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June 30, 2006

Rep. Chris Cannon, a conservative advocate of immigrant rights, bests critic John Jacob

A good sign from this election; the anti-immigration candidate loses;

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times staff writer, June 28, 2006

"Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) staved off a primary challenge Tuesday night, defeating an opponent who attacked him for backing President Bush's guest worker program. Cannon, a conservative who has been a longtime advocate of immigrants' rights, had 56% of the vote over John Jacob's, 44%, with 89% of the vote counted.

The contest highlighted the split in the GOP over illegal immigration. Cannon was targeted by a political action committee founded by fellow Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) that dubbed the incumbent the "king of amnesty." A longtime target of anti-immigration groups, Cannon found himself so threatened this year that President Bush and his father urged voters to back the congressman.

Cannon framed his victory as a choice for a pragmatic solution on immigration reform. "A lot of money got spent here by outside groups, by people who had a vested interest in not solving the immigration problem," Cannon said in an interview after Jacob conceded. "People here in Utah looked at it and said 'we want to solve the problem".

At; www.latimes.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2006

The viewing for Hispanic Civil Rights Leader Juan Vasquez

The viewing for Hispanic Civil Rights Leaders, Thomas and Juan Vasquez will take place on Thursday June 29, 2006 from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Followed by a prayer vigil from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The family extents an invitation to all to join them for the funeral on Friday June 30, 2006. The funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m.

All services will take place at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 709 Franklin St. Clarksville TN, with Father Ed Stiner and Pastor Tommy Vallejos officiating.

There will be a reception with the family at the church following the burial. All flowers and cards can be sent to McReynolds-Nave & Larson Funeral Home, 1209 Madison Street Clarksville, TN 37040.

All (URGENTLY NEEDED) monetary donations for the family can be given at any US Bank location in Clarksville in the name of:

“The Juan & Thomas Vasquez Memorial Fund”. All funds will be used to help pay for the funeral cost to the family.

Thank you for all your support!

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

Remember the Alamo video

At the AILA annual conference I visited the Alamo with my wife Iris. This historic site is located in San Antonio, Texas. The site commemorates where 200 Texan volunteers fought against the Mexican Army of Santa Ana. The battle ended on March 6, 1836 when the 2,000 Mexicans overwhelmed the smaller Texan force. The conflict began when the dictatorship of San Ana proposed to take away the citizenship of Texans. The reasons sound familiar in today times; the new immigrants (Texans) did not speak the language (Spanish) did not know the customs (Mexican) bought in diseases and where taking economic opportunities from the natives. After the battle the cry to remember the Alamo was used to rally Texans against Santa Ana. The proposal to deprive the Texans of their Mexican citizenship started the revolution which ultimately led to Texas becoming independent from Mexico. I have place a video of me visiting the Alamo at youtube.com for you to see;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8auN_VqFMOU

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006

We are America Alliance

Starting on July 1 – Democracy Summer – the We Are America Alliance will kick off Democracy Summer activities to help a million eligible individuals become citizens and voters. For more information go to;

www.weareamericaalliance.orgRead below to find an event happening in

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2006

Congressional Immigration Stunts

In the Washington Times there is an article by Ruben Navarrette Jr., Sunday, June 25, 2006; Page B07

"After we reform immigration policy, let's do something really useful. Like reform Congress. Apparently, the august institution is more broken than the U.S.-Mexican border.

Just how broken became evident last week after two really strange occurrences, each showing that members of Congress will duck their responsibility to solve tough problems if so doing gives them a weapon with which to bludgeon opponents or even members of their own party with whom they disagree".

At; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/23/AR2006062301503.html

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

June 26, 2006

Tapia-Ruano Installed as First Hispanic President of AILA

Press Release on June 22, 2006 from George Tzamaras, 202-216-2410
gtzamaras@aila.org

SAN ANTONIO, TX - Carlina Tapia-Ruano of Chicago was installed as President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) today during the association's 50th Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. Tapia-Ruano is the first Hispanic to be elected to this position in the 60 year history of AILA. An expert in various areas of immigration law including business, consular practice, deportation, employer sanctions, family, and naturalization Tapia-Ruano has served as a leading AILA spokesperson on these issues.

