A study released in July by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy revealed that undocumented immigrants currently pay $10.6 billion each year in local and state taxes across the U.S. In New Jersey alone, undocumented immigrants currently contribute $476.4 million in taxes and after Immigration Reform, New Jersey could gain $81.2 million in increased tax revenue. We see that the approach to CIR in the House is very slow, reviewing each item on a piecemeal basis to avoid the appearance of “COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM.” We must be patient because ultimately it is likely that there will be a compromise between the Senate and the House.
REMINDER: NEW I-9 EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION FORM
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded employers that as of May 7, 2013, they must use the new I-9 employment eligibility verification form when hiring new employees. The new form shows the revision date “03/08/13 N” in the bottom left corner and will be valid until March 31, 2016. This new form was designed by USCIS to make the process easier for both employers and employees and features larger font, enhanced layout and, useful examples. If you have questions about this new I-9 form, please contact the office.
ARRIVAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) added new technologies to improve the arrival process for international travelers. Form I-94 arrival/departure record is no longer completed, as it is digitalized at all ports of entry. CBP is installing self-serve kiosks and uses Trusted Traveler programs i.e. NEXUS, Global Entry, and SENTRI which send pre-approved travelers through the process very quickly. CBP also released additional travel tips including: complete your Customs Declaration before you leave the plane; get your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before you board if you’re from a Visa Waiver country; know what documentation you need for travel in advance and what you’re permitted to bring into the U.S.
HOW THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON DOMA AFFECTS IMMIGRATION
On July 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of the U.S struck down the controversial DOMA provisions in which same sex couples were not accorded equal legal standing as all other married couples. This decision also affects the benefits offered to same sex couples by USCIS and opens the door to the same sex spouses of US Citizens or permanent residents to legalize their status, provided the marriage is valid in the place where it was performed. These USCIS applications include:, Adjustment of Status, I-130 petitions , derivative beneficiaries, I-140 Immigrant Visa petitions, I-129 Fiancée Visas, among others.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office!
Susan W. Scheer and Staff