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September 30, 2006

AILA Acknowledges Tenth Anniversary of IIRIRA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--- Saturday, September 30th marks the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), a vast and controversial law that has done little to reform our immigration system and much to create hardship and suffering for thousands of immigrants and their U.S. families.

"I find it both ironic and disturbing that just this week, we witnessed this Congress attempting to pass yet another set of harsh immigration laws," said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "Punitive, rights-stripping measures do nothing to enhance the quality of life in or the security of our great country."

"IIRIRA mandates detention and deportation of whole classes of immigrants, without regard for the hardships that it will cause," said Chicago-based immigration lawyer and activist Royal Berg. "It is anti-immigrant, anti-family, and anti-child. It must be revisited and repealed."

According to Mr. Berg, the law also blocks judicial review of many decisions that the federal government makes regarding immigrants, resulting in the impartial analysis of how the government treats this already powerless population.

Over its ten year history, IIRIRA has been responsible for more than 200,000 deportations, and tens of millions of dollars spent on the detention of immigrants. Many of the immigrants affected by the long reach of IIRIRA had built lives in the United States, complete with spouses, children and other family members that are American citizens. In one sweep of the law these families were separated and their lives destroyed.

In order to call attention to the ominous consequences of this law, Mr. Berg is calling for a National Fast for Immigrant Justice on Saturday, September 30. This date also marks the 44th anniversary of the creation of the United Farm Workers Union; therefore the Fast is being dedicated to Cesar Chavez. Delores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez, is the Chairperson of the Fast.

Berg said that he decided to call for a fast because he sees the way that the marches and rallies are running into a brick wall. "AILA commends Roy for his efforts to raise awareness about these serious issues, and we too continue to strive for an improved immigration system that is founded upon just laws and more humane treatment of the individuals that it affects," concluded Tapia-Ruano.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. For more information please contact George Tzamaras at 202-216-2410 or Brooke Hewson at 202-216-2435.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2006

Pickers Are Few, and Growers Blame Congress

By Julia Preston, NY Times, Lakeport, Ca;

“The pear growers here in Lake County waited decades for a crop of shapely fruit like the one that adorned their orchards last month.

“I felt like I went to heaven,” said Nick Ivicevich, recalling the perfection of his most abundant crop in 45 years of tending trees.
Now harvest time has passed and tons of pears have ripened to mush on their branches, while the ground of Mr. Ivicevich’s orchard reeks with rotting fruit. He and other growers in Lake County, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, could not find enough pickers.

Stepped-up border enforcement kept many illegal Mexican migrant workers out of California this year, farmers and labor contractors said, putting new strains on the state’s shrinking seasonal farm labor force.

Labor shortages have also been reported by apple growers in Washington and upstate New York. Growers have gone from frustrated to furious with Congress, which has all but given up on passing legislation this year to create an agricultural guest-worker program.
Last week, 300 growers representing every major agricultural state rallied on the front lawn of the Capitol carrying baskets of fruit to express their ire”.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2006

Senate Appropriators Block Harsh Enforcement Provisions from Conference Agreement on DHS Funding

House and Senate negotiators, on 9/25/06, agreed on a $34.8 billion conference report to fund the DHS in FY 2007 (H.R. 5441). This sum is an increase of $2.3 billion above fiscal year 2006 and $2.7 billion above the President’s request (includes $1.8 in emergency spending). The conference agreement is expected to be cleared by both chambers by the end of the week. Thanks in part to the work of AILA members, a group of Senate appropriators prevented the inclusion in the conference report of harsh immigration enforcement measures that House Republicans attempted to attach to it.

The agreement provides $21.3 billion for border protection, immigration enforcement, and related activities—a $2.1 billion increase over FY 2006. This figure includes $5.2 billion for the Secure Border Initiative which, the appropriations committee explains, will provide DHS “with the appropriate mix of technology, personnel, and infrastructure to prevent terrorists and other criminals from exploiting our borders and immigration system.” Highlights include:

* $2.77 billion for border patrol, adding 1,500 new Border Patrol agents, for a total of 14,800;
* $1.2 billion for border fencing, vehicle barriers, technology and infrastructure;
* $4.2 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);
* $3.1 billion for the Coast Guard’s homeland security missions;
* $1.38 billion for ICE custody operations, adding 6,700 detention beds, for a total of 27,500;
* $28.2 million to assist state and local efforts to enforce immigration law;
* $238 million for transportation and removal of undocumented aliens;
* $600 million for Air and Marine Operations for border and airspace security;
* $183 million for a total of 75 fugitive operations teams nation-wide, an increase of 23;
* $137 million for the Criminal Alien Program;
* $44 million for Alternatives to Detention;
* $362 million for the US-VISIT program; and
* $135 million to support immigration verification systems.

Appropriators also agreed to add language criminalizing the construction of cross-border tunnels, and extending the deadline for implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) from January 1, 2008, to June 1, 2009.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

URGENT: Habeas Corpus under Attack!

Immediate action is needed to preserve due process rights. The Senate is currently debating amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (S. 3901). The existing Senate bills on military tribunals would strip the rights of certain non-citizens to challenge their detention in a court of law.

An amendment offered by Senator Specter would reinstate habeas corpus and preserve core democratic rights. This amendment could be debated any minute. Please contact your Senators immediately and urge them to vote Yes on the Specter amendment.

Visit the Center for Constitutional Rights to call or email your Senators and learn more about the Specter Amendment.

Action needed immediately!


Marshall Fitz
Director of Advocacy, AILA

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2006

Border Bills Come Down to Last Minute

By Nicole Gaouette, Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2006

“There is bipartisan resistance to the House legislation before the Senate. Much of it may die as Congress prepares for a recess in a week.

WASHINGTON — The Senate will begin considering a series of House bills this week aimed at strengthening border security and toughening enforcement of immigration laws, but given the cool reception the measures are getting from many senators, it appears unlikely that much of the legislation will pass.

The bills, which include proposals to fence a third of the U.S.-Mexico border and allow state and local police to enforce immigration law, have raised hackles in the Senate for both political and policy reasons, and senior Republicans, as well as Democrats, have indicated they are not likely to support them.

With one week left before Congress adjourns, time is short to pass any immigration bills. The outcome will rest in part on closed-door decisions that committee chairs and Senate leaders make early this week. The fate of some of the legislation could be decided as early as today.

House Republicans have promoted their legislation as a necessary step before other immigration issues, such as establishing a guest worker program, can be addressed.

