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Immigration Daily August 27, 2003
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Editor's Comments

ESIG Update

BCIS is moving rapidly into the electronic age, as can be seen not just from the case status checks that are available on the BCIS website, but also the recent e-filing initiatives from BCIS. Unfortunately, attorneys may get left behind unless community standards are established for e-filing. The E-filing Standards for Immigration Group (ESIG) was formed a few months ago as an cooperative venture between many immigration law firms and many software vendors to work with the BCIS to help create standards which would work for the benefit of the immigration bar, the immigration software vendors, immigrants and employers, and of course, BCIS itself. ESIG recently held a meeting, for the minutes of which, please see:,0827-esig.pdf.


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Featured Article

"X" Marks The Spot: The Nexus Between Requirements & Duties In H-1B Specialty Occupation Job Offers
Alice Yardum-Hunter writes "Where the "employer normally requires a degree," it is important to differentiate between similar positions at different levels, some of which may require a degree, while others would not."

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Immigration Law News

EOIR Announces Disciplinary Actions Against 6 Attorneys
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) of the Department of Justice has taken disciplinary action against six attorneys after charging them with violations of the rules of professional conduct for immigration practitioners.

BCIS Seeks Comments
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services sought comments on the application to preserve residence for naturalization, Form N-470.

BCIS Says 56,000 H-1B Petitions Filed To Date In FY '03
The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that during the first three quarters of FY 2003 it approved 56,986 H1-B petitions.

DOJ Says 450 Trafficking Victims Have Received T Visa Status
The Department of Justice released its report assessing US efforts to combat human trafficking, including the fact that approximately 450 victims of trafficking have obtained T Visa immigration benefits.

Medical Condition And Lack Of Job Opportunities Are Not A Basis For Asylum
In Hray v. Ashcroft, No. 02-3209 (3rd Cir. Aug. 22, 2003), the court said that Petitioner's argument that he would suffer extreme hardship if forced to return to Ukraine, on account of his medical condition and the dearth of employment opportunities was not a basis for asylum.

Travel Act Conviction Precludes Adjustment Of Status
In Urena-Ramirez v. Ashcroft, No. 02-2343 (1st Cir. Aug. 22, 2003), the court found that the Travel Act is a law relating to controlled substances as long as there is a sufficiently close nexus between the violation and the furtherance of a drug-related enterprise and said that the Petitioner was therefore ineligible for adjustment of status.

Thousands Of Immigration Petitions By Florida Immigration Attorney Under Review
The Miami Herald reports "[An Florida immigration attorney], 36, was convicted earlier this year of applying for visas for clients he said were executives of multinational companies when, in fact, many were undocumented migrants."

California Cracks Down On Immigration Consultants
The Monterey Herald of California reports "Using phone books and a copy machine, Santa Clara County is on the cutting edge of combating immigration fraud."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
A most extraordinary member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Arthur C. Helton, died in the bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003, reportedly while in a meeting with United Nations Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Viera de Mello, who was also killed. Arthur was in Iraq to assess humanitarian conditions. Arthur had devoted his life to global advocacy for refugees and immigrants, with consummate skill and effectiveness. His impact reached the conscience of lawyers from mega Wall Street firms to our sole practictioners throughout America. Arthur reached our conscience and souls and motivated us to take the time to help the refugees among us, enabling us through his mentoring to do so effectively and ennobling us in the process. Arthur wanted skillful and effective representation for refugees and asylum seekers so he created videotapes of mock asylum interviews and deportation hearings and distributed them to AILA members and pro bono attorneys from Wall Street to the Rio Grande. He inspired us to act upon our oath as attorneys to render pro bono service to the disenfranchised. Arthur's enormous influence on both creating and protecting the rights of asylees and refugees reached from the international policy arena to asylum trials in Immigration Courts and asylum interviews. He united AILA members in the cause of asylees and refugees, eliminating the artificial distinctions among us as business immigration lawyers and "all others". I had the personal honor of working with Arthur over the years on the asylum hearing videotape project and on the AILA-INS Refugee and Asylum Headquarters Liaison Committee. To the extent that I am effective today in asylum and refugee advocacy, I owe the most to Arthur, relearning the compassion which I lost somewhere in law school and learning asylum advocacy skills. Arthur left a legacy of lawyers with a conscience and extraordinarily skilled and effective representation of asylum seekers. I hope we can collectively insure there is no conscience gap among the immigration bar by each of us acting to participate in asylum and refugee work. A simple call to the local AILA Pro Bono Committee representative to offer time, talent or money or all three, would, I am sure, please Arthur immensely. Arthur's death is a loss to the world community of conscience from those of us who know what we lost to those languishing around the world in the unspeakable squalor of refugee camps, who benefit from Arthur's work. He died while serving as our conscience and an international voice for human rights. When faced with our own mortality, would we not wish for such an end to our chapters At the time of his death, he was serving as the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Over the course of his life after law school, he wrote more than 80 scholarly articles and wrote several books, the last of which was reviewed by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. He was awarded both undergraduate and law degrees by Columbia University, in 1971 and 1974, respectively. May we be exhorted and inspired by his departure from us to find time to devote to those amongst who need our help and are homeless, penniless, and without a country. Thank you Arthur.

Jan Pederson

Dear Editor:
I am very upset (and have been for quite a long time). I feel illegal aliens are stealing my birthright. They are causing my country to rot. There will be nothing left for my posterity. I suggest, to control some of this rot, we set a draft program, much like our active military specifically to service our borders. I live in Arizona (and work for a police dept). If we don't do something quick, we might not have anything to leave our children. I would like to participate in a program to get this issue under control. Clearly, illegals are in control. I have contacted Senator Kyl and Senator McCain about this issue. I will try to contact them again, as well as Joe Scarborough.

Name Not Provided

Dear Editor:
The following minutes were released by The E-filing Standards for Immigration Group (ESIG),0827-esig.pdf

Mark Shevitz
On behalf of ESIG

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Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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