National Security And Linguistics
The frustration that many immigration attorneys and their clients experience when their names appear as a "hit", may be in part due to the antiquated technology powering many terrorist/criminal watch lists called Soundex. Soundex, created in the early 1900s, is the underlying technology used by the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) and DHS's National Automated Immigration Lookout System II (NAILS II) list. According to experts in name-matching technology, Soundex relies on converting a name to a key code. In many instances, Soundex takes the first letter of the last name, drops all vowels and assigns a number to the next three consonants, often making mistakes, particularly with foreign names. Contrast this to the robust name-matching technology powering DOS's Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS). CLASS has specifically targeted algorithms for Russian, Chinese, and Arabic and can accomodate over 80 characters, compared with 28 characters with NCIC. According to a news report (see below), funds have been requested to upgrade the name-matching technology used in government terrorist/crime watchlists.
While upgrading domestic security is clearly a part of our country's response to Al Qaeda, it is only a part. The more important part is to destroy Al Qaeda's roots overseas - a job which needs both military action overseas and peaceful persuasion overseas. These overseas measures are a lot harder than domestic security measures, and in disproportionately focusing on relatively easier domestic issues, we risk many more Al Qaeda attacks. Furthermore, in the immigration context, national security becomes a convenient excuse for all kinds of anti-immigration agendas. The immigration field is an unfortunate victim of a domestic security policy run amok and suffers with every American the likelihood of a devastating Al Qaeda attack.
USCIS Service Center Issues Seminar
The curriculum for the June 24th seminar on USCIS Service Center issues is as follows:
The deadline to register is Wednesday, June 23rd. For more info, including detailed curriculum, speaker bios,
and registration information, see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/may2004.shtm. (Fax version:
- Getting to Yes: Strategies that Spawn Service-Center Success.
- Dodging the Bullet: Ways to avoid the RFE, the NO, the NOID and the NOIR
- Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture: Creative Uses of Graphic Evidence
- Surf's Up: Web-Trolling for Approval Notices
- What's Your Specialty? - Solutions for Evolving Occupations, Education Mismatches and Workers without Sheepskins
- Keep on Survivin’: Strategies to Help Battered Spouses and Children
- Succeeding at Successorship: Service Center Compliance Strategies for Corporate Makeovers
- Oops I'm Late! - Establishing Extraordinary Circumstances and Reasons for Forgiveness
Joel Stewart's BALCA Review (June 22, 2004)
Joel Stewart presents a summary of recent notable BALCA decisions.
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
USCIS Says Plan Sets Target Of 6-Month Processing Turnaround Time By 2006
USCIS Director Aguirre announced an updated backlog elimination plan to achieve six-month cycle times by the end of fiscal year 2006. For the fact sheet, see here. For the detailed backlog elimination plan, see here.
USCIS Announces Latest Employer Sanctions List
The USCIS released its May 2004 list of the Final Orders issued to companies fined for hiring persons not authorized to work in the US.
Algorithm Technology Used In Crime/Terrorist Watch Lists Is Obsolete
Government Computer News reports "Advanced name-matching software now used for some agencies' terrorist and criminal watch lists can handle linguistic differences and Arabic, Chinese, Russian and other non-Roman alphabets."
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Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Attorney
Are you looking to join a fast-paced and friendly team that provides first-rate immigration legal services to global businesses and individuals? Paparelli & Partners LLP, a leading immigration law firm with an established national practice, has immediate openings for a moderately experienced Immigration Lawyer to work at its office in Irvine, California. If you have what it takes, you will work with multinational companies and high-achiever individuals to perform the full range of immigration legal services for employment-based and family-based immigration clients. You will use computer software extensively (research databases, Internet, MS Word, MS Outlook, Excel, ProLaw, Power Point, etc.), and become immersed in cutting-edge immigration law issues. This job is for you if you are a multi-talented multi-tasker, detail oriented, express yourself well in person and on paper, work well as part of a team, love challenges, are willing to work hard, have a spotless ethical record, are admitted to practice law in California or another state and have up to three years of U.S. immigration law experience. If you'd like to pursue this exciting opportunity, fax your resume + cover letter to Chris McCoy at 949-955-5599 or e-mail her at email@example.com. For background, see our web site: http://www.entertheusa.com. No phone calls please.
Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Attorney
The Law Offices of Michael J. Gurfinkel, an immigration law firm with offices on both the East and West Coasts, seeks an associate attorney for its Los Angeles, CA offices. Ideal candidate should possess minimum 3+ years extensive experience in all areas of immigration law, including removal/deportation, AOS interviews, family and employment based petitions and consular processing. Position offers opportunity for occasional travel outside Los Angeles, CA area. Please fax or e-mail: resume, salary requirements + writing sample to the attention of Millie at (818) 543-5802 or firstname.lastname@example.org. EOE.
Help Wanted: Experienced Immigration Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Small, professional immigration practice located in Wall Street area seeks paralegal/legal assistant with 2+ years of experience with employment-based immigration. Candidates should also have working knowledge of family-based applications and naturalization petitions. Must have BA degree as well as excellent research, writing, communication and case management skills. Salary based on experience. Submit resume + cover letter to Lynne R. Newkofsky, Esq.: email@example.com.
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Letters to the Editor
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Attached is a summary of the Annual ESIG meeting held in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 9, 2004.
Submitted on behalf of ESIG
This is in response to the impassioned plea for passage of the Unaccompanied Child Act by Christopher Nugent.
The argument that all juveniles come to the US illegally are fleeing prostitution, slavery or abuse is incorrect and not supported by any facts. The vast majority of juveniles illegally entering the US are either seeking work or joining or awaiting the arrival of family members, legal and illegal. They are "fleeing” economic conditions and poverty, same as any adult illegal. Surely some cases of juveniles fleeing true cases of abuse or slavery or prostitution, but do not warrant such a sweeping reform that will always favor the juvenile.
The Feinstein bill would create a new class of immigrants – those under 18 – and would ensure that they enjoy unprecedented rights, and protection from removal, even if the parents want their child back in their home country, and even if the juvenile is a drug abuser, the next Lee Malvo, gang member, forger, accomplished liar or criminal. This is an open arms policy to anyone hailing from a background of poverty, as millions of children unfortunately do.
As for the "innocent children” referred to, and those detained in secure facilities – what assurances are there that these really are "children” receiving the benefits of this bill? How many currently in ORR custody are found every day to have lied about their age thanks to the common knowledge that by claiming to be under 18, they will go to foster care or a shelter? "Inhumanity" to children? The shelters these kids go to exceed the lives they left in their home countries in most cases, and the homes they will go on to when released to family members. As there is no real mechanism in place to determine age, and with juveniles, the burden of proof is on ICE instead of the alien, as it is with adults, this bill a virtually a new amnesty for any juvenile.
Of course, most immigration lawyers want this bill passed for two reasons – to be paid for representation and to fulfill misguided social agendas. Frankly there are far too many US citizen children who deserve the bonanza of rights and benefits this bill would afford any poor juvenile who claims to be under 18 who sets foot across the border seeking work or to join family. Juveniles or not, they are still illegal aliens whom we know nothing about, even if they truly are juveniles. Those who have true claims of abuse or persecution should – and for the most part – are handled accordingly and appropriately. But enforcement must remain a part of the picture concerning illegal juveniles. This bill would just pick up where the smuggler leaves off, ensuring their entry and permanent placement in the US, no matter where the parents are.
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