January 31, 2006
Bush has chance to surprise nation with address tonight
In the Arizona Republic there is an article about the State of the Union speech by President Bush tonight. "When When it comes to immigration reform, the president needs to go beyond generalities. The Senate is expected to take up immigration bills soon, including two measures being offered by Arizona's two senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl. This is a critical time for Bush to provide the executive leadership that has been lacking on this issue.
The president needs to make it clear that the crisis along the Southern border has implications for every state, not just border states. He needs to accept federal responsibility for the failure of the current immigration policy and put the weight of his office behind real reform".
For more go to; http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/0131tue1-31.html
January 30, 2006
Chamber of Commerce network
Today I was invited to a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce. The topic was the adoption by the Chamber of immigration reform as one of its three key initiatives for the year. This is an important step towards enlisting the support of the business community. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is following the position of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which supports comprehensive immigration reform known as the McCain Kennedy bill. It is great to have a network like the Chamber support immigration reform. The key towards success in this effort is to have the support of the business community and its networks. My focus has been to seek to expand the network.
January 29, 2006
Global Outbound Module is ready to go
My website Global Outbound System is ready to help you access my immigration needs worldwide! We can now effectively manage your global immigration needs within my website system.
Our Global Outbound features provide enhanced security features, accessibility to you and outbound case management – far superior to any other product on the market.
Worldwide Control and Security
*Provide secure worldwide access and transfer of data between you, overseas counsels, and our office, utilizing SSL-encryption technology that is backed by the same server technology used by the US Army–immune to Windows-based worms and viruses.
Customize by Country
*Customize workflow fields, activities, to-do lists and reminders by process for each country, enabling effective management and reporting.
*Track, store and report on all international forms, documents and communications including emails, letters and telephone calls, as well as on multiple visas and passports in each individual client’s and/or corporation’s file.
Professional Online Interfaces for you available 24/7
*Give HR managers the options to create new foreign national employees and/or initiate a new process for an employee from within the HR interface.
*Create customized HR reports by country and process that automatically update themselves and are easily accessible through the corporate HR interfaces worldwide, 24/7.
Effective Management and Overview of all Outbound Cases
*Create divisions and reports within our firm’s step to track outbound immigration cases by employer, country, process and expiration dates, utilizing a robust, customizable reports generator.
*Address book/contact manager allows us to attach outside counsel names and information to outbound individual clients.
Our system's knowledge base can include an unlimited number of specific country-by-country processes, including required documents and interim work-flow steps, defining and linking government and agency contact information, and establishing a list of reliable co-counsel and experts.
With robust customizable features, reports, and security privileges, my website allows effective and secure management of your case and coordinate with local co-counsel – all while meeting your high profile needs.
January 28, 2006
Website now allows expanded family linkage
My website is proud to let you know that our expanded family linkages feature is now available ! This long awaited feature links child dependents with both parents and allows multi-linkages of family members for multiple processes.
January 27, 2006
State Dept. Remarks on Outlook for Employment-Based Visa Numbers
Just in from AILA;
Department of State has advised AILA DOS Liaison Chair Liam Schwartz that it has seen a decrease in demand for employment-based visa numbers for USCIS adjustment of status cases. This has resulted in the rapid advancement of the established cut-off dates. DOS does not want to be in a position where there are large amounts of numbers available for use late in the fiscal year, and not enough time to make use of them. But, when/if the USCIS demand does materialize it may be necessary to hold or retrogress (at some point) those dates. Below are DOS' comments on the outlook for employment-based numbers:
"Worldwide: Based on the current level of number use in the Employment First and Second preference categories there will be no need to impose a cut-off date for the categories. While the First preference number use is relatively close to my target, the Second preference is significantly below my target which doesn't make a lot of sense.
Third: I had been concerned that the amount of 245(i) filings during March/April 2001 would result in a large concentration of demand, and limit movement of the cut-off date. So far this has not been the case, and it may be that such cases (if they exist in large numbers) are still in the DOL backlog.
China and India: The same lack of demand comments apply to these First and Second preference cut-offs. This has resulted in the rapid advancement of the China and India cut-offs, which I expect to continue for the next several months.
China Third - Should stay at the Worldwide date.
India - This cut-off should continue to move, but such movement may become more limited. "
January 26, 2006
Foreign National questionnaire
We wanted to take this opportunity to make sure everyone is aware that Foreign National questionnaires are now available in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and Japanese.
