Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘DOJ’

15th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a senior American diplomat was recently noted for discussing matters pertaining to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific region. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the DAWN website, DAWN.com:

Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, added in an interview with The Australian newspaper that there was more to US-Asia diplomacy than Washington’s relationship with Beijing. “One of the most important challenges for US foreign policy is to effect a transition from the immediate and vexing challenges of the Middle East to the long-term and deeply consequential issues in Asia,” Campbell said. He made clear this did not mean Washington would neglect its responsibilities in the Middle East, but was rather a desire to deepen relations with the Asian region. And while efforts were being made to enhance Washington’s dialogue with China, it was more than just relations with Beijing that were important. “I think what you see is an across-the-board effort (by the US) to articulate India as playing a greater role in Asia,” said Campbell, a key aide to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…

This blogger asks readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting article in detail.

It was interesting for this blogger to note that there appears to be something of a shift in attitude toward the ASEAN region as Asia in general is viewed as playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. As the Asia-Pacific and ASEAN regions continue to show signs of future growth it stands to reason that countries such as China and India, or any of the so-called BRICS countries for that matter, will become economically more connected to the geographic area. Meanwhile, hopefully American policies in the region will be such that further Asian-American trade and business is generated.

In matters related to American immigration, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the American Bar Association has recently made resolutions regarding the unlicensed practice of law in an immigration context. In order to provide further details on these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of Law Professor Blogs, LawProfessorBlogs.com:

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports measures to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law (UPIL) and immigration practitioner fraud.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourages federal, state, and local governments to adopt laws that:
(a) Create a private right of action for victims of UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud.
(b) Provide criminal penalties for engaging in UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud that would give federal and state authorities the right to investigate and prosecute those engaging in UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to make accommodations for victims of immigration practitioner fraud, including:
(a) Allowing the withdrawal without prejudice of submissions in cases in which a noncitizen can establish that his or her immigration filings were created or submitted by an individual engaged in UPIL or immigration fraud or alternatively, developing a means for submitting corrected filings which will supersede the documents previously filed.
(b) Allowing the U non-immigrant visa to be available for victims of immigration fraud who cooperate with federal, state, or local law enforcement, as well as state bars…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read these resolutions in detail.

Clearly the ABA is taking policy stances in an attempt to reverse the trend of unlicensed legal practitioners preying upon an unsuspecting public in immigration matters. As previously noted in the pages of this web log, those seeking advice and counsel regarding US visa matters are well advised to check the credentials of anyone claiming qualification to practice American immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is permitted to accept client fees in order to engage in the practice of American law. Hopefully, policies will be officially promulgated to address the problem of unscrupulous individuals and organizations defrauding the public.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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9th June 2011

เมื่อเร็วๆนี้สิ่งที่น่าสนใจสำหรับผู้เขียนคือกระทรวงยุติธรรมของสหรัฐอเมริกา โดยความร่วมมือกับกระทรวงความมั่นคงแห่งมาตุภูมิและคณะกรรมการการค้าส่วนกลาง(FTC) มีมาตรการในการต่อสู้กับการฉ้อฉลที่เกี่ยวกับบริการการเข้าเมืองสำหรับผู้ที่ประสงค์จะเดินทางมาสหรัฐอเมริกา อ้างโดยตรงจากประกาศที่เผยแพร่ในเว็บไซต์กระทรวงยุติธรรมของสหรัฐอเมริกา Justice.gov

ตัวแทนส่วนกลางที่เผชิญกับการฉ้อฉลการเข้าเมือง DHS, DOJ และ FTC ซึ่งเกี่ยวข้องกับส่วนของรัฐและท้องถิ่นในความพยายามที่ไม่อาจคาดการณ์ได้

วอชิงตัน- รัฐบาลสหรัฐอเมริกาเปิดเผยข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับปฏิบัติการแห่งชาติที่จะต่อสู้กับการบริการการเข้าเมืองในวันที่ 9 มิถุนายน เวลาบ่ายโมงตรง กระทรวงความมั่นคงแห่งมาตุภูมิ (DHS)และกระทรวงยุติธรรม (DOJ) และคณะกรรมการการค้าส่วนกลาง (FTC)เป็นแกนนำในความพยายามครั้งประวัติศาสตร์

หน่วยบริการพลเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาและการเข้าเมือง(USCIS)ของกระทรวงความมั่นคงแห่งมาตุภูมิ (DHS) แกนนำตัวแทนมีหน้าที่รับผิดชอบในการควบคุมระบบกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาซึ่งจะมีการเริ่มต้นประกาศในขณะที่มีการจัดนิทรรศฏารในเจ็ดเมืองทั่วประเทศเช่นเดียวกับที่มีการจัดที่วอชิงตันดี.ซี.

