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Immigration Daily August 19, 2002
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Editor's Comments

INS Commissioner Ziglar announced his resignation, to be effective later this year.

Reacting to this unhappy development, Angela Kelley of the National Immigration Forum said "The news today that INS Commissioner James Ziglar plans to resign later this year is a huge loss to immigrants, the INS, and the Bush Administration ... His visionary strong leadership, especially since September 11, has been an important calm and sensible voice within the Department of Justice, pushing back when certain others wanted to put unreasonable and uncalled for pressure on immigrant communities across the country in the name of counterterrorism." In a statement receiving with regret the news of Commissioner Ziglar's resignation, Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of AILA said "We thank Commissioner Ziglar for his calm voice of reason reminding us not to equate immigrants with terrorists, his steady leadership in tackling the challenges of backlogs and inefficiencies at the beleaguered INS, and his thoughtful perspective on how we can improve our nation's security and affirm our tradition as a nation of immigrants ... Mr. Ziglar will be missed by AILA. We wish him the very best."

The obvious question is: why did Mr. Ziglar decide to leave? The former Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the United States Senate, Mr. Ziglar was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 2001 and took office on August 6, 2001. At that time, President Bush was on the brink of announcing a historic immigration accord with Mexico which would legalize millions of undocumented aliens in the US. Commissioner Ziglar, a pro-immigration Republican, would have been the man to implement the historic legalization program. September 11th dashed all that. Subsequent to the terrible events of that fateful day, the Department of Justice began to view all immigration with great suspicion. While Mr. Ziglar distinguished between immigrants and terrorists, senior officials at the Department of Justice do not so differentiate. Mr. Ziglar's bosses at the Department of Justice have prevailed. He realized that it would be difficult to implement a pro-immigration vision, so he has decided to leave.

So, what happens now? Does this portend the beginning of the end of immigration to America? We do not think so. The fundamental facts of American demographics and economics cannot be wished away, however hard the anti-immigration folks at the Department of Justice may try. Our economy needs large numbers of immigrants, especially if we are to win the War against the Terrorists. Further, we must not forget that the Administration merely enforces the law, it does not make the law (Congress does that), nor does it finally interpret the law (the Courts do that). Commissioner Ziglar's resignation sets the stage for the Department of Justice to be on collision course with Congress, which remains by-and-large pro-immigrant.

And things may not even come to that. The final session for this Congress which begins next month will likely see the moving of atleast part of the immigration function into a new Department of Homeland Security. If immigration benefits were to be moved somewhere far away from those currently in charge at the Department of Justice, sanity in immigration services may yet prevail even after Mr. Ziglar's departure. The Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor come to mind as logical homes for immigration services. Early in the 20th Century, INS was a part of the Department which was later split into Commerce and Labor.

Mr. Ziglar's letter to President Bush references his discussions with Clay Johnson, who was President Bush's college roommate, and is now Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. Unless the President's plans for re-election have dramatically changed, the President may yet intend to appoint a pro-immigration person to head the immigration services function, regardless of which Department it ends up in. Pro-immigration candidates that the Administration may want to consider are Kathleen C. Walker, a distinguished immigration lawyer, and Stuart Anderson, former Chief of Staff to the Senate Immigration Committee and currently Executive Associate Commissioner at the INS.

Commissioner Ziglar's sad resignation does not end the glorious story of American immigration, a story that Immigration Daily is proud to cover.


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Featured Article

H-1B Series: The Petitioner And Its Job Offer
George N. Lester IV continues the H-1B series with a discussion on the Petitioner and the H-1B job offer.

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Immigration Law News

INS Commissioner Ziglar's Resignation Letter To The President
In a letter to the President, INS Commissioner Ziglar formally notified the President of his intentions to depart the INS no later than December 21, 2002

INS Commissioner Ziglar's Message To INS Employees
In a letter to all INS Employees, INS Commissioner Ziglar said "We must never bow to evil forces that exhibit a single-minded determination to undermine our resolve to protect those principles and thereby cause us to abandon our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants ... above all, I am most proud to have been able to serve with the men and women of the INS. Few outside of the Service understand, or are willing to acknowledge, the incredible job you do each and every day. Each year you touch every one of the over half a billion people who enter this country legally. Each year you remove well in excess of one million people who have attempted to enter illegally or who have broken our immigration laws. While doing this, you also process immigration petitions for over 8 million non-citizens who want to be a part of this great nation, and the promise it represents to the rest of the world. It truly has been a privilege to be one of you, and I will treasure that experience always."

