I am now the uncontested nominee for the Chair-Elect position with the Missouri/Kansas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The term begins each June at the annual conference. This year I have served as Secretary of our chapter. The Chair-Elect position runs for one year, then that person takes over as Chair of the Chapter for the following year, in my case June 2013-June 2014. I am very excited about this volunteer position. I have been a happy member of AILA since I was a law student. AILA is an organization I feel has a large role to play in advising the government of how to structure immigration laws and regulations, and to hold them to the law when they violate it. By properly training attorney's AILA helps to make sure immigrants in this country get adequate representation. Needless to say, I am excited about taking on this new role.
I have also been nominated to be the Vice Chair of the Missouri Bar Association's Immigration Law Committee for the next two years. Normally, the Vice Chair then takes over as the Chair for a two-year term, meaning 2014-2015 I would be the Chair. The Missouri Bar's Immigration Committee has been strengthening in importance in the last few years under the leadership of Mira Mdvani and then Nalini Mahadevan. The role of the committee is primarily two-fold, first to attempt (however vainly) to get the Missouri Bar to take positions on anti-immigrant legislation being proposed in the House, and second to inform attorneys in Missouri of the immigration implications of their work. That is, to make sure family, business, criminal, and tax attorneys keep in mind the importance of the immigration consequences of their representation on their foreign-born clients. Through articles, presentations, and more in-depth publications, we hope to inform other attorneys at least enough to know when something they are doing might have a particular immigration impact. I am also excited in continuing to help this important committee move forward as well.
We are very pleased to have received our first Parole in Place victory for the spouse of a United States citizen, active-duty soldier. She is about to be deployed to Afghanistan for a year, so securing the ability for her spouse to stay in the US and apply for his green card without leaving is extremely important to her. This is particularly true because he is to care for her child while she is away, and now neither of them have to worry about his having to leave the country while she is gone, and by the time she returns *SAFELY!* from her tour of duty, he will be a green card holder.
While the Obama administration has deported almost as many people in three years than Bush did in eight years, the administration has recently issued memoranda and policy directives prioritizing who they will and will not seek to remove from the country. Intending to focus on those who have serious criminal histories, have multiple immigration violations, or lack substantial connections to the US, the officials at ICE will close or otherwise not proceed with deportation (removal) cases against those who are low priority cases.
Since the announcement, the prosecutors of immigration cases (Office of Chief Counsel) have been willing, and at times requesting, to administratively close cases they consider low priority. It is possible to ask them to review a case for administrative closure or termination, and can be documented to advocate for such treatment.
We've gotten a lot of inquiries about the EB-5 Investor Visa, so I thought I would put some information up to give those of you thinking about this visa type some background on the requirements for such a visa.
There are a number of issues that the potential EB-5 investor needs to think about. The first is: do you have enough money to invest to qualify for this visa? The general requirement is an investment of at least $1,000,000. For certain investments, in high unemployment or rural areas, this requirement may be reduced to $500,000.
For the next few months, we will be having a free bi-lingual presentation open to the public with ample time for questions and answers at various locations around the city. The first of these will be the 28th of January at Donnelly college. Please see our Facebook event page for details:
Free informational meeting with licensed attorney, Jonathan Willmoth. Please join us Saturday January 28, 2012 at Donnelly College (608 N. 18th Street KC, KS). Bring your questions and concerns! These forums will help raise awareness in the Latino Metropolitan area through community education and outreach.