Immigration Law Partner | Phelps Dunbar LLP
Craig Mulcahy PHOTOGRAPH
My Toughest Case: Helping Foreign Nationals Succeed365 Canal St. | Suite 2000 | 584-9312
“We are a nation of immigrants,” says Brandon Davis. “Innovative talent in this country has commonly come from outside the U.S. – from people who bring their talent, labor and money here.”
In today’s global economy, Davis’ specialty in employment and business immigration means he’s a very busy man.
“Half of my time is spent helping companies large and small create environments where employees can succeed and resolve issues that impact the labor force,” he explains, “and the other half is helping them resolve immigration issues that control an employee’s ability to work in the U.S. or a business owner’s ability to expand a business or launch a new company.”
Davis' work spans a wide variety of industries.
“STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are big fields that are wide open here,” he says. “As we move toward a more automated economy we’re seeing less focus on manufacturing and greater focus on the cloud economy and soft products.” To this end, Davis has worked with a lot of tech companies, including those launched by immigrants that have been educated in the U.S. or are receiving seed money through social media and are seeking to use it to start a business in America.
“Healthcare is another huge area of immigration activity,” he says. “With the aging baby boomers and greater and broader access to healthcare now being offered we need more providers – particularly in areas that are already medically underserved.”
Davis says he’s part of a small niche of business immigration lawyers in the region. “It is definitely a highly specialized and discreet area of practice,” he says, “in part, I think, because it’s highly regulated. Immigration law is about as dense and regulated as tax law.”
When it comes to his most difficult cases, Davis says they’re typically the cases in which a foreign national comes to him with only an idea and little bit of money seeking to obtain lawful immigration.
“The government is always concerned about whether a business is going to be viable enough over a long period of time,” he says, “so these cases present a steep burden of persuasion that can require hours of research, argument and persuasion, expert resources and a lot of fortitude on behalf of the foreign national. On top of that, they usually only have limited resources with which to put down enough of a foundation to convince the government to grant a visa for the long haul. These people are trusting you with their life savings.”
Davis says agricultural cases can also present great challenges. “Policies change all the time, and when they change in a way that delays a farmer’s ability to bring in foreign labor that can really affect a person’s livelihood. Agriculture is a billion-dollar business in Louisiana and those cases are, by the nature of the industry, very time sensitive.”
11 years in practice
B.A. – Loyola University, Finance, 2001
J.D. – Tulane University, 2005
Native of Prairieville