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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15, 2015 - NYC - The Art and Fashion Design  Club at FIT is hosting  a Premier Fashion Runway show at 6 p. m. April 16, 2015 in the Great Hall. Twenty-five creative young fashion designers will showcase their talents and cutting-edge designs Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a  internationally prominent  college of design, fashion, art, communications, and business. Fit's  stated mission is to prepare students for professional excellence in design and business.  The teaching staff at FIT assists in the student's in developing innovative design and strategic business solutions that will create personal and professional opportunity. This effort  focuses on creativity and experimentation that is the foundation for a successful design. This year, about 25 student designers will have  their creation highlighted in this runway event. Stephanie Ali, president and Veronica Apsan, vice president of the Art and Fashion Design Club will serve as master of ceremonies for the late afternoon show. This year's theme is Kabuki meets La Belle Époque; which corresponds  to the college's desire for students to cross traditional boundaries of both geography and disciplines. Perhaps a unique aspect of the show is that it produced solely by students and faculty of the Art and Fashion Programs. Every facet of the show from Poster design to the choreography of the models is orchestrated by members of the Art and Fashion Design Club. Two FIT mentors and a Brazilian Fashion Designer will serve as judges: Legendary designer George Simonton a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Known for using fabulous fabrics, sophisticated silhouettes, and distinctive details, and Fashion Designer and Full-Time Professor and the Head Designer/Owner at Christopher Uvenio Collezioni, and author of the cutting edge and fashionable,; and Brazilian Fashion Designer Simone Rodrigues.  Her Designs are inspired by nature and rendered in warm tones focused on accentuating a womans unique beauty and sensuality with classic elegance regardless of age or size.  What: FIT's first student Fashion Runway Show When: Thursday, April 16, 2015 Where: The Great Hall             Fashion Institute of Technology             Seventh Avenue at 27 Street             New York City     For more info contact: the Vice President of the Club: Veronica Apsan on Facebook

A Cure for the “Shopping Visa?”

USCIS announced on February 24th that they’re going to extend the eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 visa dependent spouses. An H-4 dependent spouse is the husband or wife of someone who holds an H1-B employment visa. The H4 Visa The H-4 visa has traditionally been considered useless except that it allowed spouses to be physically present in the U.S. This is because it does not allow the spouse to work and therefore has been nicknamed the “Shopping Visa.” Essentially, if you get an H1-B visa, you have up to 6 years to work for your employer, or other employers if you change sponsors, but unless your spouse changes from the H-4 to another visa that allows them to work, they literally have their hands tied as far as being able to find gainful employment. This has been problematic because it discourages married couples from coming to the U.S. under the H-1B category. A Change in Policy USCIS recently announced that in specific instances they were going to start allowing spouses holding H-4 visas to apply for employment authorization. It is a very technical situation, but applies when their spouses have been approved for an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and have extended their visas past the usual limit of 6 years. There are very limited situations where this actually applies. It is helpful for foreign nationals who are from countries with long backlogs on immigrant visa processing, most notably India and China, where many H-1B visa holders originate from. What this means is that for six years as an H-4 visa holder there is nothing that can be done to work, unless the H-4 visa holder independently qualifies for an employment visa. Filing Petitions for Work Authorization On May 26th, USCIS is expected to begin accepting petitions for work authorization. According to the estimates on the website, there are potentially as many 180,000 people who will apply. In a lot of cases however, the H1-B visa holders are not sponsored by their employers, or don’t have anyone that’s sponsoring them for a green card. In these cases, the Form I-766 will not apply. If you are the spouse of an H1-B visa holder and have questions regarding your eligibility to get a work authorization, or if you do not want to wait six years with the “shopping visa,” and are interested in studying, training or working, there are plenty of alternative visa options for you. In that case, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through your options.


