Senate Ready For CIR
Procedural maneuvering in the Senate over the last installment of the Fiscal 2009 appropriations bill sends clear signals for those who want to read them that the necessary Senate votes exist for CIR. Here's the story in brief.
As part of the Senate compromise on proceeding with the vote on the Fiscal 2009 appropriations, held over from the Bush era, the minority party was granted votes on a dozen amendments to the House’s bill HR 1105. One of those amendments was Mr. Sessions’s – number 605 – to extend E-Verify for a period of four and a half years beyond the underlying bill. Since E-Verify is crucial to the anti-immigration lobby, it is necessary for the proponents of immigration to hold it over as a bargaining chip when the time for CIR arrives, perhaps in late summer. However, when Mr. Sessions’ amendment was brought to the floor, Mr. Leahy, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee (which will mark up CIR and other immigration bills) made a motion to table the amendment (in other words, to kill it without a direct vote on the amendment). This motion was agreed to by a vote of 50 yeas to 47 nays. Put another way, the anti-immigrant lobby was defeated by 2 votes (n.b. not 3 votes, since a two vote switch would have changed the result).
However, the real story behind this victory is more interesting, and its portents even more so. Here is the first part in the words from the principal anti-immigration lobby, NumbersUSA:
If you were watching C-SPAN during the vote, you probably noticed something odd about the 7 Democrats who voted with us, casting a NO on tabling the E-Verify amendment. That is, most of the 7 (maybe all) first voted YES. But at the end, they huddled with Reid's leadership team and began changing their votes to a NO. What was going on was that Sen. Reid was demanding almost absolute discipline from his Democrats. The ones who felt like they needed to vote NO on our side let Reid know ahead of time, but most of them consented to vote YES if Reid required it of them. Thus, nearly all Democrats initially voted YES (to kill the E-Verify amendment). Then, once Reid knew exactly how many YES votes he could give up and still have 50, he began allowing some of the Democrats to vote NO.
What this means is that when time comes for the crucial cloture vote on CIR, Mr. Reid has the support of his caucus, even if they disagree on the underlying bill. Usually, majority leaders possess that support, but Mr. Reid’s record has been very spotty, particularly on immigration. However, in recent weeks, he has valiantly stood up to the anti-immigration lobby, and his performance on this appropriations bill was competent. Furthermore, many of the usual champions of immigration in the Republican party will vote for cloture for CIR, lessening Mr. Reid’s reliance on the few Democrats who might defect.
We understand that it is the Democratic leadership’s plan to now move on to health care reform (with a possible detour into yet another stimulus bill to come), and after that to take up immigration reform. Certainly the Senate appears ready, the House leadership continues to be lukewarm (Ms. Pelosi’s recent statements on immigration have been markedly less enthusiastic than Mr. Reid’s), however the House is unlikely to drop the ball if the Senate drops a bill in the House’s lap. While many believe that concerns about the economy may hold up immigration reform, Congress has now postponed action on immigration for so long that no further deferral is politically possible or wise.
As they struggle through their thankless tasks every day, immigration advocates may want to bear in mind the old saying – the darkest hour is the one before dawn. Stay tuned!
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Today Is Deadline For H-1B For Beginners
Today is the deadline to sign up for the March 12th phone session of “H-1B For Beginners” with speakers: Russell C. Ford, Loan T. Huynh, Cora D. Tekach and Roger Tsai (discussion leader Karen Weinstock). The
curriculum is as follows:
Don't wait to register. Wednesday, March 11th is the deadline! For more
info, including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and
registration information, please see: Online: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/200904.shtm
Fax form: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/200904.pdf
- History and overview of the labor condition application
- Basic Requirements of the LCA
- Wage and benefit issues
- Prevailing wage issues in the H-1B and Labor Certification
- What is the difference between actual vs. prevailing wages?
- What is a Public Access File and what documents are included in
- What documents are required to be maintained for public viewing
- What is Benching: Maternity Leave vs. License?
- When does the payment of wage obligation begins?
Current Trends In The Adjudication Of Waivers Of The Foreign Residence Requirement Under INA Section 212(e) On The Grounds Of "Exceptional Hardship" To A U.S. Citizen Family Member
Doulgas Carman, Esq. writes "Due to recent changes in the USCIS procedure for adjudicating hardship and persecution waivers of the foreign residence requirement of 212(e), it now seems a timely exercise to address this subject and provide practitioners with some information on current trends."