January 25, 2006
GOP backs Bush on guest-worker plan
There is an article by Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times published January 21, 2006 wherein she relates how "The Republican National Committee voted yesterday to back President Bush's call for a guest-worker program.
Meeting a few blocks from the White House at the Capital Hilton, the umbrella organization of the Republican Party adopted a resolution that calls for continued legal immigration, criticizes illegal immigration and endorses a new work program for foreign workers. However, the resolution states there should be "no amnesty for those persons presently in the United States illegally."
"The question is not 'Is there an issue?' -- the question is 'How you deal with it?' and I think we have to deal with it in a comprehensive way -- we don't have to deal with it in a way that's anti-immigrant," said party Chairman Ken Mehlman, who said the resolution "reflected where the president was."
The resolution, adopted by voice vote, was a major victory for Mr. Mehlman and headed off a divisive vote on an alternate resolution that would have put the party on record as opposing a guest-worker program, thus at odds with Mr. Bush.
Randy Pullen, Arizona's committeeman, had gained enough signatures from fellow RNC members to force a vote on a version that specifically opposed a guest-worker program".
For more go to www.washingtontimes.com
January 24, 2006
Cuban-American lawmakers asked the Bush administration to provide Haitians and Central Americans fleeing dangerous regimes 'safe haven' in the United States
In the Miami Herald there is an article by Theresa Bradley where she writes about "South Florida's three Cuban-American members of Congress pressed the Bush administration Monday to allow foreign nationals from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti to remain in the United States for ''safe haven'' while their countries rebuild.
Republican U.S. Reps. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, Mario Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called on the administration to renew ''temporary protected status,'' known as TPS, currently granted to Hondurans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans. More than 300,000 are at risk of losing TPS and being deported.
In a separate letter, the lawmakers asked President Bush to make Haitian nationals eligible for TPS for the first time, too. They cited the two ''undemocratic actions'' of ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide for creating conditions that make it ''extremely dangerous for Haitians to return to their country at this time.'' Haiti is gearing up for elections in February".
For more go to; www.MiamiHerald.com
USCIS Reaches H-1b Exemption Cap For Fiscal Year 2006
This Press Release was published by USCIS on January 18, 2006 ;
20,000 Slots Reserved for Aliens with U.S.-Earned Master’s Degrees or Higher Exhausted
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions that qualify for the exemption from the H-1B numerical limitations for foreign workers with a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree (the number of aliens exempted from the H-1B cap on this basis may not exceed 20,000 per fiscal year). Consequently, USCIS has determined that the "final receipt date" for these 20,000 cap-exempt H-1B petitions is January 17, 2006. Petitions received on January 17th are subject to the random selection process described below. USCIS will reject petitions requesting a foreign worker with a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree that are received after the "final receipt date" unless the petitioner or beneficiary is eligible for a separate cap exemption.
USCIS has implemented the following procedure for H-1B filings for FY 2006 in accordance with the procedures announced in 70 FR 23775 (Allocation of Additional H-1B Visas Created by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004):
• USCIS has closely monitored FY 2006 H-1B filings for foreign workers with a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree and used projections to determine the number of petitions necessary to reach the congressionally mandated cap exemption of 20,000.
• Having determined that a sufficient number of petitions have been received, USCIS will identify all H-1B petitions seeking an FY 2006 number that were received on the day USCIS received the number of petitions necessary to meet the 20,000 cap exemption ("final receipt date").
• For petitions received on the "final receipt date," USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process. This process will randomly select the exact number of petitions from the day’s receipts needed to meet the congressionally mandated cap exemption of 20,000.
• After random selection, any remaining H-1B petitions for foreign workers with a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree that do not receive an FY 2006 number and are not otherwise exempt will be rejected and returned along with the filing fee(s).
• Petitioners may re-submit their petitions when H-1B visas become available for FY 2007.
• The earliest date for which a petitioner may file a petition requesting FY 2007 H-1B employment with an employment start date of October 1, 2006, is April 1, 2006.
Petitions for current H-1B workers do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:
• Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States.
• Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers.
• Allow current H-1B workers to change employers.
• Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
USCIS also notes that petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the alien will be employed at an institution of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or at a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization.
The H-1B visa program is utilized by some U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. As part of the H-1B program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires U.S. employers to meet specific labor conditions to ensure that American workers are not adversely impacted, while the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division safeguards the treatment and compensation of H-1B workers.
