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Editor's Comments of the Day
In the Letters to the Editor section Prof. Norman Matloff has responded to the comments we carried about his piece "High-Tech Cheap Labor" that ran in the Washington Post. Whether it is referred to as the "H-1B/age discrimination issue," the "H-1B /green card process" or simply immigration law, we agree with Prof. Matloff that the subject is complex. Of course, the fact that one person's congressional testimony on the subject runs to 97 pages is not evidence of complexity, it is only evidence that the person is capable of putting a lot of words together. We will address other aspects of the controversy in future issues.
Prof. Matloff criticizes the law for being full of loopholes and lawyers for using those loopholes. This is like criticizing criminal defense lawyers for ensuring that the rules of the system are followed to protect their clients' rights. Except in the context of H-1Bs and green cards we are not talking about criminals. An accountant who works diligently to make sure his client does not pay any more tax than necessary is doing his job well. An attorney who studies the law and presents matters in the light most favorable to his client is also doing his job well. If the problem is the law, attack the law, not the lawyers.
Cases of the Day
Presumption of Voluntary Presence
In US v. Quintana-Torres, No. 99-50690 (9th Cir. Sept. 15, 2000), the court found that voluntariness is an element of the crime of being a deported alien found in the United States, but that a reasonable juror could infer that an alien had the intention to be here when the alien is discovered at any location other than the border.
Congressional News of the Day
House Opposed to Cap on T Visas
The House appoints conferees to meet with Senators on H.R. 3244, "Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000." The conferees are instructed not impose an cap of 5,000 on the T visa category for the victims of trafficking of human beings, predominately women and children.
Two Immigration Bills Reported by Committee on the Judiciary
H.R. 238, a bill to amend section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to impose mandatory minimum sentences, and increase certain sentences, for bringing in and harboring certain aliens, and H.R. 2883, a bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to confer United States citizenship automatically and retroactively on certain foreign-born children adopted by citizens of the United States, were reported by the committee on the Judiciary and referred to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union.
Mark Up of H.R. 4548, Agricultural Opportunities Act
On September 19, 2000, the House Committee on the Judiciary is scheduled to mark up H.R. 4548, "Agricultural Opportunities Act." This bill will establish a pilot program creating a system of registries to provide a sufficient supply of temporary agricultural workers, and amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to streamline procedures for the temporary admission and extension of stay of nonimmigrant agricultural workers under the pilot program.
Oversight Hearing on DOJ's Inspector General's Report
On September 21, 2000 the House Committee on the Judiciary plans to conduct an oversight hearing on the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General's September 2000 Report titled, "An Investigation of Misconduct and Mismanagement at ICITAP, OPDAT, and the Criminal Division's Office of Administration." The report highlights misconduct in the two components of DOJ's Criminal Division including the possible improper issuance of visas.
DOS News of the Day
US Gives an Additional $7.6 Million to World Food Program for Refugees
The Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration will contribute an additional $7.6 million to the World Food Program to support its Emergency Operations (EMOPs) and Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations (PRROs) for refugees in Africa.
Immigration News of the Day
A Sari Situation on 74th Street: The Traditional Indian Dress is Going out of Style with Immigrants
According to an article in Newsday, because the sari does not blend easily into the fabric of American life, and because it is often impractical for work and weather conditions, its use by immigrants is fading.
ILW.COM Highlights of the Day
Share Your Story With Us And We May Publish It
Write to us about your experiences when you immigrated to another country, temporarily or permanently. We may publish your story in our soon to be launched Immigrant's Life section, as well a link to it in Immigrant's Weekly. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Chat with Greg Siskind
Attorney Greg Siskind will answer questions on all aspects of immigration law on Monday September 18, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat session.
Letters to the Editor
Some of you will recall the following passage from my op-ed in the Washington Post a few days ago:
As immigration attorney Joel Stewart notes, "Employers who favor
aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who
This was from an article Mr. Stewart posted at www.ilw.com, a legal-resource center for immigration
attorneys and immigrant applicants. Stewart and some other immigration attorneys have posted
reactions (negative, of course) on that same site and its e-mailed newsletter Immigration Daily.
The word "alien" is an acceptable word in normal day-to-day conversation, as well as being in my dictionary,
and means, inter alia, a person of another family, race or nation as well as an extraterrestrial being. I don't
believe the looks of a visitor from outer space is part of the definition. (After all, how do we know such beings
are "ugly"? Has anybody met one?) Also, the word is defined as meaning a foreign-born resident who has not been
naturalized. I do hope that I have not alienated anybody.
I am the attorney who briefed and argued the recent Sixth Circuit case (Amadou v. INS, No. 99-3824 (6th Cir. Sept. 12, 2000)) in which the court has ordered a reversal of the BIA and remanded because the interpreter was incompetent. I am simply writing to encourage those attorneys and those immigrants out there who are continuing to battle for justice in their case. It took three and an half years, but the system has worked and somebody finally paid attention to the fundamental wrong that was done to this man at his first hearing. Keep up the good fight and never give up. Just because the Immigration Judge doesn't see things your way, and just because the BIA doesn't help you does not mean it is over. The Federal Courts are still very much concerned with Due Process and ensuring that the aliens among us are given their proper hearing.
Bryan Scott Hicks