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Immigration Daily
Arthur L. Zabenko, Esq., Legal Editor
Nina Manchanda, Esq., Assistant Legal Editor
Marc Ellis, Esq., Chat Transcripts Editor
December 7, 2000
Editor's Comments of the Day
Federal Register News of the Day
Cases of the Day
Congressional News of the Day
Immigration News of the Day
ILW.COM Highlights of the Day
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Classifieds of the Day
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An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Correspondence to Letters may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium.

Editor's Comments of the Day

The Department of Justice has issued a final rule effective January 5, 2001, governing asylum claims. The rule amends the regulations implementing the provisions of IIRIRA governing asylum claims. As is often the case, the commentary, while not binding, is more interesting than the actual rule as it gives the agency's reasoning and indicates the direction it may go in promulgating future rules.

The Department notes that the inclusion of "ineffective assistance of counsel" as a possible reason for extending the 1-year filing deadline for asylum applications raises more general questions. In a case currently pending before the BIA, the INS has argued that since there is no constitutional right to government-furnished counsel in immigration proceedings, there is no constitutional basis for relief based on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Ineffective assistance of counsel is retained as a factor in extending the 1-year deadline in the final rule, but the Department will address the issue separately in the future.

The Department defended itself vigorously against the 26 commenters who argued that the whole regulation should be abandoned on the basis that it was ultra vires. The agency concluded that the revisions to the language providing guidelines on the exercise of discretion in determining a refugee's eligibility for asylum, including consideration of the ability of an applicant who has been subjected to past persecution to relocate safely in the home country, are justified and in line with administrative and judicial precedents.

The rule makes changes to the regulations concerning the 1-year filing deadline, amends portions of the regulations governing cases in which an applicant has established past persecution or in which an applicant may be able to avoid persecution in a particular country by relocating to another area of that country, and identifies factors that may be considered in the exercise of discretion in asylum cases in which the alien has established past persecution but may not have a well-founded fear of future persecution.

Federal Register News of the Day

Final Rule on Asylum Procedures
The Department of Justice has issued a final rule governing asylum claims effective January 5, 2001.

Application for Travel Document Comment Request
The INS requests comments on Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Comments will be accepted until February 5, 2001.

Cases of the Day

Aggravated Felonies Can Increase Sentence
In US v. Pacheco-Zepeda, No. 99-50720 (9th Cir. Dec. 6, 2000), the circuit court held that it was proper for the district court to consider prior aggravated felony convictions when sentencing the Defendant for re-entering the US without permission after having been deported where the prior convictions were not part of the indictment.

Indefinite Detention Constitutional
The court in Dunbar v. Holmes, No. 00-1946 (E.D.Penn. Nov. 2000), denied the habeas petition and held that there was no constitutional bar to Petitioner's continued detention pending removal provided he continued to receive thorough reviews for parole.

Firearms Aggravated Felony Requires Interstate Commerce
[You will need Acrobat to read this file]
In In re Vasquez-Muniz, Int. Dec. 3440 (BIA Dec. 1, 2000) the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) determined that a firearms conviction under state law is not an aggravated felony conviction for a firearms offense under Title 18 of the US Code unless the "affecting state commerce" jurisdictional element is present.

Congressional News of the Day

House Passes Immigration Bills
The House of Representatives has signed several private immigration bills and S. 3239, which provides special immigrant status for certain international broadcasting employees.

Communications Laid Before the Senate
Reports of rules incorporating in visa regulations a recent amendment of the Schedule of Fees establishing a new effective date for the phase-in of a new procedure for payment of certain immigrant visa fees were referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Immigration News of the Day

Three Managers Are Facing Charges
The Omaha World Herald reports that during the raid of the Nebraska Beef plant INS agents arrested about 200 undocumented workers as well as three managers and three recruiters who allegedly helped smuggle the workers to the US and will be facing criminal charges.

Immigration Changes Near Agreement
According to the Associated Press White House officials and Republican congressional leaders are nearing a compromise on a proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants but they remain divided over President Clinton's proposal to legalize more refugees from Haiti and Central America.

They Have "Answers;" Popular TV Show Helps Russian Immigrants reports that a TV show, "HIAS Answers," which airs on TV Russian Network (TVR), gives Russian immigrants advice on how to navigate the naturalization process, housing, health, employment, education, legal, social and personal issues.

ILW.COM Highlights of the Day

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ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day

Chat with Mitch Berenson
Attorney Mitch Berenson will answer questions on all aspects of immigration law. Questions will be accepted starting 15 minutes before the beginning of the chat.

Classifieds of the Day

ILW.COM carries classified ads for immigration related positions. $100 for single insertion, $250 for five consecutive insertions, payable in advance. Contact us for details. We will also carry for no charge announcements such as immigration related events. We reserve the right to refuse any ad and to make minor editorial and formatting changes. Send to

SEMINAR: Corporate Immigration Law for Attorneys, In-House Counsel & Human Resource Personnel. Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ. Contact ICLE 732-214-8500.

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