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What Is the H-1B Visa Cap?

18 April 2013

Author: US Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova An H-1 B Visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits employers to hire foreign workers with specialty occupation skills on a temporary basis. When the sponsoring employer dismisses the worker or the worker quits, workers must apply for a status change to remain legally in the United States. Status change ofte ...

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The Immigration Bill Nears Its Final Draft

17 April 2013

Author: US Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova As The Immigration Bill Nears Its Final Draft, Two Top Issues Emerge: Citizenship Contingent On Tightened Border Security Senators comprising the gang of eight are expected to release the final draft for the long awaited immigration bill this week. However, it appears that the thorny issue in gettin ...

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Immigration Forms: Where to Find Them and How to Fill Them Out

12 April 2013

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Any application or petition for Immigration benefits starts with submission of immigration forms. All immigration forms can be located at www.uscis.gov website, and they are free. Immigration forms are usually posted in the PDF fillable format, but some of the forms are easier to be filled out ...

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No Matter How Important the Boss, Sexual Harassment Is Actionable

09 April 2013

Author: Sexual Harassment Attorney Alena Shautsova When sexual harassment occurs and involves individuals in notable government positions, it generally creates quite a scandal and can become high profile in the news. Such is the case with Assemblyman Vito Lopez who was accused of sexual harassment by two female staff members. Both claimed that he ...

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Green Card Through Asylum

05 April 2013

Author: Asylum Attorney Alena Shautsova One of the ways to obtain U.S. permanent resident status known as US green card and citizenship is through asylum status. Asylum status can be afforded to an applicant who is unwilling or unable to return to his/her home country due to the fear of persecution or because he/she has been persecuted there befo ...

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How To Bring Your Fiance To The United States: Green Card Through Marriage

30 March 2013

Author: Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova Often, US Citizens would like to get married to a person from overseas, and then they face a question of how to bring the non-U.S. citizen to the United States. Generally speaking, it can be accomplished via these options: Fiance K-1 Visa This visa is suitable for those couples that are not sure if they ...

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Updates On USCIS Forms I-94 And G-28

30 March 2013

Author: Visa Attorney Alena Shautsova USCIS published new rules regarding I-94 departure/arrival form. This form is primary evidence of one’s inspection and admission into the country. If the person has lost it and is unable to restore it, the person loses ability to prove that when entering the country he/she went through the point of entry and ...

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Immigrant Driver's License Debate Continues

27 March 2013

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DOH) has stated that state officials in individual states can make their own determinations about issuing immigrants driver's licenses. Traditionally, states have had authority over making their own laws and regulations regarding driver's licenses. The Deferred ...

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What Does the Renewal of VAWA Mean for Immigrants?

25 March 2013

Author: Discrimination Lawyer Alena Shautsova The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) initially passed by Congress in 1994, was re-authorized in 2000 and 2005. However, reauthorization expired in 2011. In February 2013 Congress reauthorized and passed a revised VAWA. Under the revised VAWA, provisions also extend to women on Indian reservations and ...

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What Role Will E-Verify Play in 2013 Immigration Reform?

20 March 2013

Author: Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova While Congress is polarized on many issues regarding immigration, one point they agree on is that E-Verify is crucial for immigration reform. The "gang of eight," which refers to the eight bipartisan senators planning immigration reform, included use of E-verify in their proposal as did the President in t ...

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Family Immigration and Immigration Reform

18 March 2013

Author: Family Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova Law Office of Alena Shautsova, a New York Immigration law firm located in Brooklyn, is assisting immigrants with family immigration and immigration reform. While millions of people are awaiting for Immigration reform, the Senators prepare for the Easter break, and indicated (according to the Washi ...

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Detainees Released under ICE's Sequestration Budget Cut

15 March 2013

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova Demand for Information Disclosure about Detainees Released under ICE's Sequestration Budget Cut As difficult as it has been for Congress to agree on many immigration issues, you can expect further controversy over ICE's release of immigration detainees based on the forced federal budget cut called seques ...

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Rulings on State Immigration Laws May Reach Supreme Court Level

13 March 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova As the need for immigration law reform led many states to legislate their own immigration laws, various cases have been appealed before the U.S. Supreme Court and other District Courts for ruling. The State of Alabama passed a stringent immigration law known as HB56 that required schools to collect inf ...

