USCIS Increases Fees
USCIS published notice in the Federal Register of an increase in all application fees, ranging from $5 -$15, due to inflation. For the Federal Register item, see here. For the USCIS press release, see here. For a list of fee increases effective October 26, 2005, see here.
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Issues In Losing Citizenship
Gregory Siskind writes "Many people believe that once they become a citizen of the US, they will always remain so. In fact, this is not always the case, even for people who are US citizens by birth."
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In regards to the upcoming Diversity Visa lottery (09/26/05 IW comment), MyGreencard.com recently surveyed over 70 immigration web sites that advertise visa lottery services. Our intent was to satisfy 3 major goals: (1) estimate the extent of fraudulent advertising in the industry, (2) provide independent ratings of green card lottery web sites using objective, measurable criteria, and (3) suggest best practices for site operators. We also identified reasons why lottery entrants may need to use a service or agent to register their lottery application. Among the findings in our calendar year 2005 report: We identified 73 web sites that advertise visa lottery services. Of these, 22 sites redirect to other URLs when the applicant registers for the lottery. We excluded those sites that redirect from our report, leaving 51 web sites in our analysis. We located 13 sites that were duplicates or clones of existing web sites but are registered under a different URL. Only seven sites (13%) earned "red flag" penalties indicating either understaffing, negligence, or potential fraudulent activity. Most were penalized in our review for posting obsolete rules from past visa lotteries. However, some have multiple unresolved complaints about their service, or attempt to mimic an official U.S. government site with similar images and icons. The average fee charged by green card lottery service providers was $45.50 for one person and $70.12 for two persons (family applications). There was no correlation between the fee charged and the quality of the service provided, based on our criteria.
The top ranked services offer toll free telephone numbers, accept paper-based applications and standard photographs, have immigration attorney contacts, offer multiple natural language translations of their entire site, and notify winners directly.
Lower ranking services fail to post occupational requirements, have no telephone number, and do not notify winners.
Several green card lottery services appearing at the top of well-known search engines under searches for "green card lottery" actually rank the lowest in our review. Many sites with low ratings had the best-designed web sites.
J. Stephen Wilson
Ken Robert's letter (9/26/05 IW) exudes the ignorance and intolerance shared by racists. I am enlightened to know that few will give importance and thought to such rudeness. I am not sure which Americans his letter references that are fighting and dying abroad to protect the rights of Mexicans. Certainly that is not the premise of standard that our great soldiers are fighting. In fact, it may be surprising to know that included in our fighting soldiers are those of Mexican descent. I have not seen the "ungrateful, arrogant Mexicans strutting down streets." I have yet to even meet one ungrateful, arrogant Mexican, and I have met many Mexicans. I have met hard-working people who take the slightest of pay to do the menial jobs and who come to this country for a chance for survival. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
In regards to Ken Robert's letter (9/26/05 IW), the letter's racist and obviously disdainful remarks towards "Mexicans" reflects an ignorance and blatant disregard for "human rights" as well as "individual" rights. These are rights and dignities which many died to achieve right here on our own soil, our soil. There is no such thing as an illegal human being. This country is what it is because of where we all came from, we are a nation of immigrants, were founded by immigrants to this land, we are who we are because of the immigrants. Fear and unacceptance of the "Mexicans" as the letter so elegantly put it is just that and nothing more. They have just as much, maybe even more of a right to much of this country. Many Americans of every race, color, sex, national origin, etc, do not share the views in the letter because we all share one common trait, we are all human beings before we are black, white, latin, asian, etc.
Unless individuals are Native Americans like my family are, then their family came here as immigrants at some point in time and took land and our entire way of life. Most of the people in the US wouldn't be here if it wasn't for immigrants who came to this country looking for a better way of life and that is just what the people from Mexico, Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras and all the other countries are looking for. All they want is a better way of life. If you had to live without electricity, no running
water in your house, only an outhouse for a bathroom or had to take your
shower outside by dumping cold water over your head, and had to cook on a
fire outside in the yard, sleep all in one room in hammocks over a dirt
floor you would be looking for a better way of life too. They are willing
to work and work hard for what they get. Not only that buy they are willing
to do the jobs that other lazy Ameircans don't want to do or think that they
are too good to do. They aren't taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, they are doing the dirty work that U. S. citizens are to lazy to do because they might have to sweat a little.
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