As an immigration lawyer, what do I look for when it comes to USCIS? A good system that works. For that, what is most needed is good leadership. Leadership that can accomplish tasks, organize large groups of people. That is what I saw in Alejandro Majorkas, current Deputy Secretary of the DHS, former Director of USCIS.
There has been much written about him over the last 24 hours. But I wanted my readers to know that he was was a great leader for USCIS. Under his leadership, the agency saw much progress. In fact, when he was promoted to number two of DHS, I felt it was a loss to USCIS- but was happy he had oversight in his new role. He was a fast learner on all the tough immigration issues we face when he first took on the job. He brought to the agency engagement with stakeholders and better efficiency. He started the creation of precedent cases that would set example for specific types of cases. He created the Entrepreneur in Residence program specifically for startup founders which was also followed by a special web portal for entrepreneurs. That is only a small list of what he did.
As a lawyer, he’s a problem solver. As an immigrant himself, he was empathetic yet firm in his leadership. As a team player, he made stakeholders feel their voices were being heard. He really took note of what experts had to say and tried to make a difference.
With his hard earned knowledge of immigration law, the processes and the agency, his leadership as Deputy Secretary of the Homeland Security is immensely valuable to USCIS and to the public. His understanding can bring more cohesive action between all agencies under the DHS such as ICE, CBP and USCIS. Rather than taint his name, I hope it will ultimately be recognized that he is a an excellent leader with great integrity and dedication to public service.
L1B- Intra company transfer of specialized knowledge employees are cases that have seen disproportionate scrutiny and denials in the past few years. Yesterday, President Obama announced at the SelectUSA summit in Washington DC that a new L1B memo was imminent. Today USCIS issued the policy memo. There will be a comment period until May 2015. This is a particularly necessary step as the world gets smaller and businesses become more global. I hope to see improvements that will not only benefit our business clients but also bring more business and investment into the US.
The South By Southwest (SXSW) festival experience is truly amazing and overwhelming to a first time attendee like me. About 30,000 attendees with a huge number of events to choose from can easily seem daunting. From a Saudi princess keynote, to Jimmy Kimmel live, to the CEO of Patagonia, the famous names and people are endless. And then there are newcomers like me. I was so incredibly honored and grateful to speak not once, but twice, at the festival- once for my startup immigration panel and then for my book launch reading and signing. Thank you SXSW for the invaluable and unique opportunity. Here are some photos from the event.
We are thrilled and excited to confirm that Tahmina will be reading from her book as well as signing books at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, TX on Saturday March 14th from 1:30 to 1:50 pm! Please join us if you can!
Tahmina’s book “The Startup Visa: Key to Job Growth and Economic Prosperity in America” is now out and available on Amazon for purchase!
Foreword written by the one and only Vivek Wadhwa and edited by Lornet Turnbull, preeminent journalist and former immigration reporter with The Seattle Times, this book promises to start a dialogue on the urgent need for a Startup Visa in the US. Thank you to Vivek Wadhwa for his immense support and inspiration. He is indeed the original Startup Visa advocate and I am truly grateful for his support! Thank you to Lornet Turnbull for her dedication to this subject matter and the book. Thank you to Jennifer Morgan and her team at Radically Distinct for making the book a reality. Thank you to Craig Montuori for being one of the original Startup Visa advocates and helping me learn the politics behind some of these issues. Thank you to my paralegals Silviya Borroff and Nicole Lockett for being my devil’s advocates on many of the political debates at our office so I could frame these issues better. Thank you to Senator Moran (R-Kan)and his Legislative Director Mark Colwell for continuing to champion this issue. A very special thank you to Mbwana Alliy who encouraged and inspired me to write this book. And a huge thank you to my husband for putting up with my non-stop immigration talk (he really deserves a medal). This is a very proud moment for us all at Watson Immigration Law and we look forward to your support in spreading the word on the book, the issues and the greater mission of passing a Startup Visa.
Thank you to NPR national for reporting on the H4 work authorization story and for letting me comment on this issue. You can hear the story at this link. Thank you NPR and report Liz Jones for discussing this important issue! http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/02/25/383845806/when-tech-workers-arrive-on-visa-what-about-their-spouses