Attorney Susan Cho Figenshau Discusses Immigration Reform

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Immigration attorney weighs in on Attorney General nominee's immigration reform comments.

On Wednesday, Brooklyn Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch answered questions about her stance on immigration reform at her two-day confirmation hearing. While already better received than current Attorney General Eric Holder, Lynch fielded many questions about the President's November executive actions.

When asked by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) if she agreed with the legality of Obama's policies, Lynch replied that she had reviewed the report to Homeland Security that the Office of Legal Counsel had provided, and saw no "reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views."

Senator Jeff Sessions, of Arizona, told the Huffington Post (01/28/2015) that he disagreed with the policies and feels that the executive action was unconstitutional. He was especially concerned that employers would hire undocumented immigrants instead of United States Citizens.

When asked by Senator Sessions if she agreed with Attorney General Holder's comments that providing citizenship was "essential," Lynch replied that she hadn't studied the issue extensively, but "... people who come to this country in a variety of ways can rehabilitate themselves and apply, but that would have to be something that would be decided on a case-by-case basis."

Attorney Susan Cho Figenshau agrees with Lynch that the matter should be addressed on a case-by-case basis. It is her opinion that the President's executive action would disproportionately benefit people in the US illegally, and hopes for more immigration reform to benefit employers and those who are in the US legally, and who are spending – in many cases – more than ten years – and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars while waiting in queue to become lawful permanent residents.

"The President’s executive actions present no substantial relief on the horizon for employers with increasingly burdensome regulatory compliance obligations, foreign-born professionals working in their professions sometimes more than a decade, legally, as temporary workers, while waiting permanent residency; or U.S. citizens and permanent residents seeking permanent residency for their spouses."

She also disagrees with Sessions that granting citizenship to more immigrants would negatively impact United States employers, going on to add that the current system daunting and long-term hardships on both legal immigrants and United States employers, stating,

"The elimination of limits for employment-based immigrant petitions would merely reflect employers’ continuing needs for highly skilled – often with advanced STEM degrees – professionals. The current per-country quota system, in the meantime, imposes hardship on employers and professionals seeking green cards alike by forcing seekers into what is sometimes a 10-year journey. This plodding green card process does nothing to enhance opportunities for U.S. workers or to reduce employers’ demand for highly skilled workers."

Later, Sessions pressed Lynch again to find out if she thought that the President's executive action was legal and constitutional.
"As I've read the opinion, I do believe it is, Senator," she replied.

About Susan Cho Figenshau, P.C.

Susan Cho Figenshau, P.C. is an immigration lawyer with 20 years of experience in immigration law. She represents employers in numerous fields, including technology, telecommunications, healthcare, educational and more. To learn more, Click Here.

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