But with elections in November, many in the Senate see the House effort as little more than a campaign ploy…”.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

Immigration Reform, in Pieces

There is an Editorial in the New York Times about the attempts by House Republicans to fool voters with false solutions about immigration reform. These attempts are reflected locally by Sheriff Hall who offers up custody as a solution;

“Published: September 26, 2006 This can’t be what President Bush had in mind when he gave a prime-time speech about immigration in May. “An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive,” he told the nation, “because all elements of this problem must be addressed together, or none of them will be solved at all.”

That was then. Now we have the Republican-controlled House passing a pre-election lineup of narrow enforcement measures packaged to give voters a false impression of resolve. Mr. Bush has even given up talking a good game on immigration: he says he will sign the Republican legislation as a “first step” toward the real reform he has said he wants but has done depressingly little to achieve.
Republican leaders want you to think they are hard at work overhauling the broken immigration system in the last days before going home. But don’t be fooled by the noise and dust. These are piecemeal rehashes of legislation the House passed last December. They include a 700-mile border fence that would cost more than $2 billion and would not work, and tough-sounding but profoundly undemocratic bills that would allow the indefinite detention of some illegal immigrants seeking asylum, make it easier to deport people without judicial review, and require voters to prove citizenship before participating in federal elections. The latter measure attacks an imaginary problem — voting fraud by illegal immigrants — and would disenfranchise countless Americans who are old and poor.

Among the most poisonous provisions is one that would give state and local police agencies authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Police departments big and small have bristled at the idea, saying they lack the expertise and the resources to enforce immigration law. They say it would cripple crime fighting by severing hard-won relationships with potential victims and witnesses: immigrants who will end up fearing and avoiding them.

But for every police chief who sees this as a foolish attack on law enforcement, there is a sheriff or local politician, like Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive on Long Island, who is just itching to seize control of his or her own little corner of the immigration battlefield. It’s an every-mayor-for-himself approach that would only worsen the ad hoc incoherence of the national immigration system”.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2006

A Minuteman Boosts Border Overhaul Reform

Here is an example of an unintended consequence; a win by a minuteman actually helps comprehensive immigration reform;

By Angie C. Marek, U.S. News & World Report, September 17, 2006
“An Arizona win puts immigration back in play

TUCSON, ARIZ.-A few weeks ago, it became suddenly clear that the Republican free-for-all primary in the southeastern corner of Arizona was anything but ordinary. Randy Graf--a former golf pro, state representative and cowboy-boots-clad founding member of the Minutemen border group--had vaulted into the lead with his focus on fixing what he called the "security crisis" at the border. Opponents attacked him as extreme, and the national Republican Party went so far as to buy at least $122,000 worth of ads for Graf's most formidable moderate challenger, state Rep. Steve Huffman.

It didn't work. Graf won last week, roiling some Republican circles and raising questions about the wisdom of the party's floundering immigration strategy. It has also put in jeopardy a precious House seat in a mostly moderate district that has been represented since 1984 by retiring Rep. Jim Kolbe, an abortion-rights centrist and the only openly gay Republican in Congress…”.


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

September 25, 2006

Competing for Global Talent: The Race Begins with Foreign Students

To retain its competitive edge in global knowledge production and its leadership in research and education, the United States must remain open to talented people from around the world. The question is, as global competition intensifies for professionals and high-tech workers, doctors and nurses, and university students and researchers, will the United States remain in the forefront in attracting the best and the brightest?

According to a recent study published by the Immigration Policy Center, the answer right now is no. In the study, researcher Jeanne Batalova of the Migration Policy Institute found that "the status of the United States as the preferred destination for foreign students and scholars faces serious challenges," challenges exacerbated by the attacks on September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. For instance, the study found that "[b]eginning in 2002/03 (the first academic year after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001) the annual growth rate of total and graduate-level enrollments by foreign students in U.S. colleges and universities fell significantly." Moreover, "[t]he decline in total foreign student enrollment in 2003/04 was the first in 30 years, while the decline in foreign graduate student enrollment in 2004/05 was the first in 9 years." Much of this, according to the report, can be attributed to the fact that "[t]ightened visa procedures and entry conditions for international students, which were implemented in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, have dampened the demand for student visas." Not surprisingly, this is particularly evident for students from Middle Eastern, North African, and certain Southeast Asian countries.

Complicating matters for the United States is undeniable evidence that other countries are picking up the slack. As the percentage of foreign students in the total student population continues to fall in the United States, it has doubled, and even tripled in other countries. And while many lawmakers in the United States seem slow to grasp the fundamental importance of attracting and retaining foreign students in order to increase our sagging global economic competiveness, officials in other countries "have been actively recruiting foreign talent in order to alleviate labor shortages in skill-intensive sectors of their economies, stimulate research and development, and increase their access to foreign markets," even changing and adapting their laws in order to facilitate this.

Visit the IPC online to read the full report, including the problems that will result if the United States maintains the status quo, and the author's recommendations for fixing this growing crisis.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2006

Immigration charges fly in race

The U.S. Senate race in Tennessee has become a race to see which candidate can be seen as more anti-immigrant. Bob Corker and Harold Ford Jr. have take extreme anti-immigration positions. Neither has addressed the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Here is an article by Bonna De La Cruz, Tennessean Staff Writer

"Corker disputes Ford accusation on illegal workers

LA VERGNE — U.S. Senate candidate Bob Corker is responsible for illegal immigrants who worked at his construction company's job site 18 years ago — federal law and government documents prove it, his opponent, Harold Ford Jr., said on Saturday.

Corker's campaign responded that Ford is "manufacturing" ridiculous allegations because he can't defend his own record as a Tennessee congressman casting votes that were soft on illegal immigrants.

The two men are sparring over immigration in their close race for the U.S. Senate, a contest that is getting national attention for its potential to tip the balance of power to the Democrats...".


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

Border Fence Must Skirt Objections From Arizona Tribe

There is an article in the New York Times by Randal C. Archibold, published: September 20, 2006 about the large gap in the proposed 700 mile fence with Mexico;

"Tohono O’odham Nation, Ariz., Sept. 14 — The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation to build a double-layered 700-mile-long fence on the Mexican border, a proposal already approved by the House.

If the fence is built, however, it could have a long gap — about 75 miles — at one of the border’s most vulnerable points because of opposition from the Indian tribe here.

More illegal immigrants are caught — and die trying to cross into the United States — in and around the Tohono O’odham Indian territory, which straddles the Arizona border, than any other spot in the state.
Tribal leaders have cooperated with Border Patrol enforcement, but they promised to fight the building of a fence out of environmental and cultural concerns.

