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Immigration Daily

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Immigration Daily July 13, 2009
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Regular Applicants Subsidize Premium Processing

Two GAO reports from earlier this year show that USCIS's vaunted Premium Processing unit's services are subsidized by regular applicants who receive shoddy service. In other words the fees of regular applicants for USCIS's services are used to subsidize the cost of delivering faster services to premium processing applicants.

The first report "Immigration Application Fees" is critical of USCIS's accounting and is worth a read for those interested in immigration fee issues, but the second is the gold mine it is titled "Federal User Fees". Here are pertinent quotes from this document:

the additional costs of premium processing services are funded by non-premium processing fee-paying applicants, raising equity concerns. Because USCIS has not identified the total costs of these services, the actual dollar amount being subsidized is unknown. (Federal User Fees at page 4; page 9 of 47 of the pdf file)
Further, Congress authorized USCIS to adjust the premium process fee according to the consumer price index but USCIS has not adjusted the fee since the fee's enactment. The additional collections that would result from an inflation adjustment could have been used to defray the costs of the premium processing servicecurrently born completely by non-premium processing customersthereby limiting the amount of cross-subsidization by non-premium processing applicants. (Federal User Fees at page 32; page 37 of 47 of the pdf file)

USCIS's services are nothing to brag about, to put it mildly. On top of that, for the hundreds of thousands of regular applicants to find that their application fees are being used to process a minority of others' applications is adding insult to injury.

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


The J Visa and Exchange Program

ILW.COM is pleased to announce a new 3-part telephone seminar series " The J Visa and Exchange Program", the curriculum is as follows:

FIRST Phone Session on July 15: Choosing the Best Training Visa: H-3 or J-1?

  • Why choosing a training visa can be so difficult
  • H-3 legal standards
  • J-1 trainee & intern legal standards
  • Comparison of H-3 & J-1
  • Considerations which influence choice of visa
  • Late breaking items
SECOND Phone Session on August 12: Selecting the Best J Visa Category and Exchange Program for Your Client
  • Categories and purpose
  • Attorney's role in advising clients
  • In-house program vs. umbrella program
  • Considerations when choosing a sponsor
  • Late breaking items
THIRD Phone Session on September 9: Exchange Programs under the Obama Administration
  • SEVIS II implementation
  • Skills List update
  • Bi-national work-based public diplomacy programs
  • Regulatory landscape and anticipated changes
  • Student Intern category
  • Late breaking items
Don't wait to register, Tuesday, July 14th is the deadline. For more info, including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration information, please see: Online: Fax form:


Bloggings on Dysfunctional Government
Angelo A. Paparelli writes "So, how exactly does a federal contractor eager to get in on the stimulus dollars available under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act satisfy the FAR E-Verify mandate?"

To submit an Article for consideration, write to


DHS Announces New Memorandum Of Agreements For 287g Partnerships
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that ICE has standardized the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) used to enter into "287(g)" partnerships and also announced eleven new 287(g) agreements with law enforcement agencies from around the country.


Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegals
Downtown Washington, DC (K Street area) - Fast-paced boutique immigration law firm seeks legal assistants. 1-2 yrs exp req.d in business/family immigration law. Interesting work and clientele; no timesheets; latest technology; competitive salary and benefits (401K, health insurance, paid vacation, etc). Successful applicants will be detail-oriented, able to handle volume, highly organized and strong communicators. Email resume, cover letter and salary reqs to No calls please. EOE.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Lincoln, Nebraska - USCIS Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) seeks an experienced attorney for the position of Service Center Counsel at the Nebraska Service Center (NSC). Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, serving as an attorney providing legal advice to the NSC personnel on issues involving immigration related adjudications, inadmissibility and deportability grounds, and national security; writing visa appeal briefs and providing litigation support to the U.S. Attorney's office on cases arising from Service Center adjudications. J.D. degree, active bar membership by the entry on duty date. For full details enter COU-CIS-2009-0005 here. Applicants must submit (1) resume , (2) writing sample (10 pps. max), (3) references to All submissions must be received by close of business on July 17, 2009. GS-13/15, position open until filled. No relocation allowance offered.

Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Las Vegas, NV - The Law Offices of Garcia-Mendoza & Snavely seeks an experienced paralegal to perform all types of business and family visa packages under supervision of attorney. Minimum 3-5 years experience required. Salary to be negotiated. Firm provides benefits including paid vacation and sick leave plus profit sharing plan. Located in a free standing building on ground level in downtown. Parking is free. Submit resume + cover letter to All replies remain in confidence.

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.

Credential Evaluation And Translation
As the nation's leader in foreign credential evaluations and translations, American Evaluation and Translation Service, Inc. (AETS) provides the most competitive rates in the industry $50 educational evaluations, as well as $200 'expert opinion' work experience and position evaluations completed by PhD university professors who have the "authority to grant college level credit for work experience and/or training." AETS offers a variety of turn-around times, including same-day service for educational, work experience, and position evaluations. For list of rates and times, see: AETS also provides certified translations in 100+ languages, with translators that are specialists in 80+ fields. For a copy of the Application for Credential Evaluation and Translation Services, please contact AETS at (786) 276-8190, visit, or email:


Court Backs Higher Bail On Illegal Aliens
Bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes can be raised to prevent federal officials from deporting them before their cases can be heard, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

Illegal Immigrants Again In The Budget Spotlight
The economic downturn has activists pushing for a measure that would limit the services Californians provide.

Immigration Law Separates Minnesota Family
Now, nearly four years and three filings later, he is still 'stuck' in Ghana, and we have not seen him since then.

