Trump on Gangs, Aliens and Brexit
What an amazing year 2016 has turned out to be, talk about a roller coaster of a year. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the biggest issues that we experienced in 2016 and also look at how they will drive us in 2017.
Trump Wins Presidential Election:
Right up until election night, none of the major polls had Donald Trump winning the US presidential election. Hillary Clinton was, no doubt, packed and ready to move into the White House, but it simply was not meant to be.
Trump does not take office until after his inauguration on Friday, January 20th 2017. So what does a Trump administration mean for the advancement of US Immigration? To be honest, we’re very much in the dark.
If we start with the current undocumented aliens, President-Elect Trump has only said that after he has cracked down on getting rid of the gang members who are undocumented, only then will he turn his attention to the otherwise law-abiding undocumented aliens. Whilst President-Elect Trump is insisting that he is going to build the wall, which could easily take a decade or more, Trump has been silent on dealing with any of the lawful immigration pathways like fixing the H-1B Graduate Visa annual quota or developing an E2 Visa pathway to green card status for investors, or providing an immigration pathway for foreign students who graduate in the US, especially in STEM subjects.
So if you’re not an undocumented gang member but are looking for a clear pathway to US citizenship, then I guess we’re going to have to wait and see. In many ways, whilst the current immigration system is broken, at least for now there are some very clear pathways to advance ones stay in the US. We would advise every potential client that reads our newsletter to make every effort to take advantage of the current US Immigration laws because they may well change in the future and we could find it even harder to bring clients into the US. Do not delay.
US Immigration Policy for EB1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
This year we won more cases than ever in the last 13 years. It’s been a year of constant celebration as we have won case after case to the delight of each family who put their faith and trust in us. However, this year US Immigration has been pushing back on approving all of our cases and so we’ve been pushing back even harder. To all of our clients who are still in the fight with us, keep the faith; we’ll get you there.
In another first for the firm, we had one case we had to file three times before USCIS relented and granted our client’s case. We do not ever want to have to go three rounds with USCIS, but we sure will if we have to, simply because we never ever back down from a fight.
What USCIS has been doing is raising the the bar on all EB1 cases, so cases with certain evidence would normally just get approved, this year we have seen that USCIS is now taking a second look. Let’s take High Salary on EB1 green card cases. Before, if our client made about the 90th percentile for that particular job, USCIS would simply approve that category no questions asked. In 2016, for clients making just above the 90th percentile, USCIS has been ready to deny this category without stating how much over the 90th percentile our clients need to be. Truth is, in law there is no clear legal marker that unequivocally proves High Salary, so this has given USCIS the wiggle room they need to push back if they feel minded to, remember this is all very subjective.
Other categories include Leading and Critical Role. The Leading and Critical Role category is the most common of three categories used in any EB1 cases since if someone is really extraordinary they tend to play a leading or critical role in the company anyway. The way we can improve the evidence for this category is to not only submit glowing detailed letters as how our client was critical to their company, but also look for any other documents that might back that up. e.g., Press about the work our client did, any bump in pay because of the role, any official ceremonial recognition such as a company or industry award, etc. When we sandwich the evidence like that, we pack a more powerful punch.
Expert Opinion letters can be quite persuasive, as if an expert says what our client does should be considered as being extraordinary then it makes it that bit harder for the Officer who is not an expert in that particular field to argue to the contrary.
Developing a fourth EB1 category or hiring an expert to write a letter can add significant costs to your case, but it can also the game changer your case needs to win.
What is at stake here is a green card, which is for life and thus a highly valuable prize. We know how to win cases so as long as you’re prepared to follow our lead, we’ll get you there.
Brexit had quite an impact on the world of economics. Never in the history of the European Union, founded by the Treaty of Rome March 25th 1957, has any country voted to leave. However, on June 23rd 2016 Britain was the first to do so and it may not be the last. Other countries such as France and Italy are very much in the frame to vote to leave. The Pundits have been wrong a lot in 2016. The Polls never saw Brexit coming and it happened. The Polls never saw Trump winning and he did.
Marine Le Pen of the National Front (a far right party) in France is up vying for election in 2017 and is very much the under dog, but if 2016 is repeated in 2017 in terms of election surprises we could be in for another roller coaster ride.
“What the Hell is Going?”
What is going on, to coin Trumps rhetoric, is that both in Europe and in the US too many people have reached the conclusion that the status quo is simply not working for them. The government establishment has lost touch with the working class and the working class are seeing their economic future outlook as being bleak for the long term. There are now Trump like figures popping up all over Europe and change is definitely coming. The one bright light is Germany as under the leadership of Angela Merkel she has been walking on water since her election in 2005, yes 2005.
For the most part and more than any other democratic world leader Angela has lead a “we’re all in this together” country and she has achieved great economic security and stability and at the same time has been able to integrate more than one million refugees. Unlike America and many European countries Germany has built an amazing industrial base, whilst America has built up an amazing I.T. base which is the envy of the world. Unfortunately, I.T. does not create that many jobs, quite the opposite in fact. Manufacturing jobs creates millions of jobs for Blue Collar workers. Happy Blue Collar included workers lends itself to greater political stability.
Truth is no one country has all of the answers, so in the era of industrial globalization we have to look around the world and pick up best practices where ever we can find them.
Bottom line – if we want to avoid a global revolution of sorts, what governments have to do is to get their citizens making things again. If making America Great Again is about putting Americans back to work making and building stuff, then maybe Trump is on to something. We’ll see.