Currently, she is the head of the Chicago law firm of Tapia-Ruano & Gunn P.C. and for 25 years has concentrated her practice in family and employment based immigration law and represents clients before the immigration and federal courts.

Tapia-Ruano is a native of Cuba who immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee. Prior to entering the United States, her father was an attorney and her mother worked as an administrator in the Cuban White House. After entering the U.S., her father worked in a factory and her mother was employed as a domestic. Eventually both of her parents became Methodist ministers in the Midwest.

Tapia-Ruano received her BA degree magna cum laud from Illinois Wesleyan University and her J.D. from DePaul College of Law. She has written extensively on various topics related to immigration law and serves as an adjunct professor of immigration law at the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent School of Law and the DePaul College of Law. To schedule an interview with Tapia-Runao contact George Tzamaras at 202-216-2410 or at gtzamaras@aila.org

###AILA###

Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, professional services and expertise. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration, as well as providing liaison with other government agencies in support of pro-immigration initiatives. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association and is represented in the ABA House of Delegates.

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

June 25, 2006

AILA conference farewell party

On Saturday my wife and I visited the Riverwalk downtown The hotel connected to a mall which led to the riverwalk. There are walkways along both sides. We had a great time strolling along the canal. Later we ate at Brazilian restaurant and enjoyed the music. The AILA attorneys and staff danced and partied until the wee hours. It was great and refreshing to see the group motivated for the effort ahead.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2006

Naturalization & Citizenship Panel

Today I participated in a naturalization and citizenship panel with Mo Goldman, Judith Cooper, Kim Hunter. They are fellow AILA attorneys selected for the panel. The presentation was given to hundreds of AILA attorneys. The panel lasted for one and half hours. This is the second panel discussion I have participated in at the conference. To prepare for the discussion I studied the lastest news on immigration. I enjoyed helping the young attorneys.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2006

PERM and river walk in San Antonio

On Thursday attended the AILA conference to learn more about PERM. There were two workshops on PERM labor certification. I visited the vendors and the various items to assist with the legal practice. I also took time to visit the River walk with my wife Iris. We took a boat tour of the river walk. San Antonio has a great canal system downtown to see the city. We walked the entire canal.

More to come

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2006

Immigration reform panel

On Wednesday I arrived in san antonio with my wife Iris to attend the American Immigration Lawyers Association 60th annual conference. After checking into the hotel and conference we went to the panel.

AILA advocacy was there in full force; Marshall Fitz, director, Jenny Levy, grassroots, Rizwan Hassan, Robert Sakaniwa, Laura Reiff, Lori Chesser, Peter Ashman and I.

The discussion was great; ideas were presented on various ways to influence reform. Marshall stated that in addition to our allies we need to seek out businesses. They represent networks of people and capital. Their interests are the same as ours. This will be the focus for the work ahead.
This is my first panel of the week. I will be posting all week.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

USCIS Director To Deliver Keynote Address at San Antonio Naturalization Ceremony

USCIS DIRECTOR EMILIO T. GONZALEZ TO WELCOME MORE THAN 200 NEW AMERICANS IN SAN ANTONIO

Outstanding Americans by Choice to be Recognized

SAN ANTONIO - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Director Emilio T. Gonzalez will deliver the keynote address during a special ceremony Thursday, June 22, at the Institute of Texan Cultures. The Honorable John W. Primono, United States Magistrate Judge will preside over the ceremony and swearing- in 235 San Antonio-area residents as United States citizens in a special session of the United States District Court. Felix Velazquez, USCIS District Adjudicator will be the Officer-in Charge of the ceremony.

As part of the ceremony, Director Gonzalez will present San Antonio residents and naturalized citizens, Caitriona Lyons, and Marion T. Primono, with the "Outstanding American by Choice" certificate. This special USCIS honor recognizes the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens who have demonstrated their commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.

