Intelligent Immigration Reform: A Real-World Legislative Approach
Occasionally, ILW.COM attends immigration-related events, especially in the New York City area. As an example, we attended on April 23 an event at the New School in Manhattan. Originally, Sen. Schumer was to kick-off the CIR effort at this event, however, ultimately he did not show up, and kicked-off CIR vide a hearing in the Senate Immigration sub-committee about a month later. Please find below an eye-witness account of the happenings at the New School event. As the roll-out of CIR proceeds in the Fall, we expect to attend more such events, whose summaries we will bring to you.
Introduced by the President of the New School, Bob Kerrey. Each panelist presented for 10 minutes; the panel was not complete. Mr. Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, was not able to attend due to illness.
First to present was Jeffrey Passel, Senior Demographer with the Pew Hispanic Center. Although he was able to present only factual information, and not any opinions on immigration, the statistics shown were impressive. According to Mr. Passel, the overall immigration level has ceased to grow since 2007, mostly due to decrease of undocumented immigration. Also, the myth that undocumented immigrants are mostly young men with no families in the US is untrue. Out of the 11.9 million of undocumented immigrants, only 2.9 million are young men with no family in this country. In fact, most undocumented immigrants are couples with children (47%).
The following panelist was Michael Aytes, Acting Deputy Director at USCIS. He discussed the issues that USCIS has to face to process 6 million applications every year, such as scale, speed, and verification of validity of documentation. All these issues will multiply when CIR passes according to Mr. Aytes. He suggested that CIR should include simple and enforceable procedures, which can be implemented by USCIS to accept another 12 million applications.
The third panelist was Tamar Jacoby, President of Immigration Works USA, Inc. She stated that the current immigration system is broken and unfit for the current global trends and demographic situation of the US (i.e. fertility slowing down, baby boomers aging). She stated that the ideal immigration system should follow the dynamics of the market, in which immigration is proportional to employment levels. Thus, an intelligent CIR should include a realistic enforcement in borders and workplace, the legalization of undocumented population (which at this time is 5% of the entire US population), and an adequate pipeline of immigrant labor force that can accommodate to the economic flow of the US.
The final panelist was Marshall Fitz, Director of Advocacy of AILA. Mr. Fitz pushed for a prompt passage of CIR, since we have 12 million reasons to do it. He stated that mass deportation and attrition against immigrants are morally bankrupt methods to solve this problem. He also mentioned that there is a real chance to fix immigration system this year. First the new administration should keep their promise to solve the immigration problem. Also, that because (not in spite) of the economic downfall, legislators should tackle the immigration issue in order to level the playing field for all employers, avoid exploitation of workers, and motivate the best and the brightest to come to this country. Additionally, he stated that immigration should be solved in a comprehensive way, and not in bits and pieces, because this might tend to drag down the process to achieve a real solution soon.
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Business Immigration Law
ILW.COM is pleased to announce that "Business Immigration Law: Strategies For Employing Foreign Nationals" edited and co-authored by: Rodney A. Malpert and Amanda Petersen and its companion book "Business Immigration Law: Forms and Filings" published by Law Journal Press are now available for purchase.
The Table of Contents for these works are as follows:
Business Immigration Law: Strategies For Employing Foreign Nationals
Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
Chapter 2: Recruiting Foreign Nationals
Chapter 3: Short-Term Needs
Chapter 4: Specialty Occupation Professionals
Chapter 5: Intra-Company Transfers
Chapter 6: Investment and Trade: E Visas
Chapter 7: NAFTA
Chapter 8: Employee Sanctions
Chapter 9: Tax Issues
Chapter 10: The Interaction Between Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Statuses
For more info, including how to order the Business Immigration Law: Strategies For Employing Foreign Nationals, see here. For the fax order form, see here.