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Social Media and Email Account Information in a Sexual Harassment Case

06 March 2013

Author: Discrimination Attorney Alena Shautsova Be Ready to Turn Over Social Media and Email Account Information in a Sexual Harassment Case Judges routinely ask to review documents as part of discovery in a sexual harassment class action lawsuit. However, an interesting privacy issue emerged in one particular case where plaintiffs were seeking s ...

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Do You Have the Right to Be Advised about Potential Deportation?

06 March 2013

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova When you face criminal charges, authorities must inform you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be held against you in a court of law. They must tell you about your right to a lawyer and that if you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint counsel. However, wh ...

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What Documents Do I need to File To Get Green Card Through Marriage?

02 March 2013

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova After the US citizens marries a non-citizen they need to file certain application forms and supporting documents so that the non-citizen can adjust status to become a permanent resident or a green card holder. It is important to know that if a non-citizen entered the country illegally she/he will need a ...

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How to Stay in the USA Legally: Prepare for Immigration Reform

02 March 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova The Immigration reform is inevitable, and many should consider preparing for it and/or taking advantage of the recent changes that were adopted by the USCIS. How to prepare for the new immigration reform? Even though President Obama has outlined the main points for the immigration reform, currently, t ...

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What is the Help Separated Families Act?

23 February 2013

Author: Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova Deportation has separated children from their families even when the children are U.S. citizens. In July of 2012, U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard introduced an immigration bill called The Help Separated Families Act, H.R. 6128 to deal with this problem. The number of U.S. citizen children placed ...

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Same Sex Partners Working to Obtain Marriage Petitions

22 February 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Toward the end of 2012, the New York Daily News reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on a case that could lead to a major change in immigration law. The court ruled that the Defense in Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. In December, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to ...

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ICE Agents Suing the Department of Homeland Security

15 February 2013

Author: Deportation Attorney Alena Shautsova Judge Allows Case to Go Forward for ICE Agents Suing the Department of Homeland Security In August, 2012, Fox News reported that 10 federal ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and officials sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Mor ...

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Recent Bi-Partisan Effort at Immigration Reform

12 February 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova A bi-partisan group of Senators consisting of four Democrats and four Republicans recently released a plan for comprehensive immigration reform to be used as a springboard for legislation that fills in the details. The group consisted of the following: Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael B ...

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What is DACA and Its Complications?

08 February 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova DACA is an acronym frequently popping up in the news and it refers to the federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program allows individuals who came to the United States as children and who meet certain qualifications to request deferred action against removal for two years. ...

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How Can Notario Fraud Impede Immigration?

05 February 2013

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova Unfortunately, immigrants looking for an easy solution to immigration problems may fall prey to notario fraud. The American Bar Association explains that notario fraud involves individuals who fraudulently represent themselves as attorneys and say they can handle your immigration issues before the United State ...

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Tips On Interactions With USCIS

01 February 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Immigration attorneys and immigrants are interacting with the USCIS on a regular basis, whether they want to or not. Here are some practical tips that may be useful to those who receive and send forms to the USCIS and follow up on them. G-28 Form has to contain original signatures of attorney and th ...

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Who Can Benefit From Provisional Waiver

01 February 2013

Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova On March 4, 2013 new immigration rules regarding the provisional waiver (I-601A) will come into effect (see more here). It is important to understand who may benefit from the new process of considering waivers of unlawful presence. First, the basic eligibility criteria for applying for the provisional ...

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Immigration Reform under Georgia State Law Takes a New Turn

21 January 2013

Author: Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova Similar to Arizona and Alabama, Georgia passed an immigration law that allowed law enforcement authorities to check the immigration status of criminal suspects. However, a court injunction stopped the police from initially implementing the status check. The Jurist reports that the US District Court for th ...

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Can Those Facing Gang Violence in Native Countries Obtain U.S. Asylum?

17 January 2013

Author: US asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova Gang violence as a source of persecution is a legal area that may soon come under further judicial scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article about a case involving an undocumented minor named Josue Rafael Orellana Garcia, who fled from Honduras when he was 17 and illegally entered the Un ...

