Archive for October, 2011

We the people

October 26, 2011

Today is Diwali. In the North Eastern Province of Bengal, where I’m originally from, it is celebrated , like the rest of India with lighting rows of oil lamps called the Diya and with fireworks.  But the day before this festival is the day of the ghosts, and in the evening the ghosts are rumored to come out.  With the lighting of the diyas on Diwali, the Ghosts disappear. This is similar to All Hallows Eve, and Dia de los Muertos. Its a celebration of life as opposed to death. The shortening of days make people aware of their own mortality and the festivals reinforce life.


Similarly in the spring there is a renewal of life which is celebrated in different cultures, in different ways. Be it Easter, or the Indian festival of Holi, color plays a dominant part.


We may come form different regions, different religions and cultures, yet we are fundamentally all equal.  The Restrictionists in our Immigration policy cannot see beyond these differences in color, race or religion. But we are becoming one world. The internet today unites the world, and outsourcing forces us to compete globally.  Yet when it comes to Immigration, we try to restrict our borders and try to unnaturally preserve our jobs.  But the reality of the marketplace is that people only come if there are jobs, if they can compete.  If not, the jobs are outsourced anyways.


Maybe some day we will have one  world where there will be no Xenophobia, and  no barriers.


Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information


Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative

October 19, 2011

The USCIS recently announced an “entrepreneurs in residence initiative.” This follows President Obama’s speech welcoming foreign entrepreneurs who would want to invest in the US for Permanent Residency. It makes sense, since money brought over by these entrepreneurs will be used towards building businesses and jobs in the US.





Towards that end, the USCIS is launching this Initiative to gather information about these programs. Especially targeted is the EB-5 program, and also on Eb-2 and L-1Bs. The EB-5 applicants will have direct access to adjudicators through e mail. All this is positive development, yet, the adjudicators themselves are still giving out under the kitchen sink Requests for Evidence. This is especially true of L-1 A, new Office where an entrepreneur is bringing in money to start the business here. Sometimes it’s apparent that the officer has not even looked at the file, since they want evidence already included in the original petition.


I think the adjudicators have to meet a certain quota, and some adjudicators are happier to give out requests for evidence (RFE) rather than meeting that quota. What the USCIS should do is require the officers to notate the petition. Also such notations should be included in the actual RFE as well. Clients ask me why, when they are bringing in money and investing in US, should the US Government want every single piece of paper they could possibly generate. Such a burden is a big deterrent in many people investing here. It’s much easier to invest in Canada than the US, so why would people looking towards investing bother with us?








Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Approval Notices

October 12, 2011

Recently the Citizenship and Immigration Service instituted a new rule whereby the approval notices of visas, with the original I-94s are being sent to employers instead of the Attorney.  The attorneys get the courtesy copy.  The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association is protesting against this move.


However I think this is a good move by Citizenship and Immigration Service.  First it cuts down on fraud.  Fraud is very prevalent in the Immigration petition system.  Although the forms require signatures from the employers, those signatures can be forged.  Documents can be manufactured.  And if employers get a representative’s copy, the lawyer can give the actual copy to the fraudulent employee, who would then get false status.  Granted maybe one attorney in the country will do this, but still its fraud.

Secondly the clients can get the approval notice expeditiously. In most states clients need the approvals to renew their driver’s license. Sending that approval notice to the attorney means the attorney has to mail it to the client.  Even if the attorney fedexes, it still takes time.  And most large law firms take forever to send the documents.  This way everything can be done expeditiously.


American Immigration Lawyer’s Association has complained that the attorneys can check and see mistakes in the I-797, and correct them.  But attorneys can simply ask their clients to scan and send them that approval notice.  On the contrary attorneys cannot scan and send the original to the client, since they need the original approval.  My clients have no problem scanning and sending the copies to me.


I feel that many lawyers have an inflated sense of ego, and feel that the Citizenship and Immigration Service is slighting them by sending originals to the employer.  I applaud this move by the Citizenship and Immigration Service.  This is probably the only time, in years, that I think that the Citizenship and Immigration Service is doing something sensible.


Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information


My Hats off to Arizona and Alabama

October 6, 2011
When Arizona enacted the most restrictive Immigration Laws in the book, I was wondering why the deep south was lagging behind. They just take time to think up legislation, and Alabama delivered with a far more severe punch than Arizona. The law even  forbids undocumented school children from attending schools.

The common concern of all these States is that we have too many illegal immigrants. The Federal Government is not going to do anything for it. So these States take Federal law enforcement in their own hand.

Yet these States bring forth the importance of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The only problem is that the legislature cant agree on anything. Even the Dream Act, which gives amnesty to children brought over illegally here by their parents, and educated here have  not passed. They don’t have any criminal records. Yet the Republicans don’t want to give the Permanent Residency to these people.

The Democrats are no Saints either. They have effectively killed the work visa process for small businesses. Especially hit is the small IT industry, where the Obama Administration “legislated on their own” stating that employers should “control” their employees. They effectively nullified third party contracts for H-1B employees for smaller employers in IT industry.  Yet such contracts are Ok for the health care industry.  Talk about the Rule of Law and Obama’s lofty principals.

In a Country where even economic reforms gets shot down, willl there be a Comprehensive Immigration Reform? I dont think so.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information