failure to yield half of roadway to oncoming vehicle - 3 points
  • Improper passing - overtaking vehicle on left - 3 points
  • Improper passing on the right - 3 points
  • Improper passing on the left - clear distance ahead - 3 points
  • Improper passing on a hill - 4 points
  • Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection - 3 points
  • Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel - 3 points
  • Improper passing in a non-passing zone - 3 points
  • Following too closely - 3 points
  • Failure to yield to driver on the right at intersection - 3 points
  • Failure to yield to oncoming driver when making left turn - 3 points
  • Failure to stop at stop sign - 3 points
  • Failure to yield at yield sign - 3 points
  • Failure to yield when entering or crossing roadway between intersections - 3 points
  • Improper turning around - illegal U-turns - 3 points
  • Failure to stop for flashing red lights or gate at railroad crossing - 3 points
  • Failure to stop when entering from alley, driveway or building - 3 points
  • Failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights and stop arm extended (60 day suspension) - 5 points
  • Driving too fast for conditions - 2 points
  • Exceeding maximum speed:
    •  6 to 10 - 2 points
    • 11 to 15 - 3 points
    •  16 t 25 - 4 points
    •  26 to 30 - 5 points
    •  31 and over - 5 points
  • Exceeding special speed limit in school zone - 3 points
  • Failure to yield to pedestrian in cross walk - 2 points
  • Improper backing - 3 points
  • Careless driving - 3 points
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage only - 4 points

As you can see, accumulating 12 points on your license is easier than you might have imagined. This is another reason why attempting to get your citation reduced to the smallest amount of points possible, or even dismissed all together, is oftentimes a wise idea. It is important to keep in mind that sometimes it is not possible to get your citation reduced or dismissed. If you are unsure or even just curious, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney about case.

2.      IT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN!

In North Carolina, in addition to DMV points, traffic offenses often carry insurance points. Insurance carriers may vary in their assignment of points for certain offenses, but generally, if the DMV has assigned points to your license, your insurance carrier will do the same. More points usually mean higher insurance rates. Insurance companies may add “surcharges” to your premium based on the amount of points that you receive. For example, the surcharges may follow a schedule such as the one below:

One point- 25%

Two- 45%

Three- 65%

Four- 90%

Five- 120%

Six- 150%

Seven- 180%

Eight- 220%

Nine- 260%

Ten- 300%

Eleven- 350%

Twelve- 400%

So, while it may be frustrating to pay an attorney to handle your ticket upfront, it could end up saving you money by preventing your insurance premiums from soaring.

If you are unsure about your traffic offense and what consequences it may carry, speak to an attorney about your case. We at Gorman Law Firm have experience and much success in achieving successful outcomes for our clients who face traffic charges. Call our office to schedule a consultation today! 

Domestic Violence- You Are Not Alone

From my experience speaking with victims domestic violence, a fear they seem to share is that they are utterly alone. There is no one else who understands what they are going through. What they don’t see is that this is so far from reality- According to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.

Many of these victims seek and are able to get the help they need. Many do not seek help, many do not receive it.

In 2013, there were 108 domestic violence-related homicides in North Carolina alone. (North Carolina Health News).  

What does “Domestic Violence” even mean? Under current North Carolina Law:

(a)        Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:

(1)        Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or

(2)        Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party's family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or

(3)        Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.

(b)        For purposes of this section, the term "personal relationship" means a relationship wherein the parties           involved:

(1)        Are current or former spouses;

(2)        Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;

(3)        Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;

(4)        Have a child in common;

(5)        Are current or former household members;

(6)        Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

READ THE ENTIRE STATUTE HERE

As you can see, domestic violence is not just physical violence- it can also include harassment which makes you fear for your safety. And notice that North Carolina recognizes that domestic violence does not just include violence between a husband and wife- a variety of other relationship types are protected under the statute such as persons of the opposite sex who are living together or have lived together.

Okay, so you’ve come to the realization that something needs to change. You know you need help but you don’t know where to start. Here are a few basic steps that you can take to help yourself if you believe you might be the victim of domestic violence.

1.      Start with SAFETY. If you are able, physically remove yourself from the environment where the violence occurs. Go and stay with a friend, family, hotel, or at a local shelter .  If you are not able to get yourself out of your environment safely- then it’s even more reason to try and get to the next step below.

2.      SEEK A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDER FROM YOUR LOCAL COURT. While each county varies slightly in the procedure in which to obtain one- all domestic violence protective orders are meant to do just that- protect. Protective orders, or “DVPO’s” are issued by a judge and limit the type of contact that the perpetrator of the domestic violence can have with you (if any at all) and any children and pets that are in the home or are a part of the family. If you are able, speak to an attorney who is knowledgeable about DVPO’s and the best way to obtain one in your county. An attorney can help guide you through the process as well as point you to resources for victims of domestic violence. Some counties even offer free legal services for those who cannot afford to hire attorney. 

3.      ATTEND THE FIRST HEARING. After you file your petition for a DVPO, whether on your own or with the help of an attorney, you will be given a hearing day and time. The hearing is usuallywithin 24-48 hours of filing the paperwork for the DVPO. Do not let fear keep you from attending this hearing. If you do not show up, the complaint will be dismissed. If you appear, the judge will hear from you or your attorney about the reasons you are seeking protection and make a decision as to whether to issue the DVPO. If he or she decides you have a qualifying case- then you will be issued a temporary protective order. Then the judge will assign you a hearing date approximately 10 days away. Your temporary protective order will be effective until that hearing date. During those 10 or so days, the defendant ( the perpetrator of the domestic violence) will have to be served with your request for a DVPO and a summons to appear in court on the date set by the Judge.

4.      ATTEND YOUR 2nd HEARING. If you do not show up for the second hearing, the Judge will dismiss your request for a DVPO. If you appear, then the judge will review your case based on the evidence that you or your attorney present, and decide whether your temporary DVPO should be made permanent. If the Judge decides that this is warranted, the DVPO will be effective for one year.  The Judge can order that the defendant stay away from you, your children, and even your pets- at home and at work. He can require that that defendant not have any firearms in his possession during this time as well.

5.      REPORT VIOLATIONS OF THE ORDER. If the defendant violates the order in anyway- whether by direct or indirect contact with you ( say he or she will not stop following you, or shows up at your residence), then youneed to 1. Call the Police, and 2. Contact your attorney if you have one, or 3. Consider hiring an attorney if you don’t have one already. The court does not monitor the compliance of each and every DVPO, so it is up to you to report violations.

If you are the victim of domestic violence- You cannot wait to get help. You do not deserve to live a life of fear, but rather, of freedom. If you are, or think you may be the victim of domestic violence- contact our firm. Our family attorneys have experience getting victims and their families the protection they need. 

Child Custody Agreements- Avoiding the Stress of the Courtroom

 

According to the U.S. Census, last year, approximately one million children were affected by custody issues. ( Parenthood.com) Child custody is undoubtedly one of the most contentious issues surrounding the breakup of a couple with children together- married or not, the couple must decide who, where, and how to continue to parent their children. And it’s almost never as simple as which parent’s home the child will stay and on which days. Separating parents face a myriad of questions when it comes to custody-  not only where will the child stay and when, but who will be in charge of taking them to activities? Who will pay medical costs? Can we go on trips without the other parents permission? Who can be around the child? How do we handle new spouses/partners relationships with the child?

It’s understandably overwhelming. And for many reasons, a courtroom isn’t necessarily the best place to get all of those questions answered.

Oftentimes, parents who are splitting up are willing and ready to decide custody matters amongst themselves- but want an extra layer of protection. That is where a Custody Consent Order comes in- and an experienced custody attorney.

