The targeted firms are
- Bynum Brothers Home Improvement Co. - Buffalo, N.Y.
- CMC Concrete Construction, Inc. - Manassas, Va.
- Hedges Landscape Specialists Inc. d/b/a Exterior Designs, Inc. and d/b/a Performance Irrigation, LLC - Crestwood, Ky.
- Lochirco Fruit & Produce Inc. d/b/a Happy Apples - Union, Mo.
- MC Cleaning - Bangor, Maine
- Morgan Jones LLC d/b/a Jones Industrial Network and d/b/a Jones Networking - Baltimore, Md.
- Stonewall Concrete, Inc. - Manassas, Va.
The firms are accused of employing immigrants unauthorized to work in the US.
This seems to be a new enforcement tactic by ICE. I don't recall their debarring employers from federal contracts in the past so we'll see if this marks the beginning of a trend.
For the third week in a row, the committee fails to move forward on these bills despite being scheduled today for a markup. And, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tomorrow is not looking much better. Lovely.
Bashing immigrants doesn't appear to be working so well as in the past for the xenophobic wing of the Republican Party. That, plus pressure to tone things down and not embarrass their presidential candidate who is trying to woo Hispanic voters, help explain why we're not seeing the nasty ads of recent elections past.
A lot of people may not be aware that hundreds of thousands of highly skilled immigrants - people with bachelors, masters, Ph.Ds, medical degrees, etc. - are stuck waiting in a queue for green cards that can last ten years or more. These are precisely the people who can help keep American competitive and they could provide some needed help in resolving the banking crisis that has gripped the country. One group, Immigration Voice, is proposing Congress consider a legislative solution that would provide green card numbers for people who can demonstrate they qualify in one of the employment-based green card categories if they buy a home and place at least 25% down on the property. This won't solve the crisis, of course, but it is one way to inject some life in to the bleak housing market.
I'd like to see this proposal possibly coupled with a retiree visa which would provide long term visas to people who have the means to pay cash for a home and buy a home within a specified period of time after coming to the US, have substantial assets, have pre-paid for health insurance and who do not intend to work in the US.
Senate Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced S. 3514, the Reuniting Families Act, a bill to recapture unused family and employment-based green cards which were left on the table in the years 1992 to the present. The bill would also change the per country limit of 7% to a more reasonable 10%. Indians, Chinese, Mexicans and Filipinos would benefit greatly from that provision.
It would also make important changes to the 3 and 10 year bars for unlawful presence including raising the age when unlawful presence begins from 18 to 21. The bill would also exempt applicants from the bar if they had a current priority date on or prior to the enactment of the bill if the person is otherwise admissible. The bill would also make it easier to secure a waiver of the bars by making it only necessary to show a hardship (as opposed to an extreme hardship) and allowing a showing of a hardship to a parent in addition to the current law's allowance of a showing of a hardship to a spouse, son or daughter. Also, the federal government would be able to approve a waiver on humanitarian grounds even if there is no qualifying family relationship.
A companion bill, HR 6938, has been introduced by Rep. Honda (D-CA) in the House of Representatives.
There is no shortage of politicians who have sought to find silly angles to capitalize on the public's anxieties in the post-9/11 world. And this week its out old friend Tom Tancredo (who is doing the world a favor and leaving Congress after this session) who wins the award.
The bill in question is HR 6975 which would require every immigration applicant to attest that they do not advocate establishing a Sharia law system in the United States. Cato's Jim Harper uses the appropriate phrase "jumping the shark" in explaining how moronic this proposal is.
From America's Voice:
Is this really a surprise?
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that 1 in 10 Hispanics in America was stopped by law enforcement authorities this past year for checks on their immigration status.
That same study shows that 50% of Latinos (and 63% of foreign-born Hispanics) say their situation in the US has deteriorated over the past year.
The question is whether this anger coupled with three million new naturalized citizens since the last election can make enough of an impact this year that Congress and the new President will take notice.
British-born John Davison is a video game industry veteran who has teamed up with fellow industry insider to create whattheyplay.com, a web site that provides resources to parents trying to monitor the video games their kids are playing. I first heard about the company a few months ago when Davison was a guest on NBC's Today Show to talk about the controversial new video game Grand Theft Auto 4. The company describes itself on its web site:
What They Like, founded in 2007 by entertainment and media industry veterans Ira Becker and John Davison, offers helpful resources within an unbiased, non-judgmental environment that provide parents with unparalleled insight and guidance about the various forms of popular entertainment that engage children. What They Like believes parents are the ultimate parental control. Our singular goal is to empower parents to do what they do best: parent.
What They Likeís first product, What They Play, is the parents guide to video games. As the most comprehensive resource of its kind, What They Play provides parents with expert insight into the themes and content of hundreds of todayís most popular interactive entertainment products. Through thousands of informative video game descriptions and topical feature articles, What They Play empowers parents with everything they need to know to make informed decisions about what games are right for their children.
