On The Hill: H-1B And L Visa Reform
In the waning days of the 108th Congress, a number of hard-fought immigration-related bills remain pending. One of them is H-1B/L visa reform, including quota relief. Because of the shortened legislative calendar, and despite the promise of a lame duck session, immigration bills will likely be attached to conference reports of unrelated bills, either in committee or on the floor. Which means that there will likely not be a whole lot of debate between the floating of a legislative compromise and final enactment. The central concept that appears to have both bi-partisan and bi-cameral support is H-1B quota relief in exchange for restrictions on the L visa. The H-1B quota relief is likely to be confined to those with masters and higher degrees. The L visa restrictions are likely to include an LCA requirement and a trimming, if not elimination of the "functional manager" concept. The odds are that the H-1B/L visa reform will materialize only in the lame duck session tentatively scheduled to begin sometime before November 20th. However, a last minute surprise within the next week cannot be ruled out as part of the passage of the continuing resolution or the 9/11 Commission bill. Immigration Daily will keep you on top of news as it develops.
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DOS Releases DV-2006 Instructions
The Department of State released insructions for the Diversity Lottery 2006 which begins November 5, 2004 thru Friday, January 7, 2005 (at noon).
USCIS Extends Validity Of Liberia EADs
The USCIS announced that Liberia EADs would be extended to October 24, 2004, due to an error in its Federal Register notice. For the press release, see here. For the FAQs, see here.
BIA Upholds Transsexual Marriage As Opposite-Sex Marriage
In re [Name Withheld], (Sept. 21, 2004), the BIA said that the marriage between Petitioner (male) and the beneficiary, a transsexual who permanently changed his sex from male to female, was a legal union between one man and a woman as husband and wife. The BIA noted that several states have recognized a change of sex by surgical procedures and by amending the birth certificate to reflect a change of sex and further added, that while the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) made clear that federal benefits for spouses could not include marriage between "same-sex" couples, no mention was made of recognizing change of sex by post-operative transsexuals (courtesy of Jose F. Monge, Esq.)
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Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, a Prof Law Corp. seeks experienced paralegal for its South Bay, Southern CA (Torrance) office. Ideal candidate should have bachelor's degree, experience with all aspects of business immigration, including all types of immigrant visa petitions, labor certifications, adjustment of status and consular processing, and nonimmigrant visa petitions (particularly Hs, Ls, TNs, and Os). Will manage caseload with large degree of independence, communicate with clients regarding procedural and case processing issues, update and maintain client status reports, prepare bills, and serve as a team resource. Submit resume, cover letter, writing samples, and salary requirements to: Ms. Michele A. Buchanan, Esq. at MBuchanan@wolfsdorf.com. Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, P.L.C. is an equal opportunity employer.
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Immigration Law Conferences
DHS has issued new Section 343 rules requiring foreign health care workers who are seeking temporary or permanent occupational visas or Trade NAFTA status to obtain a special visa certification in order to provide health care services in this country. The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)/International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP) are sponsoring a special educational program in your community about the new DHS rules. The new federal DHS rules apply to: Registered nurses and licensed practical (vocational) nurses, Audiologists, Physical Therapists, Medical Technicians, Occupational Therapists, Medical Laboratory Technologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Physician Assistants. Upcoming session locations include: Seattle, WA - Monday, Sept. 27, New York, NY - Monday, Oct. 4, San Francisco, CA - Monday, Oct. 18th, Atlanta, GA - Monday, Nov. 1st. To register, contact Marla Downing at: email@example.com, (ph) 215-222-8454, x.242, or visit http://www.cgfns.org/cgfns/newsandevents/specialevents.html
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The following statement was released by the National Immigration Forum.
The House Republican Leadership's bill being marked up in the Judiciary Committee and other committees is a disaster. It recycles an anti-immigration wish list from the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican Party and attempts to wrap up this partisan agenda in the bipartisan recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. The House Republican leadership is undermining the achievements of the distinguished 9-11 Commission by attempting to disguise harsh proposals targeting immigrants and ethnic communities under the cover of anti-terrorism. It is not only bad politics on the eve of the election, it is an irresponsible indulgence that will make us less safe and could cost the country dearly. We applaud the Commission's thoughtful and balanced approach to immigration policy and urge the House Republican leadership to heed the Commission's wisdom, "Our borders and immigration system, including law enforcement, ought to send a message of welcome, tolerance, and justice to members of immigrant communities in the United States and in their countries of origin."
In contrast, the House Leadership proposal betrays the partisan nature of that legislative body and the desire of some in the Republican Party to use the 9-11 Commission as cover for their anti-immigration agenda. The bill's authors have apparently backed off their most radical ideas, such as drafting all local police into enforcing federal civil immigration statutes, but would still erode civil rights, restrict legal immigration, do away with due process, and expedite the deportation of long-time immigrants.
In particular, one proposal attributed by House Leadership to the 9-11 Commission is the expedited deportation of any immigrant suspected of entering the country illegally within the last five years. If passed, these "drive-by deportations," aimed at potentially millions of immigrant families, and conducted by immigration agents rather than immigration judges, will seriously erode any pretense of allowing immigrants a day in court and a chance to defend themselves. This alone will shock and terrify immigrant communities as they begin to realize they are squarely in the crosshairs of a new and vigorous backlash, spearheaded by the Republican Party.
We hope the House Leadership will decide to respect the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. The goal is to win the war on terrorism, not to wage a war on America's newcomers. We will evaluate legislation carefully against the yardstick set forth by the 9-11 Commission, "The border and immigration system of the United States must remain a visible manifestation of our belief in freedom, democracy, global economic growth, and the rule of law, yet serve equally well as a vital element of counterterrorism."
Angela Kelley, Deputy Director
National Immigration Forum
How about, Immigration Daily: One People - One World.
Margo Einsig, Immigration Paralegal
Here are my suggestions: (a) Immigration News - America on the move
(b) Immigration News - Go North Young Man (c) Immigration News - People coming together (d) Immigration News - Se Habla Immigration (e) Immigration News for those who don't stay home.
Patrick Osio, Jr., Editor
As for Mr. Maharazu's letter, would he suggest that the federal government set up yet another immigration program, diverting more resources from the processing of legal immigrants? He also ignores the programs the US has had or already offers (245i, TPS, asylum and refugee programs) which legalize far more than 100,000 people a year. These programs have done nothing to reduce illegal immigration - quite the contrary - and have added to the processing backlog.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center is pleased to announce the creation of a new initiative - the Immigrant Justice Project. The Immigrant Justice Project will be spearheaded by Mary Bauer, the former legal director of the Virginia Justice Center for Farm and Immigrant Workers.
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