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June 30, 2005

Jockey Elliott's Immigration Case Moved to N.J.

AP Monday June 27, 2005 "Jockey Stewart Elliott, who nearly won the Triple Crown aboard Smarty Jones in 2004, will have his deportation case moved from Philadelphia to Newark, N.J.

An immigration judge ruled on the matter Monday, and an immigration court in Newark will schedule hearings.

Elliott, who was born in Toronto, is facing deportation because of a 2001 guilty plea to aggravated assault. He sought the switch to New Jersey because of a recent move from Pennsylvania to Hunterdon County, N.J."

For the rest of the story go to this link; http://www.ap.org/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Government Speakers Provide H-1B Numbers Update at AILA's Annual Conference

This update stresses the need to apply as soon as possible to be included for the October 1, 2005 deadline; Government Officials speaking at the Salt Lake City AILA Annual Conference announced that the USCIS has approximately 8,300 H-1B petitions approved or in the pipeline that will count against the new exemption cap of 20,000 for FY05, as established by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004. Note that, on May 24, 2005, the USCIS issued a press release announcing that they had received more than 6,393 H-1B petitions in this exempted category by that date.

Further, the USCIS announced that they currently have approximately 27,300 H-1B petitions approved or in the pipeline for FY06.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

DOS Not Requiring Special Fees for Chile/Singapore H-1B1s

I just received this update from AILA wherein is the content of a June 28, 2005 email to AILA member Sara Levin from the State Department's Legalnet:

"Requirements for H-1B1: Effective January 1, 2004, nationals of Chile or Singapore may apply at consular sections around the world for a nonimmigrant professional H-1B1 visa. To qualify, professions must meet the definition of "specialty occupation" set forth in the respective FTA or submit proof of alternative credentials as set forth in the respective FTA. The applicant must also submit a job offer letter from the employer, proof of labor attestation (certified ETA 9035 or 9035E), proof of payment of any special fee, if applicable and pay the MRV fee. [Currently no special fee is required]. [Note: Aliens already in the United States as nonimmigrants may apply to DHS for a change of nonimmigrant status to H-1B1 pursuant to INA 248. Such an alien who departs the United States would need an H-1B1 visa to seek readmission as an H-1B1".

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2005

FAQ; PERM bugs

Free Question: I am working under H1B for a Telecommunications company. I am ready to apply for Labor Certification, but had a few doubts in mind. Another co-worker in my company has completed all the preliminary process to apply for PERM. He told me that currently the PERM approval rate is very poor, that it has more denials than approvals. I found your firm's name with a message of having high approval rate with PERM Process. I was wondering if you could provide me with realistic information on this. Moreover, many people are of the opinion that there is a bug in the PERM.

Free Answer: PERM is a new process with lots of bugs in relation to the system and training of personnel. As of July, 2005 EB-3 (undergraduate/skilled worker) is unavailable for all countries. EB-2 (advanced degree is currently available all countries. So, even if you get through PERM as an EB-3 you cannot currently apply for permanent residency. On October 1, 2005 the about 40,000 employment-based immigrant visas will be issued to professionals, skilled workers, and “other workers” (meaning unskilled workers). This is the new deadline for EB-3 applications.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2005

Class-action suit wins 2d chance for some immigrants facing deportation

I just received from our immediate Past AILA President, Paul Zulkie; an article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. June 24, 2005 Volume 151 Issue 124; by Bill Myers, Law Bulletin staff writer who writes about the Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center which filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security to stop deportations of up to 8,000 illegal immigrants who had filed faulty applications for permanent residency after being taken in by people who passed themselves off as legal experts. The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge Mark R. Filip. You can find the article at http://www.lawbulletin.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2005

Recordando a Greg Rodríguez, Maury González / Editor, Paisano News--Tennessee

Nashille, Tenn. – La tarde del día Miércoles decenas de personas se dieron cita en el Renaissance Hotel, en la ciudad de Nashville, para recordar a Greg Rodríguez.
Greg Rodríguez, quién fuera el fundador de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Tennessee, falleció a los 51 años de edad de un ataque al corazquot;Estamos agradecidos por todo lo que hicieron con mi hermano," dijo Omalee, hermana de Greg Rodríguez. "Si en algo puedo ayudar a la comunidad de Tennessee desde mi ciudad en Dallas, Texas, estaré encantad

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2005

FAQ; H-1B & EB-3 or EB-2

Free Question: I am from México I am working under a TN Visa as a Dentist. My Wife and three children are dependents to my TN Visa. My employer is interested to extend me another job contract. I am looking forward by an H-1B Visa or an EB-3 Visa. What do you suggest it is best? We are looking forward for to the permanent residency.

Free Answer: The EB-3 visa (undergraduate degree) is currently unavailable for all countries as per the Visa Bulletin of July, 2005. You should apply for an H-1B visa which may be issued for 3 years and renewed. Then you can apply for the EB-2 (advanced degree or undergraduate plus 5 years experience) visa which is currently available for all countries. This will allow you continue to work in the U.S. allow sufficient time for application and approval of permanent residency for you and your family.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2005

FAQ; 221g interview will delay H-1B, H-4 issuances & L visa

Free Question: Hi, I went for H1B stamping in the month of April, 2005 to U.S. consulate. They gave me 221g asking for additional documents. I gave the required documents the second time. But again they gave me 221g telling that our case requires additional administrative processing. How long will it take? Is there anything to worry? How can I know the status? Whom should I contact to know the status?

Free Answer; a 221g interview will delay H-1 and H-4 issuances for months; another 221g will start this procedure over again with a second delay. A 221g is used to indicate that some documents are missing. If you received a 221g when applying for an H or L visa the 221g generally indicates that the consular officer believes that the application should be revoked. To overcome this presumption you must make a concerted effort to overcome the doubt in the consular officer’s mind that the visa can be issued

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

FAQ; US citizenship application

Yesterday I spoke to a client who travels frequently outside the U.S. The client has met the citizenship requirements of being in the U.S for over half of the required 5 year period with no stay of over 180 days outside the U.S. Because the CIS (immigration) sends notices with as little as two week advance time my client if traveling outside the U.S. may not receive notification of the citizenship interview. As the registered attorney I will receive a copy of the notification from CIS. My office scans all notification and e-mails the client. The client can log on to my web based system to read the notice. This will help my client to avoid missing the interview date which would cause needless delay of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

Nonprofit organizations affiliated with institutions of higher education are H-1B cap exempt

INA § 214(g)(5) provides: the numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien issued a visa or otherwise provided status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) who is employed (or has received an offer of employment) at
(A) an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity.

So what does "affiliated" with or "related" to an institution of higher education mean? This is not addressed in the statute, however the regulations do provide some insight on the meaning of the terms "affiliation" and "related" in the rules for H-1B fee exemption at 8 CFR § 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(B); A nonprofit entity (including but not limited to hospitals and medical or research institutions) that is connected or associated with an institution of higher education, through shared ownership or control by the same board or federation operated by an institution of higher education, or attached to an institution of higher education as a member, branch, cooperate, or subsidiary.

The potential H-1B applicants are not just teachers, but all professional staff members, including administrative and financial personnel, school psychologists, and guidance counselors of nonprofit primary and secondary schools are in fact affiliated with institutions of higher education.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

Visa Bulletin for July 2005: EB-3 Becomes Unavailable

The July 2005 Visa Bulletin shows a retrogression to "Unavailable" for employment-based third preference for all nationalities, as well as retrogression in the family-based preferences for Mexico. Schedule A workers now have their own category to reflect the changes contained in the REAL ID Act. A copy of the Visa Bulletin is accessible through AILA InfoNet at document #05061463: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_2539.html

On a related note, with the EB-3 retrogressions, the Nebraska Service Center recently provided advice on flagging a priority date on a previously-approved I-140 when filing an adjustment application. For details, log on to AILA InfoNet at document #05061461: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=16713

Finally, a Department of State Visa Office Official recently advised AILA on the impact of the new 50,000 Schedule A visas and availability projections for this fiscal year. Details of this update are posted on AILA InfoNet at document #05061060: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=16682.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005

Informe Económico del Presidente de 2005

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

Aunque la prensa dejó poca constancia de él, el Informe Económico del Presidente de 2005—que se presentó al Congreso el 17 de febrero de 2005—destaca prominentemente la importancia fundamental de la inmigración para la economía estadounidense. El hecho de que el informe dedique todo un capítulo al tema de la inmigración subraya tanto la medida en que la inmigración se ha convertido en una fuerza motora de la economía como el grado en que la política de inmigración afecta a las perspectivas económicas del país. Los datos recopilados en el informe, así como toda una serie de datos de otras fuentes, ilustran que la inmigración se ha convertido en la clave para el crecimiento de la fuerza laboral estadounidense y que los inmigrantes aportan un beneficio fiscal neto a la economía de Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, las actuales políticas de inmigración no tienen en cuenta ninguno de estos hechos y establecen límites a la inmigración que están bastante por debajo de la demanda real de mano de obra.

-- Dr. Walter A. Ewing, “The Economics of Necessity: Economic Report of the President Underscores the Importance of Immigration”, Immigration Policy Center, Mayo de 2005.

