Jan
18

When Is a Person a Good Person? USCIS' Evolving Character Standard

When is a person a good person?   The law is rather clear.  However, USCIS continues to engage in a campaign to rewrite the law to get it getter authority to deny otherwise qualified applicants for naturalization.    This is part of the administration's vigorous effort to slant the law against approving an application instead of toward approving an application.   The latest twist ignores years of litigation that established clear boundaries for who can and cannot prove whether they are a person of good moral character.   

When making the decision to apply for naturalization, there...

Jan
18

Can I Ever Get Out? Pursuing Release from Custody

Every year there are hundreds of immigrants who languish for months and often years in county jails or private detention facilities awaiting deportation. Some are seeking asylum; others are legal residents. Many have criminal records for crimes committed years ago, some decades ago. Most are appealing their removal orders, and the vast majority have never had a chance to argue their release in front of an immigration judge. They are denied the opportunity for a “bond hearing,” where the judge would determine whether they are a flight risk or a danger to the community. Many beg for the...

Jan
18

H-1B Lottery Registration – A Viable Solution or A False Promise?

The H-1B visa filing process will undergo a dramatic shift in 2020.  Employers are now required to participate an H-1B lottery registration prior to submitting the actual H-1B petition. This is a major change from previous years where the H-1B lottery was conducted based on the submission of the H-1B petition itself. The new system benefits employers and beneficiaries by reducing the initial cost of the H-1B process.  If the government does not select the employer to participate in the fiscal year filing opportunity, the employer avoids the cost of preparing a full H-1B needlessly. ...

Jan
12

Second DWIs and Unexpected Ramifications – Limiting a Person’s Ability to Prove Good Moral Character

DWIs and related offenses are already offenses that have grave consequences.  These offenses impact driving authorization, insurance costs, and expose a person to heightened criminal charges in the future.  A misdemeanor will morph into a felony quickly for repeat offenders.

The consequences of DWIs are not limited to more commonly known issues, such as licensing.  DWIs are now becoming a direct threat to a person’s ability to fight to remain in the United States regardless of the size of the person’s family, hardship imposed, or other positive contributions a person has made to his...

Jan
12

Can I be fired for that?

One of the most common questions posed to Wilson Law Group is “Can I be fired for that?” 

The answer is almost always, “It depends.”   As an employee in Minnesota, your employment is likely “at will.”  This means that, subject to certain exceptions discussed below, your employer can fire you for nearly any reason.  This ability to fire creates a power imbalance between you and your employer. It is imperative, therefore, that you understand the law and your rights and, if necessary, retain aggressive legal representation. 

Your employment in Minnesota is likely “at...

Dec
28

Relief at Last - Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

A law that has been more than a decade in the making finally made it through Congress at the end of 2019.  Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 included a long-awaited form of relief unique to Liberians.  The section, identified as Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, addresses the needs of Liberians who have been caught in the vicious cycle of TPS and Liberian DED for the last twenty years.  It is a one-time reprieve that addresses the long-suffering Liberian community.

Notably, the provision does not require that the qualifying Liberian ever...

Sep
29

Two New Minnesota Laws - Hands Free in More Ways than One

On August 1, 2019, several new laws related to driving went into effect in Minnesota.  The new “Hands-Free Cell Phone Law” responds to the growing number of incidents, accidents, and even fatalities caused by distracted drivers using their cell phones as they drive.  According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), cell phones are the fastest-growing distraction to drivers.  The DPS reports that In the past five years, distracted driving contributed to nearly one in every five accidents, averaged 204 “life-changing” injuries per year, and caused 45 annual...

Aug
6

Thieving Employer or a Trap for the Inattentive? Minnesota's New Wage Theft Statute

The New Minnesota Wage Theft Law Creates Big Risks for Unwary Employers.  Starting August 1, 2019, the date of this post, Minnesota employers committing “wage theft” will now be guilty of a crime. This is just one part of a recent and substantive set of employment reforms in Minnesota intended to enhance worker protections.[1] “Wage theft,” for purposes of the new law, includes any of the following conducted with an intent to defraud:

Failure to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings, or commissions at the employee’s rate or rates of pay or at the rate or rates...
Mar
17

Automatic Voter Registration - A Siren Song for a Future Deportation

The 2020 presidential election is already dominating news headlines. Since mid-January, politicians and public figures have been announcing their candidacy in rapid succession. Such political fervor is arguably good for the democratic process, as it brings important issues to the forefront. It also prompts campaign organizers to align supporters and so focuses attention on the voter registration process.

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is a policy intended to streamline the way Americans register to vote. AVR uses an electronic “opt-out” registration system, whereby an individual is...

Mar
16

Leaving a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth - Unsavory Pay Practices in the Food Service Industry

An editorial in the NY Times from March of 2018 highlighted the perceived injustices of pay practices in the restaurant industry. They focused on the most commonly recognized issue of payment at rates below the standard minimum wage levels for tipped employees in states that allow such practices.[1] But while these practices are explicitly authorized under many wage laws, the restaurant industry is rife with other pay practices that do violate employment law at the local or federal level.

A 2014 report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) cited statistics from the U.S. DOL Wage and Hour...

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