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Immigration Daily September 20, 2005
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AWO Update

The BIA's affirmance without opinion (AWO) regulation is flooding the federal courts with cases. According to a UPI report, in the 9th Circuit alone, immigration cases constituted 48% of cases, up from 8% of cases three years ago. Circuit courts have been increasingly nibbling at the edges of AWO with many cases questioning the application of AWO and/or remanded to the BIA for clarification. REAL ID will worsen the federal courts backlog as many cases will be added to already overburdened courts of appeal dockets. We recommend to our readers "Immigration Appeals Overwhelm Federal Courts" by Stanley Mailman and Stephen Yale-Loehr (NY Law Journal, Dec. 27, 2004, pg. 3). This article features a scholarly analysis of the reasons for the sudden surge of the federal backlog, provides a number of additional resources, and most importantly, suggests applicable solutions to the BIA AWO procedure.

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to


Deadline Is Tuesday, September 20th For "PERM: An Up To The Minute Course"

The September 22nd phone session of "PERM: An Up To The Minute Course" will cover the following topics:

  • DOT/SOC Issues
  • Prevailing Wage
  • Minimum/Special/Restrictive Requirements
  • Specificity in Ads, Notice, Posting, Job Orders
  • Form 9089: Special Problems/Inconsistencies
  • Drafting PERM for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Preference Categories

The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, September 20th. For more info, including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration information, please see: (Fax version:


Employment Outlook For Immigrant Workers - Not A Pretty Picture
Josie Gonzalez, Esq. writes "With an avalanche of restrictive and unprecedented processing delays, there could not have been a worse period in the chronicles of employment-based immigration than the summer of 2005."


CRS Memo On State's "Declaration of Emergency" for Border Security Purposes
The Congressional Research Service issued a memorandum on selected issues of federal assistance resulting from Arizona and New Mexico's declared state of emergency for border security purposes enforcement and concluded that " ... the President would likely be authorized under 501(b) to provide federal assistance under the Stafford Act (42 USC 5121) to assist Arizona and New Mexico in the prevention of unlawful entries by aliens into the US ... "


Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Exceptional and challenging career opportunities available for you at this prominent global immigration law firm in Iselin, New Jersey. The ideal candidate must have 2 + years of exp. in business immigration, possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to perform multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. College degree, MS Word and Windows 2000 required. The Firm offers highly competitive salaries and excellent growth opportunities. We are conveniently located minutes from the train station and are approximately a 40 minute train ride from Manhattan on NJ Transit. Submit resume, writing sample, + salary requirement to Alaina Shneiderovsky:

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegals
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. seeks immigration paralegals for its Washington, DC (1) and its Nashville, Tennessee (1) offices. Both positions require a BA and 1-2 years of business immigration experience, including preparation of nonimmigrant petitions, labor certifications and immigrant petitions. Must have strong writing skills. Foreign language a plus, but not required. Qualified applicants should send cover letter, resume + writing sample to Betsy Taylor, Office Administrator by fax (202) 220-2235 or email to Please specify desired employment location. No phones calls please. EOE/M/F/H/D/V.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Berry, Appleman & Leiden LLP, a global corporate immigration law firm, is seeking experienced attorneys with a minimum of three years practicing business immigration law, for its Virginia and San Francisco Offices. Our attorneys work in a fast-paced, high volume environment, and utilize carefully developed procedures, advanced practice tools, and a state-of-the-art case management system. Experience in a range of business immigration matters, the ability to provide exceptional client service, experience managing teams of legal assistants, and superb analytical, and organizational skills required. We strive for excellence in legal practice in a collegial environment, promoting cooperation and learning from each other. We offer competitive salary and benefits. Please submit your resume via email to: or by fax to 415-217-4426.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
In-house immigration attorney sought for Pittsburgh, PA based technology company as Director of Immigration Services. This individual will manage day-to-day work of paralegal staff, develop relationships with managers and liaison with subsidiaries and consulates, and participate in developing proactive immigration policy and procedure. Must have a minimum of three years of business immigration experience including H, L, B, PERM, I-9 compliance, and other related issues and be licensed to practice in PA. Interested candidates should email resume and references to or fax resumes to 412.494.0575.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
The Law Office of Robert B. Jobe is a nationally-recognized immigration law firm that focuses on asylum and deportation defense. We represent refugees from all over the world seeking safe-haven in the US. Our eight attorneys are supported by a staff of 12 who work in a pleasant and fast-paced environment in downtown San Francisco. The ideal candidate: is a member, in good standing, of the Bar of any state; has some immigration law experience; has a passionate commitment to immigrants' rights and social justice; has excellent research and writing skills, strong academic credentials, and an interest in public speaking; ability to meet deadlines and juggle multiple tasks; ideally is fluent or proficient in a second language. We offer competitive salaries, medical benefits, a 401(k) plan, and free soda and coffee. To apply, follow these instructions: E-mail cover letter, resume, + writing sample to Your writing sample can be any recent work that demonstrates your writing ability. All attachments should be in Text, PDF, WordPerfect or MS Word format. Please be prepared to provide references. Thank you for not calling our office. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted to attend a job interview.