A custody consent agreement allows parents to negotiate and agree amongst themselves the above questions, plus whatever other issues are important to them regarding their kids.

Do I need an attorney?

One or both parents usually hire an attorney to help them with the custody agreement. It’s a good idea to at the very least get the counsel of an attorney, because they are going to know what North Carolina allows as far as custody agreements, how the process works, and how to negotiate effectively to get a satisfactory final product.

What sorts of issues can be addressed?

North Carolina allows many issues surrounding custody to be decided via consent agreement. Some example include: which parent will have physical and legal custody, or- if both parents are to split custody- where the child will be on which days and who has decision making power for specific issues; whether child support will be paid to one parent and how much/often it will be paid; whether each parent may travel outside of the state or country with the child; who will be in charge of insurance coverage; who will be in charge of uninsured medical costs; who will decide what activities the child will participate in and who will pay for them….and many more.

What is the process?

The attorney will sit down with the parent that they are representing and go through all of the issues that the parents have concerns with and develop a proposed agreement based on that parents positions. Then, the attorney typically sends it to the other parent, or the other parents attorney to review and make counter proposals. The parents will go back and forth until both are happy with the agreement.  Sometimes, formal mediation is necessary to come to an agreement ( see previous post on Mediation) After both parties have agreed and signed, the consent gets submitted to the court for a judge’s signature. Once signed by the judge, the agreement is a court order ( as if the judge had said it themselves).  

If you think a Child Custody Agreement could be right for you or your case, or are just interested in learning more about the process OR just have questions about family law at all- Call Gorman Law Firm, and ask to speak to Emily Edwards!

CONTACT OUR FIRM

If you are currently facing a family law related issue, contact Gorman Law Firm, PLLC. Our office can be reached by phone at 800-583-6602 or by completing our online contact form. Our office is open normal business hours during the week, but we provide office hours on Saturday and are available around the clock through our website. We accept all major credit cards as payment and offer services in English, Spanish and Portuguese. OR check out our website: gormanlawpractice.com! 

 

Sources:

 “New Trends in Child Custody.” Parenthood.com , http://www.parenthood.com/article/new_trends_in_child_custody.html#.VaUfo_lVhBc

Understanding the H-1B Visa

Interested in hiring a foreign professional? Or maybe you are a foreign professional that a U.S. company wants to bring over to work. If either of these are the case, then the H-1B Visa may be right for you. Because there are very specific requirements for the H-1B, read on to make sure that you meet the basics before spending a lot of time and energy courting a relationship with a U.S. Company or foreign professional with any Visa intentions. It’s all about Relationships

The big requirement up front is that there must be a valid employer-employee relationship. In general terms, the U.S. Government wants to know if a U.S. company is actually going to put this foreign professional to work and pay him or her. In specific terms, the employer must (1) engage the employee to work; (2) have the ability to hire, pay, fire, supervise, and control the work performed; and of course, (3) the employer has to have an IRS ID number (“death and taxes,” even in immigration). This sounds really easy to meet, but the government kicks back applications all the time because the documentation was not put together in a manner that makes it painfully clear that the employer meets these three areas.

But what if I’m the only shareholder of my own U.S. company? Can I still get an H-1B? The unsatisfactory answer here is--maybe. Again, it all boils down to how strong a showing you can make that the company will have control over the work and the beneficiary (employee). In other words, if you can show that other authority structures (such as a board of directors) within the company would be controlling the terms and conditions of your work, then you might qualify.

That Special Someone

The next big hurdle is that the employee has to be special, and not just because his mother thinks so. The employee must have a bachelor’s degree or higher (Master’s degrees get extra-special treatment, but more on that some other time) in a specialty occupation. What does that mean? Well, if the position is one that could be done by anyone with any kind of bachelor’s degree, then it doesn’t really qualify. To help make determinations about whether a degree is required for a particular position, the government often refers to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), found here. While this is a significant source of information for making determinations, it is not the end all be all. As with the employer-employee relationship requirement, different pieces of documentation and information can be sewn together to demonstrate that a particular position requires particular education.

Can I qualify without a bachelor’s? Again, maybe. If you have a special certification or license that is relevant to the specialty occupation, or if you have the equivalent amount of education required by a U.S. bachelor’s or high degree, then you may qualify. The government even considers (generally) 3 years of work experience as being equivalent to 1 year of college.

How Much is Enough?

Finally, the last basic requirement is getting paid. The employer must pay the foreign professional the “actual or prevailing wage” for the occupation, whichever is higher. This is determined on a number of factors, including the kind of work, and even where the employee is located. In other words, the pay must match what other people are doing for that kind work, taking into consideration things like location and experience. For example, the prevailing wage for an advanced programmer may be very different in California’s Silicon Valley than it is in California’s Death Valley (if indeed there are any programmer’s in Death Valley).

An attorney can help you or your prospective employee navigate each of these areas to make sure that you are properly aligning yourself with the H-1B’s requirements. If you are an employer or employee interested in the H-1B visa process, contact our office for assistance.

The Importance of Hiring a Good Negotiator / La Importancia De Saber Negociar

 

By Autumn Byas, Gorman Law Firm Paralegal Intern.

When you think of qualities a good attorney will have, what do you think of?  Personally, I think of a good attorney as someone who will have the following qualities:

  • Professionalism
  • Good work ethics
  • Educated
  • A good negotiator

I am writing specifically about why attorneys need to be good negotiators in this blog.  This skill is one of the most essential qualities an attorney needs in order to be good at his or her job.  It is common to see majority of cases settled out of court.  According to some statistics about 95 percent of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement.  (Hirby, James “What Percentage of Lawsuits settle before trial? What are some statistics on personal injury settlements?” The Law Dictionary and Blacks Law Dictionary Free 2nd Ed.  3/13/2015.).  These staggering statistics means that, for majority of attorneys, their job is mainly composed of preparing and negotiating with the opposing side. http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-percentage-of-lawsuits-settle-before-trial-what-are-some-statistics-on-personal-injury-settlements/

However, to say that 95 percent of lawsuits are settled out of court it can be misleading.  “Casual conventional wisdom often has it that about 95 percent of cases settle. This may be an extrapolation from H. Laurence Ross’s finding that 95.8 percent of automobile accident insurance claims settled. However, 95 percent is an unrealistic settlement rate for disputes leading to case filings in the United States.” (Eisenberg, Theodore and Charlotte Lanvers. “What is the Settlement Rate and Why Should We Care?” Journal of Empirical Legal Sudies. 2009. VOL. 6 issue 1. Pages 111-146. Printed.). http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1202&context=facpub

Even though there may be disputes on the actual percentage of  cases that settle before going to trial, one thing is clear.  People involved in a litigation dispute should seek out help from an experienced attorney who is good at negotiating.  The Gorman Law Firm has experienced negotiators who will fight for their client’s rights.    “Settlement is not only the modal litigation outcome, it is also the most common successful outcome for plaintiffs, far exceeding the number of successes at trial.” (Eisenberg, Theodore and Charlotte Lanvers. “What is the Settlement Rate and Why Should We Care?” Journal of Empirical Legal Sudies. 2009. VOL. 6 issue 1. Pages 111-146. Printed.) http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1202&context=facpub

Because negotiating is such an important part of being an attorney it is important for attorneys to know what makes an good negotiator.  An article in The Young Lawyer entitled Secrets to Advanced Negotiating gives three suggestions to help attorneys become better negotiators:

  • “Stop acting like a show off." In other words you should be friendly. The person you are negotiating with now you might have to work with later on in your career as well.
  • "Shut up and listen." In other words you should listen more and talk less. (you get more information that way as well.)
  • "Just say yes.” In other words, while negotiating, you should focus more on where you agree and not on your differences.

