Friday, June 24, 2011


The Selig Center for Economic Growth indicates buying power for 1990-2013 for  ethnic multicultural markets indicate formidable economic clout.  Their projections for

2013 are that these population segments will have an economic clout (buying power) of:

    African Americans,  $1,239.5 billion
    Native Americans,  $84.6 billion
    Asian Americans,  $752.2 billion
    Hispanics,  $1.4 trillion
    Multiracial,  $141.2 billion

The Selig report indicates that the buying power of just the Hispanic and African American market alone "are larger than the entire economies of all but thirteen countries in the world."  The buying power of the un-segmented General Market is estimated to be at 11.8 trillion.

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What is an Immigration Consultant?

What is an Immigration Consultant?

Immigration consultants provide immigration assistance. This can include services such as assistance with filing applications and petition, helping to gather required documentation or translation.

There is no certification process in the United States to become an immigration consultant, which means there is no standard that U.S. consultants must adhere to. Immigration consultants may have little experience with the immigration system or be experts. They may have a high degree of education (which may or may not include some legal training) or very little eduction. However, an immigration consultant is not the same as an immigration attorney or accredited representative.

The big difference between immigration consultants and immigration attorneys/accredited representatives is that consultants are not allowed to give legal assistance. For example, they may not tell you how you should answer immigration interview questions or what application or petition to apply for. They also cannot represent you in immigration court.

"Notarios" in the U.S. falsely claim the qualifications to provide legal immigration assistance. Notario is the Spanish-language term for notary in Latin America. Notary publics in the United States do not have the same legal qualifications as notarios in Latin America. Some states have established laws prohibiting notaries from adverstising as a notario publico.

Many states have laws regulating immigration consultants and all states prohibit immigration consultants or "notarios" from providing legal advice or legal representation. The American Bar Association provides a list of relevant laws by state [PDF].

USCIS provides an overview of the services an immigration consultant, notary public or notario may or may not provide.

What an immigration consultant CANNOT do:

•represent you before USCIS (only immigration attorneys and accredited representatives may represent you)
•give you legal advice on what immigration benefit you may apply for
•give you advice on what to say in an immigration interview
•claim to be qualified in legal matters or in immigration and naturalization procedure
•charge considerable fees - consultants may only charge nominal (inexpensive) fees as regulated by state law

What an immigration consultant CAN do:

•help you by filling in the blanks on pre-printed USCIS forms with information that you provide
•translate documents
Note: By law, anyone helping you in this way must complete the bottom "Preparer" section of the application or petition.

The Big Question

So should you use an immigration consultant? The first question you should ask yourself is, do you really need one? If you need help filling in the forms or need a translation, then you should consider a consultant. If you're not sure if you're eligible for a particular visa (for example, perhaps you have a previous denial or criminal history that may affect your case) or need any other legal advice, an immigration consultant will not be able to help you. You will need the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney or accredited representative.

While there have been many cases of immigration consultants providing services they are not qualified to offer, there are also many legitimate immigration consultants who provide valuable services; you just need to be a savvy consumer when shopping for an immigration consultant. Here are some things to remember from USCIS:

•If it sounds too good to be true or if someone claims to have a special relationship with USCIS, steer clear. No one can guarantee results or faster processing.
•Ask about qualifications. If they claim to be qualified to provide legal assistance, ask to see copies of their BIA accreditation letter or bar certificate.
•Get a written contract in English and if applicable, in your own language as well.
•Avoid paying cash and get a receipt.
•Never sign a blank form or application. Make sure you understand what you are signing.


If you want to file a complaint against a notario or immigration consultant, the American Immigration Lawyers Association provides a state-by-state guide on how and where to file complaints

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Study: Immigrants are better educated

Study: Immigrants are better educated
Sacramento Business Journal - by Patrick Twohy
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2011, 1:02pm PDT - Last Modified: Thursday, June 9, 2011, 1:09pm PDT
Immigrants in the United States are far better educated and distributed more broadly around the country than they were a generation ago.

Immigrants with college degrees outnumber immigrants without high school diplomas in 44 of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

That and other data are among the findings of a study released today in which the Brookings Institution examined data collected by the federal government. Nationally, the study found that immigrants are better educated and are more geographically distributed than immigrants to the United States were a generation ago.

It’s also interesting that, compared with their U.S.-born counterparts, low-skilled immigrants have higher rates of employment and lower household poverty.

In the Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville metro region, 78 immigrants have college degrees for every 100 who don't. The immigrant population of 361,956 represents 17 percent of the population.

Brookings gave Sacramento a rating of re-emerging gateway. That means Sacramento, along with other places such as Baltimore, Portland and Seattle, have had large refugee resettlements in the last few decades. Some refugees may arrive with little formal education, while others come to the area highly skilled. The result is that the metro area is to be balanced on both ends of the skill spectrum, according to Brookings.

Nationally, the report said that more immigrants (30 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree than lack a high-school diploma (28 percent). Forty-four of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas are high-skilled immigrant destinations, where college-educated immigrants outnumber immigrants without high school diplomas by at least 25 percent.

“Nearly one in six workers in our country was born somewhere else,” said Audrey Singer, a Brookings senior fellow and co-author of the report, in a statement. “Low- and high-skilled immigration has grown nationally, but the mix varies across metropolitan areas. High-skilled immigrants cluster in coastal metros like Seattle and Washington, D.C., and in older industrial metros like Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland. Lower-skilled immigrants are more strongly represented in metro areas in the Southwest border states and in places with the fastest-growing immigrant populations, particularly in the Southeast.”

The cities with the highest proportion of well-educated immigrants are led by Pittsburgh, followed by Dayton, Ohio; St. Louis, Baltimore and Cincinnati. None of those areas have large immigrant communities, however.
Four the six areas with the lowest skill ratios are in California's Central Valley — Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno and Stockton. The other two of those six are McAllen and El Paso, Texas.

The metro areas with the largest percent of immigrants to total population are led by south Florida, where 92 immigrants have college degrees or better for every 100 lacking a high school diploma. San Jose and San Francisco, which also have large proportions of immigrants, have skill ratios of 193 and 143 respectively

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


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