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Immigration Daily November 22, 2002
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Editor's Comments

The abolishing of the INS via the just passed Homeland Security Bill is sending tremors through the immigration law community. Matter of Izumi notwithstanding, immigration attorneys have long relied on INS General Counsel Memos for the advice they give to their clients daily. Will the new General Counsel of the new Homeland Security Department honor long-standing interpretations of immigration law? Or will he or she simply wipe them all out, and start with a clean slate? The latter event may cause an earthquake in most immigration attorneys' practices. Some of the talented career officials in the Services branch of the INS reportedly have their resumes out, dreading the day when they will have to report to new bosses who will begin each day with the question "To which terrorist did you NOT issue a visa today?" Several regulations which have been working their way through the INS's regulatory system for years will now very likely be back to square one, leaving attorneys without a detailed and reliable road-map to give effective counsel to their clients.

The potential for horrible prospects notwithstanding, it must be borne in mind that the abolishing of the INS is only a tiny part of the largest restructuring of the federal bureaucracy in over a generation. The restructuring will likely take place at a glacier's pace over many, many years. With over 22 agencies involved in the new Department, turf battles will likely erupt in such profusion as to surprise all. Congressional pork in what will now be the third largest department of the federal government will also shape events to come. With this as a backdrop, the prospects for immigration could be as bad or even worse than the prophets of doom forecast, however the doom may be a long, long time coming. Wait-and-see may be the best policy for now.


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Featured Article

The Senate Approves The Homeland Bill: What Now?
Jose Latour writes, "What does it mean for us? A lot. Customs and INS will both be integrated within the organization, and as a person who has lived the past 12 years struggling with today's comparatively tiny INS bureaucracy, I can only imagine what will happen when immigration responsibilities are effectively swallowed by a bureaucracy literally hundreds of times larger.

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Immigration Law News

President Bush Hails Homeland Security Passage
In a statement discussing the recent passage of the Homeland Security legislation, President Bush said, "I commend the employees who will move into this new department for their hard work and dedication to the war on terrorism. Setting up this new department will take time, but I know we will meet the challenge together."

Attorney General Ashcroft Welcomes Homeland Security Act Passage
In a statement on the passage of the bill to abolish the INS, Attorney General Ashcroft said, "I applaud the passage of the Homeland Security Act and the President's leadership on this important legislation. I look forward to working with the new Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security."

Human Trafficking Violaters Sentenced to 10+ Years
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Boyd, Jr. today announced that three Florida citrus contractors received lengthy prison sentences for conspiring to hold workers in involuntary servitude, harboring undocumented workers, interfering with interstate commerce by extortion, and using firearms during the course of a violent felony.

Social Security Administration Seeks Comments On Aliens Permananently Residing In The US Under Color Of Law
The Social Security Administration sought comments on: collecting information that determines whether individuals have worked in employment after becoming disabled and, if so, whether the work is substantial gainful activity. SSA will verify the validity of the evidence of PRUCOL aliens with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Based on the INS response, SSA will determine whether the individual is eligible for SSI payments. The respondents are alien applicants for and recipients of SSI payments; Form SSA-821-BK.

INS Seeks Comments
The INS also allowed a 60-day notice of information collection under review for public comments on the following: passenger list, crew list; Form I-418, aircraft/vessel report; Form I-92, notice to student or exchange visitor; Form I-515.

Congressional Statements On The Bill To Abolish The INS
Congress voted on and passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 including its immigration law provisions. During the debate, Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) said, "... The formulation of immigration policy--our only chance to achieve coordination between these dispersed functions--will be subject to the conflicting views of various officials spread out in the new Department. With its failure to provide centralized coordination and lack of accountability, the Republican bill is a blueprint for failure. "The final debate is in three parts: One, Two, and Three.

Objection To Magistrate Judge Action Before District Judge's Referral Order Must Be Raised Prior To Appeal
In US v. Bolivar-Munoz, No. 01-40967 (5th Cir. Nov. 20, 2002), the court said that since the Defandants did not object to the magistrate judges' actions allocuting their guilty pleas before a proper referral order was entered by the district judge, they waived the right to raise the right to raise this procedural defect as a basis for relief from their guilty pleas.

BIA's Denial Of Suspension Of Deportation Under 244 Cannot Be Reviewed
In Perez-Rul v. INS, No. 02-9519 (10th Cir. Nov. 20, 2002), the court said that it had no jurisdiction to review the Board of Immigration Appeals's (BIA) denial of suspension of deportation under Section 244, and said that substantial evidence in the record supported the BIA's rejection of Petitioner's asylum claim.

Homeland Security Department Will Take Years To Organize
The New York Times reports "Bush administration officials acknowledged today that the Department of Homeland Security would need years to organize itself fully and that the logistics involved in merging 22 agencies and nearly 170,000 government workers into a giant new bureaucracy could threaten to divert the department from its central mission of safeguarding the American public from terrorist attacks."

Immigration Brings Economic Dynamism
An editorial in the Washington Post says "In reality, the choice is not between more immigrants and fewer immigrants, but between more immigrants and more economic dynamism and fewer immigrants and less economic dynamism."

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Letters to the Editor

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