|The AILA 2009 National CLE Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from June 3rd-6th, 2009.|
AILA, is the professional bar association for attorneys who specialize in general immigration law or its many subspecialty practice areas. The main purpose of the 2009 National Conference was to provide continuing education to AILA’s members regarding the practice of immigration law. Members from all 50 states, including international registrants from countries such as Cambodia, China, France, Germany, the UK, Guam, Israel, Italy, Korea, Russia, and Turkey, among others, attended the conference. Among the attendees were two of Zhang & Associates’ attorneys, Jeannette Liu Golubovic and Lisa Ryu.
Attorney Golubovic and Attorney Ryu attended many conference sessions which provided updates in various areas of specialty in immigration law. Some of these updates include the following:
· Preserving Permanent Residence
Speakers at the conference emphasized the need for filing for a Re-entry permit when a green card holder is planning on being outside of the US for an extended period of time of more than 180 days. Officers at the ports of entry are currently looking more closely at these documents to ascertain entry permissibility. In addition, new case law has shown that the US courts will look to the green card holder’s intent behind staying outside of the US when judging whether or not he/she has given up immigrant intent. Some factors scrutinized include where family members are staying, residences upheld in the US, the filing of US tax returns, and total time outside of the US.
· Green Card Interviews
Officers are currently resorting to new forms of research on a person prior to their green card interview. Such research can include basic “googling” to even a search of online forums such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.
In addition, criminal questions are coming up more frequently and background checks are being very carefully scrutinized. Thus, if you have ever been arrested – even if you were not convicted, be sure to discuss any situations regarding arrests openly with your attorney so that we may address this appropriately at your green card interview.
· Printing of Green Cards
The USCIS officers informed AILA that there is a recent updating in their systems which is causing a delay in the printing of green cards. If you are expecting to travel and are still waiting for your green card(s), please make an Info Pass appointment with a local field office and take your approval notice along with a valid passport to the appointment to obtain an I-551 stamping which will allow you to travel.
· Writ of Mandamus
Speakers at the conference pointed out that a large number of cases have been held in the USCIS system for unreasonable lengths of time. They have encouraged those immigrants who are experiencing undue delay or inaction for adjustment of status and citizenship applications to consider a mandamus action.
Speakers at the conference pointed out that a larger percentage of PERM cases are being audited by the Department of Labor, especially in this current economy. Thus, those who are planning on filing for labor certification should work with their attorney from the initial preparation stage of the PERM to set-up a plan of response should an audit come up.
In summary, this conference was a great opportunity for us to reach out and network with immigration judges, immigration officers, and even congressmen working on immigration reform, putting Z&A further in touch with an integral part of the immigration community.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, known for its desert climate, bright lights, casinos, and Elvis style weddings has not only been a major city of interest for many people from all over the world, but it is also a city deeply rooted in the general history of the US.
Las Vegas started as a stopover on the pioneer trails to the west and became a popular railroad town in the early 1900s. Gambling was legalized in the city in 1931, and became one of the city’s initial business successes. Most of the original large casinos were managed or at least funded under popular mob figures such as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Meyer Lansky, etc… Towards the late 1960s, the billionaire, Howard Hughes, purchased many casino-hotels and television stations in Las Vegas which spawned a movement of legitimization of the city. Around this time, the mob had also been run out of Las Vegas by the Federal Government.
Las Vegas is also a short drive away from Hoover Dam, which was completed in 1936 outside of Boulder City and which stands as a major symbol of economic development of the US in the West. Built during the era of the Great Depression, thousands of men and their families came to Black Canyon to “tame the Colorado River.” The Dam has been rated as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.
Today, Las Vegas has been made famous with the Strip, its bright lights and never ending entertainment, honing a slogan of “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” With the ability to walk from Pirate’s Cove to Paris, Rome, Venice and back to the US, in one night, it is without a doubt that Attorney Golubovic and Attorney Ryu had a great time. Being back in the office now, they are eager to incorporate what they learned into their current practice.
*Attorney Jeannette Liu Golubovic is an Associate Attorney at Zhang & Associates, PC (www.hooyou.com). Jeannette has much experience with a practice that includes employment/business & family immigration and international law practice. Jeannette has a proven record of successful cases, including Writ of Mandamus, NIW, EB1A, EB1B and Family based Green Cards including difficult USCIS interviews. Jeannette received her JD and LLM, degrees from the University of Tulsa School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center. She may be reached at email@example.com