INS Statement On Ziglar Resignation
INS issued a brief statement on INS Commissioner Ziglar's resignation.

DOL Memo On H-2A Transportation
The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor issued TEGL 23-01, Change 1, clarifying transportation requirements under the H-2A program.

INS Seeks Comments
INS sought comments on:

  • Affidavit of Financial Support and Intent to Petition for Legal Custody for Pubic Law 97-359 Amerasian; Form I-361.
  • Request for Verification of Naturalization; N-25.
  • Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant; Forms I-17.

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INS Commissioner Resigns
The Washington Post reports on the resignation of INS Commissioner Ziglar.

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:
The following is AILA's press release on the resignation of INS Commissioner Ziglar:

Statement by Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director

The American Immigration Lawyers Association receives with regret the news today that Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner James Ziglar has announced his resignation, effective at the end of this year.

"We thank Commissioner Ziglar for his calm voice of reason reminding us not to equate immigrants with terrorists, his steady leadership in tackling the challenges of backlogs and inefficiencies at the beleaguered INS, and his thoughtful perspective on how we can improve our nation's security and affirm our tradition as a nation of immigrants," said Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "Mr. Ziglar will be missed by AILA. We wish him the very best."

"As the Administration begins its search for a new leader of our immigration system, we urge the President to seek out a leader who, like Mr. Ziglar, recognizes the critical role that immigration plays in keeping our nation strong and vibrant. Immigrants who come to America to contribute their hard work and needed skills, to reunite with close family members, and to seek protection from persecution, should be treated with dignity and respect under our nation's laws. The INS needs strong, positive leadership to set the agency on a forward-looking course."

"A sweeping overhaul of the immigration system is critical. As the Administration and Congress rush to create a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security, they cannot ignore the urgent need to reform the INS. Service functions, such as administering citizenship tests and evaluating immigration applications, must be separated from, but coordinated with, enforcement functions within the same agency. A strong leader with the authority to develop and administer immigration policy for the entire agency must be placed at the helm."

Amanda Carufel
Public Affairs Manager
American Immigration Lawyers Association

Dear Editor:
The following is NIF's press release on INS Commissioner Ziglar's resignation which deals a blow to immigrants and the Bush administration:

Statement by Angela Kelley, Deputy Director

The news today that INS Commissioner James Ziglar plans to resign later this year is a huge loss to immigrants, the INS, and the Bush Administration. Commissioner Ziglar's leadership at the embattled and underfunded agency has been remarkable said the Deputy Director of a leading non-profit pro-immigration organization in Washington.

"Commissioner Ziglar has much needed management experience and clout on Capital Hill at a time when the INS is facing the greatest challenge in its history," said Angela Kelley, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum. "Moving the agency to the Department of Homeland Security will create tremendous upheaval and Commissioner Ziglar is uniquely qualified to mitigate the disruption for both INS employees and the immigrants that depend on the agency for services," Kelley continued.

"Ziglar understands that we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws and his positions have generally struck the right balance between the need for heightened security and the need to remain true to our national traditions and values of being a welcoming country for immigrants and a beacon of hope for the world's refugees," Kelley said.

"His visionary strong leadership, especially since September 11, has been an important calm and sensible voice within the Department of Justice, pushing back when certain others wanted to put unreasonable and uncalled for pressure on immigrant communities across the country in the name of counterterrorism," Kelley added.

"I suspect it was becoming increasingly difficult for a pro-immigration Republican to feel that he has a place at the table within this administration, which is increasingly perceived by immigrants as hostile to hard working, law abiding newcomers," Kelley said. "We will certainly miss his valuable insights into how we can balance the need to isolate terrorism while refraining from isolating America and making all immigrants feel unwelcome," she concluded.

