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October 31, 2006

U.S. Economy Would Collapse if Immigrant Flow Is Stopped, Study Says

Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 :: infoZine Staff

By Isaac Garrido, Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

"The U.S. economy would collapse if the flow of Latin American immigrants is stopped, Inter-American Development Bank officials said as they released a report Wednesday on the money immigrants sent home.

Washington, D.C. - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - infoZine - According to the report, called "Sending Home Money: Leveraging the Development Impact of Remittances," 12.6 million Latin American immigrants in the United States will send about $45 billion to their home countries this year.

IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund, a bank that promotes private investment, commissioned Bendixen and Associates, a U.S. independent polling and research firm, to conduct a survey of immigrants.

The firm also did interviews with focus groups of remittance senders living in New York, Los Angeles and Miami and recipients in Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti.

The total estimated income of Latin Americans in the U.S. for 2006 is about $500 billion, and according to the report, 90 percent of that stays in the United States.

Donald F. Terry, manager of IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund, said that, if the U.S. government stops immigration, the United States economy would collapse, as the source of dynamism and growth for the U.S. economy would be lost.

"There is a match. There is a development imbalance, and there is demographic imbalance. Latin Americans need jobs; the United States needs workers. The equation is very obvious," Terry said.

"Young people who come from Latin America come to find work here because of the dynamism of the U.S. economy, but they contribute to the dynamism of that economy," Terry said.

The report showed the number of Latin American immigrants who send money home on a regular basis has risen from 61 percent in 2004, to 73 percent in 2006, and the average amount sent went from $240 to $300 in the same period.

According to the report, the states where more money is sent to Latin American are California with $13.19 billion; Texas, $5.22 billion; New York, $3.71 billion; Florida, $3.08 billion; Illinois, $ 2.58 billion; New Jersey, $1.87; Georgia, $1.73 billion; Arizona, $1.37 billion; North Carolina, $1.22; and Virginia, $1.11 billion..".

http://www.shfwire.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2006

The Fence Campaign

New York Times Editorial, Published: October 30, 2006

"President Bush signed a bill to authorize a 700-mile border fence last week, thus enshrining into federal law a key part of the Republicans’ midterm election strategy. The party of the Iraq war and family values desperately needs you to forget about dead soldiers and randy congressmen, and to think instead about the bad things immigrants will do to us if we don’t wall them out. Hence the fence, and the ad campaigns around it.

Across the country, candidates are trying to stir up a voter frenzy using immigrants for bait. They accuse their opponents of being amnesty-loving fence-haters, and offer themselves as jut-jawed defenders of the homeland because they want the fence. But the fence is the product of a can’t-do, won’t-do approach to a serious national problem. And the ads are built on a foundation of lies:

Lie No. 1: We’re building a 700-mile fence. The bill signed by Mr. Bush includes no money for fence building. Congress has authorized $1.2 billion as a down payment for sealing the border, but that money is also meant for roads, electronic sensors and other security tactics preferred by the Department of Homeland Security, which doesn’t want a 700-mile fence. Indian tribes, members of Congress and local leaders will also have considerable say in where to put the fence, which could cost anywhere from $2 billion to $9 billion, depending on whose estimates you believe.

“It’s one thing to authorize. It’s another thing to actually appropriate the money and do it,” said Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. “I’m not sure that’s the most practical use of that money.”

Lie No. 2: A fence will help. A 700-mile fence, if it works, will only drive immigrants to other parts of the 2,000-mile border. In parts of the trackless Southwest, building the fence will require building new roads. Who uses roads? Immigrants and smugglers. And no fence will do anything about the roughly 40 percent of illegal immigrants who enter legally and overstay their visas.

Lie No. 3: The Senate’s alternative bill was weak, and its supporters favored amnesty. In May, the Senate passed a bill that had a fence. Not only that, it had money for a fence. It also included tough measures for cracking down on illegal hiring. It demanded that illegal immigrants get right with the law by paying fines and taxes, learning English and getting to the back of the citizenship line. It went overboard in some ways, weakening legal protections for immigrants and hindering judicial oversight. But it went far beyond the fence-only approach. Its shortcomings and differences with the House bill might have been worked out in negotiations over the summer. But instead, House Republican leaders held months of hearings to attack the Senate bill. And all we were left with was the fence".

At; http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/30/opinion/30mon1.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2006

AILA Believes Secure Fence Act Will Have Minimal Impact on Reducing Unauthorized Migration

Fromm AILA Oct. 26, 2006;

WASHINGTON, DC - Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) called today's signing into law of the Secure Fence Act by President Bush "a simple political gesture, and a waste of taxpayers' money. This enforcement-only measure provides cover for those in Congress in need of help with their re-election prospects and only serves to mask the fact that Congress isn't dealing with immigration."

