Enhancements To USCIS Case Tracking
The USCIS has good and bad news for immigration attorney practices today. USCIS announced the addition of several enhancements to its online case tracking service, including:
Technology which increases efficiency for USCIS and its customers is to be applauded. However, USCIS may have caused some unintended consequences to immigration law firms with these enhancements. Firstly, it is unclear whether a unique user ID and Password is unique to an attorney or unique to a law firm. Regardless, most immigration law firms across the country will likely find that the 100 case limit is too small for their active pending cases. Attorneys may be forced to choose between client matters to check conveniently online. If USCIS were to publish technical standards which would enable third party software to interact with its case tracking system, it would be friendly equally to law firms, employers, and other volume users of USCIS services. The IRS has already done so to the benefit of CPAs, corporations, and indviduals alike. By refusing to go along the path that the IRS has already blazed, the USCIS risks frittering away its scarce technology and customer service resources. By focusing on software features such as email notification and Spanish language capacity, the USCIS risks reinventing features already implemented by the vibrant immigration software industry. As USCIS expands its customer service intiatives using technology and other creative tools to address its formidable caseload, mistakes are but to be expected. Going forward, we hope that USCIS will publish technical standards, perhaps by working with industry consortia such as ESIG (E-filing Standards for Immigration Group).
- Enabling customers, employers, attorneys, and community based organizations to monitor up to 100 pending cases through a single account, all of which are tracked with a unique user ID and Password;
- Sending e-mail notifications automatically to registered applicants whenever there is a change in the status of a pending application; and
- Providing information in English and Spanish.
Deadline Is Tuesday, April 20th - Overcoming Hurdles In Consular Processing: Visa Procedures, Security Checks & The TAL
The seminar series "Overcoming Hurdles In Consular Processing: Visa
Procedures, Security Checks & The TAL" features the following speakers:
The discussion includes:
- Department of State: Robyn Bishop (Mexico), Steve Fischel (Washington,
DC), Leslie Gerson (Canada), Gary Sheaffer (Canada)
- Attorneys: Avi Friedman, Sylvia Graves, Tien-Li Loke Walsh (Discussion
Leader), Sharon Mehlman, Roszel C. Thomsen (Export Control Attorney)
The deadline to register is Tuesday, April 20th. For more info, including
detailed curriculum, speaker bios,
and registration information, see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/march2004.shtm. (Fax version:
- Applying for Visas - Are the Procedures Still the Same?
- Navigating Through the Maze of Security Checks and Special Issues that Warrant Attention
- Visas Mantis Hits and the Technology Alert List – Why Scientists, Academics, Researchers, Engineers and Hi-Tech Professionals Should Be Concerned
Special Immigrant Religious Workers Update
Rodney M. Barker and Priscillia Suntoso discuss recent developments in the law relating to the permanent religious worker category.
Keep on top of the latest in immigration law! Attend ILW.COM seminars! You can attend ILW.COM phone seminars from the convenience of your office! For more info on the seminars currently available, please click here: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/
Immigration Law News
USCIS Expands Online Case Status
The USCIS announced the addition of several new features to its online case status system. For the press release, see here. For the fact sheet, see here.
9th Circuit Says Motion to Stay Removal Includes Timely Motion To Stay Voluntary Departure
In Desta v. Ashcroft, No. 03-70477 (9th Cir. Apr. 14, 2004), the court in an issue of first impression for the Ninth Circuit and an issue which has split the circuits, said that when an alien filed a motion to stay removal before the period of voluntary departure expired, the court would construe the motion to stay removal as including a timely motion to stay voluntary departure. The court said that it was taking a middle course between the circuits for this case.
DOJ Immigration Litigation Bulletin: May 2003
The Department of Justice released the May 2003 issue of its publication, Immigration Litigation Bulletin.
Texts Of H And L Reform Bill, Including Cap Relief
We reproduce both the House and Senate versions of the H and L legislation for reform of these programs and cap relief, known as the American Workforce Improvement and Jobs Protection Bill. For the House bill, see here. For the Senate bill, see here.
9/11 Commission Says Immigration Policies Promoted To Thwart Terrorism Are Ineffective
The New York Times reports "The commission investigating the 9/11 attacks has concluded that immigration policies promoted as essential to keeping the country safe from future attacks have been largely ineffective, producing little, if any, information leading to the identification or apprehension of terrorists."
Attorney listings on ILW.COM are searched 200,000 times/year! Each attorney listed is searched an average of once each day! Just one new client will pay for the entire year's fee! Click here for more info: http://www.ilw.com/membership/
Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Paralegal
Goel & Associates, P.C. (G&A) , a leading business immigration law firm, seeks an experienced immigration paralegal to join its fast-paced corporate immigration practice located in Greenbelt, MD. Candidates must have at least one year of business immigration experience, ideally with H-1B, L-1, Labor Certification, and I-140/Adjustment of Status cases for clients in the high tech sector. A college degree, excellent communication and organizational skills, knowledge of PC applications, and the ability to work independently are required. We offer an outstanding work environment and an excellent compensation and benefits package, including a business-casual dress policy, health and dental insurance, 401(K), free parking, and more. To apply, please send resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to email@example.com, or fax to 301-313-0445.