USCIS received enough H-1B petitions to meet the general population H-1B cap of 58,200 (congressional cap of 65,000 less 6,800 set aside for workers from Singapore and Chile by the Free Trade Act) for fiscal year 2006 on August 10, 2005. Those cap numbers do not include the 20,000 exempt foreign workers with a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree. More information about the H-1B program and about USCIS is available at www.uscis.gov.
January 23, 2006
Notary public fined $200,000 in immigration scam
In the Associated Press there is an article from Brownsville, TX about "a notary public who posed as an immigration attorney to unknowing migrants has been fined $200,000 and put out of business, state officials said today".
For more go to www.ap.com
January 22, 2006
There is a huge struggle in the Congress over immigration reform. The strategy to go forward is to expand the network. This is the age of networks. If you are part of a network and want to work towards immigration reform contact me.
January 21, 2006
The Role of Permanent Immigration in Comprehensive Reform
More than a "Temporary" Fix:
AILF/IPC's new IN FOCUS Report discusses how the present immigration debate should not just focus on enforcement and temporary worker issues, but also on reforming legal channels for permanent immigrants, who are far more likely to learn English, buy homes, create businesses, and revitalize urban areas. AILA Doc. No. 06012063.
January 20, 2006
Immigration Rift in GOP Up for Vote
There is an article in the Los Angeles Times by Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer which details the split in the Republican Party over immigration.
"WASHINGTON — A deep split within the Republican Party over immigration policy is now reaching into the highest levels of the GOP machinery, as members of the Republican National Committee, which typically operates in lock step with the White House, are poised to vote today on a resolution repudiating President Bush's call for a guest-worker program.
A member of the committee, which acts as a national steering panel for the party, gathered enough signatures to force the vote, setting up a highly unusual public debate over an issue on which Bush has set a clear direction.
Bush has proposed letting workers from abroad, as well as some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., legally take jobs in the United States as temporary workers. But the resolution before the party leadership today argues that a guest-worker program would "only result in more illegal immigration and increased crime in our country."
For more go to; http://email.latimes.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/exhF0KMvyp0G2B0HEFo0EH
January 19, 2006
USCIS Reaches H-1B Exemption Cap For Fiscal Year 2006
USCIS announced yesterday that it has received enough H-1B petitions that qualify for the exemption from the H-1B numerical limitations for foreign workers with a U.S.-earned master's or higher. The "final receipt date" for these 20,000 cap-exempt H-1B petitions is January 17, 2006.
January 18, 2006
ID Card Planned for the Borders
In the New York Times,there is an article about the need for id cards for U.S. citizens. I have seen a trend over the last 18 years as an immigration attorney to apply immigration laws to everyone, i.e. including U.S. citizens. The anti-immigration activist have been successful in extending immigration law to cover U.S. citizens. Here is the article By Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer, "U.S. officials announced Tuesday they would start issuing a special identification card this year that would allow Americans who frequently traveled to Mexico or Canada to continue crossing the border without a passport.
Citing security concerns, the government said last spring that as of 2008 travelers would be required to show passports when they reentered the country from Mexico and Canada. Business and travel groups and residents of border communities objected, saying the plan could snarl traffic and discourage casual travel".
For more go to; http://email.latimes.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/exaD0KMvyp0G2B0HDrY0ET
January 17, 2006
On Business, and Blogging on the Road
There is an article about blogging in the New York Times by CHRISTOPHER ELLIOTT. "An Internet search for full-time business travelers who write Web logs produces astonishingly low numbers. But that appears to be changing".
For more go to; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/17/technology/17blogs.html?th&emc=th
January 16, 2006
The immigration system in this country is broken, and Washington has failed to solve the nation's border crisis in a humane and practical way. So localities suffer the chaos and try to end it.
For more go to the New York Times at; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/16/opinion/16mon4.html?th&emc=th
January 15, 2006
Above the border
There is a good account of the duties of a a border patrol pilot on the trail of teen parents, 'shadow wolves,' an execution and a miracle; by Dennis Michelini, a pilot for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
For more go to the LA TImes ; http://email.latimes.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/exUQ0KMvyp0G2B0HDMp0EG
January 14, 2006
Lobbying for immigration reform
This last week I started the week hosting Representative Jim Cooper on my radio show. There we discussed the need for positive immigration reform. On Wednesday I meet with Senator Lamar Alexander to discuss reform. Both men stressed the need to follow the laws, allow adjustment of status and a road to citizenship. This is the message of the immigration lawyers association. To acheive this goal there is a lot of work to be done. These were good steps in this direction.
