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Immigration Daily January 24, 2003
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Editor's Comments

Registration has two components - the Entry-Exit registration, where people are fingerprinted on the border - and "call-in" registration, where people are invited to register themselves. The idea behind Entry-Exit registration is National Security as mandated by Congress in NSEERS. The idea behind "call-in" registration appears to be to criminalize overstaying from being a civil violation into a criminal violation, so that obtaining future benefits through 245(i), for example, becomes difficult if not impossible. "Call-in" registration appears therefore to be doomed to failure inasmuchas the news that this is only for suckers will soon spread in immigrant communities, and future Congressional relief like 245(i) will doubtless be amended to allow for exemption of criminal violations of not registering. In the meanwhile, all that "call-in" registration will achieve is to drive the undocumented deeper underground.

Due to the difficulties in administering the Registration program, particularly the "call-in" registration program, some in the INS are of the opinion that it should be suspended until better procedures are evolved over time. Recent comments by senior DOJ officials leave little doubt that regardless of the feelings of INS officials, NSEERS is going to proceed full-speed ahead. The impending demise of the INS, and the move of the immigration function to the DHS may delay the inevitable, but the Registration Circus will likely continue to grow larger and more bizarre in 2003.

The failings in "call-in" registration simply point to the obvious that reforming security through registration is not possible without a large-scale general amnesty. More importantly, the failings point to the even more obvious fact that the real security solutions lie in energetic action overseas, not in energetic destruction of the Bill of Rights at home.


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Featured Article

DOL Audits Part Two - How To Handle A WHA Audit
Alan Tafapolsky writes on what to expect during a Wage Hour Administrator Audit.

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Immigration Law News

Request For Grant Proposal
The Office of International Visitors of the Division of Professional and Cultural Exchanges, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State (DOS) announces an open competition for assistance awards to develop and implement International Visitor Programs.

Senate Discussion On The Nomination Of The Secretary Of Homeland Security
During Senate discussions, Sen. Dorgan (D - ND) addresses his hope for improvements in information sharing and border security with respect to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) .

Senate Continues Fiscal Appropriations For FY 2003
The Senate continued fiscal appropriations talks during which Sen. McCain (R - AZ) said, "this amendment restores $165 million, which was the level of funding requested by the President, to the INS for development and implementation of the exit-entry systems to be used at ports of entry across the US."

INS Releases New Sections Of Final 2001 Statistical Yearbook
The INS released two additional sections: Enforcement and Immigrants, that will be included in the final edition of the 2001 Statistical Year Book. The Temporary Admissions Section (77 pps.) presents interesting statistics on those that come to the US on a temporary basis (nonimmigrants), with subsections on parolees—persons allowed temporary entrance under special circumstances, and H-1B workers. The Refugees & Asylees section (41 pps.) provides information on those who are admitted to the US because of persecution abroad, including the number and characteristics of persons applying, approved, arriving, and adjusting to lawful permanent resident status.

DOS Says Special Registration Will Apply To Many, Many Nationalities
The Department of State Spokesman Boucher during a press briefing responded to a question on the recent INS deployment of registration of Bangladeshis, and said, "It's not directed against any particular country or any group of particular nationals. Bangladeshis shouldn't feel themselves singled out, nor should Pakistanis, nor should others. And gradually, it will be applied broader and broader to people of many, many nationalities."

President Bush Applauds Senate Confirmation Of DHS Secretary Ridge
President Bush released a statement and said, "I applaud the Senate for acting quickly and in a strong, bipartisan manner to confirm the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security."

US Customs Opens Trade Fastlanes
The joint US-Canada Free and Secure Trade (FAST) initiative is now operational at three major commercial crossing points.

Petitioner's Travel To Home Country Undermines Asylum Claim
In Caran v. Ashcroft, No. 02-1964 (3rd Cir. Jan. 21, 2003), the court said it was not persecution for a government to investigate those suspected of violating its law in an asylum case where the Petitioner was questioned by government authorities regarding the whereabouts of her son who had moved to another city to avoid a draft. The court also said that the record did not show that the Petitioner did not suffer any physical harm or even threats of harm and also said that her asylum claim was undermined by her return to Serbia for eight months after her initial visit to the US without experiencing any problems, and also noted the fact that her son was able to remain in Serbia without experiencing any problems.

Failure To File Objection To Magistrate's Recommendation Waives Appellate Review
In US v. Antillon-Perez, No. 02-2192 (10th Cir. Jan. 22, 2003), the court said Defendant's failure to file written objections to the magistrate judge's recommendation waived appellate review.

NY Governor Urges DOJ For Immigration Relief For Families Of 9/11 Victims
Newsday reports that New York "Gov. George Pataki urged the Justice Department Tuesday to give special consideration to immigrants who lost family in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and who no longer have a valid visa to remain in the United States."