(Black, Keith. (Winter 2015).  Secrets to Advanced Negotiating.  The Young Lawyers Division/American Bar Association.  Volume 19 issue 02.  Pages 10-11. )

According to the article, Secrets to Advanced Negotiating, “A successful negotiation should leave both sides feeling good (or at least not so bad, depending on the circumstances)."The article further advised to “treat every interaction with another attorney as if you were being interviewed for a job.”   (Black, Keith. (Winter 2015).  Secrets to Advanced Negotiating.  The Young Lawyers Division/American Bar Association.  Volume 19 issue 02.  Pages 10-11. ). You can use this advice with pretty much any job you have, or with any interaction with people.  It is impossible to get along with everyone you meet but if you treat individuals respectfully they are more inclined to listen and negotiate with you.

Who would you consider a great negotiator in history?  It can be beneficial to look at individuals in history who were able to get many people to listen to them.  By looking at how they treated people, and how they got people to listen to them, it can help you figure out how you need to talk to people to get them to negotiate in a fair and just way.  Some great negotiators in history have been Jesus Christ and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The following verse is an example of how Jesus was able to deal with difficult people trying to harm him.

Matthew 22:15-22 (NIV)

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

It is easy to see that Jesus was a good negotiator.  The individuals who initially meant to harm Jesus ended up leaving in amazement.  As Jesus walked to earth he listened to the people. Listening is an important part in negotiating.

Martin Luther King Jr. was another individual who was very good at speaking to individuals.  He got people to his side, his “dream”, just by being himself.  He used non violent forms of protest to help bring much needed change to the U.S.  He once stated "Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service".

A good negotiator should have experience in getting from point A to point B as well as having the ability to be able to see the different outcomes that could arise throughout the negotiations.  Good negotiators also have reputations for honesty, reasonableness, and reliability.  Having good communication with clients is important so that there are no surprises.  If you are in need of a good negotiator in a Family Law case then please check out the Gorman Law Firm website.  The attorneys at the Gorman Law Firm will handle your case professionally and help you through the entire process.  The Gorman Law Firm fights for their clients rights.

CONTACT OUR FIRM

If you are currently facing a family law related issue, contact Gorman Law Firm, PLLC. Our office can be reached by phone at 800-583-6602 or by completing our online contact form. Our office is open normal business hours during the week, but we provide office hours on Saturday and are available around the clock through our website. We accept all major credit cards as payment and offer services in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

 

A Look At Divorce

By Autumn Byas, Gorman Law Firm Paralegal Intern             Divorcing a spouse is one of the most stressful and tragic things that can happen to a family.  Whether it is only affecting the couple who once was in love, or a couple who has a child(ren), a divorce is an extremely stressful situation for anyone in the family to be in.  If you are seeking information about divorcing a spouse in North Carolina it is a good idea to start educating yourself on the laws surrounding divorce in our state.  They can be found here:  http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0050.  Chapter 50 of the North Carolina General Statutes outlines the laws surrounding a divorce proceeding, and also about custody and alimony matters.  The Chapter has 100 sections and is filled with a lot of information; therefore, it is wise to seek out help from an attorney who is experienced in divorce law.  Gorman Law Firm is experienced in handling these sensitive issues.

            Why do people get divorced?  There are numerous reasons as to why.   A blog posted by  Divorce Source News & Information entitled “Problems that can wreck a marriage” goes into some of these reasons. (Divorce Source Editorial Staff. “Problems that can wreck a marriage.” Web blog post. Divorce Source news and information. Divorce Source, Inc., 2 May. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.)  Marriage infidelity is one major cause of a broken marriage. Infidelity is defined as “1) Lack of belief in a religion 2) A: unfaithfulness to a moral obligation: disloyalty B: Marital unfaithfulness or an instance of it.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. March 2015).  A collaborative divorce coach, psychotherapist, author and parent, Micki McWade stated “marital infidelity is a symptom of underlying issues in the relationship.” Read the entire article at the following website:  http://www.divorcesource.com/blog/problems-that-can-wreck-a-marriage/  (Divorce Source Editorial Staff. “Problems that can wreck a marriage.” Web blog post. Divorce Source news and information. Divorce Source, Inc., 2 May. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.)

In the article, Problems that can wreck a marriage, McWade discusses four problems that can destroy a marriage:

 “Partners cease to be partners: The marital dynamic withers when one partner becomes the parent of the other who is “immature, irresponsible, untrustworthy or selfish.” The parent partner tires of this routine, sexual attraction fades, and in time he or she detaches from the marriage. “Once the emotional break has happened, marriage counseling is far less effective. It takes two to keep a marriage alive. A marriage counselor can’t manufacture connection. We can enhance it, but we can’t create it.”

 Failure to resolve problems: Resentment builds and erodes a marriage when spouses bicker and needle one another because they cannot resolve difficulties to each other’s mutual satisfaction. In a marriage, discussion and compromise that solves a problem is “much more important than being right.”

 Narcissism: Excessive self-love can choke a marriage because in time   one or both partners cannot empathize with and support the other. For example, if one spouse carries the financial weight and the other nurtures the children at home, each may not understand the other’s contribution. Both think the other has it easier, and neither feels understood. In time this regime feeds on itself and kills intimacy.

 Addiction: Marriage to an addict challenges and overwhelms even the most devoted partner. The addict appears functional outside the home but privately, he or she becomes a slave to alcohol or drugs which only serves to intensify the demand for them.  For the addict, the focus of life becomes their drug of choice – rather than on the marriage and family. Alcoholism has been called “narcissism in a bottle.” The partner becomes angry and embarrassed and though he or she often tries to keep it together for a while, and even a long time if there are children, eventually, when there’s no recovery, the addict’s partner will ultimately give up. Once that happens, there is little chance to save the marriage. It’s like trying to revive the dead.” (Divorce Source Editorial Staff. “Problems that can wreck a marriage.” Web blog post. Divorce Source news and information. Divorce Source, Inc., 2 May. 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.)

 Seeking help from a professional is important if it has come to the point where there is no spark and no willingness to work things out.  If possible, a marriage that can be saved should be saved.  “Marriage should be honored by all”  (New International Version Hebrews 13:4)  A marriage is a very important contract you make with another individual; however, if it cannot be saved the Gorman Law Firm can help make the process as painless as possible.  In North Carolina, you must be separated from your spouse for at least a year before you can file for absolute divorce (see chapter 50 in the North Carolina General Statutes).

            Children of a divorcing or separating couple should be especially thought of during this difficult time.  When parents separate their child(ren) are divided into two new separate families for the rest of their lives.  If parents cannot come to an agreement on custody arrangements then a judge will have to determine what is best for the child(ren).  In North Carolina, judges may review a number of factors before determining the best custody arrangement for the child if parents cannot agree.  Some of the issues a North Carolina Judge may consider include the following:

 

  • “the child's wishes or preferences provided that he or she is mature enough to make such claims;
  • the child's safety, education plan, religious training, and other needs and the parents' ability to provide such needs;
  • the child's relationship with his/her parents, siblings, and other family members;
  • the nature of the relationship between the parents;
  • the parents' work schedules, availability, distance, parenting skills, and financial capability;
  • any history of domestic violence, child abuse, negligence, or substance abuse;
  • the safety of the other parent in situations involving domestic violence;
  • the mental or physical health of the parties involved in the proceedings.”

(North Carolina Child Custody. “Child Custody in North Carolina.” Web blog post. Divorce Source news and information. Divorce Source, Inc., Web. 6 Mar. 2015.)

