Immigrants Make Valuable Contributions to U.S. Economy


economicsNew Report: The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration


President-Elect Trump’s controversial immigration proposals have without a doubt caused many to question the future of immigration policy and the effect it will have on our nation’s immigrant community.   Among those who work closely with immigrants, such as in our immigration law practice, we know that immigration has great power and helps to propel our economy.  That’s why we believe it was very timely that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) published its recent 2016 report, and we share here some of its findings on our blog, as it confirms the positive effects of immigration.

Specifically, the report provides a comprehensive assessment of the impact of immigration on economic and fiscal outcomes for the U.S.  Through extensive data, the report confirms that immigrants make valuable contributions to economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the U.S. and are essentially integral to the nation’s economic growth. At the end of this post, there is a link to the full report (the site will request an email in exchange for a free PDF download of the full report).   We have below summarized some of the major findings of the report.

Impact on Employment, Wages, and the Economy

Effects on wages. When measured over a period of 10 years or more, the impact of immigration on the wages of native workers overall is very small. To the extent that negative wage effects are found, prior immigrants – who are often the closest substitutes for new immigrants – are most likely to experience them, followed by native-born high-school dropouts, who share job qualifications similar to the large share of low-skilled workers among immigrants to the United States.

Role of immigrants in consumer demand. The contributions of immigrants to the labor force reduce the prices of some goods and services, which benefits consumers in a range of sectors including child care, food preparation, house cleaning and repair, and construction. Moreover, new arrivals and their descendants are a source of demand in key sectors such as housing, which benefits residential real estate markets.

Effects on employment levels. There is little evidence that immigration significantly affects the overall employment levels of native-born workers. Any negative effects were small and were experienced primarily by other recent immigrants and those who did not graduate high school.

Impacts on economic growth. Immigration is integral to the nation’s economic growth. The inflow of labor supply has helped the United States avoid the problems facing other economies that have stagnated as a result of unfavorable demographics, particularly the effects of an aging workforce and reduced consumption by older residents. In addition, the infusion of human capital by high-skilled immigrants has boosted the nation’s capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological change. Research suggests, for example, that immigrants raise patenting per capita, which ultimately contributes to productivity growth. The prospects for long-run economic growth in the United States would be considerably dimmed without the contributions of high-skilled immigrants.

Impact on Federal, State, and Local Budgets

All population subgroups contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add to expenditures by consuming public services—but the levels differ. On average, individuals in the first generation group of immigrants are more costly to governments, mainly at the state and local levels, than are the native-born generations; however, immigrants’ children—the second generation—are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the U.S. population overall, contributing more in taxes than either their parents or the rest of the native born population.

This outcome is primarily driven by two factors: first, the lower average education level of the first generation translated into lower incomes and, in turn, lower tax payments; second, higher per capita costs (notably those for public education) were generated at the state and local levels because the first generation had, on average, more dependent children than other adults in the population. Today’s immigrants have more education than earlier immigrants, and as a result, are more positive contributors to government finances. If today’s immigrants had the same lower educational distribution as immigrants two decades ago, their fiscal impact, would be much less positive. Thus, the total net fiscal impact of immigrants across all levels of government has become more positive over time.

For more information, a copy of the full report can be downloaded at (note that the site will request an email in exchange for a free PDF download of the full report):


stockimageThe Department of Homeland Security has published a new rule, effective December 23, 2016, raising filing fees for applications/petitions filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”). The last time USCIS updated the fee schedule was on November 23, 2010. The current USCIS fee schedule and the new fees, are displayed in the below-table.

The new fee schedule will affect many of the type of work we do here at the Law Office of Alison Yew, including but not limited to:

  • N-400 Application for Naturalization
  • I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
  • I-485 Application to Adjust Status
  • I-812D/I-765 DACA filing
  • I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker
  • I-140 Alien Petition for Immigrant Worker
  • I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
  • I-131 Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit and advance parole)
  • I-129F Fiance(e) visa application
  • I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (“EB-5”)

If you have any questions about your current case with us, and how the new fee schedule impacts the cost of your case, please feel free to CONTACT US.