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

“The Economics of Necessity: Economic Report of the President Underscores the Importance of Immigration,”

The AILA WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005, discusses the driving force of the economy; immigration;

Although little noticed by the press, the 2005 Economic Report of the President – which was submitted to Congress on February 17, 2005 – prominently highlights the critical importance of immigration to the U.S. economy. The fact that the report devotes an entire chapter to the topic of immigration underscores both the extent to which immigration has become a driving force in the economy and the degree to which immigration policy affects the nation’s economic prospects. The data compiled in the report, as well as a wide array of data from other sources, illustrate that immigration has become the key to growth of the U.S. labor force and that immigrants provide a net fiscal benefit to the U.S. economy. However, current immigration policies fail to account for either of these facts and set limits on immigration that fall well below actual labor demand.

-- Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., “The Economics of Necessity: Economic Report of the President Underscores the Importance of Immigration,” Immigration Policy Center, May 2005.

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

El DHS implementa nueva exención para H-1B

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

El 12 de mayo, la Oficina de Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración (USCIS) empezó a aceptar nuevas peticiones de visas H-1B para el año fiscal 2005, de acuerdo con la exención dispuesta por la Ley de Reforma de H-1B (H-1B Reform Act) de 2004. Esta Ley se incluyó como parte de la Ley General de Presupuestos para el Año Fiscal 2005 (Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Pub. L. No. 108-447)). La nueva ley agrega una excepción limitada de 20.000 al máximo numérico anual de 60.000 visas H-1B para extranjeros que se gradúen con una titulación avanzada en una universidad de Estados Unidos.

La exención limitada incluida en la Ley de Reforma de H-1B de 2004 es inadecuada y quedará probablemente agotada antes del final del ejercicio fiscal. Anticipando que los empleadores presentarán más solicitudes de exención del H-1B de las que se dispone, el USCIS declaró en sus directrices sobre implementación que trasladará automáticamente al año fiscal 2006 toda petición procesada después de alcanzado el límite de 20.000, a no ser que se informe de lo contrario. Para dichas peticiones, los extranjeros no podrán empezar a trabajar de acuerdo con sus visas H-1B hasta el 1 de octubre de 2005, el primer día del año fiscal 2006.

Con la mejora de la economía estadounidense y el aumento de la demanda, los empleadores estadounidenses necesitarán un mayor acceso a estos profesionales extranjeros altamente instruidos. La economía de Estados Unidos podría resentirse si no se dispone de dicho acceso. A corto plazo, las limitaciones del acceso impedirían que los empleadores utilicen plenamente las habilidades especiales de estos profesionales extranjeros altamente instruidos. A más largo plazo, dicha rigidez limitaría la oferta de estos profesionales en nuestro mercado laboral, obstaculizando por lo tanto nuestra vitalidad económica. El resultado será la pérdida de empleos estadounidenses y que los proyectos de Estados Unidos pierdan frente a la competencia extranjera. El Congreso tiene que apoyar un programa de H-1B que refleje la necesidad de nuestro país de estos profesionales y permita que los empleadores estadounidenses puedan acceder ahora y en el futuro a los talentos de estos profesionales extranjeros altamente instruidos.

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

DHS Implements New H-1B Exemption

The AILA, WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005 there article about H-1B visas;

On May 12, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting new FY2005 H-1B petitions in accordance with the relief provided by the H-1B Reform Act of 2004. This Act was included as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Pub. L. No. 108-447). The new law adds a limited exemption of 20,000 to the annual 65,000 H-1B numerical cap for foreign nationals who graduate with an advanced degree from a U.S. university.

The limited relief included in the H-1B Reform Act of 2004 is inadequate and will likely be exhausted prior to the end of the fiscal year. Anticipating that employers will file more H-1B exemption petitions than there are visas available, USCIS stated in it implementation guidance that it will automatically convert into an FY2006 petition any petition processed after the 20,000 limit is reached, unless notified otherwise. For such petitions, the foreign nationals cannot begin work pursuant to their H-1B visas until October 1, 2005, the first day of FY 2006.

As the U.S. economy improves and demand increases, U.S. employers will need more access to these highly educated foreign professionals. The American economy could suffer if such access is not provided. In the short term, limitations on access would prevent employers from fully utilizing the special skills of these highly educated foreign professionals. In the longer term, such rigidity would limit our labor market supply of these available professionals, thereby hampering our economic vitality. The result will be American jobs lost and American projects losing out to foreign competition. Congress needs to support an H-1B program that reflects our nation’s need for these professionals and allows U.S. employers’ access now and in the future to the talents of these highly educated foreign professionals.

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2005

Los senadores Cornyn y Kyl anuncian la propuesta de disposiciones sólo sobre cumplimiento de la ley

ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

Los senadores John Cornyn (R-TX), presidente del Subcomité de Inmigración, Seguridad Fronteriza y Ciudadanía del Senado, y Jon Kyle (R-AZ), presidente del Comité de Terrorismo, Teconología y Seguridad del Territorio Nacional del Senado, emitieron a finales de mayo disposiciones relacionadas con el cumplimiento de la ley que, según indicaron, se incluirían en la propuesta legislativa que tienen previsto introducir a finales de este verano, el proyecto de ley para el Cumplimiento Integral y la Reforma de la Inmigración (Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act, CEIRA) de 2005. Aunque citaron la necesidad de una reforma integral, es inquietante que los senadores presentaran una propuesta concentrada exclusivamente en el cumplimiento de la ley. El cumplimiento de la ley fracasará, sin una reforma adecuada de nuestro sistema de inmigración. Se deben desarrollar los dos aspectos en conjunto para que cada uno de ellos tenga éxito.

En la conferencia de prensa que celebraron con motivo de la presentación de estas propuestas, los senadores indicaron que están considerando ahora un programa de “trabajo y retorno” que integre su propuesta de reforma de la inmigración. Dicha estrategia es fundamentalmente deficiente. Un programa de trabajadores invitados que requiera que todos los trabajadores regresen a sus países, no puede considerarse por si mismo una reforma integral de la inmigración. Dicha estrategia ignora los significativos problemas del sistema actual—en concreto, el hecho de que personas que residen actualmente en Estados Unidos no tengan una situación legal, y que las familias tengan que soportar largas separaciones. No es realista asumir que una cantidad significativa de personas indocumentadas se van a presentar y registrar en un programa que, al final, les obligaría a dejar sus empleos y sus familias. Un programa que no incluya ninguna posibilidad real para que los trabajadores temporales obtengan la residencia permanente si cumplen los requisitos de elegibilidad no generará la plena participación y perjudicará a nuestra economía. La gente decidirá sencillamente no participar, o correr el riesgo y regresar a la clandestinidad, si las leyes no cambian durante el período de aplicación del programa. Tampoco es realista asumir que las familias soportarán décadas de separación. Para mejorar nuestra seguridad, necesitamos leyes de inmigración que reconozcan las necesidades de las empresas estadounidenses, reúnan a las familias y nos permitan descubrir quién está viviendo en Estados Unidos. Una estrategia de tipo trabajo y retorno no cumple estos objetivos.

El hecho de que esta estrategia es profundamente deficiente se puso de manifiesto durante las sesiones que ha celebrado el Senador Cornyn durante los últimos meses, algunas en conjunción con el Senador Kyl. Margaret Stock, miembro de AILA y Profesora Asociada de Derecho en West Point, subrayó la necesidad de una reforma integral, como establece el proyecto de ley para un Estados Unidos Seguro y una Inmigración Ordenada de 2005 (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). Para ver el testimonio de la Profesora Stock, puede visitar: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18638

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

Proyecto de ley de la Cámara sobre Bandas Callejeras

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

Proyecto de ley de la Cámara sobre Bandas Callejeras amplía la definición de delito agravado; limita la utilidad de la base de datos al exigir la inclusión de infractores de la condición migratoria

El 11 de mayo, la Cámara de Representantes aprobó el proyecto de ley de Disuasión de Bandas Callejeras y Protección Comunitaria (The Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act (H.R. 1279)) de 2005 por 279 votos a favor y 144 en contra. Entre otras disposiciones inquietantes, esta proyecto de ley expandiría la definición de un “delito de violencia” federal y, por extensión, la definición del delito agravado para los propósitos de la ley de inmigración. Dado que el Representante Sensenbrenner (R-WI) agregó esta disposición al proyecto de ley en un paquete de enmiendas previamente aprobadas (manager’s amendment), no hubo oportunidad de debatirlo o rechazar esta disposición durante su consideración en el pleno de la Cámara. Este proyecto de ley también requeriría al DHS que facilite al Centro Nacional de Información Criminal (National Crime Information Center, NCIC) información sobre todas las personas con una orden final de deportación, una concesión de la salida voluntaria o que hayan excedido el período de estancia autorizado por su visa.