For the Tohono O’odham, which means “desert people,” the reason is fairly simple. For generations, their people and the wildlife they revere have freely crossed the border. For years, an existing four-foot-high cattle fence has had several openings — essentially cattle gates — that tribal members use to visit relatives and friends, take children to school and perform rites on the other side".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:49 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2006


PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA, 22 de septiembre del 2006

Llame a: Michele Waslin o Diana Tejada (202) 785-1670
Washington, DC – Una series de barbaridades legislativas por parte del liderazgo de la Cámara de Representantes esta semana resultó en fuertes críticas del Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés), la organización nacional más grande de apoyo y defensa de derechos civiles de hispanos en Estados Unidos. Entre los proyectos de ley aprobados están el del muro fronterizo, el "Voter ID Act", y la mayor parte del terrible proyecto de ley Sensenbrenner.

"La Cámara de Representantes tuvo la oportunidad de aprobar una reforma integral de inmigración justa y eficaz. En vez, ellos llevaron un show anti-inmigrante por todo el país este verano. Ahora están usando el otoño para aprobar el injuriado proyecto de ley Sensenbrenner por pedazos mediante otros proyectos de ley. El liderazgo de la Cámara podrá creer que los únicos perdedores en este asunto son los latinos. Sin embargo, sus barbaridades- que han sido inefectivos y sumamente caros- pronto revelarán que los verdaderos perdedores son los estadounidenses quienes demandan soluciones reales sobre este tema", declaró Janet Murguía, presidenta de NCLR.

"El liderazgo de la Cámara no sólo está dispuesto a gastar mil millones de dólares en un muro que hará nada y echar la carga de hacer cumplir las leyes de inmigración a los oficiales de policía que trabajan demasiado y tienen muchas otras preocupaciones, sino que está dispuesto a comprometer la democracia en sí al dificultar el acto de votar para todos. No duden que los 125 millones de estadounidenses que votaron el 2004 serán afectados por el Voter ID Act. Todos los estadounidenses dependen de los policías y el trabajo que hacen. Ese trabajo y el bienestar público han sido comprometidos por las acciones de la Cámara esta semana", continuo Murguía.

"La comunidad latina reconocerá que las acciones de esta semana realmente significan que el proyecto de ley de Sensenbrenner ha regresado en una nueva y peor versión. El proyecto de ley de Sensenbrenner impulsó a millones a marchar en más de 100 ciudades este año. El liderazgo de la Cámara tendrá que asumir las consecuencias de convertir a 43 millones de personas en su piñata para las elecciones del 2006", concluyó Murguía.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:50 PM | Comments (0)



Contact: Diana Tejada, dtejada@nclr.org
Michele Waslin, mwaslin@nclr.org
(202) 785-1670

Washington, DC – A series of legislative stunts by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives this week, including passage of fence legislation, the "Voter ID Act," and most of last year's infamous Sensenbrenner immigration bill, brought resounding criticism from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.

"The U.S. House of Representatives had a chance to pass fair and effective comprehensive immigration reform last year. Instead, they went on an anti-immigrant road show this summer and are now spending the fall passing the widely reviled Sensenbrenner bill in bits and pieces. The House leadership may believe that the only losers in this are Latinos, but their ineffective, unworkable, and extravagantly expensive shenanigans will soon reveal that the real losers are the American people who are demanding actual solutions on this issue," stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

"The House leadership not only is willing to spend billions of dollars on a fence that will do nothing and put the burden of immigrant enforcement on the backs of overworked, overwhelmed law enforcement personnel, but in the name of 'there is no such thing as too tough' on immigration they are willing to compromise democracy itself by making it harder for everyone to vote. Make no mistake - 125 million Americans voted in 2004, and every one of them will be affected by the Voter ID Act. All Americans depend on law enforcement to be able to do its job; that and the public's safety have been compromised by the House's actions this week," continued Murguía.
Murguía concluded, "The Latino community will recognize what this week's actions really mean - the return of the Sensenbrenner bill in a new but unimproved version. The Sensenbrenner bill drove millions to march in more than 100 cities earlier this year. The House leadership will have to reckon with the consequences of turning 43 million people into their 'piñata' for the 2006 election."

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2006

Immigration’s Lost Year

There is a NY Times Editorial, published September 19, 2006 which sums up well the year;

"Congressional leaders and President Bush insisted for months that they were serious about fixing the immigration system. They weren’t, and the more talk you hear about border security, about building walls and getting tough this time, the clearer it will be that hopes for effective immigration reform this year are past saving, pinned down by strong arms in the Republican-controlled House and kicked until dead.

The latest proposals are the product of a Republicans-only “forum” last week that distilled the bilge water of a summer’s worth of immigration “hearings,” which were actually badly disguised campaign events. The hearings — with titles like “How Does Illegal Immigration Impact American Taxpayers and Will the Reid-Kennedy Amnesty Worsen the Blow?” — were show trials put on to destroy comprehensive reform by any means necessary. “What I wanted was witnesses who agree with me, not disagree with me,” said Representative Charlie Norwood of Georgia, putting it perfectly.

The “Reid-Kennedy Amnesty,” by the way, refers to the now-defunct Senate immigration bill, which passed that Republican-controlled body with the support of stalwarts like Arlen Specter, John McCain, Mel Martinez, Bill Frist, Chuck Hagel and the most prominent Republican of all, Mr. Bush. One of the many signs of the hysteria accompanying this election season is the way their moderate approach to immigration has been tarred as wholesale “amnesty” for lawbreakers...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2006

Sensenbrenner Provisions Could Pass Senate - Action Needed!

Here is an urgent message from AILA;

Leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives are using underhanded politics to pass their enforcement-only immigration agenda. They are working behind closed doors and using procedural mechanisms to attach enforcement-only provisions contained in three bills (H.R. 6094, H.R. 6095, and H.R. 4830) to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, a piece of legislation that must pass this year. Although House leaders label these bills "border security" legislation, they are in fact harsh enforcement measures lifted from Rep. Sensenbrenner's H.R. 4437 that endanger due process rights and do little to make our borders more secure.

The three bills are scheduled for a floor vote in the House this week, but since they would be unlikely to pass intact through the Senate, House leaders are already working behind the scenes to include them in the DHS appropriations bill. If these provisions are attached to the must-pass DHS bill, it will be nearly impossible to defeat them. Our best defense against this backdoor strategy is to put pressure on each U.S. Senator and encourage them to oppose any attempt to pass, attach, or further these three enforcement-only bills. We're working hard in Washington to derail these political machinations, but we can't do it alone. We need your help.