January 13, 2006
DOL Reminder on Electronic LCA for H1-B and E-3
As a reminder, as of January 4, 2006, for H-1B and H-1B1, employers must file the electronic labor condition application (LCA) for nonimmigrant workers, Form ETA 9035E, through the Department of Labor's LCA Online System at http://www.lca.doleta.gov/. The mail-in option is available only in limited circumstances. Please see 70 FR 72556 (Dec. 5, 2005) for more details.
As an added convenience to employers, DOL has also added the option of selecting E-3 as the 'Program Designation' on the online LCA application. Therefore, as of January 4, 2006, instead of mailing their applications to DOL's National Office, employers may electronically submit their E-3 LCAs through http://www.lca.doleta.gov/.
I hope you find this information useful,
Rachel Wittman Cox
Senior Policy Advisor
DOL - Division of Foreign Labor Certification
January 12, 2006
There is Still Time to Educate Your Senators During the January Recess!
We asked this a few weeks ago and we're asking once again--do your Senators know how bad HR 4437 really is? Do you? See InfoNet for an updated section-by-section summary of the bill that includes all of the changes made on the House floor:
http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=18258. Too many U.S. Representatives voted for a punitive, unrealistic enforcement bill to satisfy the demands of the loud and misguided restrictionist minority. We must not allow this tyrannical minority to subject our nation to shortsighted, poorly conceived immigration policies. There are still a few days left in the January recess. Now is the time to educate our U.S. Senators about comprehensive reform so that they will not be seduced by the overrepresented voices of anti-immigrant and anti-immigration activists. The Senate reconvenes on January 18, and we expect the debate over immigration reform to begin in the Senate in February, so it is more critical than ever that you meet with your Senators in their home offices--right now--to educate them about how to fix our broken immigration system. We need to make sure our Senators fully grasp just how punitive, extreme, and unworkable HR 4437 is. We need them to understand that the American people want a solution to the immigration problem, and that any proposal that fails to provide a path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented individuals currently here and contributing to our economy will fail. Instead of pouring massive amounts of money into the same failed strategies, we expect the Senate to produce a realistic, comprehensive reform plan.
Call your Senator's office today to set up a meeting! (View tips on meeting with legislators here: http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?bc=6755|12131|17669). (View talking points on H.R. 4437 and comprehensive reform here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/issues/alert/?alertid=8339741&type=CU). It's up to you to prevent the Senate from adopting another punitive, unrealistic enforcement-only bill. You are the immigration experts--your Senators must hear from you that comprehensive reform is the only way to truly fix our broken immigration system!
January 11, 2006
Meeting with Senator Lamar Alexander
As part of my work on the AILA Grassroots Committee today I will have a meeting in the afternoon with Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to discuss immigration reform. I arranged the meeting with the help of of my good friend Dr. Garcia, Director of Metro School Department, Nashville, TN. He and I will attend the meeting with the following persons; David Ewing, Senior Vice President, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Yuri Cunza, President Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Maria Clara Mejia, Director of Social and Civic Integration Initiatives Conexión Américas, Wendy Silva, President of Silva Entertainment and Sean Lewis, fellow AILA member, and his client Mr. Shelby Shafer, President of CEI Enterprises, Franklin TN.
I will blog later today with an update from the meeting.
January 10, 2006
Shipped back to Cuba on a technicality
An opinion article in the Miami Herald relates how "The Department of Homeland Security was wrong to repatriate 15 Cubans picked up in the Florida Keys last week. DHS officials decided that the location where the Cubans were found did not qualify as U.S. territory under immigration law. Yet that flies in the face of common sense and of DHS's own explanation of the ''wet-foot, dry-foot'' policy that determines the fate of Cubans fleeing by boat".
For more go to; MiamiHerald.com
USCIS Nears Limit on FY06 Advanced Degree H-1Bs
The 1/3/06 update of the usage of H-1Bs for graduates of U.S. advanced degree programs indicates that the count is at 19,047 for fiscal 2006. The limit is 20,000.
So, if you have an advanced degree from the U.S. you need to apply as soon as possible to be included in 2006.