The Web site this information can be found at is:

 (http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/northcarolina/north-carolina-child-custody-4985.shtml)

If you are thinking about getting a divorce and there are child(ren) involved then contact someone who is experienced in custody matters.  What is more important the wellbeing of a child that you brought into this world?  Gorman Law Firm is experienced in custody matters.  You can find their contact information at: http://www.gormanlawpractice.com/Contact.shtml.

A child can be emotionally scarred from a parents’ divorce.  The February 2015 issue of the American Bar Association Journal article entitled “Soothing the Split” highlighted numerous studies which showed children whose parents divorce may be affected in the following ways:  They are less likely to graduate from high school, twice as likely to be prescribed Ritalin, and they are more likely to smoke, and they’re more likely to end up divorced themselves.  Because of a child’s emotional turmoil during a divorce, parents must be understanding and aware of their child’s needs. (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

A 2013 study done in Greece evaluated children who came from a home with both parents and children who came from a home with a single parent.  According to the findings of this research, the children who came from a single parent family appeared to have significantly more behavioral problems than children who still lived with both parents.  (Babalis, Thomas, Konstantina Tsoli, Vassilis Nikolopoulos, and Panagiotis Maniatis. "The Effect of Divorce on School Performance and Behavior in Preschool Chrildren in Greece: An Empirical Study of Teachers' Views." Psychology 5.1 (2014): 20-26. Print.)

Alternative ways of resolving disputes in a divorce or separating proceeding have been created.  In the above mentioned ABA Journal article, “Soothing the Split”, the author points out how some people in Denver Colorado saw the need of an alternative way of resolving difficult issues in a divorce or separation.  (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.).  These individuals created a program called “Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families.” The creators of this program saw it could be more beneficial resolving issues outside of a court setting than going to a court house.  The article also points out how difficult a divorce can be on the entire family, and how the court system can be intimidating. .  (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

The University of Denver launched the program, Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families, in 2013.  This program is a multidisciplinary, nonadversarial pilot program that allows divorcing and separating families to receive counseling on the legal and psychological aspects of dissolution by interns from the school’s graduate psychology and social work programs, along with its law school.  This program helps family’s deal with a divorce in an open and non intimidating setting.  Once a family is admitted into the program there are support groups available for everyone.   The support groups are segregated by gender and age, with men’s and women’s adult groups and three age levels of children’s groups. (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

 

The Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families program started with 100 families in its first year and another 100 in the 2014-15 academic year.  When a couple separates or divorces it affects not only them but the child(ren) they had during the marriage; therefore,  the counseling this program offers for the entire family is beneficial.  In my opinion, I believe programs that are geared towards helping the whole family get through a separation or divorce would ultimately have its advantages in the long run.  A couple may even find that their marriage can be saved through counseling, or programs like this.  A couple who is accepted into this program may be asked to go to a counseling session in order to keep the process as amicable as possible.  The founders of this program are looking to replicate it at universities and in communities nationwide. (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

 

Robert Hyatt is a volunteer for the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families in Denver.   Mr. Hyatt is a former chief judge of the Denver District court and has seen how the court system affects everyone involved in a separation. Mr. Hyatt stated “Here’s what doesn’t work in the family law court…. When people go to court and judges take the bench, it’s litigation with all the acrimony and anger that accompanies litigation.  I asked myself over the course of years:  Is this really the right venue for the bulk of people getting a divorce who just need a plan to co-parent their kids?” (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

 

The Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families in Denver has its fans and its critics. The program has been beneficial for many families taking advantage of it.  Jonathan Terbush, a participant in this program, estimates that he and his now ex-wife paid around $700.00 for all the center’s services.  Dr. Steven Singer, another participant, stated in the article that he and his ex-wife spent less than $3000.00.  Both those participants in the program had a good experience and when you consider how expensive court costs and attorney fees can be this was a great way to keep the costs down.  The program also gives counseling options for divorcing couples, and their child(ren), as well as support groups they can join. This is a great resource for divorcing couples in Denver Colorado. (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 101.2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

 

Some of the criticisms of the program are:

 

  1. Support groups didn’t always have enough participants to provide maximum benefit to families.
  2. Some of the mental health students were too inexperienced to be of much help.
  3. Concerns about domestic violence victims getting intothe program inadvertently and becoming
  4. Participants not knowing their legal rights.

 

In the article it points out things that challenge these criticisms:

 

  1. More families are participating in theprogram and the support groups now that more people know about it.
  2. Participants have an understanding that the students working with them arenot graduated professionals yet.
  3. There is a good screening process to make sure only eligible participants are accepted into the program.
  4. Today more people are representing themselves in family law cases. (Filisko, G.M. "Soothing the Split." ABA Journal 2 (2015): 48-55. Print.)

 

North Carolina may not have this specific program in the area for people who are divorcing or separating but it never hurts to get a consultation from a legal professional, such as an experienced attorney at the Gorman Law Firm.

 

The Gorman Law Firm, located in Charlotte NC, recognizes the importance of family.  The family law team is headed by licensed North Carolina Attorney Emily Edwards.  Emily is “dedicated to serving the needs of Charlotte and surrounding communities with a holistic approach to family related issues. The Gorman Law Firm strives to provide empathetic, efficient, zealous, and cost effective representation regarding: 

  • Divorce and Separation Agreements
  • Child Custody Agreements and Modifications
  • Child Support
  • Termination of Parental Rights
  • Temporary and Permanent Spousal Support
  • Property Division
  • Guardianship
  • Domestic Violence Protective Orders
  • Adoption (COMING SOON!)”

 If you are looking for guidance from an experienced attorney regarding Family Law call Emily Edwards for a consultation.

http://www.gormanlawpractice.com/Practice-Areas/Family-Law.shtml

Divorce and Custody Resources:

Child Custody Issues:

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/northcarolina/an-in-depth-discussion-of-child-custody-3134.shtml

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/northcarolina/quick-facts-on-child-custody-3135.shtml

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/northcarolina/north-carolina-child-custody-4985.shtml

 

Statute:

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0050

 Alimony:

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/northcarolina/north-carolina-alimony-4845.shtml

 

Divorce rates:

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/main/u-s-divorce-rates-and-statistics-1037.shtml

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/02/divorce-rate-declining- n 6256956.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/upshot/the-divorce-surge-is-over-but-the-myth-lives-on.html?r=1&abt=0002&abg=1

 Marriage:

http://www.divorcesource.com/blog/problems-that-can-wreck-a-marriage/

 

CONTACT OUR FIRM

If you are currently facing a family law related issue, contact Gorman Law Firm, PLLC. Our office can be reached by phone at 800-583-6602 or by completing our online contact form. Our office is open normal business hours during the week, but we provide office hours on Saturday and are available around the clock through our website. We accept all major credit cards as payment and offer services in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Freedom From Fear

After living in the United States illegally for so many years, a cautious life becomes a normal life. It becomes normal to stay in the same job for as long as you can keep it, no matter what the conditions are, because the risk of finding another job without a Social Security card or with a fake number is too high. It becomes normal to drive only when necessary because one traffic stop, one wrong answer to a police officer, could destroy the life you created here. However, President Obama has recognized that this sense of normalcy is false, unfair, and goes against the ideals this country was founded on. On November 20, 2014, President Obama’s Executive Order considered three important aspects of immigration in the United States. First, he has affirmed that additional resources for law enforcement personnel will be provided at the boarder. Second, it will be easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to the United States economy. Third, and most importantly, the United States will take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country. The goal of the order is to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to national security. “To focus on felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids.”

