When Immigration Matters

Michael Pollak

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Karen-Lee Pollak Quoted in Law360 Article About DACA

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 5:08 PM

dream-act-button-resized-120.jpgdream act
Immigration Attorney Karen-Lee Pollak was quoted in the Law360 Article, "What Attys Should Tell DACA Clients as Uneasiness Lingers".

The article provides recommendations from some of the nation's top immigration lawyers for DACA "Dream Act" clients seeking to navigate the turbulent immigration environment created by the Trump administration regarding Dreamers.  Pollak is quoted regarding options beyond DACA:

  • Consider Options Beyond DACA 

Where possible, DACA recipients may also want to look for immigration options beyond the program, attorneys said. For instance, if someone qualifies through a relative, it could be possible to file a hardship waiver, to show difficulty that “would be suffered if they left the country," according to Karen-Lee Pollak of Pollak PLLC.

"In order to get their green card, if the [waiver] is approved, they would actually have to 'consular process,' so they'd have to leave the country to go to a consulate, to get their visa," Pollak noted. 

Learn More 

If you are a Dreamer seeking to learn more about your immigration options, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

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Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Recognized in Chambers USA 2017 For Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 12:49 PM

Immigration Attorney, Karen-Lee PollakKaren-Lee Pollak, Managing Attorney of Pollak PLLC has been recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the top immigration attorneys in the United States by Chambers USA 2017 legal directory by Chambers and Partners as “Leaders in their Field”.

According to Chambers USA 2017, Karen-Lee Pollak provides clients with a wide range of immigration expertise, including in relation to nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, compliance and contentious mandamus actions against the government.  Clients praise her as a "patient, helpful and very responsive" attorney, adding that "she has done an exmplary job assisting with all of our immigration needs."

Since 1990, Chambers and Partners has been identifying and ranking the most outstanding law firms and lawyers on the qualities of their associated attorneys and exclusively lists attorneys who are strongly recommended from in-depth interviews with peers and clients. Rankings are assessed on specific criteria, including legal knowledge and experience, technical legal ability, effectiveness, and client-service.

Pollak PLLC specializes in providing comprehensive immigration solutions to corporations, small businesses, investors and families interested in obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas to live and work in the United States. 

The mission of Pollak is to provide its clients nationally, internationally and locally with superb immigration counsel.  Pollak strives to build long-term, valued relationships by creating experiences that are effective, insightful and personalized.  Pollak achieves this by listening to client needs, providing timely communications, delivering on its promises and most importantly, getting stellar results.

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Recognized on D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017" List

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sun, Apr 23, 2017 @ 3:49 PM

Managing Partner Page image (1).jpgManaging Partner Page image (1).jpgManaging Partner Page image (1).jpgKaren-Lee Pollak, Managing Attorney of Pollak PLLC has been recognized by her peers for the fourth consecutive year as one of the top lawyers in the Dallas by D Magazine.

The “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017” list features attorneys across more than 34 practice areas chosen by fellow Texas attorneys based on their “diligence and expertise in representation.”  In order to compile the list, D Magazine asked lawyers with a valid Texas Bar number to nominate two lawyers outside their firm and one within their firm across all voting categories, keeping the following question in mind: “Which Dallas lawyers, of those whose work you have witnessed firsthand, would you rank among the current best? Answers may include co-counsel, lawyers you have observed in court, and opposing counsel.” After the votes are tallied, a panel of eminent lawyers met with the editors to evaluate the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017 list. Self-nominations were not counted. The panel’s anonymity was assured to allow the lawyers to speak freely about issues regarding their peers that would be known only to the legal community. Voting was conducted exclusively at dmagazine.com. client-service.

Pollak PLLC specializes in providing comprehensive immigration solutions to corporations, small businesses, investors and families interested in obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas to live and work in the United States. 

The mission of Pollak is to provide its clients nationally, internationally and locally with superb immigration counsel.  Pollak strives to build long-term, valued relationships by creating experiences that are effective, insightful and personalized.  Pollak achieves this by listening to client needs, providing timely communications, delivering on its promises and most importantly, getting stellar results.

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Interviewed on KLIF to Discuss Trump Executive Order on Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 8:58 PM

 

KLIF.pngThank you Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff of the Dave & Amy show on www.klif.com for having me on the radio to discuss President Trump"s executive order. Right after me was Glenn Beck's show. We live in interesting times.
KAREN ON KLIF-1.mp3

Karen-Lee Pollak Offering U.S. Immigration Consultations in South Africa from April 13th - 23rd

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sun, Mar 19, 2017 @ 10:29 PM

E--Documents_and_Settings-mpollak-My_Documents-My_PowerPoints-World_Map__Statue_of_Liberty-resiz.jpgWant To Live and Work in the USA? 

