The House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims held an oversight hearing on "The INSís March 2002 Notification of Approval of Change of Status for Pilot Training for Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi,Ē with testimony from Rudi Dekkers, Tom Blodgett, James Ziglar, and Michael Cutler. Rudi Dekkers is the CEO and President of Huffman where Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi took flying lessons. He stated that he was relieved, but not surprised when I-20s arrived from the INS more than a year after the terrorists had left the school and more than six months their deaths. He knew it usually takes a long time for paperwork to be returned, and was relieved because he could prove that his company had carried out the proper procedures. Thomas Blodgett is an officer of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., (ACS) which performs high-volume transaction processing for the microfilming , data entry, and storage of multiple INS forms including I-94 and I-20 forms. According to Mr. Blodgett ACS was instructed to mail certain I-20 forms to the form originators. ACS received no requests from INS to pull any documents related to Atta or Al-Shehhi, and as INS's processor is required to treat all documents as confidential to the INS. INS Commissioner Ziglar described the incident of the return of the I-20s as a prefect example of the system that existed when he arrived at the INS, and outlined eleven initiatives the INS has undertaken to enhance security since September 11. Michael Cutler is an INS Senior Special Agent, who worked closely with other agencies to investigate, apprehend, and persecute aliens who are involved in narcotics trafficking and related crimes. He stated that the INS appears to have created an unwieldy system to carry out the adjudications of applications and that besides displaying ineptitude, this failure by the INS calls into question the procedures that the adjudicators follow." Sometimes a picture is more effective than words in summarizing a situation as with Thomas Nast's 1871 cartoon "Who Stole the People's Money."
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Last Chance for Adjustment!
Wednesday, March 20th is the deadline to sign up for "Adjusting Your Thinking: Who Can, Who Can't and Who Shouldn't Adjust Status
with H. Ronald Klasko and guest speakers William A. Stock and Tammy Fox-Isicoff." This seminar will help you in strategizing about: 1) The many complex legal and strategic issues which must be considered in determining eligibility for adjustment of status. 2) Issues regarding travel often arising when adjustment of status is chosen. 3) The many factors which go into advising clients whether to chose adjustment of status or consular processing. For questions and answers about the seminar series, click here.
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ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day
Bring Back 245(i): Is There A Better Way?
Gary Endelman writes that the restoration of 245(i) has much to commend it, but it is a symptom of a system that lacks the flexibility to achieve easily understood objectives in a consistent and effective manner while giving due respect to individual facts and special circumstances.
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House Oversight Hearing on Approvals for Hijackers
The House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims held an oversight hearing on "The INSís March 2002 Notification of Approval of Change of Status for Pilot Training for Terrorist Hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi," with testimony from Rudi Dekkers, Tom Blodgett, James Ziglar, and Michael Cutler.
Sen. Byrd Speaks out on 245(i)
Sen. Byrd says, especially in light of recent INS approvals of petitions for terrorists, that 245(i) poses a dangerous risk to our border security by compromising the all-important State Department background checks being conducted on potential immigrants in their home countries.
Cosponsor to Honor Korean Immigration
Sen. Boxer was added as a cosponsor of S. Res. 185, a resolution recognizing the historical significance of the 100th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States.
Whitehouse Support for 245(i)
Whitehouse Press Spokesman Ari Fleischer expressed the President hope "the Senate will be able to take action on legislation that strengthens America's borders and enhances border security; that while at the same time extending a welcome by recognizing that families should not have to be split up when they are in this country already, nor to go back to their country for immigration status."
List of Terrorist Organizations
The Secretary of State has provided the list of foreign persons whose property and interests in property have been blocked pursuant to President Bush's September 23, 2001 order, imposing economic sanctions on persons (defined as including individuals or entities) who, inter alia, commit, threaten to commit, or support certain acts of terrorism, and who are subject to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act covering foreign terrorist organizations.
INS Comment Requets
The INS seeks comments on the G-639, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request, G-79A, Data Relating to Beneficiary of Private Bill, the Guidelines on Producing Master Exhibits for Asylum Applications, and the form for Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance.
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Immigration in the Press
Bush, Fox Hold Good Cards as Meeting Nears
The Arizona Republic reports that President Bush and Mexican President Fox prepare to meet, Bush wants a more tightly controlled border and help with the drug war; Fox wants amnesty for US-based undocumented immigrants and an expanded guest-worker program.
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Chat with Randall Caudle
Randall Caudle will answers questions on all aspects of immigration law on Wednesday, March 20, 2002, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat.
Letters to the Editor
I would like to make short response to the letter of Ali Alexander. I think that many people like him can't even imagine the situation of some immigrants or people who are waiting outside of the United States to be reunited with their loved ones. There are people married to someone who is legally in USA, but can't gain any legal status. In these cases when waiting times are sometimes more then 6 years (it is not improving and even getting worse!) I'm not surprised that there is a need to have some possibility to adjust status after they did violate US law and stayed illegally. In my opinion it is necessary first review the system of US immigration before just shouting out some amnesty program. First America should come back to the basic principles which are I think based first of all at the families. Unless families are together and able to build legally their new life, no changes can be expected.
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BUSINESS IMMIGRATION SEMINAR
"WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN!" A Business Immigration Seminar specifically designed for Corporate
Immigration Personnel and Immigration Attorneys. Thursday, April 11, 2002, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Cadence Design Systems, Inc. - The Pebble Beach Room 2655 Seely Avenue (near River Oak Drive), Bldg. #5, San Jose, CA. For details and registration form click here.
LEGAL TRAINING SEMINAR
The Midwest Legal Immigration Project is continuing its endeavor to provide basic immigration legal training to attorneys and paralegals practicing immigration law, or who wish to begin the practice of immigration law. Our next intensive week long basic legal immigration training seminar is scheduled for May 13-17, 2002, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Des Moines. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Immigration Legal Resource Center of San Francisco. Successful graduates will receive assistance in applying for BIA accreditation if they wish. The seminar is accredited for 30 hours of CLE and 2 hours ethics for attorneys. The Marriott Hotel is offering sharply discounted rooms for $49/night plus tax. Call 1-800-228-9290 for room reservations and mention the immigration legal training seminar. For more information, call Jim Benzoni at 515-271-5730; fax 515-271-5757; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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