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We encourage our readers to scan today's headlines to find items of interest to you.
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The ABCs Of Immigration - Business And Tourist Visas
Greg Siskind and Amy Ballentine write about the ABCs of Business and Tourist Visas.
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Immigration Law News
INS Proposes Rule Requiring Aliens With Final Order Of Removal To Surrender
INS proposed a rule which would require aliens
subject to a final order of removal to surrender themselves to the
INS. This rule also establishes procedures for surrender and
provides that aliens violating those procedures will be denied certain
discretionary immigration benefits. INS is soliciting comments on this proposed rule before June 10, 2002.
Immigration Attorney Praised In House
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) praised immigration attorney Mr. Behar in the House of Representatives.
Final Vote On Border Security Bill
The final vote in the House for the Border Security Bill, which now awaits the President's signature, was 411-0, with 21 not voting, and 2 (including Rep. Tancredo (R-CO)) voting "present." Rep. Abercrombie (D-HI), who was the other member voting "present" explained his reasons for so voting.
Leahy Discusses Food Stamps And Immigration Status
Speaking for adoption of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said "legal immigrant parents are confused about their children's eligibility and that the parents believe if their children receive food stamps that it could have a negative impact on immigrant family members' immigration status."
Section 241(a)(5) Is Retroactive
In Ojeda-Terrazas v. Ashcroft, No. 01-60460 (5th Cir. May 9, 2002), the court held that reinstatement of Petitioner's previous deportation order is a final order of the INS and its lawfulness is subject to the court's review, but that the merits of the original deportation order are not subject to the court's review; and that the section of the statute for the reinstatement procedure of deportation orders (section 241(a)(5)) applies retroactively; and that because Petitioner did not allege any actual prejudice resulting from the application of the reinstatement procedure, his due process rights were not violated.
Aggravated Felony Sentence Enhancement Is Not Double Punishment
In USA v. Guerrero-Correa, No. 01-4162 (10th Cir. May 8, 2002), the court said that sentencing guidelines require a judge to consider a prior conviction when calculating an offense level and a criminal history category, and therefore the District Court did not subject Defendant to double punishment by imposing a sentence for the offense of illegal reentry after deportation based on his prior aggravated felony conviction.
No Entry Required for Conviction of Transporting Aliens
In USA v. Hernandez-Garcia, No. 00-506034 (9th Cir. Mar. 26, 2002, amended May 9, 2002), the court amended its opinion that so long as an alien has come to the US unlawfully and a transporter knows or recklessly disregards this fact, and the alien is transported within the US, it is immaterial whether the alien has technically entered the US or not for a conviction of transporting aliens within the US. The court also denied the Defendant's petition for rehearing en banc.
Court Finds Past Persecution Not Rebutted by INS
In Salazar-Paucar v. INS, No. 99-71306 (9th Cir. Feb. 28, 2002, amended May 9, 2002), the court amended its opinion that death threats received by Petitioner combined with harm to members of his family and the murders of his political counterparts compelled a finding of past persecution and that a 1993 Amnesty International report did not rebut the presumption of future persecution. The court also denied the government's petition for rehearing en banc.
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Sen. Hagel Says Economic Growth Depends Directly On Immigration
The Omaha World-Herald quoted Sen. Hagel (R-NE) who spoke at the University of Nebraska at Omaha "the future of our economic growth in this country depends very directly, clearly and heavily on immigration."
SSA Mismatch Letters Lead To Job Loss For Undocumented
The Boulder Daily Camera reports "an increased number of individuals that are losing their employment due to their undocumented status."
Foodservice Industry Needs Immigration
Nations Restaurant News reports "according to projections, the foodservice industry will need to fill 1.4 million new jobs by the year 2010. A relaxation of immigration laws would help to fill those positions."