La legislación actual define un “crimen de violencia” como un delito que conlleve un riesgo substancial de que se utilice la fuerza física contra una persona o propiedad. La disposición del Representante Sensenbrenner expandiría la definición del crimen de violencia para incluir actos u omisiones no violentos y por negligencia—como manejar ebrio—que ponen a personas o propiedades en riesgo de lesiones, aunque no se produzca realmente una lesión. La ampliación de esta definición amplía igualmente el tipo de crímenes considerados delitos agravados para el propósito de la inmigración. Los crímenes dentro de esta categoría acarrean consecuencias relacionadas con la inmigración increíblemente duras, como la detención obligatoria o la expulsión – incluso para los que lleva mucho tiempo residiendo legítimamente en el país. AILA se opone enérgicamente a una expansión adicional del tipo de crímenes considerados delitos agravados en las leyes de inmigración.

La otra disposición problemática—que requiere que todos los infractores civiles de la situación migratoria aparezcan en la base de datos del NCIC—no servirá para reformar nuestro deficiente sistema de inmigración. En cambio, debilitará la integridad de la base de datos policial al cargarla de información notoriamente inexacta y en un estado de cambio constante. Si esta disposición se hace ley, se producirá un aumento vertiginoso de las detenciones indebidas y otras vulneraciones de derechos. Se trata tan sólo de otro parche en la aplicación de la ley, cuando lo que necesitamos es una reforma integral de nuestras leyes de inmigración. AILA se opone firmemente a esta medida.

Para registrar su oposición a estas disposiciones equivocadas, puede visitar: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7641051

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)

House Gang Bill Expands Definition of Aggravated Felony; Limits Utility of Criminal Database by Requiring Inclusion of Immigration Status Violators

The AILA, WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005 discusses expansion of the definition of the federal "crime of violence";

The House of Representatives passed “The Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005” (H.R. 1279) on May 11 by a vote of 279-144. Among other troubling provisions, this bill would expand the definition of the federal “crime of violence” and, by extension, the aggravated felony definition for immigration law purposes. Because Representative Sensenbrenner (R-WI) added this provision to the bill in a manager’s amendment, there was no opportunity for debate or to strike this provision during House floor consideration. The bill also would require DHS to provide the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) with information about all individuals who have a final order of removal, a grant of voluntary departure, or who have “overstayed their visa.”

Current law defines a “crime of violence” as one that involves a substantial risk that physical force will be used against person or property. Representative Sensenbrenner’s provision would expand the crime of violence definition to include nonviolent, negligent acts or omissions – such as driving under the influence – that place another person or property at risk of injury, even if no injury actually occurs. Expanding this definition likewise expands the class of crimes treated as aggravated felonies for immigration purposes. Crimes so classified carry incredibly harsh immigration-related consequences, including mandatory detention and removal – even for longtime lawful permanent residents. AILA strongly opposes further expanding the class of crimes treated as aggravated felonies in immigration law.

The other problematic provision—requiring that all civil immigration status violators be listed in the NCIC database—will do nothing to reform our broken immigration system. Instead, it will undermine the integrity of that law enforcement database by loading it up with information that is notoriously inaccurate and in perpetual flux. If this provision becomes law, a surge in erroneous detentions and other rights violations will follow. This is simply another band-aid enforcement proposal when what we need is comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. AILA strongly opposes this measure.

To register your opposition to these misguided provisions, please click here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7641051

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

Senators Cornyn and Kyl Announce Proposed Enforcement-Only Provisions; a flawed approach

The AILA, WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005 contains an article about the enforcement-only proposal;

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chair of the Senate Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship Subcommittee, and Jon Kyle (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security Committee, issued in late May the enforcement-related provisions that they indicated would be included in legislation they are expected to introduce later this summer, the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005 (CEIRA). While citing the need for comprehensive reform, it is troubling that the Senators issued an enforcement-only proposal. Enforcement, without appropriate reform of our immigration system, will fail. The two must be developed in conjunction with each other to succeed.

In the press conference they held when issuing these proposals, the Senators indicated that they are now looking at a “work-and-return” program to encompass their immigration reform proposal. Such an approach is fundamentally flawed. A guest-worker program that requires all workers to return home, in and of itself, cannot be considered comprehensive reform. Such an approach ignores the significant problems in the current system—namely, those who are residing now in the U.S. but who do not have lawful status, and families who must endure lengthy separations. It is unrealistic to assume that significant numbers of undocumented people will step forward and register for a program which, at the end of the day, would force them to leave their jobs and families. A program that includes no real possibility for temporary workers to earn permanent resident status if they meet the eligibility requirements will not generate full participation and will hurt our economy. People will simply chose not to participate, or take the risk and go back into the shadows if the laws do not change before the time period of the program expires. It also is unrealistic to assume that families will endure decades of separation. To enhance our security, we need immigration laws that acknowledge the needs of American business, reunite families, and allow us to find out who is living in the United States. A work and return-type approach simply fails on these counts.

That this approach is deeply flawed was made clear during the hearings Senator Cornyn has held in the past few months, some in conjunction with Senator Kyl. In testimony before both Subcommittees, AILA Member and West Point Associate Professor of Law Margaret Stock underscored the need for comprehensive reform, as set forth in the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). To view Professor Stock’s testimony, go to: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18638

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2005

Proyecto de la ley para la reforma integral de la inmigración, respaldado por ambos partidos, introducido en la Cámara y el Senado

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

Nuestro actual sistema de inmigración no funciona y necesita una reforma. Sólo la reforma integral puede dar seguridad, orden, legalidad y control a la inmigración. Dicha reforma es esencial para nuestra seguridad nacional para que podamos saber quién está aquí y apartar a los que pretenden hacernos daño, y sustituiría un flujo ilegal por una circulación legal de inmigrantes.

La reforma integral de la inmigración hará de la legalidad la norma. Sacará de la clandestinidad a esforzados trabajadores inmigrantes para someterse a la revisión y el control de nuestro gobierno, crearía un flujo legal por el que los trabajadores necesarios podrían entrar y salir de Estados Unidos, acabaría con los mercados negros que representan un punto débil en nuestra seguridad, facilitarían la reunificación familiar y nos ayudarían a maximizar nuestros actuales esfuerzos de vigilancia. Las propuestas que no defienden estos tres componentes y sólo intentan aumentar la aplicación del actual sistema inviable sólo servirán para perpetuar y exacerbar los problemas actuales.

El 12 de mayo de 2005, los senadores John McCain (R-AZ) y Edward Kennedy (D-MA), y los representantes Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) y Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) y otros introdujeron el proyecto de ley para un Estados Unidos Seguro y una Inmigración Ordenada (Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S. 1033/H.R. 2330)) de 2005. S. 1033/H.R. 2330 reformaría nuestras leyes de inmigración para que mejoren nuestra seguridad nacional y resuelvan las preocupaciones de los negocios y las familias estadounidenses. Entre otras cosas:

• Crearía una estrategia nacional para la seguridad fronteriza y la mejora de la inteligencia en la frontera;
• Establecería un nuevo programa de visas para trabajadores esencial que rompa moldes (la visa H-5A);
• Promovería la unidad familiar y reduciría los retrasos;
• Dispondría un mecanismo por el que los inmigrantes indocumentados elegibles presentes en Estados Unidos en la fecha de la introducción del proyecto de ley podrían obtener temporalmente la condición de no inmigrante (H-5B) con un período inicial de estancia de 6 años;
• Intentaría proteger a las personas del fraude migratorio;
• Crearía nuevos regímenes de aplicación de la ley;
• Promovería patrones circulares de migración.

Este proyecto de ley también: reautorizaría el Programa de Asistencia a los Estados para Delincuentes Extranjeros (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) para los años fiscales 2005 a 2011, y dispondría que dichos fondos sólo sean empleadores para fines correccionales; facilitaría la integración ciudadana mediante la autorización del establecimiento de la Fundación de Ciudadanía de Estados Unidos (United States Citinzenship Foundation), además de un programa competitivo de donaciones para financiar clases de civismo e inglés; promovería el acceso a la asistencia a la salud extendiendo la autorización del reembolso federal a hospitales que den atención de emergencia a inmigrantes indocumentados, y agregando a los trabajadores con visas H-5A y H-5B a la lista de personas por las que pueden ser reembolsados los hospitales; requeriría informes periódicos al Congreso sobre el uso de los programas de trabajadores establecidos conforme a este proyecto de ley; dispondría la distribución de las tasas y multas pagadas por solicitantes de H-5A y H-5B; incluiría a los trabajadores con H-5A y H-5B en la categoría de personas protegidas por las disposiciones contra la discriminación de la INA; y ofrecería una situación migratoria especial a ciertas mujeres y niños en riesgo de sufrir daño.

Para obtener más detalles sobre esta legislación firmemente respaldada por AILA, puede visitar:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18546

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

Votantes estadounidenses apoyan una reforma de la inmigración con sentido común

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

Un nuevo estudio de la opinión pública publicado el 7 de abril de 2005 por AILA y el National Immigration Forum demuestra que los votantes estadounidenses apoyan abrumadoramente una reforma integral y respaldada por ambos partidos de la inmigración muy similar al recientemente introducido proyecto de ley para un Estados Unidos Seguro y una Inmigración Ordenada (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). El apoyo a esta propuesta es firme en los diferentes partidos, regiones y grupos de población.

