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Immigration Daily January 22, 2009
Previous Issues
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Obama Pelosi And CIR

Immigration advocates have been concerned about the priority that President Obama assigns to immigration. A New York Times report dated January 10th said "On issues like immigration and climate change, Mr. Obama may focus on narrow moves first." A more recent report in the Arizona Daily Star dated January 18th says "the consensus is that the economic crisis will put immigration on the back burner until late this year or early 2010." All this has led to the anti-immigrationists gleefully crowing that "The outlook for [CIR] is so bleak that even Obama's 'immigration transition team' two law professors, Tino Cuellar of Stanford University and Georgetown's Alexander Aleinikoff has nothing to say."

However, we have consistently held that it is Congress which makes laws, and that the Obama administration's priorities would serve as guidelines only for Congress, nothing more. So lets take a look at where the Senate and the House stand. Since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago, the Senate twice tried to enact significant benefits - once with CIR vide Kennedy-Kyl, and once with DREAM. Both times, the Senate failed to achieve cloture (unlike the situation four years ago, when the Senate succeeded in passing McCain-Kennedy), but still, at least the Senate tried. In the current Congress, Senate Majority Leader Reid has already signaled immigration to be a top-ten priority and introduced a place holder bill. The contrast with the House is marked. With Ms. Lofgren as chair of the House immigration subcommittee, few hearings and fewer markups of any immigration benefits bills proceeded even in subcommittee, and there was no floor vote. In the current Congress, Rep. Lofgren has apparently been silent on immigration benefits.

Now comes news that Rep. Lofgren has been promoted to Chair the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. It is possible that Speaker Pelosi will permit Ms. Lofgren to keep her gavel at the Immigration subcommittee despite the effects of her promotion on Ms. Lofgren's time and energy. This would be unfortunate, for two independent reasons. Firstly, it may signal that the House Democratic leadership has decided that not much effort will be needed in the immigration subcommittee in this Congress, thereby permitting Ms. Lofgren to wear both hats without unduly straining her - in this case, the House Hispanic Caucus may well see this as a declaration of war on immigrants by the Democratic leadership. Secondly, Ms. Pelosi has two much better options readily at hand, both to send a message of friendship to an important part of her caucus, and to free up Ms. Lofgren for her now-loftier responsibilities as full Committee chair. These alternatives are Ms. Jackson-Lee or Mr. Gutierrez as House Immigration Subcomittee chair. Both are stalwart champions for legalization, and it is quite likely that the House will become a hot bed of activity on the legalization front once either of these two takes the gavel.

We urge the Democratic leadership in the White House, and both Chambers of Congress to take heed of recent analysis of the November 2008 election which shows that "according to exit poll data, Obama actually performed about seven points worse among Hispanics in Colorado than did Kerry" and that the Upper Midwest appears to be trending Republican. The Hispanic vote continues to be important to Democratic victories, and it will be absolutely pivotal once the country's honeymoon with Mr. Obama fades into a memory. Acting on immigration benefits without delay is necessary if winning in elections is the goal, replacing the now-promoted Ms. Lofgren with a more activist Immigration Subcommittee chair is a good idea for pragmatic Democrats.

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to


US Tax Compliance For Immigrants And Employers: The Lawyer's Complete Guide

ILW.COM is pleased to announce a new book on tax compliance for immigrants and employers authored by noted authority Paula Singer. The outline is as follows:

  • International Aspects of Individual U.S. Tax Returns
  • A Guide for Filing IRS Forms 1042 and 1042-S
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  • J-1 Nonstudent Exchange Visitors Performing U.S. Services
  • U.S. Taxation of H-1B Specialty Workers
  • U.S. Taxation of B-1 Business Visitors
  • U.S. Taxation of Foreign Students
  • Tax Treaty Benefits for Foreign Nationals Performing U.S. Services
  • What You Need to Know About Exchange Visitors
For more info, including how to place a pre-publication order, please see: For info/ordering by fax, please see:


How Long Can An Immigration Judge Continue A Removal Proceeding For A Labor Certification To Get Approved?
Cyrus D. Mehta writes "When a noncitizen who is in violation of status, by overstaying a visa or entering without inspection, is placed in removal proceedings, at issue is whether an Immigration Judge (IJ) can grant adjournments until such time that he or she is eligible for adjustment of status through the approval of a visa petition or labor certification application."

