Spring 2017




15 June 2017

Employers Strategize With SGG as H-1B Cap Reached

For the sixth year in a row, the H-1B cap was reached in the first five days of filing eligibility.  USCIS received approximately 199,000 H-1B petitions for 85,000 available visas (including 20,000 visas set aside for individuals who earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university).  USCIS began issuing receipt notices on April … Continued

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2 May 2017

Trump Administration’s Spotlight on H-1Bs

On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) entitled “Buy American and Hire American.”  The EO calls for the rigorous enforcement and administration of laws governing the entry of foreign workers to the U.S., as well as for the issuance of new guidance and the revision of existing rules to protect … Continued

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15 June 2017

SGG Litigation Team in Court of Appeals on Behalf of Detained Mentally Ill Immigrants

SGG attorneys Helen Sklar, Amy Lenhert, and Taiyyeba Skomra have taken over representation of two mentally ill immigrants who have been detained in immigration custody for more than three years.  The U.S. District Court case Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder requires that a qualified representative be provided to mentally ill immigrants who are defending themselves in Immigration … Continued

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1 May 2017

DOJ Issues New Memorandum on the Enforcement of Immigration Law

On April 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors entitled “Renewed Commitment to Immigration Enforcement.”  This memorandum called for increasing efforts to make certain categories of immigration offenses higher priorities for deportation.  Such offenses include alien smuggling, particularly cases that involve smuggling of three or more individuals.  … Continued

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1 May 2017

Removal Order Reversed & Asylum Granted to Gay Man Who Fled Torture in Cameroon

In our continuous commitment to pro bono representation of those with the greatest need, SGG represented a detained immigrant in a hard-fought asylum battle who fled to the U.S. after being tortured in his home country of Cameroon by the police and targeted for harassment and violence by his neighbors because he was gay. Our … Continued

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15 June 2017

Refugees Flee Gang Violence In Central America

On Sunday, May 7,  SGG attorney Partner Michele Franchett traveled to Tijuana to support a group of refugees fleeing violence and gangs in Central America.  The group of refugees, which was assisted by a coalition of Mexican and American organizers, traveled thousands of miles through Mexico in hopes of seeking asylum when they reached the US … Continued

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15 June 2017

EB-5 Investment Immigration Update

Congress extended the regional center investment program until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2017. Meanwhile substantial reforms of the EB-5 law are under serious consideration, including draft legislation authored by Senator Grassley and Senator Cornyn, and a proposed regulation by USCIS. We expect: Higher investment minimums More incentive for investment in needy … Continued

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15 June 2017

SGG Empowers Immigrant Communities with Know-Your-Rights Presentations

On March 13, 2017, SGG Senior Attorney Helen A. Sklar joined other trainers, lawyers and activists at Ruben F. Salazar Park in East Los Angeles in spreading the message that everyone living in the United States, including people who are undocumented, have certain basic rights.  Ms. Sklar and representatives from the National Day Laborer Organizing … Continued

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16 June 2017

USC’s International Students Meet One-on-One with SGG Attorneys

  HG Plus, a China-based investment agency that helps young professionals enter the U.S. workforce successfully, hosted an International Career Fair (ICF) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on April 1, 2017.  The event attracted over 700 hundred job seekers from the United States and abroad.  SGG attorney, Lincoln Stone, was a … Continued

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24 March 2017

Expect Delays in Processing of H-4 & H-4 EAD Applications Filed with Premium Processed H-1B Petitions

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On March 3, 2017, USCIS announced the suspension of 15 day premium processing for all H-1B petitions effective April 3. This temporary suspension may last up to 6 months.  Yesterday, stakeholders were further informed by the Nebraska Service Center (“NSC”) that H-4 applications and H-4 EAD applications filed with premium processed H-1B petitions before April … Continued

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16 June 2017

From Violence in Honduras to Detention in New Mexico to Asylum in Los Angeles

  Bringing to an end a three-year journey, Lorena (not her real name) was granted asylum in the Los Angeles immigration court on April 11. The immigration judge held that Lorena had a well-founded fear of persecution in Honduras as a woman unable to safely leave a violent relationship. Three years ago, Lorena and her … Continued

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15 February 2017

SGG Community Outreach at St. Lawrence Brindisi

  In immigrant communities, the first month of Mr. Trump’s administration has caused anxiety and fear. To counter the misinformation, rumors, and half-truths that are circulating freely, Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP is taking action wherever we can.  With a long and strong tradition of providing pro bono legal services, SGG held a seminar in … Continued

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16 June 2017

Preguntas Antes de Contratar a un Abogado de Inmigración

  originally published on juntousa.com on 4/14/2017 La ley de inmigración es un campo muy complejo. Cuando necesite ayuda en asuntos de inmigración, póngase en contacto con un abogado calificado y no con un notario, alguien que no tiene licencia para ejercer la abogacía. Se puede buscar un abogado de diferentes maneras. Algunas personas reciben recomendaciones … Continued

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16 June 2017

You Are Something Else, Carol Ross

  SGG is incredibly sad to announce the loss of one of our own. Carol Ross, a founding member of the law firm, passed away last week, leaving a huge hole in our hearts. Carol loved her job and was the backbone of our office. Tirelessly working behind the scenes, her infectious laugh and quirky … Continued

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