For the first time, qualifying undocumented immigrant students will be eligible for in-state tuition rates and state financial aid through the Maryland Dream Act. Thousands of students will benefit and will be able to access higher education in this state over the next many years. On passage of this initiative, Maryland will join 13 more states that offer some sort of a tuition equity for students who are undocumented.
Through the Maryland Board of Elections, an unofficial tally of votes was reported, with 58.3 percentage supporting the initiative and 41.7 percentage against it. An estimated 96 percent of this enclosing boundary have reported, which also included early voting and election-day voting. However absentee ballots were not included. Per reports, the final decision on the votes will not be officially tallied until Nov. 16. In addition to this. No official announcement will be made before December 7.
It needs mention here that the bill was passed in the state’s General Assembly sometime back in April 2011 and then got the approval of Gov. Martin O’Malley. However, opponents took this as a chance and gathered many signatures to force a referendum.
While this initiative draws its name from a federal bit of legislation, (the DREAM Act) this state level bill is limited in scope. The DREAM Act was proposed to provide a pathway to US citizenship for eligible undocumented young people who go to college or serve in the military. The bill last came up for a vote in 2010, but failed to get enough votes.
Remember, this Maryland Dream Act does not refer to citizenship in any way. It only permits some undocumented students a better opportunity to state funding for higher education. To be eligible under this Act, students should have attended a Maryland high school for at least 3 years and be able to provide proof that their parents have paid taxes. Alabama and South Carolina do not encourage enrollment for undocumented students, as well as some colleges in Georgia.
Approximately 38 Naturalized U.S Citizens are competing on Team USA at the Olympics. Some of the athletes to watch out in this year’s Olympics Games.
Marathon – Abdi Abdirahman birth place Hargisa Country Somalia & Meb Keflezighi birth place Asmara Country Eritrea.
Road (Road Race) – Chris Horner birth place Okinawa Country Japan.
10,000 M – Janet Bawcom birth place Kapsabet Country Kenya.
5000 M – Lopez Lomong birth place Kimotong Country Sudan & Bernard Lagat birth place Kapsabet Country Kenya.
1500 M – Leo Manzano birth place Dolores Hidalgo Country Mexico.
Archery – Khatuna Lorig birth place TIbilisi Country Republic.
Relays – Debbie Dunn birth place Ocho Rios Country Jamaica.
Running 400M, 200M – Sanya Richards R birth place Kingston Country Jamaica.
400M Hurdles – Kerron Clement birth place Port of Spain Country Trinidad.
Doubles Badminton – Howard Bach birth place Saigon Country Vietnam.
Individual & Team Dressage (Equestrian) – Jan Ebeling birth place Berlin Country Germany.
Individual & Team Eventing (Equestrian) – Philips Dutton birth place Nyguen Country Australia & Boyd Martin birth place New South Wale Country Australia.
Individual & Team Saber (Fencing) – Daryl Homer birth place St.Thomas Country Virgin Island & Dagmara Wozniak birth place Wroclaw Country Poland.
Individual & Team Fiol (Fencing) – Miles Chamley Watson birth place London Country England.
Hockey (Defender) – Caroline Nichols birth place Hamilton Country Bermuda.
Artistic (Gymnastics) – Danell Leyva birth place Cardenas Country Cuba.
Judo (73 Kg & 100 Kg) – Nick Delpopolo birth place Niksic Country Montene & Kyle Vashkulat birth place Kiev Country Ukraine.
Rowing (Eight) – Susan Francia birth place Szeged Country Hungary & Giuseppe Lanzone birth place Lima Country Peru.
Rowing (Lightweight Four) – Robin Prendes birth place Matanzas Country Cuba.
Sailing (Elliott 6m) – Anna Tunnicliffe birth place Doncaster Country England.
10M Air Pistol, Sport Pistol – Sandra Uptagrafft birth place Singapore Country Singapore.
Rapid Fire Pistol – Emil Milev birth place Sofia Country Bulgaria.
Football (Forward) – Sydney Leroux birth place Canada Los Angeles.
Synchronized Swimmer (Duet) – Mariya Koroleva birth place Yarosalvl Country Russia.
Doubles & Mixed Doubles Tennis – Liezel Huber birth place Durban Country South Africa.
Tennis (Singles) – Varvara Lepchenko birth place Tashkent Uzebekistan.
Triathlon – Manuel Huerta birth place Havana Country Cuba.
Volleyball (Setter) – Donald Suxho birth place Korce Country Albania.
Beach Volley Ball – Phil Dalhausser birth place Baden Country Switzeland.
Wrestler Freestyle (63 kg & 120 kg) – Elena Pirozhkova birth place Novokuznetsk Country Russia & Tervel Dlagnev birth place Sofia Country Bulgaria.
Swimming – Mike Alexandrov birth place Sofia Country Bulgaria.
