Several correspondents in today's Letters to the Editor discuss INS's new restrictions on visitor and business visas. In today's Immigration in the Press, the Fresno Bee opines that these new restrictions will cause great incovenience while doing little if anything to enhance our security. Indeed, with legal options restricted, desperate immigrants will increasingly fall prey to scam-artists such as those described by Jose Latour in today's Featured Article.
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ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day
Here We Go Again: The Magic $25,000 Asian Immigration Ripoff
Jose Latour writes that the level of human desperation for security among immigrants to this country is heart breaking, and they keep getting duped by scam-artists, although they could go to an army of good attorneys who charge fair fees and get the job done for their clients.
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Senator Kyl Warns That 245(i) Should Not Be Combined With Border Security Legislation
Senator Kyl (R-AZ) said: "I just tell my colleagues, if you try to combine 245(i) with H.R. 3525, you may be signing the death warrant for both" in connection with the Senate's current debate on "The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001."
Senate Continues Debate On Border Security Legislation
The US Senate engaged in a lengthy debate on "The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001."
IJ May Consider Other Appropriate Matters Upon Remand Even If BIA Expressly Retains Jurisdiction
In Johnson v. Ashcroft, No. 01-1331 (3rd Cir. Apr. 16, 2002), the court held that the Immigration Judge (IJ), on remand, can consider the stated purpose and other appropriate matters unless the remand is qualified or limited to a specific purpose, even if the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has expressly retained jurisdiction, and in departing from prior case law stating this principle without explaining its departure, the BIA acted arbitrarily.
Uniformity Clause Not Violated For Immigration Purposes When Different State Laws Impose Different Sentences For The Same Offence
In US v. Valeta-Mendoza, No. 01-2123 (10th Cir. Apr. 15, 2002), the court found that the Defendant's argument that the constitutional requirement of uniformity in immigration was violated because varying immigration consequences could result in different sentences in different states for the same offence was not supported by any federal case.
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Immigration in the Press
INS Overreacts On Tourist And Business Visas
The Fresno Bee says that reducing the time limit on most tourist visas to this country from six months to 30 days may cause great inconvenience while doing little if anything to enhance America's security and similarly, reducing the duration of business visas from one year to six months would hardly make any difference in terms of security, but it could create cumbersome situations for many firms.
Letters to the Editor
Editor's Note: The following letters are in response to the letters to the Editor yesterday.
How wonderful it was to read three intelligent, articulate and concise letters in one day!
Ross Brady has proposed the option that I have mentioned on several occasions i.e. eliminating 245(i) while at the same time encouraging overseas visa processing. This, however, can only be done by abolishing the ridiculous and ineffective three and ten year unlawful presence bars that have been in effect since April of 1997.
Baoquin Wang makes a very good point when stating that aliens will be faced with the Hobson's choice of either not coming to the US at all (since many cannot afford to come for a mere 30 days, as will be required under proposed regs) or forcing their families to come and visit them. How arrogant our country is becoming-I just returned from a visit to Paris where, as a US citizen, I had the option of staying for up to 90 days without a visa. In forcing foreign nationals to comply with increasingly severe time restrictions, we will have to be prepared to comply with similarly stringent regulations imposed upon our own citizens.
Finally, while the visa lottery has helped a number of individuals (particularly, for example, Albanians who had no other option to escape from their fortress country) I agree with N.A. Hyman that it has outlived its usefulness. There is undeniable merit in seeking diversity in the population, but the way the numbers have been divided over the years have still guaranteed that aliens from the same certain parts of the world will have the highest percentage of admissions.
My compliments to the writers, and to ILW.COM for giving them a forum.
Christine M. Flowers
While reading Ross Brady's letter to the editor, I decided to comment on one aspect of immigration (legal and illegal) that is overlooked by almost everyone.
I hear the statement "245(i) encourages the flouting of US immigration laws and permits those in violation of the laws to jump ahead of others waiting patiently overseas to legally come to the US" almost every time I hear a discussion about 245(i). This overlooks one glaring fact of life. For most people, it is only by coming illegally (or becoming illegal), that they will ever have the opportunity to become legal residents. The problem is that our immigration system encourages illegal immigration.
Consider some basic facts:
1) Most people need a sponsor to immigrate to the US. The sponsor can be either certain family members, or an employer.
2) Most employment based sponsors are small businesses (I believe there was a GAO study on this point several years ago, 1997 or so).
3) Most employers do not look farther than their local area to find employees. My running joke is "nobody is saying 'we need a cook, let's run an ad in the San Salvador Times'". I would even go so far as to venture that most employers are willing to sponsor those employees they know, they like and don't mind doing a favor to (the same GAO study mentioned earlier said that most employers sponsor people they already know).
4) Getting a tourist visa is difficult, and close to impossible if you say you are coming to look for work (you've shown immigrant intent).
Unless you have family members in the US who can sponsor you, or who can find an employer willing to sponsor you, there is no way to come here legally. Your only option is to come illegally and stay until you "get lucky and find a sponsor". One person coming illegally opens the door for the remainder of the family to come here legally, but without that initial illegal visit, most people will never have a realistic opportunity to come to the United States legally.
When we debate the merits of 245(i) or any other Immigration law provision, let's take reality into account.
Charles D. Yates
I must comment on Mr. Wang's reply in the Daily of 4/16 regarding the recent INS changes in B-2 tourist visas. It is true that terrorists will enter legally, illegally, overstay, etc. and it will be very difficult to prevent them from entering the U.S.; however, the INS knows that a vast majority of overstays in the U.S. are violators of the B-2 tourist visa whether they are terrorists or not. It is an additional measure to increase security as well as a way to prevent further illegal immigration which has become out of control.
Section 245(i) is also dead in the Senate to finally prevent the rewarding of illegal aliens who overstay their visas (mainly B-2) or who enter illegally without inspection. It is foolhardy to think that the national security issue and the illegal immigration issue do not go hand in hand in this matter and in the recent B-2 changes.
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