Business Immigration Law: Forms and Filings
Chapter 1: Administrative, Legislative, and Regulatory Structure
Chapter 2: Strategies and Obstacles to Consider Before Filing
Chapter 3: Obtaining the Visa Status
Chapter 4: Students and Business Visitors
Chapter 5: Specialty Occupation Workers
Chapter 6: L 1A / L 1B Multinational Transfers
Chapter 7: E-1/E-2 Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors
Chapter 8: NAFTA TN Professionals
Chapter 9: O-1 Foreign Nationals with Extraordinary Abilities
Chapter 10: Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
For more info on Business Immigration Law: Forms and Filings, see here. For the fax order form, see here.
How To Win The War When Working With Wal-Mart: One Law firm's Story Of Complying With The "Roll-Back" King's Employer Compliance Program
David H. Nachman, Esq. writes "What most people don't know is that, after their immigration scandals in 2001 and 2003, Wal-Mart has lead the country in enforcing employer compliance with requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA")."
Examining Proposals to Create A New Commission On Employment-Based Immigration
Lynn Shotwell et al. of the American Council On International Personnel write "To focus more attention on this issue, the ACIP has posed in this policy paper a series of questions about a commission that employers and policymakers must confront before supporting such a significant, possibly irreversible, and fundamental change in U.S. immigration policy.
Bloggings On PERM Labor Certification
Joel Stewart write "The PERM rule offers a solution for ministers who do not qualify as beneficiaries of an I-360 petition, because a PERM case can be filed for anyone who has experience, education or training at any time in the past, anywhere, and not just exclusively as a minister during the two years immediately preceding the filing date."
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EOIR Issues Latest Disciplinary Actions
The Excecutive Office for Immigration Review issued its latest disciplinary actions: six attorneys were immediately suspended; six received final orders; one was reinstated.
Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegals
Downtown Washington, DC (K Street area) - Fast-paced boutique immigration law firm seeks legal assistants. 1-2 yrs exp req.d in
business/family immigration law. Interesting work and clientele; no timesheets; latest technology; competitive salary and benefits (401K, health insurance, paid vacation, etc). Successful applicants will be detail-oriented, able to handle volume, highly organized and strong communicators. Email resume, cover letter and salary reqs to firstname.lastname@example.org. No calls please. EOE.
Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Lincoln, Nebraska - USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) seeks an experienced attorney for the position of Service Center Counsel at the Nebraska Service Center (NSC). Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, serving as an attorney providing legal advice to the NSC personnel on issues involving immigration related adjudications, inadmissibility and deportability grounds, and national security; writing visa appeal briefs and providing litigation support to the U.S. Attorney's office on cases arising from Service Center adjudications. J.D. degree, active bar membership by the entry on duty date. For full details enter COU-CIS-2009-0005 here. Applicants must submit (1) resume , (2) writing sample (10 pps. max), (3) references to William.Craig@dhs.gov. All submissions must be received by close of business on July 17, 2009. GS-13/15, position open until filled. No relocation allowance offered.
Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Las Vegas, NV - The Law Offices of Garcia-Mendoza & Snavely seeks an experienced paralegal to perform all types of business and family visa packages under supervision of attorney. Minimum 3-5 years experience required. Salary to be negotiated. Firm provides benefits including paid vacation and sick leave plus profit sharing plan. Located in a free standing building on ground level in downtown. Parking is free. Submit resume + cover letter to email@example.com. All replies remain in confidence.
Case Management Technology
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Immigration Law Certificate
Master the complex and ever changing maze of immigration policies and regulations with the Immigration Law Studies Certificate Program offered by CUNY's School of Professional Studies. This graduate-level certificate program, consisting of (3) three-credit classes, offers students who complete it a comprehensive understanding of the laws, regulations, and processes surrounding the status of immigrants in the US, including family and employment-based immigration and deportation defense. It is designed for individuals working in law firms, companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations where they interact with immigrants and immigrant legal concerns on a regular basis and would therefore benefit from greater knowledge of the laws and regulations surrounding immigration. Beginning this spring, the program is also being offered online. For more information on class schedules, tuition and fees, course applications and to register, see here.