Progress In US-Mexico Relations
The Economist reports "Mexico's relations with the United States have long been a complicated mosaic of conflict and co-operation. While matters might be stalled at the diplomatic level, on the ground things are sometimes very different. Take migration. As politicians in Washington do their best to ignore the issue, in practice big changes are taking place. They are being driven from the bottom up, by business and local political interests in the United States."

INS Attorney Sues Atty. Gen. Ashcroft
The Miami Herald reports "A Miami immigration service attorney has sued Attorney General John Ashcroft and one of her bosses at the immigration agency alleging she has been singled out for retaliation partly for revealing an internal memo that discussed asylum for Elián González."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
It has been reported that the City of Holland, Michigan is the latest jurisdiction to have rejected demands by the Mexican government that the matricula consular card be accepted for identification purposes. A factor in the decision to reject the card appears to be a letter from FAIR submitted to the City Council and City Attorney prior to their decision. FAIR's arguments that acceptance of the card as a stand-alone document is illegal, unconstitutional, and subjects local government officials and employees to personal criminal and civil liability appear to have had a sobering effect in other jurisdictions as well. I've attached the text of our comments for your subscribers who share our concerns about the threat that the actions of the Mexican government poses to the the rule of law in this country. As we expect the matricula controversy to become the subject of litigation, comments or critiques of FAIR's analysis from your professional readership would be welcomed.

Michael M. Hethmon, Staff Attorney
The Federation for American Immigration Reform

Dear Editor:
I have enjoyed reading the column by Gary Edelman on a point system and the responses from Harry Sheinfeld, Ali Alexander and others. I am generally in agreement with an earned legalization/points system. Here are a few comments to add to the discussion. 1. Truly close the border to illegal immigration. The government must allocate the resources to make this work at the border and through the removal process. I feel little sympathy for individuals who knowingly break our laws and the sovereignty of this country. When Chinese, Pakistanis and other non-Central Americans are using Mexico as a conduit to the US, is it hard to imagine that the terrorist elements will also use it as a means to get to the US? 2. Allow individuals who are in the US to obtain a SS# if they register with INS and become part of the to-be-created earned legalization program. Remove the Social Security Card as a document to evidence work authorization. The Social Security Administration should not be considered a last line of defense against illegal immigration or terrorists. They are incapable of handling the role. Unfortunately, I see us needing to move towards a national ID card. We willingly allow Visa and Mastercard to track us everywhere, why not the government. 3. Create a point system program which looks for skilled workers from abroad, but also allows unskilled workers in the US to get points and obtain temporary or conditional status based upon contributions to SSA for 20+ quarters of work. This would remove the incentive for underground employment and increase the gov't coffers. After meeting these requirements, their conditional status would be removed and they would be eligible for permanent resident status. 4. Over a million people gained permanent residency in the US in 2001, what is the appropriate number? Let's set the number based upon whatever factors are deemed appropriate (family, asylum/refugee, employment, US birth rates, economic growth, etc.) and stop the illegal migration. Illegal immigrants do not come to the US asking what can they do for this country, but rather what can this country do for them (provide jobs, etc.). We need to recognize this fact and make sure the immigration system works for the good of our country.

M. Jacobs
Hyattsville, MD

Dear Editor:
In his latest news article on his proposed point system, Gary Endelman writes why, in his opinion, blanket amnesty will not work. At the opposite swing of the pendulum one can state that neither will mass deportation work. It is not doable. The point system is a plausible alternative to both. However, I think that the simpliest solution to the undocumented immigration problem is the proposal of President Bush that "willing workers should be united with willing employers". (If only he would do something about it.) I also believe that spouses (of any nationality), once married to an American citizen or legal resident, should be granted immediate union in this country with their wedded partners once they pass a proper background check . How would you or I feel if after going to the court house with a partner and after filling out a marriage application, the clerk would respond: "This is all well and good. I will grant you a permit for marriage but you will have to live apart for the next ten years while we decide officially whether this would be an enduring relationship or not." I would even extend the above concept to persons of the same sex who can prove a long term relationship and one of the two should happen to be an alien. (Now that will be controversial.) Furthermore, I, as an individual or owner of a small business, should be able to hire any person I wish regardless of lack of documentation. I should be possible for me to be granted documentation for my employee with my furnishing proof of his/her passing of a proper background check together with an affidavit from me of responsibility and support. As a further example of my viewpoint: If I as an American citizen should wish to employ a domestic or a care taker , I should be able to hire that person with whom I would be most comfortable in my home and whom in my opinion will best do the job for me; rather than hire someone with whom I would be unhappy and dissatisfied, just to fulfill some government requirement on employment and citizenship. This is uniting "a willing employer with a willing emloyee" like the president advocates. After all, the constitution guarantees each and everyone of us the right to the pursuit of happiness. I have just as much right to pursue happiness as any other citizen.

Richard E. Baer

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Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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