Feb
14

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The debate around comprehensive immigration reform has long had many detractors decrying earned legalization as “amnesty” for people who should instead head “to the back of the line.”

What is little understood is exactly what is meant by “the line;” who is eligible to wait in it; and how infinitely long this line can be.  Surprising to many is the fact that not every intending immigrant can simply jump into the line.  Currently, aside from certain humanitarian-based cases such as asylum, U Visas or Temporary Protected...

Feb
14

When Is a Conviction a Crime of Violence - the evolving interpretation of 18 USC Section 16

Challenging the Use of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) in Deportation Proceedings.

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA) is a federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons in possession of a firearm, if the felon has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” The term “violent felony” includes any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). This portion of the definition, known as the “residual clause,” is unique in that it is not focused on the elements of a conviction...

Feb
14

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

Wilson Law Group recently commented on the new 2015 H-2B Interim Final Rules and how they impact the H-2B program and employers, including a new requirement of registration, recruitment procedures, and the crucial need to navigate the various phases of the process with meticulous attention to detail to timelines and requirements.  The H-2B program is continually evolving, and now is moving towards paralysis.  

The H-2B registration process is not yet operational.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not...

Dec
27

Shifting Responsibility through Use of Independent Contractors versus Employees

Mainstream media has recently focused a lot of attention on businesses that utilize independent contractors (think Uber, Lyft, or AirBnB). This has even gone so far as to lead some to speculate that traditional employment may be in jeopardy. While this is a significant exaggeration, the overuse of the independent contractor label is very real.

The use of independent contractors by businesses fits much better, or at least more cleanly, in some business models than others (see Uber’s particular, recent legal troubles for an example). The traditional use of independent contractors, often...

Dec
27

Are Owner/Employees Able to Maintain Discrimination Claims Against the Company?

Are Owner/Employees Able to Maintain Discrimination Claims Against the Company?

According to a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit, the answer to the question above is more or less a simple “no.” The case at issue is Bluestein v. Central Wisc. Anesthesiology. The facts concern a medical professional (Bluestein) who, after a period of employment, became a shareholder and voting board member for the Defendant company. After suffering a severe injury, Bluestein requested an indefinite leave of absence and the company demanded her resignation, stating that they would “terminate her...

Dec
27

Proving Extreme Hardship - Holding the Government to a Standard of Law

Extreme Hardship doesn’t have to be so hard.  On October 7, 2015, USCIS shared its draft "extreme hardship" policy memo, created with the goal of better defining the standard applied to various types of waivers.  The draft memo was happily received more than ten months after President Obama announced the endeavor with various other, more popular strides like the expansion of DACA and proposed creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA.”

An extreme hardship waiver may be required where someone has been in the US unlawfully for more...

Dec
27

The Importance of Enhancements in Criminal Sentencing

What is an enhanceable offense?  Under Minnesota Law, an offense is enhanceable if a conviction or a plea of guilty triggers a look-back period, which most commonly, lasts for ten years to punish someone for repeat conduct.  During the ten years immediately following a conviction, if you are charged with the same offense, the severity of the charge can be increased or enhanced based on the previous conviction.  This leads to greater consequences

In Minnesota, enhanceable offenses include, but are not limited to, the following: domestic assault, violation of a harassment restraining...

Dec
27

Refusal to Test in Minnesota - US Supreme Court to Review Implied Consent Statute

The US Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Bernard v. Minnesota.  Bernard addresses Minnesota’s DWI refusal statute that makes it a crime to refuse to take a warrantless chemical test if law enforcement has probable cause to believe you have been operating a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Two years ago when SCOTUS decided Missouri v. McNeely ,133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), DWI law seemed to be heading for big changes around the country and here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, McNeely has not had as much of an impact as we had hoped here in Minnesota...

Nov
29

Protection against Search and Seizure in Immigration Proceedings

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In criminal cases, evidence discovered during an unreasonable search or seizure, such as during a warrantless arrest, can be suppressed in court. However, in civil cases, this “exclusionary rule” is generally not available.

The American legal system views immigration law proceedings civil matters. This was determined by the Supreme Court in the decision INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984). Because of this, the exclusionary rule usually cannot be used by respondents in immigration...

Nov
29

The Investment Subsidiary and the E visa

It is well known that citizens of certain countries may enter the United States to establish a trade relationship with their home country or to invest in the United States.  Few people, however, know that companies can establish the same relationship as the individual investor.  This novelty in the law allows for some very flexible opportunities and creates the capacity to move personnel quickly from abroad into the United States.

The E visa has two categories: the E-1 visa for treaty traders and E-2 visa for treaty investors.  Both are temporary, nonimmigrant visas for individual or...

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