Book Review - The New Americans: How The Melting Pot Can Work Again
Fred Foldvary for the Foundation For Economic Education writes "This is an excellent book both for information on the sociology of immigrants and for the policy implication that we need not fear any loss of American cohesion even with large amounts of immigration."
Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
Greg Siskind writes "Here are a series of ideas for modifications to the H-1B program that will strengthen the US economy and cut down on the number of applications approved for firms that have been the subject of the harshest criticism. "
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CRS Report On US Border Patrol
The Congressional Research Service released a report on border security and the role of the US Border Patrol in it.
Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Washington, DC - USCIS Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) seeks experienced attorney with 2+ years demonstrated experience in immigration law or related experience for the Legislative Counsel Division. Function primarily involves proposed changes to the immigration laws, it also includes legislation on the subject of appropriations, public benefit programs, Federal personnel law, and any other matter affecting the operations of USCIS as a Federal agency. Applicants must possess JD degree, be active bar member (any jurisdiction), and have 2+ years of post-JD experience in immigration law. For more info, key in Job Announcement Number: COU-CIS-2009-0003 at USAJobs.com. Submit a resume, cover letter + writing sample (max. 10 pps.) to: Philip B. Busch, Legislative Counsel, USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel at Philip.Busch@dhs.gov. Must be sent by 5pm, EST, Friday, March 13, 2009. Position is at the GS-13/15 levels. No relocation reimbursement available.
Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Roseland, NJ - Fox Rothschild LLP has an opening for an immigration paralegal. The ideal candidate will have 5+ years of employment based immigration paralegal experience. Experience must include preparing and filing full range of employment-based applications, independently conducting research, analyzing legal resources, maintaining document files and case docketing. Must be team player, detail oriented and possess excellent communication, writing, organizational and computer skills. Will consider Bachelor's degree, Associate's degree, or paralegal certificate and 5 years of experience or 10 years of comparable work experience. Please apply online at http://www.foxrothschild.com/careers/paralegal/default.aspx?id=9164. EOE.
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Arpaio To Be Investigated Over Alleged Violations
The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil-rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office after months of mounting complaints that deputies are discriminating in their enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Immigration Officials To End Enforcement Of 10-year Visa Limit
U.S. immigration officials have agreed to let foreign athletes keep playing in the country as long as they leave after 10 years and apply for a new visa, reversing a policy that restricted players' service here to a decade.
A Hiring Bind For Foreigners And Banks
What could be worse than graduating from an American business school this year with an interest in banking?
NC Sheriff Keeps Immigration Stance
A North Carolina sheriff says he'll continue to use a controversial program that allows deputies to report suspected illegal immigrants after they're arrested on other charges.
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Immigration Event - Denton, TX
March 12 - University of North Texas presents a conference "Perspectives on Immigration: Strategies for the 21st Century" For more info, see here: http://web3.unt.edu/immigrationconference/
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I entirely agree with Robert Yang's letter's attack against Chia-Li
Sung's bigoted and intolerant letter of March 10. However, I
apologize for misspelling Ms. Sung's first name. It seems to be
typical of some first or second generation immigrants who have "made
it", whatever their ethnicity, to engage in indiscriminate attacks on
other immigrants who are not so fortunate, even though the people who
have to struggle to come to and survive in this country are the ones
who are more typical of the American dream than those who may be
enjoying a life of wealth and privilege. Ms. Sung's letter sounds more
than one very sour note. It is completely out of tune with everything
America stands for.
Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY
I was certain there would be a tirade of repugnance over Chia-Li Sung's letter (03/10/2009. However, I continue to stand by my former recognition of the brutal honesty Ms. Sung exhibits in calling a spade a spade. The letter is statistically right - and this scares people. Ms. Sung's letter is reality not racist. One is not prejudice simply because they see and vocalize reality. Political correctness and liberal attitudes do not change reality. America needs immigrants, but not dregs on society. The only way to achieve that is through regulation. This is about the rule of law, not race. What part of the rule of law people who violate immigration laws do not understand? Including, and especially employers, who are the real culprits and cause. ICE just can't win - criticized for not doing their job for over 20 years, and rightly so - criticized for doing their job, as required by IRCA. There simply is no basis (other than a bleeding heart) for Robert Yang’s letter's assertion (03/11/2009 ID) that, "It's time for us to call to give these human beings we call as "illegal"... a dignity and legal status to enable them to pursue American dreams..." Where is that engraved in stone and just why does America has a duty to give these law breakers a reward of any kind? America must secure its borders against all forms of law breakers, terrorists and illegal aliens alike, but building a 700-mile fence and brutal vigilante action is not the answer. America must pass and enforce unbiased laws that are good for America, not special interest groups. This begins in the workplace. Fine the violating employers, big time, and put their company owners and presidents in jail. Hire Americans - now!
