There were 30 members at this week’s meeting.  Our three guests included Dr. Rick Stern (John Ford) who has opened up a new (reorganized) practice on Oak Street in Winnetka called Dedication Health, Teri Stein (Ned Meisner) a disability consultant and advocate who helps young disabled adults make the transition to a more independent life and Lenna Scott (Robert Mardirossian) who was recently appointed as the successor to Robert at the Counseling Center of the North Shore.  Steve Saunders, Winnetka’s Director of Public Works was present representing the village.
 
The meeting on May 11th will be held at the Northfield Park District offices at 401 Wagner Road, just north of Willow Road.
 
Tom Nash reminded the club that our annual benefit will be held on Friday, May 12th at the Kenilworth Club beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Among the great raffle prizes are six (6) tickets on the 50-yard line to the Notre Dame-Navy game next November 18th.  Tom said the weather forecast for that day is 60° and sunny!
 
John Thomas extended an invitation from the Winnetka Youth Organization to attend their annual benefit to be held on Thursday, May 18th at Pinstripes on Willow Road at 7:00 p.m.
 
In the Happy Buck’s portion of the meeting John Stone, who said he was unable to attend the Benefit said he is donating $100 to the Foundation and suggested that all members who were unable to attend do the same thing.  Rodger Morris rose to the challenge and matched John’s contribution.  We do hope that those who are unable to attend the benefit will make a contribution to the Foundation, as this is our biggest fundraising effort for our Club’s support of local agencies that need our assistance.
 
Our speaker for the day was Jane Carroll, an immigration attorney.  Jane is the co-founder of Intermezzo Business Migration Solutions, a consultancy firm that designs comprehensive global immigration strategies and programs for business.  Our club was fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from this national and international speaker.
 
Jane indicated that the legal area of immigration is extremely complex and few would disagree with her at the end of her presentation.  She held up a book that was 3 – 4” thick that was just an outline of immigration law.  She spoke about the two types of Visas – for nonimmigrants, (those seeking temporary entry to the U.S.) and the Immigrant Visas for those seeking permanent residency.  There are 16 different categories of Nonimmigrant Visas, all with different requirements and lengths of stay permitted.  The Immigrant Visas, often called Green Cards, grant the holder all the rights of U.S. citizenship, except voting.  A green card holder can be removed or deported from the U.S. for committing a crime of moral turpitude. 
 
As a percent of the total population of a country the United States exceeds only four countries, while 17 countries are more generous in terms of accepting immigrants.
 
The largest allocation of immigration visas is in the family categories with 226,000 being given per year.  In some of the categories there is a long wait while the exception is for immediate relatives:  spouses, children under 21 and parents.  More distant relatives have longer waits, typically ranging from 6 years to as high as 24 years.
 
The second largest category of visas is for employment-based immigration.  At the top of the preference list is ‘extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts education, business or athletics.  Examples are outstanding professors/researchers, multinational executives, then professionals with advanced degrees.  While there are no numerical quotas on countries for people seeking visas there are specific numbers of total visas that are granted in various categories.  Also, no more than 7% of the visas can be issued for a given country.  This creates long waits for persons seeking visas from countries like India, that have many highly educated persons seeking entry into the United States.
 
Another category is the asylum/refugee group.  This process takes two years for the vetting for the refugees.  The president sets the number that can be accepted by the United States.  In his last year in office Obama had set the number at 110,000, Trump has changed that to 0 (zero)!
 
 
 
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