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Immigration Daily November 10, 2004
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Supreme Court Opinion

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, the Supreme Court held that DUI offenses, which either did not have a mens rea component or required only a showing of negligence in the operation of a vehicle, were not crimes of violence under 18 USC 16. The court in reaching its decision said that when interpreting a statue, words must be given their "ordinary or natural" meaning, and 18 USC 16(a)'s key phrase most naturally suggested a higher degree of intent than negligent or merely accidental conduct. This interpretation was reinforced by INA 101(h), which included as alternative definitions of "serious criminal offense" a "crime of violence, as defined in 18 USC 16, 101(h)(2), and a DUI-causing injury offense, 101(h)(3). Interpreting 18 USC 16 to include DUI offenses would leave 101(h)(3) practically void of significance, in contravention of the rule that effect should be given to every word of a statue whenever possible. The Supreme Court noted that this decision did not address whether a state or federal offense that required proof of the reckless use of force against the person or property of another qualified as a crime of violence under 18 USC 16.

This decision will likely affect many cases in several circuits, not limited to DUI cases, including decisions where aliens committed offenses without a mens rea element. While comporting to the canons of common sense, this decision also points to the increasing complexity in our immigration statute which makes such clarifications by the High Court a necessity. We urge Congress once again to simplify and rationalize our unduly complex immigration laws.

The decision reached in this opinion should lay to rest the concerns of many that conservative Justices will unduly tilt the scales of justice. The opinion is a unanimous decision reflecting that conservatives and liberal-minded Justices can work together to reach consensus. Chief Justice Rehnquist, though a conservative, reached a progressive decision that shows that many aliens who committed offenses have not committed a crime of violence for immigration purposes. Additionally, Justice Rehnquist employed a liberal method of legal analysis by proceeding from a common sense understanding of the statute instead of a reading of the plain language followed by a reaching into statutory intent due to ambiguity in the language which would have been the conservative way of reaching the same decision. The ideological differences between liberals and conservatives on the High Court are somewhat overblown. Clearly, President Bush's second term implies that the Court will have a somewhat more conservative bent in the years to come. While we may or may not like it, it is not quite the cause of anxiety that some in the immigration community seem to see it to be. Our institutions are strong and we remain confident in the fundamental fairness of the judicial branch, as this latest opinion from the Court shows (see below for the case - Leocal v. Ashcroft, No. 03-583 (Sup. Ct. Nov. 9, 2004)).

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to


Nurse Immigration (In cooperation with CGFNS)

The curriculum for "Nurse Immigration (In cooperation with CGFNS)" is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on November 18th: DOL Issues, USCIS Issues

  • Dealing with Retrogression of EB3 numbers for India, China and the Phillippines (likely to happen in Jan 2005)
  • Dealing with delays at USCIS and NVC
  • Arbitrary requirements by USCIS
  • Impact of DOL Transitional Guidance and PERM on Nursing occupations
SECOND Phone Session on December 13th: State Licensure Issues
  • Variations of state licensure of internationally-educated registered nurses
  • Obtaining social security numbers
  • Canadian nurse licensed by endorsement without NCLEX-RN
  • License by endorsement state-to-state
THIRD Phone Session on January 13th: VisaScreen Issues, Consular Processing Issues
  • Elements needed to obtain the VisaScreen Certificate
  • Qualifications for a 212(r) Certified Statement
  • Qualifications for the Streamline Process
  • Provisional considerations for the Canadian Trade NAFTA registered nurse
  • Current issues in Consular Processing of Nurses
The deadline to register is Wednesday, November 17th. For more info, detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, see: (Fax version:


How The Immigration-Related Provisions Of H.R. 10 Implement The 9/11 Commission Report
Michael Hethmon, Esq. of the Federation for American Immigration Reform writes "Some immigrant advocacy groups have claimed that immigration enforcement is extraneous to the counterterrorism strategy recommended by the 9/11 Commission, and are fighting enactment of H.R. 10."

