A Wealth Of Letters
Today's letters to the Editor section displays the rich diversity of Immigration Daily's readership, both in expression of opinion and variety of backgrounds. The five letters today include comments on our Walmart editorial, a detailed commentary on President's Hoover's immigration policies, an insider perspective on religious worker's issues, and more. The authors include attorneys, a former government employee, and a professor of history. We're proud of our readers' contributions to Immigration Daily and are happy to provide a forum for such dialog.
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Fall 2003 Update On Immigration Policy And Procedures
Romulo E. Guevara, Esq. provides an update on legislative immigration policy and procedural issues.
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Immigration Law News
Rep. Hostettler Says Pilot Program Gives Employers Employment Eligibility Verification Tool
Rep. Hostettler (R-IN) during a debate in Congress said, "The pilot ensures that they will not be put
in a position of hiring illegal aliens, investing hundreds or thousands of hours in training them, and then losing the benefits of this investment years down the road when they are forced to dismiss illegal aliens who were employees."
Rep. Leach Supports Increased Passport Security Between Travel From Micronesia And Marshall Islands
Rep. Leach (R-IA) in introducing increased tighter immigration controls on travel to the US from Micronesia and Marshall Islands said, "...a number of changes have been made including barring entry to the US under the [Compact of Free Association] of persons who were sold passports, limiting those naturalized citizens who can enter the US pursuant to the Compacts, and requiring passports for entry to the US.
Untimely Documents, Though Extensive, Doom Kosher Cook Labor Certification
In the Matter of Francis Arkin, No. 2002-INA-151 (BALCA, Sep. 15, 2003), the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals said that it would not consider extensive documentation supplied by the Employer which documentation had not been provided to the CO. This extensive documentation in support of a business necessity for a kosher cook for a household included a letter from a rabbi and a letter from an owner of a kosher restaurant, and an article on dietary laws from Encyclopedia Judaica.
Texas DWI Is Not Crime Of Violence Offense
In US v. Lucio-Lucio, No. 03-2025 (10th Cir. Oct. 28, 2003), the court said that driving while intoxicated was not a crime of violence offense under 8 USC 1101(a)(43)(F). The court noted that to hold DWI to be a crime of violence would frustrate Congress' intent to differentiate among crimes and to apply more severe sanctions to a limited class of especially heinous offenses.
3rd Circuit Says Cuban Mariels May Be Indefinitely Detained
In Sierra v. Romaine, No. 02-2826 (3rd Cir. Oct. 29, 2003), the court found that the Attorney General had the authority under section 1231(a)(6) to detain Petitioner indefinitely and said that Petitioner, a Mariel Cuban, was not entitled to relief under Zadvydas. The court noted that there was a circuit split on this issue. The court also noted "An interpretation contained in a brief-like interpretations contained in opinion letters, policy statements, agency manuals, and enforcement guidelines-lacks the force of law and therefore is not entitled to Chevron deference."
Republicans Support Local Police In Immigration Enforcement Role
The Arizona Republic reports "Republicans in Congress are pushing a proposal that would pressure local and state police departments nationwide to arrest undocumented immigrants."
Immigration Issues May Not Play Role In '04 Elections
A Denver Post op-ed writes "Immigration was a factor in the recent California recall election, but it is not so clear that it will figure prominently in next year's election."
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Letters to the Editor
In reference to the article on Religous Workers' 5 year extension... I agree that most of it is restrictive and that the Service does appear to overstep the regs. I used to work at a Service Center until I recently retired and am working for an attorney in Dallas. Now, I find myself on the other side of the fence. However, I know the reasoning and how the present interpretation has evolved. Contrary to the article's claim, and apparently backed up by faulty statistics at least where I was working, the overwhelming majority of religious worker cases were fraudulent. Because the Service used to be lax on religious workers, many petitioners took advantage of it and used it to bring in their relatives and friends. Many organizations charge a lot of money (or donate large sums to their organizations) in order to secure a coveted Green Card. Some organizations are not churches at all but a storefront made to look like a church. There is even one that uses churches to sell dope. The Service Center Investigations uncovered many many cases of fraud. As I said, the overwhelming majority were found to be fraud. I believe that is the reasoning for the tightening... It would be a wonderful vehicle to get church's people in if only there weren't so many crooks out there to mess it up.
In your editorial of 10/28 of Immigration Daily, you muse the following, "We are not clear as to the rationale for sparing the resources for this raid - BICE and DHS are supposed to be fighting terrorism as their first priority."
If one looks to the usual explanations for agency action, such as the IRS's selective enforcement of back-owed funds as well as high-profile SEC investigations of regulatory violators, the answer becomes apparent. There is a two-fold strategy of both PR for the enforcement agency and digging into the deep pockets of the violator. Of course the 250 or so who slaved for sub-minimum wages under substandard conditions are the victims less than the violators. BICE knows that each offense carries a penalty of up to $10,000 each, and that multiplied by 250 adds up to a hefty chunk of change. The PR strategy is admittedly more debatable, as noted in the editorial, although Wal-Mart is in fact the biggest private employer the government could possibly pursue, the biggest in the nation in fact, with 1.1 million workers.
Is it only a coincidence that enhanced guidelines on the I-9 recently promulgated now include language about 'constructive knowledge' to be imputed to the Employer hiring contractors who in turn employ those unlawfully present here? The raid on the Bentonville, Arkansas home office gives one every reason to believe BICE will seek to collect from Wal-Mart corporate directly, or at least some settlement in exchange for seeking a reduction in the maximum amount of the penalty.
