Category Archives: Immigration

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Immigration Law Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

The new Biden administration has promised many things, one of them being reform for immigration laws. Immigration has been a rising subject with the government, especially in the last couple of years.

 

Late last year, Biden promised to tackle issues regarding immigration, in several aspects. The ability to deliver these promises may not come so easily, since the new administration is facing a number of factors.

 

There might be many roadblocks, but people all over the country are staying on top of these very possible changes. We look at the predictions for this year. 

 

Reestablishing DACA 

 

In 2020, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival was placed on a halt, but with a new administration, that halt won’t last for long. The new administration has announced their commitment to giving these children a path to citizenship that way they can work and attend school in the United States without fear that this could be revoked. This will have to go under legislative action to enforce reforms. This reform could also help provide migrants with more financial stability if it does go through. 

 

Making the Citizenship Test Easier 

 

Most people who apply for citizenship fear the test. They think it’ll be too difficult for them to pass or to apply for immigration into the U.S. Immigrant visa approvals averaged at 17% between 2016 and 2019. It goes to show that they weren’t as easily accessible. People were denied visas more than they were granted them. The new administration has pledged to work on this, to change the way green cards and visas work. Similar to DACA, this would require congressional approval, which can take plenty of time. 

 

Defunding the Wall 

 

The wall that the Trump administration funded may no longer be getting the money it was once receiving. In fact, the new administration wants to do away with the wall. This could end up saving the United States approximately $2.6 billion. Although, this could end up charging fees in terms of demolition, approximating to $700 million, so either way, some kind of money is going to have to be spent towards these efforts. 

 

Reinvesting in Refugee Programs 

 

Refugees and asylum seekers were barred from coming into the country for a while, mainly when the COVID-19 pandemic started to jump from one country to another. The new administration aims to find a way to help refugees and asylum seekers come in while also being able to follow safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. There are thousands of cases waiting to be heard, mainly from Mexico, which the new administration says that they will be working on shortly. 

 

No Longer Separating Children and Parents at the Border 

 

In previous years, several sources and large heaps of money were going into ICE facilities. With the new administration, this isn’t totally the case. The new administration has spoken about creating a task force for several efforts, one of them being, reuniting children with their parents. The zero-tolerance policy that was responsible for separating families could possibly be revoked sometime this year. No matter how long it takes, we can expect to see this soon. 

 

An End to Visa Suspensions 

 

In June of last year, non-immigrant visas were suspended, meaning specific immigrants were not permitted to cross United States borders. Visa processing should start operating as it was before this June sometime in 2021. The suspension applied to those under H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-I visas, including dependents. 

 

Speeding Up Processing Times 

 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is infamous for taking up plenty of time when it comes to processing applications and providing them with entry if they do end up being permitted. In fact, the system in the United States, compared to other countries, is rather slow. For the new year, there is talk that processing times will be sped up to help all visa applicants. Since 2020 was a slow year for immigration, people are expecting major changes in 2021. 

 

Choose Fong Ilagan to Support You Through the Process 

 

If you’ve been thinking about applying for permanent residency or want to become a U.S. citizen, there is no better place than Fong Ilagan to get started. Full of reliable and hard-working attorneys, we can get you where you need to be. Contact us today to learn more about how we can initiate the process. 

 

Family of immigrants come to the united states

10 Interesting Facts About Immigration 

Immigration has shaped the United States and other countries in many ways. It’s safe to say that the more immigration we witness and experience, the more it impacts our way of life. We have reached a point where our economy, society, and the government are more diverse than it has ever been! And, of course, that’s something to be proud of. Although, some people aren’t aware of the basics when it comes to immigration, and that’s completely okay. We’re here to help with that. The experts at Fong Ilagan know everything there is when it comes to immigration. We want to share our knowledge with you. 

 

¾ of the U.S. Population: Naturalized Citizens and Authorized Residents Combined

Almost a decade ago, half of the U.S. population was made up of immigrants, despite their status. Now, in 2020, we can say the same, except the percentage has gone up by 25%. The vast majority of immigrants that make up that percentage have been living in the United States as either naturalized citizens or authorized housing residents for ten years or more. 