การดำเนินการที่ไม่ได้รับอนุญาตเกี่ยวกับกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองเป็นเรื่องที่อันตรายต่อระบบความเชื่อถือของการเข้าเมืองและผู้ที่ตกเป็นเหยื่อของกลุ่มคนเข้าเมือง เพื่อความเข้าใจในพฤติกรรมที่หลอกลวง ส่วนกลาง รัฐ และส่วนท้องถิ่นมีส่วนร่วมกันในการที่จะเผชิญกับการบริการการเข้าเมืองในทุกๆทาง การเริ่มต้นได้วางมาตรรการสามอย่างดังนี้ การบังคับ การศึกษาและความร่วมมือ แต่ละฝ่ายต่างมีบทบาทสำคัญในการที่จะทำให้ความพยายามของชาติบรรลุเป้าหมาย การเป็นตัวอย่างในการเริ่มต้นของรัฐบาลและชุมชนสามารถที่จะจัดการกับปัญหาร้ายแรงร่วมกันได้อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ

ผู้เขียนบทความนี้แนะนำให้ผู้อ่านหาข้อมุลเพิ่มเติมโดยการคลิกที่ลิงค์ด้านบนเพื่อศึกษาเกี่ยวกับการประกาศเริ่มต้นของกระทรวงยุติธรรม

เป็นเรื่องที่ไม่ดีที่มีหลายๆองค์กรได้ทำลายชื่อเสียงของตนเองในเขตอำนาจนั้นๆ เช่น การรวมกลุ่มของสมาคมเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ (ASEAN) และในท้องถิ่นอื่นๆทั่วโลกที่จำเป็นต้องมีคุณสมบัติที่สำคัญที่จะให้คำแนะนำ คำปรึกษา และความช่วยเหลือในเรื่องวีซ่าสหรัฐอเมริกาและการเข้าเมือง

กระบวนการเกี่ยวกับวีซ่าสหรัฐอเมริกานั้นเป็นกระบวนการที่อาจสร้างความสับสนให้แก่กฎหมายและกระบวนการเข้าเมือง ผู้ที่กำลังมองหาทนายความอเมริกันในการที่จะช่วยดำเนินการเรื่องวีซ่าเช่น ซีอาร์-วัน, วีซ่าไออาร์-วัน,วีซ่าเค-วัน,วีซ่าอีบี-ไฟว์ หรือวีซ่าแอล-วัน (ชื่อแสดงถึงประเภทของวีซ่า) เพื่อที่จะให้มีความน่าเชื่อถือในการเลือกประเภทที่เหมาะสมกับสถานการณ์ต่างๆ สิ่งที่จะแนะนำเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับทนายความที่ได้รับอนุญาตเท่านั้นจะมีสิทธิที่จะได้รับค่าธรรมเนียมในการที่จะปฏิบัติตามกฎหมายคนเข้าเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาตาม 8 CFR 292.1

โดยทั่วไปแล้ว ก่อนที่จะดำเนินการขอวีซ่าภายใต้กระบวนการกงสุลที่หน่วยการปฏิบัติภารกิจในต่างแดน (สถานทูตสหรัฐอเมริกา, สถานกงสุลสหรัฐอเมริกา,สถาบันอเมริกัน) หน่วยงานเหล่านั้นต้องได้รับการอนุมัติคำขอจากหน่วยบริการพลเมืองสหรัฐอเมริกาและคนเข้าเมือง (USCIS)

To view this posting in English please see: US Visa Thailand.

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6th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Department of Justice, in association with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is taking measures to combat scams involving immigration services for those wishing to travel to the USA . To quote directly from a recent announcement posted upon the official website of the Department of Justice, Justice.gov:

Federal Agencies Combat Immigration Services Scams
DHS, DOJ and FTC Collaborate with State and Local Partners in Unprecedented Effort

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government will unveil a national initiative to combat immigration services scams on June 9 at 1 p.m. The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are leading this historic effort.
DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the lead agency responsible for administering the U.S. legal immigration system, will announce the initiative while hosting events in seven cities around the country as well as the national launch in Washington, D.C.

The unauthorized practice of immigration law is an exploitative practice that endangers the integrity of our immigration system and victimizes members of the immigrant community. Understanding the gravity of this deceptive practice, federal, state and local partners have come together to combat immigration services scams on all fronts. The initiative is set upon three pillars: enforcement, education, and continued collaboration. Each agency plays a critical role to ensure the success of this national effort. This initiative exemplifies how government and community can work together to effectively address a serious problem…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more about the Justice Department’s recently announced initiative.

Unfortunately, there are many less-than-reputable organizations in jurisdictions such as those which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other locales around the world falsely purporting to have the necessary qualifications to provide advice, counsel, and assistance pertaining to United States visas and immigration.