A Race Between Protection And Deportation
The U-visa program is designed to safeguard undocumented crime victims. But advocates say government approval comes too late for some.
Analysis: The Next H-1B Fight Begins By Labor Day
Sen. Charles Schumer plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day that seems certain to include a way to increase the H-1B cap.
Arizona Boxing Takes a Hit
The visa requirement happened at a bad time for the boxing world. Coupled with the country’s economic situation, it has lead to a decline in the frequency of fights.
A Bipartisan Blueprint For Immigration Reform
The U.S. needs to create a system that responds to labor market needs, provides more effective enforcement and offers a fair way to deal with those living here illegally.
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Readers can share comments, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (up to 300-words). Past correspondence is available in our archives
Here are a few uncomprehensive thoughts about Comprehensive
Immigration Reform. I humbly suggest that CIR advocates are fighting
the wrong battle. Their energies would be better spent elsewhere. We
all know in our hearts that there will be no CIR. Why not? Because the
centerpiece of CIR is legalization, a/k/a "amnesty" the most hated
word in the American dictionary. If that passes (after the obligatory
Republican amendments, of course) perhaps half a dozen illegal Mexican
immigrants (out of 12 million) might eventually receive some kind of
legal status. But no Southern senator or congressman would allow that.
Nor would their allies among the conservative "blue dog" Democrats. We
would be facing a combination similar to the one that blocked changes
in the Southern segregation laws for so many decades prior to the
Civil Rights era, and for much the same racial reasons. Of course,
that does not mean that 12 million (some say 20 million -the number of
"illegals" estimated by the fear and hate mongers seems to grow every
year, even as the economy worsens and large numbers of immigrants
actually go back home) people are going to be deported. So we will
continue to have "de facto" amnesty for the foreseeable future, just
as we have had for the past 20 years. Therefore, instead of worrying
about CIR, we should concentrate on preserving the legal immigration
system, which is being stolen from us under our noses by an
ideologically driven combination of State Department, Labor Department
and Department of Homeland Security bureaucracies that, entirely
without legal authority, are making immigration policy instead of
administering it. Examples will appear in my next letter.
Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY
I agree with the main thrust of ID's comment on immigration fees (see 07/13/09 ID comment). However, I
completely disagree with "If Congress should choose to fine the undocumented as a pre-requisite for legalization, that is just and proper." That is not just and much less proper. It is unjust, improper, and, more to the point in a publication aimed at lawyers and others concerned about the law, in direct and explicit violation of the Constitution and one of its most important cornerstones, the separation of powers. The proposals that have come before Congress call for a universal,
one-size-fits-all fine scheme of many thousands of dollars. Congressional
enactments that declare one person or a whole class of persons to be guilty
of some violation and punishing them for it without benefit of trial is
called a Bill of Attainder. Because the fines for a family increase, this
means a child --even an infant-- is made responsible for the decision of
parents to come to this country, in effect, a corruption of blood. And this
punishment is levied by Congress through an ex-post-facto law.
Article One, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution very clearly condemns such
procedures in limiting the powers of Congress:
"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." What is the significance of this? Nowhere is it better or more concisely
explained than in the "Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts" penned by John Adams in 1780. The founders of the United States included such provisions in their
fundamental laws in order to prevent exactly what is being done in this
case: singling our a particular individual or class of people and punishing
them for who they are.
I will go a step further: abolish chain immigration (see 07/13/09 ID comment).
As it is, we are allowing 1 million a year of poor, non-English
speaking people to enter the U.S. In addition, we are allowing
average of 3 million each year of illegal aliens into our country.
This is about 4 million people who cannot assimilate into our society
and our economy due to their massive numbers.
I would like to see a moratorium on legal immigration for at least
five years and to go back to prior 1965 when we allowed 250,000 legal
immigrants a year and illegal immigration was practically unheard of.
