May 1, 2015 |
Born in Poland in 1941, Erhard Wensel was 11 when he and his family became legal residents of the United States. Drafted by the Army in 1967, he spent a year in Vietnam as a cook with the Fourth Infantry Division, and earned a citation for "meritorious service in support of allied counterinsurgency operations. " One day, he fell into conversation with a lieutenant who knew he had a green card but not citizenship. "Do you want to be a citizen?" the officer asked. "I do," said Wensel, "but I ship out in three weeks.
February 17, 2015 |
Villanova University law professor Michele Pistone sensed the growing problem in the nation's asylum system even before new data released this month presented a stark picture of the backlog. "For 15 years, I could count on getting appointments for [asylum] interviews" promptly at the regional office in Newark, N.J., she said. "Students could start a [client's] case and have it adjudicated by the end of the semester. "This year, for the first time, that's not happening," she said, and appointments her students requested in September still have no interview dates.
December 5, 2014 |
Taking aim at scams against vulnerable immigrants, Philadelphia City Council moved closer Wednesday to landmark legislation regulating immigration-service providers. The ordinance, approved unanimously by Council's licensing and inspection committee, regulates advertising claims, translation, document procurement, and other services. Its goal is to thwart the people who prey on immigrants by pretending to be lawyers or demanding money for free forms, among other frauds. When the person who offers assistance is not a lawyer, the ordinance requires boldface office signage that says that.
October 25, 2014 |
Owners of the five-story glass-and-brick building at 30 N. 41st St., west of the University of Pennsylvania campus - one of the few office projects built in the early part of this decade, when rents and values were weak from the recession - have put it on the market at the robust asking price of $46 million, or $469 a square foot. That is triple what some prominent Center City office buildings have traded for in recent years. If they get their price for the building, dubbed 2.0 University Place, it will be a rich yield on the $31 million committed three years ago by its investors - University City redevelopers Scott Mazo and James Levin, and lawyer Thomas Leonard, a Democratic Party fund-raiser, with backing from TD Bank.
March 14, 2014 |
Born in Mexico and brought here illegally as a child, Pilar Molina turned 29 Friday. The 2003 graduate of Norristown High School didn't feel much like celebrating. In January, her husband of more than a decade, Israel Resendiz Hernandez, 34, a construction contractor, was arrested by immigration agents in Norristown. Imprisoned in a county jail, he faces deportation on charges of repeatedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, including a trip for his father's funeral last fall.
March 7, 2014 |
Saying that impostor lawyers are stealing "thousands of dollars" from immigrants, Philadelphia City Councilman Dennis O'Brien will introduce a bill Thursday aimed at stopping the practice known as " notario fraud. " The word notario is referenced because in Latin American countries, a notario publico is a lawyer. O'Brien's legislation would establish regulations for licenses, public disclosures, prohibited acts, and penalties. "These [scammers] have no credentials," said O'Brien.
March 7, 2014 |
COUNCILMAN Dennis O'Brien says a back-alley scam is happening right under our noses and he wants to put a stop to it. O'Brien introduced a bill yesterday that would establish new licensing requirements, standards, protections and penalties to better regulate immigration-assistance services. What does that mean, exactly? Con artists and frauds preying on those seeking citizenship reportedly have left immigrants in financial ruin, taking advantage of language barriers, impoverished or desperate situations or worse.
February 21, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Chinatown Development Corp. announced a new partnership yesterday to help it finance a towering community center and apartment building that would change the landscape of Chinatown North. The partnership with the Global City Regional Center, an entity created last year, is seeking foreign investors - from China, India, Bangladesh and other countries - to invest nearly half of the $75 million project. Project leaders said yesterday that they plan to raise $33 million of the total cost through the federal EB-5 immigrant-visa program, which would allow qualified foreign investors to come to the U.S. With the funding, PCDC aims to build its flagship Eastern Tower Community Center at the northwest corner of 10th and Vine streets, now the site of a parking lot. The 23-story building would house retail stores, a community center, a gymnasium, a health center, a preschool, offices and 143 apartments - 31 of which will be subsidized by PCDC.
December 6, 2013 |
Throwing a spotlight on immigration scams perpetrated by people who pretend to be lawyers, a panel of legal specialists issued a warning Wednesday: In matters of immigration law, "the wrong help" most certainly "can hurt. " Citing scams in which unsuspecting - and sometimes colluding - immigrants pay tens of thousands of dollars to self-described experts who promise green cards, visa extensions, or naturalized citizenship, the panel said the immigrants usually get nothing, and often worsen their shots at legal status.