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Immigration CLE Seminar
Year 2002 Immigration Law Update - Practicing Immigration Law in New York and Beyond Post September 2001: A Brave New World. Announcing a May 21-22, 2002, New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar. No area of practice has been more impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 than that of immigration and nationality law. We are pleased to present our traditionally popular, two-day program on the state of immigration law as critical issues relating to this practice continue to evolve on a day-to-day basis. 9/11 continues to significantly impact the practice of immigration law, the rights of legal immigrants and the way the power of the U.S. government is used to remove people from the United States. Attorneys are impacted by issues relating to national security and attorney-client privilege, access to clients and privacy and due process rights. In addition, policy, legislation, regulations and procedure relating to the H-1B program and all other components of "legal" immigration to the United States have changed the landscape. How immigration and nationality law will be enforced in this millennium is an important subject of review as Congress looks to restructure the Immigration and Naturalization Service itself. This program is designed to give the practitioner guidance and perspective with regard to all of these developments. The program's first day provides an update on late-breaking issues in the legislative and regulatory arenas and then deals with issues encountered in defense of aliens, in removal proceedings and what you need to know including procedures, cancellation of removal and other remedies and related issues. The program also reviews refugee and asylum law, and issues relating to documentation while in the United States for students and other visa holders, special security concerns and their impact on consular processing and admission to the United States. The program's second day focuses primarily on how to obtain immigration benefits and issues relating to the workplace. Ethics, liability and malpractice issues will be covered as well as projected trends in the practice given the after effects of September 11th. To register or for more information contact NYSBA's CLE Registrar at 1-800-582-2452 or at email@example.com.
Help Wanted - Employment Based Immigration Attorney
Tindall and Foster, P.C., an established immigration-only practice in Austin, Texas is seeking an experienced immigration attorney. The successful candidate is expected to possess 2-5 years experience in employment based immigration law, with demonstrable Labor Certification experience. Tindall & Foster, P.C. has been practicing immigration law since 1973. The Firm has offices in Austin and Houston and continues to expand. Please review www.tindallfoster.com and www.Austin360.com for background. 401(K), profit-sharing, medical and dental. Salary commensurate with experience. Experienced candidates may submit resumes and salary histories to Robert Loughran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Letters to the Editor
It is rather disingenuous of Mr. Frecker to suggest that for the sake of giving foreign nationals an opportunity to live a decent life I advocate America sinking to the least common denominator in terms of our standard of living. In fact, my hope for humanity is just the opposite, referencing more here than merely a standard of living. He does, however, more clearly illustrate the point I was trying to make than I was able to do so myself in my original commentary. It is precisely this protectionist attitude - this "I’ve got mine and I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep it, even if that means I must prevent you from getting yours" attitude - that seems to harden us to the plight of those less fortunate than us, and make it somehow easier to justify exclusionary immigration policies.
After all, when you’ve heard 99 news reports about 9 year old boys being forced to carry weapons and being indoctrinated into the latest ethnic violence in some foreign country, or 99 news reports about girls reaching puberty being forced to undergo genital mutilation - it becomes easier to ignore that 100th report, doesn’t it? It’s all happening "somewhere else", isn’t it?
'Call some place Paradise and kiss it good-bye…’ Is that it? We don’t want these people coming here in droves and screwing up our way of life, right?
Well, too bad. Like it or not, "these people" are here already, and more are on the way. We were these people yesterday. America may be the promised land today, but tomorrow it could just as easily be some other country, or some planetary outpost our grandchildren will settle. The question I posed (What are we going to do to help the "have nots" of the world?) was perhaps more wishful/wistful thinking than anything else. But, oh - wouldn’t it be something to live in a world where no human life is decreed more worthy than another merely on the basis of geographical circumstances of birth?
I don’t have a guilty conscience about living in America. I love it here. I’m so glad that I can wake up each morning and worry about whether I’m going to have enough time to get to all the things on my "to-do" list that day, as opposed to worrying about whether I’m going to be able to feed my children that day, or whether I will ever see my husband again after he was "disappeared". I admit it - I would be really, really sorry to see my standard of living go down. And perhaps I should be careful for what I wish. But you know what? There are more important things than my comfort level. If anything, the guilt I feel is when I allow myself to consider how seldom I really think about how horrible some people’s day-to-day existence really is.
And that’s all I was really trying to say in my original commentary. Just an affirmation that, although I personally feel relatively powerless to do much about it, I can at least acknowledge the simple truth that of course it is legitimate for someone to want a better life - whether you call it following the American Dream, or whatever. We can choose to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the basic conditions that cause some people to do almost anything for a chance to improve their lives or the lives of their children, or we can rail against the perceived injustice of a lowered standard of living, cite opinion polls and statistics ad nauseum, and shout exclusionary slogans until we’re blue in the face, or we can try to work together to establish meaningful dialogue in an effort to effect meaningful change.
