The abolishing of the INS via the just passed Homeland Security Bill is
sending tremors through the immigration law community. Matter of Izumi
notwithstanding, immigration attorneys have long relied on INS General
Counsel Memos for the advice they give to their clients daily. Will the new
General Counsel of the new Homeland Security Department honor long-standing
interpretations of immigration law? Or will he or she simply wipe them all
out, and start with a clean slate? The latter event may cause an earthquake
in most immigration attorneys' practices. Some of the talented career
officials in the Services branch of the INS reportedly have their resumes
out, dreading the day when they will have to report to new bosses who will
begin each day with the question "To which terrorist did you NOT issue a
visa today?" Several regulations which have been working their way through
the INS's regulatory system for years will now very likely be back to
square one, leaving attorneys without a detailed and reliable road-map to give effective counsel to their clients.
The potential for horrible prospects notwithstanding, it must be borne in
mind that the abolishing of the INS is only a tiny part of the largest
restructuring of the federal bureaucracy in over a generation. The
restructuring will likely take place at a glacier's pace over many, many
years. With over 22 agencies involved in the new Department, turf battles will likely
erupt in such profusion as to surprise all. Congressional pork in what
will now be the third largest department of the federal government will
also shape events to come. With this as a backdrop, the prospects for immigration could be as bad or even worse than the prophets of doom forecast,
however the doom may be a long, long time coming. Wait-and-see may be the best
policy for now.
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The Senate Approves The Homeland Bill: What Now?
Jose Latour writes, "What does it mean for us? A lot. Customs and INS will both be integrated within the organization, and as a person who has lived the past 12 years struggling with today's comparatively tiny INS bureaucracy, I can only imagine what will happen when immigration responsibilities are effectively swallowed by a bureaucracy literally hundreds of times larger.
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Immigration Law News
President Bush Hails Homeland Security Passage
In a statement discussing the recent passage of the Homeland Security legislation, President Bush said, "I commend the employees who will move into this new department for their hard work and dedication to the war on terrorism. Setting up this new department will take time, but I know we will meet the challenge together."
Attorney General Ashcroft Welcomes Homeland Security Act Passage
In a statement on the passage of the bill to abolish the INS, Attorney General Ashcroft said, "I applaud the passage of the Homeland Security Act and the President's leadership on this important legislation. I look forward to working with the new Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security."
Human Trafficking Violaters Sentenced to 10+ Years
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Boyd, Jr. today announced that three Florida citrus contractors received lengthy prison sentences for conspiring to hold workers in involuntary servitude, harboring undocumented workers, interfering with interstate commerce by extortion, and using firearms during the course of a violent felony.
Social Security Administration Seeks Comments On Aliens Permananently Residing In The US Under Color Of Law
The Social Security Administration sought comments on: collecting information that determines whether individuals have worked in
employment after becoming disabled and, if so, whether the work is
substantial gainful activity. SSA will verify the validity of the evidence of PRUCOL
aliens with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Based on the
INS response, SSA will determine whether the individual is eligible for
SSI payments. The respondents are alien applicants for and recipients
of SSI payments; Form SSA-821-BK.
INS Seeks Comments
The INS also allowed a 60-day notice of information collection under review for public comments on the following: passenger list, crew list; Form I-418, aircraft/vessel report; Form I-92, notice to student or exchange visitor; Form I-515.
Congressional Statements On The Bill To Abolish The INS
Congress voted on and passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 including its immigration law provisions. During the debate, Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) said, "... The formulation of immigration policy--our only chance to
achieve coordination between these dispersed functions--will be subject
to the conflicting views of various officials spread out in the new
Department. With its failure to provide centralized coordination and
lack of accountability, the Republican bill is a blueprint for failure.
"The final debate is in three parts: One, Two, and Three.
Objection To Magistrate Judge Action Before District Judge's Referral Order
Must Be Raised Prior To Appeal
In US v. Bolivar-Munoz, No. 01-40967 (5th Cir. Nov. 20, 2002), the court said that since the Defandants did not object to the magistrate
judges' actions allocuting their guilty pleas before a proper referral
order was entered by the district judge, they waived the right to raise the
right to raise this procedural defect as a basis for relief from their
BIA's Denial Of Suspension Of Deportation Under 244 Cannot Be Reviewed
In Perez-Rul v. INS, No. 02-9519 (10th Cir. Nov. 20, 2002), the court said that it had no jurisdiction to review the Board of
Immigration Appeals's (BIA) denial of suspension of deportation under
Section 244, and said that substantial evidence in the record supported the
BIA's rejection of Petitioner's asylum claim.
Homeland Security Department Will Take Years To Organize
The New York Times reports "Bush administration officials acknowledged
today that the Department of Homeland Security would need years to organize
itself fully and that the logistics involved in merging 22 agencies and
nearly 170,000 government workers into a giant new bureaucracy could
threaten to divert the department from its central mission of safeguarding
the American public from terrorist attacks."
Immigration Brings Economic Dynamism
An editorial in the Washington Post says "In reality, the choice is not
between more immigrants and fewer immigrants, but between more immigrants
and more economic dynamism and fewer immigrants and less economic
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