To be clear, the executive order does not grant citizenship or permanent residency; it does not apply to anyone who has come into this country illegally recently; and it does not apply to anyone who might come to American illegally in the future. It is a temporary excuse from deportation and gives the people an opportunity to get their immigration status corrected. There are five different categories that people must fall into in order for the Executive Order to apply to them:

1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
Who •    Current DACA recipients seeking renewal and new applicants, including individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, who meet all other DACA guidelines.
What •    Allows individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA (removing the upper age restriction) provided they meet all other guidelines.

•    Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007.

•    Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from the current two years.

When •    Approximately 90 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.
How •    Go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page for instructions which will be updated over the next several months. Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.
2. Deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents
Who •    An undocumented individual living in the United States who, on the date of the announcement, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and who meets the guidelines listed below.
What •    Allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:

•                      Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010;

•                      Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and

•                      Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.

Notes: USCIS will consider each request for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include (but are not limited to) national security and public safety threats.

When •    Approximately 180 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.
How •    Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.
3. Provisional waivers of unlawful presence
Who •    Undocumented individuals who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are:

◦                      The sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

◦                      The spouse and sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents.

What •    Expands the provisional waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.

•    Clarifies the meaning of the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain a waiver.

When •    Upon issuing of new guidelines and regulations.
How •    Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.
4. Modernize, improve and clarify immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs
Who •    U.S. businesses, foreign investors, researchers, inventors and skilled foreign workers.
What USCIS will:

•    Work with the Department of State to develop a method to allocate immigrant visas to ensure that all immigrant visas authorized by Congress are issued to eligible individuals when there is sufficient demand for such visas.

•    Work with the Department of State to modify the Visa Bulletin system to more simply and reliably make determinations of visa availability.

•    Provide clarity on adjustment portability to remove unnecessary restrictions on natural career progression and general job mobility to provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.

•    Clarify the standard by which a national interest waiver may be granted to foreign inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises to benefit the U.S economy.

•    Authorize parole, on a case-by-case basis, to eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who:

◦                      Have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing; or

◦                      Otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

•    Finalize a rule to provide work authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B visa holders who are on the path to lawful permanent resident status.

•    Work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop regulations for notice and comment to expand and extend the use of optional practical training (OPT) for foreign students, consistent with existing law.

•    Provide clear, consolidated guidance on the meaning of “specialized knowledge” to bring greater clarity and integrity to the L-1B program, improve consistency in adjudications, and enhance companies’ confidence in the program.

When •    Upon issuing necessary guidance and regulations.
How •    Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.
5. Promote the naturalization process
Who •    Lawful permanent residents eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship
What •    Promote citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents.

•    Allow naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.

•    Assess potential for partial fee waivers in the next biennial fee study.

•                Notes: Go to the U.S. Citizenship page to learn about the naturalization process and visit the Citizenship Resource Center to find naturalization test preparation resources. You can also visit the N-400, Application for Naturalization, page.

When •    During 2015
How •    Subscribe to this page to receive updates by email.

Information from: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction

All who fall into the above categories must be in good standing with the law and must not have a criminal record or ties to terrorism. Additionally, they will not have access to social welfare or any other form of government assistance. Thus, if you register, you must pass a criminal background check and must be willing to pay your fair share of taxes in order “to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation.”

We the [Illegal Immigrants] of the United States: Constitutional Rights Extended to Illegal Immigrants

Under the United States Constitution, “We the People of the United States” have been conferred fundamental, unalienable rights. Some people believe that “we the people” only refers to legal citizens of the United States; however, the Supreme Court has consistently disagreed. Although the term “illegal immigrant” does not appear in the Constitution, some of its rights and freedoms apply to illegal immigrants even though they are strictly prohibited from voting and possessing a firearm. The Supreme Court has rejected the argument that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is limited to U.S. citizens. The Court concluded that “an alien, who has entered the country, and has become subject in all respects to its jurisdiction, and a part of its population, although alleged to be illegally here” is entitled to equal protection of the laws. Yick Wo. V. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886). Thus, regardless of the citizenship status of an immigrant and whether or not they are lawfully present in the United States, they are entitled to equal protection under the laws of the United States.

Moreover, the Court has settled that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments apply to all people, including illegal immigrants. The Court stated, “ . . . it must be concluded that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection guaranteed by those amendments, and that even aliens shall not be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Wong Wing v. United States, 163 U.S. 228 (1896). Therefore, regardless of an individual’s immigration status, every person is entitled to due process under the law. Generally, due process means: (1) notice to the person to fully inform the individual of the decision or activity that will have an effect on their rights, and (2) the right to be heard (a trial or hearing). Further, equal protection extends First Amendment protection to everyone covered by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Under the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law [establishing religion] or prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]; or abridging the freedom of speech.”

Equal protection of the laws was further noted and recognized in terms of public education. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (2005) (the Court struck down a Texas law prohibiting enrollment of illegal aliens in public school). The Supreme Court determined that denial of a public education to illegal immigrants frustrated the purpose and goals of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The Court stated:

The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.’ Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is a ‘person’ in any ordinary sense of that term . . . The undocumented status of [the] children [or documented status of the children] does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying them benefits that the State affords other residents.

The Court concluded that the only way a state may deny illegal immigrants, like the undocumented school-aged children, the free public education it offers to other children residing within the state, is if denial is justified by showing that it furthers some substantial state interest.

"Rocket Docket" for Undocumented Minors

As an influx of undocumented immigrant children enters the U.S., the city of Baltimore is in the spotlight.  Attention on Baltimore results from the way in which they are approaching unaccompanied-minor cases. The city is expediting these cases so rapidly, the approach has garnered the name “Rocket Docket.”  This removal style was applied in response to President Obama’s directive to fast-track these cases. As a result, these minors have roughly 21 days to retain an attorney, which directly relates to an individual’s success in avoiding deportation. According to  the Transnational Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), 47.5 percent of undocumented minors with legal counsel are granted the right to stay in the United States at their removal hearing whereas nine out of 10 children without an attorney are deported.  However, there is no indication from this study how many children out of 10 appear for their hearing if they do not retain an attorney.  A failure to appear for removal proceedings results in an automatic removal “in absentia.”  Despite that unknown statistic, it is important to note that if these undocumented immigrant children do indeed retain an attorney, they are almost certain to appear for their hearing.  It is likely that a “Rocket docket” style removal program is actually reducing the amount of unaccompanied children that end up appearing for their hearings because they have not been afforded time to find an attorney and an opportunity to understand both the legal implications of their entry and legal protections available to them.

When weighing public support of this tactic directed by the president, roughly half of Americans support the speeding up of removal in these types of cases, 47% Democrats support while 60% of Republicans support the measures.  It is unlikely, however, that both party members in support of this rapid process have taken into account that “Rocket Docket” removal actually discourages minors from appearing for their cases altogether, a situation that does not seem to solve any problems that the rocket docket style attempts to address.  This style of removal serves no purpose but to appear as if the influx problem is being dealt with, but in reality the problem is being swept under the rug.

Expedited Removal for Unaccompanied Children

Yesterday, President Obama addressed two immigration issues plaguing the nation.  First, to address the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing Central American countries, President Obama requested that Congress give him more authority to send these children back to their home countries under the Nation’s expedited removal program.  Ordinarily, expedited removal is reserved for “arriving aliens” (people who are attempting to enter the United States at a border or other lawful entry point and people who recently entered the United States unlawfully). They may be placed into expedited removal proceedings, but before issuing an expedited removal order, an immigration officer must determine that the person is inadmissible to the United States because he or she either:

  • lied or misrepresented a material fact, including falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, in obtaining U.S. entry documents or admission, or
  • does not have a valid entry document (such as a visa or border crosser card) or travel document (such as a passport).

