MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION UPDATE

DOJ Penalizes Utah Company for Discrimination in Hiring Practices

DOJ recently issued a statement regarding a Utah engineering firm, Setpoint Systems, Inc., and their hiring practices. The company is in a specialized area of business that handles engineering exports of defense articles and services and falsely believed they should only hire U.S. Citizens to fill their professional positions. This practice has led to an investigation by the DOJ and thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, the company is now subject to DOJ monitoring and reporting requirements, which is an ongoing burden of federal oversight. Every Company Needs Training This case is one of many discrimination cases that have been arising out of the DOJ Immigrant Employee Rights Section

Ohio IMAGE Member Company Targeted by ICE

​ On Tuesday, June 19, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided Fresh Mark, an IMAGE member meat supplier in Northern Ohio, and arrested 146 of its workers. According to a news release published on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Official Website last Tuesday, Fresh Mark is a member of ICE’s IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) program. Under IMAGE, employers voluntarily agree to partner with ICE to help them comply with federal immigration regulations. ICE’s news release states that despite Fresh Mark’s participation in the program, the DHS has been investigating the company for a year on the basis that they likely hired undocumented worker

What can U.S. Businesses do to keep their Valued Workers and stay Compliant? Tips from the American

As you heard from my colleagues, Danielle Atchison and Mason Ellis, we have just returned from San Francisco, where we attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference. Expert panelists throughout the United States have been confirming what we have been seeing in our practice area: that USCIS is issuing more denials and requests for evidence than ever before; that cases need to be more heavily documented due to the extremely high levels of scrutiny from USCIS; and to expect more delays in all immigration cases. What can U.S. businesses do to keep their valued foreign workers, and to continue to do business that advances the U.S. economy? Not every business can afford

AILA National Conference 2018:  U.S. Employers Have an Uphill Battle, But It Can Be Done!

My colleges (Danielle Atchison & Leyla McMullen) and I are in San Francisco at the AILA Annual National Conference, and we’ve had another full day of sharpening skills, learning from the experience of other attorneys around the country, and finding ways to better serve our clients. We have participated in a variety of sessions relating to business immigration, but there have been some common focuses and takeaways throughout: The landscape of U.S. immigration is NOTHING like it was, even twelve months ago. What has worked for the last 10-15 years is NOT likely to produce the same results today. What Employers Should Know: There is still hope, but this process is not for the faint of heart, an

First Update from the 2018 AILA American Immigration Attorneys Annual Conference

My colleagues at Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law firm, including business immigration lawyers Leyla McMullen and Mason Ellis, and I landed in San Francisco yesterday prepared to dive right into the amazing continuing legal education programs provided at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2018 Annual Conference. In just a few hours, we tapped into some great topics, including the most interesting session in my view: " Taking Stock and Looking Ahead: The Trump Administration's Impact on Immigration Policy." The American Immigration Council presented an overview of what has happened since President Trump took office and brought some very striking facts. The speakers reported

2018 ICE Employer Worksite Investigations Doubled from Last Year

Background: In October of 2017 we reported that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worksite enforcement was set to sharply increase. Acting Director of ICE, Thomas Homan, had just announced he had directed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to increase worksite enforcement investigations by four to five times. Director Homan stated that his agency’s goal was to continue to criminally prosecute employers for noncompliance. In that same month, Asplundh Tree Experts was fined $95 million for not complying with federal immigration regulations. Recent Update from ICE: On May 21 of 2018, ICE announced that in the first few months of 2018, they had already doubled the number of ong

H-1B Visa Caps Causing U.S. to Lose High-Skill Jobs to Canada

The U.S.’ outdated immigration system is hurting our country’s businesses and economy by forcing employers to move high-skill jobs abroad. H-1B visa shortages are causing the U.S. to lose talent, jobs, and therefore taxable income, to neighboring countries, such as Canada. On April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) met the 65,000 H-1B Visa regular cap and 20,000 H-1B advanced degree exemption cap for the fiscal year 2019. USCIS received 190,098 petitions during the filing period (94,213 for the regular cap and 95,885 for the Master's exemption cap). The congressionally-mandated cap has led companies that were unable to secure U.S. visas, such as H-1B, for their high-skil

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