As the time this issue of Immigration Daily was written the House had just passed H. Res. 365 which provides for the concurrence by the House, with amendments, in the amendment of the Senate to H.R. 1885. The Senate amendment to the original House bill to extends the deadline for eligibility for 245(i), but for visa petitions and labor certification cases filed after April 30, 2001, it must demonstrated "that the familial relationship existed before August 15, 2001, or the application for labor certification that is the basis of such petition for classification was filed before August 15, 2001." At the time of publication the text of H. Res. 365, with the House amendments to the Senate version of the bill, was not available from the Library of Congress site (http://thomas.loc.gov/). President Bush has declared that he supports and extension of 245(i). Once the Senate concurs in the House amendments, it can be expected that he will sign the bill. While this extension of 245(i) may not mean much business for immigration attorneys because of its retrospective nature, it does reaffirm the nation's commitment to immigration as a core American value and shows that government can make the distinction between terrorists and immigrants.
The priority dates for the family, employment and diversity lottery categories have been updated.
The California Service Center, Nebraska Service Center and Texas Service Center processing times have been updated.
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Only 1 Week Left for Adjustment Seminar!
You can still sign up for the 3rd session of "Adjusting Your Thinking: Who Can, Who Can't and Who Shouldn't Adjust Status" with H. Ronald Klasko and guest speakers William A. Stock and Tammy Fox-Isicoff. If you like, you can also receive a tape of the 1st and 2nd sessions. This seminar will help you in strategizing about: 1) The many complex legal and strategic issues which must be considered in determining eligibility for adjustment of status. 2) Issues regarding travel often arising when adjustment of status is chosen. 3) The many factors which go into advising clients whether to chose adjustment of status or consular processing.
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ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day
Consular Processing Update: Department of State Amends the Contiguous Territory Rule
Tien-Li Loke Walsh and Bernard P. Wolfsdorf write about changes to the rule regarding automatic revalidation of visas for those who visit contiguous territories and adjacent islands.
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Sending Notice to Last Address Does not Violate Due Process
In Dominguez v. US, No. 01-14658 (11th Cir. Mar. 8, 2002),
the court found that the INS did not violate Petitioner's due process right when it sent notice of a deportation hearing to the address most recently provided by Petitioner in documents submitted instead of an address she gave to INS agents during an oral interview.
DOJ Files Suit on Citizenship Discrimination
The Justice Department announced that it has filed suit against Watkins Motor Lines, Inc., alleging the company discriminated against an employee on the basis of his citizenship status.
Senate Hearing on INS Appropriations
The Senate Appropriations Committee, Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary Subcommittee, is scheduled to hold hearings on proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2003 for the FBI, INS, and DEA on March 21, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.
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Immigration in the Press
Six Months after September 11, Hijackers Visas Approval Letters Received
CNN reports that six months to the day after Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi flew planes into the World Trade Center, the INS notified a Florida flight school that the two men had been approved for student visas.
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Chat with Kevin Dixler
Kevin Dixler will answers questions on all aspects of immigration law on Wednesday, March 13, 2002, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat.
Letters to the Editor
This is in response to Connor Robertson's letter from Martinez, California, who "deals with" immigrants, I presume in assisting them with their immigration paperwork. How can he say that those entering under 245(i) are not comparable morally to those entering via consular processing? One bad example does not make ALL other applicants equal! Making blanket statements like this is inflammatory! I respect his right to express his opinion, but not at the expense of offense to those that aren't able to respond to him, which are those he is criticizing. If 245(i) is able to help an immigrant enter the US to be legally here, then more power to him. Putting oneself in the alien's place changes things somewhat. Those desiring entrance here do so in the understanding and comprehension of the immigrant, and under the guidance of the practitioner or agency doing their paperwork for them. Sometimes other uninformed individuals give them false, incorrect and plain bad or illegal advice and the inquiring immigrant takes their advice, believing since they've been here longer, they know what they're talking about, so comply. 245(i) is a program that is flawed to the degree that you want to make it. Conversely, it is also the best method available to assist immigrants to find closure to their illegal status in a timely manner, albeit spendy.
