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Immigration Daily

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Immigration Daily March 17, 2004
Previous Issues
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Editor's Comments

AgJobs And A Broader Vision

The H-2B cap has been reached. The H-2B visa is a temporary visa for unskilled labor. With both H-1B and H-2B avenues now blocked, our immigration system does not offer much help to employers with temporary labor needs. The H-2A visa was crafted by Congress for agricultural employers with temporary worker needs. However, the H-2A program is so unwieldly that many employers cannot use it. The AgJobs bill pending in Congress is designed to remedy the problems with the H-2A program. However, President Bush's temporary guest worker vision is sweeping and broad and would cover workers under H-2A, H-2B, and H-1B among others. Prior to the President's historic initiative in opening the guest worker debate, the Senate was poised to pass the AgJobs bill. However, Sen. Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia has recently introduced competing H-2A legislation which now makes AgJobs's prospects uncertain. Sen. Chambliss may well be acting in furtherance of President Bush's broader guest worker initiative, and his maneuver may simply be intended as an intial bargaining ploy in moving President Bush's vision forward. For the various bills and the H-2B Federal Register announcement, see below.


Roundtable With Department Of State Officials On Consular Processing Issues

Our new seminar series "Overcoming Hurdles In Consular Processing: Visa Procedures, Security Checks & The TAL" will feature the following speakers:

  • 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 discussion will cover the following areas:
  • 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
The deadline to register is Monday, March 22nd. For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, see: (Fax version:

[ Corrected. Ed. 3/18/04 ]

Featured Article

US-VISIT: Its Discriminatory Effect And Its Potential For Abuse
Shahriar Hafizi writes "Nevertheless, US-VISIT will have a predictable discriminatory effect. Moreover, like NSEERS, US-VISIT poses the risk of leading to serious civil liberties violations."

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:

Immigration Law News

USCIS Announces H-2B Cap
The USCIS announced that it will no longer accept H-2B petitions for temporary nonimmigrant workers for the remainder of FY 2004.

Bill Introduced For Agricultural Workers
A temporary worker bill was introduced by Sen. Chambliss for temporary alien agricultural workers. This bill will compete with the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2003 (AGJOBS) bill.

Attorney General Ashcroft Exercises Discretion Favorably
In re Bassel Marshi, (Feb. 13, 2004), the Attorney General vacated an IJ's order and exercised his discretion favorable to grant asylum to a Lebanese citizen. The Attorney General said that his decision was based substantially on Alien's open assistance of the US Armed Forces which "exposed him to the substantial prospect of reprisal" by Hezbollah. (courtesy of Tim Wichmer).

Overqualified Applicant Can Be Rejected Only If Applicant Is Unwilling Or Unavailable To Perform Job
In the Matter of Beacon Reel Co., No. 2003-INA-29 (BALCA, Feb. 25, 2004), the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals said that Employer's assertion that a US applicant was overqualified was insufficient to support his rejection on this basis, as Employer did not document that the applicant was unwilling or unavailable to perform the job.

Former Immigration Inspector Sentenced For False Immigration Docs For Lover's Family
The Miami Herald reports " A judge sentenced a former immigration inspector to 2 1/2 years in prison for forging and making fake immigration documents for his girlfriend, her children and her niece."

Sierra Club And Immigration Debate Intensifys
The New York Times reports "The leadership of the Sierra Club, the landmark environmental organization, is enmeshed in a bitter struggle over whether to advocate tough immigration restrictions as a way to control environmental damage that has been associated with rapid population growth."

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Help Wanted: Experienced Paralegals And Support Staff
Bratter Krieger LLP, a full service immigration law firm located in Miami Beach, FL seeks experienced paralegals and support staff to join its winning team. Paralegals must have minimum 2+ years experience in all business (NIVs-E, H, L, and O/P's) and family immigrant visa categories; EB-1 experience preferred. Bilingual skills are required (fluency in Spanish or Portuguese). Bratter Krieger LLP offers an excellent working environment plus a competitive benefits package. Applicants should be organized and motivated. Salary is commensurate with experience. Submit resume to Michael Work by fax: (305) 695-4398 or email:

Help Wanted: Legal Assistants
Leading immigration law firm, Tindall & Foster P.C., seeks qualified legal assistant applicants for its Texas offices in Austin and Houston. Positions require a university degree, strong writing skills, and Word, Outlook, Excel and Access proficiency. Foreign language fluency and immigration experience preferred. Training provided. Nonsmokers desired. We offer a competitive salary + benefits package (incl. paid parking). Austin applicants: Email resume to Robert Loughran at: Houston aplicants: Email resume to Kathryn Vidal at: Alternatively, resumes can be mailed to Personnel, 600 Travis Street, Suite 2800, Houston, TX 77002 (please indicate desired location). No calls please. EOE.

Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Specialist And Entry-Level Paralegal
Greenberg Traurig, a large international law firm, has openings in its Tysons Corner, VA office for 2 positions: an experienced immigration specialist and an entry-level paralegal. Both positions require a Bachelors degree and a minimum 2+ yrs of experience in the immigration field. The experienced immigration specialist should have previous experience managing caseloads with a high degree of independence. Both positions require strong organizational, written, computer and verbal skills. Fluency in Spanish preferred. Excellent benefits and compensation package offered. Send resume + cover letter, including salary requirements by (fax) 703-714-8378 or (email) Please state the position (experienced or entry-level position) that you are applying for.

