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Immigration Daily February 5, 2003
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Editor's Comments

Immigrant Round-Up At DHS

As it organizes itself, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will likely have to confront the clash between its anti-terrorism mission with other law enforcement priorities. DHS will likely soon find out that the carte blanche being given by Congress and the American people to the DHS does not extend to a round-up of the undocumented. Congress will likely not make much noise so long as the round-up is confined to genuine dangers to society. However, a more extensive round-up, the planning for which is likely under way right now at DHS, will face considerable opposition even among those Congressional representatives DHS currently considers anti-immigration. This happened before with the Vidalia onion round-up a few years ago, and will likely happen again. The pivotal opposition to a round-up will likely come from employers and business starved of workers once the economy heats up, as it surely will sooner or later. It is a fantasy to ignore demographics and try to enforce current immigration laws by relying on a fig-leaf of national security. The undocumented are no threat to our national security. And laws which exist on paper but defy economic reality are unenforceable. The Soviet Union failed to learn this point, and perished as a consequence. DHS will have our unstinting support, as indeed the support of all Americans, in doing whatever it takes to go after terrorists. If it insists on embarking on an immigrant round-up, DHS will only jeopardize its own mission, and all Americans.


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Featured Article

Obtaining An H-1(B) Visa For A Professional Nurse
Michael F. Hammond, Esq. writes about H-1B visas for Nurses

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Immigration Law News

INS Extends SEVIS Deadline
INS extended the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System deadline to February 15, 2003

DOJ Asks For 30 New Litigators In FY 2004 Budget
The Department of Justice's budget request for FY 2004 includes a 6.3% increase in spending for discretionary funding, which includes 30 new positions in Immigration Litigation "to handle high-profile immigration cases that implicate the integrity of the September 11th investigation and the federal government's response."

INS Acts On Proyecto San Pablo
INS issued a press release announcing procedures to implement the order of the District Court of Arizona in Proyecto San Pablo v. INS.

Current Law Makes Aggravated Felons Without Discretion
A columnist for the Arizona Republic draws attention to the injustice inherent in the concept of "aggravated felony" as defined in current law.

INS Lies About Not Targetting Muslims
A columnist for the New York Post says "... there is a good reason for the FBI and INS to lie or mumble about devoting special attention to Muslims: This practice contradicts declared policy. When President Bush states that "Islam is peace" and refers to "the peaceful teachings of Islam," how can his law-enforcement or immigration staff acknowledge that Islam has any bearing on their work?"

Controversy Over Immigration Is Nothing New
United Press International reports "allowing foreigners to settle within U.S. borders has been a prickly issue since the mid-19th century when immigration shifted from mostly English stock to the Irish, Germans, Scandinavians, Eastern Europeans and Italians."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I write in response to the letter of Giuseppe (Joe) Scagliarini, Esq. Newport, RI, which has lost some perspective. The episode he refers to in "A Firsthand Account Of A Special Registration Experience" is bad. It is reminiscent of Austro-Hungarian bureaucratic foul-ups or Swiss border guards. It is embarrassing to me as a naturalized American. It is not, however "reminiscent of European Nazi and Fascist special police squads". It doesn't even rise to the level of what too many Guatemalans face at the Mexican border. If incidents like this are what Nazism was all about, then maybe we should have let the Fascists wipe out the Soviet Union before we committed troops to Western Europe. Nazism and Fascism meant that the officers would not just seize documents they have a right to seize, hand out inappropriate forms and make "scary eyes." They were about theft, expulsion and murder carried out as a national priority. If this were even "mere" fascism, scary eyes would be the least of the woman's worries and the "ethnic lobbies" Ali Alexander worries about would not just be irritating, one would have seized government and criminalized most of the rest. This, by contrast, seems to be simply the confluence of bureaucratic overload and the new emphasis on policing immigration violations. It makes it more irritating for immigrants like my wife to travel but it does not make us stop traveling. Remember, after all, the woman's husband was released on his own recognizance.

Honza J. F. Prchal, Esq., Birmingham, AL

Dear Editor:
Amen and kudos to Dave Anderson, Giuseppe Scagliarini, Richard Baer, and to Justin. Chucky is wrong on both his counts. I am a typical American not in denial of our mixed heritage like so many others, mine includes turn of the century immigrant Sicilians, Cherokee, English, French, Welsh, among God knows what else and being an American: I know there's more. Try a better comeback, like one that could deny my facts stated (or would that require a dictionary?). Anyone with a heart and a belief in God would back a loophole in an unjust system that would save countless lives by allowing them a chance to enter & survive in a country made rich mostly off the backs of the people they enslaved and stole land from in the first place. This "amnesty" you call is given to the same people that lived on this land before our govenrnment did (the indigenous).