I acknowledge, of course, that many people do not feel the way I do about this issue. And their opinions are no less (and no more) valid than mine. But, in response to Mr. Frecker’s challenge to Dr. Baer - if you will, call this my own humble effort to convince him and others who favor restrictionist immigration policies that it would be a mistake to reduce legal immigration and impose uniformly harsh penalties on those who may not have followed all the rules in coming to America without regard for the underlying circumstances that may have caused these "lawbreakers" to act as they did.
Like I said, I don’t have the answers - and I’m sure there are a whole lot of people out there who are a whole lot more informed about these things than I am. But I do know that we would be wise to realize - and preferably sooner rather than later - that no matter how stridently we may protest - and no matter how hard we may try to "protect" ourselves/our standard of living/our way of life from being "corrupted" by masses of immigrants, we’d do well to take that first critical step and admit we have a problem that is larger than just whether we should or should not allow certain people to remain here, or to come here in the first place. Why do so many people want to come to America anyway? Why are so many people willing to risk so much to do so? Think about it.
I was suggesting that the numbers of diversity visas (50,000) and refugees
(about 55,000) which are supposed to serve the ENTIRE world were low in
comparison with the number of LEGAL immigrants from ONE country, Mexico
(131,600). Ms. Flowers, in her previous letter, suggested that these
categories should be sufficient to take care of the rest of the world's
(other than Mexico's) immigrants.
While preferences for Mexico do not exist in law, they do in fact. The
civil rights movement is built on the notion of de facto discrimination and
segregation. As I recall and interpret (I was a little young to be
interested in this at the time--lawyers please correct me), the mere fact
that races are not represented in housing, education, or jobs in proportion
to their representation in the overall population is enough to assume that
discrimination exists. Even if laws and policies are not in and of
themselves discriminatory. This notion still exists in affirmative action
programs, in the form of acknowledged or unacknowledged quotas. Or in the
notion that African-Americans or Hispanics (even though they're not
technically a race, or even an ethnicity) "should be" represented in Oscar
wins, in TV programs, or on the Supreme Court because of their relative
share of the population. Or, in a recent case, that a jury could not be
seated because it did not have enough Hispanics on it to represent the
makeup of the community (this latter is based on Census data, which includes
illegal immigrants and LPRs, even though they're not citizens and therefore
not eligible for jury duty). Or that employers "should" have certain
proportions of employees from certain racial and ethnic groups. With this
view, the mere fact that Mexico dominates legal immigration, in comparison
with the rest of the world's population, is enough to consider family
reunification to be preferential and even discriminatory. Why should
Mexico, with a population of about 100 million in 2001 (Statistical Abstract
of the US, 2001, p. 832) have more immigration to the US than countries such
as Pakistan (145 million), Nigeria (127 million), or India (over a billion)?
An answer is that the family reunification program favors immigration from
countries which have large numbers of recent immigrants here. This
favoritism is self-perpetuating, in that we allow sponsorship beyond the
nuclear family of husband, wife, and kids.
Of course, Ms. Flowers' did indicate in a previous letter than she believes
there shouldn't be ethnic preferences, and I agree with her.
We shouldn't be looking for equal outcomes, but equal opportunity. And
right now, family reunification does not allow equal opportunity. It rewards
the relatively few families (in comparison with the number of families in
their home countries) who manage to get a relative here, legally or
illegally. For example, in the early 1960s, we began to get immigration of
highly educated and skilled workers from India. In subsequent years, we're
getting the less skilled brothers, sisters, and in-laws of these
workers--solely because they're related to the initial entrant. And,
illegal immigrants, who we want to "legalize" so that they can then sponsor
THEIR relatives. Personally, I favor more of a "points system" in which
weight would be given to knowledge of English, skills needed by the job
market (including the possibility that unskilled labor might be needed as
well), education, and yes, a family sponsor here.
Your featured article by AILF, Making a Difference in America--Immigrants Continue to Benefit Our Nation (Immigration Daily, 5/3/02) was comprehensive. It enumerates the many contributions that immigrants are making. I appreciate that the comments made were referenced as to their bases in fact. The immigrants in majority that are making these contributions are of Mexican origin.
