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Immigration Daily March 20, 2003
Previous Issues
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Editor's Comments

Fair Credit, Immigration, I-9 Enforcement

One would not ordinarily expect that a final rule involving the Equal Credit Opportunity Act would affect immigration lawyers' practices. Welcome to immigration law practice in 2003, where immigration status and Fair Credit are connected (for the text of the final rule, please see the links below). Given the astonishing recent proliferation of immigration law's connections to other parts of our legal system, it appears that our Federal Government is determined to ensure full employment for immigration lawyers for several decades to come. One area where no one doubts increased governmental activism is enforcement. Historically, the "softest" target for immigration enforcement has been employers. I-9 enforcement is increasingly seen by the feds as a tool in the terrorism campaign, as evidenced by the unprecedented surge in the Social Security Administration's "No Match" letters - hundreds of thousands of these were sent out in 2002. This is the background for ILW.COM's seminar series "IRCA Strategies for Employment Immigration: Hot Issues in I-9s, Hiring Discrimination, OSC, etc." This seminar will be led by the head of the IRCA group at the largest immigration law firm in the country. Distinguished government speakers will join the panel. Employment immigration law practice has been slow with the technology downturn and the sluggish economy. Employment immigration enforcement is one of the few bright spots in today's immigration law practice. For more info about this seminar series, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information online, click here. For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information by fax, click here.


ILW.COM Focus

IRCA Strategies for Employment Immigration: Hot Issues in I-9s, Hiring Discrimination, OSC, etc.

ILW.COM's new seminar "IRCA Strategies for Employment Immigration: Hot Issues in I-9s, Hiring Discrimination, OSC, etc." will be led by Cynthia Lange, head of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy P.C.'s IRCA Compliance Practice Group. She will be joined by several of her distinguished colleagues at the Fragomen firm (the largest immigration law firm in the country). Also joining her is Jack Perkins, Chief Administrative Hearing Officer at the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). Another featured speaker is Linda Dodd-Major, who was the creator and director of the INS's Office of Business Liaison. Many other nationally prominent speakers will be announced shortly. The curriculum for this seminar series is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on March 27:

What's new in I-9 enforcements and case law?

  • Recent INS sweeps; What industries are targeted and who is affected?
  • Update on recent I-9 case laws
  • Where is the new I-9 forms and I-9 regulations?
  • Creative I-9 solutions for difficult situations
SECOND Phone Session on April 22:

Criminal I-9 enforcement and could it affect your clients?

  • What kind of criminal charges are U.S. attorneys filing?
  • How to protect your client from criminal I-9 charges
  • Recent criminal cases across the country
THIRD Phone Session on May 6:

Avoiding discrimination at the time of hiring: What advice to give your clients?

  • Is document abuse still alive?
  • What questions may you ask in recruiting
  • Discrimination considerations in terminations and reductions in force
  • Balancing national security and discrimination concerns

For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information online, click here.
For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information by fax, click here.


Featured Article

A Response To The Acosta Doctrine And Gender Asylum: An Immigration Reform Perspective On Matter of R-A-
Stephen M. Knight writes, "The question of whether victims of gender-based violence qualify as refugees under the Refugee Convention has been faced by numerous other developed countries and been answered in the affirmative."


Keep on top of the latest in immigration law! Attend ILW.COM seminars! You can attend ILW.COM phone seminars from the convenience of your office! For more info on the seminars currently available, please click here: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/

Immigration Law News

Final Ruling On Equal Credit Opportunity Act Says Immigration Status May Be Taken Into Account
The Board of Govenors of the Federal Reserve System issued a final ruling involving the Equal Credit Opportunity Act stating that a creditor may not refuse to grant credit because an applicant comes from a particular country but may take the applicant's immigration status into account.

Rep. Tancredo Speaks On US Border Control
During a debate in Congress, Rep. Tancredo (R-CO) said, "By failing to [secure the border], we are betraying not only the Kuykendalls, but the liberties of every citizen affected by a growing tide of illegal immigration flooding across our borders day after day."

Secretary Ridge Speaks On Detention Of Asylum Seekers
During a press briefing on Operation Liberty Shield, Secretary Ridge said, "The detention of asylum seekers is basically predicated on one basic notion. We just want to make sure that those who are seeking asylum, number one, are who they say they are and, two, are legitimately seeking refuge in our country because of political repression at home, not because they choose to cause us harm or bring destruction to our shores."