Over the summer House leadership used dozens of faux hearings to stage public displays of aversion to immigration reform. While they kept the media busy and their restrictionist base roiled, they failed to change the minds of the majority of Americans who support a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration system. Nor did they succeed in backing down the U.S. Senators who supported S. 2611, a strong step towards comprehensive immigration reform. Now that House leaders know that the full Senate won't pass their enforcement-only agenda, they have resorted to closed-door politicking. We must fight to prevent the breach of justice that would result from attaching these enforcement-only bills to must-pass legislation.

Email your Senators through Contact Congress on AILA's website; www.aila.org.

We've already created a sample letter for you to send. All you need to do is enter your zip code, hit send, and your voice will be heard in Congress.

Call your Senators, you can find their telephone numbers in our Congressional Directory and you can use these talking points to help you when you call:
• Congress should stop playing politics with immigration and pass comprehensive immigration reform. These enforcement-only bills will do nothing to enhance border security and will not move us one inch closer to fixing our broken immigration system.

• Attaching these bills to DHS appropriations circumvents the legislative process on an issue of critical national importance; it undermines the intense and unflagging efforts of the Senate to solve this crisis; and it rewards the House for spending the summer attacking the Senate while abdicating its responsibility to the American people.

• Senators should forcefully oppose this effort by the House to nullify the Senate's bi-partison solution. If the Senate acquiesces on these provisions, the House will only be emboldened and will never return to debate comprehensive reform. This will not be "enforcement-first", it will be "enforcement-only."

• For laws to work, they must be realistic and fair. Our current immigration laws are neither: proposals like these that ignore the reality that immigrants come here to work and to be with their families are destined to fail.

• Giving the government unchecked powers to punish immigrants, and making local police chase after immigrants, will only drive undocumented immigrants further underground. It will not fix the problem; it will make matters worse.

In addition to their covert effort to attach these three enforcement-only provisions to the DHS appropriations, House Leadership has scheduled Floor votes on each of the bills. These votes are expected tomorrow and it's important that your Representative hears from you before then.

You can email your Representative through Contact Congress. We've already created a sample letter for you to send. All you need to do is enter your zip code, hit send, and your voice will be heard in Congress.

Please call your Senators and Representative today. Now is the time for action.


Marshall Fitz
Director of Advocacy, AILA

The enforcement-only provisions are:

• Sections 101 and 102 of the Dangerous Alien Detention Act contained in H.R. 6094, which seek to legitimize the practice of indefinite detention of aliens awaiting removal, despite Supreme Court decisions requiring elimination of this practice;

• Section 201 of the Criminal Alien Removal Act contained in H.R. 6094, which would expand the use of expedited removal proceedings to individuals already in the United States - even individuals who have resided here for years - in ways that would significantly increase the risk of deporting innocent people;

• Sections 301-303 of the Alien Gang Removal Act contained in H.R. 6094, which would grant unfettered discretion to the executive branch to designate "criminal street gangs" and then strip members of such gangs of virtually all rights;

• Section 101 of H.R. 6095, which gives state and local police authority to investigate, arrest, and detain noncitizens for civil violations of immigration status;

• Sections 301 and 302 of the Ending Catch and Release Act contained in H.R. 6095, which would limit the power of federal courts to grant injunctive relief in civil immigration proceedings, despite acknowledgement by DOJ that such relief does not interfere with efforts to end the practice of catch-and-release.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:01 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2006

Un Día de Acción Nacional con Llamadas de Teléfono

El 14 de septiembre, la Cámara de Representantes pass la Acta de la Cerca Segura, H.R. 6061, que pide mas de 700 millas de la cerca en la frontera de U.S./México y requiere el Departamento de Seguridad Interna lograr el "control operacional" del resto de la frontera entre U.S. y México con una "cerca virtual." El Senado puede debatir y poder votar en esta legislación muy pronto. También, esta semana la Cámara Baja votara en tres nuevas propuestas de legislación presentadas por el Representante Sensenbrenner (R-WI) que incorporan partes de H.R. 4437.

Esto es un ataque legislativo a inmigrantes que necesita nuestra respuesta inmediata. Este miércoles, 20 de septiembre, habrá un día de acción nacional con llamadas de teléfono para oponerse a esta nueva ola de la legislación y respaldar la reforma de inmigración integral. Es muy importante hacer tres llamadas el miércoles (dos a sus Senadores y un a su Representante), especialmente si estos ya respaldan la reforma integral de inmigración.

Aquí esta el texto sugerido:

"El Congreso debe debatir la reforma de la inmigración de una manera integral y no de manera irresponsable enfocándose solamente en la seguridad fronteriza y mas políticas restrictivas. Respaldo una reforma que unifica las familias, legaliza a los indocumentados, y proporciona a futuros inmigrantes con una manera segura y legal para vivir y trabajar en los EE.UU."

Puede encontrar a sus Senadores y a Representante y sus números de teléfono en http://www.facts-online.org/naoc_/leg-lookup/search.tcl . Usted puede llamar también la central telefónica Congresional para ser conectado a sus oficinas: (202) 224-3121.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY: Oppose New Wave of Anti-Immigrant Legislation

On September 14, the House of Representatives passed the Secure Fence Act, H.R. 6061, which calls for 700 miles of fence on the U.S./Mexico border and requires the Department of Homeland Security to achieve "operational control" of the rest of the U.S./Mexico border through a "virtual fence." The Senate may debate and vote on this legislation shortly. Also, this week the House will vote on three new enforcement bills introduced by Representative Sensenbrenner (R-WI) that incorporate pieces of H.R. 4437.

This is a fast-moving legislative attack on immigrants that needs our immediate response. There will be a national call-in day on Wednesday, September 20 to oppose this new wave of enforcement legislation and support comprehensive immigration reform. It is very important to make three calls on Wednesday (your two Senators and one Representative), even if you know he/she already supports comprehensive immigration reform.

Here is a suggested script:

"Congress should stop the piecemeal, enforcement-only approach to immigration reform. I support a comprehensive bill that reunites families, legalizes the undocumented population, and provides future immigrants with a safe and legal way to live and work in the U.S."
Find your Senators and Representative and their phone numbers at http://www.facts-online.org/naoc_/leg-lookup/search.tcl . You can also call the Congressional switchboard to be connected to their offices: (202) 224-3121.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2006

House Passes Secure Fence Act of 2006

The House passed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061) this afternoon by a vote of 283-138, authorizing the first in a series of border security initiatives House leaders intend to push through before the November elections. H.R. 6061 calls for the construction of 700 miles of 2-layered reinforced fencing, as well as other barriers and surveillance equipment, along specified regions of the U.S.-Mexico border. It also requires DHS to achieve "operational control," defined as prevention of all unlawful entries over land and maritime borders; to conduct a study on security along the northern border; and to evaluate the authority and ability of Customs and Border Protection personnel to stop fleeing vehicles that enter the U.S. unlawfully.