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
13-person midtown NYC immigration law firm seeks paralegal with 2+ years of experience with business applications: nonimmigrant and immigrant. Ideal candidate has BA degree, is detail-oriented, organized, conscientious. Candidate must also possess excellent writing, communication & case management skills. We offer a competitive compensation package and congenial office atmosphere. Email resume and cover letter in MS Word format to Marcia Needleman: No calls please.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Midtown NYC - 13 person fast-paced leading immigration law firm seeks lawyer with 2+ years of business immigration experience handling full range of nonimmigrant and immigrant matters. Must have excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills. Competitive compensation package offered. Email resume and cover letter in MS Word format to Marcia Needleman: No calls please.

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Paralegal sought for small, full-service Philadelphia immigration firm with family-friendly atmosphere. Competency in Spanish required. Experience preferred but not necessary. We will train. Competitive salary + full benefits package, including: 100% employer-paid health insurance and 401K plan. Send resume to Thomas Griffin:

Labor Certification Advertising/Recruitment
Computerworld is the best no-hassle solution for meeting PERM requirements. Place your 2nd IT recruitment ad in print in the IT Careers section, or online at If you choose to use both methods, you will receive 50% off the online job posting rate. In addition, our staff will tend to your needs from ad layout and design to immediately sending tear sheets once the ad is published. Call today to place your labor certification ad in print and online. Call 1-800-762-2977 or email your ad to


Readers can share their professional announcements (100-words or fewer at no charge), email:

New Associate
The law firm of Gerardin & Socol, PA would like to welcome our newly hired associate attorney, Elizabeth Roman Jones. Attorney Jones is fluent in English and Spanish and practices family-based and employment-based immigration matters. Gerardin & Socol, P.A. 633 NE 167 Street, Suite 501, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. P: 305.653.0014. F: 305.653.3466


Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: (300-words or fewer preferred). Many letters to the Editor refer to past correspondence, available in our archives.

Dear Editor:
In reply to Chucky's comment of 9/19/05, to the contrary. The inability of U.S. employers to have a realistic way to get the foreign workers they need will only encourage more employers to move facilities overseas, thus jeopardizing even more U.S. jobs by closing facilities here. Those who petition foreign workers must go through a rigorous process of proving to the Dept of Labor that there are no "minimally qualified" U.S. workers for the job ("minimally", not "best," by the way, which is what employers normally look for) through an extensive recruitment campaign, and must pay hefty filing fees. The wage required under this process is generally more than they would pay to a U.S. worker. If an employer could find the talent they need here, they would prefer that since it's cheaper and not under DOL scrutiny. If we really want to save U.S. jobs, we need comprehensive immigration reform which would require all employers to prove the above for all workers and which at least would provide a way for employers to apply for foreign workers for all position types. Employers are running out of options. The current state of affairs will only increase illegal immigration and/or moving facilities overseas and, thus, jobs for US workers. It is impossible for DHS to deport the current 11 million people here in the US. So, if we can't enforce it we need to fix it to conform with reality. Call your congressmen now and tell them we need comprehensive immigration reform to make us safer, protect our jobs, reunify families, and to compete in the global marketplace. Apart from being a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of leaders and problem solvers, call our goverment and tell them to start acting that way.

Shirley Sadjadi, Esq.
Elgin, IL

Dear Editor:
I'd like to comment on Chucky's comment (9/19/2005) who said he's happy to hear that employment based immigration is getting more difficult which he assumes means protecting Americans jobs from cheap foreign labor. His letter misses the fact the first step in employment based immigration called labor certification involves proving two things: First, that no American is capable and willing of doing the job in question and second that the job is paying the same amount (prevailing wage) for that job in that region. So the process involves no such thing as losing American jobs or cheap foreign labor. Everyone should be concerned as much as the immigration community that mere bureaucracy is preventing legal immigrants from stepping up to help the economy.

Rochester, MN

Dear Editor:
It's unfortunate that ICE recently used an undercover "sting" operation where officers masqueraded as OSHA officials (09/16/05 ID comment). The long term effect of such sting operations can be the dramatic erosion of trust in government by everyone. Non-citizens, including those who are lawfully here may be most likely to begin to distrust and fear other government agencies. It is also illegal. In 1993, INS operated an undercover sting operation in San Diego where the INS promised "amnesty" using official letterhead of the agency with these offers. The goal of the sting was to round-up individuals with outstanding orders of removal. Acting INS Commissioner Chris Sale quickly stopped the use of these procedures without express authorization of Washington, D.C. And later that year, then INS Commission Doris Meissner, sent a field memorandum instructing INS in the special procedures necessary to conduct undercover operations. In that San Diego sting, the government also knew that many of the people receiving the false "amnesty" letters were represented by counsel but they deliberated failed to contact them. I turned my anger into a lengthy legal analysis of the legitimacy of sting operations ("By Hook or By Crook: Exploring the Legality of an INS Sting Operation," 31 San Diego Law Review 813 (1994)). In 1984, the US Attorney General had set out very detailed guidelines for the use of undercover operations and I argued that the INS sting had failed to follow the procedural and substantive provisions of those guidelines. While ICE has limited resources and has a large challenge to enforce our immigration laws, it has many legal methods to conduct its work. Let us celebrate our national security by keeping our nation secure for the rule of law. I look forward to the DHS restoring public confidence by denouncing these tactics.