Douglas G. Rivlin
Director of Communication
National Immigration Forum

Dear Editor:
I read Paul Donnelly's article and arguments for the masculation of the H-1B visa program. While it is debatable whether the program is a "subsidy" he gave no concrete evidence that the visa program was directly responsible for the massive 401(K) losses, and the downturn of the economy in the software and telecommunications industry. In fact, if he read business dailies such as the Wall Street Journal, he would quickly see that the cause for investor losses have had more to do with fraudulent accounting practices and mistatements of earnings, and the lack of corporate spending on telecommunications equipment and related software technology, not because of the use of the H-1B program.

It is interesting to note that Congress and the SEC has not come to the same conclusion that he has about investor losses. I have read thoroughly the recently enacted Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and found no provision amending the immigration laws. Obviously, neither Congress or the Bush Administration has determined that the H-1B subsidy has caused any of the investor losses that he claims to have occurred.

Finally, he failed to ignore the simple truth of why employers had to turn to the H-1B program. Employers did so simply because these workers were qualified and there was simply a severe shortage of such qualified workers. Mr. Donnelly's article did not say that qualified US workers were ignored and not hired, it simply implies US workers were ignored. US workers who were not qualified would not have been hired for IT jobs much less for any job for which they were not qualified. What is wrong with this? Likewise, Mr. Donnelly's article did not state that there was any evidence that employers used unqualified H-1b workers.

I am convinced that US employers would turn more to qualified US workers if they were available. He failed to recognize that the US public education system has not done a very good job in training our American youth in hard core areas of science and math that is crucial to holding such jobs. Why aren't our college and university engineering classrooms filled with more American students, rather than crammed with foreign students? Does he propose that we start eliminating F-1 student visas because they are a subsidy for our American colleges and universities?

Mr. Donnelly's motives are clear. I am not fooled.

Harry J.Joe
Immigration Law Practice Group Leader
Jenkens and Gilchrist , PC

Dear Editor:
I can understand Mr. Donnelly's rather cynical article and consideration of increased H-1B numbers as a "subsidy" for some companies. I wonder if he could explain his question "[a]ny immigration attorneys out there who want to defend that practice {lawyers placing ads for jobs, rather than the employer} to somebody whose 401(k) lost 50% of its value?" The law on labor certifications is the law and employers must interview all qualified U.S. workers, which include citizens and permanent residents, lawyers may not. How does this link to people losing value in their 401ks? A clarification would be appreciated.

One would think that if Mr. Donnelly's assertion that the H-1B program is a subsidy is true, then a company hiring H-1B's would help its bottom line and the other employees would benefit.

People have lost retirement income, including 401K money due to the IT and/or bust, the falling to earth of the high flying, highly-speculative and IT industries resulting in equally irrational stock market valuation (and corporate corruption), and over-salaried employees. No doubt citizens should have every opportunity to get jobs without a reduced salary H-1B employee taking away a potential job. However, the debate over whether there were enough persons with the skill-sets and education to meet the market need repeatedly leaned toward the negative, so that these nonimmigrants were barely seen as a threat. With an economy that has been on a roller-coaster, there may be a reassessment.

Another question for Mr. Donnelly is pragmatic. Does he really think that deregulation will occur? - that Congress will have the will to increase employment based imigration in this climate and bestow a far greater benefit (permanent residency) to a group of workers in a promising but still unproven sector of the market (IT)? - Think of the political implications as well as the implications for the labor department - and we thought INS was malfunctioning!!

Does Mr. Donnelly or anyone else have an opinion?

Ross Brady, Esq.

Dear Editor:
I had never of this guy Paul Donnelly before but his article sure is interesting to read. The H1-B program is a subsidy therefore it distorts the economy therefore it is the cause of the market crash. Very powerful arguments.

The article fails to address the real issues: do some employers abuse the H1-B system to get cheap labor? Yes. But what percentage? Most likely, for certain specialized jobs a foreign worker may be more qualified than a US worker. Free market should allow the US company to hire that foreign worker. That is a legitimate case of hiring a foreign worker. What Mr. Donnelly doesn't want to discuss is better enforcement of the existing laws so that companies that abuse the program are severely punished.

Alain Raynaud.
Mountain View, CA

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