David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA
In response to Roger Algase's letter (03/11/09 ID) regarding a slew of topics, but I would like to address Baraka Husein Obama's alleged U.S. citizenship. Occam's Razor suggests to the critical mind that the simplest answer is the most likely to a question with multiple possible answers to a question that is essentially unanswerable without additional information.
In the case of the Obama birth certificate, or to be more accurate, the abstract of the Obama birthcertificate that has been released to the public, Occam's Razor applies, or actually the Doyle Corollary to Occam's Razor.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is, of course, known to all for his novellas and short stories involving Sherlock Holmes. And it is Holmes that gives us the answer to the Obama citizenship, to whit the dog that did not bark. The simplest answer is that information is being withheld from all persons involved in this debate. Namely the original Obama birth certificate. Since the State of Hawaii issues birth certificates to those not born in the State of Hawaii but who have at least one parent who was a resident of Hawaii anytime in the last year.
Therefore, the question of Obama's cizenship cannot be answered until the original birth certificate is issued. Therefore we arrive at the dog that did not bark as the simple solution to the problem: the unreleased birth certificate and why Obama will not release his original birth certificate. The simplest solution is that he has something to hide. There is something that will hurt him on that birth certificate. And that can only be that he was not born in Hawaii.
With economy in recession and many Americans are out of work, many will blame illegal immigrants as convenient scapegoats instead of trying to see that greed, corruption, manipulation and speculation in the Wall St. that cause it, and the government still care more and busy to bailout the bankers who stole our pension and investment and bankrupt this country instead of We the People, despite plenty promises of "change" in the campaign, but it seems as "business as usual or more of the same". And we still waste hundred of billions dollar in Iraq and Afghanistan where the governments and the people still don't understand and accept the concept of equal rights for all, the universality of human rights and religious freedom for all faiths including the rights to change religion and to be an atheist that should be protected. The Iceland has collapsed, we and the UK and many countries in Europe are in huge debt and deficit, and many nations on this planet are drowning also in debt because of the global banking cartel manipulation to enrich the few elites. In this difficult times many have become selfish and encourage more protectionism, but as reminder protectionism will breed counter protectionism and trade wars and even real wars. The only answer for ending the human suffering is by ending the manipulation of global banking, trade and political system to benefit the few and to think and act about sustainable policies that will enhance the humanity to resolve our common challenges.
While I will admit that I have probably been among the most outspoken
critics of the letters of Jim Roberts, it is possible that I might have
noticed a narrow pathway toward recognition of common ground in his letter
of 0(3/11/09 ID).While I
certainly can agree with his letter's call for "macro" solutions, I would suggest
that to actually get somewhere positive in this column, and start to build
some consensus, we would need to start with "micro" agreements. Any sensible CIR has to deal with certain realities. The
CIR bills have to date, and certainly will in the future, advocate for much
of what Mr. Roberts' letter calls for. Post CIR, more enforcement will be a
good thing. We agree on that. We can agree on tighter borders right now.
Better visa tracking will certainly be a part of any CIR. I can agree that we do not want any undocumented
immigrants, post CIR. We can agree that lower entry numbers make sense
now. However, as
we will need more legal immigrants to fuel economic growth at some point in
the not too distant future, perhaps we can agree that entry numbers should
be variable, based on factual data at the cabinet level. As to
the undocumented already here and contributing to society, I say, through CIR, we can keep the goods ones,
and deport the bad ones. Without CIR it is almost impossible to do so,
and is economically unfeasible. Deporting
12 million people isn't going to happen. CIR probably is. To ignore that
reality is, in the letter's words, "obtuse." I know that we can agree on certain
issues, so let us begin by starting out with some fundamental agreements,
and then we can discuss how to shape some realistic solution.
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