Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
by Greg Siskind
Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Greg Siskind's blog.
November 10, 2009
FLORIDA SENATE CANDIDATE TRIES TO STRADDLE IMMIGRATION ISSUE
Marco Rubio has a challenge. He needs to appeal to conservatives in order to drum up enough votes to defeat popular Governor Charlie Crist in next year's Florida GOP primary. Then he has to run back to the middle to appeal to an increasingly liberal Florida general electorate. When it comes to immigration, he needs to come off as tough on illegally present workers. And then he somehow has to seem reasonable on the issue by the time he gets to the November election. The Miami Herald reports on how this is going to be a tough task.
SENATORS THINK WORKERS ARE WIDGETS
When I was in law school at the University of Chicago, our economics-oriented professors would often refer to "widgets" when they needed to refer to an unnamed manufactured object. A widget is really an "any object" that is interchangeable with other widgets. The idea is that you can focus on broader economic principles if you can keep the student from focusing on the particulars of a given industry.
And despite a stated concern for workers, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) really think of workers as widgets - interchangeable cogs in the world of business. They are proposing the Employ America Act which seeks to bar employers that have had layoffs from being able to file H-1Bs even if a needed H-1B employee is in a field completely different than the occupation of laid off workers and even if a company only employs a very tiny percentage of H-1Bs in its workforce. This is a sledgehammer approach to immigration policy and is simply protectionism that would likely constitute a violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. If it passed, it could land the US in the world trade court.
Workers are NOT widgets and to say that any person can basically replace any other person really insults the dignity of the American worker.
grassley letter -
IMMIGRANTS PLAYING CRITICAL ROLE IN MILITARY
My friend Margaret Stock has prepared an excellent report for the Immigration Policy Center entitled ESSENTIAL TO THE FIGHT: IMMIGRANTS IN THE MILITARY EIGHT YEARS AFTER 9/11. Margaret, an officer in the army and the undisputed leading national expert on immigration and the American armed forces, notes a number of key findings in her report:
WOULD MASS DEPORTATION MEAN MORE JOBS FOR US WORKERS?
Wendy Sefsaf of the Immigration Policy Center makes the case that the answer is no. And she also lays out the evidence that legalizing those workers would actually raise wages for US workers and contribute to economic growth that will result in more job creation.
NATURALIZATION PROCESS IMPROVING
I usually devote a lot of blog space to complaining about problems in the immigration system. Naturalization is one area, however, where most of my colleagues would agree things have gotten a lot better. Processing times are the most obvious metric where this is being shown. A few years back, waits of two to three years were not unusual. Today, waits are down to just a few months, a shorter wait than perhaps at any time in my two decade career. The Miami Herald reports on how things are better in that city's USCIS office.
INCREASED H-1B NUMBERS MAY NOT REFLECT AN INCREASE IN FILINGS
A few days back I reported that the H-1B cap count had jumped by almost 6,000 from September's count and that this might mean numbers would run out much earlier than we anticipated. USCIS has reported to AILA, however, that there is an explanation for the jump and it is not that there are more applications being filed. Apparently, the H-1B masters cap of 20,000, which USCIS announced sometime back was filled, did not have the overage cases counted against the 65,000 cap until this month. USCIS was waiting and seeing how many cases were denied or withdrawn before making the final determination and was presumably holding back numbers for the 65,000 count until October 1st rolled around. At least that's how I understand it. So November's cap count should show a much more modest increase.
IRAQ VET STORY HAS A HAPPY ENDING
ANTIS IN A TIZZY OVER NY CONGRESSIONAL RACE
WISCONSIN DAIRY FARMERS COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON IMMIGRANT LABOR
We've seen this story in one agricultural field after another. America's Dairyland is no different.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.