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Much of the deliberation surrounding immigration reform has largely occurred behind closed doors, despite pressure from the booming immigrant population in the United States to become more transparent. In a much anticipated June speech, President Obama announced that he would be utilizing executive action to bring about comprehensive immigration reform in response to Congress’ inaction.

For the most part, the administration has remained mum about the process and the proposals that have been laid out on the table.

Here’s what we do know about what is happening behind closed doors:

  • Senators, lobbyists, interest groups, corporations, and other stakeholders have attended private summit meetings and listening sessions in an effort to influence the Obama administration’s executive power
  • Republicans and conservatives have voiced their dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency the Obama administration has had throughout the process
  • Republican candidates who have had their eye on becoming House majority leader have ignored immigration reform
  • Republicans as a whole have doubted whether the Obama administration can be trusted to enforce the laws it hopes to pass
  • Increased border security and media coverage stemming from the surge in accompanied children has stimulated talks of immigration reform making it imperative to pass due to the humanitarian nature of the issue.
  • Many have questioned whether President Obama’s strides to move immigration reform forward, will be met unchallenged by Congress and the Supreme Court. Others believe that even if pushing immigration reform is within Obama’s constitutional powers, the political backlash the administration would suffer in doing so, would be damaging to the administration and immigration reform efforts.
  • While talks of immigration reform have shed little hope for the undocumented and for non-immigrant visa applicants, the good news is that pressure has been mounting and President Obama’s tenure is running out. Whether immigration reform is brought about by executive might or by the GOP in an attempt to renew its image, we will keep you informed every step of the way.

For more updates please continue to visit our blog. For legal advice please contact our office.

Trivia: President Obama has issued 183 executive orders according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara while George W. Bush issued 291 during his terms.

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By Lupe Lopez

Francis was excited.  As a student of holistic nutrition, he had excelled and the school he was attending wanted him to stay on to work with them as an assistant instructor. The school Francis was attending in the M1 status was pleased with his depth of knowledge and his ability to work with people.  They wanted to find a way for Francis to work with them and to help other students achieve the level of knowledge that he had and so willingly shared.  Also, Francis not only had previous education, he had years of experience in a community clinic using holistic nutrition and alternative medicine to heal people of serious ailments.

Francis called us excitedly looking to learn about his employment options.  The school had not ever offered optional practical training (OPT) to their foreign students and although they are SEVIS certified (schools are required to be certified to enroll foreign students), they were not able to answer the questions that Francis had relative to employment authorization.

After contacting us, Francis was sad to learn that as an M1 student he did not have the same privileges that are afforded to F1 students completing their studies at institutions of higher learning.  The Associates in Holistic Nutrition at a junior college was not at the same level as a Bachelor’s in Nutrition at a university.

As a student in M1 status, you may only obtain practical training after completion of study (8 CFR §214.2(m)(14)).  Also, the job you take must be in the same field of study.

These two requirements were not a problem for Francis.   The problem lies in the length of OPT he is allowed.  Francis can only be given one period of practical training “equal to 1 month of each 4 months” that he pursued a full course of study, not exceeding 6 months (8 CFR §214.2(m)(14)(iii)).  Francis only attended school for 20 months giving him a total of five months of OPT.

There are other hurdles for Francis as well.  Francis must apply for employment authorization before expiration of his authorized stay and not more than 60 days before completion of the course of study; or 30 days after completion of the course of study (8 CFR, §214.2(m)(14)(ii)).  In other words, if he is completing his course On December 1, 2014, he may file October 2, 2014.  Also, as an M1 (vs. an F1), he will need to file for an extension of status that takes him at least 60 days beyond the period he is allowed to work so that he does not fall out of status during the time he is employed.  Finally, as an M1 student, he is only allowed to work in his field of study and he must be employed a minimum of 20 hrs per week to avoid falling out of status.

The school Francis is attending is interested in having Francis work for an entire year.  In addition, the school was interested in finding a way that they could hire Francis in the H1B category.  Francis had the required experience, training, and other higher education.  He could certainly perform the job.  However, if he only received 5 months of OPT, it would get Francis through to the filing of an H1B visa but cannot get him to October 1, 2015; the first day Francis would be allowed to work on H1B status; that’s only if he is lucky enough to get a visa.  If an excessive amount of H1B applications pour into the USCIS, then there will be a lottery.  Francis would have to be chosen through the lottery system and then hope for an approval of the H1B visa.  He will need to leave the United States, go to his home country for consular processing, and return in H1B status.

Another hurdle Francis may have to overcome is the fact that the USCIS cannot give him any more time than he is legally allowed; therefore, if there is a problem with the paperwork or with the length of time the government takes to process his paperwork, the number of days he is able to work will be reduced accordingly.

Let’s give you an example:  Let’s say the completion date is December 1 and  we file for employment authorization (EAD) on October 2.  The normal processing time for an EAD card is 90 days.  This means that you may not receive the approval until January 1 or later.  Francis is not able to begin work until he has the card in his possession.  Also, January 1, 2015 is 31 days after the completion of his program.  If the card is not approved by December 31, 2014, each day over the 30 days will cause time to be taken off the total amount of time he is allowed to work.  So if they do not approve the petition until February 1, he will lose 31 days of work opportunity; leaving about 4 months to work (based on a 20 month study program).

As you can see, it is quite tough for M1 students.  We cannot guarantee that they will get what they need or want.  We can offer to do the best job possible to move the paperwork efficiently through the system; so that, hopefully, you get your desired result.  Let us know if you are interested in a free consultation.

It is our pleasure  to introduce our most senior Paralegal, Linda Parrish, to our readers.

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Bio: Linda has been working with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick since 2005.  Linda has extensive knowledge of all aspects of immigration law, though her specialty lies in assisting investors, executives, and corporate clients to meet their immigration needs. She is also our resident Notary Public. Linda Parrish is an asset to our team for her expertise, kindness, and for the invaluable contributions she has made to our firm.

Mrs. Parrish is married, has four adult children and several grandchildren. She enjoys quilting and crocheting in her spare time.

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By Ekaterina Powell, Esq.

Our office has received a few inquiries on the subject of volunteer work while on OPT and consequences of unemployment, and we have decided to address these issues in further detail for our readers.

Conditions of Employment while on OPT

The main conditions of employment while on OPT include the following:

  • The work must be related to the field of study
  • Employment must be for at least 20 hours per week for post-completion OPT. For pre-completion OPT, employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session.

Conditions of Employment while on STEM OPT Extension

  • The work must be related to the field of study
  • Employment must be for at least 20 hours per week
  • Employer must be enrolled in E-verify

If a student has variable schedule (sometimes works more than 20 hours a week and sometimes less than 20 hours), within a month it should average out to at least 20 hours per week.

It is recommended that the student maintains evidence for each job documenting the position held, proof of the duration of that position, the job title, contact information for the student’s supervisor and the description of work to show that the work is related to the degree program.

Students in performing arts should maintain a list of all engagements, the dates and durations, and the related proof to document employment.

Employment authorization granted under OPT and STEM OPT gives you the right to switch employers at any time. However, new employment has to comply with the basic OPT requirements as described above. For STEM OPT, the new employer must be enrolled in E-Verify.

The following types of employment are authorized while on OPT and STEM OPT:

  • Self-employment (must have the business set up and be enrolled in E-Verify for STEM OPT)
  • Employment as an independent contractor (1099 employment as opposed to being on the payroll)
  • Employment through an agency or consulting firm (the employment agency must be enrolled in E-Verify for STEM OPT)
  • Multiple employers (as long as all of them are enrolled in E-Verify for STEM OPT)ICE has clarified in its SEVP Policy Guidance of 2010 that OPT employment can be unpaid, volunteer-based. Any such employment will not count toward unemployment limit.
  • While volunteer/unpaid work is specifically authorized for students on OPT, it is not so clear with employment while on STEM OPT Extension.

Volunteer Work while on OPT

ICE’s 2008 SEVP OPT Policy Guidance contained explicit language prohibiting the use of volunteer experience to count towards the fulfillment of a student’s employment obligations while in the 17-month extension OPT period.

However, in 2010, this policy guidance was revised and replaced by the current version, which eliminated this restrictive language. Absent explicit prohibition of the use of volunteer experience, particular when such a restriction was previously in place, it is reasonable to conclude that a student engaged in an unpaid position related to his/her degree program would not be considered “unemployed.”

