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Immigration Daily May 29, 2003
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Editor's Comments

245(i) Is Not Dead

We have learnt that immigration advocates on the Hill do not believe it likely that 245(i) will come back in this Congress. However, we believe that 245(i) is very much alive, and may indeed happen. The reason for our optimism is the steady, if muted, support that the President expresses for 245(i) through his Press Secretary. Today we carry yet another affirmation of support from the White House for 245(i). Given that his party controls both houses of Congress, if the President decides to make 245(i) his priority, we believe that he will succeed in carrying both his party and Congress. So, at the end of the day, will 245(i) make a comeback? Stay tuned.


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Featured Article

Enter the Dragon: Inside Chinese Smuggling Organizations
Sheldon Zhang and Ko-lin Chin write "Illegal Chinese immigration has occurred for decades, but until recently it rarely received public attention except when the attempts ended in disaster."

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Immigration Law News

DOL SemiAnnual Regulatory Agenda
The Department of Labor released its semiannual regulatory agenda which presents the DOL's Unified Regulatory Agenda for forthcoming regulations - proposed, interim, and final - including those affecting immigration.

DOS SemiAnnual Regulatory Agenda
The Department of State released its semiannual regulatory agenda which presents the DOS's Unified Regulatory Agenda for forthcoming regulations - proposed, interim, and final - including those affecting immigration.

DOJ SemiAnnual Regulatory Agenda
The Department of Justice released its semiannual regulatory agenda which presents the DOJ's Unified Regulatory Agenda for forthcoming regulations - proposed, interim, and final - including those affecting immigration.

Text Of Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act of 2003
Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) with Sens. Brownback (R-KS), DeWine (R-OH), Kennedy (D-MA), Voinovich (R-OH), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Feingold (D-WI), and Cantwell (D-WA) as cosponsors introduced a bill to provide for the protection of unaccompanied alien children.

DOJ Says Supremes' Upholding of 3rd Circuit's Decision Is Important Victory
The Department of Justice issued a press statement that said, "Justice Department regulations dating from 1964 have expressly allowed select deportation hearings to be closed to protect public interest. This authority to close hearings is an important, constitutional tool in this time of war, when we face an unparalleled threat from covert and unknown foes spread across the globe."

DOS Responds To Question On Expelled French Journalists
During a Department of State briefing, Spokesman Boucher responded to a question posed on the treatment of some French journalists who were handcuffed and expelled from the US in Los Angeles earlier this month.

White House Spokesman Fleischer Says President Will Continue To Push For 245(i)
During a White House press briefing, White House Fleischer responded to a question on President Bush's position on immigration reform with Mexico.

Arizona DUI Is Not Crime Of Moral Turpitude
In Hernandez-Martinez v. Ashcroft, No. 02-70048 (9th Cir. May 27, 2003), the court said that "the Arizona DUI statute was divisible because one could be convicted under it, "for sitting in one's car in one's own driveway with the key in the ignition and a bottle of beer in one's hand."

Unprecedented Immigration Transformations Change World As We Know It
The Harvard Business School Working Knowledge reports "Immigration is changing the world more than at any other time in history, opening up business opportunities but new challenges as well, according to Harvard University professor Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco."

Mexican President Fox Urges 'Co-Responsibility' For Mexican Migration
The Washington Post reports "In an interview, [ Mexican President] Fox urged Washington to broaden its focus from security issues and start increasing the number of work visas for Mexicans, which would help the US "avoid having to deal with problems like [the tractor trailer tragedy in] Victoria, with people dying on [US] territory."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I will never cease to be amazed at the number (few though they may be) of people who find crossing a border to seek a better life a crime that warrants death. Or some sort of invasion. Do these people (presumably of European descent) feel the same about the wave of immigrants in the first half of the 1900's? The only people who have had their country around here were the Native Americans. Everyone else is just a squatter.

Name Not Provided

Dear Editor:
Immigration Daily's May 19th Editor's comments said: If the new BCIS e-filing procedures do not integrate well with the existing systems, immigration practitioners may be left with the costs of remedying the situation.... However, such standard setting nirvana would be unprecedented in the relatively small world of immigration software, and would need visionary leadership, either from the government, or the Bar, or the industry. Hopefully, someone will answer this need for the benefit of the community. First, it is unlikely that any existing case management software will interface with a new government system without some modification. If the case management system happens already to use appropriate technology, that modification might be only superficial. Second, the small world of immigration software is not going to set standards here, but certainly will want to be a player as decisions are made. I would guess that, in order to really participate, software people need to look at the bigger picure of electronic government, not just immigration forms. It is not only BCIS that is keeping databases, and BCIS may not have full control over the design of their new electronic system. I have not stayed current on developments, but plans are being made on a higher level than BCIS or even DHS. The whole government is moving rapidly toward electronic transactions. The President signed the E-Government Act of 2002 in December, giving central authority to OMB. I'd bet there is more e-government legislation to come. And a lot of agencies -- federal, state, tribal and local -- are working on creating electronic government. Conventional databases do not work well with each other if they do not have compatible data models. The incompatibility of government databases is one of the key excuses for the intelligence failures related to 9/11. On the anti-terrorism front (where DHS plays a key role), DARPA's 'Information Awareness Office' is working intensively on this database problem. The DARPA pages indicate that this compatibility problem is being resolved, to some extent, by technologies like XML (e.g. references to 'schemas'). Other technologies that DARPA might be using, I cannot even guess. Any solution that works for immigration forms will probably also work for e-gov at national, state and local levels, too. The solution for immigration lawyers will probably be a specialization of a more general solution. To have leverage in the early stages of the development process, the developer may need to address more prominent and politically-correct facets of government. As the exchange of information with government databases is something both professionals (lawyers and government contractors) and laymen (individuals and small businesses) will need, there could be a general solution that works for everyone. However the layman will not be paying big money for the software. Will the government produce a free or inexpensive general solution or will it be left to private enterprise? In either case there is room for private initiative. I think it would be in the public interest to have an open-source project that interfaces with the government planners and develops a generalized software solution to private-public data exchange. Such projects are hosted on sites like or, for the better-funded projects, on their own websites like Or we can wait and see what Microsoft gives us.