Other recipients of this recognition include U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, California Congressman Tom Lantos, and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

NOTE: Immediately following the ceremony, U.S. Magistrate Judge Primono, Director Gonzalez, and San Antonio, District Director Pasquarell, will hold a media availability.
EVENT: Naturalization Ceremony
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, June 22, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. (Media Advance 1:30 p.m.)
LOCATION: Institute of Texan Cultures
801 South Bowie Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

USCIS
Office of Communications
20 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20529
Office: (202) 272-1219
Cell: (202) 329-8978

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

Republican Leaders: Broad Immigration Bill Unlikely

By David Espo, AP Special Correspondent , The Associated Press, June 20, 2006, 11:41PM

“WASHINGTON — In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House and conservatives' implacable opposition to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

"Our number one priority is to secure the border, and right now I haven't heard a lot of pressure to have a path to citizenship," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announcing plans for an unusual series of hearings around the nation to begin in August on Senate-passed immigration legislation”.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/politics/3988387.html

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:21 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2006

Here Illegally, Working Hard and Paying Taxes

By Eduardo Porter in the New York Times;

"... Most illegal immigrants now work for mainstream companies and are hired and paid like any other worker.
More than half of the estimated seven million immigrants toiling illegally in the United States get a regular paycheck every week or two, experts say. At the end of the year they receive a W-2 form. Come April 15, many file income tax returns using special ID numbers issued by the Internal Revenue Service so foreigners can pay taxes.

Some even get a refund check in the mail. And they are now present in low-skilled jobs across the country. Illegal immigrants account for 12 percent of workers in food preparation occupations, for instance, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center. In total, they account for an estimated one in 20 workers in the United States...".

At; www.nytime.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2006

USCIS Updates H-1B Count for U.S. Advanced Degree Graduates

From AILA;

USCIS indicates that it has received as of 6/9/06 7,324 H-1B petitions for fiscal 2007 for graduates of U.S. advanced degree programs against a "target" pool of 21,000. Note particularly footnote 3, which indicates that the numbers include only receipted petitions and that USCIS is behind in receipting.

At; http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/services/tempbenefits/cap.htm

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2006

myspace

As part of my effort to expand my reach on the web I have joined myspace .com. This site allows you to post information on the web. It is a social networking site.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2006

youtube account and video

Youtube.com allows you to post videos for free. This is a great way to add videos to supplement my visa blog. See a meg with Nadja Riess on becoming a U.S. citizen.

Mario Ramos

At; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4vt7t709JU

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2006

GOP vs. GOP on Borders

By David S. Broder, Washington Post, Thursday, June 15, 2006; A27

"Out of the past and into the current controversy dividing the Republican Party came former California governor Pete Wilson, charging into Washington this week to argue that he had been right all along in trying to slam the door on illegal immigration.

Far from dooming Republicans to a series of defeats in the most populous state, Wilson argued, his championing in 1994 of Proposition 187, denying health care and educational services to illegal immigrants and their children, anticipated the kind of hard-line policy many Republicans endorsed this year.

The old Marine, as unyielding now at 72 as he was during his eight years as governor, may not be the spokesman the embattled House Republicans would choose for their fight with the White House and the Senate over the immigration reform bill now headed for conference committee. Wilson is blamed by many Republicans, including those around President Bush, for so alienating the growing Hispanic vote in California that the state's hoard of electoral votes has moved permanently into the Democratic column..."

at; washpost.com

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

June 15, 2006

ICE apprehends more than 2,100 criminal aliens, gang members, fugitives and other immigration violators in nationwide interior enforcement operation

Press Release

For Immediate Release, Office of the Press Secretary, Contact: ICE Public Affairs, (202) 514-2648, (832) 423-9395, June 14, 2006

“Houston, Texas – Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), today announced that ICE agents and officers have apprehended approximately 2,179 criminal aliens, illegal alien gang members, fugitive aliens, and other immigration status violators as part of a nationwide interior immigration enforcement operation that began last month.
Dubbed “Operation Return to Sender,” the initiative began on May 26, 2006 and concluded yesterday. Virtually every field office in the nation from ICE’s Office of Investigations and ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal Operations carried out the enforcement operation in conjunction with numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.