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:


State DUI Conviction Is Not Crime Of Violence
In Leocal v. Ashcroft, No. 03-583 (Sup. Ct. Nov. 9, 2004), the Supreme Court said that state driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) offenses which either do not have a mens rea component or require only a showing of negligence in the operation of a vehicle, were not crimes of violence under 18 USC 16.

Secretary Powell Says President Bush Is Committed To Moving Forward On Immigration Reform
During a press briefing, Secretary Powell said, "On immigration, which is always the leading issue with our Mexican friends, reinforce the president's commitment to moving forward, especially with respect to the temporary workers program that he announced on January 7th."

Attorney listings on ILW.COM are searched 200,000 times/year! Each attorney listed is searched an average of once each day! Just one new client will pay for the entire year's fee! Click here for more info:


Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, a large international law firm, is seeking an experienced Paralegal to work directly with the Immigration Practice Group in our Washington DC office. Candidates must have at least two years of business immigration experience in employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant categories. Candidate must possess strong organizational, research and writing skills. Knowledge of PC applications and flexibility to work overtime are required. An undergraduate degree is required. We offer an excellent compensation and benefits package, outstanding work environment, and comprehensive support to enable our Immigration Paralegals to assume significant responsibility, including contact with clients. Please email: or fax: 202-739-3001 your resume to Robin McKinney. EOE.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Fast-paced, nationally recognized immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., seeks a highly motivated, detail-oriented associate. Immigration experience, strong organizational, research, writing & interpersonal skills required. Spanish fluency a plus. Great opportunity for individuals interested in challenging, exciting work. Competitive salary/benefits. Visit Send resume, writing sample, salary requirements + references to Amal Talhame at: Maggio Kattar, 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Ste. 775, Washington, DC 20036 or No calls please.

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Levine & Associates, an immigration firm in the Ballston Section of Northern, Virginia seeks self-motivated, independent and productive paralegal with 3+ years of relevant experience. Salary based on experience and ability. Fluency in Spanish is desired but not essential. Practice involves family-based and employment-based petitions. Paralegal will have oppportunity to work under supervision of two attorneys, including the senior partner. Collegial, open office with a professional "family" atmosphere. Benefits include: free parking, medical insurance participation, and 16 days off per year. Ideal position for the clerically accurate, people-oriented, intelligent individual. Flexibility a must. Fax resume to Aaron Passon at: 703-527-4473.

Case Management Technology
With Immigration Case Management Tools from INSZoom, you can rest assured that you are working with the most secure, simple and strategic software and support services. This state-of-the art product helps US Immigration Law Firms to build efficiency, accuracy and transparency in their immigration operations through a single comprehensive software. Besides 600+ Forms and Case Management, many advanced functionalities like Online Questionnaires, eFiling, eTracking, Knowledgebase, Group Calendaring, Accounting, Prospect Management, Document Expiration Ticklers & Management Reports, etc. are part of this one all-encompassing tool. Your clients may update their profile information, check case status, manage compliancy, and generate numerous reports..all via a secure online system. INSZoom's superior technology is backed by a friendly, responsive and multi-lingual training & customer support team; which will modulate the training program and handhold your team members to maximize the benefits from INSZoom. We will ensure that our technology works for youeverytime. INSZoom is available in 2 versions: Install in your own office or host on INSZoom secure servers. Contact us for a free guided tour today at 925-244-0600 or

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Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: (300-words or fewer preferred).

Dear Editor:
Oregon State SWA says that they have not stopped processing permanent labor cert applications.

Robert H. Gibbs, Gibbs Houston Pauw
Seattle, WA

Dear Editor:
How do I get onto ILW.COM's list of attorney referrals for immigrants and employers?

Clark M. Trevor, Esq., Duane Morris LLP
San Francisco, CA

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comingsNgoings To Date
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Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim

Editorial Advisory Board:   Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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