On May 22, at New York Law School, AABANY together with the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) and the Museum of Chinese in America, co-produced “Revisiting Vincent: The Legacy of the Vincent Chin Case 30 Years Later.” The slideshow above contains photos taken by Corky Lee who also shared with us at the event original photos from 1983 when the Asian American community erupted in protest in Detroit over the lenient sentence given to Vincent Chin’s murderers.
In addition to the performance, from a script based on the original trial transcripts, the Hon. Denny Chin and Dean Frank Wu provided a historical, legal and social context for the case during an engaging and lively talkback session following the performance. After that, audience members were invited to stay for a reception, at which Community Presenters OCA-NY, CAAAV and POV were available to engage in dialogue about how their current work is informed by and connected to the legacy of the Vincent Chin case.
Rio Guerrero: “Summer Vacation Travel Tips for Foreign Workers”
Summer is here and employees are taking their well-deserved vacations. Workers are focused on enjoyment, relaxation and recharging. But human resources departments and foreign workers employed in the U.S. should execute the steps needed to ensure the employee can return to work once their vacation is complete.
Generally, all persons who have an approved U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services petition to extend an existing, or change to an entirely new, non-immigrant visa status (e.g.; H, E, L, O, etc.), if traveling abroad, must procure the actual visa at a U.S. Consulate before returning to work in the U.S. Also, for any employee returning to the U.S., it is “best practice” to carry a letter wherein the employer states the employee’s travel dates and purpose, and that employment will continue upon return.
During the U.S. summer months, U.S. Consulates abroad are not always open when expected. Remember, Consulates respect the host country’s business holidays and employees may take vacation pursuant to local custom. For example, in August, U.S. Consulates in Europe may operate with reduced staff – affecting visa processing times.
Well before – sometimes months in advance of – making arrangements for a foreign worker to secure their visa abroad, an employer and its counsel should consider the intended travel dates, U.S. Consular procedures, and visa interview appointment availability. You do not want to approve a ten-business-day international vacation for an employee, and have flights and hotel accommodations booked, only to find out later that a Consular visa appointment slot is unavailable for another three weeks – in effect, losing that employee’s services for over a month.
Another common scenario to be aware of involves certain F-1 visa foreign students who secured post-graduate employment in the U.S. pursuant to optional practical training (OPT) and filed a petition to change to H-1B visa status. While employment remains authorized past OPT expiration – to resolve the employment authorization “gap” otherwise created after OPT status ends until H-1B visa status begins – travel abroad may pose significant risk. Specifically, the April 23, 2010 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “Cap Gap” advisory memorandum warns that those persons with expired OPT who travel abroad, may be deemed to have abandoned a pending petition to change to H-1B visa status. To avoid this problem, an employer may file for premium processing and secure H-1B visa petition approval before travel or – with enough foresight – would have, instead, filed the H-1B visa petition seeking consular processing abroad to coincide with the employee’s intended travel dates.
There are many scenarios affecting visa procedures, employment authorization, employee compensation and other issues, apart from the ones discussed generally above, that arise when foreign employees vacation outside the U.S. Look ahead and plan well in advance of any travel abroad.
Rio M. Guerrero is a partner with the immigration law firm Guerrero Yee LLP in New York City. [email@example.com] He is also Co-Chair of the AABANY Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and an Adjunct Professor of immigration law at the CUNY School of Professional Studies in Manhattan.[Rio Guerrero’s LinkedIn]
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. This summer, AALDEF will be conducting a series of street-based voter registration drives in various neighborhoods in New York City and East Brunswick, New Jersey. We need your help to register Asian Americans to vote. Volunteers with Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, or Punjabi language skills are especially helpful, though not necessary.
All volunteers must be non-partisan during the time that they help. There will be a short training for all volunteers on rules to know when conducting voter registration drives. If your organization is interested in participating in one or more registration drives this summer, please contact AALDEF Voting Rights Organizer, Chi-Ser Tran, immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org with the date(s) of choice and the number of volunteers your organization will be able to provide. Please direct all questions to Chi-Ser.
The voter registration drive schedule is:
____Thursday, June 28, 2012: Elmhurst, Queens (5-6:30 pm)
____Friday, June 29, 2012: Richmond Hill, Queens (5-6:30 pm)
____Saturday, June 30, 2012: East Brunswick, New Jersey (11-3pm)
____Tuesday, July 3, 2012: Flushing, Queens (5-6:30 pm)
Thank you! We look forward to working with you this summer!