Among the roughly 2,179 individuals arrested in the operation, roughly half had criminal records for crimes that ranged from sexual assault of a minor to assault with a deadly weapon, to abduction. For example, approximately 146 of those arrested had convictions for sexual offenses involving minors. In addition, roughly 367 of the arrested aliens were members or associates of violent street gangs, including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). Finally, roughly 640 of those arrested were fugitive aliens who had been issued final orders of removal by an Immigration judge but failed to comply….”

At; http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?content=5689

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

June 14, 2006

flickr account

I have opened a account at flickr.com to post photos. Here is a photo of Rolando Lucio and I when he became a U.S. citizen. I will be posting more photos in the future.

Mario Ramos

At; http://www.flickr.com/photos/94572700@N00/166605571/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:20 PM | Comments (0)

400 to 1!! Anti-Immigrant Calls to Congress Outnumbering CIR

Advocates 400 to 1! Call and Email Today!!

Restrictionists are flooding Congressional phone lines and email inboxes with angry demands that their Senators and Representatives vote against any legislation that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Their calls for an enforcement-only immigration policy are louder and more aggressive than ever and there are 400 of them for every 1 call from us.

The 400 to 1 intensity of the opposition to comprehensive immigration reform is expected to crescendo into the November elections, making it a likely voting issue at the polls. We cannot stop fighting now. We cannot let the restrictionists hijack this national debate by painting the Senate compromise as amnesty. We cannot be silent while they scream.

Please, continue to fight for workable immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in the US. Start by emailing your Senators to thank them for supporting S. 2611 or to rebuke them for opposing it. Next, call your US Representative to express support for comprehensive immigration reform. The Congressional Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Then, encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same.

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

June 13, 2006

President Creates Task Force on New Americans by Executive Order

The White House, President George W. Bush

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 7, 2006

Executive Order: Task Force on New Americans

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to strengthen the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security and Federal, State, and local agencies to help legal immigrants embrace the common core of American civic culture, learn our common language, and fully become Americans, it is hereby ordered...

At; \http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/06/20060607-4.html

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

June 12, 2006

Mohawk Industries v. Williams

In LawMemo.com there is discussion of the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Mohawk Industries v. Williams (Docket No. 05-465)

Employee vs. employer civil RICO case remanded to the 11th Circuit.
June 5, 2006

PER CURIAM.
The writ of certiorari limited to Question 1 presented by the petition, granted at 546 U. S. ___ (2005), is dismissed as improvidently granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit for further consideration in light of Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp., ante, p. ___.

This is case " Williams and other hourly employees alleged that the employer's widespread and knowing employment and harboring of illegal workers allowed the employer to depress wages for its legal hourly employees and to discourage workers compensation claims - all in violation of the federal RICO statute. The trial court denied the employer's motion to dismiss; the 11th Circuit affirmed; the US Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the 11th Circuit decision, and then dismissed the writ "as improvidently granted," and remanded to the 11th Circuit for further consideration in light of Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp (US Supreme Court 06/05/2006).

In the Anza case the Supreme Court held that a RICO plaintiff alleging mail fraud must prove that the alleged violation was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injury, which requires "some direct relation between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct alleged."

In Mohawk, plaintiffs alleged that the employer (a corporation) was part of a separate RICO "enterprise" made up of a combination of the employer plus recruiting agencies, with common purpose of hiring and harboring illegal workers. The key issue during the Supreme Court arguments was whether a corporation can be part of a RICO "association-in-fact" separate "enterprise." The 11th Circuit concluded that the "enterprise" is the association-in-fact between the employer and the third-party recruiters. The Supreme Court sidestepped that issue".


