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Dear Editor:
I am responding to some analysis made in the July 12, 2004 Immigration Daily issue relating to the DOL's semi-annual regulatory agenda, and DOL’s labor cert backlog reduction effort. Regarding the backlog reduction centers, you said, “this would lead to a significant reduction in labor cert processing times in most backlogged states over the next 12-24 months, with a concomitant change in labor cert strategy for many law firms.” I am not certain what serves as the basis of your comments, but wanted to clarify based on information I heard when I attended the AILA Annual Conference in Philadelphia last month. I heard Bill Carlson of DOL say on more than one occasion that the backlog centers will be in Philly and Dallas, and that they will focus initially on cases pending in the states covered by the regional offices of DOL in Philly and Dallas, respectively, then they will move to provide support for the states covered by the regional offices of DOL in Atlanta and Chicago, who will have exclusive jurisdiction on PERM cases. And finally the backlog reduction plan will go to the West Coast. I recall Ed Litwin lamenting this proposal, as obviously California has seen some of the worst DOL processing times for labor certs. I think Immigration Daily subscribers might benefit from this additional piece of information.

Robert P. Webber
Webber Law Firm, LLC