While many people are inadmissible for one of these reasons, most of them will not be subject to expedited removal.  Furthermore, if persons subject to expedited removal seek asylum, they are put in front of a judge and the credibility of fear in returning to their home country is evaluated.  While President Obama’s request to extend expedited removal to children who live in these dangerous countries comes as a shock to immigration specialists and advocates as it conflicts with the fundamental humanitarian principles of both the United States and the United Nations as a whole, it is quite likely that most will seek asylum, making the expedited removal request an empty one due to the mandatory procedures discussed above.

In addition to his Congressional request, President Obama scolded his colleagues regarding their decision not to seek immigration reform this year.  The president, who made immigration reform his flagship issue in his second term, thought that Republicans would comply with his demands in hopes of securing Latino votes in the upcoming election.  However, House Republicans say that President Obama made negotiating nearly impossible due to his executive actions and his inflammatory rhetoric.  House Speaker Boehner describes their decision not to go forward with an immigration bill as a natural reaction to the Obama administration’s decision not to enforce the laws as they currently stand.  Speaker Boehner says that the House refuses to negotiate with an administration that has no respect for the rule of law.  Displeased with Speaker Boehner’s decision and to further express his frustrations, President Obama reiterated the intent to use any executive branch powers he has left to change the immigration legal landscape.

Some say that he will look to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to an even broader group.  Currently, the program has given a two-year deferment of any action in the realm of immigration to those who do not have status, are pursuing education, and have been continuously present since June 2007, among other requirements.  However, that very act, while an unreliable promise of action yet to come, it deprives those who have legal avenues available from being able to pursue them.  Current law provides ways in which deportation proceedings do not necessarily lead to deportation and give individuals an opportunity to pursue benefits made available by law.  But because President Obama has all but stopped issuing Notices to Appear to those without criminal convictions, those law-abiding individuals are stranded here without any legal remedy.  Congress has sought to address each individual with an individual proceeding.  It is clearly not a perfect program, but until Congress can alter the law to better address current issues that plague the system in a thoughtful and bipartisan manner, the fragmented, temporary program that President Obama is continuing to offer these desperate individuals is unjust to its recipients and constitutionally inappropriate.

Controversy Over Donor's Rights to Parent Reported By New York Times

"Does ‘Sperm Donor’ Mean ‘Dad’?

By BROOKS BARNES- NEW YORK TIMES 

MAY 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES — He is a movie star who shot to fame on a motorcycle in “The Lost Boys.” She is a California massage therapist from a prominent East Coast family. Four years ago, with his sperm, her eggs and the wonder of in vitro fertilization, they produced a child.

From there, the tale gets very, very messy.

For the last two years, Jason Patric and Danielle Schreiber have been waging what has become one of the highest-profile custody fights in the country — one that scrambles a gender stereotype, raises the question of who should be considered a legal parent and challenges state laws that try to bring order to the Wild West of nonanonymous sperm donations.

Played out on cable news, dueling “Today” show appearances, YouTube videos and radio call-in talk shows, this rancorous dispute, which heads back into a California courtroom next Thursday, serves as cautionary tale for any man considering donating sperm to a friend and any woman considering accepting it from one, experts say.

 “The resonance here is enormous because of the increasing number of families being formed today outside of traditional marriage,” said Naomi R. Cahn, a family law professor at George Washington University and the author of “Test Tube Families.” “Single heterosexual women, lesbian couples, men who donate sperm expecting to be part of a child’s life — they had better be paying attention.”

Is this a case about a desperate dad who is being maliciously prevented from seeing his son, as Mr. Patric insists? Or is it about a woman’s right to choose to be a single mother and have that choice protected from interference, as Ms. Schreiber’s lawyers assert? Is it both?

And exactly how did these two end up as the public faces of a complicated debate that exposes America’s increasingly fuzzy definition of what constitutes a family?

Mr. Patric, 47, the grandson of Jackie Gleason and the son of the playwright Jason Miller, was once one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars. His brooding good looks helped land him coveted roles in films like “After Dark, My Sweet” and “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” as well as romantic partners like Robin Wright, Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts, who famously jetted off to Ireland with him a few days after breaking off her engagement to Kiefer Sutherland, a friend of them both.

His film career cooled in part because he started to demand higher-quality scripts and turned down parts in big commercial movies. (He also developed a taboo-breaking habit of publicly criticizing the Hollywood machine, producers say.) His last movie, “The Outsider,” had a brief theatrical release before going straight to DVD; his two films before that took in less than $30,000 combined at the United States box office. But a Broadway appearance in 2011, in a revival of his father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “That Championship Season” (performing along with, coincidentally, Mr. Sutherland), was a reminder to many of his formidable acting talent.

Ms. Schreiber, 41, is the daughter of James Schreiber, a well-known Greenwich, Conn., lawyer and investor, and a sister of Zachary Schreiber, the chief executive of PointState Capital, a $5 billion hedge fund. Ms. Schreiber, an American civilization graduate of Brown University who runs a Rolfing massage practice in Los Angeles, met Mr. Patric in 2002 when he went to her as a massage client and the two became a couple, dating off and on for a decade.

She had long wanted to be a mother, according to a family member. But pregnancy attempts with Mr. Patric did not go well. “I even had a surgery to increase our chances,” he said in an interview last week.

They decided in 2009 (at a time when they were not romantically involved but still friendly) to pursue artificial insemination. Ms. Schreiber, who declined an interview request for this article, was keenly familiar with fertility options: Her mother, Linda, had becomea bit of a celebrity in her own right in the 1970s after a regimen of the pregnancy drug Pergonal resulted in quadruplets. (Ms. Schreiber is one of them.)

Along came Gus, named after Ms. Schreiber’s paternal grandfather. The boy’s middle name is Theodore, a nod to Mr. Patric’s family heritage.

The baby eventually helped rekindle a romance between Ms. Schreiber and Mr. Patric, although they never formally moved in together. For the next two years, Mr. Patric said that he played a parental role (“I took him to get circumcised when he was 8 days old”) and that Gus, now 4, referred to him as “Dada” in videos and messages. “Thank you for teaching me to pee in the toilet, watch airplanes, learn Beatles songs. I love you Dada, Gus,” read a card that was written by Ms. Schreiber, given to Mr. Patric and later presented as evidence in court. (A lawyer for Ms. Schreiber contended that Mr. Patric did not attend the circumcision, but did provide a ride because she could not drive after a cesarean section.)

Then, in June 2012, the couple broke up for good. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Patric filed a paternity suit for shared custody. According to both sides, there was legal mediation, during which time Gus continued to see Mr. Patric.

But then, according to court filings, Ms. Schreiber abruptly started to withhold visits. Ms. Schreiber’s lawyer, Fred Heather, said his client saw Mr. Patric as increasingly threatening and hostile. “She was fearful for herself as well as for Gus,” Mr. Heather said — allegations that Ms. Schreiber made in her court case. (She filed for a restraining order, which was granted and is still in effect.) Mr. Patric vigorously disputed that claim, maintaining that Ms. Schreiber’s shift was a legal maneuver, a result of stumbling across a loophole in state sperm-donor laws.

California, like many states, according to Professor Cahn, has conflicting statutes. One provides that any man can establish parentage if he “receives the child into his home and openly holds the child out as his natural child.” But another statute holds that a man who provides his sperm to a doctor for the purpose of inseminating an unmarried friend is “treated as if he were not the natural father” — unless there is a specific written agreement ahead of conception.

