Full Steam Ahead For CIR
Newspapers across the country continue to report on the ongoing problems with the bi-partisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) negotiations underway in the Senate. The Houston Chronicle today reports "Deal being negotiated would put tighter borders first". The New York Times today reports "Senators Reach Outline on Immigration Bill". Here is where the agreements and disagreement stand as of this writing.
There is wide agreement on the enforcement provisions - both border enforcement, as well as a significantly stepped-up mandatory worker-verification program for employers. There is also agreement on citizenship training and integration measures for new immigrants. The action has moved to the two benefits provisions - on legalization, and a huge new temporary worker program to ensure that future immigration is lawful, and not undocumented. Acting in a spirit of common sense, there is bi-partisan agreement on legalization, albeit one with triggers and touchbacks. "Triggers" signify that legalization will not go into effect until the two aforementioned enforcement provisions are in place - secure borders and a worker-verification program. "Touchbacks" would require the undocumented to "touch back" to another country before being re-admitted legally (there would be some waivers for this). So, on four of the five key points in CIR - borders, worker-verification, citizenship training, and legalization - there is wide-spread, bi-partisan agreement in the Senate.
The disagreements center on some aspects of the large new temporary worker program that is required to ensure that we do not continue to have large scale undocumented immigration in the future. The issue is not the temporary immigrant workers themselves, but their families, whether they can bring the families with them, and whether they would eventually become Americans or go back. On one side are some conservative Republicans led by Sen. Kyl who believe that immigrant workers should come, work and go back. On the other side are some liberal Democrats led by Sen. Kennedy who believe that immigrant workers should come, work and stay. The issue is are these workers our guests, in which case they should eventually leave, or are they Americans in waiting, who will eventually become permanent residents? It is certainly true that many workers from overseas may choose to voluntarily separate themselves temporarily from their spouses and minor children for the sake of earning a living. However, we believe that the weight of history is on the side of Sen. Kennedy in that many such workers will eventually become Americans, and we should so see them.
The thorniest issue is that the massive increase in legal immigration - both temporary and permanent immigration will be more than doubled by CIR - requires a fundamental tenet of our post-1965 immigration regime to be re-engineered. Our legal immigration system over the past four decades is largely a family immigration system, with employment immigration a mere afterthought. This myopia in our law is a critical reason why we have a large undocumented population who have had no legal way of coming here or staying here lawfully. CIR seeks to redefine our immigration law to have greater balance between family and employment immigration - say 50-50. This means that even with the great increases to come in employment immigration through CIR, cuts in family immigration must be made, and entire categories will likely be eliminated.
Our view on this is simple - a proper immigration system for America must hold the biological family - spouses and minor children - sacrosanct. Either admit the whole biological family in, or don't admit anyone from the family at all. Thus, we are opposed to the very concept of the FB2A category and the V visas, which cruelly separate the basic unit of the human species. These inhuman categories must be abolished and the biological family members must be admitted at the same time as the principal entrant. On the other hand, we are not sympathetic to the idea of extended families being accomodated at the same level as biological families and support the abolition or dimunition of as many other categories (especially FB4) or re-definitions (especially excluding parents from the Immediate Relative class) as are necessary to achieve balance and realism in our immigration laws. Family immigration, long the corner-stone of our immigration policy, and responsible in no small part for our undocumented problem today, must share equally in the future with employment immigration. Continuing with an unbalanced immigration policy heavily weighted toward family immigration ensures a repeat of the failure of our laws in the future.
Action on the Hill continues at a pace designed to ensure an Act, repeat an Act, this summer. Many, many twists and turns lie ahead. There will surely be disagreements aplenty. The active support of the immigration bar and the immigrant community in sustained activism and lobbying both Congress and their fellow Americans will be absolutely necessary in the coming weeks and months to get CIR enacted in less than 90 days from today. Lets go full steam ahead.
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Investor Visas Workshop, Orlando: Early Bird Deadline Is May 25th
ILW.COM is pleased to announce a $200 discount for the Investor Visas
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Physician Visas: What You Need To Know Now
Gregory Siskind, et al. provide material from the recently concluded seminar series.
DHS Announces US-VISIT Changes
DHS issued a press release saying "Effective May 6, 2007, international visitors are no longer required to check out at a US-VISIT exit kiosk when they leave the United States." The press release further stated "DHS has determined that US-VISIT air exit procedures should be incorporated into the existing international visitor departure process to minimize the effect on visitors and to ensure seamless biometric collection regardless of the visitor’s departure point."
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Robert W. Yarra, A Professional Law Corporation, Fresno, CA, has an immediate opening for a licensed associate attorney bilingual in English and Spanish. The ideal candidate will have 3 plus years experience in all areas of immigration law, including Removal/Deportation Defense, Family and Business Immigration Law. In addition to courtroom experience, excellent writing skills are required, as this position includes appellate work. Recent law school grads with a demonstrated interest in immigration law also considered. We offer a competitive salary, our benefits package includes 401(k), medical, dental and vision plans. Expedited partnership track considered. Fresno is centrally located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, close to Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. Housing is affordable, cost of living adds to a great community for raising a family. Please mail resume and writing samples to: Office Manager, 1250 Fulton Mall, Suite 202, Fresno, CA 93721 or e-mail Robert W. Yarra at: info@RWYarra.com.
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Immigration Event - Washington, DC
"Demographic Trends, Immigration Policy, and Remittances", Sponsored by: Migration Policy Institute and Inter-American Development Bank, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 16, 2007, Andres Bello Auditorium, 9th Floor, 1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC http://contact.migrationpolicy.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=3161 Agenda: Demographic and Labor Trends in Major Immigrant-Receiving Countries (Hania Zlotnik, United Nations); Demographic and Labor Trends in the United States (Jeffrey Passel, Pew Hispanic Center); The Role of Immigration in Labor Force Growth and Maintenance in Major Countries of Destination (Joseph Chamie, Center for Migration Studies); Connecting the Dots: Demographic and Labor Trends’ Impact on Remittances (Manuel Orozco, Inter-American Dialogue); Reconciling Immigration Policy with Demographic and Labor Force Trends (Demetrios Papademetriou, Migration Policy Institute) RSVP: http://contact.migrationpolicy.org/site/Calendar/1328236563
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Thank you for covering the evangelical CIR movement (ID 05/09/07) We've been working on this mobilization since 2005. It's fantastic, they have received excellent coverage from yesterday's press conference. Please promote Immigrant's List on Immigration Daily. Their membership is an inclusive list of immigration attorneys. You may assume many of them receive your periodical. Their action alert software program is superb, it has the ability to target by zip code enabling to write to critical rather than friendly votes. In the coming days, the mobilization for the organizing of Townhall Meetings across the country will be taking place. We have a long road ahead of us, best wishes in your continued excellent communication publication.
Ben Lubbon, Managing Partner, Jude Benedict & Associates
It remains to be seen whether the pro-immigration evangelicals or the
anti-immigration white supremacists will win the battle for the soul of
the Republican party in the controversy over CIR (ID 050/09/07). Since many Latino
immigrants are also involved with the evangelical movement, as well as
its Catholic counterpart, the Charismatics, the divide between pro and
anti-immigrant forces is not necessarily as much a matter of religion as
it is a matter of ethnicity. Just as the old saying goes that all
political issues are local, it can be said that, in immigration, all
political issues are racial.
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