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Immigration Daily July 22, 2009
Previous Issues
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Health Care Climate Change And Immigration

President Obama looks set to win on the Sotomayor nomination. He appears likely to win on the big sticking issue so far in the Appropriations process: the cancellation of the F-22. That leaves health care and climate change as the two big issues on the table before Congress turns to immigration. Here's a look at how those issues may affect the soon to come CIR debate in Congress.

Writing on, yet another GOP strategist bemoans the lack of support for immigration benefits among Congressional Republicans:

"… our weakness among minority voters is somewhat masked when it comes to elections that are not national. … Thanks to redistricting, and the legal imperative to give emphasis to "community of interests," these minority voters tend to be jammed into congressional districts where they are the overwhelming majority. That means the other districts tend to be more white in nature, and thus more friendly territory for Republicans. Then, at the level of the Senate, the reality is that Utah and Wyoming get the same number of senators as do California and New York. What this means is that when it comes to an issue like immigration reform, the pressure on Republicans who actually have been elected to office is more often to favor a position that is unattractive to minority voters. If they were to take a different position, they might find themselves facing a primary challenger supported by the party's activist base. So, at the expense of any long-term perspective, the Republican Party is likely to be responsive to the sentiment of the people responsible for them serving at this very moment."
The Republican strategist rightly concludes: "A recent poll shows Republicans, at the national level, are viewed favorably by fewer than 10 percent of all Hispanics. The word for this is "disaster"." Disagreeing with the above writer is Jay Cost, a noted political analyst (and a Republican) who writes on, and his argument connects the dots between health care reform (and by extension, climate change) and immigration:
"As UCSD's Gary Jacobson noted in the Spring, 2009 issue of Political Science Quarterly, "Republicans hold a significant structural advantage in the competition for House seats …This circumstance will have the effect of moderating the Democratic caucus, because Democrats representing such districts are, of political necessity, considerably more moderate than other Democrats. Similarly, more than half of the Democratic senators who replaced Republicans in 2006 and 2008 are from states in the South or the Mountain West, and they, too, will have to compile moderate records or risk defeat." Hence Blue Dog resistance to health care reform. This also suggests that the Democrats might have the same problem in advancing immigration reform, given the large number of members who come from mostly white, conservative-tilting districts. You can stick either a Democrat or a Republican in districts like PA-12, MS-1 or CO-4. Those reps will be hard-pressed to vote yea. Perhaps this is why the issue has been tabled this year?"
Clearly, how the health care and climate change debates play out in the coming days will have an impact on immigration in Congress. Lest anyone forgets, Sen. Schumer has said that he will start mark up on the CIR bill less than two months from today. However, we believe that the Democratic leadership will have to put immigration on the floors of Congress, since they are far from cementing the immigrant vote into the Democratic party at this point. As Jay Cost's article reminds us:

"You can't lump African-Americans and Hispanics into a "non-white" group without ignoring the 3.67 million Hispanics who behaved contrary to the theory for John McCain! This lumping together of non-whites also ignores the volatility of Hispanic voters, who, as [the Republican strategist quoted above] does note, gave George W. Bush about 40% of the vote in 2004. You can't lump all Hispanics together as a single voting bloc ... Some are more partial to the GOP than others. George W. Bush did relatively well with Hispanics in New Mexico (44%) and Nevada (39%), but poorly with Hispanics in New York (24%) and Illinois (23%). Additionally, the exit poll suggests that McCain actually did better with Hispanics in Colorado than George W. Bush."

Democrats have made big promises to immigrants, and the Majority Leader of the Senate, Mr. Reid, has several times publicly said that he has the votes for immigration reform. As we move into the height of the political debate on health care and climate change in the coming days and weeks, we must remember that immigration's day in the sun (or at least on the floors of Congress) is only weeks away.

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


Today Is The Deadline For Asylum For Experts

ILW.COM is pleased to announce a new 3-part telephone seminar series "Asylum For Experts" with David L. Cleveland (discussion leader), Ashley Huebner, Nancy Kelly, Jeffrey Martins, Brian E. Mezger, Alan Parra and other speakers to be announced. The curriculum is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on July 22: Harm and Motive

  • Economic harm: when does it "rise to the level of persecution"?
  • Emotional harm: how to demonstrate it without an expert
  • Physical harm
  • Abortions, IUDs, and "added" children
  • Ostracism and other types of harm
  • Proving motive of the persecutor
  • "at least one central reason" means what?
  • Corroboration: what evidence will impress the adjudicator?
  • Recent case law
SECOND Phone Session on August 19: Bars to Asylum and Particular Social Groups
  • Internal relocation
  • The one-year deadline
  • Firm resettlement
  • Persecutor of others
  • Material support: when is giving under duress a defense?
  • Domestic violence: my husband beat me
  • FGM
  • Recruitment by a gang
  • Juveniles
  • Other particular social groups
  • Recent case law
THIRD Phone Session on September 16: How to Impress the Adjudicator
  • How to get letters from the old country
  • Country conditions information from where?
  • How to interrupt the Asylum Officer
  • Give what kind of documents to the IJ? Objections to DHS documents
  • How to demonstrate harm, How to prove motive; How to avoid inconsistencies
  • How to frame a "particular social group"; Is client a member of more than one particular social group?
  • What if client has a bad memory and has a "flat" affect?
  • DHS attorney and IJ relations
  • How to make a record for the BIA
Don't wait to register, Tuesday, July 21st is the deadline. For more info, including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration information, please see: Online: Fax form:


