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Immigration Daily


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Dear Editor:
In response to Patrick J. Corr's letter of October 31st, I can provide some insight. It appears that the SS Administration has a link to the INS' database and verifies any documents that are brought into them via this system. I have had 3 employees recently run into this trouble. The 1st entered the US as an H-1B holder (has been for several years), she recently married and went into SS Administration in New Jersey to change her name on the card. SSA said they could not change it because the database showed her as a J-1 holder and not eligible for a SS card. She went to the local INS office to see why her records showed this and they told her to write to a place in ND. After talking with me, we decided the error occurred on her last entry into the US and maybe the airport is the correct place to start. She went to Newark Airport's INS office and they reviewed the documents and noted they would make the correction, it took several weeks but it got resolved. Another employee had entered the US with a valid, although expiring L-1 visa stamp, and presented his new approval notice for extension. He did not review his I-94 card, but when his wife went to get a new SS number based on her new EAD card, they said her husband's status was only valid for a month and they could not issue a card. Back we went to the airport to get the I-94 card corrected to reflect the appropriate date. The wife has subsequently gotten her new SS number. The third individual was also a similar issue with a mistake by the INS inspector. She was the L-1 holder and she came with a rather large family. The inspector indicated on all I-94 cards the L-2 designation. We went back to the airport to get that corrected and when she went to SS Administration they told her the database reflected L-2 status and she required an EAD card to get the proper SS number. It took about another 2 weeks before the SS administration had the right information on their database.

As much as I can determine, in the interest of tracking foreign nationals, INS has this office in ND that inputs all the information obtained at the airports. This is where data error has had an impact on various government agencies that can access the information. Another employee had a recent issue with an Inspector at the airport when he put the wrong information on the I-94 card and before leaving the station the employee asked him to correct it. His response was to send her into the INS office for their review. Another inspector corrected the card but advised her that her database records showed that she had an overstay issue that would impact her staying here permanently. He wouldn't give her specifics and since she will be pursuing permanent residency, we thought we better review what INS has on her records. Based on our employment/immigration documents, there has been no overstay issue, so the employee has sent a letter with documentation to the ND center to ask for clarification on her immigration history. This was done about 3 weeks ago and she has not had a response from INS. This is the address provided to us by INS Vermont: INS Database Correction and Entry Unit, ACIS/NIIS, PO Box 1059, Belcourt, N.D. 58316-1059.

Any other insight would be greatly appreciated.

Deborah Couch
Immigration Paralegal, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Princeton, NJ

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