ALL THE BEST TEAM USA.
Two weeks back, the quota for H1-B Visas ran out within just 10 weeks of time after it was opened on April 1st. In year 2010 quota was completed in Jan 2011, and in 2011 cap was filled in Nov 2011. First every quota was established in year 1990. This is good news for immigrants and the employers who are petitioning because of the improving job market. Bad news for the US citizens, they want skilled immigrants to stay competitive in the market.
Most of them still think H1-B workers take US jobs, but this isn’t the case. Hiring of these skilled workers doesn’t come at very less cost, government and legal fee runs in thousands of dollars. Fee of $ 1,500 must be paid by US Companies for each H1-B petition for training and scholarship fee. So for a year 65,000 visas, it comes up to $2 billion according to NFAP. This amount is used for more than 53,000 scholarships for students, several programs for 190,000 students and 6,800 school teachers and train up to for more than 55,000 US workers.
In year 2008, Bill Gates once testified “Microsoft had found that every H1-B hire we make, we add and average four employees to support them in various capacities”. H1-B workers create jobs, so only the US employer wants them. Immigrants have outstanding track records in creating jobs. In the latest survey conducted by New American Economy, nearly 20% of the fortune companies out of 500 were founded or cofounded by Immigrants; companies include Google, Intel, Yahoo and eBay. According NFAP (National Foundation for American Policy), on average 7.5 workers were associated with every H1-B application.
This is not a good sign for most of the US employers, because the H1-B quota is over within 10 weeks of time. So big firm to stay ahead of the business, they are planning to open operation outside the US. These will also lead the employer so hire Immigrants and start the business in countries which have more liberal Immigration laws such as Canada.
Half of the enrollment for engineering, math and computer science is by foreign students. In the year 2008, Harvard Business School concluded, nearly half of all scientists and engineers in the US who hold doctorate are immigrants.
To increase the US Economy, the H1B visa program should be reformed. Cap limit can be increased to 100,000 for a year, or based on the economy cap can be decided every year. H1-B visa obtained after studying in US can be excluded under the cap.
This visa is for foreign people who seeking admission to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that religion. The main criterion in obtaining R visa is that one must have been a member of religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in US. The processing time is normally 2-4 months.
On R-1 Visa one can even study full time and receive money or payment for the service performed. If the employer petition one can even petition for Green Card. Principal applicant of the R1 Visa holder can bring in spouse and also unmarried children below 21 years of age under R-2 Visa as dependents. Dependents of the R-1 Visa are not allowed to work but allowed to study, given the financial support while in US.
Since R visa is an employer petition, employer must use Form I-129 (Petition of Nonimmigrant Worker). Until unless the petition is approved by either DHS or USCIS, the religious worker can not apply for visa at US Embassy or US Consulate. Once the petition is approved, either the employer or the agent will receive Form I-797 (Notice of Action). Visa applicants should bring in the petition receipt number to the visa interview. Through department of the State’s Petition Information Management System (PIMS), the verification of the petition is done. There is no guarantee if the petition is approved you will get the visa, they prove the ineligibility and give the reason for rejection.
Once visa is approved, R Visa holder can stay up to 30 months initially, which can be extend again for 30 month. It should not exceed more than 5 years. Changing of the employer is also allowed during the stay but the new petition need to be submitted by the new employer or organization by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.
Necessary document needed while submitting to obtain R Visa are:
- Proof you are working as minister of religion or involved in religious occupation for a non-profit organization which is exempted from tax.
- Proof that you have been member of religious organization for at least 2 years.
- Employer proof to support the applicant above the property line (such as bank statement).
- Any recommendation letters.
- Evidence that you are qualified to work in US.
- IRS proof of the tax exempt status of the organization in the US.
R visa holder can adjust the status to obtain Green Card; one must file Form I-360 (Special Immigrant Petition) and later From I-485 to adjust the status.
Religious Vocation: Demonstration of a lifelong commitment for religious life. Ex: Nuns, Monks and religious brothers and sisters.
Religious Denomination: Doctrine and discipline in religious services and ceremonies. Creed and worship in established places for worship.
If there is one thing that best represent Japan’s natural beauty, it has to be the highest mountain- Mt. Fuji. The 3,766m symmetrical cone shaped mountain has inspired poet and artist for decades, where it was often depicted with the top- half covered in snow.
My first visit to the mountain was last year, during the hiking season where the picturesque snow-capped was gone.
USCIS protects the victims of crimes by providing immigration relief. US law renders protections for lawful and undocumented immigrants who are victims of criminal offenses. Most victims do not know about such protections. Specific protections are offered for victims of domestic aggression and victims of certain other crimes such as human trafficking. The non-immigrant visa permits the victims to continue their stay in the US to help in the investigation and prosecution of human traffickers.