Processing a United States visa can be a cumbersome and overwhelming process for those unfamiliar with relevant immigration law and procedure. Those thinking about retaining an American lawyer to assist in the acquisition of visas such as the CR-1 visa, IR-1 visa, K-1 visa, EB-5 visa, or L-1 visa (to name just a few visa categories) are encouraged to ascertain the credentials of those claiming knowledge of such matters. This is encouraged because only properly licensed attorneys are permitted to accept fees to engage in the practice of U.S. immigration law pursuant to 8 CFR 292.1.

In general, before a visa applicant can undergo Consular Processing at US Mission abroad (US Embassy, US Consulate, American Institute, etc) they must first receive an approved petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

For related information please see: US Visa Thailand or Legal.

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26th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the US business visas categorized as the B-1 visa and the H-1B visa are making headlines on the World Wide Web. To quote directly from the official website of First Post, FirstPost.com:

Infosys announced on Tuesday that it had received a subpoena from a US District Court demanding documentation of its B1 visa usage, which is  the subject of a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Those reading this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks above in order to gain more perspective on this developing story. Concurrently, readers are also asked to remember that those accused of an illegal act, whether a natural person or a corporation, are innocent until proven guilty pursuant to America law.

Those unfamiliar with these visa categories should note that the B-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for use by those who intend to remain in the United States for a short period of time for business meetings or training. Such travel documents do not permit the bearer to take up employment within the jurisdiction of the United States. Meanwhile, the H-1B visa is intended for those who wish to  undertake employment in the United States of America. In much the same way that a Thai business visa does not confer the right to work in the Kingdom of Thailand, only a Thai work permit entails such privileges, so too does a B-1 visa exclusively permit the bearer lawful status in the USA upon admission. Therefore, those wishing to work in the USA are generally required to obtain a visa which permits the bearer to work or obtain Employment Authorization. Those who have lawful permanent residence pursuant to entry in the USA on a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa are allowed to work in the USA.

The aforementioned article went on to note:

The DOJ’s criminal investigation is not the only legal claim Infosys is facing in relation to B1 visas. As Firstpost has previously reported, an Alabama-based employee named Jack “Jay” Palmer filed a civil lawsuit against the company in February alleging that Infosys used the B1 visa as a way to “creatively” manoeuvre around H-1B visa caps. (Infosys has consistently been the top recipient of H-1B visas in the US.)

Those seeking American immigration benefits should be aware of the fact that the privilege of working in the United States is not always easily obtained. Furthermore, those pondering immigration benefits should note that it is never prudent to be anything but 100% honest with American immigration officials as failure to be candid regarding one’s bona fide immigration intentions could have tremendous adverse ramifications. Consequences for failure to be forthright with immigration authorities could include fines, penalties, incarceration, or a finding of legal inadmissibility. Those found to be legally ineligible for admission to the United States of America may be able to rectify such inadmissibility through use of either an I-601 waiver or an I-212 waiver, depending upon the circumstances of the case.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security‘s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is taking criticism from a federal legislator regarding the methodology surrounding the groping of individuals passing through airports in the USA. To quote directly from the official website of Real Clear Politics, RealClearPolitics.com:

The Hill reports: “I walked through … right behind me there was a grandmother — little old lady, and she was was patted down,” Rep. Paul Broun (R-Georgia) said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” “Right behind her was a little kid who was patted down. And then right behind him was a guy in Arabian dress who just walked right through. Why are we patting down grandma and kids?”

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more.

It is certainly a credit to Representative Paul Broun that he is questioning TSA policies regarding groping of prospective passengers as it is this blogger’s personal opinion that such searches violate the provisions of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. This news comes on the heels of a recent announcement that lawmakers in the sovereign State of Texas have withdrawn a recent bill brought before that State’s legislature to curtail the activities of the TSA. To quote directly from the website of the Texas Tribune, TexasTribune.org:

A threat from the federal government to shut down Texas airports or cancel flights may have killed legislation by Tea Party conservatives in the Texas Capitol to prohibit federal Transportation Security Administration agents from conducting “invasive searches.” “I don’t cave in to heavy handed threats by the federal government,” said an angry Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Senate sponsor of the bill, who ultimately withdrew the bill. House Bill 1937, which was passed by the House earlier this month, would make it a misdemeanor offense for a federal security agent to “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.” Two TSA officials visited Patrick at the Capitol earlier today to discuss the legislation. They warned him that the legislation “could close down all the airports in Texas,” he said…

This blogger encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above to find out more.

