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Immigration Daily May 7, 2003
Previous Issues
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Editor's Comments

$250 Thousand Million

Many involved in the immigration debate, both on the pro-immigration and the anti-immigration sides, all too often believe that immigrants are a net drain on the American economy. Those on the pro-immigration side then typically call for compassion for the immigrants, and those on the anti-immigration side typically call for a halt or reduction of immigrants. We believe that both approaches to immigration are wrong, and for the same reason - immigrants are solid contributors to the economy, and we could not prosper without large-scale immigration. Very often debates on this issue get quickly clouded by a veritable deluge of statistics from both sides, and many people find it hard to digest the slew of statistics that this topic inevitably generates. So, it might help to focus on just one statistic - not to settle the debate, but to get an idea of the enormity of the numbers involved. That might be sufficiently eye-opening for many of our readers.

The Social Security Administration maintains what it calls an "Earnings Suspense File" - an account where the Social Security contributions of those whose names and numbers do not match are deposited. Undoubtedly, some of these are contributions from Americans who made a mistake on their W-4s, but it is our estimate that at least 50% are from hard-working but undocumented immigrants. (See the graph on page 12 of the Audit Report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Social Security Administration at http://www.ssa.gov/oig/ADOBEPDF/A-03-00-10022.pdf - the spectacular drop in the Earnings Suspense File at exactly the time that immigrants were legalized through IRCA speaks for itself). Now back to the numbers. This account at the SSA now has about $500 Billion in it! That's right, about half a trillion dollars. Which means that, in our opinion, poor, undocumented immigrants have pumped in a quarter of a trillion dollars into Uncle Sam's pockets. It would not be a stretch to say that, but for large-scale immigration, we would have had deficits throughout the 1990s. As we said earlier in this opinion, we are not trying to settle the debate here - just to point out the enormity of the numbers. Lets see what a quarter trillion means - it means $250 thousand million. The monies deposited into the US treasury by undocumented workers are about the same as the entire net worth of a quarter of million millionaires. We hope that arguments of the economic value of immigrants will now look a little different. Immigration is not about penny ante, it is big bucks - no wonder it is also big politics.

Proofing error corrected. 5/7/03. Ed.


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Featured Article

Results Of Hamilton College Immigration Opinion Poll
Paul Hagstrom et al and the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center at Hamilton College find that more than 4 in 10 Americans favor decreasing immigration levels.


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Immigration Law News

INS Provides Guidance On Photograph Waiver: Forms I-90 And I-551
The Executive Associate Commissioner of the Office of Field Operations at the INS released a memo providing additional guidance to regional directors on the waiver of photographs for Forms I-90, Applicants Seeking a Replacement or Renewal Form I-551.

DHS Amends Requirements To Obtain Commercial License With Hazardous Materials Endorsement With Immigration Related Provisions
The Transportation Security Administration of the Department of Homeland Security is amending the Transportation Security Regulations to establish security threat assessment standards for determining whether an individual poses a security threat warranting denial of a hazardous materials endorsement for a commercial drivers license (CDL), including immigration-related provisions.

DOT Interim Final Rule Says Obtaining A Commercial Driver's License With Hazardous Materials Endorsement Requires Immigration Background Check
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the Department of Transportation amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to prohibit States from issuing a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement unless a background records check of the applicant has been completed, including immigration related provisions.

Legislative Hearing Testimony On Posthumous Citizenship
The Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives held several legislative hearings related to posthumous citizenship through death while on active-duty service during periods of military hostilities, including: eliminating the prohibition or immigration benefits for surviving family members to provide such benefits for spouses and children; "Armed Forces Citizenship Act of 2003"; "Fallen Heroes Immigrant Spouse Fairness Act of 2003"; changing the requirements for naturalization to citizenship through service in the Armed Forces; "Naturalization and Family Protection for Military Members Act of 2003".

INS Confession Of Error Joined In By Alien Is Not Dispositive
In Olivera-Garcia v. INS, No. 01-70643 (9th Cir. May. 5, 2003), the court said that the Petitioner was convicted under a controlled substance statute even though the Petitioner and the INS had argued that he had been convicted under the accessory after the fact statute.

Ethiopian Failed To Establish His Eligibility For Asylum
In Tsige v. INS, No. 02-2002 (4th Cir. May. 5, 2003), the court said that Petitioner failed to establish a well-founded fear of persecution necessary to qualify for relief from deportation.

Guatemala's High Crime Rate Is Not Ground For Asylum
In Oliva-Muralles v. Ashcroft, No. 02-1548 (1st Cir. May. 6, 2003), the court said that despite Petitioner's fear of returning to Guatamala because of the high incidence of criminality and violence, since Petitioner and her daughter were not politically active, had never been arrested, detained, interrogated, or persecuted by either the government or the guerillas, their claims for asylum did not hold.

DHS Proposed Budget Allocates $1.1B For Immigration Investigative Activities
Government Executive reports "Nearly $1.1 billion of the $2.8 billion slated for immigration enforcement "will support investigative activities, including immigration fraud, smuggling of illegal aliens, international money laundering, export enforcement, forced labor, trade-agreement investigations, smuggling of narcotics, weapons of mass destruction and other contraband, illegal transshipment and vehicle and cargo theft," [Secretary] Hutchinson said."

Former INS General Counsel Enters Private Practice
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports "The federal government's most senior immigration law expert Bo Cooper is joining the national immigration practice of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP."


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Classifieds

Help Wanted: Government Relations Manager
Aiesec United States, Inc. is a non-profit organization that coordinates paid international internships for college-aged students in 85 member countries. The Government Relations manager position is based in New York, NY and will be responsible for issuing and maintaining all paperwork required to issue the J-1 training visa for incoming exchange participants. This position requires ensuring J-1 regulatory compliance for its central administrative office and 40 additional locations comprised of student volunteers for more than 1000 exchange visitors. Train volunteers on all aspects of J-1 compliance at national conferences. Maintain regular contact with the Department of State, related government agencies and lobbying organizations in Washington DC. Experience issuing the J-1 training visa + managing visa compliance is required. Bachelor's degree and a high level of organizational skills are essential. Experience as a J-1 Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer in a similar exchange program is preferred. Applicant must be a US citizen. E-mail resume and cover letter to Aiesec@aiesecus.org.

Help Wanted - Experienced Paralegal
The Boston office of Hale and Dorr LLP is seeking an experienced Immigration Paralegal. Principal duties will include the preparation of employment-related immigration filings including all non-immigrant employment petitions (e.g., E-1, E-2, H-1B, L-1, O-1 etc.), labor certification and permanent residency applications, foreign residency requirement waiver applications and J-1 practical training program applications. Candidates must have a bachelors degree, 6-10 years of related experience (large firm or boutique experience preferred) and advanced writing, research and technology skills (IRISPro desired). We offer a competitive salary and generous fringe benefits package. Send cover letter and resume to: Kathleen.hall@haledorr.com.

Help Wanted - Experienced Paralegals
Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm with more than 800 attorneys, has openings in its Tysons Corner office for senior immigration specialists/paralegals. Must have significant experience in non-immigrant work-related visas, including Es, H-1Bs and L-1s, as well as Labor Certifications and EB-1s. Experience with consular processing is essential. Must be a college graduate and possess 4+ years of business-related immigration experience, including 1+ year at a senior level. Spanish is preferred but not required. Strong organizational, written, computer and verbal skills, along with the ability to work with minimum supervision, are required. Excellent benefits and compensation package offered. Please send resume and salary history by fax 703-714-8378 or email tcohire@gtlaw.com.

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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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