Before embarking on his latest venture, Davison was the editorial director at tech mega-publisher Ziff-Davis.
A reader sent me this news article quoting Joseph Giuliano, deputy chief border patrol agent in Washington State. The article notes
The parents who entered the country illegally are still required to attend their court date and go through deportation proceedings, he said.
The mother and daughter from Guatemala were released because the father, who was in the car with them, is a U.S. citizen.
Giuliano said Border Patrol agents confiscated $600 of illegally harvest salal from the family.
If the mother and daughter don't show up for their court date, the father can lose his citizenship, Giuliano said.
This is SO incorrect it is laughable. And it is an abuse of power to make this kind of threat. The Border Patrol needs to issue a correction and an apology.
Recently, I wrote that the ACLU is suing the governor of Rhode Island to prevent the implementation of his executive order mandating that all state contractors use e-Verify. The ACLU claimed that this was a measure that was beyond the powers of the governor. A judge has denied the ACLU's motion to issue a temporary restraining order. But it was not all bad news for the civil rights organization. The judge held that the order could not take effect until the state issued regulations and allowed comments from the public.
It's relevant because he made this possible gaffe in an interview with a Spanish-language radio station in Miami and the interview is getting extensive airplay in the Latino community. It's also apparently causing a rift in US-Spain relations. I think McCain was mixed up and this may not have been the biggest gaffe in the world. But the McCain is trying to say he meant exactly what he said and this is making matters worse.
Wow, DHS better hope there is no truth to this. An immigration advocacy group, the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association, is claiming that ICE officials are now targeting migrant and seasonal Head Start centers in some states. Yvette Sanchez, president of the association claims "Several kids and babies died in the fields because parents were fearful of sending them to Head Start."
Jason Ciliberti, supervisory Border Patrol agent in Washington, DC, said it's not the agency's policy to stake out Head Start centers. But he admitted that it could have happened if "we believe there was an immigration violation afoot."
Both are fine on this issue. McCain wants to get rid of the cap and set limits based on market conditions. Obama wants a temporary increase, but also wants more green cards and to make it easier for foreign students to stay and work after they finish.
ABC's Jake Tapper takes the Obama campaign to task for its latest Spanish language ad. The gist of the piece is that McCain is not nearly as anti-immigration as the right wing radio host. The article admits that McCain has flip-flopped on immigration reform, but that his positions aren't as extreme as his party.
I'm not sure I agree with Tapper since McCain has been courting the Limbaughs and the anti-immigrant wing of his party. My personal view is that Obama just needs to keep reminding Hispanic voters that McCain walked away from him when the heat was turned up. But even if he's right, there's no need to try and link McCain to wackos on the right to make this point.
Just posted on the DOL web site:
September 17, 2008 The Department has been presented with evidence indicating that prior to its recent audits, many immigration attorneys believed that the Departmentís rule regarding consideration of U.S. workers did not apply to them unless they represented not only the employer seeking the labor certification, but also the alien for whom the certification was being sought. That interpretation is incorrect, as the Departmentís recently issued PERM program clarifying guidance makes clear. Nevertheless, the Department will apply the requirements of the consideration rule as interpreted by its recent guidance only to labor certification applications the recruitment for which was begun after August 29, 2008, the date on which the Departmentís final guidance was issued. All pending audits triggered exclusively by consideration rule concerns are therefore being released and will be processed in accordance with their original filing date.
Ugh! No movement today on bills to increase nurse visas and recapture wasted immigrant visa numbers. HR 6020, a bill to improve visa processing for soldiers and their families did pass and that's certainly great news. But there were so many amendment proposals on that bill that there was no time for anything else. And there is no word yet on when the committee will reconvene.
The Ninth Circuit has ruled with the state in a complaint arguing that an Arizona law calling for the revocation of business licenses for companies employing illegal workers and requiring employers to use e-Verify will stand, at least for now. The court indicated that it would wait and see how the law was enforced and might entertain future challenges, according to experts. No word yet on whether the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
According to Politico:
The Washington Post gets some new Spanish-language spots from Obama, reminding voters of the anti-Immigration wing of the Republican Party.
"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with, the intolerance," says the narrator, in Spanish, over a picture of Rush Limbaugh and quotes of him saying, "Mexicans are stupid and unqualified" and "Shut your mouth or get out."
Ironically, a Michigan reader tells me Obama's ad promising he'll let voters keep their guns is running on Rush Limbaugh's program there. "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote and another, even worse, that continues the failed policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families," according to the Post's translation.
The radio ad also includes the line: "Don't forget that John McCain abandoned us rather than confront the leaders of the Republican Party."
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org