New York 4/13/2015 - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared today that an alliance of cities and counties filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit in favor of President Obama’s executive orders and petitioning the Court  to immediately  carry  out  President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Bill de Blasio and his counterpart, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti  coordinated Cities United for Immigration Action, by rallying support of cities and counties across the United States. They were joined by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors. Obama’s  executive actions, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would suspend deportation for approximately 5 million people. According to the group the argument in the “friend-of-the-court” brief is  that by blocking the implementation of the orders would result in  serous injury to local governments, is not good for families, destroys current  law enforcement priorities and stops  “desperately needed changes” to federal immigration policy. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the  “continuing to delay implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration hurts our economy and puts families at risk…cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the President’s executive action will be successfully implemented. Our cities are united, and we will fight for the immigration reform this nation needs and deserves – whether in the courtroom, in Congress, or in our communities. Make no mistake about it: our voices will be heard.” A significant number of  cities and counties aligned themselves with today’s brief are situated in states that originally commenced the lawsuit against the Obama administration or have clearly supported the lawsuit.  These cities and counties include five cities in Texas, six in New Jersey, three municipalities in Wisconsin and two counties in Arizona, and. The cities and counties that signed on to the brief are listed below. Alexandria, VA Allentown, PA Atlanta, GA Austin, TX Baltimore, MD Bell, CA Boston, MA Bridgeport, CT Buffalo, NY Cambridge, MA                Central Falls, RI Chapel Hill, NC Charleston, SC Chicago, IL Coconino County, AZ Columbia, SC Columbus, OH Dallas County, TX Dayton, OH Denver, CO Dolton, IL El Paso County, TX Everett, MA Gary, IN Haledon, NJ Hartford, CT Highland Park, IL Hoboken, NJ Holyoke, MA Houston, TX Jersey City, NJ Kansas City, MO Little Rock, AR Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles County, CA Lucas County, OH Madison, WI Milwaukee, WI Minneapolis, MN Montgomery County, MD Newark, NJ New York, NY Niagara Falls, NY North Miami, FL Oakland, CA Paterson, NJ Philadelphia, PA Pittsburgh, PA Plainfield, NJ Portland, OR Providence, RI Racine, WI Ramsey County, MN Rochester, NY Salt Lake City, UT San Francisco, CA San Jose, CA Santa Ana, CA Santa Cruz County, AZ Santa Fe, NM Santa Monica, CA Schenectady, NY Seattle, WA Skokie, IL St. Louis, MO State College, PA Syracuse, NY Tacoma, WA Tampa, FL Travis County, TX Washington, D.C. West Covina, CA Yonkers, NY National League of Cities U.S. Conference of Mayors U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for working with cities across the nation to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration” State Senator Leroy Comrie of New York said  “ Not only is it in our best interest to immediately implement the President's platform for immigration reform, but it is the socially and morally responsible thing to do.”

Obama Wins One for DACA!

The Obama administration is caught up in a tangle of lawsuits that should decide the fate of the President’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. So far this week, the administration has received both good and bad news. On Tuesday Texas District Court  Judge Andrew Hanen, responding to a motion by government attorneys to reconsider the injunction that is  temporarily  halting the President’s executive orders, therebye allowing the immigration measures to move forward. As anticipated, the judge’s response was to reaffirm the injunction. Judge Hanen has made many statements to the press indicating that he is infuriated with the administration’s failure to inform him, that DACA  (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs had already extended  work authorization to 3 years from the prior 2 years.    The judge maintained his previous decision to enjoin ( temporarily freeze Obama’s immigration executive actions.)  Obama’s  executive order announced this past November.  The Order would provide temporary legal status and protection  from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants. Following the Judge’s denial of the motion to reconsider,  the case now heads to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, for arguments next week. In what seems to be an improbable coincidence, the same 5th Circuit court, on the same day, issued a ruling on another immigration executive order case. This decision concerned Obama’s first executive action on immigration, announced in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization.  The conservative-leaning bench dismissed an objection to DACA because it found that the state of Mississippi, which brought the lawsuit did not have the legal standing to sue the federal government. This decision indicates that the Obama administration may yet be successful in continuing with the executive orders of 2014. In a lengthy decision, Judge W. Eugene Davis opined  that neither the agents nor Mississippi “demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit.” This case is important for a many reasons. The latest group of executive orders currently under attack in the federal courts were shaped by the 2012 DACA program. DACA has endured other legal contests in the courts. The administration is hopeful that a similar decision will be reached next week.  Legal experts, throughout the United States, are of the opinion that due to the reason that Mississippi was defeated as an excellent sign for the president’s immigration measures. In this case, Mississippi argued similarly to Texas, that that the state would suffer considerable costs directly associated with the execution of DACA. The Court did not agree and found Mississippi without standing.