The Golden Age At Risk
Bruce Yandle for the Foundation For Economic Education writes "In spite of all this, we know that more people are experiencing freedom than ever before."

Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
Greg Siskind shares the latest entries as of January 14, 2009 on his immigration law and policy blog.

To submit an Article for consideration, write to


President Obama Halts Regulations
Rahmn Emanuel on behalf of President Obama issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies requesting that all new or pending regulations be halted.

CIS Ombudsman Releases QA On EB5 Investor Visas
CIS Ombudsman released the comments and questions from the teleconference on EB-5 investor visas.


Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
St. Louis, MO - Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP seeks an experienced paralegal to assist in case management and preparation of a wide range of employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, PERM applications and Adjustment of Status applications. Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP is one of the nation's largest law firms, with 335 attorneys in eight offices with experience in more than 45 practice areas, and represents clients in a full range of corporate, transaction and litigation matters. Please send resume with salary requirement to Lisa K Lange at:

Case Management Technology
Are you ready for the new changes in immigration? See why INSZoom has a 99% customer retention rate. Use our forms with peace of mind - 800+ updated within 24 hours of any new release, no patches or downloads. E-File 20+ forms. Access your firm's online database anywhere you have internet access. Client relationship management tools, practice management tools, group calendaring, emails, notes, reports, invoices, auto email alerts and reminders, document storage and assembly. A library of customizable questionnaires, letters and email templates included. Online access for clients to check case status included. Compliancy modules: I9, LCA, AR 11, PERM. Optional services: credit card processing, Outlook & QuickBooks integration. One-time data entry and auto population into all documents will save you time and reduce errors. Customizable to support solo practitioners, mid-large law firms & corporations. We teach you how to customize the software to fit your processes and communication needs. Founded in 1999, INSZoom is a profitable, financially sound company, employing 100+ engineers, sales, and support staff. INSZoom is ISO 27001:2005 certified and the "world's largest immigration software company", built with flexible modules that allow you to manage and control technology. To schedule a complimentary online demo, call 925-244-0600 or email

J-1 Visa Program
Discover the ease and flexibility of the J-1 Trainee visa with AIESEC United States. For 50 years, AIESEC U.S. has offered foreign nationals the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally by sponsoring exchange visitor traineeships. Enjoy unparalleled customer service, including in-depth guidance on J-1 Trainee visa regulations and the changes effective July 2007. We also offer logistical and cultural reception services in locations nationwide. Expect a 24-48 hr. application processing time. The J-1 Trainee visa can be used for individuals to participate in training programs in the following fields: information media and communications, education, social sciences, library science, counseling and social services, management, business, commerce and finance, the sciences, engineering, architecture, mathematics and industrial occupations, public administration, and law. Attorneys interested in learning more about AIESEC United States and the J-1 Trainee visa, please email Melany Hamner:


Report Faults Treatment of Women Held at Immigration Centers
Some 300 women held at immigration detention centers in Arizona face dangerous delays in health care and widespread mistreatment, according to a new study by the University of Arizona, the latest report to criticize conditions at such centers throughout the United States.

Sheriff To Keep Immigration Training Program For Deputies
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said he plans to continue a controversial federal program that allows jailers with specialized training to assist federal immigration agents in screening inmates at local jails.

Court: One Day Makes A Difference In Asylum Case
But the panel concluded that immigration officials and judges should not have been counting the day Minasyan arrived in the U.S. and thus determined he filed on time.

Seoul Immigration Office Gearing Up for Better Services
Everything will be changed, including office location, manpower and working processes, the chief said. Offices at the immigration building will also be completely relocated.


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Readers are welcome to share their comments, email: (300-words or fewer preferred). Many letters to the Editor refer to past correspondence, available in our archives.