EOIR Takes Disciplinary Action Against 4 Immigration Attorneys
The Executive Office For Immigration Review of the Department Of Justice (EOIR) issued a news release announcing disciplinary action against four attorneys after charging them with violations of the rules of professional conduct for immigration practitioners. The EOIR also reinstated one attorney.

OALJ Grants Motion To Withdraw Complaint In LCA Matter
In the Matter of O'Donnell v. North Country Medical Eyecare, P.C., No. 2003-LCA-6 (OALJ, Mar. 18, 2003), the Office of Administrative Law Judges granted Employee's motion to withdraw his complaint because correspondence from both parties indicated that Employer participated in the resolution of the matter and no objection was received from Employer to Employee's motion to withdraw his complaint.

Affidavit From Census Bureau Demographer In Support Of A Chinese National's Asylum Claim Begs Question
In Lin v. INS, No. 00-4215(L), 02-4033(CON) (2nd Cir. Mar. 7, 2003), the court said that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Petitioner's appeal for his failure to specify any errors of fact or law in his motion to reconsider. The court also said that the supplemental affivadit from a former Census Bureau demographer begged the question of why Petitioner, a Chinese national, did not mention a sterilization threat in his original asylum application.

US Adopts New Asylum Policy Where Individuals Seeking Asylum May Be Detained
The San Jose Mercury News reports that "The new asylum policy -- aimed at residents of countries with suspected terrorist ties -- will be in place indefinitely as part of a new plan to fortify the country against war-related terrorist attacks."

Five On BIA Panel Asked To Leave
MotherJones.com reports that while the Department of Justice insists the firings are routine downsizing, critics say the dismissals have nothing to do with "streamlining plans" and everything to do with politics.


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Classifieds

Help Wanted - Experienced Immigration Attorney
The Law Office of Sheela Murthy, P.C., comprised of over 45 full-time professionals, seeks attorneys with 3+ years of Business Immigration experience to sustain growth and to service recently expanded areas of our immigration practice. We are looking for smart, energetic, motivated people who want to be a part of our dynamic team of professionals. The selected candidate should possess excellent writing and communication skills, have an eye for detail, and the ability to work independently. Strong interpersonal skills required. Please feel free to send us your resume (treated in confidence) along with a cover letter to: hr@murthy.com. We are located in Owings Mills, Maryland - a 20 minute drive from Baltimore. For more details, visit http://www.murthy.com/jobs.html.

Help Wanted - Experienced Immigration Attorney
San Diego's leading immigration firm, Larrabee & Zimmerman LLP, seeks an experienced immigration attorney to join its team. A minimum of 3+ years of Employment-based visa experience and CA bar admission required. Excellent benefits and a great place to work. Send your resume, along with references, and salary requirements to: hr@larrabee.com.

We carry advertisements for Help Wanted: Attorney, Help Wanted: Paralegal, Help Wanted: Other, Positions Sought, Products & Services Offered, etc.
For information on advertising in the classifieds please click here

For a listing of current immigration events please click here
For services/products of use in your law practice please click here


Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I commend ILW.COM for its support of the US position on disarming Iraq by force. I am an immigration lawyer, and sometimes find that other immigration lawyers confuse their belief in immigration with having to be liberal and anti-administration on every issue. I do not have a problem, unlike AILA, with special registration nor hightened survellience of mosques. The Arab American community should not be against this, so long as it is not a ruse to catch illegals. If there is another attack in the US, and Arabs or Arab Americans are responsible, the backlash would be worse than it is now. I do not understand how not a single person anywhere outside of Iraq denies that Saddam is a brutal saddistic dictator, yet the "anti-war" people say they want to contain him in power victimizing his people while they go back to their comfortable lives in surburban America? I am proud to be an American that in this century we will no longer be isolationists and turn a blind eye to dictators, lest anyone forget the French were against our going into Bosnia were the serbs were engaged in genocide. Peace at all costs, is not peace.

Robert Brooks, Esq.