The Secure Fence Act is widely perceived as an attempt by some House Republicans to appear tough on immigration in the run-up to the elections, and to deflect attention from their unwillingness to strike a compromise with the Senate on immigration reform. Although the bill passed easily in the House, its fate in the Senate remains uncertain.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2006

Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge Explains Why Enforcement Is Not Enough

As the immigration debate has grown increasingly divisive and politically charged, options for reform have polarized into two sharply opposed approaches: an enforcement-only approach, which seeks to seal our borders and strengthen enforcement of immigration laws; and comprehensive reform, which, like the former approach, increases border security and enforcement, but also expands legal channels for future immigrants and creates a path for undocumented immigrants already here to earn the privilege of citizenship.

Throughout the debate, AILA has held steadfast to its support for comprehensive immigration reform as the only long-term policy solution to our nation's broken immigration system. AILA is not alone. Every senior government official to study this issue has concluded that no amount of enforcement will staunch the flow of undocumented immigrants unless it is accompanied by earned legalization and a temporary worker program. In a commentary piece published in the Washington Times on September 10, former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge wrote, "[B]order enforcement will continue to fail so long as we refuse to allow willing workers a chance to work legally for a willing employer." He further noted that even at the record high rate of deportations sustained over the past two years, it would take 70 years to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in this country.

Mr. Ridge's assessment echoes a statement issued on July 20 by the Coalition for Immigration Security, whose members have all held high-ranking positions in the Executive Branch with responsibility for immigration law enforcement and border security. According to these experts, each year as many as 500,000 immigrants enter the U.S. without authorization, despite recent increases in spending on border enforcement. "[E]nforcement alone," the Coalition concludes, "will not do the job of securing our borders."

Secure borders require a new approach to the undocumented immigrants who live and work in our nation, and to those who will come—reform or no reform—to work here in the future. To learn more about why tougher enforcement must be coupled with earned legalization and expanded channels for legal immigration, read Beyond the Border Buildup: Towards a New Approach to Mexico-U.S. Migration by Princeton Professor Douglas S. Massey, published by the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Center.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2006

5th Grader Could Be Deported Without Mom

By Peter Prengaman, The Associated Press, Sunday, September 10, 2006
"LOS ANGELES -- At the age of just 8, Jonathan Martinez and a teenage cousin set out from El Salvador to the United States in search of his mother, whom he hadn't seen for four years. U.S. Border Patrol agents caught Jonathan trying to cross the border into Arizona and turned him over to his mother.

Now 10, he's learned English, joined a soccer team and generally embraced life as an American fifth grader _ except that Jonathan isn't here legally, and on Monday a judge could order him deported back to El Salvador. Though his mother has been living and working legally near Los Angeles, a wrinkle in immigration law doesn't let her apply to keep him here.

"I don't want to go back because I'll be alone," said Jonathan.
His case illustrates a growing problem with the federal program known as "temporary protective status" under which Jonathan's mother is staying in the United States: what to do with thousands of kids from Central America who come to the United States illegally to join their parents. The program provides legal residency to illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, all countries that have suffered devastating natural disasters in recent years. The idea is that they have little to return to and that they can best serve their homelands by working here and sending money home.

But only immigrants in the United States when a program starts _ for Salvadorans, after two major earthquakes in 2001 _ are eligible. That means children who come later to join parents don't qualify.
"It's only for an individual in the United States at the time it was designated," said Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Marie Sebrechts".

© 2006 The Associated Press

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2006

Immigration no threat to English use in U.S.: study

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:47am ET, Reuters

"PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. citizens concerned that Latino immigrants will have them singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish can rest easy, according to an academic study published on Wednesday.

A report in the Population and Development Review found that far from threatening the dominance of English, most Latin American immigrants to the United States lose their ability to speak Spanish over the course of a few generations.

The study by sociologists Frank Bean and Ruben Rumbaut of the University of California, Irvine, and Douglas Massey from Princeton, drew on two surveys investigating adaptation by immigrant communities in California and south Florida.

It concluded that by the third generation, most descendants of immigrants are "linguistically dead" in their mother tongue.

"Based on an analysis of language loss over the generations, the study concludes that English has never been seriously threatened as the dominant language in America, nor is it under threat today," the researchers said".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2006

Need your help on H-1B advocacy efforts

As you know, there are no normal H-1B visa numbers available for the next year, until October 1, 2007. The H-1B visa limit was filled on May 26, 2006, 16 months before the end of the next fiscal year. Here is a sign on letter that will be sent to Congress. If you want to sign on contact me.

Mario Ramos


September XX, 2006

The Honorable __________
United States Congress
Washington, DC ______

Dear [Senator/Representative] ________:

I am writing to you regarding a crisis that is negatively impacting our company’s ability to stay at the cutting edge. There is a current H-1B visa “blackout” crisis that is detrimentally affecting American businesses. The H-1B visa is a vital tool necessary to keep the U.S. economy competitive in the world market and to keep jobs in America.

[Add info here about your company; add any specific examples you may have re problems caused by the H-1B cap].

As you may be aware, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced that the numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for temporary professional workers was reached on May 26, 2006, over four months before the start of fiscal year (FY) 2007. As the situation now stands, companies seeking access to the best and brightest global talent must now wait until April 1, 2007 to begin the application process for hiring an H-1B, highly-skilled worker for FY 2008, which does not start until October 1, 2007. It is untenable for American businesses to be cut-off from this talent pool until late next year.

Far from harming U.S. workers and the U.S. economy, highly educated foreign professionals benefit our country by allowing U.S. employers to develop new products, undertake groundbreaking research, implement new projects, expand operations, create additional new jobs, and compete in the global marketplace. [Add any examples of how H-1B workers have helped your company]

An important step you can take to address this situation is to cosponsor [H.R. 5744/S. 2691], the "Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership Act of 2006," also known as the SKIL Bill. The SKIL Bill was introduced by [Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) on June 29, 2006/Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) on May 2, 2006], and is a positive sign that Congress is serious about correcting a growing competitiveness crisis for the United States.

Every day that passes without access to these highly-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. If U.S. companies do not have the ability to hire the best and brightest from around the world, our international competitors will continue to hire away these talented workers, causing our nation’s competitive advantage to suffer.

If you need any additional information or would like to meet regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at __________. Thank you for your attention in this urgent matter.