Form No. Title Current fee Final fee
G-1041 Genealogy Index Search Request $20 $65
G-1041A Genealogy Records Request (Copy from Microfilm) 20 65
G-1041A Genealogy Records Request (Copy from Textual Record) 35 65
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card 365 455
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document 330 445
I129/129CW Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker 325 460
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) 340 535
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative 420 535
I-131 /I131A Application for Travel Document 360 575
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker 580 700
I-191 Application for Advance Permission to Return to Unrelinquished Domicile 585 930
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant 585 585/930
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa 585 585
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal 585 930
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion 630 675
I-360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er) or Special Immigrant 405 435
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status 985 1,140
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) 635 750
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur 1,500 3,675
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status 290 370
I-600/600A Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative/Application for Advance Petition Processing of Orphan Petition 720 775
I-800/800A Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative/Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country 720 775
I-601 Application for Waiver of Ground of Excludability 585 930
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver 585 630
I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (Under Section 212(e) of the INA, as Amended) 585 930
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident under Section 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act 1,130 1,130
I-690 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility 200 715
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision 755 890
I-698 Application to Adjust Status From Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of the INA) 1,020 1,670
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence 505 595
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization 380 410
I-800A Supp. 3 Request for Action on Approved Form I-800A 360 385
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits 435 600
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition 405 465
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions 3,750 3,750
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation 615 785
I-924 Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program 6,230 17,795
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center 0 3,035
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant 215 230
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention 250 270
N-336 Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings 650 700
N-400 Application for Naturalization 595 640
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes 330 355
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document 345 555
N-600/N-600K Application for Certification of Citizenship/Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322 600/550 1,170
USCIS Immigrant Fee 165 220
Biometric Services Fee 85 85



How the United States Immigration System Works

This is not my own post, but it was well researched and written by American Immigration Council.  The article sums up the essence of our immigration system here in the United States.  Since there has been much debate about immigration, in advance of the election, I believe the article provides good information that sets the stage for any intelligent discussion on the issue.

Wishing you a happy and successful 2016!

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year from the Law Office of Alison Yew!

We hope 2015 was good to all of you. It certainly has been a very busy one for us, and our law office has a lot to celebrate for this past year. We advised and served a large number of clients, helping people become U.S. citizens, obtain their long awaited green card, be granted non-immigrant visas to work or study, pursue their dreams of investing in and starting their own business venture, and unite with their families. We encountered some hard won cases that seemed impossible at the outset and posed significant hurdles, but we made it happen. Our clients’ successes in finally getting their green cards or becoming U.S. citizens after many struggles became our own personal success stories as well. We are so grateful to those of you who have allowed us to be a part of your immigration journey.

And we have grown to better serve your legal needs. This past year, we added a new attorney to our practice, and together, we look forward to helping you in the new year. If you or someone you know has a pending immigration issue, make us your first call in 2016 to set up a consultation. We know that immigration law is complex and often confusing, and it has such a significant impact on your life. Don’t let it continue to be a stressor for you in the new year. Your immigration issues matter to us, so reach out to our law office so that we can guide and help you through the process, empowering you as you become more clear of your immigration options.

We wish you great success in 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Alison Yew and Tiffany Keng

Work Authorization for Refugees

This is from a recent announcement by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regarding Refugee’s authorization to work and the I-94 document.

Employers and refugees should be aware that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated Form I-94 processing for refugees. The stamped paper form will no longer be provided to a refugee upon arrival, except in limited circumstances. A refugee can obtain a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) from Get I-94 Information.

For Employers:

Refugees are authorized to work because of their immigration status. Just as in the case of any employee, a refugee may choose to present any applicable document from the Lists of Acceptable Documents (I-9 Form). DHS provides refugees electronic and paper Forms I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) that evidence their status and employment authorization (since they are employment authorized incident to status), as well as Forms I-766, Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

The new electronic Form I-94 for refugees does not include an admission stamp but provides the class of admission as “RE” and an admit until date as “D/S.” If a refugee presents a Form I-94 computer-generated printout for Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, the employer must accept it as a receipt establishing both employment authorization and identity for 90 days. No later than at the end of the 90-day receipt period, the refugee must present an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) or a combination of a List B document and an unrestricted Social Security card.

For Refugees:

When completing Section 1 of Form I-9 with a computer-generated Form I-94, refugees should check “alien authorized to work until” and may write “N/A” in the space provided. Record the “Admission (I-94) Record Number” from your Form I-94 printout as the “Form I-94 Admission Number.” Next enter your foreign passport number and country of issuance in the “Foreign Passport Number” and “Country of Issuance” spaces. If you entered the US without a foreign passport enter “N/A” in these spaces of Section 1.

For more information about I-94 Automation, please visit this webpage.

1 2