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Obama signs Border Security Act; raises international business opposition and Increases Fees for H-IB and L-IA and L-IB to pay for expenses.

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On August 13, President Barack Obama signed the Southwest Border Security Act, which invests $600 million for border security, according to the Washington Times.  The bill increases the number of border patrol officers and agents, deploys more immigration judges and attorneys, and aims to work closely with the Mexican
government to combat the border drug trafficking, according to a copy of the act.

The act will receive funding from an increase in the visa fee applications.

•The bill will be funded in part from an increase in the fees of visas for temporary skilled workers, as reported by the New York Times. The U.S. government will receive around $20,000 in increased revenue by incrementing the
fees paid for H-1B and L-1 visas applications.

•According to PL 111-230 this means that an additional fee of $2000.00 for certain H-IB petitions and $2,250.00 for certain L-IA and L-IB petitions postmarked on or after AUGUST 14, 2010 will be required

• Those petitioners who will be subject to this new fee include employers with 50 or more employees in the US for which 50% of their workforce is on H or L visas.• This fee will remain in effect through September 30, 2014

FOR GUIDANCE with H or L visas contact

The increase of the visa fees has raised international business opposition.

•Indian companies in the U.S. oppose the bill for blocking the outsourcing                                                                                           of skilled workers from India, according to the New York Times. Indian
international companies, such as Tata, Rahul Khullar and Mahindra Satyam, run
operations in the United States, but rely heavily on workers brought from India.
• The Indian Commerce Secretary Infosys, Wipro said that the increase
 fees will contradictof visa the regulations of the World Trade
Organization (WTO), in which both India and the United States are members.

•“The US cannot pass a law that clearly hurts India’s interests and then expect
us to accommodate their commercial interests,” Kullar was quoted saying in the
Times of India newspaper.

•According to the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, the movement
of labor is a vital component of the Trade in services, and should be encouraged.

•A statement from the U.S. administration said that it will investigate
whether the increase on the visa fees complies with the WTO law.

How does the Border Security Act combat Mexico’s drug activity?

In an official White House statement, Pres. Obama said that securing the Southwest
border has been “a top priority since [he] came to the office.” According to the
statement, the act will “strengthen our partnership with Mexico in targeting the
gangs and criminal organizations that operate on both sides of our shared border.”

•The bill will train around 5,462 Mexican prosecutors and investigators
on how to target and convict leaders and people supporting drug transactions.

•Around $80 million will be redirected to construct and repair the border fence.

•The act will also support the Mexican Law enforcement operations by assisting
with ballistic analysis, and DNA analysis.

•In order to strengthen cross-border investigations, the act will deploy 20
U.S. marshals to the Mexican Investigative Liaison Program, which aims to
identify and apprehend international fugitives in either side of the border.

•A prosecutor and $50 million will be directed to cross-border cooperation to
combat money laundering and cash smuggling.

What are the other provisions that the border act entails?

The Department of Homeland Security will receive $394 million

o $244 million will be employed to hire border patrol agents and customs

o $80 million will be invested to hire new immigration agents.

o $32 million will be destined to buy two new aerial units to detect immigrants from the air.

The Department of Justice:

o $196 million will allow this agency to hire 400 federal law enforcement
agents and to arrange 220 personnel to work in areas along the border
with high criminal activity.

o The new staff will also include seven alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and
explosives team that will focus on fighting firearms trafficking, five FBI
squads for intelligence recollection, and 26 positions to review wiretap
and extradition requests.

o More than 30 immigration judges and prosecutors will be hired to take
immigration cases.

o The department will add five DOJ attorneys to focus exclusively on
extradition requests from Mexico.

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