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Immigration Daily March 5, 2003
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Editor's Comments

Firebell in the Night: The Coming L-1 Crisis and What We Can Do About It

In today's Featured Article, Gary Endelman brings attention to the recent L-1 intracompany transferee visa backlash. He says: "The continuing debate over H-1Bs has so sucked all the oxygen out of employment based immigration that, below the radar, few have noticed that the L-1 has begun to replace it as the work visa of choice." In his article, he details the mounting opposition to the L-1 program, including actions being considered by Congress and the INS to curtail the L-1 as a loophole to the H-1B program. Gary Endelman concludes the article on a hopeful note for the L-1 program's future, and writes, "Faced with such reports, the friends of the L-1 visa need not panic but must plan for the future. A rationale for keeping, even expanding, this visa must be fashioned while there is still time."


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Featured Article

Firebell in the Night: The Coming L-1 Crisis and What We Can Do About It
Gary Endelman writes that there is another brewing crisis that has yet to emerge fully but, when it does, may prove even more dangerous to American employers: the L-1 intracompany transferee visa is under attack.

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Immigration Law News

DOJ Extends Inspass and Sentri Enrollment Period To Two Years
The INS issued an interim rule that extends the current enrollment period for the Automated Inspection Services (AIS) programs from 1 year to 2 years. The extension of the current enrollment period another year will reduce the burden of both the traveling public and the Federal agencies administering the programs.

DHS's Budget Includes $10M To Fund Immigration Enforcement Needs
The DHS issued a fact sheet detailing the immediate priorities the DHS will fund in 2003. The 2003 funding includes $10 million to help fund immigration enforcement needs, including additional staff to investigate and reduce the backlog of more than 300,000 alien fugitives who have been ordered removed or deported from the US but have failed to comply with the deportation.

Interim Special Agents For Interior Enforcement Named
The DHS updated its interim appointment list which included the interim appointments of Special Agents in charge of designated cities in the new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE).

DOS Says Homeland Security Provides Common Set Of Rules All Can Work Under
Department of State Spokeman responded to a question posed during a press briefing about the newly created DHS and said, "The law that created Homeland Security changes a little bit, clarifies a bit, the legal responsibilities with regard to admission of aliens, issuance of visas and things like that. It gives us a common set of rules that we can all work under."

Possession Of A Stolen Vehicle Conviction Is Not A Theft Offense Where Generic Definition Crime Elements Are Not Established
In Huerta-Guevara v. Ashcroft, No. 02-70454 (9th Cir. Mar. 4, 2003), the court said that Petitioner's conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle did not qualify as a "theft offense" because there was insufficient evidence to establish that Petitioner pled guilty to the elements of the generic definition of a crime where that statute of conviction was broader than the generic definition and that it was not clear that the Petitioner knew that the vehicle was taken with the requisite criminal intent.

BIA Abuses Its Discretion Where It Incorrectly Categorizes Motion
In Iturribarria v. INS, No. 02-70003 (9th Cir. Mar. 4, 2003), the court found that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) abused its discretion when it misapplied its regulations and incorrectly categorized Petitioner's motion as a motion to reconsider rather than a motion to reopen. The court also said that although Petitioner presented a prima facie case that counsel's performance was flawed, he failed to show that he was prejudiced.

House Leaders Urge Smooth Transition Of INS functions to DHS
The Washington Times reports that the leaders from both parties of two House committees have written a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge saying, "We urge you to keep this committee informed about this critical immigration transition into DHS ... Immigration services and enforcement and their respective programs are too important to let them slip through the cracks while DHS gets on its feet."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I find ILW.COM's notices of comments published in the Federal Register to be of immense value. They are one of the main reasons I faithfully read Immigration Daily every day. Please keep including them all--all of them.

Bruce A. Hake

Dear Editor:
I saw this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on another web site a while ago: "A nation, like a tree, does not thrive well till it is engrafted with a foreign stock." I'd also like to recommend a book for those interested in reading about an earlier wave of immigration to the US: The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society (1880-1921) by Alan Kraut. One of the lessons of this book is that it would be a mistake to over-generalize the motivations of people who choose to emigrate to another country. I understand that many people are threatened by what they see as out-of-control immigration to the US, and I am not so naive as to think that the process will be easy (it is easy to see that it will be quite the opposite, in fact). But, in my humble opinion, we are going to have to acknowledge sooner or later that human society is rapidly approaching a stage of evolution where the old artificial, nationalistic borders just aren't going to work anymore. Unless we begin to establish new global paradigms for more effectively living and working together (despite our myriad differences), I truly believe we are setting ourselves up to either collapse into chaos from all the in-fighting based on nationalist, religious, economic, etc. grounds - or we will simply become irrelevant as a species and relegate ourselves to the fate of the dinosaurs... It's easy to point to foreign-born individuals educated in the US who have worked with terrorist organizations to wreak havoc as some sort of justification for "closing our borders" or some variation of the restrictionist scheme. But what about the innumerable individuals who have emigrated to the US and exported what's great about America to their countries of origin? You know, moving the mountain one pebble at a time... The concept of Fortress America, if realized, represents a capitulation to the pessimistic view that human beings are simply not capable of celebrating diversity and living and working together. I choose to believe the opposite. And since I opened this letter to the editor with a quote from Emerson, let me close with an excerpt from Desiderata, written by Max Ehrmann in 1927: "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste...You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here..." Thanks again for this great forum.