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Challenges Involved With Immigrant Marriage Petitions

14 January 2013

Author: US Citizenship Lawyer Alena Shautsova Marriage petitions are often a faster route to citizenship, especially when compared with other paths immigrants can take. Unlike immigration options where quotas restrict aliens from obtaining visas and green cards, the United States has no limit on marriage petitions. Unfortunately, abuse of this le ...

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High Profile Sexual Harassment Case against Waffle House Chairman

11 January 2013

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova Sometimes women are reluctant to bring a sexual harassment case against an employer for fear of the repercussions. Losing their jobs is generally a major consideration, especially in today’s tight job market. Such was the case of a woman who worked as the housekeeper and personal assistant of the Chairman of ...

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What Is the Secure Communities Program?

09 January 2013

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Secure Communities is an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) program that uses the already established connection between ICE and the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to identify illegal immigrants involved in criminal activity. The Secure Communities program allows ICE to function without impo ...

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What To Do If Your Family Member Has ICE Hold?

08 January 2013

Author: New York Deportation Attorney Many times a person ends up in the Immigration Court because of State or Federal charges submitted against him/her or because of the State or Federal conviction. It happens because nowadays every jail and court has an ICE representative in it, and this person quickly scans and analyzes the records of every de ...

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ICE Discontinues 287(g) in 2013

06 January 2013

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova The 287(g) program derives its name from 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The 287(g) program is a part of the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) program, which is an overall program that provides local law enforcement officers assistance through I ...

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President Obama Plans to Tackle Immigration Reform

04 January 2013

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova According to various news outlets about immigration reform, including the Portland Press, once the fiscal cliff is behind us, President Obama promises to focus on extensive immigration reform. Border security and a path to citizenship are several major goals he intends to address through legislation. The new b ...

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Asylum Seekers: The Standard Of Proof For Persecution

30 December 2012

Author: US Asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova Asylum seekers claim in the US has a burden of proof to demonstrate that she/he was subjected to persecution and/or she/he possess a reasonable fear of future persecution. What amounts to a persecution? It must be noted that in some cases, a lay person would determine that defiantly an applicant deserves as ...

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Basis For Asylum: Membership In A Particular Social Group

22 December 2012

Author: US Asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova United States asylum seekers may qualify for asylum on five grounds: race, nationality, religion, political opinion, and membership in a particular social group. Refugees or asylum seekers are aliens who are unable or unwilling to return to their native country “because of persecution or a well founded fear ...

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Impact Of Criminal Conviction Of Domestic Violence On Adjustment Of Status

18 December 2012

Author: US Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova A non- US citizen who has a criminal conviction in the United States may still be eligible to adjust status to one of a permanent resident. Every criminal conviction must be analyzed separately and together with the any other criminal convictions that an alien has. When applying for an adjustment of st ...

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Do I Have To Prove I Am Innocent For Immigration Purposes (Shoplifting)?

07 December 2012

Author: US Deportation Lawyer Alena Shautsova I receive frequent inquiries from non US citizens (people who are in the US on F1 or B1 visa; or those with a green card but no citizenship) who ask me the same question: if they were charged with a shoplifting charge, do they have to prove their innocent to avoid deportation? First, a person accused ...

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Domestic Violence And Asylum

03 December 2012

Author: US Asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova Very often, the laws of the foreign countries do not protect women- victims of domestic violence. If the acts of violence and abuse happened in the US, the protections afforded are quite strong and vary from Orders of Protection to possibility of receiving VAWA based green card, or a U visa. However, may a ...

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How Can I Win A Sexual Harassment Case

26 November 2012

Author: Employment discrimination attorney Alena Shautsova Sexual harassment at work is prohibited. Very often, however, female employees are afraid to go forward with the claims and complaints against their employer because they are afraid to lose their jobs, afraid that the employer will make a “bad name” for them and they will have hard time ...

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The Conflict In Middle East Affects The US Embassy Operation In Tel Aviv

21 November 2012

Author: New York Attorney Alena Shautsova israel.usembassy.gov/sm11152012.html The US Embassy in Tel Aviv operated in an emergency mode on November 16, 2012. The same warning was issued for November 19, 2012. The Embassy temporarily relocated its personnel to a safer area, and it hopes that its advance security measures will be sufficient to av ...

