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Immigration Daily December 24, 2002
Previous Issues
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Editor's Comments

Our Editorial against section 214(b) received both kudos and criticism in today's Letters to the Editor (please scroll to bottom to read). It is of course, easy for our Congressional representatives to scapegoat INS and DOS employees, and it is easy for us to reprimand Congress for this. What we should all remember is that we are all in a new post-9/11 world where the old rules no longer apply. This is difficult to do - for Congress and for everyone else. But it must be done. What has really happened - and we must digress from immigration here for a bit - is that the entire theory and practice of security has been stood on its head. It was a long accepted principle in security that there was no real defense against a suicide attack. Though such an attack could be destructive, the destruction was thought to be limited since there was not much damage one fanatical individual could do. What we are faced with now is apparent legions of people who hold their lives of little account, and are apparently capable of sustained and coordinated action. This is a new kind of threat for security, and entirely new principles and practices are needed. That is why - and we now return to discussing immigration - it is facile and dangerous to pretend that if only some specific individuals in DOS and/or INS had "done a better job" in "enforcing the law," we might all have somehow avoided the horror of 9/11. We need a sweeping overhaul of pretty much everything related to security in America to try and prevent more such horrors. What exactly we will need is not entirely clear, but we have little doubt that our immigration laws and immigration-related personnel in the US will be a small part of whatever solution ultimately emerges from trial-and-error. However, it is wrong to believe that the primary thrust of a new security policy should be carried by immigration-related initiatives, just on the happenstance that some of the terrorists happen to apply for visas. The reasons for our world today, and its problems, including the terrorists, are a lot deeper than most people realize. Scapegoating immigrants and blaming immigration for the security problem is worse than wrong - it is dangerous to our national security.


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Featured Article

Firm Builds Business By Handling Immigration Cases Over The Web
Ben Harris writes about the firsthand benefits his firm reaped through immigration case management software.

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Immigration Law News

EOIR Seeks Comments
The US Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, has allowed an additional 30 days for public comment on the following EOIR Forms:
Immigration Practitioner Complaint Form, Form EOIR-44; Notice of Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals of Decision of Adjudicating Official in Practitioner Disciplinary Case, Form EOIR-45; Notice of Entry of Appearance as an Attorney or Representative Before the Immigration Court, Form EOIR-28; and Notice of Entry of Appearance as an attorney or representative before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Form EOIR-27.

Circuit Court Notes Dismissal Without Prejudice By District Court Does Not Bar Renewal Of Application
In Siariya v. INS, No. 02-3219 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 2002), the court said that the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the Petition.

Conflict Between Miranda Warning And Administrative Warning Is Unfair Burden On Individual
In US v. San Juan-Cruz, No. 02-50138 (9th Cir. Dec. 23, 2002), the court held that the conflict in Defendant's Miranda rights and his Administrative rights pursuant to 8 CFR 287.3 was an unfair burden on an individual already placed in a position that was inherently stressful.

Terrorists Laughing At Law-Abiding Registrants
An opinion column in the Los Angeles Times discuss the registration fiasco and quotes a community leader "If there are any terrorists out there, they are probably laughing at these law-abiding people who went and turned themselves in."

Would Terrorists Register?
A Sacramento Bee editorial says "would a real terrorist register with the INS unless he had an airtight cover story unlikely to be detected?"

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
Excuse me? America badly needs singly young men with no visible means? That comment is so absurd that it doesn't deserve a response, but I'll attempt to craft one. Young immigrant women toil here in most of the back-breaking jobs Americans shun. They are cleaners, waitresses, farm workers, food processing factory workers and more. They are every bit as vital to America as are immigrant men, and they are given even more short shrift. For a pro-immigrant daily to completely ignore their contributions is pathetic and blatantly sexist. In fact, women bear the brunt of global civil strife, and we should actively encourage more of them to our shores for the benefits they provide to our economy specifically and to our country as a whole.

Marisa A. DeFranco, Esq.
AILA New England Chapter Treasurer

Editor's Note: We believe that America badly needs single young women with no visible means just as badly as it needs single young men with no visible means. For that matter, we think married young men and women are fine for the country too. Our language was intended to be read in conjunction with the immediately preceding language of Senators Kyl and Roberts who specifically singled out men for criticism.

Dear Editor:
I would like to applaud your chutzpah in calling for the repeal of 214(b). Recently, I was in attendance at an AILA meeting where a high level DOS official spoke about visa issuance procedures in the post 9/11 world. He emphasized that the number #1 priority was security and there were no #2 and #3 priorities. And, yet, 10 minutes later, he was villifying the stereotypical would-be "economic migrant" - the 22 -year-old single male or female with little or no resources. Hey, but I thought there was no #2 or #3 priority. Someone suggested that 9/11 happened because of the State Dept. bias toward the wealthy, and I believe this is true. Young single males with large bank accounts and VIP patronage could always get visas, and as we all know, some of the sponsors of terrorism are very well-connected individuals/organizations. So, isn't it high time that we worried less about the would-be economic migrants, who do not threaten our national security, but rather bolster our economy, and focus more serious attention on targeting those with adverse criminal records and ominous connections?

Later in the session I told a personal story about the denial of a tourist visa to my sister-in-law at a consulate in S. America. This woman did not fit the profile of the economic migrant. She was 37, married, mother of 3, with a job (albeit low end) and a house (albeit modest). I had submitted an affidavit of support, which the consular officer threw in the garbage, saying that the burden of proof was on her; they were not interested in my offer of support - even though she was only coming for a 3-week visit at my expense. The officer also discarded her children's birth certificates because she said that Latin American women often abandon their children to go work in the US. The marriage was given short shrift and the officer said she didn't make enough money on her job. I asked the high-ranking DOS official what he had to say about this case, and he was speechless. He kept emphasizing how easy it is in some countries to fabricate documents. Yes, but doesn't that hold true even more for the wealthy? For example, my sister-in-law told me she was sure that if she had paid $2,000 to one of the "travel agents" milling around outside the consulate, she would have had her visa no questions asked. I am sure too. Ironically, for the person of modest means, telling the truth and presenting bonafide documents is rarely rewarded - hence the incentive to fabricate acceptable ones - just to be able to visit the sibling you may not have seen for 10 years, or attend the birth of your grandchild. These folks are often damned if they do and damned if they don't, and they are the only people 214(b) is keeping out.

In defense of consular officers, I will say that it is difficult to impossible to determine the true intent of a person applying for a visa regardless of the documentation presented, but unless we want to put a moratorium on admissions, we have to establish certain documentary guidelines and stand by them. Let's face it, though, smart terrorists and other evildoers can work around almost any impediments we come up with, and in the end, we really cannot blame consular officers for not detecting that which is virtually undetectable.

What we really need to do as a nation is to separate our issues. As the editor said, the issue of protecting US workers is totally separate and distinct from that of guarding our national security. A successful approach to the former, will inevitably fail to achieve the latter. Perhaps there is no workable solution, but the gurus in Washignton would not like to hear that.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Dear Editor:
Our government still doesn’t get it. Terrorists who will cause us Americans harm, as has been shown, are ready to die for their cause or causes. What made our government think that punishing them with deportation, imprisonment, or fine, would-be terrorists will fall in line to register?

Name Not Supplied

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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