I want to see our immigration laws enforced and I want to see mass
I live in California, ground zero and the welfare state for illegal
aliens. According to a report by Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, member of
the State Budget Committee, it costs Californians $10.5 Billion a
year to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal aliens. California
has a budget deficit of over $23 Billion, per recent report by the
West Hills, CA
It is my personal opinion as a US citizen that the tax payers already
pay enough towards supporting many immigrant activities in this country
without having to also pick up the tab for a filing fee for a benefit
they receive (see 07/13/09 ID comment).
It is my understanding and knowledge of some immigrants who come here
and are suppose to be self reliant and are not suppose to become a
burden on our society. I say burden, in the sense that there are many
who file and receive, food stamps, health care, housing assistance,
etc., at the expense of the tax payers.
Enough already. With the illegal aliens which also use up many of our
benefits and resources as above, education systems, health care, to name
a few. I realize that some do pay taxes but many do not and are taken
advantage because of their non-legal-status in the U.S. and that is
I, as an individual and U.S. citizen, pay a filing fee for many of the
benefits and privileges that I receive, for example, the benefit of
driving a vehicle, I have to pay for a drivers license, vehicle license,
vehicle inspection, and to have insurance on the vehicle to meet
insurance requirements, etc. One might look at professional licenses
that are controlled by states, counties and municipalities. Are these
fees not a filing fee for a "benefit"? Should this not also be free? It is true that USCIS is funded primarily by the fees collected from immigrants filing for benefits however approximately 25% is appropriated
funding which is used for special programs/projects within the organization. Would the process become
less timely? Would it ensure a better more courtesy workforce? I fail to believe that the majority of the USCIS employees are
discourtesy and rude to most of the immigrants.
Brenda J. Ray-Nayfeh
If that’s the case then we should make every state in our nation stop charging property taxes, sales taxes, water and sewage, and every other fee we have to pay (see 07/13/09 ID comment). I believe it's only fair to charge for an immigration petition or benefit. All the Embassies and U.S. Consulates charge fees for all the services they provide so why should we abolish immigration fees. I just dealt with a refugee and not only did they get all their petitions for free to get here but once here they’re entitled to benefits, all for free, that I or my family, who we are all U.S. citizens and have worked most, if not all, our lives here in the U.S. and pay taxes, will never qualify for. If people want to immigrate to the U.S. let them pay whatever fees they have to pay to get here just like everyone before them has done so and leave the fees the way they are. One more thing why don’t we stop the Postal Fees to while we’re at it that way this country can go further into a hole.
Alfonso H. Murrieta
Most things beholden to Congress are a mess, for the (overly) simple reason that most political animals operate under a perverse logic that prioritizes incumbency over Constitution and constituency (see 07/13/09 ID comment).
Given how bad the GOP has bungled things in the past decade, I can't even blame the usual suspects. If the majority of Congress actually cared about doing the right thing, I'd applaud ID's call and be in complete agreement. But, given the reality of politics, at least USCIS takes fees from its "customers" and must therefore answer to them directly.
Is this a success story? A resounding no, in the aggregate. But it's easy to stand on the sidewalk and throw rocks at the windows when you paint USCIS as a faceless bureaucracy. Every attorney and guy on a barstool has an idea of how to fix the system. That's all well and good until you get into the mechanics of USCIS sets policy for doing business. And again, there's that pesky Congressional problem again. A divided country and Congress, debating for years a hot-button topic where no consensus exists.
Congressional meddling in immigration matters, starting with a U.S. Senator (Kennedy) speaking at a pro-illegal rally, shows you what the true agenda really is. There are far more "let 'em all in" than "kick 'em all out". After awhile, John Q Public starts to wonder if the goal of immigration attorneys like yourself is 100% approval. I advocate risk management over risk avoidance, except... it took less than two dozen aliens to kill 3,000 people. A green card and US citizenship are still the hottest tickets on the planet. Fraud is rampant throughout the immigration process, thanks to the obvious incentives and lack of sufficient deterrents. Neither an open nor closed border is the answer. If anything, a fee-based system will more closely synchronize revenues with demand for services.