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

September 14, 2006


PARA DIFUSIÓN INMEDIATA, 12 de septiembre del 2006
Contact: Diana Tejada, dtejada@nclr.org
(202) 785-1670

Washington, DC – El Consejo Nacional de La Raza (NCLR, por sus siglas en inglés), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., hoy expresó una gran preocupación sobre unas actividades propuestas a realizarse en el campus de la Universidad de Michigan en Ann Arbor bajo la organización de un practicante del Comité Nacional de Republicanos (en inglés, Republican National Committee o RNC, por sus siglas en inglés). De acuerdo a un reportaje en la edición de Michigan Daily que salió hoy, tales actividades incluyen "Día de Atrapar un Inmigrante Ilegal" ("Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day").

"Esperamos y anticipamos que este evento repugnante es producto de una mente joven y mal informada y no del RNC. Hacemos un llamado al RNC para que condene y ponga fin a dichas actividades en la Universidad de Michigan y cualquier otra universidad", enfatizó Janet Murguía, presidenta de NCLR.

"Pero, la mayor preocupación es que este incidente y uno similar en la Penn State a principios de año refleje un debate que está fuera de control, y que ha logrado echarle la culpa y deshumanizar a inmigrantes indocumentados al punto que estudiantes universitarios piensen que cazar seres humanos es una forma de entretenimiento", continuó Murguía.

"Hace varias semanas hice un llamado a ambos partidos políticos para que ejercieran su liderazgo para procurar que sus anuncios de campaña no demonizaran comunidades de personas. Hoy vuelvo a recalcar ese llamado y le pido al RNC que pongan un alto inmediato a estas tácticas horrendas y divisivas", concluyó Murguía.

All Content © 2006 NCLR. All Rights Reserved

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)


PRESS RELEASE, Sep 12, 2006

Contact: Diana Tejada, dtejada@nclr.org
(202) 785-1670

Washington, DC – The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., today expressed deep concern over some proposed campus activities, including "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," being spearheaded by a Republican National Committee (RNC) intern at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, according to a report in today's Michigan Daily.

"We hope and expect that this abhorrent event is the product of one young and misguided mind and not that of the RNC. We call upon the RNC to condemn and put a stop to any such activities at Michigan or any other college campus," stated Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.

"But the larger concern is that this incident and a similar one at Penn State earlier this year merely reflect a debate that has spun out of control and succeeded in scapegoating and dehumanizing undocumented immigrants to the point where college kids think of hunting human beings as entertainment," continued Murguía.

Murguía concluded, "Several weeks ago I issued a call to both political parties to exercise leadership in making sure that their campaign communications do not demonize communities. Today I reiterate that call, and ask the RNC to put an immediate halt to these ugly and divisive tactics."

All Content © 2006 NCLR. All Rights Reserved

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2006

Immigration rules bug Brits

There is an article about investment visas by Kelly Griffith, Sentinel Staff Writer, posted September 10, 2006.

"Visa delays choke businesses as 'pervasive' problems persist

DAVENPORT -- A "broken" immigration system is pushing some families oceans apart as rules tightened by terrorist fears create frustrating backlogs and other obstacles for foreign business owners in Central Florida.

The U.S. Embassy in London is taking about twice as long as it once did to hand out some travel and business visas and to process some visas for British citizens hoping to open businesses in the United States, embassy officials say.

Those delays are driving millions of dollars from the Central Florida economy as sales of businesses are delayed or fall through while sellers -- often Americans -- are frustrated by the lengthy process, says immigration attorney James LaVigne of Orlando, president of the local British-American Chamber of Commerce".

Kelly Griffith can be reached at kgriffith@orlandosentinel.com or 863-422-5908.

At; http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/southwest/orl-swbritwoes1006sep10,0,4433794.story?coll=orl-news-headlines-swest

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2006

Immigration trial puts home builders, market in the spotlight

Here is an article about increased enforcement by Elizabeth Dunbar, Associated Press, Lexington Herald Leader;

“Florence, Ky. - Condominiums and townhouses cover rolling hills, and tree seedlings barely make shadows on new pavement.
The streets lead to a dead end where portable toilets and equipment are set up at a new construction site.

And in this subdivision built in northern Kentucky across the river from Cincinnati, a "for sale" sign here and there has been jabbed into the green grass.

Potential buyers might not know, but officials with the building company, Fischer Homes Inc., and some of its subcontractors have been under federal scrutiny for allegedly harboring illegal immigrants.
In May, immigration agents disrupted Fischer Homes construction projects and rounded up 76 suspected undocumented workers. Four Fischer supervisors were arrested and charged, as were several people managing companies Fischer had hired as subcontractors. Two additional Fischer supervisors were indicted late last month.
The arrests caught many by surprise and sparked questions among those working in northern Kentucky's booming housing market that has relied heavily on immigrant labor.

Some hope the trial of Fischer supervisors Timothy Copsy, Douglas Witt, William Allison, Ronald Vanlandingham and David Schroeder will shed light on what responsibility companies have when it comes to making sure their workers are properly documented. At least three defendants - Copsy, Witt and Allison - are expected to stand trial on Nov. 27. Charges against a sixth supervisor, William Ring, were dismissed on Wednesday”.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2006

New Online Service Helps Clients Find an Immigration Lawyer

This is a new service from AILA;

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)h can help you find an immigration attorney in your area through the new online Immigration Lawyer Search! All lawyers participating in the service are AILA members, are licensed to practice law in a state or territory of the United States, and are currently a member in good standing with AILA and of their State Bar Association. The site is also available en español.

Searching is simple! Select a city and type of attorney you need and then click "search". If you're not sure what type or attorney you need, information is available to help guide you based on your particular needs.

Connect! Once you have found an attorney that fits your needs, you can read a detailed description about the attorney and contact them directly. AILA's Immigration Lawyer Search is free to use, however attorneys listed may or may not charge consultation fees for their services. When you contact the lawyer, it is very important to mention that you received his or her name through AILA's Immigration Lawyer Search Service.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a professional legal association and has individual lawyers as members. AILA and the Immigration Lawyer Search offer no legal advice, recommendations, mediation or counseling under any circumstance. The Immigration Lawyer Search site is not a lawyer referral service, but merely assists you in narrowing your choices in selecting your lawyer. AILA members pay a separate fee to be listed on this site. Not all AILA members participate.

If you require assistance with the service, please call 1-800-954-0254 to speak with a representative or send an e-mail to ils@aila.org.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2006

Separating Wheat from the Chafe

On Friday I called and spoke with Christian Bottorff, Staff Writer, the Tennessean about the proposal by Sheriff Daron Hall of Nashville to deport the approximately 4,000 inmates a year who pass through the Davidson County Jail system. The Sheriff held a news conference attended by officials in the Democratic party. This conference offset the press conference held by Republicans several weeks earlier. Both press events were designed to give the voters the impression that they are "tough" on immigrants. This move by elected officials in Tennessee to an anti-immigration stance gives cause for concern.