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5 Deadly Mistakes That May Cost You Your Immigration Status

20 November 2012

Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova Many of perspective clients who come to my office for a consultation ask me: does having a lawyer really help my case? Will the Immigration think that I did something bad and need a lawyer because of it? Can I file myself? While you can certainly try to file / apply for benefits yourself, here ...

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Harassment Of Domestic Workers

16 November 2012

Author: New York Discrimination Attorney Alena Shautsova Many home attendants and home health aids in New York are not aware that under the New York State law they are protected against sexual harassment and discrimination. Unfortunately, the Federal Law, Title VII does not provide such protection because it requires an employer to employ 15 and m ...

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Cancellation Of Removal For Non-Permanent Residents

13 November 2012

Author: US deportation lawyer Alena Shautsova Cancellation of removal is one of the forms of relief (defense) from removal (deportation). There can be different types of cancellation of removal: for permanent residents, for VAWA beneficiaries, and for certain aliens covered by special laws, and for non- permanent residents. In this publication, ...

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How To File For Asylum Part IV

09 November 2012

Author: US Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova Filing for asylum might be confusing for many applicants. This article cannot substitute attorney’s in person advice. WHEN CAN I FILE FOR AN ASYLUM? A person may file for asylum after he/she entered the United States and is still in the lawful status; when the status expired; when the person is an EWI (en ...

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USCIS Will Reschedule Appointments Canceled Because Of Sandy

09 November 2012

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova The USCIS issued the following notice regarding canceled appointments and other Sandy’s affects: USCIS extends sincerest sympathies to all who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We will make every effort to assist USCIS customers who may have been affected, and as a result, have difficulties wi ...

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I-601 Provisional Waivers Updates

31 October 2012

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova As many of you may have heard, the USCIS office announced its reform for filing and processing of I-601 provisional waivers for immediate relatives of the United States citizens. Read more here However, to this date, the Provisional Waiver is NOT IN EFFECT. The purported reform would allow quali ...

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DACA Updates

31 October 2012

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova As many young people continue to submit their forms for DACA relief, the expected number of the applications has not been reached. See the graph here. Amongst many reasons, are: The fear that If Obama is not reelected, Romney will close the program and deport the applicants who disclosed thei ...

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Transportation Letter or Boarding Foil

31 October 2012

Author: US green card lawyer Alena Shautsova Recently I have received many requests for assistances from my clients, permanent resident (LPR) who left the country and lost their green cards abroad. They asked me if there is a way for them to come back to the United States without applying for a green card. Yes, there is a way. A lawful permanent ...

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How To File For Asylum Part III

28 October 2012

Author: US Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova ASYLUM PROCEDURE After an applicant has prepared his /her application form I-589; his/her affidavit (declaration) (See PART II); and supporting documents along with an English translation of such, an applicant need to properly assemble the package and file it. When submitting an Asylum application with th ...

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How To File For Asylum Part II

24 October 2012

Author: Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova Asylum Declaration or Affidavit The most important document in Asylum package application after the form I-589 is applicant’s declaration or an affidavit. It is a sworn statement made by an asylum applicant telling his/her story. What should an asylum declaration include? Ideally, it should include everythin ...

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Motion to Reopen After Removal Order

24 October 2012

Author: Deportation lawyer Alena Shautsova A person after removal proceedings may file a motion to reopen or reconsider with the Immigration Court or the Board of Immigration Appeals (the BIA) to receive a permission to restart the case. The procedure is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act, Immigration Court Practice Manual and ICE Memo ...

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How To File For Asylum Part I

24 October 2012

Author: Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova Asylum Procedure Asylum process starts before a person’s submits his/or her application. First, one needs to collect or try to collect the supporting documents. Those are the documents that an applicant can use to demonstrate the truth of his/her statements. It can be medical records, police records, article ...

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Immigration Hold (DETAINER) and Bond

22 October 2012

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova An Immigration hold is usually filed with the State or Federal prison when a detainee is a non- US citizen who is likely to be removed based on prior violations of Immigration laws, or as a result of a criminal conviction for which the person is in custody Nowadays, an Immigration hold is “put” on an imm ...