At; http://www.lawmemo.com/docs/us/mohawk/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 11, 2006

AILA Advocacy at the 2006 Annual Conference

Advocacy staff will be in San Antonio for the AILA Annual Conference and we invite you to attend our Wednesday evening Practice Roundtable: Comprehensive Immigration Reform- Lessons Learned. Outstanding AILA Advocates Peter Ashman, Lori Chesser, Mario Ramos, and Laura Reiff will discuss the work they have done in their communities to advocate for CIR. The roundtable will be an opportunity for participants to learn how other AILA members engaged in community coalitions, spoke on live radio, built relationships with local chambers of commerce, and raised community awareness about the need for comprehensive reform.

The Advocacy Practice Roundtable is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, from 6:30 - 8:30pm in Room 213 of the Convention Center

AILA Advocacy staff are eager to meet you and hope you'll stop by our booth in the exhibit hall! We'll be there with our most up-to-date legislative updates and talking points about CIR. Come on over and introduce yourself!

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2006

The H-1B Cap Must be Increased! Call Congress Today!

As you know, USCIS announced on June 1, 2006, that the FY 2007 numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for temporary professional workers has been exhausted, four full months before the start of the fiscal year. This means that U.S. companies will lose access for over a year to highly educated foreign professionals vital to their businesses. This is the fourth year in a row that the cap has been reached, and the eighth time since 1997.

But this need not be the case. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (S. 2611) passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006, offers a permanent solution to this now annual problem. Among many positive provisions in the bill, S. 2611 solves the H-1B cap problem by:

· increasing the H-1B cap from 65,000 to a more realistic 115,000 per fiscal year
· providing for a market-based cap escalator that takes effect in years when U.S. employers have an increased need for more H-1B professionals
· creating an exemption from the overall H-1B cap for those foreign professionals who have earned a medical specialty certification through post-doctoral U.S. training and experience
· creating an exemption from the overall H-1B cap for those foreign professionals who have earned a U.S. master's or higher degree

Call your Senators and Representatives now and urge them to support the H-1B provisions in the Senate bill, provisions that reflect our nation's need for highly educated foreign professionals and provide U.S. employers with immediate relief from the year-long H-1B blackout they now face. Enabling the best and brightest from around the globe to contribute their skills and knowledge to the U.S. economy is good for American workers, American businesses, and our long-term economic health.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2006

Immigration Scare-Tactics: Exaggerated Estimates of New Immigration Under S. 2611

Here is a Policy Spotlight from AILA;

The Immigration Policy Center's new report explains how the debate over S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, has been clouded by grossly exaggerated estimates of the likely scale of future immigration under the bill. Some critics of S. 2611 have claimed that the bill would unleash a veritable flood of anywhere from 66 million to 217 million new immigrants into the United States over the next 20 years. In contrast to the dire predictions of some of the bill's opponents, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the U.S. population would grow by about 7.8 million over the next 10 years under S. 2611. This total takes into account undocumented immigrants who acquire legal status, guest workers, other immigrants who enter the country through family-based or employment-based channels, and any children born to immigrants after they arrive.

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

June 08, 2006

USCIS Posts Updated FY07 H-1B US Advanced Degree Cap Usage Figures

USCIS has updated its website with revised figures for H-1B advanced degree usage for FY 2007. As of 6/2/06, 6,599 visa petitions have been granted or are pending. This figure does not account for cases received at VSC after 6/2/06 which have not been entered into the computer.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2006

AILA on Reaching of H-1B Cap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 1, 2006
CONTACT: George Tzamaras, 202-216-2410 gtzamaras@aila.org

H-1B VISAS CAP REACHED
Once Again Arbitrary Cap is Damaging US Businesses Ability to Hire Global Talent

WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 1 - The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced today that it has met the 65,000 H-1B congressionally mandated cap for the 2007 fiscal year, which means that companies that need workers with critical skills will have to wait more than a year before they can obtain this needed expertise. "This is unprecedented. It marks the second year in a row that the H-1B cap has been prematurely reached said Deborah J. Notkin, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). "It is another example of the country's broken immigration system and why we need Congress to pass the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill which solves this annual dilemma."