Lenni B. Benson, Professor of Law
New York Law School

Dear Editor:
ICE has no boundries when it comes to finding people who may or may not have illegal status (09/16/05 ID comment). ICE has been known to use what ever means they can to find those they consider have violated the immigration law. They are using the state of war and terrorism as an excuse to continue doing what they do best, round up people, regardless of their status. As usual the left hand does not tell the right hand what they are doing or share their resouces. The government has many departments that track and monitor the terrorist activity, why doesn't ICE go after those known terrorist? ICE needs to work within the government itself, share the information with the other departments and combat terrorism at that level and leave the hardworking busboys alone. No one sees ICE employees working as busboys.

Maria Torres

Dear Editor:
Immigration Daily may be correct that more lawyers hours will be required for PERM matters than were required in the labor certification application, but that doesn't lead to the conclusion that the attorney/legal assistant ratio would change (see ID comment 09/13/05). Lawyers will be more involved while we are all learning the system. However, once an immigration practice has learned the PERM legalities and procedures, that immigration practice will teach its college-educated legal assistant. That paralegal would have to be able to spot the legal issues. It's not more complex than teaching a paralegal to aid in the technical aspects of an H-1B. Paralegals will be as heavily relied upon as ever in the immigration practice the ratio will remain at least 2 if not 4 paralegals to one lawyer. The cost of adding lawyers is prohibitive. To add a lawyer at a large firm costs at least three times his/her salary. How many PERM cases is that? 75/ per year or 1 1/2 per week? I founded and ran a large firm's business immigration law practice. Big firms don't have the luxury of adding an immigration lawyer who cannot justify his/her salary + staff salaries. Boutique firms and solo practioners may not have the luxury of adding a lawyer either. Boutique firms have focused expertise. My suggestion to the solos and the boutique firms is this: Keep record of the hours needed for a PERM matter for two weeks. Then multiply the paralegal hours by a factor equal to 3 times salary. Add attorney's hours and multiply that number by your hourly rate. Next, find the average cost of completing the PERM case, and adjust your fee for a labor cert. The ratio of attorney hours to paralegal hours will likely remain the same. The complexity of PERM is a great tool for the growth of boutique immigration law firms. Big law firms may find their PERM costs and resultant PERM fee range greater than what the business immigration market will bear and may lead large firms to farm out PERM work to immigration boutique firms.

Margaret M. Holland, Esq.
Boston, MA

Dear Editor:
The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) is a grassroots organization on the SouthWest side of Chicago; which provides much needed services to the Arab Immigrant/American community in the greater Chicagoland area; including but not limited to, ESL/CIVICS & Citizenship classes in the city and Southwest suburbs, assistance with immigration applications, public benefits outreach and casemanagement. We are deeply concerned that this "new" naturalization redesign test will prevent eligible immigrants from applying, especially since we already have a significant number of eligible immigrants who have not applied for naturalization (see 8/30/05 comment). We have witnessed our community members invest significant time and effort in learning basic English and the content of the history and government exam even before they apply for naturalization as well as after submitting their applications. This is especially true of immigrants with no education and low levels of literacy even in their native language. The experience of studying for the test is certainly meaningful for these immigrants. We do believe that the naturalization test shoud be revised, not redesigned; It should be fair and not place undue burden on any immigrant community; The revision process should be open to input from adult educators, community organizations, and other stakeholders.

Ahlam Jbara, Family Empowerment Program-Director AAAN
Chicago, IL

Dear Editor:
The PERM Chief leaving is not the problem (see 08/02/05 ID comment), it is the system created to engender confusion with all cumbersome traits that is at issue in this instant. Well, regardless of who replaces William Carlson, unless attention is paid to the evolution of a system that is not only user-friendly but amenable to regulatory efficiency, the replacement is pointless.

A. Olusanjo Omoniyi, Esq.
Chicago, IL

Dear Editor:
Immigrant visa processing is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of of 1952. We are the children of an "Honorable Discharge" Unites States Navy who was a Steward's Mate First Class and was eligible for World War Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal and the American Theater Medal during World War 11. But here we are in the Philippines and we can't live in the country where my father risked his life. We should have been U.S. Citizens since birth, if there were only naturalization agent reappointed for the Philippines to naturalize Filipinos under 702 of this act. Past 50 years and my father is already 83 years old and the last wish is to fulfill his promise that someday all his family will be there. But my 2 children had aged-out and our priority date is soon to be current 21Oct1992. I think it will be too late for us, I am now 53 years old.

Esperanza Beltran

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Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim