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The purpose of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) administrative inspection is to determine whether the employer has violated the prohibitions against hiring or continuing employment of unauthorized aliens and Form I-9 violations. Usually, a 72-hour notice will be given to employers preceding the ICE Form I-9 administrative inspection. The Notice of Inspection indicates the date, time, and place for the inspection and the documentation that the employer is requested to produce.

Form I-9 inspection may be conducted by any of the three authorized government agencies: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel. DHS may initiate investigations after public complaints. Form I-9 inspection may be conducted either on the employer’s premises, at an agency office, or at the agency’s discretion. Employers that use electronic Form I-9 storage systems need only retrieve and reproduce the forms electronically retained in the storage system and supporting items requested by the inspecting agency.

If the employer does not comply with the request to present the forms and supporting documents, ICE may compel production by issuing a subpoena. A delay in the production of the forms and supporting documents may be considered a violation of compliance requirements. After a Form I-9 inspection, ICE will notify the employer as to its results. The current procedure is to notify the employer in writing of the result of the completed inspection. However, informal manner of notification may also been recognized as a valid notification as the Ninth Circuit has held that “even after an informal oral government notice, it is important for the employer to terminate the employee promptly to avoid knowingly continuing to employ violation.”

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Jose came into our office yesterday.  He had been here before.  About a year ago he came in to have a consultation with us and it seems we didn’t have the “right” answers that he wanted to hear.  This led to Jose searching for what he really wanted to hear.

For the past year, Jose has visited several immigration attorneys to confirm the information we had already given him.  The answer was always the same; except one day he found one attorney who gave him hope.  Unfortunately, the attorney took his hope, his money, and didn’t do anything to help.

We hear this story often and there isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t see a person who has entrusted their life and their savings to an inexperienced attorney, or worst yet, to an unscrupulous attorney or immigration consultant.  There are times that we have to give people the bad news – that there is nothing that can be done to help them.  The person is usually devastated and in their desperation will state “I’ll find a better attorney and he will be able to help me.”  The truth is, if you search for the answer you want to hear, you will always find someone who are willing to help you; that is they are willing help you be separated from your money – leaving you hopeless.

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The Law Offices of Jacob J Sapochnick is currently hosting a toy drive for children in need this holiday season. The toy drive will benefit an orphanage in Tijuana.

If you are interested in contributing, please bring your unused toys to our law office at 1502 Sixth Avenue San Diego CA 92101 by Thursday, December 18th.

We thank you for your support, Happy Holidays!

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President Obama’s executive action announced on November 20, 2014 fell short in many ways than one for many people residing in the United States—both legally and illegally. Though a marginalized few have been allowed to come out of the shadows, some of the world’s best and brightest have been completely ignored by the executive action altogether. The United States would be quite a different place without our hard working immigrant population and without our foreign born innovators, movers, and shakers.

Obama’s announcement on November 20th notably left out any indication that the creation of a more expedient and efficient system would be considered— through which highly skilled and highly capable foreign workers would be able to more easily attain permanent residency and visas. Industry leaders in areas such as the Silicon Valley, seeking to employ such highly skilled and highly capable foreign workers for their startup companies, have expressed their concerns, forming groups such as FWD.us, albeit with the knowledge that Congress must act in order for an all-encompassing solution to be reached.

Though Obama’s speech shed little light on the topic, a memorandum released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security following the speech is much more informative. The memorandum announces that inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises who do not qualify for a national interest waiver, but who have been awarded what is considered ‘substantial’ financing by a U.S. investor OR who ‘hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting edge research’ can attain parole authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA,6 on a case-by-case basis after being assessed by the DHS. Possessing parole in this situation would authorize extraordinary inventors, researchers, or start-up entrepreneurs to temporarily conduct their research or development of innovative ideas or their business while in the United States.

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By Marie Puertollano, Esq.

In the past few months, we have seen an increase in the number of instances when the green card application was approved, but the client never received it in the mail. What should you do in this situation?

Check your status online

First, you will need to go to uscis.gov. Under “Check your case status,” type your I-485 case number, which can be located at the top left corner of the receipt notice. If your case status shows that your green card was delivered, USCIS provides a tracking number from the US Postal Service (USPS) confirming the exact date, hour and zip code where the green card was delivered.