ImmigrationWe all hear scary stories of attempting to emigrate to the United States. From what one hears and reads, immigration to the United States is not for the faint hearted. However, a lot of misconceptions exist about this process. The secret to success in a smooth transition to moving to the United States, whether permanently or temporarily, is often just a mixture of understanding how the immigration process works and gaining knowledge on the best type of visa for you and your family.

Pollak PLLC will be in South Africa providing immigration consultations in Johannesburg from April 13-19th and Cape Town from April 20-23rd. Complete the form below or mail us at [email protected] to schedule.

She will be providing consulting services at the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg located at 91 Oxford Road, 2132, Johannesburg. Location in Cape Town to be determined shortly. 

EB-5: USCIS continues to recognize RIMS II for Indirect Job Creation

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 2:20 PM

EB-5, Investor visa, investor green cardOn June 19, 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) issued a docs/bea report.pdf announcing its plan to eliminate its Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II) economic model. That model has been specifically approved by USCIS and RIMS II reports have been heavily relied upon by a majority of EB-5 investors and Regional Centers in filing their EB5 applications.

This announcement has left many in the EB5 arena wondering what type of evidence of job creation would BEA start accepting and whether USCIS would continue ot accept RIMS II modeling. 

On July 3, 2014, the BEA announced its "plans to release in 2015 a modified economic model to replace the original" RIMS II model.

Former BEA economist, John Barrett of Performance Economics LLC told David Morris, Chair of the AILA/EB-5 Committee summarized the BEA News as follows:

  • No change in the methodology of the USCIS approved benchmark series of multipliers;
  • Benchmark series now based on the 406-industry 2007 benchmark I/O table instead of 2002, an improvement;
  • USCIS should continue to take a positive view of RIMS II, as they have in the past.

According to Barrett, “Given this announcement by BEA, there is no reason why USCIS wouldn’t continue to recognize RIMS II as a ‘verifiable methodology'".  The Benchmark Series multipliers will be produced exactly as they have in the past and therefore USCIS would be hard pressed to find a reason to reverse itself on past recognition granted RIMS II.”

If your EB5 application is through a Regional Center you must make sure that if the project is relying on indirect job creation reports that these reports continue to be valid and make sure that the reports have been approved by a qualified econoomist as to the impact of the RIMS II changes.

EB-5 Investment Visas and Indirect Construction Jobs--What you need to know

Posted by Michael Pollak on Tue, Nov 05, 2013 @ 8:36 PM

describe the imageLawyers representing EB-5 investors should be aware of the latest USCIS
adjudications trend challenging claims of construction jobs by means of
requiring third-party validation of construction data and regional industry
standards. Immigration lawyers should now ask the Investor's selected Regional
Center to provide such supporting evidence in advance of filing the I-526
petition or in anticipation of the RFE.

Ever since Matter of Ho, 22 I&N Dec. 206 (Assoc. Comm'r 1998),
USCIS has required the submission of a "comprehensive business plan" in the Form
I-526 filing to clarify the investor's claimed job creation projections. But
recently, the USCIS has expanded its standard requiring a more detailed and
verified analysis of any construction phase jobs.

When a Regional Center project claims a construction period exceeding 24
months, EB5 investors can claim direct, indirect and induced jobs resulting from
the construction phase activities and qualified construction expenditures. When
the business plan making such job claims is submitted to the USCIS as part of
the I-526 petition, the agency will apply the following test:

"Because construction will surpass two years, the petitioner must present a business plan with a more detailed and itemized construction timeline showing all relevant phases of the construction effort. The business plan must also provide transparent, objective, and verifiable data illustrating that the proposed construction timeline and budget are within a reasonable range when compared to industry standards."

In failing to meet this standard with an initial I-526 filing package, the
USCIS will issue an RFE for such records. In response, the Regional Center will
need to supply associated investors with an evidence package that contains
third-party opinions verifying or explaining business plan claims relating to
construction activity and assumptions. These may include following:

  • General Contractor's Detailed Construction Timeline. This
    report breaks down all phases of the build-out, by date and subcontractor
    specialty/trade. The timeline should provide expected start and completion dates
    for each distinct activity.
  • Third Party Validation of Construction Timeline. This
    expert opinion assesses the project's construction timeline claim and measures
    the timeline against regional industry norms.
  • Third Party Validation of Construction Costs. This expert
    opinion assesses the itemized budget costs and compares them with verifiable
    data, analysis, and industry standards. Reliable construction costs are
    important to the USCIS because these are direct inputs to the economic modeling
    that calculates job creation.

These are just a few examples of how a comprehensive business plan claiming
construction jobs may effectively utilize third-party verification of critical
construction data, budgets, timelines and assumptions to ensure Matter of Ho
compliance. Given the emerging USCIS trend in this area, EB5 lawyers should be
prepared to supply exhibits which contain transparent, objective, and verifiable
data illustrating that the proposed construction timeline and budget are within
a reasonable range when compared to industry standards. And note that such
third-party construction experts are not in lieu of the Regional Center's
economist calculating the job creation, but are rather in addition to the
economist.