Dear Editor:
I am surprised that ILW.COM's editorial of March 18, 2003 takes such a strong position in support of the war against Iraq, even if it is from the perspective of immigration. Most of the world does not support the war; particularly the Bush administration's handling of the situation and its unwillingness to work with other countries in giving the inspectors the extra time that they needed to get the job done. While it is perceived that the war may be quick and easy (even though it will kill many Iraqi civilians), this administration's action will in the long run damage America's credibility and international standing. Most people outside America see President Bush as a greater threat to world peace than anyone else. Most Americans do not realize it. This will ultimately result in a weaker country, which in turn, would be less attractive to immigrants. Indeed, the Bush administration's tendency to undermine international institutions, which it did even prior to September 11 (such as backing out of the International Criminal Court) is akin to Mr. Ashcroft's attempts to undermine the US constitution through the Patriot Act, I and now II, as well as the promulgation of regulations that resulted in the targeting of non-citizens solely because of their nationality and without regard to individualized guilt and suspicion. Furthermore, whether America is safe or not is an extremely relative concept and all depends on how the administration deals with foreign policy, which till now has been handled extremely poorly. America was clearly safer before Mr. Bush started threatening Iraq. Even if one is of the opinion that Iraq should be threatened and invaded, America would have been safer if Mr. Bush would have been able to rally all the nations around him and act in conformity with Resolution 1441 that stressed on disarmament rather than regime change. Finally, since the prospect of war has resulted in higher security alerts, and since it also causes Congress to rally around the President, it will be easier for this administration to pass more legislation through Congress, such as Patriot II, which will not just abrogate the liberties of non-citizens but even citizens.

Cyrus Mehta

Dear Editor:
While Immigration Daily is welcomed, ILW.COM's rhetorical and propagandistic Editor's Comments are not.

LP

Dear Editor:
ILW.COM's recent editorial employs extremely circuitous and unpersuasive reasoning. Yesterday's editor's comments reasons that this war will benefit immigrants by: 1) eliminating the possibility of future spurious "anti-terrorist" scapegoating, by destroying a government which has little direct link to terrorism, but which is perceived by some bigots as doing so, and is then spuriously invoked as an excuse for their bigotry. 2) position the US in a wonderfully to eliminate terrorism, by threatening further invasions of Syria and Iran -- thereby dissuading them from sponsoring future terrorism. 3) terrorizing every other nation in the world with the threat of invasion, so that no nation will dare sponsor terrorism in the future. 4) establish a new atmosphere of security and wellbeing within the US, which will render the US public immune to terrorism-focused demagoggery. Any security or acceptance this editorial buys is illusory. Yes - by offering up your "left" credibility as a prominant immigration advocate, you may well reserve yourself a favored seat on a spuriously "patriotic" militarist establishment bandwagon. Do you want to follow the path of those who betrayed progressive struggles during the McCarthy era? Well then, snuggle up - because it's going to be a twisted and chilling ride. Please don't do immigrants any "favors" at the expense of the hapless civilians and cannon fodder Bush et. al. are currently poised to slaughter and maim. Leave that to clearminded, unconflicted fascists like Richard Perles, Jesse Helms and Dick Cheney.

David Hoffman, Humanity Check Iinterfaith Peace and Reconciliation Project Coordinator
Santa Rosa, CA

Dear Editor:
Yesterday's Editor's Comments claim to the connection between the invasion of Iraq and positive change in immigration, or the perception of the general public of immigration, is hardly substantiated. So how is it that invading Iraq will make immigration look positive to the US public, or bring positive effects in general? The invasion will surely stir a defensive and likely an offensive movement in response. For every act of aggression, there is a response. Considering that only 1-9% (according to the Zogby poll, I think it was) of the public of many of Iraq's neighbors support the invasion of Iraq, it is very easy to conclude that many people will be unhappy. I disagree entirely with your claim that "vanquishing the terrorists would make America safe from terror and simultaneously damage the anti-American, anti-immigration program." I want to ask: who is terrified, those invading or those waiting for the bombs falling from the sky? Who exactly is being vanquished, with this invasion? I also disagree entirely with your claim that "unfortunately, terrorism thrives in a part of the world where we do not have sufficient military and covert resources to take direct action against the terrorists, or the ability to pressure other governments to do so." The US has plenty of military bases in the Middle East and the Gulf area. Moreover, the US has managed to force "regime change" in Palestine (now the democratically elected leader is being "replaced" before being granted negotiating power), and now the US is demanding by way of military might that "regime change" be implemented in Iraq. "Terrorists" are those who are opposed to policies or specific actions and choose violent means to demonstrate opposition. There is an act or policy that is being demonstrated against, and as long as the inflammatory act or policy exists, there will always be "terrorists". As for the anti-immigration agenda, it will be pushed forward every time that foreign person succeeds in causing a violent act he/she believes is defensive or justified retaliation.

