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Immigration Daily

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Immigration Daily March 20, 2009
Previous Issues
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AILA Head Quits

Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of AILA since 1997, communicated to the AILA leadership on March 18th her intention to resign effective end-June. In a posting to the AILA membership on AILA Infonet on March 19th, Charles Kuck, AILA President, announced the resignation saying "She leaves us but not the issue. She intends to continue to be part of the broader campaign for immigration reform that is so important to AILA and its members, although she has not yet decided in what new capacity she will continue to serve." Ms. Butterfield is certainly qualified for positions such as USCIS Director, USCIS Chief Counsel, or similar DHS positions though based on our sources who are familiar with DHS appointments in the Obama Administration, she has not yet been extended an invitation (the immigration bar would of course be delighted to see her in a key DHS position).

Around the time IMMACT90 was enacted, AILA's national staff was a small handful of people led by AILA's first Executive Director Warren Leiden. It was Mr. Leiden who masterminded the strategy of transforming AILA from what was then primarily a membership association into a publishing powerhouse. This strategy was brilliantly executed by his successor, Ms. Butterfield (and Amy Novick). Today, AILA has overtaken all other publishers in immigration law except for West, and approximately two-thirds of AILAs revenues are derived from publishing sources (books and events). During Ms. Butterfield's tenure as Executive Director of AILA, AILA membership and staff have tripled.

In the last six months, the severe economic downturn has exacerbated the pressures on the immigration bar already reeling from the war on immigrants unleashed by the Executive Branch. These pressures have naturally been felt by AILA also, resulting inter alia, in a reduction in force of 15% in AILA staff late in 2008, and the suspension of Immigration Law Today (formerly known as AILA Monthly Mailing). It is possible that further cost-cutting measures will be necessary at AILA, as in most other institutions in America today. AILAs leadership will have to find a competent leader in trying times to fill the large shoes that Ms. Butterfield leaves behind.

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


Inventory Closeout Sale

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Unemployment For Immigrants And The US-Born: Picture Bleak For Less-Educated Black & Hispanic Americans
Steven A. Camarota for the Center for Immigration Studies writes "Although workers in the high-tech sector (using H-1B visas) get a good deal of attention, a very large share of temporary workers and green card holders have relatively little education."

Bloggings on Nurse Immigration
Christopher T. Musillo of the Hammond Law Group writes "Smartly, the position statement recognizes that the dire nursing shortage is really a question of healthcare accessibility."

Immigrants Of The Day: Alberto Riveron of Cuba, Juan de Dios Arana of Mexico, and Maila Nurmi of Finland
Kevin R. Johnson writes "Juan de Dios Arana (Mexico) is another immigrant vet who gave his life for the United States. In this time, we could list one every day."

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CIS Ombudsman Offers EB5 Recommendations
CIS Ombudsman provides recommendations to stabilize the EB-5 program.

President Obama Meets With Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The White House blog reported that the President will travel to Mexico next month to meet with [Mexican] President Calderon to discuss the deep and comprehensive US-Mexico relationship, including how the US and Mexico can work together to support Mexicos fight against drug-related violence and work toward effective, comprehensive immigration reform.


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Quote of the Day: Obama on Immigration Reform
President Obama was in Costa Mesa, California, yesterday to hold a "town hall" meeting and he finally brought up the hot-button topic of immigration, and more specifically, immigration reform.

President Barack Obama To Visit Mexico: Drug War, Immigration To Be Discussed
President Barack Obama will discuss the mounting drug violence south of the border and immigration during his first visit to Mexico next month to meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the White House said Wednesday.

Study Shows Immigration Enforcement Raised Wages
While much of the immigration debate has long concerned how to fill jobs that Americans wont do, a report examining one instance of immigration enforcement takes issue with that premise.

Obama's Civil Rights Nomination Upsets Some Latinos
Thomas Perez's selection for a Justice Department post concerns some civil rights advocates, who believe Villaraigosa aide Thomas Saenz was passed over to avoid sparking an immigration battle.


Readers can share professional announcements (up to 100-words at no charge), email: To announce your event, see here

Immigration Book
Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender By Seyla Benhabib and Judith Resnik NYU Press, 576 pp. Hardcover, ISBN: 0814775993, $75.00,


Readers can share comments, email: (up to 300-words). Past correspondence is available in our archives

Dear Editor:
Hector Tobar's editorial referred to in ID's 03/23/09 comment proves two things: (1) Those who come illegally to the US seeking better employment will leave if the employment is not there; and (2) Those who come illegally to the US come here because of economics, not love of our country. If E-Verify ever gets rolling, it may go a long way in reducing the number of mainstream jobs illegals can get, but it will not resolve all the back-alley jobs: gardeners, house cleaners, dish washers and smaller company manufacturing jobs that pay their workers "under the table." Strong employer sanctions will be required to achieve near full compliance. But just eliminating illegals should not be the focus of the immigration debate. Rather, replacing their illegal status with Temporary Worker status is the key to upgrading their respective roles in US employment society, while at the same time fulfilling the needs of US employers, making it easier to hire seasonal and temporary workers to "do the jobs Americans will not do" must be the focus. In other words, focus on the needs of US employers, while at the same time protecting bona fide US labor concerns, rather than the present ridiculous PERM and make-work H-2B Labor Certification fiascos. Of course, designing a workable "guestworker" program that will achieve this result will prove to be too daunting a task, with too many complicating "safeguards" built in, with make-work regulations that have little basis in reality, merely serving to perpetuate the ever fattening bureaucracy. Left to the politicians and the bureaucrats, any "guestworker" program is doomed for failure, even before it is written. Did I hear somebody say, "bracero"? Hola. And kudos to Carolyn S. Lee (03/23/09 ID Feature Article on what's wrong with E-B5) for hitting the nail right on the head.

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA

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