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Students Are Ordered to Self Deport

15 October 2012

Author: Deportation lawyer Alena Shautsova Recent news from San Diego, CA regarding ICE raids against the students working as gypsy cab drivers proves that ICE takes seriously violations of INA and particular prohibition on work without authorizations. The ICE officials searched the apartment building and approximately 40 students who were engage ...

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Advance Parole Must be Asked in Advance

11 October 2012

Author: Alena Shautsova Advance Parole is a permission to return to the United States after trip abroad. Advance Parole is issued to a person who cannot obtain a visa or otherwise doesn't qualify to be admitted to the country. Advance Parole is typically applied for by persons with TPS status, pending applications for adjustment of status, and no ...

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Child Protection Status Act and Priority Date

28 September 2012

Author: US green card lawyer Alena Shautsova Child Protection Status Act and Priority Date: 9th Circuit Rejects BIA Decision in Matter of Wang. For many, obtaining a green card in the US is a happy event, but for many, it means that they will be separated with their children for quite some time. The following scenario is a common one: a parent o ...

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Is It Beneficial To Act As A Defense Witness If You Are Deportable?

21 September 2012

Author: US deportation lawyer Alena Shautsova It looks like the question should be answered in negative. The US Department of Justice has demonstrated that a defense witness can “pay” for his willingness to provide exculpatory evidence. The situation involves immigrants without a status who voluntarily participate in a criminal trial by offering t ...

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USCIS Answers Important Questions Regarding DACA

15 September 2012

Author: US immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova The USCIS just published its answers to the most important questions that many DACA applicants have been struggling with from the beginning of the program. The answers clarify the following questions: New - Q2: May I travel outside of the United States before USCIS has determined whether to defer a ...

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Sexual Harassment At Work

10 September 2012

Author: NY lawyer Alena Shautsova As life shows, a person can become victim of sexual harassment at any place: big or large firm, private or public sector. Recent news on the subject just prove the point read the story here. Frequently, victims do not go forward against their employers being afraid of scandals, future retaliation and gossips. Kno ...

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New Visas to Russia Will Be Cheaper and For a Longer Period of Time

10 September 2012

Author: US visa lawyer Alena Shautsova Recently, the US and Russia came to an agreement that they both will simplify the application process for tourist and business visas to these countries. The agreement will enter into effect on September 9, 2012. Please see moscow.usembassy.gov/russian-visas.html. Russian citizens may visit ustraveldocs.com/ru ...

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May the Migrant Workers Apply for DACA Relief?

05 September 2012

Author: Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova While the USCIS accepting applications from hundreds of undocumented young people, many still will not qualify as they cannot produce proof of school attendance or being currently in school. This is particularly true for migrant workers, those who come to work seasonally. In addition, this category of ...

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Tough Economic Times See Increases in Discrimination Claims

02 September 2012

Author: Discrimination lawyer Alena Shautsova As economic conditions change, sometimes job markets favor employees and sometimes they favor employers. The supply/demand ratio in the current market shows a greater supply than demand for employees, and unemployment rates are higher than the nation has seen for decades. Such conditions make it an emp ...

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Deferred Action Application for Childhood Arrivals

29 August 2012

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova With an announcement of the new Obama supported Immigration policy for young undocumented immigrants, millions received hope to stay and work in the country legally. The deferred action application process calls for submission of certain forms published on the USCIS website, as well as supporting documen ...

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Discrimination Lawsuit brought by DOJ against Interstate Farm Company

25 August 2012

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova Work-authorized non-citizens brought a lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms through the Department of Justice (DOJ) that alleged discriminatory employment practices. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as explained by the DOJ, does not allow employers to require additional or other than specified documentat ...

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Deferred Action

21 August 2012

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova As the USCIS published instructions to the new deferred action program for young people (Form I-821D), many applicants should be aware of possible pitfalls. First, the instructions specify that the deferred action will be available for those applicants who do not have a record of felony or serious misdemeanor ...

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Two Extremes: California's TRUST Act And Arizona's Immigration Law

17 August 2012

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova The California Senate passed AB1081, called the TRUST Act. This bill seeks to prevent law enforcement officials from referring undocumented immigrants to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless the courts convict the individual of a violent crime or felony. The nickname for this bill is the "anti-Arizona ...

