Thursday, July 28, 2016




Donald Trump’s immigration reform plan is centered on three principles:
1.       A nation without borders is not a nation. 
2.       A nation without laws is not a nation. 
3.       A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. 


The most well-known of Mr. Trump’s immigration proposals is to build a wall on the Mexican/American border and ensure Mexico pays for this wall.  Mr. Trump proposes to obtain this payment from Mexico by:
-          Impounding all remittance payments derived from wages earned by workers who are illegally in the US
-          Increase fees on all visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats
-          Increase fees on all border crossing cards
-          Increase fees on all TN visas
-          Increase fees at ports of entry to the US from Mexico


Mr. Trump intends to implement the following actions to ensure current American immigration laws are enforced:
-          Triple the number of Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) Officers
-          ICE Officers will work with local gang task forces; ICE Officers must place detainers on any undocumented immigrants they encounter in the jails and prisons
-          Require e-verify for all employers; currently e-verify is an optional government program
-          Mandatory deportation of all foreign nationals with any criminal history
-          Discontinue catch-and-release programs; at present individuals apprehended at the border are detained and then paroled into the US until an immigration hearing.  Mr. Trump proposes detention until the hearing.
-          Individuals who overstay the term of their I-94 card will be subject to criminal penalties
-          Cut off federal grants which fund any sanctuary city programs
-          End birthright citizenship; children of immigrants born on US soil would no longer be US Citizens


Mr. Trump contends that our immigration policy has destroyed America’s middle class.  As a result, his reform proposals seek to control the admission of new low-earning workers to the US.  Mr. Trump’s specific policy proposals for long-term reform include:
-          Increase prevailing wages for H-1Bs
-          Require companies to hire American workers first
-          Require immigrants to prove, before entering the US, that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare, and other needs
-          Eliminate the J-1 training visa and replace it with a resume bank for inner city youth
-          Increase standards for admission of refugees and asylum-seekers
-          Immigration moderation: before new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire unemployed workers already in the US

Please note this post summarizes only the points available on Mr. Trump’s website regarding immigration reform.  Speeches, interviews, or other materials are not captured here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Two prominent US bankers recently spoke up in the debate over immigration reform; both stated that immigration is critical to the continued recovery and economic growth of the United States.

Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan, said the US population is aging and so participation in the US labor force will decline, creating difficulties for the US economy.  We can do something about this, said Kaplan: “One thing is we could have immigration reform in the United States so that people can come here easily and we can continue to grow the workforce in a safe and secure way.”  Kaplan acknowledged that immigration reform is a difficult debate, but also a necessary one.

Also last week, Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari, said immigration reform is a critical component of a return to faster economic growth.  “My personal view,” said Kashkari, “is that we should utilize immigration to our advantage as a source for economic growth.  If we have a population that’s not growing it’s much harder to have economic growth.”

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. The Federal Reserve has three primary functions:
·         Monetary Policy
·         Banking Supervision
·         Financial Services

The Federal Reserve, also called “The Fed” is led by a Board of Governors in Washington, DC.  A network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches make up the Federal Reserve System under the general oversight of the Board of Governors.  Each of the 12 Reserve Banks serves its region of the country and is led by a Fed President.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


CGFNS has just announced that Jasper Tolarba, DNP, RN, NEA-BC will be their new Director of Credentials Evaluation Services.  Dr. Tolarba will manage the operations of the Credentialing Service programs.  From their press release:

Dr. Tolarba will be responsible for managing the operations of the Credentialing Service programs including VisaScreen®, Credentials Evaluation Service and International Consultants of Delaware. Along with CGFNS’ Executive Team, Dr. Tolarba will establish and coordinate the Foreign Educated Professionals Advisory Group, providing a more robust voice on a global scale.

Dr. Tolarba’s alma mater, Bicol Univerity in Legazpi City, Philippines, also highlighted the appointment.  Bicol notes that Dr. Tolarba earned his first bachelors and masters from Bicol and also taught nursing there from 2002-2004, whereupon he moved to Cincinnati and enrolled at Xavier University.  He later obtained his Ph.D from Yale University in Connecticut.  Bicol also notes that Dr. Tolarba is the first foreign-educated nurse to join CGFNS leadership team.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Musillo Unkenholt has received many emails and phone calls from people who have questions about the August 2016 Visa Bulletin.  We have put together this FAQ for all readers of the MU Law Blog.