In a nutshell, 245(i) is a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" anomaly.
Mr. Connor Robertson makes the broad claim that "the quality of immigrant who adjusts [sic] their status under 245(i) is lower than the quality of person who comes to this country through consular processing." Having dealt with many 245(i) applicants myself, I take great exception to this comment.
Regardless of where one stands on the issue of 245(i), I feel that it is a gross exaggeration to say that one who adjusts status pursuant to this section of the law is in any degree less worthy of permanent residence than someone who has processed through a consulate. The security checks are the same, whether an individual processes through a foreign post or adjusts in the United States. I would say that, based upon my own experience, the majority of applicants under 245(i) are visa overstays, i.e. individuals who were lawfully admitted but did not leave when their visas expired. While I am not condoning their actions, I do not think that this should act as an automatic bar to adjustment. We must remember that 245(i) only permits an individual who is not lawfully present in the United States to adjust their status; it does not grant any substantive rights to individuals who do not already qualify for permanent residence, nor does it waive any criminal or fraud-related bars to adjustment.
I do agree with the writer on one point, however. It is all too easy for applicants who have committed fraud at entry (i.e. by having used falsified documents) to claim that they are 'entrants without inspection' thereby avoiding the bars to admission and obviating the need for a waiver under Section 212(i). For that reason, I believe that 245(i) should only be made applicable to overstays, and not individuals who obtained entry without inspection. We would then, in effect, have a system which closely parallels adjustment as the beneficiary of an approved immediate relative petition. While the beneficiaries of 245(i) would be decreased under this limitation, we would at least be assured that the individuals who apply for adjustment under 245(i) will not have engaged in any threshold misrepresentation, since the INS will be able to examine the circumstances surrounding their admission. There are those who would argue that this would discriminate against nationals of countries that are not a part of the Visa Waiver system, or who would have greater difficulty in obtaining non-immigrant visas in their native countries, but we must remember that residence in the United States is a privilege, not a right, and distinctions in treatment, as long as they are reasonably drawn and rationally related to an important goal (i.e. national security and integrity) are permissible.
Finally, I believe that 245(i) should become a permanent part of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Christine M. Flowers
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CONFERENCE ON IMMIGRATION LAW
The second annual New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Seminar that will be run in conjunction with AILA on Wednesday March 20, 2002, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Gateway Hilton in Newark, New Jersey. Speakers include:
Dolores DeHaan, Betty Manfredonia, Paul Novak, Andrea Quarantillo, Susan Rauffer and William Yates. For details click here.
BUSINESS IMMIGRATION SEMINAR
"WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN!" A Business Immigration Seminar specifically designed for Corporate
Immigration Personnel and Immigration Attorneys. Thursday, April 11, 2002, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Cadence Design Systems, Inc. - The Pebble Beach Room 2655 Seely Avenue (near River Oak Drive), Bldg. #5, San Jose, CA. For details and registration form click here.
LEGAL TRAINING SEMINAR
The Midwest Legal Immigration Project is continuing its endeavor to provide basic immigration legal training to attorneys and paralegals practicing immigration law, or who wish to begin the practice of immigration law. Our next intensive week long basic legal immigration training seminar is scheduled for May 13-17, 2002, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Des Moines. The seminar is co-sponsored by the Immigration Legal Resource Center of San Francisco. Successful graduates will receive assistance in applying for BIA accreditation if they wish. The seminar is accredited for 30 hours of CLE and 2 hours ethics for attorneys. The Marriott Hotel is offering sharply discounted rooms for $49/night plus tax. Call 1-800-228-9290 for room reservations and mention the immigration legal training seminar. For more information, call Jim Benzoni at 515-271-5730; fax 515-271-5757; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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