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Immigration Daily

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Immigration Daily May 27, 2009
Previous Issues
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Immigration Benefits On The Hill

President Obama has scheduled an immigration summit at the White House on June 8th, less than two weeks away. This bipartisan summit will apparently feature key Congressional leaders, and is being promoted by the White House as "an opportunity to launch a policy conversation that we hope will be able to start a debate that will take place in Congress later in the year". In the meanwhile, The Hill reports that "The Senate's new math has put an overall immigration package within reach: At least 57 senators from both parties are likely to support [] a comprehensive approach, with another 7 on the fence." With such reporting, one would think that immigration benefits are close to being in the bag. However, there is ample reason to be skeptical, here's why.

The immigration issue is largely political, like almost all issues on the Hill. Unless there is compelling political reason to move one way or another, rarely does Congress act. In the Senate, Majority Leader Reid was the loudest voice a few months ago promoting early and aggressive action on immigration reform. He was then performing poorly in polls for his upcoming election battle in Nevada in 2010, and needed the immigrant vote badly. While he continues to perform poorly in the polls, a credible Republican challenger has failed to materialize his insistence on tackling immigration early has muted accordingly. In the House, while a major immigration benefits bill likely waits in the wings for an opportune moment, the Democratic leadership has thus far not moved the legislative calendar on CIR. The White House has, for its part, made clear that immigration has to wait for its turn behind health care reform, climate change, education and tax policy. Whether any oxygen would remain in the legislative air for the balance of this year for immigration is an open question. Observing the executive branch actions so far, Mr. Emmanuel's deft political fingerprints are plain to see plenty of hot air, very little real ameliorative action. ICE and CBP continue ham-handed enforcement, and "the Culture of No" is just as firmly ensconced at USCIS, DOS and DOL as it was under the Bush administration. We suspect that as Mr. Obama's sky-high approval ratings slowly return to earth, his staff's interest in immigration will rise in tandem. In a nutshell, immigration reform on the Hill is far from a done deal.

So, what's the bottom line? Our view is colored by institutional and procedural matters on the Hill (not by any secret sources, nor by any private exchanges with specific persons on the Hill). We believe that immigration benefits have a fair chance of getting enacted based on the fact that Democrats enjoy near-record majorities at this time, when the Republicans have, thru their reflexive opposition, temporarily made major immigration benefits a partisan issue. If large scale benefits are not enacted now, we cannot imagine many more likely moments in the coming years. Since most immigrants cant vote (except for those who are already naturalized), our politicians do not pay much of a political price to postpone action on all kinds of pretexts. However, permitting the status quo of millions of undocumented Americans is no way to run a railroad, or a country. We urge Congress to get moving, and soon.

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


Today Is The Deadline For Coordination between USCIS/ICE, CIA, FBI and DOS

Today is the deadline for Coordination between USCIS/ICE, CIA, FBI and DOS, the Wednesday, May 27th phone session of "Consular Processing For Beginners"; the curriculum is as follows:

  • Investigations by Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service
  • Data mining process, profiling programs - H and L cases
  • Documents and Benefits Fraud Task Forces (DBFTF) and other multiple agency task forces
  • Discussion of select consular posts
  • Hot topics update
Today is the deadline to sign up. For more info, including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration information, please see: Online: Fax form: Don't delay, sign up today!


"No Little Historic Value" The Records of Department of State Posts in Revolutionary Russia
David A. Langbart writes "While the department's central files remain indispensable for this research, the post files have their special value."

Trends In Immigrant And Native Employment
Steven A. Camarota and Karen Jensenius for the Center for Immigration Studies write "This report finds that immigrants have been hit somewhat harder by the current recession than have native-born Americans. Immigrants (legal and illegal) now have significantly higher unemployment than natives."

Immigrants Of The Week: Karan Kler, and Ram Ramanathan
Greg Siskind profiles the achievements of these select immigrants.

To submit an Article for consideration, write to


DOS Maintains Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation
The Department of State published notice in the Federal Register that Abu Nidal Organization Movement and Palestinian Liberation Front - Abu Abbas Faction shall remain designated as foreign terrorist organizations.


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Face Of Immigration Now More Feminine
The study also found that many women emigrated to the United States not to enrich themselves but to build a better future for their children.

Police Advocacy Group Cites Concerns With Immigration Program Duties
A federal program that gives local law enforcement the authority to perform immigration checks creates a tense relationship between law enforcement officials and the people they serve while not yielding sufficient benefits, a report from a national police advocacy group concludes.

A Warrior For Immigrants, Citizens Alike
An old adage is, 'Every tiger is only a dog. Only in his area is he a tiger.' So I decided to make Los Angeles a base so that everybody would get to know me, work the grass roots.

Obama's Immigration Reform Step Suspect
An immigration reform activist thinks the Obama administration has an ulterior motive for expanding a program started by President George W. Bush.


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

Immigration Event - San Diego, CA
'Los Migrantes de la Crisis: New Research on the Impact of Economic Crisis on Mexican Migration and Settlement Behavior' 2:00 p.m., Thursday, June 4, 2009, Eleanor Roosevelt College Admin. Bldg, Conference Room 115, First Floor, University of California, San Diego.


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

Dear Editor:
We give Cubans welcome mat, while Haitians refugees got go home matm (05/22/09 ID comment). We treat Cubans with favoritism by not going all legal due process to prove their merits to claim their political asylum as others in our immigration courts. And we pretend that we don't have apartheid immigration policy here. We refuse to have better diplomatic relationship with Cuba because we call it a totalitarian nation ruled by communist dictator but our Presidents hold hand in hand and kiss each other cheeks with Middle East theocracy dictators who are far worse in human right records compared to Fidel's regime and we have such a great appetite on Chinese imports and have very cozy trade and diplomatic relationship with China even it's a communist nation as well and try not to fuss a lot about human rights issue otherwise they will stop buying our Treasury bonds and make our US dollar worthless in a blink of eyes. We can't help most other human beings much and we can't afford them to come here in hordes, but what we can do is trying to improve their life by peaceful regime change that can be gradual. Cubans need us to lift our economy embargo, they need investments and good jobs, they need to export their products. Communists can see the reality of 21st. century, that it's time for more freedom and open mindedness to see the better worldview.

Robert Yang

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