Jesse Moorman

Editor's Note: Software standards can have either a broad or narrow scope. XML and its industry specific derivatives are examples of broad scope. The examples you provide of open source standards are also broad scope standards. Our comments refer to narrow scope standards which are found in many specific industries, including from time to time those formed with the participation of interested government agencies.

Dear Editor:
The following press release was submitted by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas.

Texas immigrants who have won their lawful permanent resident status in Immigration Court are being deterred from working, going to school, or traveling abroad by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In response, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of Texas (Texas Lawyers' Committee), together with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), has filed a class action lawsuit against the DHS on behalf of lawful permanent residents whose rights are violated when they are refused temporary proof of their lawful status. The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in McAllen, Texas, claims that the DHS has consistently rejected lawful permanent residents' requests for processing and documentation of their lawful status. The DHS has told lawful permanent residents represented in this lawsuit that they would be advised by mail of a return date to complete processing. DHS' delay in processing, which has lasted for months and years in some cases, has created hardships for these and other lawful permanent residents. Without proof of their legal status, lawful permanent residents cannot legally secure employment, enroll in school, or travel abroad. They also live in fear of not being able to demonstrate that they are lawfully in the U.S. if they are stopped and questioned by state or federal officials. "The law is clear: the moment an Immigration Court grants lawful permanent resident status, an individual acquires the right to work, go to school and travel abroad," said Javier N. Maldonado, Executive Director of the Texas Lawyers' Committee. "So why is DHS withholding documentation of legal status from these Texas residents?" Immigrants seeking lawful status provide all necessary documentation prior to an Immigration Judge issuing an order on their immigration status. The DHS takes an applicant's fingerprints and is able to perform all the necessary background and name checks while the immigrant is in legal proceedings. There is no reason to delay giving them their documentation once a judge's order becomes final. "The DHS must give legal permanent residents proof of their lawful status so that they can take care of their families and contribute to society," said Joe Berra, staff attorney for MALDEF. "Without their ‘papers', their hard won freedoms are meaningless." While the lawsuit seeks relief for all persons who were or will be granted legal permanent resident status in the Harlingen, Houston and San Antonio immigration districts, below are several summaries of plaintiffs in the case. · Teresa P. is a mother of four in Eagle Pass, TX who was the victim of domestic abuse. She was granted legal permanent resident (LPR) status because her deportation would have been a hardship for her U.S. citizen children. She went to the San Antonio immigration office to acquire temporary proof of her lawful status. She was told she would be notified by mail of a return date for processing. Over six months have passed. Now, because she cannot prove her LPR status, she is in danger of losing her job. Her lack of documentation also prohibits her from visiting her dying brother in Piedras Negras, Mexico. · Jose Luis and Maria Eva G. are lawful permanent residents with a U.S. citizen daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy. Their daughter is severely mentally retarded, confined to a wheelchair, and legally blind. The parents would like to travel outside of the Houston area to attend trainings which would help them to provide better care for their daughter. They are afraid to travel outside of Houston because they have been denied papers showing adequate evidence of their legal status and fear being stopped by state or federal officials. · Anita D. is a single mother of two. Both her children have severe kidney problems and need dialysis on a daily basis. She is an LPR, but has not been able to acquire the employment authorization needed for her to work and support her sick children. Shortly after winning her immigration case, she requested documentation from DHS of her legal status. Six months have elapsed and DHS has not responded to her request. · Divyeshbai B. is a native of India and has lived in the U.S. for nine years. Because of his marriage to a U.S. citizen he was able to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Background checks revealed no arrests and no other derogatory information that prevented him from adjusting his status. He was accorded LPR status, but was not given proof. As a result, he has not been able to secure employment to support his wife and two children. The plaintiffs are asking the federal court to certify the case as a class action, declare DHS' policies unlawful, prohibit DHS from denying documentation of LPR status to the plaintiffs, and order the agency to immediately issue temporary documentation to the plaintiffs. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of Texas (Texas Lawyers' Committee) is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to defending the rights of immigrants and refugees throughout the state of Texas. Please visit for more information about the Texas Lawyers' Committee. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the nation's premier Latino civil rights organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, higher education scholarships and when necessary, through the legal system.

Ali Hakeem
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas

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Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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