Los votantes estadounidenses apoyan un sistema que combine la dureza con la justicia, y ofrezca una vía para la ciudadanía con requisitos razonables, implemente un programa efectivo de trabajadores invitados y reúna a familias. Los votantes quieren un sistema que recompense a los inmigrantes que vienen aquí a trabajar duro, pagar impuestos y aprender inglés. Lo que sigue son algunas conclusiones fundamentales de esta encuesta nacional de “posibles” votantes.

• Hay un apoyo abrumador e intenso entre los posibles votantes por el contenido propuesto de la legislación apoyada por ambos partidos para la reforma de la inmigración. El 75% de los posibles votantes está a favor de una propuesta que cuente con los siguientes elementos:

• Registrar a los trabajadores indocumentados como trabajadores temporales invitados,
• Ofrecer visas de trabajo temporales a trabajadores temporeros y temporales,
• Ofrecer a los trabajadores recién registrados un proceso plurianual para obtener la residencia legal y la eventual ciudadanía,
• No ofrecer a los trabajadores recién registrados ningún trato preferencial para la ciudadanía,
• Disponer penas más duras para los trabajadores o empleadores que violen estas leyes, y
• Dar prioridad a la reunificación de familiares próximos.

• El apoyo a esta propuesta es sólido en todos los partidos – 78% de los republicanos, 77% de los independientes y 70% de los demócratas lo apoyan; y las regiones – 77% de los votantes de estados rojos, 79% de los votantes de estados azules y 72% de los votantes de estados violetas la apoyan; y los grupos demográficos – 78% de blancos, 67% de afroamericanos y 70% de hispanos la respaldan.

• Al considerar el impacto que esta propuesta podría tener en las próximas elecciones legislativas, el 69% de los posibles votantes indica que es más probable que apoyen a un candidato al Congreso que apoye este tipo de propuesta sobre inmigración.

• Más de tres de cada cuatro posibles votantes está de acuerdo con estas declaraciones que enmarcan el debate sobre la reforma de la inmigración:

• “El sistema de inmigración no funciona y necesita un arreglo”.
• “Si un inmigrante ha estado trabajando, pagando impuestos y aprendiendo inglés en este país, debe haber una manera de que obtenga la ciudadanía”.
• “Arreglar nuestro sistema de inmigración para hacerlo seguro, legal y ordenado aumentará nuestra seguridad frente a los terroristas”.

The Tarrance Group y Lake, Snell, Perry, and Mermin realizaron esta encuesta a 800 posibles votantes de todo el país y redactaron el anterior resumen de los resultados. Para obtener detalles sobre el estudio de la opinión pública, puede visitar: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18192

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de Políticas
Julia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

American Voters Support Common-Sense Immigration Reform

The AILA WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005 has an article about overwhelming voter support for common sense immigration reform;

New public opinion research released on April 7, 2005 by AILA and the National Immigration Forum demonstrates American voters’ overwhelming support for comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform, much like the recently introduced Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). Support for this proposal is strong along party lines, regional lines and demographic lines.

American voters support a system that combines toughness with fairness, and provides a path to citizenship with reasonable requirements, implements an effective guest worker program, and reunites families. Voters want a system that rewards immigrants who come here to work hard, pay taxes, and learn English. The following are key findings from this nationwide survey of “likely” voters.

• There is overwhelming and intense support among likely voters for the proposed outlines of bipartisan legislation on immigration reform. Fully 75% of likely voters favor a proposal that has the following components:

• Registration of undocumented workers as temporary guest workers,
• Provides temporary work visas for seasonal and temporary workers,
• Provides newly registered workers with a multi-year process for legal residency and eventual citizenship,
• Provides newly registered workers with no preferential treatment for citizenship,
• Provides tougher penalties for workers or employers who violate these laws, and
• Puts a priority on reuniting close family members.

• Support for this proposal is solid across party lines – 78% of Republicans, 77% of Independents, and 70% of Democrats are supportive; and regional lines – 77% of Red State voters, 79% of Blue State voters, and, 72% of Purple State voters are supportive; and demographic lines – 78% of whites, 67% of African Americans, and 70% of Hispanics are supportive.

• In thinking about the impact this proposal could have on the upcoming Congressional elections, 69% of likely voters indicate that they would be more likely to support a Congressional candidate who supported this type of immigration proposal.

• More than three-in-four likely voters agree on these statements framing the immigration reform debate:

• “The immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed.”
• “If an immigrant has been in this country working, paying taxes, and learning English, there should be a way for them to become a citizen.”
• “Fixing our immigration system to make it safe, legal, and orderly will make us more secure from terrorists.”

The Tarrance Group and Lake, Snell, Perry, and Mermin conducted this poll between March 20-22 of 800 likely voters nationwide and drafted the above summary of survey results. For details on the public opinion research, please go to: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18192

Senators Cornyn and Kyl Announce Proposed Enforcement-Only Provisions

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Chair of the Senate Immigration, Border Security, and Citizenship Subcommittee, and Jon Kyle (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security Committee, issued in late May the enforcement-related provisions that they indicated would be included in legislation they are expected to introduce later this summer, the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005 (CEIRA). While citing the need for comprehensive reform, it is troubling that the Senators issued an enforcement-only proposal. Enforcement, without appropriate reform of our immigration system, will fail. The two must be developed in conjunction with each other to succeed.

In the press conference they held when issuing these proposals, the Senators indicated that they are now looking at a “work-and-return” program to encompass their immigration reform proposal. Such an approach is fundamentally flawed. A guest-worker program that requires all workers to return home, in and of itself, cannot be considered comprehensive reform. Such an approach ignores the significant problems in the current system—namely, those who are residing now in the U.S. but who do not have lawful status, and families who must endure lengthy separations. It is unrealistic to assume that significant numbers of undocumented people will step forward and register for a program which, at the end of the day, would force them to leave their jobs and families. A program that includes no real possibility for temporary workers to earn permanent resident status if they meet the eligibility requirements will not generate full participation and will hurt our economy. People will simply chose not to participate, or take the risk and go back into the shadows if the laws do not change before the time period of the program expires. It also is unrealistic to assume that families will endure decades of separation. To enhance our security, we need immigration laws that acknowledge the needs of American business, reunite families, and allow us to find out who is living in the United States. A work and return-type approach simply fails on these counts.

That this approach is deeply flawed was made clear during the hearings Senator Cornyn has held in the past few months, some in conjunction with Senator Kyl. In testimony before both Subcommittees, AILA Member and West Point Associate Professor of Law Margaret Stock underscored the need for comprehensive reform, as set forth in the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). To view Professor Stock’s testimony, go to: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18638

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill Introduced in the House and Senate

The AILA WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005 has an excellent article about the bipartisan commprehensive mmigration reform bill;

Our current immigration system is broken and needs reform. Only comprehensive reform will make immigration safe, orderly, legal and controlled. Such reform is essential to our national security so that we know who is here and can keep out those who mean us harm, and would replace an illegal flow with a legal immigration flow.

Comprehensive immigration reform will make legality the norm. It would bring hard working immigrants out of the shadows to be reviewed and scrutinized by our government, create a legal flow by which needed workers can enter and leave the U.S., shut down black markets that represent a weak spot in our security, facilitate family reunification, and help us maximize our enforcement efforts. Proposals that fail to embrace these three components and seek only to increase enforcement of the current unworkable system will only perpetuate and exacerbate current problems.

On May 12, 2005, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and others introduced the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 (S. 1033/H.R. 2330). S. 1033/H.R. 2330 would reform our immigration laws so that they would enhance our national security and address the concerns of American businesses and families. The legislation would go a long way toward addressing the problems that have plagued our current immigration system. Among other things, it would:

• Create a national strategy for border security and enhanced border intelligence;
• Establish a break-the-mold new essential worker visa program (the H-5A visa);
• Promote family unity and reduce backlogs;
• Provide a mechanism by which eligible undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. on the date of the bill’s introduction could adjust to temporary nonimmigrant (H-5B) status with an initial period of stay of 6 years;
• Seek to protect individuals from immigration fraud;
• Create new enforcement regimes;
• Promote circular migration patterns.

The bill also would: reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program for fiscal years 2005 through 2011 and provide that such funds may only be used for correctional purposes; facilitate civics integration by authorizing the establishment of the United States Citizenship Foundation, as well as a competitive grant program to fund civics and English language classes; promote access to health care by extending the authorization of federal reimbursement for hospitals that provide emergency care to undocumented immigrants and by adding H-5A and H-5B workers to the list of persons for whom hospitals may be reimbursed; require periodic reports to Congress on the use of the worker programs established under the bill; provide for the distribution of fees and fines paid by H-5A and H-5B applicants; include H-5A and H-5B workers in the class of individuals protected under the INA’s anti-discrimination provisions; and provide special immigrant status for certain women and children at risk of harm.

