IUGB Foundation’s Immigration Workshop Answers Key Questions from IUGB Alumni and Friends

IMG_5855If you are a foreign student living, studying and working in the U.S., there are many urgent and ongoing immigration issues you must address.  How do you get these questions answered?  After IUGB alumni and their friends asked this question, IUGB Foundation staff members–Amini Kajunju, Denise Berry and Glenwood Ross–organized an immigration workshop with Safiya Byars, owner and senior partner, Law Office of Safiya Byars, (Byars Law Group).

The room was quiet as alumni and their friends arrived from work, school, or other appointments to take their place at a large conference room table on the 10th floor of Atlanta’s historic Hurt Building.  After the guests had arrived, Attorney Byars introduced herself and remarked on the scope of student immigration in the U.S./Atlanta before taking audience questions.

IMG_5857The audience’s comfort level with Safiya soon became evident as questions came on a variety of topics!  The group discussed areas diverse as: H1B filings, I-140 petitions for permanent workers, spousal support amounts, joint sponsorship, obtaining work permits, and terms of ‘recapture’ proceedings.  Many individual situations were also discussed.  Attorney Byars took thoughtfully and completely addressed questions from all 15 attendees.

Typical of the questions asked was one from Sarran Deigna (IUGB/GSU alum). Following a discussion about employers withholding pay for immigrant workers (‘to pay immigration fees’), Sarran asked what organizations are working to lobby on behalf of student immigrants? In response Safiya said the National Immigration Project provides a good source for information.

IMG_5854After the meeting, the smiles, hugs, and further lively discussions among groups of students (along with general reluctance to leave the boardroom) testified to the importance of having critical issues addressed competently.  The IUGB Foundation staff members are planning subsequent workshops and gathering feedback to ensure our next session is even more helpful.  In addition to this workshop, the Foundation has also approached the City of Atlanta’s Department of Immigration, another excellent information source for our alumni and friends, to explore future events with that office.

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