Specifically, SEVP OPT Guidance of 2010 states that it “[r]emoved restriction that employment during the 17-month extension must be paid employment. SEVP will need approval for such a restriction through another proposed rulemaking.” This specific language suggests that unpaid employment while on STEM OPT extension qualifies as employment.

In addition, the student on STEM OPT extension is not required to provide wage information to the DSO to comply with the reporting requirement. According to SEVP Policy Guidance of 2010, section 8.7, the student must send the DSO a validation report every six months, starting from the date the 17-month extension starts and ending when the student’s F-1 status ends or the 17-month extension ends, whichever is first.

The validation report must include the student’s 1) Full legal name, 2) SEVIS identification number (if requested by the school), 3) Current mailing and residential address, 4) Name and address of the current employer, and 5) Date the student began working for the current employer.

Other sections of the SEVP 2010 Policy Guidance are not so clear in that respect as the guidance lists the types of experience permitted while on both regular and STEM extension OPT. The list specifically permits volunteer experience while on regular OPT but the list does not include volunteer work in the list of acceptable forms of employment for STEM extension OPT, which creates the confusion.

While we are left with a bit of a grey area, it is reasonable to conclude based on the SEVP Guidance of 2010 that volunteer work is permitted and will not count toward the “unemployment” maximum.

For a full text of ICE’s 2010 SEVP Policy Guidance, please follow this link.

Unemployment while on OPT

Students on OPT are limited to a cumulative total of 90 days of unemployment. If you are unemployed for an aggregate of more than 90 days during your approved OPT period or more than 120 days if you are on the 17-month STEM OPT Extension, your work permission and F-1 status is terminated.

With STEM OPT Extension approval, you are allowed to accumulate only 30 additional days of unemployment for a total of 120 days throughout the 29 months of OPT and STEM Extension. For example, if you have already accrued 90 days of unemployment while on OPT and then were granted STEM OPT Extension, you can only be unemployed for 30 more days.

What counts as unemployment? Each day including weekends during the period of OPT/STEM OPT that the student does not have qualifying employment counts as a day of unemployment.

Travel outside of the U.S. while on OPT or STEM OPT counts as unemployment unless the student is either employed during a period of leave authorized by the employer or is traveling as part of his or her employment.

If you are close to reaching your maximum unemployment limit, you need to take immediate steps to cure your situation, change your status or depart the U.S. not to accumulate any unlawful presence.

*Practice Tip: As a practical matter, it is recommended that students should never exceed their unemployment limits. In situations when you cannot find paid employment at least try to volunteer or do some unpaid work for 20 hours per week to maintain your status. Employers will be more likely to accept you as a volunteer or unpaid intern and that way you will be in a valid F-1 OPT status.

Periods of unemployment are monitored through the required OPT reporting with your DSO, so it is important to keep this information current. The students should report changes in employment to the DSO at the school as soon as possible, ideally within 10 business days.

While DSOs should advise students of the options available upon reaching the limit of unemployment, it is the student’s responsibility to monitor his or her unemployment status and to take steps to cure the situation by transferring to another school program, otherwise take steps to maintain status in the U.S., or depart the country.

ICE/SEVP has the right to examine SEVIS records and terminate a student’s record if it finds out that the student failed to maintain the proper period of employment. In such cases, the student will be given an opportunity to show that he or she has complied with all OPT requirements and has maintained valid employment.

A student who has exceeded the period of unemployment and has not corrected it, has violated F-1 status.  In that case, Department of Homeland Security can deny future immigration benefits to the student that rely on the student’s valid F-1 status.

 

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The Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced a joint initiative, in response to the technical problems the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Consolidated Database (CCD)—responsible for the issuance of visas—has been experiencing. These technical problems have had a significant impact on the department’s ability to process nonimmigrant visas, causing worldwide delays. Together the DOS and CBP will waive the visa requirements for nonimmigrant visa applicants seeking admission into the United States on a case by case basis. Applicants who have applied for but have not been issued non-immigrant visas, due to such delays, may request consideration from DOS and CBP for special travel permission to the United States under the following conditions:

The applicant’s travel to the United States must be considered urgent, involving a bona fide emergency, such as urgent humanitarian travel and life and death situations, or a situation that impacts U.S. national interests. DOS and CBP will respond to such requests via their joint task force teams. Travel permission that has been approved will be facilitated by the DOS.