John Smith

Dear Editor:
Yesterday's Immigration Daily's Editor's Comments said, "The presence of a massive US armed force in Iraq would not just obliterate Iraqi support for the terrorists, it would put Syria and Iran - both supporters of terrorists - squarely in our sights." The above statement is somewhat puzzling since the word "terrorists" remains undefined. Many would argue that destroying the power of murderous, expansionist Stalinist is justified for its own sake, but that adding "terrorist" is gratuitous. We never, or hardly ever, label as "terrorists" those who terrorize their own citizens. One might include the invasion of Kuwait as a kind of "state terrorism", but to do so detracts from the very special connotation. Claiming that there is "Iraqi support for terrorists" is conclusory and hardly convincing. You then go on to deny a link between immigration and terrorism. The link is obviously there: it's just not causative. Consular officers know that a certain percentage of visa candidates are lying. They know, statistically, how many from their host country are lying. Unfortunately they don't know, in many or most cases, which ones they are. It isn't much different with asylum hearings, and one is sometimes left with the conclusion -- admitted to me by more than one administrative law judge -- that while s/he "knows that X% of applicants are genuine" s/he doesn't know which ones they are, and winds up ruling on extraneous evidence. Or worse, at random. Today, in fact, demanding "too much" allegiance of immigrants can bring about accusations of racism. There's no help for this: nationality has become a source of rights more than of obligations. With the advent of political equality for women and their acquisition of the right to transmit nationality to offspring, incidence of dual nationality was bound to increase. So: a return to the past is impossible even if we wanted to go there. Yet Americans have always been, and remain today, inclined to point fingers and seek simple solutions to complex political problems. Aside from trying to show your patriotism, I wonder why the Iraq war is relevant to a forum on immigration? True, past wars have all led to massive immigration. But I don't see how one can say that terrorism is not related to immigration, but Iraq is related to terrorism. And if the US is to put "Syria and Iran - both supporters of terrorists" in its sights, then its task is mammoth indeed. But I fear I have run out of space, and don't want to commit the mistake of so many others, including your good selves, of over-simplifying complex problems.

Andrew Grossman, LLB
London, GB

Dear Editor:
Bravo! Probably won't be a very popular position with most of your readers, but I for one personally agree with ILW.COM.

Name Withheld Upon Request [modified 3/24/03. - Ed.]

Dear Editor:
I question why ILW.COM felt any need to editorialize on this question, except that having public opinions is generally a hobby of daily editors. But then to support a war only to benefit immigration lawyers, if the war would really do that, is incredibly bad policy. "Before we go any further, our readers should know that Immigration Daily takes positions based only on the immigration law perspective. We do not take positions on issues which are unconnected or peripherally connected to immigration law." You assert, without any evidence: "This war is helpful in the global war against the terrorists who want to destroy all that immigrants value in choosing to make America their home." But that is the one huge unresolved question. If this war is to subdue terrorists it is really a big gamble whether it will actually inflame terrorism. I have a lot of clients from Muslim nations (none of them sympathetic to Sudam Hussein), and the ones I talked to about this war are mostly extremely distressed at the prospect. If international and domestic fears increase, and the whole world becomes more unstable, will the chance that more people become desperate to enter the US be good for immigration lawyers? Maybe not. I suggest you retract your editorial and change your mind.

Name Not Provided

Dear Editor:
ILW.COM's editorial was inspiring and eloquent. Thanks. It is vital that friends of immigration not willingly abandon the issue of American national security to our opponents who are only too eager to brand us as unpatriotic. Those who think that national security is not our concern live in a dream world. Only a secure and prosperous America will be generous enough and emotionally secure enough to support an expansive immigration policy. A defensive, frightened nation seeking to protect itself against unseen threats lurking in the shadows is unlikely to be much interested in bringing in more immigrants or making life pleasant for those here. Those who argue that Iraq is not our concern, that we should not become involved, that we should react to events rather than seek to control them are basically saying two things. One is that our primary concerns are domestic and that the world beyond our shores is only secondary. At bottom, this is a profoundly Fortress America mindset that feeds our historic ambivalence on immigration and provides an intellectual respectability to the isolationist tendencies that always lurk below the surface, ready to emerge in times of crisis. Second, the very notion of being proactive is rejected. This is an implicit admission of defeat, an acceptance of powerlessness and a reinforcement of our own national admission as victims of, rather than actors in, history. History becomes something that happens to us. This mentality will never allow the targeted use of immigration as a cornerstone of American economic policy and that is a loss which impoverishes all of us.