In response to Ali's letter of 1/31: what skills and education does one need to succeed in America? There are citizens here with college educations that have the same type of jobs as illegal immigrants. Why? Because in America, it is not what you know, it is who you know. What exorbitant medical costs do we have when illegals cannot obtain medical benefits? What illegals are being trained and educated because of their illiteracy in English? What for? To be a janitor or cook? Half the time English is not even needed in their profession. To communicate with whom when they're usually isolated from English speakers in these positions? And who is the correspondent to say they are illiterate in their own languages. They learn English faster than a typical American can learn a foreign language. The typical American usually just knows English, only touching upon a foreign language in high school or college, while most foreigners have not one national language, but two, three, or more that they learn while in elementary school. But these are our uneducated burdens? Come again.


Dear Editor:
Re: Mr. Anderson's and Dr. Baer's letters: Labor shortage? These gentlemen haven't been reading the newspapers. The highest unemployment rate in a decade, and they're claiming "labor shortages". There is no such thing as a "labor shortage", only a shortage of workers at a price an employer is willing to pay. Many of the jobs now being done by illegal aliens have been done by Americans in the past, and would still be IF the wages were sufficient. As for the unwillingness of Americans to do dirty work, in my Midwestern home town, my niece's husband recently opened a restaurant. The waitpeople, busboys, etc. are Americans. In fact, the only "Hispanic" in the place is my (native-born Hispanic) niece's teenage son, who is learning the business from the ground up. The guy who cuts my mother's lawn is a middle-aged white man. My oldest brother began his career as a janitor. His daughter, my teenage niece, works in a pizza parlor--a job it was hard for her to find because so many jobs that used to be done by teens in high school are now being done by adults who rely on them as full time income to support a family. My other niece, now in college, worked as a nanny. Of course, what she earned wouldn't support a family, but then... As long as employers are able to import cheap unskilled labor from anywhere, they will do so, and they will continue to rely on the rest of us to pick up the tab for medical care and education of their employees and their employees' families. (In my long litany of American relatives who are doing jobs Americans supposedly won't do, I forgot to include my cousin (a firefighter) and his father, who literally built my cousin's home, and are now working on another. Boy, aren't we Americans lazy?!) Interesting, too, isn't it, that I don't hear Canada, Ireland, or even India, agitating for amnesty for their citizens who are here illegally. And I have yet to read about an illegal immigrant (though there may be some) from these countries getting dialysis here on the taxpayer's dime, or demonstrating in front of my local hospital for discounted rates or lobbying for bilingual education with the additional costs to taxpayers that that brings. And yes, I do object to even legal "temporary" programs for skilled workers, such as the H1-B visa, because these distort the labor market and there are no provisions for safeguarding American jobs. But that's getting off the issue. Re: Justin's letter of Feb. 4, I'm well aware of our history with regard to immigration, and the fact that most of our previous immigrants groups did not speak English as a native language. My grandparents certainly didn't, but they learned. Nor were they educated or literate. But then, most people even until the 1950s here, didn't need even a high school education to make a decent living. Try that today. As for learning English--my grandparents and other immigrants learned English because they wanted to and had to. There was no accommodation for nonEnglish speakers as we have now, even to the point of providing ballots for US elections in the native languages of people who should be able to handle basic English.

Ali Alexander

Dear Editor:
Angie apparently didn't read Jose Latour's article. The people of the State of Florida just paid over $40.2 million dollars in one year for hospital treatment for foreign born people who are uninsured. If that isn't a burden then I don't know what is. And if it isn't taking care of them, what is it? Also, for all the talk about illegals not being eligible for other services, people are fooling themselves if they think that many of them are not getting those services they aren't eligible for. I also live in a state with a large foreign born population and we are seeing the same situations here. Many states are in deep financial difficulty and if the federal government is not going to enforce the laws and control our borders then they need to pay the costs of providing medical treatment, food and the other services that are being rendered to illegals instead of putting the "burden" on the taxpayers of the states that are being overrun.


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