All individuals requesting emergency travel are required to have a pending visa application with the DOS that has not been approved as a result of delays caused by the Consular Consolidated Database.

Applicants who were issued a 221(g) notice notifying them of pending administrative processing of their visa applications, are not eligible to make emergency travel requests.

Travel Permission Procedure:

Once a visa has been accepted, the consular post that has accepted the visa application, will release the traveler’s passport and issue a transportation letter. The transportation letter must be presented by the applicant at common carriers in order for the applicant to board international flights with an American destination. Once an applicant arrives at a U.S. port of entry and presents their transportation letter, the CBP will execute an I-193 to waive the nonimmigrant visa requirement necessary for admission into the United States, as well as the processing fee associated with the I-193.

Disclosures:

Visa applicants will not automatically be informed by the DOS whether or not the issuance of their visa has been delayed as a result of the aforementioned technical issues experienced by the Consular Database. It is recommended that visa applicants with emergency travel needs communicate with DOS as soon as possible.

For emergency travel requests that have not been approved and facilitated by DOS, it is not advisable for applicant’s to travel to the United States using a visitor’s visa or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) registration. The Consular Consolidated Database has instructed all officials at ports of entry to only consider CCD related I-193 waivers. Applicants who are found to have previously requested travel permission which was not granted by DOS, will risk a denial of their I-193 request. Please consult with an attorney before traveling to the United States if your visa application is still pending or if a consular post does not approve your emergency request.

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By Yingfei Zhou, Esq.

The TN is a wonderful category to achieve quick entry for Canadians and Mexicans without the extra H-1B baggage of a labor condition application (LCA) or specialty occupation analysis. Canadian professionals listed in Appendix 1603. D.1 to Annex 1603 of NAFTA can apply and be admitted to the U.S. under TN work category in a 24-hour period. The TN is also useful Canadians and Mexicans who have used up their allotted L-1 and/or H-1B time.

When presenting a TN application at a POE/PFI, the application paperwork should be straightforward and streamlined. You need to bring proof of your Canadian or Mexican citizenship, a detailed letter describing the professional activity as it appears in 8 CFR 214.6, documentation of the credentials as listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 (a resume is recommended), and application fee. The application must include every item required in 8 CFR 214.6(d).

Upon issuance, the TN employee will receive a “multiple-entry” I-94, a stamp in the current passport if the applicant has one and a fee receipt. In our practice, we recommend clients always to carry a copy of the employer letter with them, in addition to the I-94, whenever they need to re-enter the U.S. This has proved useful, especially when the TN professionals will be re-entering through various POE/PFIs in the course of the year for which the I-94 is valid because it confirms the basis for the original approval at any other port.

The spouse and children applying for TD status as dependents must present evidence of Canadian or Mexican citizenship and of the relationship to the TN principal such as marriage and birth certificates. Upon proper proof of the principal’s TN status and the spouse/parent-child relationship, these family members will be issued TD I-94s.

A sound strategy is to present an application for TN renewal at the POE/PFI where it was originally approved, especially in complex cases where familiarity with the initial approval will be a benefit.

The following TN applications for professionals for whom alternate credentials are authorized by the TN schedule are typically subject to greater scrutiny at the POE/PFI and may require special attention:

Management Consultant

This category receives high scrutiny from immigration inspectors because it is one of the two listed occupations under which one may qualify without any formal degree. Although the scrutiny is intense, favorable adjudications are common and numerous.

The key to a successful management consultant case is to refer to the definition of consultant as described in the INS Inspector’s Field Manual (IFM). A consultant only advises the company on its development. In addition to the employer letter, our office usually prepares a consulting agreement defining the scope of the consulting activities. The consulting agreement will be signed between the employer and the TN applicant. We find the agreement helpful in establishing that the applicant will not engage in hands-on managing activities and is outside the normal infrastructure of the company.

If the applicant has a degree, then the relevance of the degree to the consulting assignment becomes important. In addition to supplying a copy of the degree, a transcript with specific course work and all relevant post-secondary focused experience is helpful. If the applicant does not have a degree, experience letters should be obtained to document to minimum five years of experience. A detailed resume highlighting the applicant’s previous industry experience should also be included.

