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Immigration Daily June 25, 2009
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State Of Immigration Market

We have just returned from two national conferences for immigration professionals. The first was AILAs in Las Vegas from June 3rd thru 6th, and the second was ACIPs in Arlington, Virginia from June 15th thru 18th. At both these events, we met with a number of immigration practitioners and HR practitioners, and one of the first items on the discussion agenda for many was inevitably "How are things in your business?" As to the answer to that question in terms of a national trend, if any - a broad sampling led us to this conclusion: A majority of people reported that while they had heard things were bad for some and ghastly for others, they were not doing too badly themselves. Before jumping to the conclusion that this is an example of the "Lake Woebegone Effect" (after the mythical town where everyone is above average), we believe that a few points may help put in context what we heard from many in immigration law and HR.

  • Most economic figures for short term comparisons (such as month-to-month, or quarter-to-quarter) need to be adjusted for seasonal variation. Understandably, such adjustments are beyond the means of small organizations like law firms, since meaningful adjustments would need a large database of similar practices to benchmark against.
  • In past recessions, hiring has usually lagged recovery. Since many of the observations we heard concerned hiring, and since the general business press continues to hold open the possibility that the recovery has not yet begun, we believe that anecdotes from specific companies need to be taken with caution.
  • There is a clear regional imbalance in this recession hardly a surprise for those following the general business press. The NYC metro area and Michigan are severely affected.
  • Not all is bad news, however. While business immigration is anywhere from weak to worse, removal continues to do well, and compliance business continues to grow strongly. The surprise for us was family immigration, it is not as bad as we had feared. The hounding of the immigrant population by the executive branch is leading many to seek counsel rather than follow the do-it-yourself path when it comes to family petitions. Overall, however, this remains the worst recession in the history of the immigration field.
Looking on the bright side, those who manage to make it past this year will not only be in good position to go full steam on CIR, they will likely emerge from this year in such shape that when growth comes (regardless of CIR), it will likely be profitable growth. Heres looking ahead to sunny days ahead!

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


Today Is The Deadline For US Tax Compliance

The curriculum for our new 3-part telephone seminar series "US Tax Compliance" is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on June 25: Resident or Nonresident?

  • Why tax residency matters
  • How tax residency is determined
  • What exceptions might apply
  • When residency begins and ends
  • When residency or nonresidency can be elected

SECOND Phone Session on July 30: Withholding and Reporting

  • Why special withholding rules apply to NRAs
  • What special wage-withholding rules can apply
  • When FICA exceptions apply
  • Who can claim tax treaty benefits
  • What special reporting rules apply
  • What the IRS is looking for on audits

THIRD Phone Session on August 20: Tax Returns for Foreign Nationals

  • When foreign nationals must file US returns
  • Who can file a Form 1040
  • Who can elect to file Form 1040
  • When other information forms are required
  • How taxpayers claim treaty benefits
  • What returns apply in the year residency changes
Wednesday, June 24th 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.


Defense Arguments: Matter Of Almanza-Arenas, 24 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2009)
Kathy Brady writes "This advisory discusses arguments against both of these holdings, which appear to be subject to challenge."

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall!
Becky Akers for the Foundation For Economic Education writes "In its zeal to protect us from Mexicans who want to pick our fruit and clean our homes, the federal government is walling off our southwestern border."

Bloggings On Immigration Law And Policy
Greg Siskind writes "They created a commission of experts to hold hearings about work site raids and this week they released their findings in a report entitled Raids on Workers: Destroying our Rights."

To submit an Article for consideration, write to


DHS Releases Fact Sheet On Trends In Naturalization Rates
DHS released a fact sheet on the trends in naturalization rates updated for 2008.


Help Wanted: Immigration Attorneys
The Murthy Law Firm is seeking immigration attorneys with at least three years of experience in business immigration law, with or without litigation experience. Our practice is dynamic and fast-paced. We have high standards with regard to integrity, work ethic, and quality. Successful candidates will have the ability to work both as members of a team and as team leaders. They will join over a 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 and support staff. Good writing and analytical skills are required, as well as experience dealing with complex immigration law cases. Litigation experience a plus. Interested candidates may visit for details regarding the unique benefits of working at the Murthy Law Firm. Resume + cover letter should be forwarded to All communication will be treated in confidence. Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience and abilities. We are an equal opportunity employer. Final interviews of candidates are at our office in Owings Mills, MD, a few minutes from downtown Baltimore, Maryland.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Small immigration law firm in Northern Virginia seeks associate with 2+ years of experience in litigation before administrative tribunals. Good writing skills. Send resume at Must be fluent in Korean. Salary commensurate to experience. Good benefits.

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Small immigration law firm in Northern Virginia seeks immigration legal assistant with 2+ years of experience in business immigration law. Send resume at Must be fluent in Korean. Salary commensurate to experience. Good benefits.