For more details about this legislation which AILA strongly supports, please go to:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18546

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2005

REAL ID: Disposiciones sobre la inmigración por negocios decretadas como parte de proyecto de ley de presupuestos de emergencia

AILA, ACTUALIDAD DESDE WASHINGTON, Volumen 9, Número 4, Junio de 2005;

El 11 de mayo, el Presidente firmó la Ley de Presupuestos Suplementarios de Emergencia para Defensa, la Guerra Global contra el Terrorismo y la Ayuda a las Víctimas del Tsunami (Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief (Pub. L. No. 109-13, H.R. 1268)) de 2005. Esta ley incluye varias disposiciones relacionadas con la inmigración, entre ellas la denominada ley REAL ID. Esta medida mal concebida se incorporó a la ley como consecuencia de las promesas obtenidas por el Representante Sensenbrenner del gobierno y los líderes republicanos en la Cámara. Esta legislación equivocada contiene un tesoro oculto de disposiciones antiinmigrantes, ninguna de las cuales aumentan la seguridad de este país y que incluyen:

• Impedir que las personas que huyen de la persecución obtengan refugio;
• Aumentar el peligro en nuestras carreteras y debilitar nuestra seguridad;
• Imponer la culpabilidad por asociación
• Restringir la revisión judicial por primera vez desde la Guerra Civil, cerrando las puertas de los tribunales a los inmigrantes;
• Anular todas las leyes relacionadas con la construcción de barreras en nuestras fronteras, dando de este modo una autoridad sin precedentes a una agencia federal;

La nueva ley elimina también el máximo anual de asilados con derecho a regularizar su situación con la residencia permanente y elimina el máximo anual de personas que pueden obtener asilo, porque eran sometidas a controles coercitivos de población. Aunque estas últimas medidas son obviamente positivas y largamente necesarias, sirven de poco consuelo ante el trasfondo de disposiciones que harán casi imposible que muchos solicitantes de asilo encuentren refugio aquí en el futuro.

Visite este enlace para ver un resumen y análisis por secciones de la ley:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18433.

Para obtener más información sobre las disposiciones relativas a la revisión judicial, puede visitar:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18537.

Para ver una tabla de las disposiciones sobre permisos de manejar elaborada por el National Immigration Law Center, puede visitar: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18701

Además de las disposiciones de la REAL ID, la nueva ley contiene varias disposiciones relacionadas con la inmigración por negocios, entre ellas:

Alivio de emergencia para H-2B: Al votar abrumadoramente a favor (94–6) de agregar la Ley para Salvar a Nuestras Empresas Pequeñas y de Temporada (Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act) de 2005 a su versión de la ley suplementaria, el Senado contribuyó a garantizar la aprobación de este importante arreglo a corto plazo que necesitaban críticamente los empleadores estadounidenses de trabajadores con H-2B. Ahora que la medida ha sido promulgada, la ley ofrecerá un alivio necesario, aunque limitado, para este año fiscal y el próximo al eximir del máximo a los trabajadores con H-2B que hayan participado con éxito en el programa durante uno de los últimos tres años. Dado que las disposiciones de la ley requieren que el DHS implemente esta exención en un plazo de 14 días desde su entrada en vigor, la agencia trabajó con diligencia para emitir directrices y empezar la tramitación de peticiones a tiempo. Con el fin de ayudar a reducir los retrasos relacionados con la implementación, el Congreso también eximió ciertas disposiciones de la nueva ley de los requisitos de la Ley de Procedimientos Administrativos (Administrative Procedures Act) y otros procesos legislativos. Dicha implementación acelerada es esencial para contribuir a aliviar a los muchos empleadores pequeños y temporeros que no podían contratar antes a los trabajadores que necesitaban para las próximas temporadas de verano y otoño.

A cambio de la exención temporal del máximo, la ley también realiza algunos cambios permanentes al programa de H-2B. Estos cambios incluyen: crear una tasa antifraude de 150 dólares; reasignar el máximo de 66.000 H-2B para que no puedan utilizarse más de 33.000 durante los primeros seis meses del año fiscal; aumentar las sanciones para los empleadores que hagan un mal uso del programa; y requerir al DHS que presente al Congreso informes sobre el uso del programa de H-2B así como estadísticas relativas a los países de origen, la ocupación y la compensación pagada a extranjeros que trabajan de acuerdo con el programa H-2B.

Nueva visa temporal: El Senado aprobó sin votación registrada una medida presentada por el líder de la mayoría en el Senado Bill Frist (R-TN) que crea un nuevo programa temporal E-3 para ciudadanos australianos que vayan a prestar servicios en una ocupación especializada. A diferencia de los otros programas de visas E, la categoría E-3 requerirá un atestado laboral y tendrá un máximo anual de 10.500, sin incluir los cónyuges y los niños. El texto no especificaba una fecha efectiva y el DHS todavía tiene que publicar información sobre cuándo se hará operativo este programa.

Recuperación de las visas basadas en el empleo no utilizadas: Esta disposición, modificada y aprobada a puerta cerrada por el comité de conferencia del Senado y la Cámara, contempla la recuperación de las visas de inmigrantes basadas en el empleo poniendo las cifras de visas no utilizadas durante los años fiscales 2001-2004 en un “banco” para su empleo en futuros años fiscales, cuando la demanda de visas de inmigrantes basadas en el empleo en las categorías EB-1, 2 y 3 supere la cuota anual. Esta medida pone un límite de 50.000 al número total de visas que pueden sacarse del “banco” y reserva estas visas para peticiones de trabajadores inmigrantes dentro de la categoría A (enfermeros, fisioterapeutas y artistas del espectáculo con una habilidad excepcional) y sus familiares que les acompañan o siguen para unirse a ellos.

El texto original de esta enmienda, presentada en el Senado por los senadores Schumer (D-NY), Hutchison (R-TX) y Kennedy (D-MA), habría puesto a disposición de los inmigrantes todas las visas no utilizadas en 2001-2004 y habría asignado un 50% de ellas a ocupaciones de la categoría A.

HAN CONTRIBUIDO

Judith Golub, Directora de Campañas y Relaciones Públicas
Marshall Fitz, Subdirector de Campañas
Danielle Polen, Consejera Legislativa
Joanna Hedvall, Encargada de Inmigración relacionada con los Negocios
John Estrella, Encargado de PolíticasJulia Hendrix, Encargada de Relaciones con los Medios de Comunicación
Michelle Méndez, Asistente de Campañas

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

REAL ID, Business Immigration Provisions Enacted as Part of Emergency Appropriations Bill

I just received from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the WASHINGTON UPDATE, Volume 9, Number 4, June 2005. To make it easier to read I am going to break it up into several parts to post on the blog. The first entry is about REAL ID, Business Immigration Provisions Enacted as Part of Emergency Appropriations Bill;

President Bush signed into law the “Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005” (Pub. L. No. 109-13, H.R. 1268) on May 11. This Act includes several immigration-related provisions, including the so-called REAL ID Act. This ill-conceived measure was incorporated into the Act as a result of promises secured by Representative Sensenbrenner from the Administration and House Republican leadership. This misguided legislation contains a treasure trove of anti-immigrant provisions, none of which will make this nation more secure, including provisions that:

• Prevent people fleeing persecution from obtaining relief;
• Make our highways more dangerous and undermine our security;
• Impose guilt by association
• Restrict judicial review for the first time since the Civil War, barring the court doors to immigrants;
• Waive all laws related to construction of fences at our borders, thereby granting unprecedented authority to a federal agency;

The new law also eliminates the annual cap on the number of asylees who are eligible to adjust their status to permanent residence and eliminates the annual cap on the number of persons who can be granted asylum because they were subjected to coercive population controls. While this is obviously welcome and long overdue, it is little consolation against a backdrop of provisions that will make it nearly impossible for many asylum seekers to find relief here in the future.

Click here to view a section-by-section summary and analysis of the bill:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18433.

To learn more about the judicial review provisions, please click here:
http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18537.

To view a chart of the driver’s license provisions prepared by the National Immigration Law Center, please click here: http://www.aila.org/fileViewer.aspx?docID=18701

In addition to the REAL ID provisions, the new law contains several business immigration provisions, including:

H-2B Emergency Relief: By voting overwhelmingly (94–6) to add the “Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005” to its version of the supplemental bill, the Senate helped ensure the passage of this important short-tem fix critically needed by American employers of H-2B workers. Now that the measure has been signed into law, the Act will provide needed, albeit limited, relief for this fiscal and next by exempting from the cap those H-2B workers who have successfully used the program during one of the past three years. Because provisions in the Act required DHS to implement this exemption within 14 days of enactment, the agency worked diligently to issue guidance and begin petition processing on schedule. In order to help reduce implementation-related delays, Congress also exempted certain provisions of the new law from the Administrative Procedures Act requirements and other rulemaking processes. Such a speedy implementation is essential to help provide relief to the many small and seasonal employers who were previously unable to hire the workers they needed for this upcoming summer and fall seasons.

In exchange for the temporary relief from the cap, the Act also makes some permanent changes to the H-2B program. These changes include: creating a $150 anti-fraud fee; reallocating the 66,000 H-2B cap so that no more than 33,000 numbers can be used during the first 6 months of the fiscal year; increasing sanctions for employers who misuse the program; and requiring DHS to submit to Congress reports on H-2B program usage as well as statistics regarding the countries of origin of, occupations of, and compensation paid to aliens working pursuant to the H-2B program.

New Temporary Visa: The Senate passed without a recorded vote a measure offered by Senate Majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) that creates a new temporary E-3 program for Australian nationals who will perform services in a specialty occupation. Unlike other E visa programs, the E-3 category will require a labor attestation and will be capped annually at 10,500, not including spouses and children. The language did not specify an effective date and DHS has yet to issue information on when this program will become operational.