January 09, 2006
Radio Interview with Congressman Jim Cooper
On Monday morning Congressman Jim Cooper, 5th District of Tennessee was my guest on my radio program. It was a pleasure to have Jim on the show at 810 a.m. We discussed immigration, reform and the current status of Congress. Jim's message was that businesses need to get involved in immigration reform. Immigration will be hot topic for the upcoming Congressional elections. I extend my gratitude to Jim's Nashville Congressional office for their support in helping to schedule this interview.
January 08, 2006
Mom of teen who died after dental visit arrives
There was a story in Newsday on January 4, 2006 about a Colombian mother who was initially denied a humanitarian visa to enter the U.S. after the death of her son. After intervention of U.S. Senator Clinton her visa was approved. This shows how difficult immigration law has become that a greiving mother could not receive humanitarian visa to see her son.
For more of the story by Michael Frazier, staff writer of Newday go to;
January 07, 2006
Shooting Puts Pressure on Fox
For many Mexicans, the shooting was especially galling because it came just weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives voted for the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the border.
Hundreds of people die every year after crossing the border illegally; most succumb to the rigors of crossing the desert with little food or water.
There was an interesting article in the LATimes about a shooting by a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican national. The article discussed the deaths on the U.S. border;
"In the last three years, Mexican Sen. Raymundo Cardenas said, "more Mexicans have died [crossing the U.S. border] than Germans died during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall."
For more go to;
January 06, 2006
Poll says Latinos oppose GOP stance on illegal immigration
By KRISTINA HERRNDOBLER, Hearst News Service
WASHINGTON - Because Hispanic voters are turned off by the conservative-led push for tougher penalties on illegal immigration, they are more likely to support Democrats than Republicans in November, according to the 2005 National Latino Survey released Thursday.
Regardless of a political candidate's views on issues such as gay rights, the economy, taxes or health care, a candidate's views on immigration will rank as the most important among Hispanic voters, said Robert Deposada, president of The Latino Coalition, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that commissioned the survey.
For more go to; http://www.hearstcorp.com
VSC Improperly Rejects PERM-based I-140
As part of the learning process of PERM filings the VSC has informed AILA Liaison that approximately 100 PERM-based I-140 petitions were erroneously rejected by the mailroom because contractors did not recognize the new blue PERM labor certification paper. VSC advises members to re-submit the petitions.
On a related issue, VSC advises AILA that the mailbox established for resubmission of erroneously-rejected petitions and applications should not be used for the submission of any other correspondence, documents or applications. Correspondence improperly directed to that address is re-routed, leading to processing delays.
January 05, 2006
The division of opinions on immigraiton in the U.S.
Here is an example of the division of opinions on immigration in the U.S. By Harold Meyerson, editor-at-large of The American Prospect; "The conventional wisdom is still unpersuaded that the Republican Party is about to mount a full-force attack on American's undocumented immigrants -- of whom, by some counts, there are 11 million. After all, the Republicans are the party of employers -- large (agribusiness), medium (construction companies), and small (restaurateurs) -- who have long depended on immigrants for cheap labor."
For more go to; http://www.prospect.org/web/view-web.ww?id=10789
January 04, 2006
Santillan v. Gonzales: Permanent Injunction
A California District Court entered a permanent injunction requiring the DHS to issue documentation of lawful status within a set time period after a class member appears at their local USCIS office and requests documentation.
January 03, 2006
The Trouble with Immigration Courrts
There was an article in the Miami Herald about how "Federal appeals-court judges have been severely criticizing immigration judges for their intemperate remarks, poor decision-making and humiliating comments about immigrants -- and deservedly so. The blunt assessment reflects a need for reforms in the system that determines the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. But immigration judges mustn't shoulder responsibility alone for biased and unintelligible asylum rulings that are routinely overturned by federal courts".
For more got to; http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/13536727.htm
January 02, 2006
Start of the year
This year my office will continue to work improving our technology and immigration reform. I enjoy my job because personally I advocate for the same issues. They say you should look for a job which makes you happy. In practicing immigration law I have found happiness.
January 01, 2006
Goal for 2006 Immigration reform
The principal goal for 2006 is to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. This can be done by expanding our network and using current technology. The trick is to find persons outside of the pro-immigration supports. Preaching to the choir will not bring about the result we desire. Rather the goal will be to convert the undecided to support their own interests.