Comprehensive Immigration Reform: A Primer
Mary Giovagnoli et. al of the Immigration Policy Center write "The necessity of comprehensive immigration reform stems from years of neglect and failure to respond to incompatible interactions between different parts of the system, resulting in breakdowns that have crippled our ability to regulate immigration adequately, protect our borders, reunite families, and foster economic opportunity." [ Ed. corrected 07/22/09 ]

Tax Traps - US Citizens And US Tax Resident Foreign Nationals With Assets Abroad Foreign Bank Accounting Reporting Form TD F 90-22.1
George Hayduk writes "While the original target of this legislation was wealthy US citizens hiding money offshore, the rules now apply to all US "tax residents" which includes foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas, and US citizens and lawful permanent residents residing here and abroad."

Immigrants Of The Week: Shantanu Narayen, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Gadi Amit
Greg Siskind celebrates the achievements of these select immigrants.

To submit an Article for consideration, write to


USCIS Naturalizes First Soldier In Military Pilot Recruiting Program
USCIS naturalized the first nonimmigrant to enlist in the military under the Defense Department's Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) pilot recruiting program. For a fact sheet on the program, see here.

ICE Releases SEVP Information
ICE released a PowerPoint presentation on the Student Exchange Visa Program and related QAs released at NAFSA's 2009 conference. For the SEVP PowerPoint, see here. For the preconference QAs, see here. For the postconference QAs, see here.

ICE Releases Supplemental Cap Gap Fact Sheet
ICE released a fact sheet addressing two significant areas related to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System's (SEVIS) functionality and interface with other government systems.

ICE Releases DMV Fact Sheet
ICE released a fact sheet intended to provide F, M or J nonimmigrants and their respective school/program officials with basic information on obtaining a driver’s license or a state identification (ID).


Help Wanted: Immigration Attorneys
Midtown Manhattan - Boutique law firm seeks two attorneys: 1) Senior attorney with 3-7 years experience to manage own caseload of employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa petitions for a wide range of professionals, including research scientists, artists/designers, athletes, IT professionals, etc, family-based petitions, motions & EOIR matters. May also handle some litigation matters. 2) Junior attorney with 1-3 years experience to assist Senior attorney with business & family immigration matters and handle personal injury/no fault and matrimonial litigation. This position requires admission to NY Bar; admission to NJ Bar is a +. Both positions require great initiative and follow-through, as well as excellent writing and interpersonal skills. Ideal candidates will have graduated in the top 1/3 of their class and have Journal experience. Salary DOE. Please email cover letter and CV to

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegals
Downtown Washington, DC (K Street area) - Fast-paced boutique immigration law firm seeks legal assistants. 1-2 yrs exp req.d in business/family immigration law. Interesting work and clientele; no timesheets; latest technology; competitive salary and benefits (401K, health insurance, paid vacation, etc). Successful applicants will be detail-oriented, able to handle volume, highly organized and strong communicators. Email resume, cover letter and salary reqs to No calls please. EOE.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Lincoln, Nebraska - USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) seeks an experienced attorney for the position of Service Center Counsel at the Nebraska Service Center (NSC). Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, serving as an attorney providing legal advice to the NSC personnel on issues involving immigration related adjudications, inadmissibility and deportability grounds, and national security; writing visa appeal briefs and providing litigation support to the U.S. Attorney's office on cases arising from Service Center adjudications. J.D. degree, active bar membership by the entry on duty date. For full details enter COU-CIS-2009-0005 here. Applicants must submit (1) resume , (2) writing sample (10 pps. max), (3) references to All submissions must be received by close of business on July 17, 2009. GS-13/15, position open until filled. No relocation allowance offered.

J-1 Visa Program
Discover the ease and flexibility of the J-1 Visa with Global Current, a service of AIESEC U.S., a leader in international exchange and professional training for over 50 years. Unlike other visas, the J-1 does not require a lengthy petitioning process, has few restrictions and can be processed at any time of year to facilitate the quick and simple implementation of an Exchange Visitor Program. Global Current has developed a streamlined sponsorship process supported by J-1 experts that allows us to maintain an unrivaled 48 hour turnaround time on complete applications. Global Current provides J-1 Trainee and Intern programs in a variety of occupational categories including law, engineering, finance, architecture, graphic design, marketing and fashion. For more information on eligibility requirements and a complete list of occupational categories, visit or email Melany Hamner at