 

80% of Immigrants Come from Asia or Latin America 

More than a century ago, the vast majority of immigrants were coming from European countries. Now, most immigrants come from countries from Latin America or Asia, including India, China, Cuba, El Salvador, and Mexico. We still see plenty of European immigrants, but they do not compare to the numbers Latin American and Asian immigrants are bringing in. 

 

The Economy Grows at an Increasing Rate 

Researchers and analysts have found that immigration raises total economic output, thanks to the increasing number of workers who come to the United States as immigrants. More specifically, foreign-born workers contribute about two trillion dollars every year. That can also be estimated at 10% of annual GDP. 

 

High-skilled Immigrations Encourages Innovation 

Immigrants tend to work in fields that require advanced education, including STEM, which encourages research, professional work, school work and studies, and anything of the sort in all fields. This is due to the fact that immigrants bring ideas that may be different from native-born innovators, which in turn inspires more work and creativity. 

 

Additionally, They Push For More Job Availability 

Because more immigrants are coming in, this means that there is a large dependency on businesses that are essential for everyday life. Thus, employers must bring in more jobs when there is more customer traffic. Additionally, immigrants account for high numbers in taxes, which also supports tax-based jobs such as education. 

 

U.S. Immigration Does Not Account for Crime Rates 

Immigration is not a factor when it comes to analyzing rates of crime in the United States. In fact, it has been found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than native-born individuals. Also, crime rates are lowest in states that have higher numbers of immigrants. 

 

Immigrants Often Start Their Own Businesses 

In addition to encouraging job availability in the United States, immigrants often tend to start their businesses instead of looking for a job once they get here. Immigrants are twice as likely to create their own businesses than citizens born in the United States. 

 

More Immigrant Men Come to the U.S. Compared to Immigrant Women 

 

More immigrant men tend to come to the United States due to financial support and finding a job. Often, if these men have families, it will take a couple of years before they decide to sponsor their families. The families, most of the time, grow in their native country and then settle in the U.S.

 

Immigrants Are More Likely to Receive a Doctorate Than Natives 

As we mentioned earlier, immigrants are more inclined to complete advanced education as opposed to U.S. natives. With that being said, we see more and more immigrants receiving their doctorate, making them twice more likely compared to U.S. natives. 

 

Children of Immigrants Will Most Likely Work In the Same Occupations as Children of Natives

Although many immigrants establish their own businesses, their children are less likely to follow their paths. Children of immigrants are more inclined to take on jobs or employment that we usually find with children of natives of the United States, which, in turn, decreases their chances of working in the field of STEM. 

 

Contact Fong Ilagan to Learn More 

Fong Ilagan is always here to answer any questions you may have. Even more, we want to help everyone with their goals in terms of citizenship and lawful status. Contact us today to learn about how we can assist you. 

How Immigration Trends are Changing in the United States 

Group of students near wall with USA flagThe state of immigration is everchanging, especially here in the United States. Ever since its commence, no one has been able to perfectly predict how rates may decrease or increase. These trends usually depend on a number of factors, including the time of year, what events are occurring on an international level, and the current president’s policies regarding immigration. Almost every day, new reports are being sent out to cover which foreigners are coming into the country and the numbers by which they are coming in. More than halfway into 2020, there is much to be said about these immigration trends. We discuss them. 

 

More Latin Americans, Fewer European and Asians 

 

In the year 2018, the United States witnessed the least amount of green cards issued to people from Europe and Asia. The numbers had not been so low since 2010.  The numbers have risen for Latin Americans, based on specific countries and regions. The Caribbean contributed a 30% increase, Central Americans contributed a 34% increase, Venezuelans are a reported 17%, and Mexico is approximately 16% up, all from 2010. 

 

Different Gateways for Immigrants to Come In 

 

New York and California have always been the hotspots where a vast majority of immigrants come into the United States. The same goes for other states such as Florida, Illinois, and Texas. In recent years, immigrants have found other hubs to enter into the United States, such as regions in the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest. This may be due to where exactly the majority of these foreigners are coming from. 