Neither event included stakeholders in the immigration debate; ie, immigration officials, immigrants, immigrant groups and churches, immigration lawyers, and employers. This is akin to holding a press conference to announce plans on how to reform the jail without involving anyone from the jail system.

With the advent of Nissan to the Nashville community we should seek to learn from their expertise in cross cultural communication and cross functionality teams. The recent "press events" were ones by officials talking at the community rather than engaging the community in an exercise to find a solution.

Comprehensive immigration reform was not mentioned in either "press events". There can be no solution unless there is reform that would unify families separated for years, lead to a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship, adjustment of workers, a rational number of visas and bring equity to our immigration laws.

To focus on hardcore criminal aliens you have to separate the wheat from the chafe. Chasing housemaids, construction workers, and other workers only keeps law enforcement officials busy without a focused result of reducing crime. This is how you will have a safer community.

Mario Ramos, immigration lawyer
Member of Essential Worker Committee American Immigration Lawyers Association

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:50 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2006

Immigration marchers end 50-mile walk to Hastert's office

In the Associated Press/Bellevillenewsdemocrat there is an article about the march to the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert. This march is important in that it highlights Speaker Hstert who is one of the pricipal opponents of comprehensive immigration reform.

"BATAVIA, Ill. - Immigration reform marchers on Monday ended their four-day, 50-mile walk to the suburban Chicago office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

About 150 people walked all four days and others joined in along the way, culminating in a crowd of about 3,000 people at Hastert's Batavia office, said Gabe Gonzalez, the midwest regional organizer for the Center for Community Change.

Organizers have said they marched to Hastert's office from Chicago to highlight what they say are his anti-immigration stances. The Illinois Republican has suggested fences, pedestrian inhibitors and the use of the Army Corps of Engineers and Border Patrol to help close off the border with Mexico.

"We think it was incredibly successful," Gonzalez said of the march because of the attention drawn to Hastert.


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

September 08, 2006

G.O.P. Sets Aside Work on Immigration

There is an article in the New York Times about the impasse on immigration reform in the Republican party by Carl Hulse and Rachel L. Swarns, published on September 5, 2006. The anti-immigration part of the Republican party is preventing enactment of comprehensive immigration reform. I predict the voters in November will rightly hold the Republican party accountable for the failure to fix this problem. As opposed to proposing a solution they have thrown good money after bad ideas; calling for a wall at the U.S. Mexico border, increased deportations and passing restrictive immigration laws. These ideas have proven to be ineffective in resolving the immigration break down. What we need are politicians who recognize that we have a solution to this situation. To hold a press conference to announce that we have a broken immigration system is like having a press conference to announce that the sun has risen in the morning. Here is the article;

“WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 — As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration’s terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.
“We Republicans believe that we have no choice in the war against terror and the only way to do it is to continue to take them head-on whether it is in Iraq or elsewhere,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader.

A final decision on what do about immigration policy awaits a meeting this week of senior Republicans. But key lawmakers and aides who set the Congressional agenda say they now believe it would be politically risky to try to advance an immigration measure that would showcase party divisions and need to be completed in the 19 days Congress is scheduled to meet before breaking for the election”.


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

September 07, 2006


For Immediate Release; Aug 28, 2006; Contact: Diana Tejada (202) 785-1670

Washington, DC – Citing a set of disturbing ads from both the Republican and Democratic parties in recent weeks,* Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., called on the leaders of both political parties to refrain from campaign tactics demonizing immigrants and Latinos.

“Campaign ads on immigration from both parties are crossing the line. The issue of what to do about immigration is fair game for this election, demonizing an entire community is not,” stated Murguía.
“Poll after poll shows that the American people want action, not grandstanding, on immigration. And poll after poll also shows that Latinos view the scapegoating of immigrants as a personal attack. These ads are not only inflammatory, they are counterproductive,” continued Murguía.

“While we appreciate that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) removed one ad** from its website, we are asking for strong leadership from both parties at the national level to stop these types of ads and to start work on passing long-overdue comprehensive immigration reform. To the Latino community, it is time to stand up and be counted. And there is no better place to be heard if you are concerned about these tactics than at the ballot box this November,” concluded Murguía.

*To view National Republican Senatorial Committee ad, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE6De4VqFfg

**To view DSCC ad, go to www.factcheck.org/article417.html

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

September 06, 2006

Cops plan ID checks of jailed immigrants

There is an article by Christian Bottorff, Staff Writer, The Tennessean about a new plan to deport more undocumented workers in Nashville, TN. I called Cristian and left a voice mail message to discuss the need for comprehensive immigration reform. This article is an example of the failed immigration policy of relying on deportation as a proposed solution. This policy has failed since the last great immigration reform by Ronald Reagen in 1986. With each person you deport more come back into the U.S. The U.S. economy needs the workers so the unlucky ones who get caught are sent back to their home countries. Unfortunately the lack of reform mixes workers with criminal aliens. This causes immigration and law enforcement officials to waste their time seeking to catch everyone. This is an expensive and failed policy. The U.S. governmental accounting office estimates the cost of deporting one alien at just under $3,000. This does not include the cost to local government. Instead of having reform and the government recieving the fees deportations lead to greater expenditures. Here is the article;

"Thousands of illegal immigrants who are arrested in Davidson County for other crimes would be deported each year, under a proposal being pushed by local law enforcement officials. By installing a federal immigration computer system in the Metro Jail and placing an immigration officer in the lockup full time, local authorities would be able to quickly identify criminal suspects who are in the country illegally and keep them from being released. The proposal is contained in an Aug. 15 letter from Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and comes on the heels of several high-profile crimes in which illegal immigrants are accused. Several of the illegal immigrants had been arrested repeatedly — and not deported — before committing more serious crimes. Hall is scheduled to hold a news conference today along with Metro police Chief Ronal Serpas and District Attorney General Torry Johnson to announce the initiative. Local officials are awaiting approval from federal immigration authorities and are trying to enlist the help of Tennessee's congressional delegation.

"It's not acceptable to continue to find the federal government at fault while we continue to put people, in my opinion, at risk," Hall said. "Our reputation is somewhat scarred because the public doesn't care. The public only wants the problem solved if you've got a person violating the law, and is in your country illegally, and you should have known that." The initiative comes as the number of foreign-born people booked into Metro Jail each year continues to soar. The 4,173 foreign-born prisoners who moved through the Nashville lockup during the past fiscal year are nearly double the number booked five years ago, county figures show.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2006

FAQ; non-profit H-1B, needs for profit H-1B then PERM

Free Answer: This is a good question. As you know the H-1B cap has been reached for this year. The earliest to apply will be April 1, 2007. There has been talk about raising the cap to allow more visas. You need to prepare your for profit H-1B as soon as possible to ready to apply at a moment's notice. At the very least you are ready for April 1 2007. I predict that most of the 58,800 new H-1B will be gone on the very first day.