Case Management Technology
Offering enterprise-level software and unparalleled US-based support, TrackerCorp is the most flexible and dependable immigration management solution on the market today. Designed by immigration attorneys and paralegals, ImmigrationTracker is often praised for its ease of use, intuitive features, and built-in immigration knowledge. As one of our customers noted, "If we had two years and unlimited funds to design our ideal immigration management system, Tracker would be it." Phil Curtis, Chin & Curtis. Find out for yourself why Tracker is the choice of: 83% of practicing Past Presidents of the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association, through June 2007); 86% of the 25 largest immigration law firms (IndUS Business Journal 2006); 75% of the AmLaw 200 (largest US law firms, American Lawyer Media, 2006); 3x as many globally ranked immigration attorneys as compared with other software vendors (Chambers Global and the International Who's Who of Business Immigration Lawyers, 2007). Schedule your private demo: Call 1-888-466-8757 ext. 278 or email sales@trackercorp.


Open America's Doors To More Immigration
The American story is the story of immigration. It defines this nation. It was essential to our past success, and it will be essential to our future success.

Ex-Judge Collazo Busted For Immigration Fraud
Former Manhattan Civil Court Judge Salvador Collazo, now a Bronx attorney, has been arrested on federal charges related to his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to collect excessive fees in connection with immigration applications.

Feds Shift Gears On Illegal Immigration
The Department of Homeland Security is changing the way it tackles illegal immigration, in many cases remaking or rescinding Bush administration policies.

Fool Proof Identification For Non-Citizens
The Mississippi governor said no administration in our government has ever committed to finding those who break our laws by simply over staying their welcome. Our Homeland Security Director said, this would change that.


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Readers can share comments, email: (up to 300-words). Past correspondence is available in our archives

Dear Editor:
Z. Achurra's letter (07/21/09 ID) demonstrates why everyone dealing with USCIS or US Department of State should engage the services of qualified and experienced immigration counsel. Obviously, the I-130 was approved or it would not have found its way to the Embassy for visa issuance. Ms. Achurra's letter fails to mention if she submitted a US or a Filipino divorce decree, a bogus Dominican Republic decree, or no decree at all. Sometimes USCIS will miss a technicality like the bona fides of dissolution of marriage. The Consulate always gets a "second bite at the apple" when reviewing an application for visa issuance. Consulates sometimes check with authorities to insure dissolution documents are bona fide, or have complied with residency requirements of the jurisdiction and other formalities of dissolution of marriage. If so, there is no basis for visa denial. If, on the other hand, it is determined a marriage has not been legally dissolved, that is grounds for visa denial. This evidently occurred here. I wonder, did not Ms. Achurra know she was not divorced? Or did she just fail to present proper documentation? Either way, Ms. Achurra appears at fault and therefore lacks standing to criticize the system. The letter shows surprise that the Consul waited until the interview to adjudicate the visa application. That is precisely the function of the Consular interview - it doesn't happen late at night in a Manila back alley. Consular Officers do not adjudicate I-130 cases based on photocopies of pre-submitted documents alone, as does USCIS, rather through the more intensive interview process, so it is no surprise denial occurred at the interview and not before. A lawyer could have provided proper guidance and avoided the disappointment and the time-wasting the letter seems to disdain. Moral: get lawyer - get visa.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA

Dear Editor:
The latest example of pretentious pseudo-scholarship from the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies revives the discredited argument that America's environmental problems are caused by too much immigration (see 07/21/09 ID). Aside from the usual scare tactics about how immigration will allegedly lead to runaway population growth, there is the standard attempt to blame immigrants for policies over which they have no control - over-development of real estate, strip malls, carbon emissions, etc. These transparent attempts by the anti-immigrant lobby to scapegoat immigrants for environmental problems are similar to the attempts by far right wing immigrant-haters such as columnist Michelle Malkin to blame immigrants for the economic meltdown. Ms.Malkin's twisted theory was that some immigrants (along with many millions of Americans) allowed themselves to be manipulated into taking out subprime mortgages. But who originated these shoddy, if not fraudulent, loans, as well as the many other financial shenanigans that brought America's economy to its knees? Bernardo Madoffernandez? Murillo Lynch? Los Hermanos Lehman? Home-grown American Wall Street bankers did a fine job of destroying the economy without any help from South of the Border. And America is quite capable of devastating its own environment without any assistance from foreigners, thank you. One has to ask whether the "pollution" that the anti-immigrant think tanks would like to do away with is environmental at all, rather than racial. Making America green means stopping it from becoming too brown. Or so one could conclude from this article.

Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY

Dear Editor:
In response to Victor Johnstons letter (07/20/09 ID). He poses a question to another writer as to what contribution the writer has made to the US. Well, the same question can be directed to the letter writer, Mr Johnston. If "Dave" has been paying his taxes regularly, had his own health insurance, and not committed any crime and done time in prison on my tab, I would say he has made a contribution to the USA, as have I and hopefully you.

Linda Cogill

An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Send correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. The views expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily represent the views of ILW.COM.

Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim                        ISSN:   1930-062X

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