USCIS offers two kinds of visas for the victims of crimes, U and the T visas. These visas help the victims to live and work in the US, lawfully.
The U-Visa was created under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It was created to provide relief to the immigrants who are victims of certain crimes. The U non-immigrant visa provides immigration security to crime victims who have endured substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime. This visa is generally valid for 4 years. The applicant cannot directly become a permanent resident on getting the U visa.
Benefits of getting a U Visa
By getting a U-visa, the crime victim will be allowed to stay and work in the US lawfully,for a period of 4 years. After getting the U visa, the victim is eligible to apply for a Green card or adjust status after three years.
To qualify for a U visa, the victim must
- Have suffered serious mental or physical abuse is eligible for a U visa.
- Provide sufficient information about the crime.
- Show that the criminal activity has violated the US laws.
- Be co-operative in the investigation process.
Form I-918 must be filed with the USCIS, to apply for a U visa. This form must be certified by a local law enforcement authority or by a state or federal authority. This form will be certified only if the the victim of the crime is willing to cooperate with the officials to solve the crime. While applying for the U visa, a cover letter describing the physical or mental abuse suffered by the applicant. Personal identification documents such as copies of passport, birth certificates must accompany the form.
T non-immigrant visas are allotted for the victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is sort of modern slavery. Through that the individuals are lured with false promises related to employment. There are two types of trafficking, labor and sex trafficking. The poor and the unemployed are found to be the victims of human trafficking. These visas assist the victims of crime by granting temporary work authorization and legal status. Victims with a T visa can live and work in the US for four years. Through that they are given a chance recover from the injury of the crime. Once a T non-immigrant visa is given, the victim can apply for a Green Card after three years.
To get a T visa, the victim must
- Show that he/she is a victim of a severe form of trafficking.
- Be present physically in the US due to trafficking.
- Show that he/she will suffer hardship if removed from the US.
Form I-914, Application for T non-immigration status must be filed with the USCIS to apply for a T visa. Evidence showing the eligibility requirements for applying and a cover letter stating the the nature of trafficking must be submitted with the application. If the U or T visa applicant is below 21 years of age, the applicant’s immediate relatives can apply for a U/T visa derivative status (Immediate relatives include parents, husband or wife, children, unmarried brother or sisters below the age of 18). If the applicant is over the age of 21, the applicant’s husband or wife and children are eligible to apply for U/T visa derivative status.
These following principles are incarnated in federal law on legal permanent residence, the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) in the year 1952.
- The reunification of families
- The admission of immigrants with needed skills
- The protection of refugees
- The diversity of admissions by the country of origin
Noncitizens are described as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States” another word is ‘Alien’. In this category even the people who violated the rule of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), who are here legally.
There are two basic types legal of aliens are immigrants and non-immigrants. Immigrants are aliens who look for obtaining Green Card and later which will lead to obtain US Citizenship. Non-immigrants – such as tourists, foreign students, diplomats, skilled and unskilled workers, exchange visitors are admitted for specific purpose and short or temporary period time.
Entering US either in immigrant or non-immigrant visa is subjected to numerical limits and preference category, on basis of family relationship, geographic diversity and skilled workers. Allocated number for family based immigration is 226,000, for employment based is 140,000 and for diversity (Lottery Program) is 55,000 and few numbers for refugees and aslyees which come around 650,000 worldwide cap (which changes yearly).
Most of immigrants enter US because of the relationship with the US Citizen or even Lawful Permanent Residence. 64% legal immigrants entered US on the basis of family ties (FY 2001) below list provide the break-up for each of Immigrant category.
1. Immediate relatives of citizens – 443,964
2. Family preference – 232,143
3. Employment preference – 179,195
4. Refugee and asylee adjustments – 108,506
5. Diversity – 42,506
6. Other – 58,495
Refugees and Asylees
Obtaining a Refugees status or admission is a persecution of situations of “special humanitarian concern” to the United States. The allocation of the number for Refugee preference, among refugee groups are decided at the start of the each fiscal year by the President after consulting with the Congress. Asylum status is granted on a case by case basis to alien physical presence in US.
Removal from US
CBP (Customs and Border Protection) are the consular officer upon entry to the US of an Alien they decide whether you are eligible, if ineligible under so called “grounds of inadmissibility” of INA. Categories are:
- health-related grounds;
- criminal history;
- national security and terrorist concerns;
- public charge (e.g., indigence);
- seeking to work without proper labor certification;
- illegal entrants and immigration law violations;
- lacking proper documents;
- ineligible for citizenship; and,
- aliens previously removed.
Per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), I-94 non immigrant admissions can be sub divided into three categories
- Short-term resident, and
- Expected long-term resident
The word “resident” should not be meant as “lawful permanent resident” of the US. It is mentioned only as an easy short-hand. The “non-resident” non-immigrant classification generally includes visitors for business or pleasure (tourists). They are generally authorized to remain no longer than six months. However, they can apply for extensions to stay an additional period of time. Due to this short stay, childbirths in this classification might be relatively low.
