This Is Not A Drill
Some in the bar are misreading the Senate's debate on Comprehensive
Immigration Reform (CIR). The Senate is not engaged in idle debate, it is
determined to pass a bill.
This should not be news. The Senate was determined to act last year also,
and despite setbacks the Senate did pass S. 2611, the McCain-Kennedy bill
(some of the setbacks were severe, remember the Martinez-Hagel compromise
which cut the legalization beneficiaries in half?). What has changed from
last year to this year, is political control in Congress. And this affects
CIR's language, and its legislative twists and turns, decisively. Last year,
the Republicans were in control of the House, and chose the path of
confrontation rather than compromise. This was a political decision, and one
which backfired on the Republican Party, being responsible in part for the
GOP's losing both Chambers of Congress. This year the Democrats are in
charge of both Chambers - with consequences to CIR's language which we spell
In 2006, Senate Republicans could be certain that in passing a liberal bill
like S. 2611, loaded with benefits (SKIL, AgJOBS, DREAM, etc), these
benefits would be significantly watered down in a two step process. First,
the House's bill would have none of the generous benefits - as indeed, the
Sensenbrenner bill H.R.3347, which the House had already passed, clearly
showed. Second, the Conference to reconcile these widely different bills
would be controlled by Republicans from both chambers. The likely result
would be a middle ground with fewer benefits, and harsher language all
around, than the Senate's bill.
In 2007, the reality could not be more different than last year. This time,
Senate Republicans can be certain that no matter how harsh a bill they
craft, the bill will be significantly liberalized in a two step process.
First, the House's bill will likely be STRIVE, or something even more
generous (and bear in mind that STRIVE is more liberal than McCain-Kennedy
in the number of its beneficiaries, in addition to having SKIL, AgJOBS,
DREAM, and other goodies). Second, the Conference to reconcile the Senate's
tough bill with the House's liberal bill will be controlled by Democrats
from both chambers, probably Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Conyers. The likely
result will be something far more generous than anything the Senate will
That is why Sen. Kyl has to get all the concessions from Sen. Kennedy
in the bank now, while the issue is still in the Senate. This way, Sen. Kyl is assured that the final Act will be slightly tougher on enforcement than otherwise. And that is why Sen. Kennedy continues to make concession after concession necessary to move
the bill along, knowing full well that during Conference, the CIR bill will become more generous.
To the great credit of the politicians of both parties, they are moving the
legislative process forward in the Senate despite strong opposition from
both ends of the political spectrum. And the House is doing more than
waiting in the wings. As Rep. Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, has already
let slip, the House is determined to act on immigration regardless of what
the Senate does. The House's bill, the first glimpse of which should be
available during markup in the week of June 4th (the same week that the
Senate will finalize its bill), will likely have so much good news that the
bar will likely drop its collective jaw! A Conference is, therefore, very likely on this bill even if the Senate bill fails.
The bar should face up to the undeniable fact that our immigration law is
broken, and badly in need of a total re-write. That is the process that the
Senate has so courageously begun. Those who cannot see the trees of the
Senate bill's language for the wood of the legislative process would be well
counselled to heed Bismarck's admonition that Laws are like sausages, it is
better not to see them being made. Lets make improvements to the extent that
is possible as the process unfolds, and prepare for a feast at the end. Bon
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Investor Visas Workshop, Orlando: Early Bird Deadline
ILW.COM is pleased to announce a $200 discount for the Investor Visas Workshop, Orlando, details as follows:
- Save: $200 off the regular $999 price if you register now
- Where and When: Orlando, Florida: Wednesday, June 13th - 8:30am-5pm at the Orlando World Center Marriott
- Who: The speakers will be Lincoln Stone, Morrie Berez (USCIS), Tammy Fox-Isicoff, Mark Ivener, Greg Siskind, and others to be announced
- What: The price of the workshop includes a sit-down lunch, continental breakfast and coffee breaks. Included in the materials is the book "Immigration Options For Investors and Entrepreneurs", Editor-in-chief Lincoln Stone.
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June 2007 Visa Bulletin : EB2 And EB3 Movement
Sheela Murthy and Aron A. Finkelstein write "There was significant forward movement in the cutoff dates for India and China in the employment-based, second preference (EB2) category."
USCIS Announces New Procedures In Light Of DOL Substitution Rule
USCIS announced the institution of new procedures for filing a Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) that requires an approved labor certification application.
