All posts by LAW OFFICES OF CHENG, CHO & YEE

The Impact of Immigration on Wages

handing a dollar sign, immigrationSome politicians allege that immigration in Illinois depresses wages, but multiple studies have found that it either has no effect or a positive impact on wages. Immigration also positively affects the economy at large because immigrants spend money, start businesses, pay taxes and hire employees, helping to spur growth. Despite this, some politicians claim that an influx of immigrant workers depresses wages for different subsets of the population, but their assertions are not borne up by research. An immigration lawyer helps businesses secure employment visas for the workers that they need so that they can fill available positions.

Effect of Immigration on Low-wage Workers

Immigration opponents and the current administration rely on a study conducted by Harvard University economist George Borjas to bolster their claims that immigration depresses wages for low-wage workers. The study looked at the influx of migrants into Miami in 1980 from Cuba, when 125,000 low-skilled immigrants flooded Miami’s labor market, raising it by 10 percent. The wages of low-skilled workers in Miami decreased from 10 to 30 percent. However, other research has belied the findings in that study, and it is an outlier. Critics of the study point out that there were multiple problems with how it was conducted and that other factors that weren’t controlled for contributed to the depressed wages.

Multiple studies have instead found that an influx of low-skilled immigrants has no effect on the wages of low-skilled U.S. workers. A literature review of 63 other studies conducted by a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley found that Borjas’s study was an outlier and that the other research has demonstrated either a slight positive impact or none at all.

Effect of Immigration on Highly-Skilled Workers

A recent study that was conducted by a professor of geography at the University of Buffalo reviewed 18 years of employment data, focusing on the diversity of workers in different fields. The researcher found that having greater diversity with people coming from many different countries and regions in addition to the U.S. increased overall wages for highly skilled workers. She found that this effect held even though foreign-born workers generally earned less than their U.S. counterparts because they tended to work in different positions than the U.S. workers did. No matter what the outcome of the immigration debate might be, an immigration lawyer may help businesses to secure the workers that they need through business immigration.

Trump Proposes New Legislation that Would Seriously Limit Immigration

law gavel, immigrationPresident Trump recently unveiled his new immigration plan, which would halve the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country and place additional requirements for admission, making it much more difficult to immigrate to Illinois and elsewhere. The legislation, which was proposed by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, would greatly curb family-based immigration while moving to a system in which merit would be emphasized. If the legislation passes, legal immigration would drop from 1 million people per year to 600,000 annually within one year and 500,000 annually within the next decade. An immigration lawyer in Chicago helps clients with obtaining family-based immigration approvals as well as business visas and might answer questions about how the proposed law might affect the immigration process.

What the Legislation Would Do

Called the Reforming American Immigration for a Stronger Economy Act, the RAISE Act would cut in half the number of refugees that would be admitted into the U.S. annually. It would also place severe limits on the ability of people to immigrate to the U.S. in order to join their family members and end the diversity lottery system, which offers visas on a lottery basis to countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. Would-be immigrants would be scored according to a point system based on their age, English skills, educational level and job offers. Extra points would be granted to applicants who have received the Nobel Prize or who have been in the Olympics. The bill would eliminate the EB-5 visa program and replace it with points for investments of at least $1.35 million and more points for investments of at least $1.8 million.

Why the Legislation is Controversial

The proposed law is controversial for several reasons. A major point category is an English-speaking ability requirement and immigrants would need to score at least 30 points total. This would severely limit the ability of people who do not have a good command of English to immigrate. Farms and other businesses who depend on low-skilled workers would also likely suffer because of the difficulty that they have with filling their positions with American workers. Highly skilled workers would have an easier time immigrating to the U.S. than would all other categories of immigrants. The proposed law is unlikely to pass in its present form. An immigration lawyer in Chicago can help businesses and families with their visa needs.

 

Illinois Businesses Want Protections for Immigrants

business staff, business immigrationWhile President Trump has promised a crackdown on immigration, multiple businesses in Chicago are pushing back and asking Governor Rauner to step in to protect immigrants in Illinois. The group includes 170 influential CEOs, investors, mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurs, and they are united in fighting against some of the provisions that they believe may harm their businesses. Called the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, the organization recently sent a letter to Gov. Rauner asking him to sign a bipartisan measure that recently passed the Illinois General Assembly. If Gov. Rauner signs the bill into law, a Chicago immigration lawyer believes that it will provide immigrants and the businesses that employ them multiple protections.