DOJ Fines IBM for Discriminatory H1-B Hiring Practices

Posted by Michael Pollak on Thu, Oct 03, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

H1-B; H1; DOJ, USCISThe Justice Department announced that it reached an agreement yesterday with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it placed online job postings for application and software developers that contained citizenship status preferences for F-1 and H-1B temporary visa holders.  F-1 visas are issued to foreign students studying in the United States, and H-1B visas are issued to foreign nationals with technical expertise in specialized fields.  

Under the INA, employers may not discriminate on the basis of citizenship status unless required to comply with law, regulation, executive order or government contract.  Although IBM’s job postings were for positions that would ultimately require the successful candidate to relocate overseas, the anti-discrimination provision of the INA does not permit employers to express or imply a preference for temporary visa holders over U.S. workers, such as U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, for any employment opportunity in the United States.

 Under the settlement agreement, IBM has agreed to pay $44,400 in civil penalties to the United States.  IBM further agreed to revise its hiring and recruiting procedures and train its human resources personnel to ensure compliance with the INA, and to be subject to reporting requirements for a period of two years.

 

AILA Urges Boehner to Act on Immigration Bill

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Oct 02, 2013 @ 3:50 PM
describe the imageToday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive reform bill based on the bill that passed the full Senate in June with a bipartisan vote of 68 to 32.

"Some might say that this isn't the time to bring up immigration reform
legislation but I disagree," said AILA President Doug Stump. He continued, "Now
is the right time because while there is disagreement around other issues,
immigration reform is something that the vast majority of Americans actually
agree on: that common sense reform is urgently needed and should include a
roadmap to legalization for the undocumented." A February Fox News
Poll
that found 72% of registered voters favor allowing illegal immigrants
to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, as long as
other requirements are met.

"This bill is not perfect, far from it. Nor was the Senate bill it drew upon.
We are talking compromise. AILA has major reservations about these bills, but no
one gets everything they want. Businesses aren't getting everything, and nor is
labor. Nor are faith groups, ethnic groups or civil rights organizations," Stump
noted.

"Like the Senate bill, this House version is tough yet also reasonably fair
and will provide enough slots to boost our economy, help American businesses,
and keep American families together," Stump said. The House bill replaces the
Senate bill's expensive "border surge" package with the bipartisan border
security bill that passed the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this
year.

"We call on Speaker Boehner to bring comprehensive immigration reform to the
House floor. By AILA's count, there are enough Democrats and Republicans who
support reform to get a bill passed in the House. He should bring everyone
together and get the job done. Put aside your differences for one moment and
allow the needs of the many to overcome the strident rhetoric that has consumed
so much of the political process. This is what Americans want and what America
needs," he concluded.

Government Shutdown-What happens to Immigration Services?

Posted by Michael Pollak on Tue, Oct 01, 2013 @ 1:33 PM

 Dept. of Homeland Security, ICE, USCISCIS Ombudsman: The CIS
Ombudsman's Office will be closed
and will not be accepting any inquiries
through their online case intake system.

DOL:
OFLC functions are not "excepted" from a shutdown and its employees would be
placed in furlough status should a lapse in appropriated funds occur.
Consequently, in the event of a government shutdown, OFLC will neither accept
nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it
receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing
Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or
Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC's web site, including
the iCERT Visa Portal System and the PERM system, would become static and unable
to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online
accounts.

DOL's Office of Administrative Law Judges will be unable
to perform any case-related activities
, including conducting hearings.
Hearings that have been previously scheduled will therefore be cancelled prior
to the date of the hearing, and they will not be rescheduled for hearing until
an appropriations bill or continuing resolution takes effect.

DHS: Due to the lapse in federal, DHS’s
website will not be actively managed
.

DOS: The Department will continue as many normal operations
as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored
continuously and closely, and planning for a lapse in appropriations must be
continued. Review their “Guidance
on Operations”
for more information.

EOIR: EOIR has indicated that its response to a potential
shutdown is the same as it was in 2011. EOIR has been advised to "put its
shutdown plans in place." As with other agencies, personnel who are not
considered "essential" will be furloughed. EOIR has indicated that the detained
docket would likely be considered an essential function and would therefore be
able to continue in operation.

Update from EOIR on October 1, 2013: Court functions that support the
detained caseload will continue, but other functions are suspended. The Board of
Immigration Appeals (BIA) is processing emergency stay requests as well as cases
where the alien is detained, including case appeals, motions, federal court
remands, and bonds. Please review their
notice for more information
.

ICE: From ICE Community Outreach - ICE detention and
enforcement operations shall continue. ICE chief counsel trail attorneys will
still work on the detained docket only during a shutdown. Please coordinate with
your local Chief Counsel Office on more specifics. The ICE Community and
Detainee Helpline will remain operational.

USCIS: All USCIS
offices worldwide are open
and individuals should report to interviews and
appointments as scheduled. E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a government
shutdown.

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