The upcoming week is the last week before Congress returns to work. Congress faces a legislative calendar that is shortened by the November election. In addition, Congress will face the arduous task of creating the Department of Homeland Security, the size of which task is something Congress may not have faced in a long time. Immigration will play a central role in the midst of all this tumult. The House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House each has a different vision for immigration in the new order. The main unresolved issue is whether to keep immigration services together with immigration enforcement.
An article in The Indianapolis Star quotes Mitch Daniels, the Director of the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget "We have a wonderful opportunity to go with the flow of this wave of new Americans from the south ... Quite often they become better Americans than the ones who came before them." It is heartening to see such positive sentiments from a key lieutenant of President Bush.
We commend Director Daniels comments to Congress's attention as it considers the role of immigration services in the new Executive that it will legislate into existence in the coming months.
Deadline For Business Immigration Seminar Is Monday, August 26th
Monday, August 26th is the deadline to sign up for ILW.COM's seminar on H-1Bs, TNs, L-1s, O-1s, P-1s, and other non-immigrant employment visas. Attorneys, paralegals, in-house counsel, HR representatives and others will find this an excellent opportunity for an overview of this important area of immigration law.
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H-1B Series: What Is An H-1B "Specialty Occupation"?
George N. Lester IV continues the H-1B Series with a discussion on which job is a "specialty occupation?"
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Immigration Law News
Rep. Gephardt's Statement On Legalization
Rep. Gephardt (D-MO) much quoted speech offering legalization to the undocumented included the following: " ... opportunity for all. We are all immigrants, unless we're Native American. My great grandparents came from Germany. They were immigrants. They were welcomed to this country and they had opportunity and therefore I had opportunity. Today there are probably millions of immigrants in this country who have done everything we have asked them to do. They worked, they stayed out of trouble, they obeyed the law, they helped their family, and they would like an opportunity. ... The House Democratic Caucus has been working on a proposal that recognizes the hard work of immigrants with earned legalization. It ensures the security of our borders and unifies our families. ... I am pleased to announce the next big, significant step in the development of our immigration proposal. I am going to recommend to the House Democratic Caucus after months of work with the Hispanic Caucus and with the Labor Unions and with other organizations around the country, that we introduce legislation in the next two weeks that will provide earned legalization to undocumented immigrants who have resided here for five years, worked here for two years and have played by the rules. ... Hard work, fair play. Our proposals will bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and into the light of accountability and greater cooperation in our fight against terrorism. And I hope that people on the other side will not try to make political hay in the name of fighting terrorism against these proposals. These proposals reward hard work with fair play and help us in our fight against terrorism in this great country. Make no mistake about it."
Rational Basis Exists For Denial Of 212(h) Waiver To LPRs
In Taniguchi v. Schultz, Nos. 00-16928 and 00-71053 (9th Cir. Aug. 23, 2002), the court held that equitable tolling was not argued to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), nor discussed by the BIA, nor argued to the court and that therefore that issue was not exhausted and was waived by failure to present it to the court; and that a rational basis exists for denying 212(h) waiver to aggravated felon Legal Permanent Residents but not other aliens; and that since Petitioner did not raise before the District Court an ineffective assistance of counsel argument on the grounds that her former attorney failed to file an administrative appeal, she waived the claim.
New IJ Sworn In
The Executive Office for Immigration Review announced that Grace A. Sease was sworn in as an immigration judge at an investiture ceremony in York, PA.
Employer Withdraws H2B Hearing Request
In the Matter of Servicios Agricolas Mexicanos, No. 2002-TLC-00004 (OALJ, Aug. 20, 2002), the Office of Administrative Law Judges dismissed a H2B case since the Employer withdrew its hearing request.
INS Announces Meeting
INS announced a meeting on Data Management.
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IRCA Case Against Managers Thrown Out
The Omaha World-Herald reports that a US District Court ruled that the INS acted in bad faith in deporting 200 undocumented immigrants before they could testify against the Employer who is accused of conspiracy to hire undocumented workers and falsifying immigration documents.
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented In California
The Contra Costa Times reports that California may soon issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
OMB Director Is Pro-Immigration
The Indianapolis Star quotes the Director of the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget "We have a wonderful opportunity to go with the flow of this wave of new Americans from the south ... Quite often they become better Americans than the ones who came before them."
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Letters to the Editor
I would like to congratulate Attorney Bruce Hake for his well researched addition to my opinion letter concerning the witch hunt the Texas UPLC appears to be on by singling out a seemingly qualified immigration attorney on which to vent their wrath concerning the unauthorized practice of law, rather than focusing on notarios, consultants and others who give incorrect or downright fraudulent advice about serious immigration matters.
I would also like to give kudos to the unnamed immigration lawyer who took a "middle of the road" position concerning my responsive opinion of Mrs. Boecker's immigration plight, wherein I suggested that she should have engaged a competent immigration attorney from the beginning of her quest for permanent residence. I completely and totally agree with everything this well-written lawyer says, except the shot he took at me by suggesting that I had may not have "vignettes" of INS incompetence in my 24 years of practice.
Yes, I have seen a laundry list of INS incompetence, and continue to see it on a daily basis, but the intent of my letter was to draw attention to the same fact as does he . . . The immigration laws of the United States of America are extremely complex, and are becoming more complex. Anyone who even files a simple application for extension of a visitor visa without competent legal counsel could face serious consequences. In a word, "Caveat emptor" . . . buyer beware . . . in the arena of US immigration law, where, as was correctly pointed out by the unnamed lawyer, the public simply cannot rely on the INS to give correct advice on immigration matters . . . they are immigration enforcers, but not immigration advisors, and often simply do not know the law.
As to the suggestion that intending immigrants seek the advice of congresspersons, my advice is: This is definitely the wrong approach, as I have seen many times, including as late as just yesterday. Why people think congresspersons and their staff know anything about immigration law is a mystery to me. Only Immigration lawyers are advisors; only immigration lawyers are qualified to give advice in this complex and important area of law that so seriously affects the lives of so many good people, and the general public would be well advised to seek them out.
And my advice, and the thrust of my comment on Mrs. Boecker's case, is that anyone attempting to obtain immigration information and assistance in immigration matters from anyone but a competent immigration lawyer, preferably one who has enough interest in the subject to join the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the national organization dedicated to promoting logic and reason in the area of immigration law, as well responsible and well informed practice by its members.
I would also like to thank Immigration Daily for continuing to bring us up-to-the minute information concerning cutting edge immigration topics and providing a forum for further education in the subject of immigration law such as that currently being offered by ILW.COM on the subject of H-1Bs, TNs, L-1s, O-1s, P-1s, and other non-immigrant employment visas, complex issues concerning employment related nonimmigrant visas. This is a monumental task, and ILW.COM obviously has taken it very seriously.
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
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