What Repeal of DACA Could Mean for U.S. Economy

Six years ago, President Barack Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) into law, giving hundreds of thousands of young adults who were brought into the United States as children a chance to live a normal life. Those who applied for DACA status and met the requirements were able to go to college, legally work, and get driver licenses to allow them to come out of hiding and become productive residents of the United States without fear of deportation. Now, under the Trump administration, undocumented immigrants, including these young adults and their parents, could lose their right to work legally in this country and countless families could be torn apart. What many fail to realize, though, is that if President-elect Trump makes good on the promise he made to his voters, the U.S. economy will also suffer because of it.

The Economics of Immigration

If DACA is repealed, almost 645,000 undocumented immigrants will lose their right to work in the United States. Businesses would be legally obligated to immediately terminate workers who are undocumented. This would mean having to find and train new employees to fill these job vacancies. According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, this could possibly cost businesses up to $3.4 billion dollars.

Social security card applicationHowever, it is not just the cost to businesses that could cause major setbacks if immigrants lose DACA status; there are additional implications to the economy. The U.S. would also lose the tax revenue that comes from the undocumented workers protected by DACA. This means diminished contributions to Medicare and Social Security (losses totaling roughly $4.6 billion and $19.9 billion respectively). These programs are already struggling; the loss of immigrant contributions could mean reducing payments to many elderly citizens who rely on them to live.

If you are currently protected by DACA, it is important to be informed about how potential changes to U.S. immigration law may affect your immigration status. The attorneys of Brownstein & Nguyen are on your side. Contact us for legal assistance with your Atlanta immigration case.

Immigration, Executive Orders, and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently heard and decided the case of USA v Texas. This lawsuit was instituted by twenty six states, challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s immigration executive actions, including the 2014 executive order creating DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). This program provided deferred action from removal (or deportation) to law-abiding immigrants. About 4 million immigrant parents of children born in the United States would have qualified under the program, allowing them to remain in the U.S for up to 3 years.

Passports and Visas AtlantaPresident Obama vs. the Supreme Court

The primary question before the Supreme Court involved the extent of the president’s power to interpret and implement federal laws in a manner consistent with his own policy goals. Article II of the constitution obligates the president to ensure that laws are faithfully executed, a provision with its roots in the American Revolution. Another controversial issue raised by this case is the tradition of prosecutorial discretion, or the ability of the executive branch to determine whether to prosecute individuals who are accused of violating federal law. Could the executive branch rely on a traditional exercise of discretion in delaying deportation in the least crucial immigration cases?

Historic Precedence

The Obama administration relied upon the 1985 ruling in Heckler v. Chaney to support the constitutionality of DAPA. In that case, the Supreme Court found that the Food & Drug Administration could legally exercise discretion not to enforce a governing statute. However, the court further observed that the principal of prosecutorial discretion is not unlimited. For instance, this principal cannot be employed to justify a broad policy decision that would exclude an agency’s legal duties (e.g., the executive branch is not allowed to stop enforcing duly enacted federal drug policies). The Supreme Court therefore needed to decided in USA v. Texas whether Obama’s immigration policy was akin to a prosecutor refusing to press charges in certain cases, or whether it was a broad policy decision that abdicated the executive branch’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law.

Supreme Court Deadlock

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, only 8 Justices of the Supreme Court heard the case of USA v. Texas. The court deadlocked on the constitutional questions before it, with a split vote of 4 to 4. Unfortunately, this amounts to a non-decision and leaves in place a lower appeals court ruling permanently blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. As a result of the Supreme Court’s failure to affirmatively decide this important issue, millions of law-abiding residents who would have been eligible for relief under DAPA may one day face deportation despite having U.S. born children with lives here and who need their parents for support.

At the Atlanta attorney offices of Brownstein & Nguyen, we have decades of experience handling matters for thousands of clients in the complicated area of immigration law. If you, a family member or friend need help with legal immigration, contact our offices for a case evaluation.

Pitfalls in the Citizenship Approval Process

Despite the seemingly straightforward steps listed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, acquiring U.S. citizenship is not a simple undertaking. For example the second step – “determine if you are eligible” – is deceptively complicated. While at first it appears to be a simple “yes” or “no” answer, within that question is an eligibility worksheet that lists 15 mandatory factors.