Q.  Why do the August and September Visa Bulletins always have unusual progressions and retrogressions?

A. These two Visa Bulletins are the final two Visa Bulletins of the US Fiscal Year, which runs from October 1 – September 30.  The USDOS must make sure that it uses all 140,000 employment based immigrant visas.  If it does not use all 140,000 immigrant visas, then the visas do not roll over into the next fiscal year.  On the other hand, the USDOS cannot use more than 140,000 immigrant visas or else they violate federal law.  

Q. The Philippine and All Other EB2 retrogressed for the first time in many years.  Does this mean that the Philippine EB2 and All Other dates will permanently be retrogressed?

A.  No.  This is a temporary retrogression that will only last until October 1, 2016.  The DOS expects that the October Visa Bulletin will be Current for both Philippines and All Other EB-2.

Q.  The India EB-2 seems stuck in 2004.  For much of the year it was in 2008.  When will it return to 2008?

A.  Our sense is that October 2016 Visa Bulletin will show a much more favorable Indian EB-2 date, probably back to 2008.

Q.  The Philippine EB-3 is unaffected by the August retrogression.  Where do you think the Philippine EB-3 date is headed?

A.  Our read is that the September 2016 Visa Bulletin may have an unusual date.  Therefore you should not read anything into the September 2016 Visa Bulletin. 

However, Fiscal Year 2017 looks very positive for Philippine EB-3.  Our educated guess is that the Philippine EB-3 date will move at approximately a three-to-one ratio.  In other words, the EB-3 date should move, on average, three months each Visa Bulletin.

Q. At what rate will the All Other EB-3 move in 2017?

A.  The All Other EB-3 should remain Current or almost Current for the foreseeable future.

Monday, July 11, 2016


The Department of State has just issued the August 2016 Visa Bulletin.  This is the eleventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2016. As the fiscal year winds down, the last few Visa Bulletins always have some surprises.  

This Visa Bulletin is no exception.  Some dates progressed favorably.  Other dates retrogressed.  Rest assured that these changes are temporary. 

In this Visa Bulletin, the US DOS confirmed that everything will go back to "normal" on October 1, 2016, the start of the next fiscal year.

August 2016 Visa Bulletin

Final Action Dates

Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).
All Chargeability 
Areas Except
Those Listed
2nd01FEB1401JAN1015NOV04 01FEB1401FEB14

MU Law Analysis

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The retrogression of the EB-2 category simply means that the DOS approved more cases than it expected to in FY2016.  The EB-3 moved forward by two weeks.  These dates continue to be very favorable.  We expect that All Other dates will continue to be positive for the foreseeable future, starting on October 1, 2016.

China:   A note in this month's Visa Bulletin indicates that these dates will stay at January 2010 for the September 2010's Visa Bulletin.  

India:  EB-3 moved ahead a few weeks.  But the EB-2 remained stuck in 2004.  We expect the India EB-2 to stay in 2004 until the October 2016 Visa Bulletin at which time it should steadily move forward.

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead three more months. The note in this month's Visa Bulletin indicated that the EB-3 date should move through 2009 and may move into 2010 by September, as MU Law has been expecting.  (Our note from May 2016: "MU Law believes that Philippines EB-3 will continue to steadily move forward in the coming months. We expect it to move into 2009 in the by early summer, and may reach 2010 by the end of this fiscal year.").  The enactment of a Feb 2014 in EB-2 is of no concern.  Philippine EB-2 will be current in October 2016.

Friday, July 1, 2016


Today marks the seven year anniversary of the Musillo Unkenholt LLC law firm.  We have always tried to serve our clients with intelligence, speed, and respect.  We are very proud of the work that we have done here on behalf of our many clients.  Over these seven years we have significantly grown the firm.  We have about twice as many employees as when we started on July 1, 2009.  Most of our growth is due to referrals from our clients, which is the greatest sign of success.

The firm’s lifeblood is the people who work here.  We have three paralegals who have been with us since Day One, and another who re-joined us from our prior law firm.  All four are outstanding paralegals and better people.  We have several attorneys whose first attorney job was with MU Law.  They all have bright presents and brighter futures.  We have a number of newer, younger people who have benefited our culture and continually add to it.

Thank you to everyone – employees, clients, friends, professional colleagues -- who have contributed to MU Law’s success over these seven years.   We are very proud to celebrate seven great years!