Summer 2017




7 September 2017

Practical Training for STEM Graduates Survives Legal Challenge

  STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulations authorize a 24-month extension of work authorization for foreign students who will be employed in a STEM occupation by U.S. companies that participate in E-Verify. On April 19, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers … Continued

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7 September 2017

Proposed RAISE Act Introduces Merit-Based System for Employment-Based Immigration

  In a move receiving the support of the Administration, on August 2, 2017, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (“RAISE”) Act. If enacted, the RAISE Act would replace our current employment-based immigration system with a merit-based system that awards points relative to education, … Continued

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7 September 2017

Revised Form I-9 Takes Effect September 18th

  On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, which is a form used by companies to verify identity and employment eligibility. The new version of Form I-9 brings minor changes to the form’s instructions and list of acceptable documents. Employers will be able to use … Continued

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7 September 2017

Regional Center Terminations and Impacts on Immigrant Families

  On May 31, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it had posted to its website in the interest of program transparency the notices of terminations of dozens of Regional Centers. Our experienced EB-5 immigration attorneys have authored an article on protecting immigrant investors, originally published in the Regional Center Business Journal. Click … Continued

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7 September 2017

A DUI Spells Trouble for Immigrants

Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) can be a devastating offense for an immigrant. Although a “simple” DUI (for example, Cal. Vehicle Code 21352) is not an offense that fits within any of the categories of crimes that makes a foreign national deportable, U.S. immigration authorities consider DUI a priority offense that triggers the … Continued

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7 September 2017

Detained Immigrants: Less Likely to Hire an Attorney and More Likely to be Deported 

The use of detention in the context of removal proceedings is on the rise.  According to the Center for American Progress, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detains 400,000 individuals annually.  With the increase of immigrant detention has come an increase in the use of private prisons.  In 2005, 25% of immigrants in custody were … Continued

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7 September 2017

SGG Litigation Team Completes Briefing for Detention Cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

SGG attorneys Helen Sklar, Amy Lenhert, and Taiyyeba Skomra have completed the briefing in the firm’s two pro bono cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Oral arguments will take place in December. In both cases, we argue that the rights of detained immigrants who showed signs of mental incompetency were … Continued

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7 September 2017

Social Media and Deeper Background Information Required of U.S. Visa Applicants

  The Administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last 5 years and biographical information going back 15 years. The new questions, part of an effort to tighten vetting of would-be visitors to the United States, was approved on May 23, 2017 by … Continued

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7 September 2017

SGG Attorneys Overcome Visa Denials

  Attending a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate can be a nerve-wracking and confusing process. Consular officers encounter more than 100 visa applicants per day and have as little as 2 minutes to render a decision on each application. The process includes reviewing the application, interviewing the applicant, conducting security checks, and documenting case … Continued

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13 July 2017

SGG Congratulates Attorney Amy Lenhert

    SGG congratulates attorney Amy Lenhert, who recently became a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law.  ‘Certified Specialist’ is a prestigious designation awarded by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization to attorneys who pass a legal specialization exam and fulfill certain experience and continuing legal education requirements covering the entire spectrum of … Continued

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7 September 2017

The Best and Brightest – Our Attorneys

SGG boasts some of the best and brightest legal talent in the industry.  Our highly sought after attorneys do more than provide excellent service to our clients.  They are also leaders in a multitude of professional associations: Elsie Arias: Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) EB-5 Committee; Chair, 2017 AILA EB-5 Conference Committee Tiffany Chang: … Continued

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