House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) and Immigration and Claims Subcommittee Chairman George W. Gekas (R-Penn.) have introduced "Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2001" which would abolish the INS and create an "Agency for Immigration Affairs" in the Department of Justice. Under the Agency would be the "Bureau of Immigration Services and Adjudications" (BISA), and the "Bureau of Immigration Enforcement" (BIE). The Agency would be headed by an Associate Attorney General for Immigration Affairs who would be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate. The bill also creates an Office of the Ombudsman to assist people in resolving problems with the BISA and directs the Attorney General within one year of enactment to establish an internet based system that will permit people with applications file with the Agency to have access to online information about the processing status of the application.
The Committee on the Judiciary provided a summary of the bill, and graphs showing the growth in INS budget authority, illegal aliens, and visa petitions. In his statement Rep. Sensenbrenner described the bill as "a strong and determined effort to improve both border enforcement and the service side of immigration. Enactment of this legislation – combined with solid leadership and management reforms – will improve our border security and make the delivery of immigration services more family and immigrant-friendly.” The summary of the bill from the Committee on the Judiciary describes the function of the Office of Ombudsman are assisting individuals in "resolving problems with the BISA to take pressure off congressional caseworkers," although a first reading of the text of the bill does not reveal making life easier for congressional caseworkers as a goal. It seems calls to congressional offices for help in dealing with the INS do matter.
The text of S. 1618, the "Enhanced Border Security Act of 2001," and S. 1627, the "Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001," is now available.
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ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day
INS Reforms Must Be Part of National ID Card
Jonathan D. Montag writes that before a practical national ID card can be implemented, service problems at the INS need to be resolved.
Stay of Deportation for Aggravated Felon
In Barton v. Ashcroft, No. 3:01CV881 (D. Conn. Oct. 15, 2001), the court granted a stay of deportation to an alien convicted of an aggravated felony pending a determination by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals as to whether a statute which allows discretionary relief for nonresident aliens convicted of aggravated felonies but not resident aliens is Constitutional.
"Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2001"
The "Immigration Reform and Accountability Act of 2001" would abolish the INS and create an "Agency for Immigration Affairs" with a Bureau of Immigration Services and Adjudications (BISA) and a Bureau of Immigration Enforcement (BIA).
Rep. Gekas Introduces INS Restructuring Bill
Rep. Gekas introduced legislation co-authored by Rep. Sensenbrenner which calls for a split of the INS into two bureaus - one for border enforcement and the other for immigration processing.
Rep. Sensenbrenner Co-Authors Bill to Restructure INS
Rep. Sensenbrenner announced that he and Rep. Gekas will introduce the "Immigration Reform and Accountability Act" to create a better immigration agency with clear missions, more accountability, and clear chains of command.
OIG Report on Deferred Inspections at Airports
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reports on INS deferred inspections at airports finding that nearly 11 percent of individuals paroled into the country under the deferred inspections process failed to appear for the completion of their inspection.
DOJ Moves to Revoke Citizenship
The Department of Justice has initiated proceedings to revoke the US citizenship of a Chicago man based on his participation in the persecution of Jews and other civilians during World War II while serving as an armed guard at two notorious Nazi concentration camps.
Visa Waiver Program Review
According to the Department of State, the DOS-INS visa waiver program review team will depart for Uruguay sometime within the next week, and will visit the remaining three countries sometime by the end of November 2001.
Immigration in the Press
Requests for Skilled-Worker Visas Fell Short of Limit
The Washington Post reports that demand for skilled foreign workers for the year that ended Sept. 30 didn't meet the expanded immigration caps Congress set last year at the urging of high-tech employers.
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Chat with Kyle Kinzy
Kyle Kinzy will answers questions on all aspects of immigration law on Wednesday, November 7, 2001, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat.
This Day in Immigration
From November 7, 2000
"Although immigration has not emerged as the major issue in any national race, the results of the election will have a major impact on immigration policy in the next Congress. Sen. Spencer Abraham, who is fighting a close race in Michigan, has been a consistent pro-immigrant voice in the Senate. Rep. James E. Rogan of California has been an important counter-balance to Lamar Smith on the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, but is facing a strong challenge for his part in the Clinton impeachment. Most importantly, the Democrats have a chance to take control of the House, and an outside chance to gain a majority in the Senate. The Republican majority in the Senate was able to outmaneuver the Democrats to pass a purely business related immigration bill without the NACARA and registry provisions the Democrats wanted. In the House the Republicans attached to the Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill provisions for a visa for family members waiting adjustment rather than the much broader Democratic proposals of the Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act. The bill has not been signed and the issue remains to be settled in a lame duck session. Anyone eligible to vote has no reason to feel a powerless observer of US immigration policy. With so many close races your vote counts not just as an expression of your opinion, but may make the difference in US immigration policy. If you are registered, whatever your state, whatever your district, cast your vote!"
Letters to the Editor
The article "For Zion, I Shall Not Be Silent" by Gary Endelman, is an excellent message for re-uniting the States of America, and I am forwarding it to many different immigration groups as well as our law makers.
Congratulations Mr. Endelman! America is the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! United We Stand! We can not afford deporting millions of hardworking people! We need them like it or not!!
That's what I have been trying to say in my previous letters to the editor at ILW.COM.
God bless you and God bless America !
I just wanted to share INS's efficiency on K-3 petitions for citizens. However, INS is still mailing out the same letter they mail out on fiancee petitions telling people that they must get married with in 90 days of their arrival. Allow me to elaborate on the irony, that the K-3 is for spouses of US citizens. I hope INS is not expecting spouses of citizens to remarry in the US.
I must mention here another point. The INS asks US Citizen petitioners to inquire with embassies for any further inquiry. I went to the embassy's website (New Delhi) and they indicated that they are not processing any K-3 visas at this time, and are asking people to contact the State Department (of course they have a link to the State Department's travel site here which does not have any information on K-3s).
I must congratulate our executive branches involved in sharing and coordinating on such an exceptional level (I'm of course being facetious here). These agencies are definitely doing their best to implement the intent of legislative branch's LIFE Act. What a joke!
Another Victim of INS/State Department/Congress
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The Association of the Bar of the City of New York will be holding a symposium entitles "The Refugee Convention at 50: Assessing US Accomplishments and the Challenges Ahead." The speakers include Own Cooper, INS General Counsel, Arthur Helton, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Eduardo Arboleda of UNHCR and Mark Hetfield of Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. The moderator is Eleanor Acre of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. For details, click here.
ETHICS FOR IMMIGRATION LAWYERS
Presented by the Practicing Law Institute, November 27, 2001, 6:00 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. PLI New York Training Center, 21st Floor
810 Seventh Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets) New York City. For details, click here.
There will be a New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) seminar on Wednesday, December 5, 2001 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Brunswick Hilton in East Brunswick, New Jersey. The seminar titled, Corporate Immigration Law: For Attorneys, In-House Counsel, & Human Resources Personnel: H-1B Requirements, will feature updates on the latest H-1 legislation regulations and will discuss recent developments in the field. For details, click here.
On January 31st & February 1st 2002, the National Immigration Forum will host its inaugural conference “A Nation of Immigrants in the 21st Century: Moving Forward in a Time of New Challenges.” The conference will be held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. For details, click here. For registration form, click here.
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