"It's just more bad news for American employers," continued Notkin. "The exhaustion of this fiscal year's H-1B visas impedes growth and innovation, and makes it more difficult for U.S. businesses to stay competitive. Some employers are sending work overseas, because there are not enough qualified Americans. A workable H-1B program with an increased initial limit and flexibility to adjust the limit based on economic conditions would give U.S. employers access to the talent they need and help retain jobs in America diminishing the need for off-shoring."

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa category allows U.S. employers to augment the existing labor force with highly skilled international workers, such as research scientists, to provide expertise to American companies for temporary periods. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years.

The H-1B visa is utilized by U.S. businesses and other organizations to employ international workers in specialty occupations that require specialized expertise. Typical H-1B occupations include scientists, architects, engineers, systems analysts, accountants, doctors, and college professors.

###AILA###
Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides its Members with continuing legal education, information, professional services and expertise. AILA advocates before Congress and the Administration, as well as providing liaison with other government agencies in support of pro-immigration initiatives. AILA is an Affiliated Organization of the American Bar Association and is represented in the ABA House of Delegates.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2006

H1-B visa cap reached

There is an article by George Joseph in New York, June 03, 2006 in Rediff.com

"The H1-B visa numbers did not last even two months before the cap was reached on May 26. US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on June 1 that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the Congressionally mandated cap for Financial Year 2007, which begins in October.

This means that people who want to file regular H1-B visas will have to wait until next April, unless Congress increases the numbers in the Immigration Bill, which is currently under its consideration".

At; http://inhome.rediff.com/money/2006/jun/03visa.htm

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2006

Immigration reform: Building costs could soar

By Jon Birger and Jenny Mero, Fortune Magazine, May 31, 2006

"For the home building industry, the immigration debate raging in Washington is anything but abstract. It's the biggest issue nobody wants to talk about.

Frank Fuentes, president of the Hispanic Contractors Association, queried his 20 largest member firms about speaking with FORTUNE, and not one was willing.

"They're scared to death of being raided," says Fuentes.

By FORTUNE's estimate, up to 40 percent of new-home construction in the U.S. is being done wholly or partly by undocumented immigrants. Fuentes suspects the percentage in his home state of Texas is closer to 80 percent".


At; http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2006

A Post-Mortem On Fiscal 2007 H-1B Count

This in from AILA;

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 06060270 (posted Jun. 2, 2006)"

Questions are pouring in asking how it could be that on May 25th USCIS indicated that there were as many as 12,000 H-1B quota numbers available, and on May 26th, there were none. As of Wednesday morning, June 1st, USCIS had just finished data-entering cases that were received on May 25th, and began data-entering cases received on May 26th. During the entry of May 26th cases, the cap was reached, making it appear that 12,000 cases arrived overnight.

AILA has inquired into this oddity, and it appears that the problem lies in the processing of filings by the USCIS at the VSC. When the USCIS went to Bi-Specialization filing effective April 1, 2006, VSC was unable to handle the volume of cases it was receiving, because all I-129 case types were to be sent to the VSC, leading to data-entry and receipting backlogs from early on. VSC data-entry and receipting remained backlogged, leading to the lag between delivery of a petition to VSC and its entry into the system. As USCIS updated its cap-count reports, the volume of cases sent to VSC increased, further contributing to the backlog in data-entry and receipting. The cap count reports posted by USCIS failed to mention that not all cases received had been input into the system, and that thus the counts did not include all cases received as of the report dates. Ultimately, the combination of the existing backlog in data entry and the volume of new cases delivered last week made it appear that 12,000 cases arrived overnight.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

AILA Executive Committee; Senate Bill Statement

Here is the AILA position on the Senate Immigration reform bill;

May 31, 2006

Dear Colleagues:

As happens with any significant piece of legislation, interested organizations have begun to articulate their institutional positions in the wake of S. 2611's passage. These views and perspectives have led some to ask where AILA stands on all of this. So we wanted to take a moment to share our views about the bill that passed and what we think is likely to happen next.

