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Contradiction In DOL's TG Memo And The Implications Thereof

DOL's TG Memo contains a contradiction. In Attachment 1 to the TG, DOL says "ETA believes the national processing of backlogged permanent labor certification cases using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) principle, regardless of the location where a case was originally filed, is an equitable and fair approach to all applicants." Attachment 1 then goes on to describe how backlogged labor cert applications at Regional Offices and SWAs will be processed in the Backlog Centers in Dallas and Philadelphia. However, on page 3 of the TG, DOL says "SWAs shall continue to "accept" but not "open" cases filed by employers after January 1, 2005, and forward these to either Atlanta or Chicago on a schedule ETA will provide to the SWAs." If the latter sentence implies that these 2005 cases will then be processed in Atlanta and Chicago, then that would obviously not be following the FIFO principle, since Dallas and Philadelphia would be processing 2001 cases at the same time. On the other hand if DOL intends to apply the FIFO principle, the staff in Atlanta and Chicago would not be processing any files that the TG says will be sent to them by the SWAs. A logical way to resolve this contradiction would be if DOL intends to ship files to and fro between Atlanta/Chicago on the one hand, and Dallas/Philadelphia on the other (which would be a strange way for DOL to plan things).

What this really shows is that the DOL had not thought through how 2005 files would be handled at the time of issuing the TG on Sep 29, 2004. Again, the logical reason for this to be so is that at least as of Sep 29, 2004, DOL was counting on PERM to be published before 12/31/2004. If that was true, and it is logical to believe that it was, PERM must be considered to be imminent at this point. On Dec 3, 2004, DOL issued instructions to the SWAs to ship cases to the Backlog Centers. This document, while free from any obvious contradictions, presents problems of its own, which SWAs will have to struggle through - and which will affect attorneys with cases pending at the SWAs. This new Carlson memo will be among the topics of discussion at the 12/16 phone session of "PERM Softly Creeping: Backlog Reduction, Regional Processing And Other Troubling Sounds Of Silence", the discussion here will be led by distinguished immigration practitioner Angelo Paparelli. The detailed curriculum appears in the Focus below. The deadline to sign up for this timely and informative phone seminar is Tuesday, December 14th. For more info, detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, see:

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