Mr. Patric and Ms. Schreiber had no such agreement. And her lawyers say there was nothing cavalier or last minute about it: “Danielle knew about the law before she chose to proceed with a known sperm donation,” Mr. Heather said. “She made a carefully considered judgment.”

Mr. Patric took her to court, holding up “intended parent” forms he signed at the sperm-donor clinic. Ms. Schreiber stood her ground, noting that Mr. Patric had asked that his name not be on the birth certificate. (“It would have thrust Gus into the limelight, and I wanted to protect him,” Mr. Patric said.) As for Gus calling Mr. Patric “Dada,” her lawyers say it doesn’t matter: Ms. Schreiber never intended to keep Mr. Patric’s identity a secret from Gus, but she did intend to prevent Mr. Patric from having any parental rights. (“The lies are stunning,” Mr. Patric said.)

Ms. Schreiber won. A Los Angeles appellate court is scheduled to begin hearing Mr. Patric’s appeal next week.

“The trial court erred in several regards,” said Fred Silberberg, Mr. Patric’s lawyer. “There is a substantial amount of evidence where she indicated him to be the father. She shouldn’t be able to say, ‘Oh, wait, that no longer counts.’ ”

In part because sperm donation is such a secretive trade, there are no reliable statistics on how many men donate to people they know. But anonymous donors represent the vast majority of the more than 30,000 estimated births that result from donated sperm each year. California Cryobank, the nation’s largest sperm bank, said it administers less than 10 samples a month out of more than 2,000 total where the father is known.

But more men and women are choosing a nonanonymous route, experts say, prompted by societal shifts and concerns about the health histories of anonymous donors.

Donation laws, some passed before the widespread use of in vitro fertilization, have increasingly drawn scrutiny. In January, because of a twist in the law, a Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple he met on Craigslist was ordered to pay child support even though he signed documents waiving parental rights.

California lawmakers last summer considered legislation that was positioned as an attempt to clarify that state’s donor laws. (That bill was ultimately put on ice pending Mr. Patric’s appeal.) A separate bill is now working its way through the California Legislature; it would put into effect standardized donor forms “to reduce subsequent legal confusion involving donors and parents.”

But Mr. Patric maintains that his case as a matter of moral principle has nothing to do with sperm donation. Rather, he sees the case as a matter of “parental alienation,” or when one parent refuses to allow the other to see the child. “This is child abuse,” he said. “When a parent is shut out, the only information is a skewed, perverted narrative — that mommy or daddy doesn’t love you.”

He added: “It’s so emasculating, so totally devastating. He lives 10 minutes away from me, and I haven’t been able to see him in 63 weeks. Do you know how heart wrenching that is?”

Last October, Mr. Patric created Stand Up for Gus, a foundation that has raised more than $200,000, according to a spokeswoman, Mia Rose Wong. Ms. Wong said the money will be funneled to law offices willing to provide pro bono services to low-income clients in similar family-law situations. On April 25, Mr. Patric announced a $100,000 pledge to Levitt Quinn Family Law Center in Los Angeles.

Celebrity supporters have included Mel Gibson, Jon Hamm, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chelsea Handler, Mr. Sutherland, Nikki Reed, Chris Noth, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock and Mark Wahlberg.

Ms. Schreiber has tried to block Mr. Patric from using their son’s name on Twitter, Facebook and at fund-raising events in relation to Stand Up for Gus. She has been losing that fight. Last week, a Los Angeles judge denied a restraining order request on the ground that it would violate the actor’s First Amendment rights. (Her lawyer, Mr. Heather, said she does not plan to drop this element of the fight, perhaps pursuing a deceptive fund-raising case.)

Throughout his career, Mr. Patric has been a reluctant celebrity, courting the spotlight only as a publicity tool for his films. So why has he gone so public in this instance, appearing on talk shows like “Katie” and news programs like “20/20” to publicize parental alienation?

“I want to leave a huge trail so Gus will someday know how hard I fought for him,” he said.

But what will Gus someday think of Mr. Patric’s decision to speak abr"asively about Ms. Schreiber? “I don’t say negative things about her,” Mr. Patric said. “I’m not in a public spat with her.”       "

CONTACT OUR FIRM

If you are currently facing a family law related issue, contact Gorman Law Firm, PLLC. Our office can be reached by phone at 800-583-6602 or by completing our online contact form. Our office is open normal business hours during the week, but we provide office hours on Saturday and are available around the clock through our website. We accept all major credit cards as payment and offer services in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

DHS announces renewal process for DACA

As of Thursday morning, the Department of Homeland Security began accepting renewal applications for approved DACA applicants (deferred action for childhood arrivals).  The earliest expiration of DACA is in September 2014, but Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the process to renew enrollment will begin today.  The Department of Homeland Security will begin adjudicating renewal requests immediately, and although application for renewal is now available, USCIS will continue to accept requests for DACA applicants who have not previously sought access to the program as well. As stated on the Department of Homeland Security website, “DACA is a discretionary determination to defer removal action against an individual. Individuals in DACA will be able to remain in the United States and apply for employment authorization for a period of two years. Individuals who have not requested DACA previously, but meet the criteria established, may also request deferral for the first time. It is important to note that individuals who have not continuously resided in the United States since June 15th 2007 are ineligible for DACA.”

Requirements for a DACA renewal

DACA recipients must continue to meet the initial criteria and these additional guidelines:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Please call Gorman Law Firm with your DACA questions at 800-583-6602.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DHS anuncia proceso de renovación de DACA

A partir de la mañana de este Jueves, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en Inglés) comenzó a aceptar solicitudes de renovación por parte de beneficiarios del programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals o DACA, por sus siglas en Inglés).  La fecha de vencimiento más próxima en casos de DACA es Septiembre del 2014; sin embargo, el Secretario Jeh Johnson anunció que el proceso de renovaciones ya comenzó, y que el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional comenzará a conceder peticiones de renovación inmediatamente. Aún y cuando las aplicaciones de renovación ya están disponibles, USCIS continuará aceptando, además, peticiones por parte de individuos que previamente no habían procurado acceso al programa DACA.

 

Tal y como fue expresado en el sitio de Internet del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional, “DACA es una vía discrecional de diferir acciones que forzarían la salida de un individuo. Bajo DACA, individuos contarán con la posibilidad de permanecer en los Estados Unidos y solicitar autorización de empleo por un período de dos años. Individuos que no han solicitado DACA previamente, pero que reúnen los criterios establecidos, también pueden solicitar acción diferida por primera vez. Es importante destacar que aquellos individuos que no han residido de manera continua en los Estados Unidos desde Junio 15, 2007 resultan inelegibles para DACA.”

 

Requisitos para Renovación de Acción Diferida DACA

Recipientes de DACA deben continuar cumpliendo con los criterios iniciales y los siguientes lineamientos adicionales:

  • No haber salido de los Estados Unidos en o luego de Agosto 15 del 2012, sin permiso;
  • Haber residido de manera continua en los Estados Unidos desde haber presentado la más reciente petición aprobada de DACA; y
  • No haber sido acusado de cometer felonía o delito grave, delito menos grave de carácter significativo, tres o más delitos menos graves, o representar una amenaza a la seguridad nacional o a la seguridad pública.

Por favor, llame a Gorman Law Firm con sus preguntas acerca de DACA. 800-583-6602

Bar the 3-and-10-year Bar?

