Wednesday, October 31, 2012


While I was out of the country last week, the ACLU of Georgia and the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The suit seeks public records which they have filed under FOIA or Freedom of Information Act documenting the effects of Georgia’s increasing involvement in immigration enforcement, including information that will shed light on increasing reports of racial profiling and police abuse. 
The two organizations requested the records over six months ago and DHS/ICE has not yet released the records. 
The records sought in the lawsuit will reveal who is being targeted for immigration enforcement, and how increased immigration enforcement by police is impacting public safety and civil rights and may cause abuse under HB87.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency should release the record within 20 days. Six months is certainly excessive under that standard. I will blog on updates when available. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A new study by the Kauffman Foundation indicates that since 2005, less U.S. companies were founded by immigrants or foreign-born entrepreneurs, with the most significant drop in the state of California within technology firms.
The Kauffman Foundation is right on the money. Our immigration system is more and more unwelcoming to immigrant entrepreneurs. Coupled with a recession and more difficult business environment in the U.S. in the past few years, less immigrant entrepreneurs are finding the U.S. an attractive place.
The Kauffman Foundation report shows that the proportion of companies founded by immigrants nationwide has dropped to 24.3 percent from 25.3 percent in the past five years. In Silicon Valley, the decline was worse: dropping to 43.9 percent from 52.4 percent.
This is alarming for anyone who cares about innovation, job creation or U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. This is what we have been telling everyone for years, that we have a broken immigration system that needs to be fixed and welcome entrepreneurs.
The U.S. can reverse the trend of declining immigrant entrepreneurship with changes in policies and opportunities. We really ought to have start-up business visas for these entrepreneurs and expand the number of green cards for skilled foreigners to work in these start-ups in order to make the U.S. more attractive.
USCIS has started taking encouraging steps like their entrepreneurs in residence program, which had little effect so far. What we need is opening doors and our immigration system for entrepreneurs who bring innovation, investments and jobs to the U.S.
Hopefully the new elections will bring a different Congress which will actually do something about the problems in this country, instead of the “do nothing” mode we have endured so far.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Another bad outcome of HB87 part of the law of unintended consequences: Now, because the state needs to check a person's identification and legal status in the United State, and they are short-staffed, thousands or even more U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are stuck unable to renew their license on time. Over 200 professions require licensing in the state of Georgia, and they are now taking weeks or months to be renewed instead of days that it took in the past. For some nurses, one of the critical shortage occupations in the state, the wait can be as much as 3 months.
Of course, no one could prove that there were significant numbers of undocumented immigrants receiving state licenses for any occupation. Now, because of HB87, people have to show a "secure and verifiable document" to obtain the license, which many people do not have and is not even required to vote.
The Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, said his office cannot keep up with all the calls (almost 500,000 calls) due to the delays. The state licenses about 500,000 people. HB87 took an automatic process and made it much more bureaucratic, with no increase in funds or a way to go through rough patches.
Yes, people might die because a U.S. citizen nurse cannot get her license on time, what a sad state of affairs all because some hot heads in the Georgia legislature wanted to look like they were "cracking down on illegal immigration" and passed HB87.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Great news to all who fear filing for DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - in fear that Romney would be elected President and cancel the program. On CNN, Romney states that he will continue the program for people who were granted DACA by the current administration.
This is great news and the first positive announcement out of Romney about something positive for immigrants. Nothing to fear now, everyone who qualifies need to apply!
The first DACA cases have been approved and are waiting on many more.
For assistance with these cases, call us at 404-935-0056 contact us at