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Immigration Daily March 7, 2003
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Editor's Comments

Immigration Items Of Interest

Today's issue of Immigration Daily has many items of interest. The OIG released the findings of its audit on the Premium Processing Program showing, among other things, that the expansion of the Premium Processing Program and inclusion of the Forms I-140 in Premium Processing will more than double program revenues in FY 2003 and beyond. Gary Endelman's article also brings attention to the OIG Audit report and asks the larger question of how a program whose purpose was ultimately to reduce adjudications backlogs may be having the unintended consequences of increasing some of these backlogs. As discussed in a previous Editor's Comment emphasizing the importance of making your views heard, today's featured Federal Register Department of Labor final ruling discusses and responds to each of the relevant Comments received. There's much more --just scroll down to find the items of interest to you.


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Featured Article

Our Faustian Bargain: The Unintended Consequences of Premium Processing
Gary Endelman writes "President Bush calls for a tax cut on dividends to stimulate the economy but allows the INS to operate our immigration system in a way that ensures economic revival will never happen. THAT is why all Americans, even, perhaps especially those, who have never heard of the H1B visa, need to be concerned."

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Immigration Law News

DHS Issues Final Rule To Amend Regulations
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule as a step in the process of separating DHS enforcement and services functions from Department of Justice adjudication functions as envisioned by the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

DOS Seeks Request For Educational Grant Proposals
The Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sought requests for grant proposals for two programs: US/Ukraine Policy Dialog Exchange and FY2004 Vietnam Fulbright Foreign Student Exchange. Both programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations.

DOL Says Only Qualified Aliens Eligible For Disaster Unemployment Assistance
The Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration issued a final rule that clarified eligibility for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) and stated that the AFL-CIO's comment proposing paying DUA to all aliens, whether legally in the US or not was not adopted due to regulatory limitations placed on the DUA program.

Sen. McCain Urges Guest Worker Program To Stem Illegal Immigration
During a debate in Congress, Sen. McCain (R-AZ) said, "Beyond the improvement of infrastructure, technology and security along the border, we must also address illegal immigration through a guest worker program. As long as there are jobs to be had on this side of the border, people will continue to attempt to cross illegally, and our national security will remain at risk."

OIG Finds Premium Processing Program Adversely Affects Routine Applications
The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Audit Division released its findings based on an audit of the INS's Premium Processing Program which includes among its findings that the Premium Processing program has adversely affected the time required to adjudicate routine applications.

Completion Of Entry Does Not Preclude Conviction For Attempted Entry
In US v. Rivera-Relle, No. 02-50211 (9th Cir. Mar. 6, 2003), the court said that the completion of an entry into the US does not preclude a conviction for attempted entry.

BIA Retains Unfettered Discretion To Sua Sponte Reopen Or Reconsider Deportation Proceeding
In Calle-Vujiles v. Ashcroft, No. 02-2261 (3rd Cir. Mar. 5, 2003), the court said that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) retained unfettered discretion to decline to sua sponte reopen or reconsider a deportation proceeding.

Reopening Of In Absentia Deportation Order Denied Where Exceptional Circumstances Not Demonstrated
In Valencia-Fragoso v. INS, No. 02-70028 (9th Cir. Mar. 6, 2003), the court said that Petitioner failed to demonstrate "exceptional circumstances" to justify reopening the proceedings notwithstanding her nonappearance since at best, were her case reopened she might hope for a discretionary grant of voluntary departure.

6th Circuit Says Reasonable Time Limit On Detention Of Aliens
The Plains Dealer reports that a federal appeals court, in a 6-3 decision yesterday, expanded the rights of immigrants who are detained at the nation's border and said that there is a 'reasonable time' limit on detention of aliens.

Still, A Career INS Official Named San Francisco Interim Director
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Still was named the interim director of the BCIS' San Francisco district office. "He's a very good person for the job, very capable and very experienced," said Lucy Fong Lee, chairwoman of the Northern California chapter of AILA.