Computer Systems Analyst

This category requires a baccalaureate or post-secondary diploma/certificate and three years’ experience. POE/PFI officers increasingly look for industry-specific degrees and/or diplomas/certificates. Many individuals who qualify as computer systems analysts have degrees in business, mathematics, and engineering, instead of degrees that read “Computer Science”.

If this is the case, we usually ask for the client’s transcript to see what computer-related courses appear. Alternatively, we will try to obtain academic program equivalence. An academic equivalence is a statement by a competent credentials evaluator that the individual possesses the academic background to qualify as a computer systems analyst. This has nothing to do with employment experience, but only with academic achievement. Providing an academic equivalency can give evidentiary support and create a favorable record. Please also be advised that just because a document is entitled “diploma/certificate” does not mean the individual has earned the required two or three years of post-secondary studies. Therefore, the credentials presented should be accompanied by an official school transcript that shows a two- or three- year course of study. Additionally, you must be able to prove three years’ experience in the field of systems analysis. This is usually accomplished through letters from former employers or colleagues.

Executive Positions

This group includes executives and managers who seek to enter in order to run businesses at various levels and who may have degrees in business, commerce or other fields of studies. TN schedule does not specifically list either Executive or Manager. Applicants seeking admission to manage financial operations, who do not otherwise qualify for L-1A status, should consider to be presented as economists or accountants where possible. The actual professional duties that will be performed by the individual are what establish eligibility for the TN. This is a creative way to use the argument that USCIS often applies to challenge H-1B petition – it is not the title of the position that controls, but the actual duties performed.

The Issue of Dual Intent

NAFTA regulations make it clear that the presumption of immigrant intent under INA 214(b) applies to business persons admitted under NAFTA. However, there is no limit on the number of extensions of stay a TN professional may be granted. Denials of TN extension on the ground of immigrant intent are rare.

Self-Employment as a TN

Self-employment is clearly prohibited under NAFTA. NAFTA regulations warn that the TN provisions do not authorize the establishment of a business or practice in the United States in which the professional will be self-employed. If there is an issue of self-employment, applicants should consider the L-1, E-1, or E-2 category.

 

If your petition or application was denied or rejected based on a data entry and/or administrative error, it is possible to request an expedited review of your case and correction of the decision within a period of 5 business days, once the request is received by USCIS. In order to make such a request, the applicant or legal representative can contact the National Customer Service Center at the following phone number (800) 375-5283 if the applicant or legal representative believes the administrative error fits into the following categories:

admin error categories

It is important to note that any decision arising from this process does not affect expected processing times for appeals, motions, fixing errors made by the applicant or legal representative, does not create an independent right of action, nor addresses errors not specified in the categories above.

Please contact our office for legal advice.

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently released a report helping foreign workers and their employers answer the following question:

Where on the ETA Form 9089 should the employer enter the foreign worker’s qualifications which show that the foreign worker does in fact meet the minimum requirements to perform the job opportunity?

Such qualifications may include certifications, licensures, or other credentials. The ETA Form is meant to establish whether the foreign worker meets all of the qualifications for the job opportunity offered by their employer. The employer must list the foreign worker’s specific skills and other requirements for the job opportunity they are offering in Section H Question 14, and demonstrate that they in fact possess those skills and or requirements by utilizing Section K, and listing the foreign worker’s qualifications to prove that the requirements for the specified job opportunity listed in Section H have been met. Examples of qualifications that can be provided in Section K are; bar admissions, medical residency, ordination, professional exams, medical board certifications, professional certifications, teaching certificates, university or professional coursework, professional insurance, etc. For each special skill or requirement listed in Section H, the employer must demonstrate its respective business necessity. If not listed elsewhere, the qualifications to fulfill the job opportunity should be entered after all jobs held in the past three years are listed under Question 9 Job Details. It is advised that Question Numbers one to eight requesting job information can be left blank.

In the situation where a foreign worker has held two jobs within the last three years and who possesses a licensure required to perform a third job opportunity, obtained within the last three years (through a course of study irrespective of the qualifications required for Job 1 and Job 2), the employer for Job 3 should complete Section K Question Numbers one to nine for Job 1 and the same question numbers for Job 2. If the required license obtained to perform Job 3 is not stated explicitly under the information provided for Job 1 or 2 in Section K because it was not obtained in order to perform Job 1 or Job 2, the employer for Job 3 must list the license under Job 3 Section 9 to demonstrate that the foreign worker meets the requirements to perform the job opportunity. Question Numbers one to eight can be left blank on Job 3.