Clearly, the issue of TSA “pat downs” is controversial and can raise tempers. This blogger encourages readers to keep abreast of the stories above at it seems likely that the underlying issues will continue to be poignant in the days and weeks ahead. This may be especially true in the context of an upcoming election as issues pertaining to U.S. immigration and the 4th amendment may be of concern to prospective voters.

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28th December 2010

The FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) is one of the most misunderstood, or least understood pieces of legislation amongst Americans as the provisions and language of this legislation is somewhat difficult to comprehend for those who are unaccustomed to so-called “legalese.” That said, this law is integral to a full understanding of United States corporate and transactional law in an international context. In order to understand the full scope of this issue it may be best to quote directly from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) official website:

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq. (“FCPA”), was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Specifically, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.

Since 1977, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA have applied to all U.S. persons and certain foreign issuers of securities. With the enactment of certain amendments in 1998, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA now also apply to foreign firms and persons who cause, directly or through agents, an act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment to take place within the territory of the United States.

The FCPA also requires companies whose securities are listed in the United States to meet its accounting provisions. See 15 U.S.C. � 78m. These accounting provisions, which were designed to operate in tandem with the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, require corporations covered by the provisions to (a) make and keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect the transactions of the corporation and (b) devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls.

As can be gathered from the above citation, the FCPA would seem to have been enacted in an effort to increase transparency in Business-to-Government transactions occurring outside of the United States of America. Furthermore, the Act also appears to have been designed to restrict acts of bribery in matters pertaining to an American person or entity abroad. That said, there are some definitions within the provisions of the act which distinguish certain activities from the definition of bribery. For instance, the Act makes use of the term “grease payment” in describing payments which are considered exempt from being defined as bribery where the payment itself is not made in order to have an impact upon the outcome of an adjudication.

For interesting insight into this facet of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act it may be best to quote the Wikipedia website:

Regarding payments to foreign officials, the act draws a distinction between bribery and facilitation or “grease payments”, which may be permissible under the FCPA but may still violate local laws. The primary distinction is that grease payments are made to an official to expedite his performance of the duties he is already bound to perform. Payments to foreign officials may be legal under the FCPA if the payments are permitted under the written laws of the host country. Certain payments or reimbursements relating to product promotion may also be permitted under the FCPA.

First, those reading this posting should note that this piece is not meant to act as a definitive analysis of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) since any legal matter must be analyzed based upon the unique set of facts existing in the case. Furthermore, legal analysis of matters which may fall under the scope of the FCPA should only be conducted by a licensed American attorney trained and experienced in American corporate law as well as international law because corporate transactions can often become highly complex, from a legal standpoint, in an international context. Therefore, failure to retain adequate legal counsel in matters which may touch upon the FCPA could result in severe civil or even criminal penalties for both American corporations operating abroad or American natural persons doing business outside of the United States of America.

Those American firms and individuals wishing to conduct business in countries such as Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, China, India, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Singapore should be aware that not only must local laws be adhered to, but also the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act should the entity or individual in question be subject to the FCPA’s jurisdiction.

Fore related information please see: US Company Registration or Thailand Company.

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6th June 2010

In a recent news release from the American Justice Department it was announced that a US Border Patrol Agent has plead guilty to charges that he assaulted a Mexican National and thereby violated that individual’s civil rights. To quote the press release:

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Eduardo Moreno pleaded guilty today in federal court in Tucson, Ariz., to a federal criminal civil rights charge for assaulting a Mexican national who was in his custody, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced today. Sentencing has been scheduled for Aug. 12, 2010.
The underlying incident occurred on May 10, 2006, while Moreno was on duty at the U.S. Border Patrol Processing Center in Nogales, Ariz. During the plea proceedings and in documents filed in court, Moreno admitted that while escorting the victim at the center, he kicked the victim, struck him in the stomach with a baton, threw him down to ground, and punched him, all without any legitimate law enforcement reason to use force. As a result of the defendant’s actions, the victim suffered bodily injury.


“We place a great deal of trust in federal law enforcement officers, and the Civil Rights Division will aggressively prosecute any officer who violates the rights of others and abuses the power they are given to perform their critical duties,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.


Moreno faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. An additional count in the indictment of making a false statement to federal agents will be dismissed under the plea agreement. This case was investigated by agents of the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The case is being jointly prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hansen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and Trial Attorney Edward Chung of the Civil Rights Division.

This is an unfortunate incident which some feel is symptomatic of an overall problem in the area of US Immigration. Many advocates are calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), if for no other reason than to clarify the finer points of US Immigration law, procedure, and regulation. Hopefully, by creating a discourse about immigration many of the problems plaguing law enforcement agencies and local communities can be adequately addressed to the satisfaction of all concerned.

This author applauds the efforts of the American Justice Department as they seek to make the rule of law binding upon individuals in the USA, government agencies, and government agents alike.

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