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Civil Rights Groups Continue Challenging Arizona Immigration Law

12 August 2012

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova While the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in the Arizona Immigration Law case, more lawsuits still challenge the validity of the provision that the Supreme Court upheld. CNN reported that a coalition of civil rights organizations filed a federal court motion to block the provision that requires offic ...

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Same Sex Marriage Lawsuit Challenges DOMA as Applied to Immigration

Author: Lawyer Alena Shautsova Recently, a same sex couple in California filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the deportation of same sex couples. The Defense in Marriage Act (DOMA) is a federal law passed in 1996 that only recognizes marriages of opposite sex couples. This particular case is brought by Jane DeLeon ...

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U.S. Supreme Court Rendered Decision On Arizona Immigration Law

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova U.S. Supreme Court Accepted One Section and Rejected Three Sections of AZ Immigration Law. The Supreme Court rendered its decision on the highly controversial Arizona immigration law that proposed extensive regulation of undocumented immigrants. The justices upheld one section of the Arizona law and reje ...

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Cases Where Labor Law and Immigration Law Both Apply

Author: NY Law Firm of Alena Shautsova Deciding certain cases may require the court to determine the weight of immigration law versus employment law. This is what happened in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002), a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court for final decision. The case involved a ...

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New York's Healthy Workplace Bill Addresses Bullying as Harassment

Author: discrimination lawyer Alena Shautsova Bullying has been a hot button in the news for some time, often providing detailed descriptions of the devastation that school children experience when they are victims of bullying. A particular bullying incident involving a Massachusetts high school student, Phoebe Prince, led to national media headli ...

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How Does the Family Medical Leave Act Protect Against Discrimination?

Author: discrimination lawyer Alena Shautsova As long as actions are not discrimination based, employers can fire, demote, discipline, or take any other legitimate employment action against employees who are on a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) authorized leave. However, an employer cannot terminate you because you took an authorized FMLA leave. ...

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Appellate Court Rules that DOMA Is Unconstitutional

Author: Alena Shautsova Marriage is a union of a man and a woman according to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal law. However, the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has just ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. States have been divided on gay marriages for some time now with some states passing laws that allow gay marriage ...

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Pregnant Women's Rights against Discrimination in New York

Author: discrimination attorney Alena Shautsova Many women are in the workforce today, and despite holding jobs, many also plan on having families. Is it fair for an employer to deny women the same rights as other employees when they become pregnant? The answer is "no." Various laws that protect women's rights in New York include: The Pregnan ...

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ICE Heightens Actions to Deport Immigrants with Criminal Records

Author: Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova Mid May, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reorganized its efforts to beef up ICE fugitive search teams all over the country. The focus is on locating and deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records. According to an article in the L.A. Times the number of agents tasked to these te ...

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What Happens When Undocumented Immigrants Obtain Law Degrees?

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova California must deal with an immigration issue that other states may soon face as well. An undocumented immigrant, who came to the United States with his parents when he was 17 is now 35 and has obtained a law degree in California. His name is Sergio C. Garcia. The State Bar of California certified Garcia base ...

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Undocumented Immigrants with Higher Degrees and Career Goals

Author: Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova The purpose of any national law is to lay ground rules that safeguard its people and promote the country's growth and well-being. Current U.S. immigration laws have not kept up with the times. While proposed solutions for reform differ, politicians from both camps, the left and right, agree on the need ...

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You Have the Right to Receive Equal Pay

Author: Law firm of Alena Shautsova The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy to create a work environment where women could earn the same pay as men for performing equivalent jobs. Despite the passage of this law, a large gender gap still exists between the pay that women and men receive in the United States. Acco ...

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Discrimination Through Criminal Background Checks

Author: Alena Shautsova Freedom from discrimination based on race, color, nationality, religion, sex, age, or disability is an integral part of our civil rights laws. Most businesses are aware that such discrimination is illegal. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated a policy that affects how employers use cr ...