The 700-mile fence authorized by the Secure Fence Act will not even be built; as Congress has only appropriated a small fraction of the more than $7 billion it would cost to erect such a structure. The current appropriation of $1.18 billion will only fund 90 miles of fence, according to experts. "Congress and the President once again missed an opportunity to enact a comprehensive approach that was approved by the Senate last spring. That bill provided for a guest-worker program and eventual citizenship for immigrants, as well as border security," said Tapia-Ruano.

She continued, "Studies show and experts agree that the fence will have a minimal impact on reducing unauthorized migration. Not only will migrants go through, over, or under it to find jobs in the United States, but approximately 40% of undocumented immigrants enter through our legal ports of entry and remain past the expiration dates of their visas. The fence will not stop that from happening."

The proposal also fails to deal with the fact that we have 12 million people already living and working in this country without authorization. Any effective legislation must squarely address the difficult economic and social issues that drive migrants to surmount any barrier the government builds. The fact remains that our immigration laws must provide new channels to facilitate the legal entry of those coming to perform needed services in our economy and to reunite with close familiy members who already have long and deep ties here. Any meaningful and effective immigration reform must establish a new temporary worker program and create a path to citizenship for long-term, law-abiding and tax-paying immigrant workers.

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 contact George Tzamaras at 202-216-2410 or Brooke Hewson at 202-216-2435.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2006

The wall and amnesty

When I first started my practice as a lawyer President Reagan signed the amnesty which millions. Later on he helped to bring down the wall which divided Germany. Now President Bush has signed a law to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

One day we will tear this wall down,

One day we will have an amnesty for the 15 million workers in our country,

Until then we continue to build and grow.

Mario Ramos

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2006

President Signs Secure Fence Act of 2006

From AILA Oct. 26, 2006;

President Bush, on 10/26/07, signed into law the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061), legislation authorizing 700 miles of fencing along the Southwest border with Mexico. We will post the public law number as soon as it is assigned.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2006

Undocumented Immigration by Congressional District

NEW RELEASE October 23, 2006

by Rob Paral, Immigration Policy Center

Over the past year, Congress has debated major changes to immigration law as a response to undocumented immigration. While this debate has relied heavily upon estimates of undocumented immigration at the national level, less attention has been paid to the number of undocumented immigrants in local areasand almost no analyses have considered the size and scope of undocumented immigration in each of the 435 congressional districts. Yet the size of the undocumented population in each congressional district is an important consideration in gauging whether or not a representatives stance on a particular immigration policy or initiative has a basis in the actual, local impact of undocumented immigration.

Recently released data from the 2005 American Community Survey permit us to update our previous estimates of the undocumented population by congressional district and to compare these estimates with those from the 2000 census. Although the undocumented population of the United States as a whole increased substantially over these five years, trends in undocumented immigration varied widely from district to district:

In 2005, undocumented immigrants accounted for about 10 percent or more of the total population in only 27 (or roughly 6 percent) of the 435 congressional districts.

Conversely, undocumented immigrants comprised about 5 percent or less of the population in more than half (or 232) of all congressional districts in 2005.

Between 2000 and 2005, the undocumented population of 107 districts doubled, although most of these districts had relatively few undocumented immigrants to begin with.

More strikingly, 39 districts experienced either a decline or no change in their undocumented population between 2000 and 2005. Many of these districts had been major destinations for new arrivals in the past, but are becoming less so as immigrants move to other parts of the country.

Read the entire report here.

For more information contact Tim Vettel at (202) 742-5608.

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is dedicated exclusively to the analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States. The IPC is a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation, a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational foundation under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

American Immigration Law Foundation
918 F Street, NW - Washington, DC 20004
202-742-5600
IPCPublicAffairs@ailf.org

www.ailf.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2006

Immigration Nation

Tamar Jacoby, from Foreign Affairs, November/December 2006;

“Summary: The United States is far less divided on immigration than the current debate would suggest. An overwhelming majority of Americans want a combination of tougher enforcement and earned citizenship for the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. Washington's challenge is to translate this consensus into sound legislation that will start to repair the nation's broken immigration system.

Tamar Jacoby is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the editor of Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means to Be American.

THE ROAD TO REFORM

As recently as 18 months ago, a visitor could have spent a week in the United States, watching television and reading the newspapers, and come away with virtually no clue that immigration was a major issue. Today, it is at or near the top of most voters' lists of problems facing the nation -- one that, in many people's minds, outweighs every other threat save international terrorism. This shift has been driven in large part by politicians and the media. The U.S. immigration system has been broken for a long time, and little -- including the number of immigrants arriving in the country -- has changed dramatically in recent years. There is little doubt that the system needs fixing. But just how big a problem is immigration? Is it in fact a crisis that threatens the United States' security and identity as a nation? And does it, as today's bitter debate suggests, raise so many fundamental questions as to be all but unsolvable?