The “short-term resident” non-immigrant classification consists of trainees, students, exchange visitors, treaty traders and investors, intra-company transferees, and other types of non-immigrants who probably will be in the US for a longer period. Thus chances of them give birth to a child while physically present in the US are more.
Non-Resident Non-Immigrants: Per OIS report, 47.3 percent of the total “non-resident” non-immigrant admissions are women. The estimate figure is 4,555,942 female admissions for that non-immigrant category in 2009. An estimated 3,890,774 female tourists are in the child-bearing age.
The US currently does not have a formal exit recording system that would provide data on how many of these visitors are likely to remain in the US long enough to have a child, but in the past DHS researched the travel patterns of temporary visitors through the I-94 arrival/departure forms. Per their report, most foreign tourists stay for a short period of about two weeks or less, but a significant number stay longer. The OIS departure data suggests that about 20 percent of tourists are here for three months or longer, a period that would provide the opportunity for a pregnant visitor to give birth and recover. It roughly estimates that about 780,000 women are legally present visiting here long enough to have a child.
Per the US Census data, in 2009, 5 percent of all foreign national women aged 18 to 35 who arrived within the last year reported giving birth during the year. It could well mean as many as 39,000 births annually to women who have arrived as tourists.
Short-Term Resident Non-Immigrants: Using the same principle as was used above with “non-resident” non-immigrants, we can arrive at a figure of 770,452 admissions of women in the specified age range in 2009. Artists, entertainers, athletes, and their entourages tend to make shorter visits. They comprise 5 percent of short-term resident admissions, so the figure can be reduced to 732,000.
The number of admissions is not the same as the number of individuals as some tend to come and go many times during the year. Since the average length of time before departure and return is six months at a time, it simply means that the average visitor in this classification will have two admissions per year. So the number of individual visitors can be somewhere close to half the number of admissions. So the estimated population of short-term resident women of child-bearing age can be estimated at 366,000. Using the 5 percent birth rate, we can roughly say that 18,300 children might have accrued U.S. citizenship at birth for this non-immigrant category.
Per the Congressional Budget Office, “The total number of [non-immigrant] admissions in 2009 includes approximately 126 million admissions of Canadians and Mexicans who can enter the US without a visa and who need not have to fill out an Arrival/Departure Record (an I-94 form) when they enter. This number includes Canadian nationals traveling for business or tourism purposes and certain Mexican nationals with Border Crossing Cards.
The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) was a proposal enacted by the US legislation on August 1, 2001. It was re-introduced in the US Senate on May 11, 2011. Through this enactment, illegals and foreign national students who graduate from US high schools having good moral character, but are deportable can get conditional residency. To qualify, they should have entered the US legally or illegally as minors. In addition, they should have been in the US continuously for a period of at least five years before the bill was enacted.
The DREAM Act can turn to a win-win situation. It would give legal status to illegal students, who can contribute to the US and on the other hand, the US can use the students’ education and talents. If you (the student) contribute two years in the US military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, you will qualify for six years of temporary residence. Within this six year period, you are required to get a degree from an institution of higher education in the US or completed at least two years in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the US OR served in the armed services for at least 2 years. If you served in the armed services and discharged, it should have been an honorable discharge.
If your permanent resident status is terminated, you will return to the immigration status you were immediately before you got conditional permanent resident status under the DREAM Act. Per the 2009 version of the senate bill, you should submit evidence of having arrived in the US before reaching 16 years of age. You should possess residence proof in the US for at least five years since you arrived. In addition, you should have registered with the Selective Service (if male) and be between 12 and 30 years old at the time the DREAM Act was enacted. Apart from the said requirements, you should have graduated from an US high school, got a GED, or admitted to an institution of higher education. Not to forget having a good moral character.
If the DREAM Act is passed and you meet all the requirements mentioned above, you have to apply for the DREAM Act. There are no clear guidelines on how to apply as the bill is not passed as yet. After it is approved and you are given conditional residency, you are required to enroll in an institution of higher education to get a bachelor’s degree or higher degree OR enlist in one of the branches of the US Military. Before completing six years of approval for conditional residency, you should have completed at least two years of one of the points mentioned in the previous sentence. After you complete five and a half years of the six year period, you are eligible to apply for Legal Permanent Residence. You then subsequently qualify for American Citizenship five years after being a legal permanent resident.
If you have already completed at least two years of college education towards a bachelor’s degree or higher degree, you still are required to wait the five and half years to qualify for Legal Permanent Residency though you might already got a degree.
International companies can transfer managerial and specialized knowledge employees from their foreign office to their US office through the L-1 visa classification. Foreign companies are also permitted to establish a new office in the United States.