After Executive Order, Phila. Startup Helps Navigate Uncharted Immigration Waters

by KYW’s Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia startup company that aims to ease the immigration process is dramatically lowering the cost for some green card applicants — this, in response to President Trump’s executive order on ‘extreme vetting.’

One dollar is the offer from Borderwise for low-income immigrants.

“Any immigrant who has an immediate relative in the US – a parent, spouse, child who is a U.S. citizen and therefore qualifies for a green card, but comes from a low-income household, under $30,000 – they’ll be able to prepare their entire green card application and interface with an attorney who will review their application and consult with them,” says CEO Jeremy Peskin.

As a green card holder himself, Peskin says removing roadblocks to legal entry is in his company’s DNA.

“I remember what’s it’s like to be scared that immigration policy is going to bar you from the life that you’ve built,” he says.

Legal and government filing fees for typical green card cases easily run several thousand dollars. Borderwise charges $500; its online platform allows the immigrant to deal with the bulk of the forms while a network attorney reviews the application and advises on potential red flags and a timeline.

“We wanted to step up and show the immigrant communities who are feeling besieged that they have friends in the business sector,” says James Pittman, Borderwise co-founder and chief product architect. “They have people who are concerned about their rights and access.”

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