 

Population Growth in the South and West

 

Immigration is one of the key factors in the boom of the population in areas such as the Sun Belt (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, two-thirds of California, and parts of North Carolina, Nevada, and Utah), the Pacific Northwest, and the Mountain States. With more immigrants coming in and residing in these parts of the United States, the overall growth has been driven mostly in the Southern and Western regions. 

 

Population Declines in Central America

 

As more foreigners are coming into the United States and establishing family life here, fewer families have been populating in Central American countries. Native-born populations are declining in certain areas of these countries due to the fact that most families and individuals do not return to their homelands, much less do they raise families in their home countries. 

 

Traveling in Families

 

Out of 1.1 million people who became green card holders in 2018, 63% of this number obtained permanent resident status due to family connections to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder they are related to. With this in mind, foreigners are less likely to travel into the United States if they do not already have family there or if they are not traveling with a family. 

 

Longer Wait Times for Permanent Residency Applicants 

 

Wait times are already a soaring burden for those who apply for permanent residency. Due to the fact that so many people are applying, the wait times have been extended. Only a small percentage of applicants were able to obtain permanent residency the same year they applied, in the past two years. As of recent, applicants are informed that the process could take up to (at a maximum) of two years for their application to be filed. 

 

Gaining Citizenship Has Become More Rigorous 

 

Similar to obtaining permanent residency, gaining citizenship is also taking up more time and the process has become much more difficult. This difficulty is due to more requirements and officials have made exams to be much more strict. Immigrants are expected to live in the United States for a certain amount of time (an increase from 2011 policies) before they can be naturalized. 

 

Immigrants Make a Grand Economic Contribution

 

The many immigrants that do become naturalized or obtain their green cards become employed. In fact, 70% of new green card holders in 2018 had jobs and only 1 out of 8 people were unemployed, with most of them being retired or working as home or caretakers. Many of these foreigners who are working in the U.S. provide a vital economic counterbalance to the portion of the U.S. population that is growing older and unable to work. 

 

Get Connected with Dedicated Professionals 

 

The experts at Fong Ilagan closely examine trends and changes in policies in order to better help our clients in the process of moving into the U.S. Whenever you may need us, we are here to answer all of your questions. Contact us today to get started. 

 

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Senior Attorney, Candida Paris, Speaks at the 2019 University of Texas’ Continuing Legal Education Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law

Senior Attorney, Candida Paris, Speaks at the 2019 University of Texas’ Continuing Legal Education Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law

November 6, 2019 (Austin, TX)- Senior Immigration Attorney, Candida O. Paris, of the immigration law firm, Fong Ilagan, LLP, was invited to speak at the 43rd Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hosted by the University of Texas (UT) School of Law in Austin, Texas.
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What does the future look like for the H-1B Visa Program?

What does the future look like for the H-1B Visa Program?

Recent reports from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) show that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denying H-1B visa petitions at higher rates than ever. NFAP reports show in 2015 H-1B visas were being denied at a rate of 6%. This year, the denial rate is averaging a whopping 24%. Houston immigration attorneys, William Fong and Gary Ilagan, break down why this is happening, what the increase of denials means for employers and international employees, and what’s ahead for the H-1B visa program.

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees ends a busy Month for Immigration News

“World Day of Migrants and Refugees” ends a busy month of September for Immigration News

Sunday 29th of September marked the Vatican’s “World Day of Migrants and Refugees”. Over 100 years on from the first day it was instituted by Pope Pius X in 1914, it would appear to have been celebrated in years past in far less ambiguous times.

Three years on from the beginning of the current administration at the Whitehouse, many believe that immigrants have little to celebrate at this moment in time; with more than 50,000 immigrants being held in detention centers across the U.S. Add to this, the Government’s recent announcement to reduce the  cap on refugees to the unprecedented low of 18,000, there seems, on the face of it, little or nothing for Asylum seekers to look forward to.

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