In what appears to be one of few fruitful recommendations to come out of either political party’s immigration rhetoric, the 3-and-10-year bar may be on the chopping block.  As of the end of last week, the Washington Times indicated that Rep. Labrador (R-Idaho) suggested a compromise with Democrats to ease the harsh punishment to immigrants who have accumulated unlawful presence in the United States.  Under the current law, undocumented immigrants who entered without inspection and have since accumulated unlawful time in the U.S. suffer a penalty if that accumulation of time exceeds either six months or reaches one year.  This provision affects roughly 25% of undocumented immigrants.  It has hindered those with lawful means of immigration from seeking such statuses without accomplishing its intention which was deterrence of unlawful immigration.  

In negotiation, Rep. Labrador has indicated that in conjunction with easing the punishment for immigration violators, he and other Republicans seek to extend more lawful immigration benefits in the form of visas to non-immigrant students.  This offer comes by way of the Heritage Foundation, “a research and educational institution whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”  House Republicans met at a Heritage Foundation forum to discuss immigration, a topic which has become quite controversial for the GOP in recent years.

 

But according to the Washington Times, Mr. Labrador’s proposal didn’t impress those who it referred to as “immigration advocates.”  These “advocates” say “they will only accept a broad reform package that covers all parts of the immigration debate.” Democrats want a monolithic bill that addresses all immigration grievances at once at the expense of any progress.  However, in effect, repealing the “3-and-10-year bar” to immigration will address both past and present hurdles that many current and future immigrants face.  It will remove the bar to entry on those individuals who are present in the U.S. and have lawful means of immigration but have remained here without seeking the benefit for fear of that bar upon departure.  Currently, these individuals can leave and only reenter upon receipt of their available visas immediately if the immigrant’s U.S. citizen family member has an extreme hardship.  Otherwise, he or she will endure a lengthy, and in the case of the 10-year bar, unbearable wait period.

 

By offering to eliminate this bar, which was created to deter unlawful presence, Republican representatives seek to encourage future legal immigration by increasing the grant of green cards to “foreigners who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees in the fields of science, engineering, math or technology.” In effect, this suggestion by Republicans seeks to enable businesses the ability offer jobs related to the course of study of non-immigrant students in the U.S.  This strategy would address the negative repercussions of the 3-and-10-year bar on affected individuals, families, and the businesses that currently employ them while simultaneously encouraging those who would like to work here legally and the businesses who seek to employ them in the future.

 

Regardless of any forthcoming immigration legislation, it is concerning that the Washington Times describes “immigration advocates” as only those representatives who support an omnibus bill and is a fallacy.  Republican Rep. Labrador and Sen. Marco Rubio, specifically, have been loud and indispensable advocates of the American immigrant.  The manner they and others in their party believe is the most beneficial and effective way to address immigration should not be characterized as inapposite to the advocacy of immigration.  Republicans have long been a party for immigration and for amnesty in many cases.  It appears that a majority of the American journalists have left the responsibility for responsible informational gatekeeping to the individual.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

El fin de la prohibición de entrada por 3 y 10 años?

 

En lo que aparenta ser una de las pocas recomendaciones fructíferas en la retórica de inmigración por parte de cualquiera de los partidos, la llamada “prohibición por 3 y 10 años” pudiese ya estar viendo sus últimos días. A finales de la semana pasada, el diario Washington Times indicó que el Representante Labrador (R-Idaho) sugirió un acuerdo con los Demócratas para suavizar la fuerte manera en que se penaliza a inmigrantes que han acumulado tiempo de presencia ilegal en los Estados Unidos. Bajo la ley actual, aquellos inmigrantes indocumentados que ingresen sin pasar por un punto de inspección y hayan acumulado - desde entonces - tiempo ilegal en los Estados Unidos son castigados si el tiempo acumulado excede los seis meses o alcanza el año. Esto lo que ha hecho es impedir que personas que cuentan con mecanismos legales de inmigración procuren conseguir su estatus legal; mas sin embargo, no ha logrado cumplir con su intención original de disuadir la inmigración ilegal en sí.

 

En negociaciones, el Representante Labrador ha indicado que además de simplificar el castigo a aquellos que violan las leyes de inmigración, él y otros Republicanos buscan extender mayores beneficios para la inmigración legal bajo la forma de visas a estudiantes no inmigrantes.  Dicha oferta llega a través de la organización Heritage Foundation, “una institución de investigación y educación cuya misión es formular y promover políticas públicas conservadoras fundamentadas en los principios de libre empresa, gobierno limitado, libertades individuales, valores Americanos tradicionales, y una fuerte defensa nacional.”  Republicanos de la Casa de Representantes estuvieron reunidos en un foro de Heritage Foundation para discutir el tema de inmigración, tópico que se ha convertido en uno de los más controversiales para el GOP en años recientes.

 

Pero de acuerdo con el Washington Times, la propuesta del Sr. Labrador no causó muy buena impresión en aquellos regularmente referidos como “defensores de la inmigración”.  Los llamados “defensores” dicen que “sólo aceptarán un paquete de reforma inmigratoria amplio, que incluya todos los aspectos del debate de inmigración.” Los Demócratas quieren un proyecto de ley monolítico que dé respuesta de una sola vez a todos los problemas de inmigración, a costa de cualquier progreso en una u otra área en particular. Sin embargo, el revocar o anular la “prohibición de entrada por 3 y 10 años” en inmigración permitiría salvar obstáculos pasados y presentes que muchos de los actuales y futuros inmigrantes deben enfrentar. Esto removería la prohibición de entrada a aquellos individuos que están presentes en los Estados Unidos y que, aunque cuentan con maneras legales de inmigrar, permanecen aquí sin buscar tal beneficio por temor a ser penalizados una vez que salgan del país. Actualmente, estos individuos pueden salir y reingresar al país tras recibir la visa disponible, pero sólo de forma inmediata si un familiar estadounidense del inmigrante enfrenta una situación de urgencia o adversidad extrema.  De cualquier otro modo, él o ella deberá sobrellevar un largo, y en el caso de la prohibición de entrada por 10 años, insoportable período de espera.

 

Al ofrecer la eliminación de tal prohibición, creada para desincentivar la permanencia ilegal de inmigrantes, los representantes Republicanos buscan incentivar la inmigración legal en el futuro mediante el incremento de tarjetas verdes o “green cards” a “extranjeros que se gradúen de universidades Americanas con estudios avanzados en las áreas de ciencias, ingeniería, matemáticas, o tecnología.” En efecto, esta sugerencia por parte de los Republicanos busca otorgar a empresas la habilidad de ofrecer puestos de trabajo relacionados con estudios cursados por estudiantes no inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos. Esta estrategia permitiría dar respuesta a las repercusiones negativas que la  "prohibición por 3 y 10 años" tiene sobre individuos, familias, y las empresas que actualmente los emplean; además de, simultáneamente, apoyar a aquellos que quisieran trabajar aquí legalmente y a las empresas que buscan emplearlos en el futuro.

 

Cualquiera que sea la legislación que venga en materia de inmigración, resulta preocupante que el Washington Times use el término “defensores de la inmigración” sólo cuando se trata de aquellos representantes que apoyan un proyecto de ley integral, lo cual es una falacia.  Tanto el Representante Labrador como el Senador Marco Rubio, por ejemplo, han sido fuertes voces y defensores indispensables del inmigrante en América. La manera en la cual ellos y otros en su partido creen que es más beneficiosa y efectiva para abordar el tema de inmigración no debería ser caracterizada como inaplicable a la defensa de inmigración. Los Republicanos han sido por mucho tiempo el partido pro inmigración y amnistía en muchos casos. Sin embargo, resulta aparente que una mayoría de los periodistas Americanos han dejado por cuenta del individuo la responsabilidad de filtrar información de manera sensata.

Gorman Law Firm, PLLC
200 West Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-537-1400
Fax: 704-537-3727 

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-6pm


Saturday by appointment: 10am-2pm