Credential Evaluation And Translation Service
As the industry leader in foreign credential evaluations and translations, American Evaluation and Translation Service, Inc. (AETS) provides the most competitive rates in the industry - $50 Educational Evaluations, as well as $200 'Expert Opinion' Work Experience and Position Evaluations completed by PhD university professors who have the "authority to grant college level credit for work experience and/or training." AETS offers a variety of turn-around times, including Same-Day service for Educational, Work Experience and Position Evaluations. For a complete list of their prices and turn-around times, please see: http://aetsinternational.com/applicationforevaluationservices.pdf . Additionally, AETS provides certified translations in over 100 languages, with translators that are specialists in over 80 fields. For a copy of the Application for Credential Evaluation and Translation Services, please contact AETS at (786) 276-8190, visit the website at http://www.aetsinternational.com or send AETS an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Paralegal
The University of Southern California (USC) seeks to hire a FT experienced immigration paralegal to assist academic, research and service units with the hiring of nonimmigrants for both temporary and career appointments. Minimum Qualifications: Candidates should possess 2+ years experience in a private immigration practice or in an academic setting with immigration related experience. Applicants should have experience in: labor certification applications, immigrant visa petitions including adjustment of status applications and consular processing, and nonimmigrant visa processing (O-1, H-1B, TN). Will manage large caseloads with high degree of independence, interact with USC departments and personnel on a regular basis, and serve as a resource for university faculty and staff. Candidates should also possess excellent writing and communication skills. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Immigrant Pro or related immigration software is required. Bachelor's degree preferred. Apply online at www.usc.edu/jobs (submit reference Req. #15453 under Search/Apply). AA/EOE.
Immigration Law Conference
The Center for Migration Studies, in association with the Fordham School of Law will present the 27th Annual National Legal Conference on Immigration and Refugee Policy – "Navigating Through the Immigration Labyrinth in Post-9/11 America" on May 25-26, 2004 in New York City. The conference will consist of presentations + Q&A sessions on a wide-range of immigration topics. Immigration professionals, government officials, HR professionals, and non-profit reps should not miss the chance to hear noted experts in the field speak. Participants will have the rare opportunity to interact with key policymakers at this unique international event. Topics will include the transition to the DHS, including the impact of both policy and process, as well as an overview of business, family, and asylum issues facing the immigration law and policy community. For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker line-up, and registration information, visit: http://www.cmsny.org/27th-annual.htm.
Help Wanted: Experienced Legal Assistants
Legal Assistants needed for Pederson & Freedman LLP, a small established employee-friendly
immigration law firm in downtown Washington, D.C., with a broad based international
practice, including J-1 physicians, allied health care workers, consular
processing, business and general immigration practice. Large volume of
O-1 and EB I cases. Opportunities for travel. The firm seeks experienced
individuals with 2+ years experience in the field of immigration.
Qualified candidates must have well developed web/computer skills, ability
to consistently multitask and the flexibility needed for providing
excellence in client service. Excellent oral and written communication
skills are required. We offer a competitive salary + benefits package
and a chance to enhance your already developed immigration skills.
Opportunities for advancement are excellent. Please email resume to Roberta
Freedman at: email@example.com. All replies will be held in
We carry advertisements for Help Wanted: Attorney, Help Wanted: Paralegal, Help Wanted: Other, Positions Sought, Products & Services Offered, etc.
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Letters to the Editor
The USCIS in Lee's Summit, Missouri has implemented a pilot program by which FOIA requests are being answered with a CD compilation of the requested files in Adobe Acrobat format. At present the program is without charge for no-fee FOIA cases.
If you notify the USCIS on your FOIA requests in the upper right hand corner of your FOIA request, they will send all future responses via CD.
From my limited experience, the process works well. We filed a FOIA request on March 15, 2004, and today, April 19, 2004, we received a CD containing 201 pages of the file, plus a 2 page cover letter. The CD is pre-labeled, and was readily accessed by using Acrobat.
A copy of the USCIS notice explaining the program is attached.
Frank J. Schorn, Esq.
Wildes, Weinberg, Grunblatt & Wildes, P.C.
While nobody can dispute that if illegal aliens who work "under the table" paid taxes, Uncle Sam's, as you put it, "coffers", would grow proportionately. However, I must take umbrage to your allegation that the undocumented would "gladly contribute", but believe that they would find as many ways to cheat the tax system as do legal US persons - certainly if the former undocumented are legalized and are, before legalization, paid $7.00 an hour, I contend they would be very upset to learn that after legalization, they will be paid the same $7.00, minus taxes. In fact, the employer's matching Social Security and other deductions required by an employer will continue to be reason for the same scoff-law employers to pay "under the table", whether to legal, or undocumented workers. Furthermore, we do not "have to welcome these immigrants into our polity and tax base" . . . . what we need to do is to put the burden of paying taxes on the wages of the undocumented on the employers, who are every bit, if not more, guilty of cheating the US and its citizenry out of tax money. And as to those employers, they should be ashamed of themselves.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
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