PERM takes between three to six months when you count the advertising and processing time. India is five years behind for the EB-3 category. Likewise there has been talk of increasing the number of EB visas. So the sooner you apply the sooner you be approved.

Free Question: Hi, Your guidance means a lot to me. Currently I'm on H1B visa at non-profit Academic institution and I want to transfer to profit industrial H1B visa. I'm aware about H1B cap and so to work on H1B I've to wait until Oct 1, 2007. I would be very much thankful if you show any other way to deal with my situation and get temporary work visa for now. How about Starting PERM or EAD route? I'm from India, so is there any chance...if so how long does it take for approval? I'm eagerly eagerly waiting for your reply. Thank you!

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2006

Business leaders seek 'unlimited immigration' from new EU states

There is an article in the Independent about how the largest businesses in England support unrestricted immigration from the new EU members states. By Philip Thornton, Economics Correspondent, published: 30 August 2006.

"The leaders of Britain's biggest businesses employing millions of people have called on the Government to allow unlimited immigration from Bulgaria and Romania when the two former Eastern Bloc states join the European Union next year.

They said any break in the "open door" policy that has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants from Poland and other eastern European countries come to Britain would be a major mistake. The business leaders have put their names to a statement issued by the Business for New Europe Group (BNEG), a pressure group calling for further integration.

Their support for a continued influx of workers will create a fresh headache for the Government, which is struggling to contain a political rebellion, and threatens to split the business community.
Five of the group's advisory council, including the UK heads of Sainsbury, the supermarket giant, Centrica, which owns British Gas, and Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street investment bank, have put their names to the letter.

But it is understood to have the support of other members of the council that numbers the heads of Carphone Warehouse, Alliance Boots, the high street chemists, the oil giant BP and the power company National Grid as members.

The BNEG's statement said: "If Bulgaria and Romania join the EU at the beginning of next year, the UK should continue with its open door policy.

"A so-called pause in migration from these countries would be tantamount to a reversal of policy and could work against Britain's interests."


Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:26 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2006

Georgia immigration events

Georgia's Undocumented Workforce: Dilemmas in Law, Economy and Society

September 7-8, KSU Center, Kennesaw State University
CONTACT: http://www.kennesaw.edu/burruss_inst/conference/

Kennesaw State University invites you to attend a multidisciplinary conference and workshop on undocumented workers in Georgia. The conference/workshop will be designed to be of benefit to scholars and practitioners in the fields of immigration, governance, economics, law, history, and sociology. Conference proceedings will be eligible for publication through the KSU Press as an edited volume. Conference registration includes meals.

Conference organizers seek to bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested citizens to open a civil dialogue on the often contentious issue of immigration. Our chief purposes are to inform by offering a forum for the presentation of research in this area and to begin a process of discussion that may lead to greater understanding. At best, the dialogue begun here may contribute to the crafting of policy suggestions based on research and reflection. To that end, round table sessions including paper presenters and keynote speakers will be scheduled in addition to normal panels.

Lecture: Rethinking Migration: The US Experience in Global Context
September 8, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, Wyndham Midtown Atlanta
CONTACT: www.lulacga.com

The Center for Hispanic Studies at Kennesaw State University in partnership with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) present an evening with Marcelo Suarez-Orozco PH. D., Director of Immigration Studies at New York University . Dr. Suarez Orozco is also co- founder of the Harvard Immigration Projects and co- director of the largest study ever funded in the history of the National Science Foundation's Cultural Anthropology Division. A study of Asian, Afro- Caribbean, and Latino immigrant youth in American society.

To register please visit http://www.hcnga.com/lulac/rsvp.htm

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2006

The Real Cost of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its revised cost estimates for the Senate's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S. 2611) on August 18, opponents of the bill seized upon the $126 billion in total costs estimated by the nonpartisan office. The media played into the hands of CIR's opponents, misrepresenting the CBO's conclusions and running the $126 billion price tag in headlines across the nation.

Yet opponents of CIR--and much of the media--downplayed and at times completely overlooked several crucial pieces of information. According to the CBO report, the cost of S. 2611 over ten years can be broken down into approximately $78 billion for enforcement measures and $48 billion for legalization. Yet the report also found that, in addition to costs, the legalization component would generate $44 billion in revenue – almost entirely offsetting the costs of legalization. With these revenues, the net cost of S. 2611 shrinks to $83 billion, and 94 percent of that cost stems from the bill's enforcement provisions, which even opponents of the bill overwhelmingly support.

To help correct misrepresentations of the CBO report, AILA produced a fact sheet that explains the CBO estimates and outlines the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2006

"We Are America Alliance" to Mobilize Millions Labor Day Weekend! Join the Movement!

Labor Day Weekend – Million-person mobilizations – Regional mobilizations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoneix, and Washington, DC are expected to attract a million supporters for comprehensive immigration reform. See below for a list of events in your area!

City/State: Chicago, IL
Date/Time: September 1st-5th, events will be held each day
Where to Go: Starts in Chinatown and ends in Batavia, IL at Speaker Hastert's office
What's Happening: September 1st-4th, Marches; September 5th, Community Hearing
Who to Contact: Lawrence Benito
(312) 332-7360 ext. 37

City/State: Phoenix, AZ
Date/Time: September 4th, 9am-1pm
Where to Go: State Capitol
What's Happening: Rally, Voter Registration, Candidate Information
Who to Contact: Martin Manteca
Somos America Coalition/SEIU
(602) 279-8016 Ext. 21

City/State: Washington, DC
Date/Time: September 7th, 4pm
Where to Go: The National Mall at 3rd Street
What's Happening: March to the White House and then a rally on the National Mall
Who to Contact: Juan Carlos Ruiz
National Capitol Immigration Coalition
(414) 758-0600 or (202) 232-3810

City/State: Los Angeles, CA
Date/Time: September 9th
Where to Go: TBD
What's Happening: Rally
Who to Contact: Elda Martinez
(213) 385-7800
Xiomara Corpeno
(213) 353-1333

There's more to come from the We Are America Alliance! September through election day: Get Out the Vote Efforts. Organizations and networks making up the Alliance will launch a massive GOTV (Get Out the Vote) effort to mobilize eligible voters to participate in the November elections.

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