Residency Requirements

Generally, applicants seeking citizenship must have been a permanent resident for at least five years. This means that the applicant both (1) possesses a permanent residency card (green card) and (2) has lived in the U.S. for five years. Residency can be established in a variety of ways including mortgages, rental agreements, utility bills and other documents that substantiate residency.Passports and Visas Atlanta

The USCIS also examines how often applicants leave the country during their residency period. Applicants cannot live or travel outside of the United States for a cumulative total of 30 months or more. However, exceptions might apply if trips outside the U.S. are unavoidable, for example extended family visits for medical reasons. Additionally, within those 30 months no single trip can last longer than a year unless a specific exception in the law applies.

Tax Requirements

An additional requirement not included in the eligibility worksheet is being current on all U.S. tax obligations. all applicants must file tax returns and either (1) pay any overdue tax debts or (2) be in good standing in a repayment program.

The above are only a few of the many issues to look at when determining eligibility for citizenship. For more information about citizenship, check out our website here.

If you believe that you meet all the requirements for citizenship, that is not the end of the process. The USCIS can and does request supporting documentation to substantiate each eligibility factor. Tracking eligibility and maintaining documentation is critical for a smooth approval process. The immigration approval process is complicated and full of pitfalls. For example, if an LPR (lawful permanent resident) overstayed their visa, is ineligible for continued residence, or deemed removable from the United States for any one of myriad reasons, filing a citizenship petition can result in the USCIC placing the applicant into removal proceedings.

Seeking legal advice early in the process is one of the best ways to avoid problems, delays or denials of citizenship applications. For expert assistance with citizenship and other legal immigration needs, contact the immigration attorneys at Brownstein & Nguyen today.

I’m Starting a Business. Do I Need a Lawyer?

In the world of business law, knowing when legal help is prudent or necessary is a common inquiry. Whether working in a large corporation, as a small business owner, launching a start-up, or in the role of entrepreneur, obtaining timely legal support on important business matters is critical. While qualified legal help is necessary in many situations, however, there are tasks that may be completed without the assistance of an attorney.

Atlanta business lawOne example is found at the beginning of starting a business. A lawyer is not typically necessary when obtaining a business license for a sole proprietorship or registering a business trade name. This early step in forming a business usually is handled at the local level. For example, businesses and individuals located within unincorporated Fulton County wishing to acquire a business license may do so through the business license office. However, if they or their business are within the city limits of one of a municipality such as Roswell, Alpharetta, or Sandy Springs, then the business license or trade name must be obtained through the municipality.

While registering obtaining an initial business license may be done without a lawyer, there are many other situations in which obtaining confident and experienced legal support is recommended and necessary. Some of these instances include:

  • In hiring employees, making sure that employment policies are lawful and properly documented and employee contracts are accurate, viable legal documents that spell out the terms of employment, grounds for termination, and protect the business’ trade secrets, customer lists, and other confidential information  
  • Legally establishing a partnership, corporation, or LLC with all necessary organizational documents and agreements in place that set out the parties’ rights and obligations, including in the event of a major business disagreement or dissolution
  • Avoiding liability and assessing business risks for various issues including contract disputes, intellectual property claims, or business torts in instances such as a trade name likeness, slander, or violation of trade secrets
  • Any other situation in which business counsel or representation may be needed

In the event that you or your business are in need of legal support you can count on, contact Brownstein & Nguyen. Our experience speaks for itself when it comes to offering sound legal advice and representation to allow your business to grow and avoid or mitigate legal problems. When a dispute does arise, we bring decades of experience, practical wisdom, and expertise to the table in making sure your interests are fully represented.

Common Myths Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

DisagreementWhile National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month has come and gone, it is important to consider that Alzheimer’s affects almost 1 person per every 2 families. Even though the disease is so widespread, most people don’t know the facts about Alzheimer’s and how it can affect you and your elderly family members.