Stephen Blower, Attorney at Law
In response to Mr. Brooks and Mr. Glenn's letters to the Editor, it's nice to see attorneys actually supporting enforcement of immigration laws.
Wal-Mart, had it been concerned only with obtaining workers, and not workers at the cheapest price possible, was certainly in the forefront to have led an effort to bring in unskilled workers legally, without resorting to illegal aliens.
Wal-Mart also is well-known for scrutinizing the marketing plans of its suppliers, and requiring them to change plans to suit Wal-Mart. It's hard to believe that Wal-Mart couldn't, if it wished to, practice the same diligence with companies that supply its cleaning services.
The most recent Presidential Paper Historical Series article on Oct. 27th showing how the Hoover administration changed
immigration policy by fiat is instructive, but, as always, some background
In the first month of his administration (March 1929)
Hoover proclaimed the national origin quotas as required by law. In an
accompanying statement he stated his opposition to national origins -
Hoover knew enough statistics to know how shaky its empirical base was -
but noted that he was "strongly in favor of restricted and selected
In December, 1929 - after the crash but before the depression Hoover
declared that restriction of immigration had proved "a sound national
policy." But, in typical progressive fashion, he still maintained that it
ought to be possible to find "a method by which the limited number of
immigrants whom we do welcome" suit "our national needs." A year later
however, Hoover told Congress that:
"There is a need for revision of our immigration laws upon a
more limited and more selective basis, flexible to the needs
of the country." Under the impact of the beginnings of the Great Depression, the President had determined that national
needs dictated far fewer immigrants. "Under conditions of current unemployment it is obvious that persons
coming to the United States seeking work would likely become either direct
or indirect public charges. As a temporary measure the officers issuing
visas to immigrants have been...instructed to refuse visas to applicants
likely to fall into this class. As a result the visas issued have
decreased from an average of about 24,000 a month prior to restrictions to
a rate of about 7,000 during the last month. These are largely preferred
persons under the law. Visas from Mexico are about 250 per month compared
to about 4,000 previous to restrictions. The whole subject requires
In December 1931, almost 9 months after the document under discussion, he recommended to Congress that these administrative restrictions "be placed upon a more definite
basis by law," that deportation laws be strengthened and that all aliens in
the country be forced to carry residence certificates, a form of internal
passport. These proposals were not acted on by Congress. In his final
annual message, the defeated president had nothing further to recommend
about immigration, but during the 1932 campaign he had taken credit for "rigidly restricted immigration."
Thus, with the kind of creative reinterpretation of the law usually
credited to his immediate successor, Hoover completely changed the meaning
of the "l.p.c. clause." In 1882 the original phrase had been "paupers or
persons likely to become a public charge" and the intent had been to
exclude, not poor persons, but persons incapable of supporting themselves.
But Hoover's claim of credit was misleading. The new administrative
interpretation of the "l.p.c. clause" had actually begun at the tail end of
the Coolidge administration. As early as September 1928 the State
Department instructed American consular officials in Mexico to apply
standards more stringently. Hoover's directive gave consular officials
enormous latitude, which some used with murderous effect a few years
later. The new interpretation of the old clause was eventually stretched
so that many consuls were able to require immigrants either to have
substantial assets in their possession or a sponsor in the US who would file an affidavit attesting a willingness to support the
immigrant if necessary and an ability to do so.
Roger Daniels, Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History
University of Cincinnati
Stop Family Violence issued the following press release.
For ten years, Rodi Alvarado Pena was brutally beaten by her husband in
Guatemala. Her husband raped her repeatedly, attempted to abort their
second child by kicking her in the spine, dislocated her jaw, tried to cut
her hands off with a machete, kicked her in the genitals, and broke windows
with her head. Ms. Alvarado sought assistance from the Guatemalan police and
the courts but was refused official protection. Desperate, she fled to the
US in search of safety.
For the past eight years, Ms. Alvarado has been engaged in another kind of
fight – a fight to stay in the US. In 1996, she was granted
asylum, but three years later, the Board of Immigration Appeals overturned
that decision. Before leaving office, Janet Reno vacated the BIA's decision
and asked that Ms. Alvarado's case be re-decided after new regulations on
gender-based asylum were finalized.
Since then, Ms. Alvarado's case has been in limbo. The current
administration has yet to finalize these proposed regulations. And in
February 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft certified the case to himself
so that he alone can act as judge. He has yet to issue his decision.
What's more, in a shocking letter to Ms. Alvarado's attorney, Attorney
General Ashcroft has refused to consider pertinent briefing materials in
defense of gender-based asylum before making his decision – a decision that
will set a national precedent for granting asylum not just to Ms. Alvarado -
but for all women fleeing from gender-based persecution such as domestic
violence, honor killing, and sexual trafficking.
The Attorney General's blatant disregard for basic legal principals of
fairness and due-process in such a landmark case is stunning, and should not
A bipartisan group of House members is currently circulating a letter to
Attorney General John Ashcroft urging him to reconsider his decision to deny
review of briefing materials.
For more information about this critical case and to urge your
Representative to sign this letter to Attorney General Ashcroft please visit
Our strength is in our numbers. Help raise our voice against this injustice
by passing this message along to others. Together we can.
Irene Weiser, Stop Family Violence
New York, NY
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