Non-immigrant visitors to the United States are only admitted for specific purposes or time periods. If they simply overstay their departure date, they may begin accruing “unlawful presence” even if they are not ultimately departed. This unlawful presence can significantly impact their ability to return to the United States and future applications for lawful status. Continue reading “Getting Home: Satisfactory Departures ESTA Passport Holders During COVID-19 Emergency”
The FEMA Declaration of Emergency
On March 13, 2020, the President declared the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration and invoked Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the “Stafford Act”), popular known as the FEMA law.1 This declaration made State, and local government entities and certain private non-profit (PNP) organizations eligible to apply for Public Assistance under Category B of the Stafford Act. Continue reading “Federal and New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Declarations and Contracting for the Public Response”
Beginning February 24, 2020, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement new “public charge” regulations and standards. USCIS officials will have discretion to deny status adjustments, out of concern that an individual is likely to need public support programs, including certain housing subsidies and securing health insurance through public options (e.g., “Obama Care”).
The new rule creates complex new financial evaluations for applicants, their sponsors and their families. Employer petitions will become even more complex. While numerous classes of applicants, such as refugees, victims of domestic violence, and family members of veterans are nominally exempt from the new standards, many of the application forms they will have to fill out longer versions and more complex versions of the applications forms. Continue reading “New USCIS “Public Charge” Regulations to be Implemented”
On January 26, 2020, a divided Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request for permission to enforce a rule known as the “Public Charge” Rule, governing the admission of immigrants to the United States. The government had argued that it would suffer “effectively irreparable harm” if it could not implement the new rule while it appeals a pair of orders by a federal district court in New York. The Supreme Court issued an order temporarily placing the lower court’s rulings on hold until the government’s appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court, are resolved. Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court Allows “Public Charge” Rule To Take Effect”
Is your business compliant with federal employment verification for unionized businesses regulations? Employers are obligated to obtain “I-9” forms for newly hired employees to verify that the potential employee is either a U.S. citizen or an alien with the legal right to work in the United States, and Employers are required to maintain records of those forms and their compliance. The federal government is enforcing those obligations aggressively, often targeting small and mid-size businesses in construction industries which have a reputation for under-the-table hiring or poor record keeping. Employers found to be in violation are subject to heavy fines and in extreme cases, criminal penalties. Continue reading “Employment Verification Issues for Unionized Businesses”
H1-B petitions are under pressure from a Whitehouse executive order. But first some background.
The H-1B visa program, first launched in 1990, when President George H.W. Bush signed the “Immigration Act of 1990”, allows American firms to recruit workers with specialized and hard to find skills from abroad.
There are several steps to the process, involving different federal agencies. Employers must electronically submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA/ ETA Form 9035E/ 9035) to the Department of Labor attesting to compliance with the requirements of the H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 program. Continue reading “H1-B Petitions Under Pressure”
With new immigration public charge rules, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA or the Act) makes any alien (1) ineligible for a visa, (2) ineligible for admission and (3) ineligible for adjustment of status, if, in the opinion of the government they are likely at any time to become “a public charge.” The statute does not define the term ‘‘public charge.” Continue reading “The New Immigration Public Charge Rules: What You Need to Know About What It Does and Does Not Do”
On July 23, 2019, the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (“ICE”) expanded the scope of its “fast track” deportations, ICE’s expedited removal program, to the full scope permitted by statute. After July 23, anyone arrested anywhere in the United States who is inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(6)(C) or (7), has not been admitted or paroled at a port of entry, and cannot prove continuous physical presence in the country for at least two years may be subject to expedited removal. Prior to the rule, expedited removal was limited to a 100-mile zone from the border; to those who arrived by sea; and to those who had been in the U.S. for 14 days or fewer. Continue reading “Inside ICE’s Expedited Removal Program”
On July 9, 2019, New Jersey adopted a “Right to Die” Law. It gives terminally ill adults the right to request a fatal prescription for themselves, specifically to enable them to medically own their own life. The new law, whose formal name is the “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act”, becomes effective August 19. 2019. In addition to those who are gravely ill and their families, the law will impact physicians, health care facilities, other medical professionals, insurers, and estate planners. Continue reading “Lethal Prescriptions Now Available For New Jersey’s Terminally Ill”
The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) has long required contractors and subcontractors to pay a minimum “prevailing wage” to laborers, craftsmen and apprentices employed on public works projects. The New Jersey Department of Labor sets the prevailing wage for a specific New Jersey region based on the collective bargaining agreements established for a particular craft or trade in the locality in which the public work is performed. Continue reading “New Jersey Extends Prevailing Wage Requirements”