Help From Afar: 13-Year Immigration Battle Ends With Success
Thirteen years ago, Phasook "Noot" Lenoel set out to bring her brother and sister-in-law to the United States from Thailand.


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

New Offices - Phoenix, AZ
Leslie Abella Dahan is pleased to announce the opening of Dahan & Associates, PLLC, a firm specializing in family and business immigration. Leslie has over 14 years experience in family and business immigration law, representing individuals and companies of all sizes. Leslie was formerly a Shareholder and Partner at major immigration firms. 11811 N. Tatum Blvd, Suite 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028, (602) 953-7766, Email


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

Dear Editor:
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is currently developing baseline targets for an enhanced PERM performance measure and a new PERM integrity measure (see 07/09/09 ID). These measures are scheduled for approval and implementation at the beginning of FY 2010- from page 15 where they say that only 11% of cases resolved within 6 months as of March 31st. When only 11% of labor certification cases are decided within six months, by DOL's own statistics, there is no PERM. This is the pre-PERM world in all but name. The whole purpose of PERM was to prevent the LC program from drowning by streamlined adjudication. That was the promise of PERM and why it came into being. That is gone with massive audits and supervised recruitment.

Gary Endelman, Esq. and Quynh Nguyen, Esq.

Editor's note: We would like to credit Gary Endelman, Esq. and Quynh Nguyen, Esq. for bringing the terrible PERM performance to our attention earlier this week (this is what triggered our comment of 07/09/09).

Dear Editor:
Letters from Mr. Murray and others have been upset with Mr. Yang's letters asserting that foreigners have a right to come here willy nilly regardless of the vagaries of US immigration law. I think the point Mr. Yang's letter is trying to make is that it is not morally right for the US to have DOL certification or any of the other laws that that restrict entry for reasons other than health or safety. When Mr. Yang's letter states, as on July 8th, the term "right" seems to be used in it's original philosophical/theological sense. Such a usage is as old-fashioned (and bracing) as his politics, so misunderstandings result. Unfortunately for his letter's position, the United States has become a welfare state and rent-seeking behavior designed to limit market entry and maximize various groups' share of the bounty of all sorts of government teats is a fact of life that makes Mr. Yang's letter's policy preferences something we can only work towards, not something that constitute a right in any legal or philosophical sense. The same geniuses that designed one of the world's most intrusive tax systems designed our immigration system. The same people we hope might rationalize immigration policies are presently adding curlicues to the regulatory edifice at a pace that would make both Bushes and Clinton rolled into one blush. I am not at all hopeful until I realize Carter started airline and telephone deregulation.

Honza Prchal, Esq.
Birmingham, AL

Dear Editor:
Responding to 07/10/09 ID comment, abolish attorney fees that are more then the USCIS fees. This is the stupidest idea ever.

Michael Bilello

Dear Editor:
I am an American retired and living in Guatemala. The fees and and hostilities I have experienced at the U.S. Embassy here are outrageous (07/10/09 ID comment). I thought the taxes we paid were for Government services. The long lines every day of people wanting visas that cost $100 will more then pay the salaries of the Guatemalans empoloyed by the embassy and more then 90% are arbitrarilly denied and guess who keeps the money.

John J. Brannigan

Dear Editor:
If you are talking about $1000 premium procession fee, then how about for past 3 years I spend $10000.00 to apply for Green first step called PERM Labor, Advertisement for PERM, Layer fee, H1 extension fee, and my case is on audit for past 2 1/2 years (07/10/09 ID comment). It sound itself so stupid when all are saying Comprehensive immigration reform, for Illegal Immigrants to show some kind of path to become Legal, where Legal people are already waiting for 10-20 years to get green card, illegal immigrants push backlog to 100-120 years,, Guise what, then how will be legal here (only American Indians).

Amit Anand

Dear Editor:
Immigration fees are outrageous compared to the service expected from those ridiculous amount of fees (07/10/09 ID comment). A friend of mine got a notice letter telling him that his naturalization interview has been postponed due to "unforeseen circumstances" without further detail and when he called USCIS 1800 numbers for customer service there's no quick and clear option to speak to a live customer service but boring recorded automated voice messages then he pushed phone buttons by accident then got connected to an outsourced USCIS customer service who had no clue about his application status nor could be more helpful about it. Unbelievable. After raising all immigration fees, it should be appropriate for USCIS to staff more reliable persons on customer service who have access to all information required by customers. It's the time that USCIS should treat all applicants, petitioners as its valued customers not an unwelcomed and unwanted burden since they have paid so much in this sloppy service. It's also very important to reform our immigration laws to be as simple, practical and fair as possible, without costly and bureaucratic red tapes.

Robert Yang

Dear Editor:
I am Lions Club Internatial (NGO) Member Lion Khare Vijay G and practising Attorney (called Advocate) from Mumbai/Thane Dist. I agree with ID's views for abolition or at least substantial reduction to immigration fees. I am a holder of USA visa Bi B2 for ten Years from 07 to 17 from India and am presently on my third visit to USA (07/10/09 ID comment).

Lion Khare V.G.
Mumbai, India

Dear Editor:
When I was issuing visas starting in 1981, it was $5 for the application and $20 for the immigrant visa (07/10/09 ID comment). Now, it's hundreds. I know of no other place in the government where fees have skyrocketed by this much. Eliminating the fees will also streamline the process at Embassies abroad by removing hundreds of thousands of these transactions.

Charles Lamm

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. 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