Recapture of Unused Employment-Based Visa Numbers: As modified and passed behind the closed doors of the Senate and House conference committee, this provision provides for the recapture of unused employment-based immigrant visas by placing visa numbers unused from fiscal years 2001-2004 in a “bank” for use in future fiscal years when the demand for employment-based immigrant visas in the EB-1, 2, and 3 categories exceeds the annual quota. This measure places a limit of 50,000 on the total number of visas that may be used from the “bank” and reserves these visas for immigrant worker petitions based on Schedule A immigrants (Nurses, Physical Therapists, and Performing Artists of Exceptional Ability) and their family members accompanying or following to join them.

The original language of this amendment, offered in the Senate by Senators Schumer (D-NY), Hutchison (R-TX) and Kennedy (D-MA), would have made available all the unused numbers from 2001-2004 and would have allocated 50% of the available numbers to Schedule A occupations.

CONTRIBUTORS

Judith Golub, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs
Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy
Danielle Polen, Legislative Counsel
Joanna Hedvall, Business Immigration Associate
John Estrella, Senior Policy Associate
Julia Hendrix, Media Relations Associate
Michelle Mendez, Advocacy Assistant

American Immigration Lawyers Association
918 F Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
202-216-2403

47AU5004

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

FAQ; Permanent bar immigrant; waiver for non-immigrant

A client asked me today about a re-entry problem. After applying based on marriage using 245i prior to 4/30/01 he left the U.S. without permission. Originally he had entered the U.S. without inspection. By departing he triggered the permanently bar to the U.S. for which there is no waiver. After accrual of one year of unlawful presence in the United States, if the foreign national leaves and reenters without admission by the BCBP under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the immigration act. There is an exception for those battered and abused by a spouse and their dependents who file Violence against Women Act application (which also applies to men). In practice the policy had not been enforced uniformly by immigration officers. There are cases of persons adjusting status using a 10 bar waiver. In contrast an individual who overstays status by one year, departs, and returns with a new nonimmigrant visa or visa waiver, and is admitted by the BCBP is admissible with a ten-year bar waiver.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

Client comment; Mario Ramos office is one of the best web-based law firms

Dear Mr. Ramos:

Thank you for allowing me to express what I think.

I hired Mr. Ramos to take care of my H-1B case. I live
in a different state, and my employer is also located
in a different state. Using the web-based system that
Mario Ramos LLC uses, has expedited the process,
beside that, it made our communication clearer.

When a question pops in my head, it took me only
seconds to send Mr. Ramos or Andy an e-mail or
e-message thru the web-based system that Mario Ramos
LLC uses. Most of the time, my questions were answered
in the same day.

All the notes were posted at a secured data-base
system, so there is no loss of information.

I kindly say it, that Mario Ramos office is one of the
best law firms I have dealt with. The most I
appreciated is the organizing and the fast respond
they showed to my case.

In other words, we finished my case in a great timely
manner without even meeting each other.

Thank You!

Sincerely,(client name withheld)

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

FAQ;PERM and work authorization

Free Question: Hi, I am from India. My husband came here on H1 and I am on H4. Our visa status is expiring by end of this year so my husband's employer has applied for LCA by PERM.Once LCA comes through, can I work or I have to wait to till I get GC, before I can start applying for jobs.

Answer: After receiving PERM labor certification approval you must apply for employment authorization as part of your permanent residency application to obtain employment authorization. You may begin looking for a job however you may not accept a salary or any money from the employer prior to receiving employment authorization.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2005

FAQ; 2006 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery

Free Question: My daughter is in the U.S.doing an internship for 1 year. - Returning UK to complete 2 yrs.- Hos.Management - Graduates in 2007. Hopes to achieve Oficial USA Green Card Lottery. May I ask if I can pay direct on her behalf the application fees, with my Visa card, to expedite her application & FORWARD it with the form from here in U.K. - completing all her correct personal details Is there a risk of her application being disqualified if she does not send the form & the money herself? Can I fill it in on her behalf as her mother, Thank you.

Free Answer: There was no fee charged by the U.S. government to apply for the green card lottery. You only paid filing fees if selected. Applications for the 2006 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery ended January 7, 2005; more information http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html


Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

Update on Fiscal 2006 H-1B Numbers

USCIS advises that, despite rumors to the contrary, it has NOT reached enough fiscal year 2006 cap-subject H-1B petitions to be nearing the cap. In fact, unofficially, it has been indicated that petitions are coming in more slowly than had been predicted. However, it is still believed (again, unofficially) that the fiscal 2006 cap likely will be reached before the actual start of fiscal year 2006 on October 1, 2005

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2005

FAQ; Naturalization application and 6 month out of U.S.

Free Question: sir my spouse is LPR. she got green card in Dec.5 2000.she had visited pakistan in 2003 for exact 6 months dating jan.12 2003 to jul.11 2003.On her arrival back to US she was admitted into US as her family was in US,her family's residence was maintained,her father was paying taxes.later she visited pakistan Dec.2003 to Feb.5,2004,during this visit we got married.third time she visited in Nov. 2,2004 to dec.4,2004.i have question,when she will be eligible for applying for naturalization.Had exact 6 month stay disrupted her continous residence in US.

Free Answer: Absence for more than six months but less than one year establishes a presumption against compliance with the continuous residency requirements that can be rebutted, INA §316(b). So, six months does not disrupt her continous residence in the U.S.
This question illustrates the danger of staying over six months out of the U.S. Also, given the uncertainty of travel you should avoid travel on the last day.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2005

Welcome to the United States, the orientation guide for new immigrants, is now available in Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese

The guide contains practical information about the rights and responsibilities of new permanent residents, practical information about getting settled in the U.S., and basic information for those immigrants interested in becoming naturalized citizens.

The online guide is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese at http://www.uscis.gov .

By the end of the summer, it will also be offered in Tagalog, Korean, Russian, Arabic, French, Portuguese and Creole by various community organizations.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2005

Notorious Notarios article about Carmen Ceja/Ceja Enterprises, Inc

This article by John Spragens was written in the Nashville Scene and was published on June 8, 2005. You can find the rest of the article at;
http://www.nashscene.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?story=This_Week:News:Notorious_Notarios

"When illegal immigrants need legal help, illegal "lawyers" exploit them

That scenario plays out every day across the country, according to local immigration lawyers and national advocacy groups, and among Nashville's growing Spanish-speaking population it's increasingly common. Last month, a Department of Justice attorney sent Nolensville Road business Ceja Enterprises a "cease and desist" letter, warning it that "any further attempts to represent individuals" in front of the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Department of Homeland Security "will be a violation of federal regulations."

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2005

Greg Rodriguez Jr. (1954-2005) visitation

Information about visitation for Greg

Phillips-Robinson
Funeral Home
2707 Gallatin Rd
Nashville TN
615-262-3312

Friday, June 10, 2005
10 am - 4pm
5 pm -8 pm

Saturday, June 11, 2005
8 am - 12 am

Service: Saturday, June 11, 2005
1 pm, Chapel of Phillips-Robinson Funeral Home, 2707 Gallatin Rd
Nashville TN

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:03 PM | Comments (0)

Greg Rodriguez Jr. (1954-2005)

Last night I received a call from Vicky Vargas about Greg's death. I went to the hospital with Roman Rendon and Robert Chavez. There we meet Vicky and saw Greg. It is sad to loss a dear friend and ally. Greg played a tremenous role in the community as the President of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber and Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Safety. His role in these networks helped numerous people. Here is Greg's bio; Nashville lost a great friend on Wednesday evening, a well-known figure, recognized by friends everywhere he went. Greg Rodriguez, 51, born and raised in McAllen, TX, moved here in 1994, has passed away from a heart attack at his home on June 08, 2005 and subsequently passed away at the Summit Hospital, in Hermitage TN.

Greg founded the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 1997 and has served as the President of the Chamber ever since. He has been a pioneer in the changing of the local landscape, and his efforts have touched the lives of Nashvillians on all levels.

His experience as a Security Management professional is well known and respected on a national level in the hospitality industry. His twenty-one year career with the Renaissance Hotel chain includes tenure in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Nashville. He viewed the Renaissance Hotel as his home since he worked for them for twenty-one years. His co-workers there were considered his family and he referred to them often as such.

In August of 2004, Greg accepted an appointment from Governor Phil Bredesen to serve as Executive Administrative Assistant to the Commissioner of Safety. Greg's primary focus there was to supervise and coordinate community-related activities on a statewide level with special emphasis on minority and immigrant involvement. Greg often thanked the Department of Safety and Governor Bredesen for the opportunity to serve.

As the President of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greg served on various national and regional boards and commissions including; Stand for Children, the Greater Nashville Area Lodging and Hospitality Association, the Hispanic Contractors of America, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and as Vice Chairman of the Metro Nashville Civil Service Commission.