We do not share the view expressed by some that this bill is catastrophically bad. Some have categorically rejected any legislation that includes any sort of temporary worker program, and these same groups and others reject any legislation that does not provide full permanent legal status for all undocumented persons, without regard to any "cut-off date" or time in the United States. Some of these groups also opposed the 1986 IRCA legalization program, either because it contained a 4-year "cut off date" or because it contained a new employer sanctions regime.

The Senate bill plainly has serious defects, including several onerous enforcement measures such as mandatory detention, expanded expedited removal, expanded aggravated felony definitions and other criminal grounds of removal, and potential bars to any new legalization programs for those who used fraudulent documents. Several onerous measures were soundly defeated and reversed in committee markup and subsequent floor debate. We won successful amendments to strike retroactivity provisions, strike bars to judicial review, strike bars to stays of removal, strike and modify certain document and passport fraud provisions. We also won amendments to eliminate new criminalization of the undocumented and to provide waivers from smuggling charges for humanitarian assistance. To be sure, onerous enforcement measures are still part of the Senate package. But we do not believe they should be overstated. Loosely conflating the Senate bill with the House Sensenbrenner bill, as many groups continue to do, is not helpful. Senate bill S. 2611 is still serving an important purpose as a bulwark defending us from enactment of H.R. 4437.

Perhaps more importantly, we do not believe the positive aspects of the Senate bill should be understated.

To name just a few of the positive measures, the Senate bill includes:

-- AgJobs (after 8 years of advocacy),
-- DREAM Act (after more than 5 years of advocacy),
-- a broad temporary worker program with significant labor protections including a path to permanent residence and the ability to self-petition,
-- a path to legalization for millions of current undocumented workers and families,
-- a large increase in family-based immigrant visa numbers,
-- a large increase in employment-based immigrant visas numbers,
-- significant reforms to the high-skilled immigration programs, and
-- reversal of the BIA streamlining rules.

Whether these positive measures are outweighed by the provisions of concern is an issue over which reasonable minds can and do disagree. AILA has not yet taken a formal position on how that balancing calculus computes, and for good reason: we believe it is unnecessary and premature. Our strategy in the Senate was to produce the most generous, most comprehensive bill possible to serve as a counterweight to H.R. 4437 and to serve as a precedent for the future. While the Senate bill that passed is imperfect, it nonetheless exceeded our expectations in terms of the benefits it offers.

We believe that passage of S. 2611 puts opponents of H.R. 4437 in a significantly stronger position than we would have been if the bill had stalled in the Senate. We continue to believe that the House will refuse to pass any conference report that contains a legalization component; the Senate has now committed itself to several broad legalization measures. Our goal is to ensure that the Senate stays strong and committed to its approach, a goal we cannot achieve by attacking their bill.

There will be a great deal of discussion in the coming weeks as the House and Senate decide whether there is any possibility to "conference" their two wildly diverging bills. Whatever happens, we must keep the pressure up in support of the Senate holding firm to the important positive provisions in the Senate bill, and to insist that the Senate reject any conference product that eviscerates the positive elements listed above. Meanwhile, we will also continue to work to improve the Senate bill, and especially to insist that any provisions that undermine the legalization programs be fixed.

If the Senate holds firm, then the likely result this year will be a stalemate between the House and the Senate.

Let's not lose sight of one additional important reality: the House is going to continue pressing for strong enforcement-only measures that undermine due process for noncitizens. H.R. 4437 simply represents the most significant looming threat. We can be certain to see pieces of H.R. 4437 offered up as amendments to moving appropriations vehicles and one of our best weapons against those encroachments will be the Senate's rejection of an enforcement-only or enforcement-first approach.

Sincerely,

AILA Executive Committee

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2006

Bush Chides Party Members on Immigration

There is an article in the New York Times by Sheryl Gay Stolberg published June 2, 2006;

"WASHINGTON, June 1 — Beginning a public relations offensive intended to prod divided Congressional Republicans into overhauling the nation's immigration laws, President Bush rebuked conservative opponents of his plan on Thursday and warned that there is "no excuse" for delay.