Gary Endelman
Houston, TX

Dear Editor:
I received news yesterday via the New England AILA Chapter that a criminal scheme involving the sale of social security cards to Brazilians in several states, including Massachusetts was recently discovered by authorities. According to the report, the numbers appeared legitimate because there may have been a cohort within the SSA. In response, the Mass RMV has been sending out letters to Brazilians who have used the SSA# to obtain a driver's license, revoking the license on the basis that he or she is an "immediate threat." Each individual is told to report to the RMV to reinstate the license and that there will be a fine of $50 - $1,000. However, when people actually show up at the RMV to pay the fine, it appears that they are then told to report to the state police. I'm sure many of the offenders are 245(i) applicants, and it is a disgrace that this government has criminalized these people instead of allowing them to obtain legitimate social security numbers once they filed a nonfrivolous 245(i) labor certification. These are the janitors, busboys and cooks who may have entered illegally or overstayed their visas, but nevertheless were allowed by our government to legalize their status if an employer successfully sponsored them for labor certification. During this 2-year period, 245(i) applicants have not been able to obtain driver's licenses, register or insure a vehicle, or work and file tax returns - lawfully. If they are picked up for driving without a license or insurance, they become criminals, and then the American public glibly says, "See, these immigrants are good for nothing; they can't obey the law." If they buy a social security number so that they can attempt to drive "legally", but their fraud is discovered, and plastered all over the newspapers, they are equally damned. The winners here are the companies who have profited from their labor, the government, who has kept all their withholding, and a society which has had its offices cleaned, and its fast food served by people with a very strong work ethic. The people who pose an "immediate threat" are not the aliens who bought the cards, but rather those Americans working in the SSA who sold them. The aliens were between a rock and a hard place; the SS workers were just plain greedy and corrupt. Whom do you fear more? I hope they get burned as badly as the aliens will be.

SJD

Dear Editor:
The following is my definition of "consensus", taken from The American Heritage dictionary: consensus, n., Collective opinion or concord; general agreement or accord. I don't know how Mr. Frecker's definition differs. "Compromise" to me is a noun, which means: A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions. In my letter of 3/18, I offered compromise for controlled, realistic, legal immigration; I proposed a solution for reducing the number of undocumented workers in our country; and, I endorsed Gary Endleman's plan of "Earned Legalization (until Mr. Frecker or anyone else can come up with a better plan). In his reply to me, Mr. Frecker made no specific comments to my compromise, my solution, or my plan endorsement, nor did he offer any compromises of his own.

R.E. Baer

Dear Editor:
Is it only me or do the March 19th letters from Mr. Frecker, Mr. Prchal and Mr. Alexander come across as substantive, well reasoned, factual and make good points, while Mr. Baer's and Justin's letters do not. Both of them comment on my "solutions" letter of 3/18 and both of them make out of context statements as Mr. Frecker also commented upon. Justin claims I made a statement about keeping out all Mexicans and Mr. Baer comments that no solutions were offered. No solutions were offered that he cared for would be more truthful. While I give him credit for his proposal to reduce numbers, he lost me with his dam analogy at the border. Most of the "pressure" of immigration results from accommodating their interests instead of ours, which my letter discussed. If deportation isn't a "final solution", what is? He endorses Gary Endelman's earned legalization proposal which might have some merit if this were 1965 and we had not experienced decades of far too many immigrants with Mexico being the big offender. Much of that excess should be deported, not rewarded with defacto amnesty in disguise. Many airlines have first and coach classes. Both are treated respectfully. If one does not qualify for the higher class, that is denied until the price is paid. We have all kinds of classes in insurance, education and many other areas, and were it not for the problems of mass immigration, such a solution of a Class A and Class B citizenship categories would not be needed. The price for citizenship has been set too low and to grant it to illegals is unwise. The opposite should be done. No application for citizenship should be taken except from those residing in their country for at least one year. This one thing would remove the "pressure" to come. Policies should protect our citizen's interests, not those of non-citizens. I see in ILW.COM's 3/19 editorial that ILW.COM is still referring to those who advocate a lower rate of immigration as "anti-immigration" and now, "anti-American" as well. While the former is still inaccurate, the latter term is also a slur not unlike those of bigot or racist. This is not only unfair, but the opposite is more truthful. With unprecedented immigration today and the dire projections, it is those who refuse to admit the problems of mass invasion and accept much lower and controlled entry parameters that are hurting America.

R. L. Ranger


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 editor@ilw.com. 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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