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Immigration Daily December 24, 2003
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Editor's Comments

New World Of Labor Certs

A six-page report prepared by a DOL/ETA contractor who ran the simulation of centralized processing for labor certs as part of the forthcoming mammoth backlog reduction effort at DOL contains some notable points.

  • "The simulation study has revealed that the interpretation of an acceptable "established pattern of recruitment" varies from state to state ... To ensure consistency, general guidelines or criteria should be established ... " This may be the first identification within official DOL documents that Regional inconsistency in RIR determinations is a problem for both DOL and attorneys. If DOL issues detailed and firm national guidance on RIRs, this would have two important consequences: (a) many more RIRs will be filed pre-PERM; (b) many attorneys who have gotten accustomed to the idiosyncratic policies at a specific Regional office will have to scramble to adjust their strategy.
  • "[DOL software] incorporates functionality to automatically calculate expiration dates for responses to letters and alert data entry specialists that a case should be inactivated. If a response is not received within the allotted time (plus a 10-day grace period to allow for mail delivery after the postmark date), the data entry specialist will initiate the automatic generation of an inactivation letter." This likely portends a far more rigorous time schedule in labor cert adjudications, law firms across the country will have to adjust.
  • " ... when the prevailing wage team identifies prevailing wage deficiencies or unduly restrictive requirements, the application should still be forwarded to the appropriate recruitment team with the deficiency flagged. The prevailing wage issues would then be dealt with by the recruitment team to avoid sending a prevailing wage letter and then a recruitment letter to the same employer. This streamlining will reduce staff effort as well as processing time." Hallejulah! It appears that even DOL contractors understand that interlocutory administrative processes are inefficient. Perhaps the Lauretta/Greenberg litigation in the 9th Circuit post-GAL 1-97 was of some lasting impact after all.
Backlog reduction at DOL will likely lead to a new world in labor certification. We hope that this document will give you some preview glimpses of that world. For the original item, see below.


Free Workshop With Attorney/Designer

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Featured Article

Assessing The New Normal: Immigrants, Refugees and Minorities
Eleanor Acer et al of The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights document the developments and explores the effects of post-September 11 counterterrorism efforts on the rule of law [changed 12/04/03 Ed.].

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Immigration Law News

DOL/ETA Draft Final Report For Centralized Processing Of Foreign Labor Certification BackLog
This final draft report presents findings and recommendations related to DOL/ETA's effort to eliminate the backlog of 300,000 applications for labor certs. This in connection with the proposed backlog reduction measures at DOL for which $100 million plus of government funding is to be appropriated in 2004 and 2005.

Tamar Jacoby Says Combination Of Guest Worker Program And Legalization Is Needed
A Washington Post op-ed by Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute says "Neither a guest-worker program (a Republican idea that Democrats endorse only under duress) nor a measure allowing illegal workers already here to come in from the shadows (the Democrats' quid pro quo, accepted grudgingly by Republicans) would work alone."

Unpaid Wages Ruling Bolsters Rights Of Undocumented Workers
The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA reports "After Singh, an undocumented immigrant, filed a claim for unpaid wages, his employer allegedly reported him to federal immigration officials, and Singh was detained ... A federal court jury on Thursday ordered [the employer] to pay $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for reporting him to the USCIS, where he was detained for almost 15 months."

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Help Wanted: Experienced Paralegals
The Law Offices of Bernard P. Wolfsdorf seek to hire experienced paralegals for its South Bay, Southern CA office and New York, NY offices. Bachelor's degree required. Ideal candidates should have experience with all aspects of business immigration. Responsibilities include: preparation of all types of immigrant visa petitions, labor certifications (RIR and traditional), adjustment of status and consular processing applications, and preparation of all types of nonimmigrant visa petitions (particularly Hs, Ls, TNs, and Os). Paralegals will manage caseloads with large degree of independence, communicate with clients regarding procedural and case processing issues, update and maintain client status reports, prepare bills, and serve as a team resource. Applicants should submit resume + cover letter to specific desired location: South Bay applicants: fax Michele Buchanan at 310-540-3147 or email to; New York applicants: fax Frieda Wong at 212-899-5041 or email to The Law Offices of Bernard P. Wolfsdorf is an equal opportunity employer.

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The successful practice of immigration law depends on having immigration statutes and regulations readily available. Immigration attorneys need look no further than Patel's complete reference library for their primary resource needs. Patel's library consists of (4) books: The Whole ACT—INA (Annotated), 20/22/28 CFRPlus, 8 CFRPlus, and Patel's Citations of Administrative Decisions under Immigration and Nationality Laws. Each book contains a detailed topical index, is annotated and is updated annually to reflect the latest changes in regulations. These four books constitute an indispensable library of primary resource materials for any immigration practitioner. For more information or to purchase these books see here.

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
Maybe Santa Claus can process the thousands of legitimate E.B. petitions languishing at the district Service centers since 2001 and 2002. Since their I-140's have been approved, is it so hard to approve the I-485's , or is this some political situation? If a 'blitz' process can be achieved for Citizenship, as in past years, why cannot the process proceed for Status Adjustments?

Manny Singh

Dear Editor:
In response to a recent letter to the Editor on Status of the 9/11 Hijackers, really, its tightening up the entire system, when there are so many people to screen, in so little time. Here's some information, and some examples: Based on research that I was requested to send in to an administrator evaluating policy with drivers' licenses, I found the following information which may or may not be 100% accurate: 19 "hijackers" were allowed into the country despite improperly filled out forms lacking proper addresses(compared to listing staying at a hotel), job status (i.e. "student"), income, and other information so that most of the applications, if properly reviewed would not have been approved as one is to not have immigrant intent, will return home and membership in a terrorist group wouldn't make them admissible either. 15 were thought to come from Saudi Arabia, 2 from UAE, 1 Egypt and 1 Lebanon. All 19 are believed to have originally entered on "valid" visas (just not properly screened--that's a whole issue right there.) Second, 3 are said to have been "illegally" in the US, 2 by overstaying their visas without being in change of status or extension pending status, and 1 by never reporting to school despite entered on a Student Visa. Further, some were allowed to re-enter the country after applying to change from visitors to vocational students (M) and typically, while in the middle of an adjustment or change od status application, as a "non-immigrant" for these categories, they probably wouldn't be allowed to leave and return without having a new visa that was issued from abroad. So, they were improperly let in. Next, some were in various criminal databases, it is reported, so if those databases had been checked, perhaps some of them would have been apprehended. Yet another security issue, is that at least one hijacker, was issued a state driver's license (with a false name and by proxy), and that ID was used to enter and travel in the US via Canada.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Dear Editor:
Regarding the letter dated 12/23 from John H. Frecker, Mr. Frecker, with all due respect, and being from Maine myself, I can appreciate that you mow your own lawn, as does my 70 year old 'Maine-iac' mother. However, even in Maine, with an estimated 14,000 migrant workers employed in 2002, there are some jobs that are being performed by illegal workers. I know of no one that is not angered and appalled that the Sept 11th bombers entered our country so easily. It does seem, however, that these are two separate issues which both need to be addressed. How can we keep track of the millions of illegal aliens that are here now if we don't give them some sort of legal worker status? They are working anyway, so why not legalize them, collect taxes from their wages, and otherwise legitimize their lives here. I am not suggesting a blanket amnesty, but an employment based permit that would be a step in the right direction toward tackling this problem. What other solution is there?

Lynne Barrows

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Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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