The question has been raised as to why I favor that Mexican immigrants should receive special consideration. The answer to this can be found in President Bush’s words. In his Cinco de Mayo radio address he stated that that the United States and Mexico [along with Canada] share a continent and have common goals. He considers Mexico a top foreign policy, he said. He went on to state: “the hard work of the Mexican immigrant enriches America”; that the two countries have “common values and shared cultures” and he renewed his pledge “to help the entire American `familia’ achieve prosperity and peace”.
As to the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, the president referred to him as “a good friend” and “a great patriot, a man of honest talk and convictions”.
As I have written before, President Fox is making good on his part of the agreement signed between President Bush and himself. Mexico has arrested several big drug dealers and is patrolling its side of the border. In Geneva at the meeting of the Human Rights Commission of the UN, Mexico joined with 23 other nations to exhort Cuba to improve its respect for human rights. The vote against Cuba marks the first time in 43 years that Mexico has not acted as an apologist for the communist government of Cuba. This took resolution on the part of President Fox and his new government. President Fox is a man of courage, but formidable opposition in the Mexican congress exists against him as he carries out the promises he made to his people. President Bush needs to extend all of the help he can to his neighbor who he claims as “a good friend”. The welfare and future of his countrymen working in our country is of great concern to the Mexican president and President Bush has promised to help with this.
President Bush’s responses to questions about immigration repeatedly have been: “I do believe that when we find a willing employer and a willing employee we ought to match the two. We ought to make it easier for people who want to employ somebody, who are looking for workers, to be able to hire people who want to work.”
That is what President Vincente Fox believes, too. It remains for our president to put his own words into action.
Richard E. Baer, D.V.M.
I have been legally in the U.S. for almost 15 years and I have been an immigration paralegal for the past few years. When I arrived from Italy as a 15-year-old daughter of a multinational executive I did not speak one word of English. I was thrust in a high school in rural North Carolina without the assistance that is now commonly provided to those whose first language is not English. Yet, I learned to speak and write English very well. However, I beg to differ from Congressman Tancredo's comments regarding multiculturalism as some kind of poisonous notion instilled in the immigrant (legal or otherwise) population. I, like many other immigrants, cannot detach myself from my country of birth or my parents' country of birth, nor can I detach myself from my language or culture; it is who I am, it is what has molded me. I do not think that this translates into not respecting the United States or valuing the United States properly. I do believe, though, that a person's own opinion of the United States in relation to other countries is an individual matter. The same tired arguments that are made by Congressman Tancredo were made during the several waves of immigration that occurred in the United States. Yet, the majority of immigrants in their successive generations has become fully assimilated. I am confident that the next generations of Spanish-speaking immigrants will follow this natural course as well. Instead of concentrating on the perceived negatives of multiculturalism, Congressman Tancredo should perhaps recall with the same vehemence the positive contributions of multiculturalism among which I include the ability to see foreign and domestic policy, social issues and other topics from a variety of perspectives, rather than from a static and monolithic point of view.
Alessandra B. Hall
Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP
I am sick and tired of these politicians playing god. I had a neighbor whose
son hung around with the wrong crowd of kids and therefore got in trouble
with the law. Pretty petty though. He had a joint on him and got arrested.
He then got deported to a country he know nothing of. He lived in this
country since he was 5 months old. His parents had no money for an
immigration lawyer and had no money to help him settle in canada. Therefore he
was deported to Canada. [Though] his parents did as much they could their
son was living homeless could not find a job there freezing in Canada. Jobs
there are scarce too. And very expensive to live there. Well 8 months later
their son was found dead. In a corner near dumpsters. 5 months later the
father had a paralytic stroke. I could tell you other devastating
stories. I could see if someone committed murder or other major major crimes.
But deporting poor immigrants for petty things! I hope the people who condemn
this sleep at night. You know what you do to others will someday happen to
you. If Attorney General Ashcroft supposedly is so religious how can he allow
things like that happen? Does he think he will see the gates of heaven? Yeah
right. Just because someone was born in this country makes it allright for them
to commit crimes. But someone who happened to be born elsewhere because their
parents had to be there at that time gets deported to another country - a life
sentence. Come on lawmakers you are no better than any one else. Stop this
mean act. Not everyone is a terrorist!
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