Global Immigration Partners

Los Angeles Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

Immigration law in California and beyond

Most California residents know that the United States is a nation comprised of immigrants. Some might not know, however, that U.S. immigration laws are different than those found elsewhere in the world. The policies in the United States can be complex and complicated. Therefore, those to whom the topic is pertinent might wish to acquire legal guidance when attempting to navigate the system or seek clarification concerning the issues.

Global Immigration Partners is a team of legal professionals who are experienced in cases dealing with immigration and naturalization law. The Global attorneys have a clear understanding of the law and can help assess individual cases in order to assist those who are facing legal issues regarding employment, permanent residency status, green cards, visas or related matters. Seeking an adjustment of one's status is sometimes made simpler and less stressful when one acts under the guidance of an experienced attorney.

California to vote on occupational classification

Newly proposed legislation is reportedly pending in the California Senate that would affect non-citizens working in the field of agriculture. Reports indicate that farm workers have supported the bill. A June Assembly is said to have voted in favor of the proposed legislation that would pertain to new occupational classification, and the state Senate will soon have its say in the matter.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo is credited with introducing the bill. If voted into law, the legislation would grant work permits to those without legitimized statuses who currently work in the field of agriculture. This would allow the workers and certain immediate family members to avoid deportation. Those who oppose the legislation state that they are inclined to favor a national resolution to immigration issues rather than legislation initiated at the state level.

Changes made that can affect spouses of H1B nonimmigrant workers

An H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies in the United States to employ foreign workers in California and elsewhere in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. The Department of Homeland Security has recently begun to accept applications after a new rule was applied in May that can affect the dependent spouses of H1B nonimmigrant workers. The spouses sometimes reside within the country under an H4B visa, which allows immediate family members of H1B visa holders to also live in the United States.

The DHS recently began accepting applications to allow spouses of certain nonimmigrant workers to seek employment while residing in the United States. Legislative measures taken earlier this year have made it possible for thousands who have an H4B status to seek paid employment. Typically, the EAD (employment authorization document) will be issued approximately 90 days following a submitted application.

Green cards and permanent residency issues

Many immigrants in California and elsewhere are able, under certain circumstances, to lawfully live and work in the United States indefinitely. Often, non-citizens face a variety of legal issues pertaining to green cards, visas or other matters of permanent residency.  The rules and regulations governing such things can sometimes be very complex and confusing for those involved.

At Global Immigration Partners, we are dedicated to assisting you as you prepare to seek an adjustment of your legal status or search for answers to questions about other immigrant issues. Where green cards are concerned, some immigrants apply through their employers, while others base their applications on familial relationships. The processes vary, and each has its own benefits and challenges.

A bridge to America to sell

For years, the man had been telling Los Angeles area immigrants that he was an attorney who could help them deal with legal problems, including with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Unfortunately, as people found out, the man was not an attorney and he was not an immigration consultant either.

Earlier this year, he pleaded no contest to criminal charges for practicing law without a license and related matters. Authorities say he is far from the only one looking to prey on immigrants eager for assistance with USCIS and legal matters. He illustrates the point that immigrants and others looking for help with green cards, visas and adjustment of status should rely on law firms known for their honesty and track record.

Immigration court crisis deepens

Most of our readers will recall the surge of immigrants coming across the southern U.S. border last summer. Experts say that influx of 68,500 unaccompanied children and family units, mostly from Central America, pushed the backlog in federal immigration courts to unprecedented heights.

More than 445,000 immigration cases are now pending in courts in Los Angeles and across the nation. That's about a 30 percent backlog increase in a little over a year, experts say.

Who qualifies for a family-based visa?

Here in the Los Angeles area, there are spouses who are separated from their partners in life by thousands of miles. As if that separation isn't painful enough, there are parents who endure day after day without their children at their side. Those lost days can never be recaptured or relived as a united family.

That's part of why it is so important to people dedicated to immigration law to work on uniting families separated not only by those miles, but also by the rules, regulations and paperwork of the U.S. immigration system.

California AG: "An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal"

California Attorney General Kamala Harris shook our portion of the world when she recently said in an interview that undocumented immigrants are not criminals. A few days later, she gave the state another shake when she refused to back down from the sentiment in an interview with a Los Angeles TV station.

“An undocumented immigrant is not a criminal,” she said again. She said that as a career prosecutor, she knows crime when she sees it. And she knows criminals when she sees them. And when she looks at an undocumented immigrant, she says she's not looking at someone who committed a crime by coming to the U.S.

California: Best state for undocumented immigrants

One of our city's finest institutions of higher learning -- the University of California at Los Angeles -- recently released a ranking based on which states do the most to keep undocumented immigrants healthy and allow them access to societal integration. At the very top of the list is our own state, California.

At the bottom of the UCLA list is a state that caught some residents there by surprise: Ohio.

Less blue-collar, more white-collar

The respected Pew Research Center has been tracking trends among U.S. citizens and immigrants since 1990. As a polling company that tracks trends, too, among Hispanic citizens and immigrants, it has been widely cited by Los Angeles and California leaders.

A recent poll by the organization shows that unauthorized immigrant workers today hold fewer blue-collar jobs -- a traditional immigrant employment stronghold -- and more white-collar jobs than they did before the Great Recession that began in 2007. The Pew Research Center notes, however, that "a solid majority still works in low-skilled service, construction and production occupations."