With Congress set to return to Washington on Monday after a one-week recess, some Republicans have suggested they may fare better at the polls in November if the House and Senate wait until after Election Day to reconcile their vastly different immigration bills.

But Mr. Bush made clear in a speech at the United States Chamber of Commerce that he did not want Congress to wait. Next week, the president will take his case for what he calls "comprehensive immigration reform" on the road, with appearances in New Mexico and Nebraska.

"The House and Senate bill will require effort and compromise on both sides," Mr. Bush told a friendly audience gathered at the chamber's headquarters, across the street from the White House. "It's a difficult task. Yet the difficulty of this task is no excuse for avoiding it."

At; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/02/washington/02bush.html?th&emc=th

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

June 02, 2006

Senate candidate Ed Bryant Visits US/Mexican Border:

Dear all,

I received this from the Ed Bryant campaign for U.S. Senate;
info@edbryantforsenate.com;

"Helps Minutemen Build Fence, Discusses Illegal Immigration Crisis with Leaders of Local Law Enforcement and Federal Border Security

BRENTWOOD, TN - Republican U.S. Senate candidate today visited with the Minutemen in Arizona and helped them construct a fence to keep out illegal immigrants and drug smugglers from entering the United States. Bryant, a former federal prosecutor and four-term Congressman, held a statewide conference call with Minuteman Civil Defense Corps Vice President Carmen Mercer and Cochise, AZ County Sheriff Larry Dever. On Monday in the Tri-Cities, Bryant will unveil the first part of his plan "Securing Tennessee's Future" by laying out a detailed, innovative and real solution for the illegal immigration crisis...".

If you want to learn about Carmen Mercer there is an article titled "Guardian of the Green Card, Warrior Against Illegal Immigration Sees Signs of Trouble All Around Her by Carol Morello, Ernesto Londoño and Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writers, Wednesday, February 8, 2006; Page B01,

... Carmen Mercer; moved to Tombstone in 1992 after a divorce from a soldier ended the migration from base to base -- Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Germany and Arizona -- so common to military life. They'd met when he was stationed in Germany, where Mercer was born and raised in a small town near Cologne.

She might never have become a U.S. citizen had she not been kicked off a local planning and zoning committee in Arizona when it was discovered she was not. In 1999, almost a quarter-century after coming to the United States, she was naturalized. She remembers being one of about 500 people naturalized that day." Two of us were from Germany, one was Russian, one was Japanese and two were from Korea," said Mercer, who speaks with only the slightest hint of a German accent and thinks and dreams in English. "The rest, about 480 of them, were from Mexico..."

At; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020701964.html

To learn about the Minuteman there is an article on the Southern Law Poverty website;

“Minuteman leader has troubled past “ by Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse who are senior writers for the Intelligence Project's quarterly magazine, the Intelligence Report.

”Simcox is at the height of his great adventure. He is president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide, anti-immigration vigilante organization with armed "citizen border patrols" in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with a smattering of states on the Canadian border where Minutemen have deployed to protect America from northern invaders.

Simcox has said he moved to Los Angeles from New York (where he relates that he was mugged twice by people who didn't speak English) because he wanted to be a movie star. He didn't make it as an actor. But he's famous now. Hailed as a hero within the anti-immigration movement, Simcox has testified before Congress and been interviewed, repeatedly, on CNN.

A frequent guest on the Fox News show "Hannity & Colmes," Simcox travels the country giving paid lectures at anti-immigration conferences where he receives standing ovations and accolades from other celebrity extremists”.

At; http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?pid=166&site_area=1

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

June 01, 2006

H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2007

USCIS announced on June 1, 2006, that it had received sufficient H-1B petitions to fulfill the fiscal 2007 quota as of May 26, 2006. Any cap-subject petitions received after that date will be returned. Petitions received on that date will be subject to a "random selection process."

This is the earliest that the H-1B quota has ever been reached: less than two months after the agency started accepting petitions and more than four months before the fiscal year even begins. USCIS had last updated its count on May 25, 2006. As of the morning of June 1, it was still data-entering filings received on May 26.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)