I read ID's comment (07/13/09 ID) and would like to disagree with a few comments that ID makes. USCIS is a fee based organization that works on adjudicating cases in a timely manner. The time it takes to process an application for naturalization went from 2 years to 5 months. So within 5 months the application is received, process, the applicant is interviewed and if all is well, naturalized. This is because USCIS hired more folks, thus more fees. To say that immigration organizations are hostile to immigrants is gross misrepresentation. Immigration is charged with ensuring that only people eligible receive benefits. There's a significant percentage of fraud in the system. This has to be researched to be revealed. Also if a terrorist is granted citizenship and something happens, then the public blame USCIS for rushing. One cannot have it both ways. Within 5 months, background checks are conducted to ensure that pertinent information about an applicant is discovered. This also takes money, in the form of fees. Premium fees are charged to companies that want to expedite a petition. This is similar to going to the post office. If you send a letter snail mail and don't care how long it takes, you pay 40 something cents and place a stamp on the letter and it gets there when it gets there. If you need it there tomorrow, you pay $13 for the ability to have your letter there sooner. This is not seen as a tax, is it? No, this is part of the cost of convenience. Whether or not immigration reform occurs, is not for me to say. But I would encourage focus on real issues in immigration like are we going to allow the undocumented to become citizens sooner than those who had to wait 20 years for a visa?
I fully agree with ID's suggestion to abolish the fee structure (07/13/09 ID comment). It has become excessively harsh and
difficult for people to such a large amount of fee and wait all one;s life for the benefits or denials. Until 1986 it was meaningful and moderate. Therafter it has become a business. End this business.
I had to pay fees just a week ago and feel that it is something that should be reduced or scrapped (07/13/09 ID comment). The idea of Premium Processing is another thing that bothers me. I feel that people should work and work well regardless of how much money was paid for that document to be adjudicated. USCIS workers should be working at the same pace at all times. As you can tell I am not happy with USCIS at the moment because my husband's Green Card application has just been dragging for too many years. He has been a hard worker and taxpayer for this country for 13 years and it seems like the only payback he gets is his salary and backlog offices or sorry, you have to wait for a response. We have been married 6 years which means I have now been here for 6 years on an H4 visa along with my son who has now graduated from High School and has to pay Out of State fees because we are still Aliens.
Thank you for being the voice of people who often feel that they have no voice because they are still in the system or process of becoming permanent residents.
It's the nature of all human beings to be selfish, xenophobic, and putting double standard. Ones talk about "rule of laws", but ignoring the facts that their ancestors in the past migh have broken "tresspassing and immigration laws" of native of the lands whenever they immigrated into as well, or even maybe the beneficiaries of past immigration "amnesties" but not speak up loudly against another "amnesty". Countries demand free and open access on trade, labor market and export to others, while they apply barriers on their own. I never advocate limitless open immigration with welfare checks attached here as written on Mr. Prchal's letter, because we have more than enough lazy parasites but I never understand the justification of selfish protectionism not only in this country but any countries. It's not philosophical nor religious since I am not a religious person and don't believe in religious mumbo jumbos about compassion, sharing and love that I've never seen in action inside the people of faiths, in fact I've seen the opposite, selfish, hypocritical, judgemental and apologetic. "Sanctity of marriage, compassionate conservatism, family values etc.", yeah right. Nations should trade in barter, real wealth and gold for international exchanges, labor for labor, goods for goods and service for service.I call that as fairness. In this case regardless of geographical position and citizenships, ones will be paid accordingly and equally based on the jobs and skills they have performed and none should whine about discrimination and inequality. We Americans don't like this idea, but to be honest, it's the way should be as we can't expect foreigners to accept our paper currency with runaway spending and deficit without any consequences and ask them to serve as our maids and slaves forever to satisfy our greed and need on cheap products and services.
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