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Immigration Lawyers Protect Immigrants' Rights in Unusual Situations

Author: NY immigration lawyer of Alena Shautsova Undocumented immigrants can find themselves in a variety of situations where they may need to hire an immigration lawyer. Findlaw reported about a very interesting case with a different twist that involved an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who bought a lottery ticket and won the jackpot. Nat ...

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Denied Housing Based on Immigration Status Is Illegal

Author: Law Office of Alena ShautsovaBecause immigration law is under federal jurisdiction, whether an appeal is heard by a U.S. Court of Appeals in New York or a U.S. Court of Appeals in Texas, it is still a federal ruling that can set a precedent for immigration law. Within the past few years, states and even municipalities have attempted their ...

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Arizona Immigration Law Review Is Underway by the U.S. Supreme Court

Author: immigration law firm of Alena Shautsova While the U.S. Supreme Court's review of Arizona's immigration law is underway, reports are coming in from numerous media outlets about the Supreme Court justices' questioning and oral arguments of both sides of the case. Both sides took the floor with Obama administration Solicitor General Donald Ve ...

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ICE Continues to Crack Down

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova The Obama Administration has been in a tough spot regarding immigration, with advocates on both sides of immigration reform clamoring for their demands. States that feel the Administration has failed to enforce existing immigration laws have passed their own more stringent laws. Other states that favor immigr ...

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Racial Discrimination Can Occur Anywhere

Author: NY discrimination lawyer Alena Shautsova New York Universities are known for their liberal outlooks and welcoming attitudes toward diversity. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most international populations in the country, consisting of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, races, and religions. For this reason, one would not ...

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Will State Attempts at Immigration Reform Come Full Circle?

Author: immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova One of the more recent stands that the Obama Administration has taken regarding controversial state-passed immigration laws is its legal challenge against Alabama's new immigration laws. In 2011, Alabama passed some of the most stringent laws in the nation to deal with immigration violations. According to ...

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Reported Harassment on the Rise

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova Sexual harassment has been an ongoing problem in the workplace since women became a significant part of the workforce and is considered harassment based on the person's sex. Sexual harassment can range from derogatory comments about a particular gender, such as "all women are..." to personal harassment toward ...

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Demand for Reform in Treatment of Detainees

Author: Attorney Alena Shautsova The New York University School of Law through an immigrant-rights clinic recently released a report indicating mistreatment of immigrant detainees held in Essex County. Conditions included denial of medical help, inadequate nutrition (1,000 to 1,500 calories a day), and unsanitary and freezing spaces. The 39 page ...

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What is E-Verify and does it apply in New York?

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), e-verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. At a federal level, e-verify is a voluntary system for employers. However, some states have rece ...

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A Recent Deportation Case Victory

Author: Deportation lawyer Alena Shautsova For those facing deportation, hearing about immigration victories brings newfound hope. Such a case recently arose for two Florida girls, Daniela Pelaez and her sister Dayana. CNN reported that the Pelaez sisters met with their Florida senators in Washington to discuss the fact that a Miami immigration j ...

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Avoid Immigration Scams

Author: immigration law firm of Alena Shautsova Immigration services are subject to scams, just like many other services offered in society. Ensuring you work with a qualified and experienced New York immigration lawyer can protect you against immigration scams. Such scams can lead to delays or never receiving legal status, or even worse, eventual ...

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Aggravated Felony Can Mean Deportation for Legal Immigrants

Author: deportation attorney Alena Shautsova While immigration law often seems unfair, it is important to work with an immigration lawyer and also take advantages of protections under the law. A case in point involved a Japanese couple who immigrated to California in 1984. They opened a sushi restaurant and their business had expanded to two succe ...

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How Previous Case Rulings Can Affect Deportation Decisions

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova The outcome of a deportation case depends on many factors. No two cases are the same and certain judges weigh case factors differently than others. Many legal arguments are available and which one will influence the judge to rule in an immigrant's favor is a variable. Recent deportation case with a successful ...

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As Immigration Reform Lingers, States Pass Their Own Laws for Enforcement

Author: NY attorney Alena Shautsova U.S. Immigration reform remains a hot topic overdue for national reform. While U.S. Congress appears deadlocked and immigration reform stalls, a variety of states, including Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, have passed their own strict state laws to enforce already existing federal immigration laws ...

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