What is a “Business” Immigration Attorney? By Michael Dominguez

by News Editor
in Blog
on 28 July 2016
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The current political climate around the immigration debate often requires that I include the word “business” in my elevator speech about the type of law I practice. Even fellow attorneys have misconceptions about what it is an immigration lawyer does.  

Invariably people assume that I work with “illegal aliens” a loaded choice of wording that makes it clear where the person speaking stands on the subject of immigration.

My response is often, well my job is to make sure the people immigrate or work in the U.S. “the right way” that everyone always references but few people seem to truly understand. Once they are here my main objective it to make sure an employee on a work visas doesn’t fall out of status.

Put another way that is basically what a person referenced as an “illegal alien” is in the U.S., a person without a valid immigration status. Despite the stereotype of a person crossing illegally from the Mexican border, an estimated 40% of “illegals” in the U.S. today are overstays who entered legally and have fallen out of status.

I work with companies large and small that need guidance on navigating our nation’s complicated immigration laws, which includes non-immigrant work visas and employment based permanent residency. I work with individual investors that are coming to invest their money and skills into the U.S. economy. I also work with families who have married a person from another country, or with permanent residents who are ready to take the next step and become citizens of their adopted homeland.

In essence I help non-citizens work and live in the U.S. legally, look for avenues for permanent residency and eventually U.S. citizenship if that is what they want. The key to all of this is planning. Creating a strategy that works for the company and the individual, making sure that a person maintains their status, enters legally and does not work without authorization are all keys to a successful immigration journey in the United States.

Non immigration attorneys often think that immigration law is just filling out forms. But filling out forms without adequate knowledge of the possible consequences only increases the odds that a person will need another type of immigration attorney. These are the fine attorneys who work with people who have come to the attention of our immigration system or have been summoned to court for removal proceedings.  In the immigration world we call them “litigation” attorneys; these folks are often the last best chance for people in removal proceedings. When it gets to this point however they are often very limited on the type of relief they can provide. Working together with companies, families and individuals my job is to keep employees and family members alike from ever finding out what the inside of an immigration court looks like. 

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