If you have moved and forgot to update your address, you will need to go to your old place of residence and request your green card from the person living at your previous place of residence. It is a crime to steal a green card. On one occasion, a client’s green card was delivered to an old address. The new tenant tore up the envelope with the green card in it, misplaced it, and brought it more than 2 months later. Continue reading

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Beginning January 02, 2015 in the state of California, undocumented immigrants will be able to benefit from Assembly Bill 60, The Safe and Responsible Driver Act enacted in 2013. Beginning immediately, undocumented driver’s license applicants, will be able to schedule an appointment on or after January 02, 2015 with their local DMV by calling 1-800-777-0133, online on the California DMV website www. dmv.ca.gov, or via their smart phones on the DMV NOW iPhone and Android applications.

Applicants should make sure to comply with the following in order to obtain their ‘original’ driver’s licenses:

  • Study for the driver license exam
  • Complete a driver license application form (DL 44) available at the DMV office
  • Under AB 60, applicants will need to provide DMV with:

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On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of Executive actions that will be implemented by the administrative agencies to optimize the immigration system in the U.S. The President has not given up on advocating for the comprehensive immigration reform and intended for these executive actions to be the beginning of the change in our broken immigration system. The President’s announcement focused on the following key initiatives:

- Strengthen border security and revise removal priorities.

Per the initiative, DHS will develop effective border security strategies focusing especially on southern land and maritime borders and the West Coast preventing illegal immigration.

DHS will also implement a new department-wide enforcement and removal policy that places

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The 27th AILA (American Immigration Lawyer Association) California Chapter Conference was held between the 13th and 15th of November 2014 at San Jose, California. Attorney Yingei Zhou, Esq. was in attendance on behalf of our law firm. The conference concentrated on several trending topics such as status of comprehensive immigration reform, consular processing and updates with border posts in Mexico and Canada, driver’s licenses for undocumented workers, unaccompanied alien children (UAC), H-1B/L-1A/O-1/EB-1 adjudications, federal litigation, and advanced family immigration issues, as well as staple subjects like evidentiary issues in removal proceedings and PERM applications.

This article provides you several important updates from the conference addressed at the conference, especially the government open forums with AILA practitioners, USCIS representatives, CBP officers, and San Francisco Asylum officers.

In the following weeks, we will post more articles to address the trends on each specific visa applications and immigration proceedings discussed in the conference.

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President Obama’s executive order is looming on the horizon, as part of an alleged 10 point plan the president plans to announce as early as Friday, November 21. According to a draft proposal released by a U.S. government agency, the plan may suspend removal proceedings for millions of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, as well as parents of U.S. Citizen children residing in the United States illegally, and parents of green card holders, by allowing them to benefit from a reprieve that will expand deferred action for these individuals. Among its 10 initiatives, firstly, the plan proposes to bolster border security, secondly, to improve pay for immigration officers, thirdly, to provide a 50% discount to the first 10,000 applicants whose income levels are below 200% of the poverty level in order to encourage participation, fourthly, to establish a program designed to stimulate the tech industry which could potentially offer millions of immigrants and their dependents a path to citizenship, and lastly, to prioritize removal proceedings on the basis of the severity of an immigrant’s criminal history, calling an end to the program known as ‘Secure Communities.’ This 10 point plan makes anyone who entered the United States before turning 16 and before the date of January 01, 2010, eligible for naturalization. Such a plan would thereby suspend deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants.

The proposal has not yet been announced, we would like to inform our audience to please be wary of fraudulent schemes. At this time ONLY preliminary information has been released.

Please continue to follow our blog for further updates, for more information please contact our office.  It is our goal to provide you with the most up to date immigration reform developments.

By Yingfei Zhou, Esq.

The federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that a noncitizen’s grant of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) qualifies as “inspection and admission” into the United States. This decision follows the similar decisions issued by the Sixth Circuit of Appeals and the District Court for the Western District of Washington. This new ruling will affect a group of TPS beneficiaries who fall within the geographic boundaries covered by the court and are seeking to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to the conditions (such as ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions) in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.

The sole issue in the matter is whether the grant of TPS is sufficient to meet the requirement of being “inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States for purposes of adjustment of status. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), inspection and admission are eligibility requirements for adjustment of status to LPR. In other words, only individuals who were “inspected and admitted or paroled” into the U.S. by an immigration officer may apply for LPR status from inside the U.S. Those who crossed the border without passing through an official checkpoint must leave the country to have their paperwork processed by the U.S. consulate abroad to obtain the LPR status. Departing U.S. to have paperwork processed from abroad might cause penalties to the immigrants or have them facing the dangerous conditions that merited the TPS designation.

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