Karmell Bowen

Dear Editor:
Richard Baer's letters have always made good sense. One of the reasons I trust what he says is he does not attempt to obscure his thoughts in 2,000 words as others do. Additonally, there is indication that he actually interacts with the people of whom he writes; they are not simply law-breaking chess pieces.

Dave Anderson

Dear Editor:
I found ILW.COM's brief description of the consent decree, In the Matter of Universal Software Solutions, Inc., No. 2003-LCA-10 (OALJ, Feb. 27, 2003), to be misleading. While the consent decree did include a civil money penalty of $50 to an employer for accepting payment from an employee for the H-1B fee, the same decree also included an agreement that the employer would pay four employees more than $50,000 in back wages. Giving the impression that an employer who violated the H-1B regulations walked away with only a $50 fine does a disservice to the enforcement staff at the Department of Labor, as well as to the users of your informative website.

Grace Hoppin
San Francisco

Dear Editor:
Thanks to R.L. Ranger for including his references with his letter of Mar. 4: (The Barnes Review) (NewsMaxCom) (The Fed. of Am. immigration Reform) (Limits to Growth, Org) Now I know the source of some of the material I read in letters to the editor, such as that on female circumcision, slavery, and the selling of women. Some were lifted verbatum from articles from the above anti-immigration sources. I reviewed the article Mr. Ranger referenced to dispute my statement that the lands of Mexico were stolen. That same reference states: "(J. Tiffany) There can be little doubt that Pres. Polk engineered the 1846-1848 war with Mexico." (Other statements in this article paraphrase the same claim but I will not include them.) Yes, the US did pay a gratuitous sum of 15 million cash, plus another $3,250.000 to settle claims, when we took over half the land area of the Mexican Republic. To pay $18,250,000 for over a half million square miles of our neighbor's territory which we took by force is stealing to me.

Richard E. Baer

Dear Editor:
I am curious about RL Ranger's reference to white slaves in early American history. Perhaps he is confusing indentured servants, who worked their way out of servitude, with slaves, who had no such luxury. Not a nice life but not exactly the same thing as slavery. He also talks about Tom Tancredo and his position on immigration controls. I don't think that many people are against an as orderly immigration process as possible but that isn't what Tancredo is talking about. I read his recent speech to Congress and he was complaining about the danger of "multiculturalism" in America. First, too late to worry about that Tom. But, second, this is just plain bigotted rhetoric. This is the kind of thing the KKK says, or all of our lovely groups like the World Church of the Creator, old Strom Thurmond, the same old Trent Lott, or even Ali Alexander. Since RL's letter refers to Tancredo so much I must assume that he is aware of Tancredo's biggoted position and believes that it is correct or doesn't care one way or another. Does it matter which? The poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty says it best for me, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I really have to disagree with Richard Baerís comment on racial profiling being ok in these times. Letís not forget that there was a caucasion and a person of hispanic descent who were also involved with those that would harm US civilians for the governments wrongs around the world. It is a proven fact, at least in the US customs arena, that profiling does not work and that all that happens is that you miss everyone that is outside of your profile. If the US continues to profile men of middle eastern descent, the terrorists will just recruit other people to do the job that donít fit the profile. Addressing the reasons why people want to harm us will be the only long-term solution to our problems.

Name Not Provided

Dear Editor:
In response to Justin's letter to the Editor, by "socio-cultural" I do not mean "ethnicity", but rather shared values and an interest in becoming part of this country, not in using it for what he/she can get out of it. In the interests of diversity, do we really want to encourage the immigration of practicing polygamists, gay bashers, men who view their wife and kids as property, and those who question the US's very right to exist? We already have plenty of the homegrown variety of each, but do we need or want more? As I understand it, the State Department permits visas to be issued even to those who have publicly called for the overthrow of the US--should they be given green cards? This is a problem the Netherlands and Europe are already facing in regard to Muslim immigrants, and which we should realize exists: can a liberal society, in the name of liberality, admit illiberal immigrants who will change the nature of that society if admitted in sufficient number? (Before I am accused of profiling Muslims, I deny no such thing. Which is precisely the point--we should accept fewer immigrants, and select them more carefully, on an individual basis. And work harder at integrating them into American life. Some Muslims in very conservative Muslim countries are more similar to us than to their fundamentalist fellows.) In regard to making a commitment, I recently read where the late INS's former head, Mr. Ziglar has been studying up on immigration and is wondering why we continue to allow people to have green cards without a commitment to citizenship after 20 or 30 years. It's a good question.

Here's an issue that would be interesting for ILW.COM readers to discuss. An article in the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 25, 2003, p. A3, A8) discusses President Bush's efforts to free up trade in services. The EU is pressing for a change in services trade which would affect state and local rules governing business, including possibly the ability to limit access to the legal profession by requiring practitioners to pass a State bar exam. President Bush is set to respond to the request by the end of March. Given the willingness of many immigration lawyers to push for higher immigration levels, H visas, and amnesty for illegal aliens, from the protection of limits on entry to their profession, just how do they respond when it is their livelihood which is on the line? In other words, what would they tell President Bush he should do about the EU's request?

I didn't read far enough--the EU request would lift "certain" residency and citizenship requirements for practicing law. May not have anything to to with passing the state bar--this time.

Ali Alexander

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Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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