As of this writing, Congress appears to be at an impasse, after nine months of intense debate and the passage of two major bills (one in each chamber) still unable to agree on a piece of legislation. The president has made clear that immigration reform is his top domestic priority, and legislators from both camps spent the summer insisting on the need for change. And yet, as the 109th Congress draws to a close, it seems unlikely that members will make a serious effort to resolve their differences before going home to face voters in November.

In fact, the nation is far less divided on immigration, legal or illegal, than the current debate suggests. In the last six months, virtually every major media outlet has surveyed public attitudes on the issue, and the results have been remarkably consistent. Americans continue to take pride in the United States' heritage as a nation of immigrants. Many are uneasy about the current influx of foreigners. But an overwhelming majority -- between two-thirds and three-quarters in every major poll -- would like to see Congress address the problem with a combination of tougher enforcement and earned citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already living and working here. A strange-bedfellow coalition -- of business associations, labor unions, and the Catholic Church, among others -- has endorsed this position. In Washington, the consensus behind it is even more striking, with supporters spanning the spectrum from conservative President George W. Bush to left-leaning Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), from mavericks like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) to party regulars like Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and all but a handful of congressional Democrats. But even this broad agreement may not produce a solution this fall.

Congress' failure to act is largely a product of political circumstances. The high-stakes midterm elections in November put an unusual premium on the opinions of the 20-25 percent of voters who depart from the emerging national consensus. Mostly male, white, and lacking college degrees, these naysayers believe immigrants are bad for the economy; they want to build a wall along the southern border and adamantly oppose allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens. Only about half are Republicans, and they account for no more than a quarter of the GOP. But many Republicans in Congress, particularly in the House, are convinced that this group is more intense -- more concerned, more motivated, more likely to vote on the basis of this single issue -- than anyone else likely to go to the polls. So the naysayers have become the tail wagging the dog of the immigration debate, and they may succeed in blocking a solution this year.

Still, such circumstances will not last forever. The political stars will realign, perhaps sooner than anyone expects, and when they do, Congress will return to the task it has been wrestling with: how to translate the emerging consensus into legislation to repair the nation's broken immigration system…”.

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20061101faessay85606-p0/tamar-jacoby/immigration-nation.html

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2006

USCIS Records Digitization Facility

Press Release, October 16, 2006

Good work by USCIS;

Williamsburg, KY- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) celebrated the opening of a new, state-of-the-art Records Digitization Facility (RDF) today in Williamsburg, Kentucky. During the ceremony, USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez unveiled the agency’s multi-year plan to digitize paper immigration files, and explained the agency’s use of this type of modern data management platform to enhance national security.

“By moving from a paper-based system to an electronic platform, we will enhance security, improve efficiency and be able to better handle any future immigration reform,” Director Gonzalez remarked. “This important first step to digitize one-million paper records during the next five years will make it easier for our officers to detect and deter fraud and protect the integrity of our national immigration system.”

With this facility, USCIS positions itself at the forefront of national security as a world-class immigration organization for the 21st century. The file digitization program is an integral part of ongoing USCIS efforts to transform its business practices. The Williamsburg facility will digitize millions of paper records and applications for immigration benefits and make them instantly available to the various federal agencies that need to access those records around the world. The digitized A-files (permanent alien immigration files) will be made available to multiple users without the time-consuming and costly shipping of paper files. The ready availability of files will improve customer service and support the integrity of immigration applications. ---USCIS--- On March 1, 2003, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) became one of three former INS components to join the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is charged with fundamentally transforming and improving the delivery of immigration and citizenship services, while enhancing the integrity of our nation's security.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2006

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The Latino Coalition Urge Congress and President Bush to Immediately Address Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before Adjournment of 109th Session

Chamber News

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The Latino Coalition Urge Congress and President Bush to Immediately Address Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before Adjournment of 109th Session

Washington, D.C. (October 17) – The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the nation's largest and most influential advocate for the two million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., and The Latino Coalition issue the following joint statement from USHCC Board of Directors Chairman David C. Lizárraga and The Latino Coalition Chairman Hector V. Barreto, Jr. on the urgent need for Congress and the White House to fulfill their promise of implementing realistic and practical legislation for immigration reform.

After months of political posturing, press conferences and field hearings by members of Congress, we are deeply discouraged by the continuous lack of political will and action concerning one of the most critical issues affecting the national security and economic future of today's America – immigration reform.

www.ushcc.com

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

October 22, 2006

Council on dead end with immigration bills

Tennessean Editorial on Saturday, 10/21/06

Council members can’t solve a complicated federal issue

“The Metro Council seems intent on performing a task it knows full well it cannot do…

Councilman Jamie Isabel, one of the "no" votes, correctly said that immigration issues should be handled by the federal government and compared council action on the issue to "putting Band-Aids on major surgery." Yet the council kept the ball rolling, knowing it has no authority to carry out the plan. One bill would bar landlords from collecting rent from illegal immigrants and prevent them from renting at all in Davidson County after a first offense. The other bill would suspend business licenses of employers who hire illegal immigrants…”.