Dear Editor:
I have long said that CIR was a buzzword for amnesty and Thomas Roach's excellent article (01/21/09 ID) is verification of that position. But we need more than CIR, America's immigration laws should be totally rewritten, not patched and bandaged to accomodate the whims of special interest groups or pork barrel politicians pandering for the ethnic vote. I understand and sympathize with the plight of the 12-million illegals present in the US, but I do not advocate an amnesty as proposed - it failed in 2008 for good reason. Although noble in its intent, the amnesty proposed by Mr. Roach and others, requiring that the applicant: (1) prove a strong work history in the US; (2) prove payment of all back taxes, (3) have no serious criminal history, (4) have no serious immigration violations, (5) learn some English, (6) pay a significant fine, and (7) be required to go to the back of the immigration waiting line before attaining legal status simply will not work. First, it will not work because if we send these people to the back of the line, it will be decades before they legalize, and what will we do with them in the meantime? Second, the payment of back taxes will probably eliminate 50 to 75% of them, and proving a "strong work history" in the US is so subjective as to create nothing but bureaucratic confusion. If we are going to have an amnesty, just have one simple form, a self-petition, accompanied by payroll records from a US employer for three months prior to application showing taxes were paid, do a criminal background check and give them a green card. Then, write the law to say there will never again be an amnesty and enforce our immigration laws. It is really just that simple.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA

Dear Editor:
I'd like to remind folks here, none is immune from the competition locally or globally, yes, include who brag themselves as Mohawk Americans, or First Nations people (01/21/09 ID). US or Canadian citizenships are not a sure guarantee for good jobs with good salary and entitlements and rights to restrict other human beings who happened to be born in India or China not to be able to market their labor and skills for better compensation globally from any willing buyers and consumers. None should have right to establish labor monopoly and restrict free competition to jack up their salaries and rip off consumers in general. Competition should exist so none should take anything for granted, including just being a lucky Mohawk American.Vigorous worksite enforcement is the answer for preventing illegal immigration not walls not jailing people, we make employers to pay fines and compensate their undocumented workers including the cost to travel back to their home countries, but we must get real that sending back 12 millions people means 12 millions less consumers, tax payers and workers, mean many businesses will close down, many banks, restaurants, groceries etc. will lose businesses. What we need here is a common sense workable solution that I will write in my next letters.

Robert Yang

Dear Editor:
Contrary to the R. Algase Letter of Jan. 21st, the correct interpretation of the 14th Amd. is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby. The Supreme Court confirmed this restricted interpretation of citizenship in the "Slaughter-House cases" [83 US 36 (1873) and 112 US 94 (1884)]. In Elk v.Wilkins, the claimant was considered not an American citizen because the law required him to be "not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the US, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction and owing them direct and immediate allegiance". The Court essentially stated that the status of the parents determines the citizenship of the child. This is only common sense. To qualify children for birthright citizenship, based on the 14th Amd., parents must owe "direct and immediate allegiance" to the US and be "completely subject" to its jurisdiction. In other words, they must be US citizens. In 1889, the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court case once again concluded that the status of the parents was crucial in determining the citizenship of the child. The current misinterpretation of the 14th Amd. is based in part upon the presumption that the Wong Kim Ark ruling encompassed illegal aliens. In fact, it did not address this, but rather determined an allegiance for legal immigrant parents based on the meaning of the word domicile. Since illegal alien parents do not have legal domicile in the US, the ruling clearly did not extend birthright citizenship to children of illegal alien parents, rather the ruling strengthened the original intent of the 14th Amd. which was not to facilitate illegal aliens defying US law and obtaining citizenship for their families, nor obtaining benefits at taxpayer expense. Congress should clarify this to stop the abuse.

Jim Roberts

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 1995-2008 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM. Send correspondence and articles to Letters and articles may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium. The views expressed in letters and articles do not necessarily represent the views of ILW.COM.

Publisher:  Sam Udani    Legal Editor:  Michele Kim                        ISSN:   1930-062X