Coalition of Elected Officials, Advocates, Law Enforcement, Business Groups Ask Appellate Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking President’s Immigration Initiatives

For Immediate ReleaseUnprecedented Coalition of Elected Officials, Advocates, Law Enforcement, Business GroupsAsk Appellate Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking President’s Immigration Initiatives April 7, 2015Washington D.C. - The Texas federal district court order that blocked parts of President Obama’s executive action on immigration was based on unproven or incomplete presentations to the court and should be reversed, civil rights and immigration advocates argue in an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case of State of Texas v. United States. Texas and 25 other states have sued the federal government to stop the implementation of initiatives that will provide temporary relief from deportation, but advocates maintain the President’s actions are legally sound.Multiple legal briefs defending the deferred action initiatives were filed Monday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a range of advocates, leaders, and elected officials. One of these briefs was filed on behalf of more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, led by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).Briefs were also submitted to the court Monday by 15 states and the District of Columbia, 73 mayors, county officials from 27 states, 181 members of Congress, and 109 law professors, law enforcement, faith and business leaders. These briefs discuss the economic and community benefits that will result from expansion of the successful DACA program and the new DAPA initiative for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.“Collectively, the parties in these filings represent more than half of the foreign-born population in our country, which means they have a demonstrated track record of producing inclusive immigration policies,” noted Marielena Hincapié, NILC executive director, during a telephonic press briefing announcing the briefs. “We are confident that we will win because the law is on our side. But we also know that the wheels of justice often move slowly. In the meantime, our message to eligible immigrants and their families is to be patient, continue gathering the necessary documents to apply, save up for the application fee, and don’t lose faith," added Hincapié.“We are undeterred and we will continue in this campaign [to realize the start of the DACA and DAPA programs]," added Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. An early signer of the amicus brief by local officials, the mayor said the filing before the appellate court by mayors and counties has twice as many signers as an earlier brief submitted to the Texas district court. Citing the economic and community benefits that would come from allowing immigrants to come out of the shadows, Mayor Hancock added, “This is about our communities. This is about working with those who have chosen to call our cities ‘home.’”Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, said the legal filing by 181 members of Congress argues the Texas court overturned Congress’ decision to give the executive branch authority to set immigration enforcement priorities.“What the court has done is not only an affront to what the executive has done [in setting priorities] and to the authority we have – well-grounded in law and in precedent – but also an affront to what Congress has done,” Lofgren said. “There are millions of people living in fear, who have made our economy and lived here for decades, whose lives have been turned upside down by an erroneous ruling.”Some states claimed that the administrative relief will harm them, but the legal briefs argue the judgment was incorrect.“That is incorrect. The states have to show irreparable harm to get a preliminary injunction; they have not,” Noah Purcell, solicitor general in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office told reporters. “The president’s directives are good for states; they are not harming states.”The human aspect of the case also was highlighted during Monday’s press call.“Although I was disappointed by the news that a federal district judge blocked implementation of DACA expansion, I was not disillusioned,” said Jong-Min You, an immigrant from New York who would be eligible for relief under DACA expansion. “I know that eventually, I will be able to come forward and apply for relief from deportation and work authorization, and I’m not the only one. Other elder Dreamers, along with their parents and millions of others, are ready for the legal battle ahead and for the legal battle to end so that we can finally move forward.”Rocio Saenz, SEIU international executive vice president, said advocates for expanded DACA and DAPA will never give up."The plaintiff states and Republicans who support this lawsuit can ignore the will of their own constituents and immigrants' contributions, but we will continue to defend the immigration action in the courts. We will continue to fight for immigration reform. We will continue to inform future applicants and make sure that when the time comes – and it will come – that every eligible person applies for the immigration action. We are and will continue to send a strong message to the naysayers, to Republicans who stand in the way of progress: We are not the enemy. But we are ready – ready to fight back, ready for the immigration action, and ready to vote,” Saenz said.“Amici and the government are clearly on the right side of the law, and we are confident that a stay [of the Texas order] will be granted, hopefully by the Fifth Circuit, one day very soon,” said Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council. A recording of Monday's press call can be downloaded at​. ### For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-812-
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A Cure for the “Shopping Visa?” News Agency

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Obama Wins One for DACA! News Agency

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5 Questions About Immigration Reform and Executive Action News Agency

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Immigration Reform Affects Us ALL News Agency

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Analyses of the Presidents Memos Regarding his executive order as it applies to family cases. Part I News Agency

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Understand the Obama Executive Actions on Immigration: The Affects on DACA, DAPA and the I-601A waiver News Agency

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Immigration Reform Debate Tonight News Agency

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Finally, Obama Will Announce a New Immigration Plan tommorow evening - stay tuned News Agency

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Obama has had enough! New 10 Point Immigration Administrative Action on Horizon. News Agency

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