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Immigration Daily July 16, 2002
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Editor's Comments

Every day, our home page features three attorneys who are members of ILW.COM. These attorneys are chosen randomly each day from our 400+ members. By spotlighting some of our members every day, we help the thousands of immigrants and employers who visit our website each day for news and information to link up directly to the law firms' websites. We have often said that Immigration Daily and ILW.COM are a platform for communication in immigration law. ILW.COM's directory of immigration lawyers is a crucial part of that communication platform. To search for an immigration lawyer, click here. Attorneys who wish to become members of ILW.COM should write to


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Featured Article

Immigration Alert! Failure to Inform INS Promptly of Change of Address May Land You in Removal Proceedings
Carl R. Baldwin writes "It is appalling, but it is what is going on these days in the perilous world of immigration."

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Immigration Law News

DOS Questioned On Visa Waiver Program
The Department of State answered a question on the status of the review of the visa waiver program at the Daily Press Briefing.

Senate Resolution On Pre-Revolutionary Immigration
A resolution was introduced in the Senate for the issue of a postage stamp to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Acadian immigration to the US. The resolution says, inter alia, that it "would increase public awareness of the history of American prerevolutionary immigration."

Functions Realigned At Office Of Refugee Resettlement
The Department of Health and Human Services realigned "functions within the Office of Refugee Resettlement."

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Immigration Cases Flood Ninth Circuit reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "has been hit with a flood of immigration appeals, clocking in at around 100 per week... If the current rate was sustained over the course of a year, immigration cases would comprise an astonishing percentage of the court's docket -- almost half."

BIA To Review Cases In 15 Minutes Each, Per DOJ Proposal reports on the proposal by the Department of Justice which "sets a six-month deadline for eliminating the 50,000-case backlog. This prompted the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition to estimate that each backlogged case will get 15 minutes, with each board member reviewing 32 a day." Also writing in, attorneys Ronald A. Schechter and Thaddeus R. McBride comment "ensuring the consistency of immigration judge decisions demands that board members be empowered to review appeals thoroughly and explain their conclusions carefully. Without de novo review authority, however, and with the increasing use of summary decisions, the board will be powerless to fulfill an important part of its duties."

INS Attempts To Run-Around 3rd Circuit Decision Pending Supreme Court Appeal reports "In Almonte-Vargas v. Elwood, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that the INS has adopted policies designed to counteract the effects of a recent 3rd Circuit ruling that the INS disagrees with and is hoping to overturn in the U.S. Supreme Court."

DOS Detains Reporter
The Washington Post reports "State Department officials detained a young National Review reporter for questioning at the daily briefing yesterday after he asked about a classified cable involving embarrassing problems with U.S. visas in Saudi Arabia."

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
Even if you don't live in Texas (bless your heart), we hope you'll support John Courage in this important election. We'll be look'in for you and your friends on Thursday...

We rarely endorse political candidates, but want our friends and colleagues to know how impressed we are with this enlightened candidate. John Courage's background is as a schoolteacher with special expertise working with special education students. He stands up for education, the environment, women's equality, and for due process for immigrants and their families. It is refreshing to hear John recognize the contributions of immigrant workers to our community & country, and discuss the need to (re)unite immigrants & their U.S. citizen families.

As you may know, Congressman Lamar Smith was the author of the draconian 1996 immigration laws which retroactively stripped many long time "permanent residents" of status, eliminated due process for many immigrants, divided many U.S. citizen and immigrant families, and attempted to eliminate virtually all judicial review of immigration decisions. With your help, we can defeat Lamar Smith and send a message to Washington that Texans will not support politicians who want to build barriers instead of bridges for immigrants and their families.

We hope you will attend our reception. There is no charge...we just want you to meet John Courage. Of course contributions are welcome and could be mailed to Texans with Courage, P.O. Box 700327, San Antonio, TX 78270 or sent online:

Meet The Candidate. Please join us for a reception for John Courage, candidate for the Texas 21st District U.S. Congressional seat. Thanks to redistricting, if you live West of MoPac, you probably reside within this new Congressional District! 5:30 - 8:00 p.m., Thursday, July 18, 704 Rio Grande, Austin, Texas. Best parking is at any metered space on Rio Grande, Seventh, or Eighth Streets. (No need to feed the meters after 5:30 unless you want to contribute to the City!)

We are looking forward to the election of John Courage as our new United States Congressional Representative and need your support.

Paul Parsons & Dan Kowalski

Dear Editor:
In February of this year, the Kirov Opera and Ballet Orchestra entered the US under a standard P-1 Visa to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. They did so with the blessing of the American Federation of Musicians, which has a long-standing respect and encouragement of such cultural exchanges. Unfortunately, the Kirov chose to exploit that goodwill by recording a film score for the upcoming Paramount film "K-19: The Widowmaker" during their visit, clearly violating the terms of their visa.

According to AFM President Thomas Lee, the Federation alerted the INS, as well as members of the House and Senate subcommittees on Immigration, providing all parties with relevant documentation supporting this claim. The INS assured the Federation that a full and thorough investigation into the matter would take place.

"Despite this assurance, the INS has allowed the Kirov back into the US for performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera," said Lee. "In doing so, the INS is essentially rewarding the Kirov Orchestra for their previous unlawful activity. Since the INS has ignored the AFM's advisory opinion that future visas for the Kirov not be approved-indeed the INS never bothered to inform the AFM, nor entered into any further communication with us on the matter-we can only conclude that the promised investigation never took place."

The INS has rightly come under fire, most recently for approving the visas of two September 11th terrorists, prompting widespread calls for reform. However, added Lee, given subsequent developments in the Kirov's case, it would appear to the AFM that the rubber-stamp mentality of the INS is still firmly in place. "Considering the Kirov's track record, we find this an insult not only to our membership, but also to working Americans everywhere who have fought hard for fair wages and standards in their respective industries."

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. Whether it is negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators-the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. For more information, contact Theresa Naglieri at (212) 869-1330 ext. 218 or visit the website at

Honore Stockley
for American Federation of Musicians

An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Send Correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. Opinions expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Editorial Advisory Board
Marc Ellis, Gary Endelman

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