Nearly Lost Big Business Deal Spotlights Delays In Visa Processing
The Arizona Business Gazette reports that "Companies for the most part have not wanted to talk about [the difficulty of getting a visa]," Reinsch, a lobbyist for business interests, said. "The next thing, their competitor will be knocking on the door (of their foreign client) saying, 'Hey, you can't get into Los Angeles? But we can get you into Frankfurt tomorrow."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
My concern is for the effect of state regulations requiring that all persons applying for a driver's license, or a renewal, must present a valid social security card. Since the 9-11 tragedy, well-intentioned but perhaps misguided lawmakers have put into effect this regulation as a security measure. Actually, it does nothing to increase homeland security. What it may well do is to put millions of drivers on our roads without driver's licenses and without liability insurance. These drivers are the undocumented workers who drive cars and, until now, have had valid licenses. These drivers now have two alternatives: 1. To drive illegally without a driver's license and with no liability insurance. Or, 2. To obtain a driver's license by the presentation of a fraudulent social security card (and, perhaps, have liability insurance). Question: Is a license obtained with a fraudulent card a valid license? I propose a third alternative: That the states issue a driver's license to a non-citizen provided he has passed the prerequisites to obtain (or renew) it, but that such an issued license have on its face stamped in bold letters, non-citizen. This non-citizen driver's license would assure that all drivers on our roadways are qualified drivers with liability insurance but would in no way identify the person as a legal resident of this country. My alternative has the added benefit that the undocumented worker, if he wants a legal driver's license, must come forward and voluntarily identify himself.

Richard E. Baer

Dear Editor:
With the recent comments against more reasonable immigration controls, it is more clear why there is such controversy. That some think it rational to base such a critical matter upon romanticized or fictional novels, quotes or poems is not realistic. Mr. Baer's letter calls Jean Valjean of Les Miserables a hero and refers to the social injustice issue. Why did he steal the bread to begin with? Could he not have gotten a job making, selling or delivering the bread or other job as most do? Why did he later violate his probation and then steal from the clergyman who gave him another chance? Perhaps the policeman Javerts was the real hero by upholding the law and by persisting, showed Valjean the error of his scoundrelly ways and thus accounting for his later redemption. Earlier, Mr. Baer in a letter to the Editor refers to a quote that US Pres. Polk "engineered" the Mexican problem to our advantage. As this means to "manage skillfully", I certainly hope that Polk would do so. The articles go into great detail as to how the Mexicans started the War which they lost and would have lost the lands anyway. The moneys paid to them were agreeable and were suggested by Mexico and while seemingly small by todays inflated values, was a great amount then. By the way, how much did the Mexicans pay the Indians when they made their claim? Karmell Bowen's mantra of a new global paradigm without borders is not an improvement of our present Constitution, if replaced by the deceitful UN Charter which would reduce most of US to slaves on the global plantation. Her hoped for dream of "more effective living together" would thus not be realized for that reason as well as the chaos and infighting of overly mixing different cultures which she mentions. The desirable migrants to which she refers could also come under a limited arrangement, for the most part. But there is no unlimited right of foreigners to be here as many of them seem to think. Dave Anderson's letter appears to question my "interaction" with migrants. While not done for expected profit, I can assure him that since where I live, as the number of Mexicans has risen at least five time the previous number in the past five years, that I have experienced more interaction than I would have freely chosen had the loose border advocates not decided for me. Some interaction is positive, but there are many I don't want to mix with such as those frequently in the news for various serious crimes or offenses including one recently sexually assaulting a horse. An anonymous letter to the Editor was wondering about my "white slavery" reference. No name's letter also repeats a common charge against those who want responsible, controlled, limited immigration with the "bigotted" label. What is truly shallow is to resort to meaningless name calling, rather than substantive and responsible dialogue assuming such is available. Should limited migrant advocates resort to similar methods, it might be more appropriate to refer to the open border crowd as unpatriotic, antiAmerican, disloyal, financially motivated xenomaniacs who are selling out their fellow citizens. Rather than looking towards idealized and fictional excuses for diluting America, it would be far more appropriate to consider real heros and accounts of the many who have sacrificed for the sovereignty of a self-governing Republic for the benefit of it's citizens. One example would be the 186 patriots who in 1836 took a stand for liberty and America at the Alamo in Texas knowing they would not survive.

R. L. Ranger

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Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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