USCIS Issues Service Center Update
USCIS issued a press release providing projections concerning fee receipting and data entry processing of cases currently at USCIS Service Centers as well as the anticipated in time-compliance dates at each site.
Text Of CIR Bill
We reproduce SA. 1150 to S. 1348, which is an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the shell bill (S.1348) introduced by Sen. Reid to enact CIR in this Senate session. SA. 1150 is the Kennedy - Kyl compromise language. All the amendments being debated on the floor of the Senate with reference to CIR are technically amendments to SA. 1150.
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Readers can share their professional announcements (100-words or fewer at no charge), email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers interested in learning about featuring your event or conference in Immigration Daily, see here. To feature your newsletter in Immigration Daily, see here.
The International Who's Who Of Business Lawyers 2007 - Iselin, NJ
Gwendolyn M. Robosson of Fragomen Del Ray Bernsen & Loewy LLP's Iselin, NJ office was awarded "The International Who's Who Of Business Lawyers 2007" honor. www.fragomen.com.
Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: email@example.com (300-words or fewer preferred). Many letters to the Editor refer to past correspondence, available in our archives.
I don't vociferously oppose the elimination of some family-based preference categories. I think it is a necessary adjustment to an immigration policy that has become unbalanced since that last fundmental shift in policy back in the sixties, when family connections were elevated above potential contribution to the U.S. economy as a basis for preference. I admit my views are influenced by my past experience: I was a former legal intern with DHS while in law school, and so my first in-depth exposure to immigration law was from the enforcement side. But they are also influenced by my status as a U.S. citizen, and from my studies in comparative immigration law. My suggestion for a central theme to unify CIR and perhaps our conflicted immigration policy is simple: assimilation through citizenship. Our laws should be structured to encourage, and in some cases, demand that immigrants strive for citizenship. Eliminating family-based preferences for LPRs and expanding those for relatives of U.S. citizens would encourage long-time LPR status holders to take the final step toward citizenship. Requiring LPRs to apply for citizenship by a certain point in their tenure would compel them to make the effort to learn minimal English and educate themselves as to the basics U.S. civics It would also propel their assimilation, in that they could then participate knowingly in elections and the direction the country takes in the future. Moreoever, it would protect their own interests, in that, as I have often counseled my clients, once these immigrants become citizens, unless they lied somewhere along the pathway to that citizenship, the U.S. government cannot deport them. Too many LPRs found out after the 1996 enactments that the "permanent" in "lawful permanent resident"
is a misnomer in some factual situations. The only truly permanent right to stay in the U.S. comes from citizenship.
James McTyier, Esq.
Well, the hits just keep on coming. Senator Coleman (R-MN) has filed an amendment to the immigration bill that will forbid local governments from enacting laws that prevent public employees from inquiring into the immigration status of the people they encounter in the performance of their duties. Such local laws are necessary for people to be able to feel safe approaching the police or using public health resources. They are enacted for public safety and health concerns. Imagine the undocumented woman who suffers abuse at the hands of her husband. Without an understanding that her status will not be an issue, she may not feel safe calling for help or checking into a shelter. What about the undocumented victims of crime who will be afraid to approach the police for fear of being placed in removal proceedings? Consider the undocumented child who is injured, but whose parent is afraid to bring her to the hospital because the nurse might ask what her status is. Of course, the Coleman amendment requires that there be ‘probable cause’ to believe that someone might be undocumented in order to ask about their status. The obvious problem is the widespread assumption that anyone who looks different than the typical white American is an undocumented immigrant. Without an assurance that their immigration status will not be an issue, immigrants are at risk of serious abuse by those who know that they have no recourse. The goal should be to bring people out of the shadows of society, not to force them deeper into the dark.
Drew Sieminski, Esq.
A May 25, 2007 NYT article reports that according to the latest NYT/CBS News poll, even as opponents from the right and left challenge an immigration bill before Congress, there is broad support among Americans for the major provisions in the legislation. While the poll didn't directly question participants about the proposed immigration bill, it asked questions about significant provisions in the bill. 66% favored and 30% opposed the proposed guestworker provisions. The Amnesty provision faired well in the minds of the public polled, with 62% favoring and 33% opposing a provision allowing application for permanent residence for illegals present in the US for more than two years. The poll reveals that half of Americans say they are ready to transform the process for selecting new immigrants as proposed in the bill, giving priority to job skills and education levels over US family ties, which have been the foundation of the immigration system for four decades. On the negative side, the poll revealed that Americans are uncertain about the benefits of the most recent wave of immigration, and were divided over how many immigrants should come in the future. This all comes down to emotion and personal points of view, rather than practical or economic reality - yay for our team, boo for theirs, in the optimistic American tradition of rooting for the underdog and graciously giving the benefit of the doubt to the unknown. What is apparent is that there has been no thought given, by the American people, the president, or the Congress, as to how the proposed immigration reform will be funded by Congress and implemented by the USCIS. Otherwise, we can expect the entire immigration adjudications system to become hopelessly backlogged, as it was in the aftermath of the 1986 Amnesty program. Is history repeating itself?