It is mandatory that the qualifications above be listed on all applications submitted on or after July 28, 2014.

For questions regarding demonstration of qualifications and business necessity please contact our office. 


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By Marie Puertollano, Esq.

We filed an H-1B case on April 1, 2014 for Product Line Manager, a position in the “Market Research Analyst” category of USCIS. The beneficiary has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. The petitioner (the employer) is involved in high tech manufacturing. A few weeks later, we received a Request for Evidence questioning two aspects of the case.

First, USCIS questioned the fact that the position qualifies as the “specialty occupation”. Many occupations in engineering, medicine or accounting are traditionally considered specialty occupations. However, occupations in sales or marketing included in the “Market Research Analyst” category are not normally viewed to be appropriate for H-1B. USCIS uses the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), a publication of the Department of Labor to determine what occupational category a particular position falls under. USCIS then tries to match the duties of a particular position with the occupational classifications found in OOH. As such, Product Line Manager position fell into Market Research Analyst classification.

Secondly, USCIS stated that the degree in Engineering of the beneficiary is unrelated to the position of Market Research Analyst. USCIS also routinely consults the OOH to determine the particular position’s educational requirements to determine whether the beneficiary’s background is relevant for the occupation. The OOH states that Market Research Analysts “typically need a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, and computer science. Others have backgrounds in business administration, the social sciences, or communications.” Engineering is not mentioned as a possible field of study. This is why USCIS asked to “clarify how the beneficiary’s educational background qualified the beneficiary for the proffered position of Product Line Manager/Market Research Analyst”.

We timely answered to the Request for More Evidence (RFE) and the case was approved one week after! Here are some of the pointers we used in our RFE response.

Continue reading →

Jose Antonio Vargas has quickly become the face that has humanized the struggle for immigration reform. Unlike other immigrants, Jose is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Washington Post reporter, activist, and the founder of an immigration awareness campaign called ‘Define American’. Back in June of 2011, Vargas courageously revealed to the world that he was undocumented in a column he wrote for New York Times magazine. In it he describes what his move to the United States was like, the lengths he went to as a child to fit in to the American lifestyle, and what it has been like residing in the United States unlawfully. Jose’s journey to the United States began much like that of any other immigrant. He was smuggled into the United States from the Philippines when he was only 12 years old by an individual he believed to be his relative. Once in the United States, Vargas was raised by his hardworking grandparents who afforded him a better future. From the outset, his upbringing in the bay area of San Francisco appeared to be much like that of any other American child.

It was not until he made a visit to the DMV to obtain his driver’s permit that he realized the green card he was given by his grandfather was in fact fake when he was told by the woman at the DMV window not to come back there again. For years, Jose Antonio Vargas has dedicated his life to standing in solidarity with the thousands of undocumented immigrants residing in the United States illegally. He has done this by serving as the voice of the undocumented, attending hundreds of conferences and speaking engagements, in addition to writing as a distinguished columnist.

Up until July 15th Vargas was able to advocate for the plight of undocumented immigrants without being apprehended despite constantly being in the public eye. A few days prior to July 15th Vargas appeared at a shelter housing Central American children and refugees and attended a vigil to honor them near the Rio Grande Valley. His presence in the region was meant to call attention to the humanitarian nature of the subject. In order to attend the event, Vargas crossed the McAllen, Texas TSA checkpoint, an area known to be highly secured and militarized. Vargas had not given much thought to the possible risk of being detained once he would return to the United States through the same checkpoint. According to the Department of Homeland Security Vargas was detained once he told TSA officials that he was residing in the country illegally. He was then taken to the McAllen Border Patrol Station and was given a Notice to Appear before an immigration judge. He was released within the same day after speaking with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Unfortunately for Vargas, until comprehensive immigration reform is passed, he will continue to be forced to live under the radar. Vargas was not able to qualify for the Dream Act or for DACA, because his age did not meet the cutoff age as required by law. Shortly after being released Vargas issued a statement saying that the undocumented are constantly having to live in fear as a result of the failure of Congress and President Obama to act and bring about a viable solution to the problem. Jose Antonio Vargas challenges Congress to act by asking them the question: how do we define American?

For more updates on immigration reform please continue to visit our blog. For legal advice please contact our office.