245(i) is back in the news. Senators Daschle, Kennedy and Dodd have introduced the Uniting Families Act of 2002, to bring back 245(i) up to April 30, 2003. The text of the bill appears below. If passed, this would be the biggest news for immigration attorneys for 2002. Separately, Rep. Serrano (D-NY) will reportedly offer an amendment to the fiscal 2002 emergency supplemental appropriations bill in the House Appropriations Committee in the week of May 13th to bring back 245(i). At press time, it was not clear what the text of Rep. Serrano's amendment will be. To compound the confusion, the President has been steadfast in support of the 245(i) provision which would have required the petition or labor certification to have been filed prior to August 15, 2001, and which was supposed to come up for a House vote on September 11, 2001. It is unclear which, if any, of these 245(i) provisions will finally make it into the statute books. What is clear is that a tumultuous 2002 lies ahead. Whatever lies ahead in immigration law, Immigration Daily will cover it for you.
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Foreign Workers And Their Families Face Increased Scrutiny When Travelling
George N. Lester and Punam S. Rogers write about the increased scrutiny aliens face when travelling after September 11th.
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Immigration Law News
Bill Introduced In Senate To Bring Back 245(i)
Senators Daschle (D-SD), Kennedy (D-MA) and Dodd (D-CT) introduced S. 2493, the Uniting Families Act of 2002 which, if passed would bring back 245(i) for a limited period up to April 30, 2003.
Bill Introduced In House For Naturalization Through Service In The Military
Rep. Stump (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill to facilitate the naturalization of aliens who serve honorably in the US Armed Forces.
Attorney General Eliminates Asylum And Adjustment Of Refugee Status For Violent Or Dangerous Criminals
In re Jean, 23 I&N Dec. 373 (A.G. 2002), the Attorney General said that aliens who have committed violent or dangerous crimes will not be granted asylum or a discretionary waiver to permit adjustment of status from refugee to lawful permanent status except in extraordinary circumstances involving national security or foreign policy considerations or on a showing of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship (which might even then be insufficient).
DOS Begins Implementing Border Bill
In response to a question at the Department of State's (DOS) daily briefing, DOS said it "is already addressing several of the bill's provisions."
INS Arrests Counterfeiters
INS announced the arrests of persons involved in counterfeiting.
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Senators Try To Bring Back 245(i)
The Washington Times reports that Senators Daschle and Kennedy have introduced a bill to bring back 245(i). If passed, the bill would require applicants "to have been in the country as of Dec. 1, 2000, and would have to show they had an allowed family relationship or employer's certification by April 30, 2003."
INS's Proposed Rule To Limit Visitor Visas Prompts Comments From Governor And Senators
The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports on INS's proposed rule to limit visitor visas "Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida’s two U.S. senators are among those who have deluged the agency with 10,000 e-mails and 300 letters on the security-related proposal that is open for comment through Monday."
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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Chat with Karen Meade
Attorney Karen Meade will answer questions on all aspects of immigration law on Monday, May 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
Editor's Note: The following letters are in response to the five letters to the Editor yesterday.
What a crop of letters yesterday!
First, Ms. Bowen appears to believe that immigration to the US is the way to
give everyone in the world a decent life. She seems to be totally discounting
that foreign aid and foreign policy would be more productive in improving
the standard of living for the entire world than importing even the million
or so immigrants we currently get each year. The US could and should
certainly do more than it has in regard to aid and policy - beginning with
funding population control programs even if they include abortion
information. But beggaring ourselves by accepting massive numbers of people
who simply don't have the ability to support themselves in our economy...a
Jewish philosopher put it succinctly: "If I am not for myself, who am
I...if I am only for myself, what am I". A nice statement of enlightened
Furthermore, Ms. Bowen is absolving immigrants of any responsibility for
their role in what their home countries are like. She seems to believe that
it is some "other" which is imposing genital mutilation, forced marriages,
plural marriages, subjugation of women, and the like on immigrants.
Actually, immigrants have been bringing these values with them when they
immigrate - to the point that countries such as France are feeling it
necessary to write laws to deal with what were formerly unknown problems.
Most of the conflicts in the world these days are basically civil wars,
between rival ethnic or religious groups, not wars between nations. Who is
responsible for these, if not the citizens of these countries? And who will
change these countries and the practices Ms. Bowen finds so offensive, if
not the citizens themselves? Should every one of them immigrate?
This also ties in with Ms. Hall's comments about assimilation.