Case Management Technology
Offering enterprise-level software and unparalleled US-based support, ImmigrationTracker is the most flexible and dependable immigration management solution on the market today. Designed by immigration attorneys and paralegals, ImmigrationTracker is often praised for its ease of use, intuitive features, and built-in immigration knowledge. As one of our customers noted, "If we had two years and unlimited funds to design our ideal immigration management system, Tracker would be it." Phil Curtis, Chin & Curtis. Find out for yourself why Tracker is the choice of: 83% of practicing Past Presidents of the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association, through June 2007); 86% of the 25 largest immigration law firms (IndUS Business Journal 2006); 75% of the AmLaw 200 (largest US law firms, American Lawyer Media, 2006); 3x as many globally ranked immigration attorneys as compared with other software vendors (Chambers Global and the International Who's Who of Business Immigration Lawyers, 2007). Schedule your private demo: Call 1-888-466-8757 ext. 278 or email

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.

Forensic Psychology Services
Forensic Psychology Group - nationwide service - 800-852-2160. The Forensic Psychology Group provides nationwide expert witness services in all areas of immigration law. It is led by Stephen Reich, PhD, JD, and Grace P. Lee, PhD, JD, who are both clinical psychologists and attorneys, and also AILA members. The Group's experts - all licensed psychologists or psychiatrists - have extensive experience in working collaboratively with immigration lawyers on a wide range of forensic psychological issues. We offer nationwide service in the following areas: psychological consultation, psychodiagnostic evaluation, psychological reports, expert witness services, courtroom testimony, political asylum evaluation, extreme and exceptional hardship evaluations, spousal abuse, citizenship waivers. Dr. Stephen Reich, the Group's founder and director, is a nationally known forensic psychologist who holds a BA, JD, and MBA from Columbia University, and an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. He has been on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College and on the Attending Staff of New York Presbyterian Hospital for 30+ years. Visit The Forensic Psychology Group. The right experts make a real difference.


Students Stage Mock Graduation To Advocate For Undocumented
Every June for the past eight years, hundreds of undocumented high school and college students have traveled to Washington from across the country and urged Congress to pass a bill that would make it easier for them to become citizens and pursue higher education.

Immigration Arrests 46 In NJ In Street Gang Sweep
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say they arrested 46 reputed gang members and associates as part of a statewide sweep in New Jersey.

Lawsuit Filed Against Immigration Services Firm
The state of Illinois has filed a lawsuit alleging a Chicago-based Immigration services provider bilked customers out of nearly $140,000.

US Immigration Rules Blamed For Tech Brain Drain
Silicon Valley is facing a brain drain of high-achieving foreign-born students, more of whom are leaving in the face of a chilly local immigration environment in a trend experts say will hurt U.S. high-tech industry competitiveness in the long run.


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

Honors and Awards
Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business named Charles Foster, Gordon Quan, Judy Lee, John Meyer and Kelly Cobb of the law firm Foster Quan LLP as leading immigration lawyers, the most immigration attorneys recognized among any firm in the state. All five have been previously recognized by Chambers USA as leading lawyers in Texas immigration law. Foster, Quan and Lee received the directory's top tier ranking.


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

Dear Editor:
I hope everyone feels better soon at ILW.COM. (06/23/09 ID Comment) However, the reason I write is to point out that the fraud being perpetrated in processing K visas out of China (see "Guangzhou U.S. Consulate Non-Compliance With State Department Rules For Processing Marriage Based Visa Applications" (06/23/09 ID)) is unfortunately reminiscent of the dark history of Angel Island as immigration officers there came up with ever more creative ways to test those would be immigrant relatives (often "relatives") not subject to exclusion under the justly infamous Chinese Exclusion acts. I grant that people warped by decades of totalitarian government are more prone to dishonesty in government offices than your typical citizen, but I agree with the authors that such a disparity seems ridiculous and is especially suspect when, through bureaucratic legerdemain, those responsible for it hide themselves from proper audits.

Honza Prchal, Esq.
Birmingham, AL

Dear Editor:
With reference to the letter of Sufen Hilf, Esq. (06/24/09 ID), concerning the outrageous, if not illegal, barriers to issuing immigrant visas imposed by the US consulate in Guangzhou, it seems as if that post has decided to practice its own version of the Chinese exclusion laws. Perhaps not so coincidentally, that post covers the same area of China as the one from which most of the people affected by the original exclusion laws came (or were denied the opportunity to come) to America 100 years ago. As the saying goes, "plus ca change". Perhaps someone at the DOS might be able to find the time to remind that post that the Chinese exclusion laws were repealed long ago, and any consular officer still trying to enforce them in spirit should be encouraged to look for another line of work without delay.

Roger Algase, Esq.
New York, NY

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