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
It amazes me how a minority of vocal anti-immigrants
could create the illusion that they are the majority
of the Amercan public. This is simply untrue. Most
polls show that the great majority of Americans
support earned legalization for undocumented workers.
However, by constantly repeating that most Americans
oppose such a program casual observers come to believe
Lately some senators who support the bill currently
being debated in the Senate were booed when speaking
about immigration in their states. Some of these
events were recorded on camera phones probably by the
"booers" themselves. It only takes three or four
anti-immigrants to show up at an event and plan to boo
loudly. They then record the incident and send it to
the cable news channels who play it incessantly and
use it as "evidence" that the American public is
opposed to CIR. What nonsense propaganda to interfere
with the attempt to fix a broken immigration system.
I have been fighting to save our children and my family from a lifetime separation that will be imposed if the deportation of their father, my husband, is carried out. Due to the mandatory detention statutes I have now become a single mother and our 8 children are now fatherless. I was just lucky to have been born here. I do not feel my children should be denied that right just because their father is Mexican. The kids and I can't make it without him. People are ripped out of their homes in the early morning hours placed in holding facility hours away. This is all happening due to a prior deportation and "wavier of appeal" that he was pressured to sign, taking place in Dec.2001, over a traffic violation and a failure to appear that occurred in 1997. He was only 23 years old in 01'. Making him just 19yr. at the time of the violation. It makes me sick to think of all the criminals that are released on bond and yet my husband is "behind bars" awaiting his removal. He is a good man who loves his family. He would have loved to comply with the government regulations and enter legally but he would have then been forced to remain outside of the US for an extended length of time (2-10yr) waiting for the application to be processed. Not every situation is the same. The current Laws regarding Immigration, Detention and Deportation are in fact, punishing the voiceless victims (the children). I agree that changes need to be made in order to secure our country from terrorist but, does the separation of families who are not a threat, hard working, contributors to society, play a role in our safety? Is this what we call justice in America?
Illegal immigrants don't have SSNs, IDs, and many states and municipalities don't offer welfare anymore. It's impossible or extremely hard to get ones. But IRS and states treasuries are fine and happy to collect sales and income taxes from illegal using bogus or somebody else SSNs and illegals will never able to claim the tax return. The proceed of course will go to benefit US citizens. Yes, 40 millions Americans don't have health insurance, but what really disgust me that many of them can afford luxury such as cigarettes and alcohol, cable and broadband internet service, car payments and holiday shopping spree. Many Americans aren't wise and being responsible of how they should spend and invest their money, burying themselves into debts and bankruptcy. If our kids don't have decent schools, our poor don't have decent safety net and health care, maybe it's time to tell our lawmakers that we can't afford another wasteful wars with other nations which will bankrupt our nation. Why nobody speaks out about how much our government wasted on costly war in Iraq but blaming hard working amigos instead who just try to work and better themselves ? What a shame.
ID's "Comment" (5/24/07 ID) cites a poll by Tarrrance Group and Lake Research Partners (TG & LRP) as evidence that Americans want "comprehensive immigration reform". The latest poll I could find for TG & LRP was dated November 3-6, 2006, and was commissioned by the Manhattan Institute and the National Immigration Forum. These folks are hardly objective when it comes to immigration. I read the survey and like all surveys, the answers depend in large part on how the questions were asked. What I got from the poll was that Americans would support "comprehensive immigration reform" as long as it contains enforcement provisions. ID has selected a small portion that supports their point of view and then insinuated that it shows that a majority of Americans favor amnesty. When Americans are asked directly if they favor amnesty for illegal aliens, a large majority answer "no". When asked directly if they support stronger enforcement of the immigration laws, a large majority answer "yes". Once they're assured that the laws will be enforced, Americans are also willing to be compassionate with those here illegally. But don't take my word for it; go to your favorite "search engine" and type in "illegal immigration + polls".
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