Myth 1: Memory Loss is Part of a Normal Aging Process

One of the myths that most people hold is that memory loss is part of a normal aging process. This is factually and medically wrong. Alzheimer’s follows a 14 year progression from the onset of initial signs until death. However, most people are diagnosed with the disease at a very late stage. This is because many elderly are afraid of being stigmatized and choose to keep quiet until memory loss severely affects their daily lives.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s Cannot be Treated

Another common myth is that Alzheimer’s cannot be treated. While it is true that there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, that does not mean there is no treatment available. There are modern and conventional medical treatments that can be effective in combating the disease. Generally, early treatment is necessary to prevent further brain damage and deterioration. Most people believe that any treatment short of cure is not an effective method. However, many suffering from this condition can lead a quality life with early diagnosis and proper treatment.

An important thing to remember is that a healthy heart and body is equal to a healthy brain. Many physicians have agreed that the brain is closely related to the heart. This explains why individuals with high blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity risk experiencing cognitive decline.

It is important to be aware of the legal rights of the elderly when it comes to elder care. If you or a loved one are dealing with issues due to memory or other long-term care associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and long-term care, contact Brownstein & Nguyen for legal support.

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Month

A personal injury attorney is often asked for help with injury claims after a traffic stop involving drunk or drugged driving. National statistics indicate that this type of impairment results in car crashes more often at night than during the day. On weekends, fatal crashes are more often related to drunk or drugged driving than other types of traffic accidents.  Statistics on this subject indicate that more than thirty percent of drivers involved in serious traffic incidents are alcohol impaired.

Personal Injury Claims

Emergency LightsA personal injury case is managed by a personal injury attorney, who investigates the matter, handles insurance claims, and, if necessary, files and prosecutes a lawsuit in court to recover just compensation for an injury victim. The following information is important for potential legal claims following any traffic accident:

  • Sadly, drunk driving is a national epidemic. A motor vehicle crash involving an impaired driver and injuries typically leads to a personal injury claim handled by a personal injury lawyer.
  • A personal injury lawyer can help determine liability in a motor vehicle accident or wreck case, based on available information and evidence. Sometimes the attorney will use the services of an accident reconstructionist. Who is at fault needs to be quickly assessed in order to meet specific statute of limitations rules that apply in each jurisdiction.
  • The proper and full amount of damages incurred by an injured party must be determined as part of any insurance claim filed with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier or in any lawsuit filed in court. An experienced personal injury attorney is trained to build and document a case for damages.
  • The amount of compensation paid to the victim of motor vehicle negligence varies with the unique circumstances of each situation. Remember, just as no two people are exactly alike no two cases are either.

Fault in Personal Injury Claims

In most vehicle wreck cases, there will be an accident or incident report prepared by a police officer, indicating who the officer believes to be at fault and if that person has been charged with a traffic offense. However, in most cases the criminal charge is not admissible in a personal injury lawsuit, which is a civil matter. Some jurisdictions, such as Georgia, have modified comparative negligence laws that may be applied. This means that each party to a motor vehicle incident may be assessed a percentage of fault. The amount of fault assessed by an automobile insurance carrier or jury is adjusted according to the evidence, and determines the amount of damages each party might be responsible for.

Atlanta personal injury attorneys Brownstein & Nguyen are experienced in handling serious personal injury claims following impaired driving crashes. Driving while intoxicated or impaired is illegal, and drunk and drugged driving can carry severe consequences including felony criminal charges depending on the injuries caused. At Brownstein & Nguyen, we hope that all drivers (and passengers) drive and ride safe this holiday season!

General News Blog

General News Blog

Welcome to the general news blog of Atlanta, Georgia law firm Brownstein & Nguyen. On this page, we provide information & news concerning various legal topics, issues and events. We hope it is informative and helpful.

The information and opinions provided on this page are not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your legal issue.

Immigration Law Blog


Atlanta Immigration Law Blog

Welcome to the Atlanta Immigration Law Blog, provided by Atlanta, Georgia law firm Brownstein & Nguyen. This blog page is dedicated to immigration matters, legal issues and news. We hope it is informative and helpful.

The information and opinions provided on this page are not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your legal issue.

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Atlanta Elder Abuse & Medical Malpractice Blog

Welcome to the Atlanta Elder Abuse & Medical Malpractice Blog, provided by Atlanta, Georgia law firm Brownstein & Nguyen. This blog page is dedicated to legal issues and matters concerning medical malpractice and elder abuse in Georgia. We hope it is informative and helpful.

The information and opinions provided on this page are not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your legal issue.