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Immigration Daily

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Immigration Daily March 23, 2009
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HIB Quota Forecast

The economic downturn has hit immigration lawyers across the country badly. One of the indications of the depressed conditions for immigration attorneys is the state of this year's H-1B quota. We discuss our quota forecast below and then make general observations about the immigration law business today.

First, lets take a look at the H-1B market, for new beneficiaries. There is no question that the quantity of applications for this year's quota is significantly down. Lets look at the worst hit categories. Not surprisingly, the financial sector is very hard hit, reflecting its general malaise. Furthermore, Congress's action making many in this sector subject to dependency rules came too late in the season for recruiting in an uncertain market. Also down are many of the larger corporations again consistent with general economic conditions. Surprisingly, many of the smaller H-1B dependent companies are also significantly down. The downturn in all the above categories is likely in the 50%-80% range. However, the larger H-1B dependents, who are the largest users of the H-1B program, appear to be down less, perhaps in the neighborhood of 30%. Proportionately, this year will see greater usage by smaller companies (translation: more RFEs per I-129). A big chunk of filings will be "legacy Fs and Ls", folks who lost the lottery in the past, and will now get H-1B status. Based on our informal survey, it appears to us that, despite the last minute rush currently under way, the quota will not be reached in the initial days of April. Instead, the Bachelor's quota will likely be reached in mid-April, and the Master's quota not before late-April. In other words, for the first quarter, H-1B quota-related business is down in the neighborhood of 60% - a terrible number for any industry. However, April performance will make up somewhat for this since the H-1B season will be longer this year, and the final H-1B business for the bar can be exactly forecast simply divide 65,000 (plus 20,000 less Chile and Spore) by last year's applications (approximately 126,000 plus 24,000) i.e. down by about 45%. Add to this the fact that the longer season will be kinder on everyone who works at an immigration law firm, as everyone will have fewer sleepless nights spent preparing for last minute filings.

Warren Buffet, the noted investment guru, recently said that the US economy had "fallen off a cliff" in early February. This is certainly true for the immigration bar. Business immigration is down overall in the 30% range, family immigration in the 10% range. However, Removal business continues to rise sharply, say around 30% (all numbers in this para are current trends, annualized). The immigration field as a whole is shrinking in the 15% range currently, the sharpest contraction ever. It is entirely possible that the dim economic conditions may continue for many more months, until CIR, or economic recovery, whichever comes earlier. CIR, when it comes, is likely to change the fundamental shape of the immigration law field, perhaps ending the domination of corporate immigration dollars. We will have much more on this matter in future issues of Immigration Daily, stay tuned.

Why has this gloomy state come about? The reason is political and cultural, not legal. Immigration is viewed as primarily an enforcement area (witness former ICE chief Julie Myers, who has gone into the compliance business) and the Executive Branch views immigrants literally as animals (see the demeaning code words the Department of State uses for immigrants, one of them is "donkey"). Recent statements by President Obama, Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid extolling immigration and decrying the view that immigration is primarily about enforcement could not have come at a better time. CIR cannot come fast enough.

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


Business Immigration Law

ILW.COM is pleased to announce that "Business Immigration Law: Strategies For Employing Foreign Nationals" edited and co-authored by: Rodney A. Malpert and Amanda Petersen and its companion book "Business Immigration Law: Forms and Filings" published by Law Journal Press are now available for purchase on ILW.COM. Contributors to the book include Tarik H. Sultan, Roger C. Wolf, Rebecca S. Whitehouse, George N. Lester, IV, Richard A. Gump, Jr., Leslie K. L. Thiele, Ellen G. Yost, Nancy H. Morowitz, Vicki L. Martin-Odette. For more info, including how to order, see here. For the fax order form, see here.


An Illegal Immigrant's Tale - From Rags To Stardom
Alan Lee, Esq. writes " ... I had occasion to again think that America should embrace and be tolerant of its illegal immigrants, because you never know from where genius will spring."

Bloggings on Dysfunctional Government
Angelo A. Paparelli writes "Deflecting multiple requests for important immigration documents by insisting on the submission of FOIA requests, USCIS stonewalls the public."

Immigrants Of The Day: Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao of Vietnam, Anthony Ofodile of Nigeria, Edgar and Brigitte Bodenehimer of Germany
Kevin R. Johnson features Brooklyn civil rights lawyer Anthony Ofodile, who grew up in a small village in eastern Nigeria with eight siblings and no running water.

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USCIS Announces New H1B Hiring Requirements
USCIS announced additional requirements for employers, who receive funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program or under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (covered funding), before they may hire a foreign national to work in the H-1B specialty occupation category.

USCIS Will Accept H1B Petitions Beginning April 1, 2009
Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of the petition; not the date that the petition is postmarked.

EOIR Issues Disciplinary Fact Sheet
The Executive Office for Immigration Review issued a fact sheet including information on the complaint process and a list of EOIR grounds for discplining.


Help Wanted: Immigration Attorneys
Owings Mill, MD - The Murthy Law Firm seeks attorneys with 3+ years business immigration law experience. Our practice is dynamic and fast-paced. We have high standards with regard to integrity, work ethic, and quality. Successful candidates will have ability to work both as members of team and team leaders. They will join dozen high-caliber colleagues and have quality support in the way of legal and administrative staff, as well as technology. They will bring in-depth understanding and knowledge of the breadth of immigration procedures, and are expected to supervise paralegals/support staff. Good writing and analytical skills required. Visit to learn unique benefits of working at Murthy Law Firm. Send resume + cover letter to All communication will be treated in confidence. Salary and benefits commensurate with experience and ability. EEO.

Translation Services
Eurasia Translations, Inc. has been proud to serve immigration attorneys and individuals since 1993 with the translation of personal documents, academic credentials, criminal clearance letters, etc. Our customers can rest assured that all of our translations are prepared in accordance with USCIS requirements and are accompanied by a notarized certificate of accuracy. For more information, please call 888-887-1884 or visit our website. For a free quote, please complete or fax your document at 818-907-9763.

Immigration Law Certificate
Master the complex and ever changing maze of immigration policies and regulations with the Immigration Law Studies Certificate Program offered by CUNY's School of Professional Studies. This graduate-level certificate program, consisting of (3) three-credit classes, offers students who complete it a comprehensive understanding of the laws, regulations, and processes surrounding the status of immigrants in the US, including family and employment-based immigration and deportation defense. It is designed for individuals working in law firms, companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations where they interact with immigrants and immigrant legal concerns on a regular basis and would therefore benefit from greater knowledge of the laws and regulations surrounding immigration. Beginning this spring, the program is also being offered online. For more information on class schedules, tuition and fees, course applications and to register, see here.


Miss Oregon's Dad Accused Of Visa Fraud
A cloud of federal visa fraud suspicions continues to hang over the father of the reigning Miss Oregon.

What Does Comprehensive Immigration Reform Mean?
Look, you broke the law," President Barack O'bama suggests immigration enforcement officials explain to illegal immigrants. Since, "we need control of our borders," the undocumented aliens will have to go back, the president told a group in Southern California a few days ago.

Churches Study Their Role In The Immigration Debate
The project, which is designed to equip congregations to respond to immigration issues affecting their members and communities, is being carried out in six areas.

Sen. Grassley: H-1B Friend Or Foe?
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is one of the most vocal opponents of the H-1B visa program in the country, and is a hero to many in the anti-H-1B crowd.


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