From 1994 to 1999, Greg was also a boxing trainer in Nashville. He loved boxing, reading, music, and dancing. He always said that the most important thing for people living here is to have a good life and to simply be happy. Greg will always be known for his sense of humor and as a champion throughout Tennessee for uniting the Hispanic Community. His greatest wish was to bring his community together with a sense of respect and pride, and often asked of all Hispanics in Tennessee to work together and have pride in their community. He was also a strong advocate of more education for the Hispanic Community, and was often quoted as citing it as the most important factor for their future.

Past recognitions include the Dallas Texas "Jaycee of the Year" and he has twice been nominated for the J. Willard Marriott Award, which honors the best associate in the Marriott Corporation. Greg has won numerous other awards throughout his life, including awards from the Pan Africa Conference and the Small Business Association most recently.

Greg has also dedicated much of his time and expertise to help the community through his work at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He and the Chamber Office Director, Victoria Vargas, worked on many issues to help Hispanics and everyone else improve their lives. They worked on issues such as driving licenses, charter schools, uniting Hispanic Leaders, Daycares, Hispanic and minority Housing Development, Immigration issues, and healthcare with the TN Department of Health.

Greg is survived by his father, Greg Rodriguez Sr of McAllen, TX; one daughter, Angela of Dallas, TX; one grandson, Gabriel of Dallas, TX; three brothers; Frank Rodriguez of Mesquite, TX, Mike of Mesquite, TX, and Christopher Andrew of Mesquite, TX, and four sisters Maria Diana McEwen of Pampa, TX, Sylvia Duck of Geronimo, TX, Oma Lee Vega of Dallas, TX and Gloria Garcis of Carralton, TX and Victoria Vargas of Hermitage, TN.

He was the loving and adoring son, father and grandfather. He will be loved and missed by all those who knew him and mostly with his family, Victoria Vargas, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He will always be in our prayers.

More information about Greg’s life will be posted on the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce corporate website: http://www.tnhispanic.com . If you would like to leave your thoughts to Greg’s family and friends, please email chamber@tnhispanic.com .

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Waivers

Free Question: hi i am from pakistan, my wife is a U.S. citizen.i married with her in march 2002 in pakitan.then she filed my immigrant visa here in Islamabad USA embassy.after 1 year embassy denied my visa because i misrepresented work expeience letter in 1998 under the lotery visa.then i filed the the waiver in july 2003 again they denied the visa cause of above i mentioned and extreme hard ship letter from my wife.then i filed the appeal in july 2004 they denied agin cause of that hard ship and misrepresentation.now my wife wants to file k3 visa under these circumstances.can she file this.if she can file pls tell me the way.
Free Answer: You may need to file for a waiver for your immigration case. To determine which waiver may help you I need to be hired and see an entire copy of you file. Without seeing a copy of your file I am not able to answer if you are able to receive a waiver to enter the U.S. either as an immigrant based on marriage or a non-immigrant not based on marriage.
Note; this question demonstrates the necessity of hiring an immigration attorney prior to applying for immigration benifits. It may be possible to correct these errors however it involves more work and the immigrants suffer the consequences of denied applications.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

FAQ; PERM & 245i

Free Question: My wife & our family were physically present on 20 Dec.,2000. We left Maryland on 22 Feb, 2003 for econ. hardship. On 30 Mar, 2003 DOL issued Labor certification to my wife (specialty indian/Pakistan cook). Can she revive that petition for green card thru US Embassy- Dhaka, Bangladesh. The employer has withdrawn the job offer already.The Life Act/245(i) dated Mar.16,2005 mentions that even if employer withdraws grandfathering is not withdrawn. Can you help process our case for Green card thru Dhaka, US Embassy and USCIS in USA. Pls. inform asp. Thanks

Answer: If the offer of employment has been withdrawn and you are outside of the country 245i does not help your case. If the employer renews the offer of employment you may seek to transfer the priority date if the PERM filing is “identical”. Your wife needs an offer of employment from a different employer to apply for permanent residency for her and family under PERM. The EB-3 visas are “C” current for all countries except China, India and the Philippines which are at June 1, 2002.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Adjustment interview for spouse of overseas military personnel

Today I spoke with Officer Lynn Dennis, head of adjustment interviews with CIS, Memphis. I had sent her a fax involving an adjustment interview for a spouse of active duty U.S. military personnel stationed in Iraq. Because of military orders preventing return the U.S. military spouse cannot return for the interview. Officer Dennis told me that immigrant spouse does not need to bring a substitute family member to the interview. Rather they need to bring the bona fides proofs of the marriage, a copy of order with overseas posting and a recent letter from the commander stating that the spouse is unable to return for the interview. It is the policy at Memphis to accommodate all family members of all U.S. military personnel, National Guard, reserve required to be overseas on active duty. Officer Dennis stated that the policy of Memphis CIS was not binding to other CIS offices.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2005

FAQ; PERM transfer

This week I was asked the question from my website; May a LC filed by the prior employer be transferred to a new PERM LC? No – the PERM rule provides for transfer of the PD only for 2nd “identical” filing by the same employer for the same position.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2005

H-1B 7th year extension

This week I received the following question? May I apply for a 7th year H-1B extension with my new prospective PERM LC employer using my previous LC with a prior employer? Yes, under the current non-binding CIS policy, the employee may use the combination of the prior filed LC and the current pending PERM LC to have the new employer file a 7th year extension, this is based on a letter from Efren Hernandez.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2005

Congressman Sensenbrenner Answers Questions on the New Australian E-3 Nonimmigrant Classification

Press availability with The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.,
Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

May 31, 2005

Parliament House
Canberra, Australia

Congressman Sensenbrenner: First of all let me say, I’m Jim Sensenbrenner. I’ve been a member of Congress from the State of Wisconsin for over 26 years and I’m currently the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee which has got jurisdiction over a number of items including immigration policy which means passports and visas as well as much of the domestic counterterrorism issues that the United States has had in place since September 11.

One of the reasons that I’ve come to Australia is to talk a little bit about the success that we’ve had in putting specific authorization for E3 visa and the Real ID Act, which was the enhanced security for drivers licenses and changes in the asylum law that I authored at the end of November and which were incorporated into the military supplemental appropriation bill which was signed by President Bush on May 11.

The E3 visa proposal I think is a way we can encourage both exchanges and economic development of Australians coming to the United States. And it is something that in my opinion is long overdue and which will be welcome and which will be constructive for both countries. Now that the legislation has been passed and signed by the President the next step will be to have the Department of State issue administrative regulations implementing this legislation. After those regulations are in place then the consulates will be able to accept applications from Australians and issue the visas and the Australians can then come to the United States with work authorization.

When I get back to Washington I will send an oversight letter to Secretary of State Rice asking that this administrative regulation process be expedited as quickly as possible and hopefully within a few months’ time the regulations will be finalized and at that time the three consulates that issue visas in Australia will be in business accepting applications.

The one message I’d like to give to you is that the law is in place and the visas will be there but I would ask that the readers of your newspapers be patient while this administrative regulation procedure goes on because asking the consulate tomorrow how to get a visa will get a response of, “we don’t know yet.” So as soon as the regulations are finalized, the Embassy will get out a press release. They will put information on the Embassy website and then anybody who wishes to apply for one of these visas will be welcome to do so. So with that I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Q: Why have Australians been singled out for this visa?

A: When America implemented the WTO accession, there were immigration provisions that were contained within that legislation, and it is my feeling that mixing immigration and trade is not the proper thing to do. There are two separate issues. During the negotiations with the Free Trade Agreement the Australian government made a specific request that the WTO precedent be followed and that the E-3 visas be incorporated in the Free Trade Agreement. And I’m opposed to that and all of the members of my committee are opposed to this because while we’ve got the expertise on immigration questions, the Ways and Means Committee has expertise on trade questions. But I did tell former Ambassador Thawley when he was on post in Washington that I would see what could be done to incorporate the request of the Australian Government into separate legislation that dealt with immigration and it might take some time to do it. We were able to do it fairly quickly in terms of the time frame of the U.S. Congress acting on legislation and the proper legislative authority is now passed.

Q: How soon will the regulations be implemented?

A: Well, you know, I’m not an Executive Branch official. That’s part of the beauty of the problem of the separation of powers that we adopted when we left the less than nurturing guidance of the British Parliament a century and a quarter before you all did. What I will do is try to build a fire under Secretary Rice so that we can get these regulations promulgated as quickly as possible. And I would hope that within two or three months we would be able to get the regulations promulgated. The consulates cannot accept applications until those regulations are promulgated, so I just want to re-emphasize this. The law has been passed, but they still don’t have the regulations to issue the visas, and once those regulations are finalized, then the embassy and the consulates will let everybody know that they are able to take applications and let everybody come and apply.

Q: What were the particular sensitivities about the FTA? I don’t understand the rationale between separating immigration and trade.

A: Well, the Constitution of the United States specifically gives the Congress the authority to deal with immigration issues. And that is not the case in terms of international agreements, specifically trade agreements, which are the most far reaching, and the most comprehensive of the international agreements but are negotiated by the President and then submitted to the Congress. Now the other thing is that under the fast track authority that the President negotiates trade agreements with is that the trade agreements, once agreed to, are not amendable when they are submitted to Congress. And we may wish to amend the immigration provisions, which are a bit more sensitive than many of the free trade provisions that are agreed to between the executive branch and the foreign country that they negotiate with.