She alludes to the previous waves of immigration and the assimilation of
these immigrants as justification for believing that the current immigrants
will eventually assimilate. She fails to recognize that there are important
differences between the immigration we are now experiencing and previous
waves (if she were a bit more assimilated, she might have more of a sense of
American history). The first difference is that the immigrants we are now
getting, particularly from Asia and the Middle East, have values which are
significantly different from those in the US. Most people think of
assimilation (and multiculturalism) in terms of food, dress, and
language--those are pretty superficial. What is really important, in my
opinion, are values. For example: In response to a letter of mine about
how legalization of illegal immigrants violates our ideas of law and order,
someone from Eastern Europe wrote in supporting legalization to benefit her
relatives. Another immigrant, from the same area, wrote in suggesting that
because the laws is held in such low esteem in Eastern Europe (corruption
and bribery are apparently the norm), that this woman apparently had no
faith in law and order here. That's precisely the sort of thing we should
be concerned about: getting large numbers of immigrants who can function in
our society but don't share some of our core values and most important, are
never really "taught" or encouraged to learn them. Other "core" US values
include the belief that one can "master" nature--one is sufficiently
intelligent and able to find solutions, rather than "leaving it to God", and
individualism and personal responsibility, rather than relying on the State
to provide. Or on equality of races and the sexes (ironically, immigrants
can be as racist as anyone else--more so perhaps, if they come from very
racially homogenous societies). Not everyone born in the US holds these
values, but enough of us do that they help characterize us and probably
account for a lot of our success as a nation.
A second major difference between current and previous immigration waves is
that previous immigrants were essentially cut off from their home countries
when they came here. They couldn't just pick up the phone or get on the
internet to keep in touch. They couldn't get on a plane and be "home" in a
few hours. There weren't ethnic TV channels, which they could use as their
sole source of news and information. And there weren't so many of them,
that they could totally avoid getting out of their own communities if they
wanted to. Their presidents didn't come here and encourage them to retain
their ethnic identity - and dual citizenship. Nor did our federal and state
governments accommodate them by being required to offer services such as
driving tests and welfare in their own languages. Being cut off forced
assimilation in previous waves. We don't have that now.
Finally, previous waves of immigration were followed by time outs, and were
accompanied by specific programs of Americanization. We don't have that
now, and if "multiculturalists" have their way, we won't. What we should be
concerned about is preserving the American culture (yes, we have one), not
that of every immigrant. Frankly, do we really want to risk an experiment
with "multiculturalism", which may cost us the very things we value (free
speech, law and order, stable government) if it fails?
Dr. Baer is making his usual pitch for legalizing illegal Mexicans. He
seems to have a profound belief that George Bush's actions reflect the will
of the American people and obligate us to support whatever promises he
makes. They don't. Even members of his own party recognize that he is
"vote grubbing" and acting in his own perceived political interest. A
president who has a mandate doesn't have to try to sneak measures such as
245i through Congress by attaching it to appropriations legislation or
border security measures.
Concerning Didorsi's letter - If the young man had been a citizen, he could not have been deported.
Didorsi said his neighbor's son was six months old when the family came, and
he was convicted at age 19. In 18 years, his father did not become a
citizen (which would have naturalized his son) even though it generally
takes only 5 years. Apparently, living here was not important enough to
them that they chose to become citizens.
The same thing just came up today, about an agreement that Justice has
signed with Cambodia to return about 2,000 people who are eligible for
deportation because of a deportable crime in their records. Again, many of
these were offenders who had been brought here as children, but were never
naturalized. I really do have to question the commitment to this country of
people who are here (presumably legally) for such long lengths of time, but
don't feel it necessary to naturalize. And then, to commit criminal acts on
top of that...
In a recent letter I wrote “I am not opposed to searching for a solution [to the immigration problem]”, and not that I wish to discuss my possible solution as one writer wrongly suggested in his letter. In speculating on what my solution “appears” to be, this same writer is wrong on a second count. I have been clear and unequivocal on several occasions that I favor the solution expressed by President Bush when he said: “ 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.”
To further clarify my position, I am opposed to open borders in the foreseeable future and I favor the repeal of the 3-10 year bar regulation, which is a bad law and deters many undocumented immigrants from deciding to return home.
As to popular opinion, it is persuasive but it is not infallible as was pointed out by Karmell Bowen in her letter of 4/22/02 [referring to one-time persuasions on slavery, women’s suffrage, prohibition and more]. There is always hope that knowledge can dispel bias, bias which I believe that in the case of immigrants is based on xenophobia. We should also try to encourage our representatives in Congress to have the courage to let humanity prevail over partisan gain or loss as a force for decision.
Lastly, I have no guilty conscience about living in this great country. I consider myself blessed to be here and am grateful to my immigrant grandparents for making it all possible. I want to share this good fortune, which is mine, with as many others as I possibly can. Guilt is a lingering manifestation of conscience that dwells in the hearts of some who don’t want to share good fortune but want it all for themselves.
Richard E. Baer, D.V.M
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