Kerik And Other Appointees
DHS Secretary nominee Bernard Kerik withdrew earlier this week amid controversy over his failure to pay taxes for his undocumented nanny. Although his departure has drawn the media's attention to the undocumented problem in this country, for those in the immigration law field, the key individuals to watch are not Cabinet level positions such as the Attorney General, or DHS Secretary. The pivotal positions in the immigration field, rather, are held by those below Cabinet rank, such as USCIS Ombudsman, USCIS Director, USCIS Chief Counsel (and similiar positions in ICE, CBP, etc.). Immigration reform is on the legislative fast track and who stays and goes in these key sub-Cabinet positions will affect the Bush agenda and the Bush legacy significantly. Immigration Daily will stay focused on developments with respect to these key positions.
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New Laws Affecting US Visas For Foreign National Employees
Donald Wolfson and Michael Mandel write "President Bush recently signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which includes changes to the H-1B (specialty occupation workers) and L (intracompany transferee) visa categories." Editor's Note: This article was authored by Donald Wolfson and Michael Mandel of Wormser, Kiely, Galef & Jacobs LLP and was attributed to Paul Parsons in error (corrected 12/17/04 Ed.)
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Immigration Excerpt From 9/11 Intelligence Bill
We excerpt the immigration-related provisions of the conference report of the 9/11 Intelligence Bill (S.2845).
DOS Cable On Facilitation Of Business Travel
The Department of State issued a cable on the facilitation of business travel.
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The President recently signed the Q-2 extension (to October 1, 2008). Unfortunately, the bill(The Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998 - H.R.2655) also adds a 2 year home residence requirement for the Q-2 principal.
Mr. Endelman's Featured Article In the 12/15/04 ID issue states "Let the market, not government bureaucrats, decide the terms and conditions of service. Keep government involved to set priorities, punish abuses and provide technical expertise when requested to do so." We already have a green card system which up until a decade or so, did just that, employers could negotiate with the workers they wanted and the workers would enter the U.S. able to change jobs at will if they found that conditions were not satisfactory. The real problems, in my opinion, are not that there is no market-based system, but that
(1) employers, having tasted the power over employees that the H1-B gives, have become addicted to it and are unwilling to lobby for reform of the green card system;
(2) would-be and actual H1-Bs are so eager to get to the U.S. that they figure they'll be the ones to get green card sponsorships, whether they do or not, and so prefer to stick with the temporary visas;
(3) without a push from industries on a magnitude with that expended on passing H1-B legislation, reform of the employment-based green card system is unlikely. Such reforms should include speedier processing of labor certification and the GC, provisions for sponsorship of (scarce) unskilled labor, and more green cards, as well as re-consideration of the heavy emphasis on family-based immigration.
Given the recent comment by Senator Hollings on 60 Minutes this past week (Dec. 5) that it is lobbyists who write the bills these days, perhaps the likes of AILA, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and Tata would better serve U.S. immigration policy by lobbying for green cards rather than H1-Bs. The bureaucrats Mr. Endelman disdains work with the legislation they're given. It's the Congress and lobbyists, largely lawyers, who write it.
Hopefully the Kerik case will convince the president on just how much immigration reform is needed. Greg Siskind stated the problem better than I, when he recently wrote and I quote: "The Kerik withdrawal once again illustrates just how seriously flawed our immigration system is. The Kerik family is no different than thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of families around the US who depend on foreign undocumented workers who help in their households. The anti-immigrants in our country will say that if these jobs just paid better, plenty of Americans would line up for them. That's just ignoring reality." There are jobs Americans simply aren't available to do.
Law enforcement heros like Bernard Kerik, admired jurists like Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer, popular commentators like Pat Buchanan and countless others into lawbreakers. The self-righteous will say "Hey, employers should just do it the legal way instead of hiring people illegally. Well folks, there is no legal way. We don't have a guest worker program in this country and getting a visa for a nanny and many other types of skilled and unkilled workers is usually out o the question." The president considered Bernard Kerik the best man for the job; now he will settle for second, third or even worst best. Don't we deserve the very best? The arm chair critics are already out in force slinging the mud. Some may stick on the wall for a while before falling down. Bernard Kerik is a proven hero. According to a White House report, the "nanny-gate" incident was the only possibly disqaulifying one that could merit consideration. Remember your Bible: "Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone."
Richard E. Baer
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Stephanie F. Dyson is pleased to announce the opening of her law firm specializing in immigration law. The firm offers services to individuals and businesses as well as freelance brief-writing services to immigration attorneys throughout the United States. The firm is located at 28 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02109, and can be reached by phone at 617-248-0861.
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