Challenging Trump’s Call Against Sanctuary Cities

The bill would prevent law enforcement agencies from stopping, questioning or arresting individuals solely on the basis of their suspected immigrant statuses. It would also prohibit local law enforcements from coordinating or cooperating with federal agents to arrest immigrants on the basis of their immigration statuses unless the federal agents have court-issued warrants for their arrests. Federal agents could still stop and arrest illegal immigrants on the basis of their statuses, but they could not ask local law enforcement officers to help them without warrants. The businesses behind the coalition include representatives from the retail, service, hospitality, agricultural and health care industries, all of which have been affected by the negative impact of the Trump administration’s hardline stance on immigration. A Chicago immigration lawyer assists business owners with obtaining visas that their workers need to work legally, but some businesses have difficult times securing the visas that they need.

Problems with the Current Immigration Approach

Many illegal immigrants have reacted with fear in the face of the crackdown on illegal immigration by the Trump administration. A large number of businesses depend on having the labor that the immigrants can offer to them. For some businesses such as farms, it is difficult to secure the visas that are required in time each year for their labor needs. The bill would help immigrants to feel reduced anxiety levels. Currently, fewer have been applying for jobs, leaving businesses without sufficient labor to complete the work that they need to complete.

A Chicago immigration lawyer understands the complex arguments about immigration and the right way to approach it. By making the business visa process easier, illegal immigration may be reduced while also allowing businesses to have the workers that they need.

Is America Still the Land of Opportunity for Immigrants?

An American Flag, Immigration LawyerThroughout history, the United States of America has promised a magnificent opportunity to those who land upon her shores. And the nation that is known for its freedom, success, and diversity has always delivered on that promise. With recent headlines consumed with immigration reform and deportation crackdowns, however, many immigrants are beginning to doubt whether America is still the land of opportunity it once was. Fortunately, despite the heated immigration debates and numerous changes that are taking place, America continues to be a welcoming nation that enables talented individuals from all walks of life to follow their dreams.

Americans Recognize that Immigrants Define the Country

Immigrants have always been, and continue to be, a very important part of the fabric that makes up this great nation. And recent studies reveal that the majority of Americans believe that foreign born individuals should be provided with a path to United States citizenship or at least permanent residency. If not for immigrants, after all, America as it stands would not exist. Since America’s founding, immigrants have brought their talents, knowledge, and dedication to this nation, building businesses both big and small, developing opportunities for other residents to grow and prosper, adding strength and competitiveness to companies across the country, and helping to transform technology and industry.

America Continues to Offer Opportunity

For immigrants who are well educated in advanced technology, math, science and engineering, and a wide variety of other fields, the opportunities in the United States are abundant. Whether arriving to help fill much needed positions in companies that already exist, or to become entrepreneurs with new ideas, immigrants here are empowered, innovative, and successful. Reports from the Partnership for a New American Economy reveal that approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, and about 150 new opportunities are created for every immigrant-founded company on average. Immigrants hold key positions in a wide variety of top businesses throughout the nation as well, helping to ensure the success of the American economy.

Like the millions of immigrants before them, including those who drive this country to success during the Industrial Revolution, foreign born workers continue to thrive in America. And as they realize the success they envision, they help to create even more opportunities for the millions of immigrants who continue to strive for the American dream.

 

4 Things Employers Should Know about the H1-B Visa Process.

A passport visa, H1b immigrationThe H-1B, or business non-immigrant visa, is part of a special program to allow employers in the United States to employ certain skilled foreign workers on a temporary basis. The application process is monitored by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and is an increasingly competitive selection process.

In fact, the entire allotment of 85,000 three-year visas for 2017 was recently filed in just four days, the fifth year the cap has been met in less than five days. The recent number of approvals represented just over 30 percent of all applicants, and the total petitions submitted continue to grow each year. Some exemptions to this cap are available for universities and certain non-profits.

Anyone desiring to enter the country under the provisions of H-1B must submit a properly prepared petition during the specified periods of time. Because of the highly competitive nature of this process, it is common to rely on an experienced immigration attorney to complete the application.

The applications for an H-1B are all submitted at a time specified by the USCIS, generally April 1, for the following fiscal year. The envelope and form of the submission must adhere to specific requirements and labeling. For example, H-1B1 treaty cases must bear the “C/S Cap” designation. Properly submitted applications are processed through special lotteries that allocate the legally available slots, plus those qualifying for exemptions.

Immigration attorneys track the constantly changing status of H-1B rules and lotteries. For example, 6,800 of the 85,000 quota slots for FY2018 are allocated to citizens from Chile and Singapore. This makes it important for individuals to contact such an attorney concerning their status and application.