This analysis was prepared by staff attorney Marissa Malouff from the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. Attorney Malouff is a former USCIS officer and Department of Justice attorney who drafted the decisions for immigration judges in the Los Angeles immigration court. To schedule your consultation with her, call us at (800) 792-9889 or text us at: (213) 375-4084.
Can students work on an F-1 Visa?
Once a foreign student with a student visa has completed their academic program, the student is eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT allows a student to obtain paid or unpaid temporary employment that is directly related to the student’s major area of study. The OPT program provides students the ability to gain valuable work experience, remain in the U.S. for 12-24 months beyond the completion of their academic program and potential eligibility for certain students for some employment based visas. Some students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions may extend their STEM OPT period by 24 months after their initial 12 month OPT period.
In a move that has many foreign nationals living in Southern California excited, the Mexican government has begun issuing birth certificates through its 50 consulates based in the United States. The goal is to provide immigrants residing in the country a chance to safely apply for work permits and driver’s licenses. It may even assist them in avoiding deportation by helping them apply through President Obama’s recent executive action. As reported by ABC 7, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Antonio Meade sees this as a real opportunity to benefit Mexican citizens and their surrounding communities - economically, socially, and culturally.
According to a report by Public Radio International, on January 2, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices throughout the state of California processed thousands of driver’s license applications from undocumented immigrants. At peak hours, lines extended for hundreds of people, and in some locations, even wrapped around whole plazas.
It is projected that approximately 1.4 million immigrants will apply for licenses over the next three years thanks to Assembly Bill 60, which went into effect at the beginning of 2015. In preparation for this surge of applications, the agency has opened new branches, extended opening hours, and hired more than 900 additional employees.
President Obama took executive action on immigration reform on November 20, 2014. These actions involved significant changes to immigration policy here in the United States, and potentially will impact the lives of millions of undocumented workers and illegal immigrants facing deportation from the U.S. At the heart of these changes, an increased number of immigrants will be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs.
In what has been widely regarded as a bold political move by both supporters and critics alike, President Obama will lay out his temporary plan for immigration reform in a televised speech tonight at 5pm Pacific Standard Time. The announcement will also be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov.
At its core, Mr. Obama’s executive action will protect millions of undocumented workers and illegal immigrants who have been living in the United States for over 5 years from immediate deportation. Additionally, it is expected that the President will extend coverage for “dreamers” – children who came to the country while still very young. All told, close to 5 million individuals can expect to benefit from the reforms. And while this comes as a welcome relief for families across the nation, it stands to make winter in Washington this year – at least politically - a potentially brutal one.
Approximately 10 percent of California's workforce is composed of undocumented immigrants. Many worry that these workers are vulnerable to employer mistreatment, including wage theft. A number of California laws were recently implemented to combat and deter wrongdoing against undocumented immigrants, and the Supreme Court has even ruled that undocumented workers have the right to sue their employers. However, these protections are not keeping all workers from harm.
A reporter with KQED recently interviewed an undocumented worker who suffered physical abuse at the hands of one employer and was refused pay from another. This particular victim of abuse refused to talk on tape and was worried that speaking up would cost him future employment opportunities.
A new agreement announced on August 27, 2014 states that Homeland security officials will not use intimidation or threats against immigrants facing deportation. Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times reports that many immigrants with ties to Southern California who voluntarily left the United States under threats will be allowed to return. This potentially historical settlement only pertains to Southern California, but some of the reforms may be adopted nationwide.
This settlement will directly affect individuals who were voluntarily deported from Southern California between the years 2009 and 2013. The group involved in the lawsuit claimed that federal agents used intimidation and misinformation to persuade immigrants to voluntarily leave the country. Even individuals with no serious criminal records and long standing ties to Southern California were coerced, tricked and encouraged to leave the country.
As debates over immigration reform continue to gridlock Congress, the President has announced in no uncertain terms that he is prepared to make use of his executive powers to put new immigration measures into action – stirring further controversy and discontent on both sides of the aisle. But no matter what steps the White House takes, the main question remains: What should be done with the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrations living in America?
The question stirs up countless responses, many based on the overwhelming misperception that illegal immigrants are essentially barely literate, single men who recently crossed the border to contribute little to the country they take advantage of.
- At least three-fifths of the undocumented have been living and working in the U.S. for over a decade
- Nearly half have children under the age of 18