Case Management Technology
If you're looking to grow your immigration business, efficiency is critical. Developed by veteran immigration attorneys, VisaPrep helps attorneys handle more cases and increase profitability with technology successfully used for immigration matters since 1997. Our easy-to-use, secure online solution helps you streamline immigration processing. With VisaPrep, non-legal functions are performed automatically to save time and reduce filing errors. Clients can check the status of their case online and you can easily monitor their cases online. And with our exclusive VisaPrep Response Wizard(tm), you'll be able to answer most client questions quicker than ever before. With VisaPrep, you get simple pricing, free training and unlimited support. Many immigration technology vendors make promises - VisaPrep delivers. Call 866-VISAPREP (866-847-2773) or e-mail us at to see a demonstration.

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
Immigration Daily's Editor's Comments asks "What do LEO, ONO, LAW have in common"? In this regard, you may wish to announce that there is a new Off-Broadway play, Ears On a Beatle, which is opening tonight at the DR2 Theatre, based on the FBI surveillance of John and Yoko Ono Lennon. A gripping play, it tells the story of two FBI agents whose undercover assignment is to conduct surveillance on John Lennon. This is a thought-provoking look at life in the 70's, when peace and paranoia swept the nation and then, as now, there were no secrets in America but the truth. Performances are scheduled for March 16 through June 20th, with special post-performance talkback every Tuesday. Disclaimer: AILA Past President Leon Wildes is a co-producer.

Leon Wildes, Esq.
Wildes, Weinberg, Grunblatt & Wildes, P.C.

Dear Editor:
I am an immigration attorney and the managing partner of my law firm. In order to join ILW.COM's directory for attorneys, I filled out the form for ILW.COM's Yellow Pages and submitted it online. I have not received any information or been contacted about the next step in the process. I would greatly appreciate if you can please look into this and contact me as soon as possible by e-mail or telephone. I sent the completed form via internet around last Wednesday.

Linda W. Yoo, Esq.
Yoo & Lee, LLP

Editor's Note: All correspondence concerning our services and products should be addressed to: The email address is for editorial correspondence and for classifed advertising. Due to the increased prevalence of viruses and spam, an occasional email may inadvertently get lost. In case you have not received any response from us within two business days, please feel free to re-email us or to fax us at 212-545-0869.

Dear Editor:
Cyrus D. Mehta's article discussing the impact of gay marriage on immigration law fails to truly address the real impact of gay marriage, not just on our laws but our nation as a whole. Marriage is not defined by government, nor is it defined by society. Marriage, between a man and a woman, existed before human beings established the sort of complex relationships that now characterize society and government. Arrangements such as civil unions exist for the gratification of the parties involved whereas marriage is a God-ordained institution that exists in order to respect the responsibilities and obligations of procreation, and to signify societys recognition of those responsiblities and obligations. Gay marriage has never been a constitutional right in America or any other civilized nation. It is the rogue judges who are trying to create a new right. When one state creates gay marriage all states could be forced to recognize such unions; a consitutional amendment is the only sure way to prevent that from happening. The Defense of Marriage Act was voted by 85 US Senators and 342 Members of the House and signed by President Clinton. It contained the very same language, that marriage in the US shall be between a man and one woman. As a minority, I take deep offense to Mr. Mehtas argument that gay marriage is the moral equivalent of interracial marriage. Homosexuality is an immutable characteristic and a choice. It is an unfortunate attempt to piggyback gay unions on the life experiences of Black Americans in order to advance the cause of gay marriage. As attorneys, we should seek to advance the moral laws upon which our nation and laws were established and not the governances of activist judges. We must abide by the oath we took and uphold what is just and true.

Esther Valdes, Esq.
San Diego, CA

Dear Editor:
Thank you for publishing Cyrus Mehta's excellent article, "Gay Marriage and Immigration." With all of the euphoria surrounding recent advances in the lesbian and gay rights movement, it is important to remember that gay men and lesbians in binational couples are too often faced with the impossible choice of leaving behind a life partner or living in exile from one's country. We have been advocating for changes in the law to end this discrimination since 1994. As Mr. Mehta points out, until there is full recognition of same sex marriages at the federal level, the best hope for same sex binational couples is the Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA). The PPIA has made remarkable progress since it was first introduced in 2000. Despite an unfavorable climate in Washington, the PPIA was introduced in the Senate for the first time in July 2003. The bill currently has bipartisan support, including 121 House co-sponsors and eleven Senate co-sponsors. In 2003 the PPIA was endorsed by AILA and received corporate endorsement by Intel. The time has never been better to advocate for PPIA's passage. It is equally important to ensure that the Federal Marriage Amendment does not pass. Enshrining discrimination in the Constitution would be catastrophic for the movement for equal rights for lesbians and gay men. At least one version of this proposed amendment, the Musgrave Amendment, would prohibit the federal constitution or state constitutions from being construed to "require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups." By prohibiting the granting of "the legal incidents" of marriage on "unmarried couples," this amendment, if passed, could render the PPIA unconstitutional. We are clearly at a historic juncture. It is critical that we in the immigration community continue to advocate for equal rights for lesbian and gay immigrants under the law.

Victoria Neilson
Legal Director, Immigration Equality (formerly the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force)

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. Send Correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. Opinions expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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