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Immigrant's Weekly December 4, 2000
Arthur L. Zabenko, Editor
Nina Manchanda, Assistant Editor
Marc Ellis, Chat Transcripts Editor
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A Note from the Editors:

Christmas Gifts

Now is the time to make sure that you have your Christmas card and gift lists ready. Some people believe that the tradition of gift giving at Christmas began with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that the Three Wise Men from the Orient presented to Jesus. Others believe that gift giving began in ancient Rome where gifts were exchanged on New Years' Day as a way for saying "Happy New Year." Depending on the legends in each country, gifts for small children may be delivered by elves, angels, Jesus' camel, the Three Wise Men or St. Nicholas and his derivative, Santa Claus. The habit of exchanging elaborate gifts did not begin in America until the late 1800s. In 1867 Macy's department store in New York City was the first store to remain open until midnight on Christmas Eve, and in 1874 Macy's put up there first window displays with a Christmas theme. The Santa Claus icon and retailers hype has made gift giving a central focus of the Christmas holiday for many.

Start your Christmas shopping early and reduce holidy stress. Remember to leave enough time for mailing gifts and cards so they arrive by Christmas. The post office provides a list of valuable information for mailing gifts to international and domestic destinations.

Many people believe that the best gifts are not the ones that are the most expensive, but rather the gifts that come straight from the heart. When thinking of what gifts to give a person keep in mind your relationship to them and make sure that it is a gift that the person who is receiving it, not you, would like. For some gift ideas for immigrants check out ILW.COM's new Immigrant shop. You can purchase an airplane ticket to reunite family and loved ones for the holidsays. You can find phone cards which are useful gifts to help people keep in touch with distant friends and relatives. Or just check out the selction of immigration related reading and vidoes. When you just do not know what to get that special immigrant (or any immigrant), check the Immigrant shop.

INS Issues Guidance on New H-1B Bill
The INS has released questions and answers about the implementation of the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act" (AC21) including their interpretation of the increase in the cap, limitations on the portability provisions and a reminder that the increase in the ACWIA fee to $1000 is effective on December 17, 2000.

INS Issues Advisory on Advance Parole
The INS has issued an advisory urging all aliens with pending applications for adjustment of status or change of nonimmigrant status to consult with an immigration attorney or accredited immigration representative before making any foreign travel plans. Anyone with a pending adjustment application should read this BEFORE leaving the US.

Mapo Tofu

Immigrant's Weekly "Recipe of the Week" is an opportunity for you to share your favorite recipes with other visitors to the site. Do you have a favorite dish you prepare to remind you of your home country when you are feeling particularly stressed or homesick? Have you found a new favorite dish in your new land? What substitutes have you used for ingredients you could not find? Submit your recipes to Each week we'll bring you the most taste-tempting, mouth-watering recipes we receive.

ILW.COM Highlights
New! Citizenship Videos

Visit our new aisle of the Immigrant Shop with Citizenship Videos

This Week's Chat Schedule:
When Attorney
Monday, December 4
9:00 pm Eastern Time
Kevin Levine, Esq.
Thursday, December 7
9:00 pm Eastern Time
Mitch Berenson, Esq.

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. Copyright 2000 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM. Correspondence to Letters may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium.