Citizens United v. FEC

Citizens United v. FEC

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has remained the law of the land regarding federal election financing. 588 U.S. 310 (2010) It is such a deeply flawed decision and its promulgation by Justice Anthony Kennedy stands in wild derision of precedent and reasonable jurisprudence and raises a troubling question of the heavy influence on Justice Kennedy by factors outside our democracy and proud legal tradition. Streff Legal examines why this decision should have been overruled years ago and has no basis in US jurisprudence.

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Minnesota Lawyers Support Dreamers: State Bar Association Discusses Constitutionality of DACA and Possible Legislation - MSBA Issues Official Policy Position

Minnesota Lawyers Support Dreamers: State Bar Association Discusses Constitutionality of DACA and Possible Legislation - MSBA Issues Official Policy Position

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), an association of roughly 15,000 Minnesota Lawyers, has adopted an official position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) repeal. The MSBA position represents a strong showing by Minnesota Lawyers in support of DACA recipients, often called "Dreamers." The DACA program has been an amazing and well-deserved immigration benefit for almost 800,000 individuals who came to the U.S. while under 16 years of age, and meet certain criteria, including that they have no significant criminal history. The DACA program, implemented by the Obama Administration, has provided work authorization and protection from removal (deportation) using powers granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by Congress. President Trump, in a statement issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, made the decision to end the DACA program, placing these hundreds of thousands of Dreamers in a precarious legal situation.

The MSBA position is based on a recommendation from the MSBA Immigration Law Section Council and the MSBA Diversity and Inclusion Council, which are sub-groups of the MSBA. Both sub-groups debated the wording of the proposed statement and came to a consensus. This blogger, who serves as Secretary of the Immigration Section Council, was honored to present the proposed statement to the MSBA Assembly, the MSBA's legislative body, in its meeting today, Friday, September 14, 2017. The discussion about the policy position included the argument that compassion and consideration of "equities" (positive vs. negative factors) are built into our legal system.

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National Lawyer's Guild Local Minnesota Chapter Statement Opposing Appointment of Justice David Stras to the 8th Circuit Federal Bench

National Lawyer's Guild Local Minnesota Chapter Statement Opposing Appointment of Justice David Stras to the 8th Circuit Federal Bench

The National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) Local Minnesota Chapter has released the statement below opposing the appointment of current Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Federal 8th Circuit Bench.

Senator Al Franken Voices Strong Opposition

Senator Amy Klobuchar Officially Ambivalent

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Read a Great Article on H-1B issues by MinnPost's Greta Kaul - Matt contributed a few quotes

Trump ordered a review of the program for bringing foreign skilled workers to the U.S. What’s he likely to find in Minnesota?

Greta Kaul at Minn Post interviewed Matt and others about the H-1B program, particularly in light of the new Executive Order requiring a review of the program.

Greta did a great job of articulating many of the issues and criticisms surrounding H-1B status. This article is a great reference for getting a detailed primer on the program and the current political issues surrounding it.

Great work Greta!!

As a quick note, the "Buy American, Hire American" Executive Order signed last month does not make any immediate changes to the program. It only states that the H-1B program should be reviewed. It is unlikely that an Executive Order would cause any noticeable changes outside some generally procedural aspects: most significant changes to H-1B program would require action by Congress. 

Most likely, the most significant Executive change that would affect the H-1B program is the possible change to F-1 students' eligibility for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). It is possible the administration may, without the need for congressional action, shorten the length of OPT, or possibly even eliminate the general eligibility for OPT. As OPT is often a bridge for foreign graduates of U.S. institutions to seek H-1B status, it could have a significant impact on the program, particularly for those seeking to obtain first-time H-1B.

At this point, though, it does not appear that there are any firm plans to alter OPT or make any specific changes to the H-1B regime. Hopefully, a review of the program will show that it is actually very effective in its current form in protecting U.S. jobs. The current program has many protections, including prevailing wage requirements, labor condition requirements, requirements for involvement with collective bargaining, and the very strict requirement that employers pay substantial fees for use of the program.

The hope is that increased pressure from stakeholders such as employers and labor will encourage the business-attuned elements of Congress to increase the annual cap on H-1B positions. This year, over 199,000 applications were filed for only 85,000 positions, meaning many employers and employees were unable to place much needed skills in U.S. positions. The need is great, and, as Greta's article explains well, the overall impact of the program is a healthy, job-fostering economy.

US Visitor’s Immigration Guide: Applying for your B Visa or Visa Waiver Entry to the US

US Visitor’s Immigration Guide: Applying for your B Visa or Visa Waiver Entry to the US

Welcome to those of you planning to travel to the US!! Maybe for the first time? Maybe not? (Or maybe you're helping someone come to the US for a visit.) Here is a guide that will help new US visitors, or even veteran visitors who feel that Immigration Officers act like you’re wearing out your welcome.

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