Q: Do you envisage extending the E3 to other countries?

A: Well, the answer is that I don’t know. I am concerned, for example, that when we are dealing with free trade agreements with third world countries like Central America and Caribbean islands… that is an entirely different mix of immigration questions than dealing with a developed country like Australia. And, what I can say is that our committee will deal with requests from this administration or any future administration on a case-by-case basis as it comes. We did get a request when the Singapore and Chile free trade agreements were submitted for an additional category of visas. The Committee at that time decided that creating a new category of visas was not in the public interest and as a result, the visas numbers that were agreed to as a part of that agreement were deducted from another category.

Q: Why is it such a different case for developing countries and developed countries?

A: The question is who has got the wherewithal to make the investment, because these types of visas are by and large business visas. And if a country is not able to utilize these visas as a way of furthering international trade, then there really is no reason to have visas as a part of a free trade agreement. And the other question, I’ll be very honest with you, is these are not immigrant visas, and we look at how many visa overstays there are and from which countries people go home on or before the expiration of the visas. The problem with visa overstays has become a real problem in the United States because there have been statistics that have been published that indicate that approximately one half of the illegal aliens in the United States entered the country legally and did not go home prior to the expiration of their authorized stay, and only a little bit more than the half actually snuck under the fence and entered the United States illegally.

Q: Is there an expectation of any changes on the Australian side?

A: I have not heard any problems with the type of business investor visa or work authorization visa for Americans that are coming temporarily to Australia for whatever purpose, whether they’re recent graduates of college that have a gap year and wish to go someplace else to work before they return home, and here continue their studies or get a permanent job. So I really have not heard those types of complaints. I’m certain the Australian Government, if there were those types of complaints, would be happy to reciprocate, simply because we were able to get the E3s passed as requested by Australia to the U.S.

Q: Are you having discussions with the Immigration Department here?

A: Yesterday I had a very instructive meeting at the Sydney Airport. One of the projects of my committee is to try to make sure that citizens of visa waiver countries, of which Australia is one, when they enter the United States have passports that are tamper proof and have biometric identifiers contained in the passport so that an immigration inspector, whether it’s in the United States or elsewhere, can see that the document really is being carried by the person whose identity it is supposed to establish. We all know that there’s a huge market in false travel documents around the world that are used by criminals and terrorists and others that are attempting to evade immigration laws, whether it’s your law or our law or another country’s law. Australia is probably the leader in the world in being able to produce these passports with biometric identifiers. The United States law sets a deadline of October 26 of this year for all newly-issued passports from visa waiver countries to contain a biometric identifier that meets International Civil Aviation Organization standards, which means having an encrypted picture and personal data that is contained on the picture page of a passport somewhere there which can be read and checked to make sure that the data that is actually physically on the paper of the picture page is accurate. And the demonstration at Australian Immigration and Australian Customs gave to us in the Sydney Airport was very, very satisfying and I suggested that maybe they should come and talk to our State Department as well as foreign ministries of some European countries that have not progressed as rapidly as they really should. Having said what’s in the law, there’s been a lot of misinformation that has come out, and I want to make it perfectly clear that everybody who has an Australian passport that is issued before October 26 will be able to continue to use that passport for visa waiver entry into the United States until the expiration date that is stated on the passport. So, put another way, because of this deadline under U.S. law, nobody is going to have to run in and get a new passport if their current passport is not ready to expire.

Q: You extended that deadline by 12 months last year. Would you expect to do that again?

A: I think that that will be unlikely and I’ve told representatives of governments of visa waiver countries to expect to have the deadline adhered to. I would say the chance of both Houses passing an extension and having it signed by the President are very, very slim.

Q: Any thoughts on mandatory detention?

A: Well, really not. I think that this is an internal question. I am the author of the Patriot Act and in the United States if an alien is detained they do have to be charged with either an immigration violation or a criminal violation within seven days after detention. And all the Patriot Act did was extend that from 48 hours. If there is a charge that is filed, then either an immigration judge, or a magistrate judge in the case of the criminal action, would have what is a standard bail hearing. And if the judge made a determination that there was a danger of flight or danger to society then bail could be denied and the detention would be for an indefinite period of time but would have to periodically be reviewed by the judge that denied bail.

Q: Has your committee looked at incarceration of children in Australia?

A: No, we have not. And that, in my opinion, that is a decision that is a domestic security issue which will have to be determined pursuant to the laws of the country involved, and if the laws were to be changed, then it should be done legislatively.

Q: Just to be clear, to your knowledge Australians have not been over-stayers on their visa as such?

A: No, no. One of the things we look at to continue visa waiver status is the overstay rate. And if there is an unacceptable overstay rate, the visa waiver status can be revoked. And it has been revoked from countries that were previously granted visa waiver status sometimes as a result of a dip in economic conditions. Argentina had visa waiver status for a while and does not anymore because of the overstay question. There is, to my knowledge, there is no move to even look at whether to revoke Australia’s visa waiver policy because Australians, when they come to the United States, usually leave on or before their time their authorization to stay is expired.

Q: Is there a sunset clause on the E3 visa?

A: No, no.
###


Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2005

Obtaining Proof of Filing of Labor Certification Application; seventh year H-1B

Obtaining Proof of Filing of Labor Certification Application

The following information was provided by DOL with respect to how to obtain documentation from a DOL Backlog Reduction Center that a labor certification application was filed more than 365 days ago:

“Procedure for requesting extension documentation: we ask that employers/attorneys provide a single request which includes: 1) the name of the employer, 2) the name of the alien, 3) the State in which the application was filed, 4) the approximate filing date, and 5) the State case number, if possible. We will obtain information regarding the priority date and then will write a letter to the employer/attorney confirming the priority date and stating that the application is still pending.”

AILA members report having more success with the Dallas Center when they make the request by fax and more success with the Philadelphia center when submitting by mail.

Contact information for the Service Centers is:

Dallas Backlog Processing Center Address: ETA/DFLC Backlog Processing Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 400 N, Dallas, TX 75201, Phone: 214-237-9111, Fax: 214-237-9135.

Philadelphia Backlog Processing Center Address: ETA/DFLC Backlog Processing Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, Phone: 484-270-1500, Fax: 484-270-1600.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

USCIS Provides Instructions on Completing Part 2 of the Revised I-129 Form: H-1B

New I-129 / Part 2. The latest I-129 offers petitioners many more choices in Part 2 / #2 Basis for Classification than was previously the case. We would like to understand what each choice means from your perspective (which selection you would expect Petitioners to make) and also to understand which selections trigger the $500 fraud prevention and detection fee. It is our impression that the $500 fee is hard-wired to some of the Basis for Classification options. We would like to discuss what the six Classification options really mean.

a. New Employment

New employment for a classification that the beneficiary does not currently have. The fraud fee would be required for any new H-1B or L-1 employment. (If the new employment for a classification that the beneficiary has please use change of employer.)

b. Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer

This should be annotation when the beneficiary currently has the employment and is just simply extending the employment with the same employer and same status and duties. The fraud fee not required.

c. Change in previously approved employment

Employment with the same employer the duties of the beneficiary have changed, but the classification is still the same. The fraud fee not required.

d. New concurrent employment

New employment with a different employer, for the same classification as the other employment. The fraud fee is required.

e. Change of employer

Employment with a new employer for the same classification. The fraud fee would be required.

f. Amended petition

Some material change, for the same employer, but the duties for the position and the classification remain the same. Fraud fee not required.

This alignment of questions currently comports to the CLAIMS system that we employ.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

FAQ; H-1B porting from an old employer to a new employer

This week I received a question about switching employers. This concept is called "porting” The process is as follows; prior to beginning to work for another employer you must apply to change your H-1B visa to the new employer. Once your porting application is received by immigration you may begin employment. If you are out of the country once approved you may enter the U.S. 10 days prior to the starting date of your H-1B visa. Our office will work with you and your employer inside or outside the U.S. My office can process your H-1B visa application within 72 hours of receipt of all information.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2005

Editorial by Cardinal Roger Mahony,archbishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles

There is a good editorial today in the LATimes by Cardinal Roger Mahony. In the editorial he states that to accept the status quo is immoral. We need to contine to press our electe officals to change immigration law for the good of the country. Here is a quote from the editorial titled THINKING OUT LOUD / IMMIGRATION A Nation That Should Know Better By Roger Mahony. "It appears fashionable these days, and almost politically correct, to blame hard-working immigrants, especially those from Mexico and Central America, for the social and economic ills of our state and nation. Anti-immigrant fervor on TV and radio talk shows, citizens attempting to enforce immigration laws and the enactment of restrictive laws, such as the Real ID Act, are evidence of this trend. Some of our elected officials are joining the parade, going so far as to call for the closing of our southern border".

You can find the article at; http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mahony1jun01,0,3402540.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

The new E-3 Visa is for Australian nationals

The new E-3 Visa is for Australian nationals performing services in a specialty occupation in the U.S. This special E-3 will require a labor attestation. The program will be annually capped at 10,500 not including spouses and children. At this time there is no specified effective date or when the program will become operational.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:22 AM | Comments (0)