Here is what I posted as a comment on this editorial in the Tennessean;

Post Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:28 pm

Need for comprehensive immigration reform

This editorial helps bring to light the "bait and switch" game being played in today’s politics where seemingly well intended pieces of legislation are used to confuse voters and inhabitants of Nashville. Instead of calling for immigration reform to address fundamental needs in our country politicians seek to encourage division and lead willing souls down an angry path. Jamie Isabel refused to fall for the bait and correctly reminded the city that immigration needs to be addressed at the federal level. The current state of inertia is testimony to the failure of Congress to address this issue.

http://www.rctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061021/OPINION01/610210313/1007/MTCN03056

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

October 21, 2006

Angelina Jolie criticises Western attitude to immigration

Saturday October 14th, 2006 at 2:27 pm by HeatherHoneypot

“Angelina Jolie has criticised the Western attitude to immigration, particularly for refugees trying to flee wartorn countries.

A photograph was recently printed in the United Nations magazine ‘Refugees’ showing a couple relaxing on a Spanish beach while a washed-up corpse of a black man lay nearby.

Angelina, a UN goodwill ambassador, was disgusted when she saw the picture and wrote into the magazine: “We’ll never know who he was or why he ended up there and the couple on the beach apparently couldn’t care less. Someone’s son, someone’s brother, or someone’s loved one…”.

http://fametastic.co.uk/archive/20061014/2906/angelina-jolie-criticises-western-attitude-to-immigration/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2006

DV Lottery Scams on Increase

From AILA Oct. 12, 2006;

AILA members have seen a marked increase in recent weeks in fake emails telling people that they have "won" the visa lottery. If you receive one of these emails, know that it is not legitimate--it is just someone trying to steal your money. If you really are selected for the visa lottery, you are notified by the State Department by regular mail, NOT by email, and money is NOT requested up front. If you receive an email notification, and/or if money is requested, ignore that communication--it is a scam.

Below is a typical scam email, but note that there are a lot of different variations on this:

“From: "U.S. Department Of State"
Subject: AMERICAN DV2006 VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM:FINAL LIST OF WINNERS FOR DV2006.

DV LOTTERY.STATE.GOV
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
www.dvlottery.state.gov

Dear Winner, …”.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

The Globalization of Household Production

At the recent Blue Sky Conference, hosted by the Kennedy School's Center for International Development (CID) in September 2006, economists Michael Kremer (Harvard University) and Stanley Watt (International Monetary Fund) presented a working paper that challenges long-held assumptions and theories about the effects of immigrant workers on native wages. The working paper, entitled "The Globalization of Household Production," argues that, far from bringing down native wages, immigrant workers, particularly those who work in households--nannies, caretakers and housekeepers--actually raise the salaries of many native workers, and reduce wage inequalities among workers overall. The authors attribute this reduction in wage inequality to an increased high-skilled labor supply reducing the overall salaries of such workers.

Specifically, among their findings, Kremer and Watt discovered that as more immigrant workers took on private household positions, more native workers, particularly native high-skilled women workers, were freed up to enter the public labor market and work outside the home, thereby increasing wages for these workers. This falls right in line with the conclusion reached in last week's Immigration Policy Center paper, "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages: New Data and Analysis from 1990-2004," which argued that immigrant workers tend to complement, rather than compete with, native-born workers. Importantly, the authors suggest that as a by-product of the entry of more women in the high-skilled job market, the gender disparities that still exist in the high-skilled job world tend to diminish.

at; www.immigrationpolicy.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2006

Early Voting Schedule

Beat the Election Day crowd and head to the polls! Early voting for the November 7 elections begins Wednesday, October 18 and concludes Thursday, November 2.

This election comprises highly contested races, such as the U.S. Senate seat that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is vacating, as well as the Governor’s race. Your active participation is needed to reflect the needs of the business community in this critical election year. To make your voice heard.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2006

Hispanic Business Magazine Names AILA President Carlina Tapia-Ruano One of America’s Most Influential Hispanics

In from AILA, Oct. 4, 2006;

Washington DC --- The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) congratulates its own President Carlina Tapia-Ruano for being named in the 100 Most Influential Hispanics List of 2006 by Hispanic Business Magazine. The list, which profiles Tapia-Ruano's marked success and accomplishment, is featured in the October edition.

Tapia-Ruano has practiced immigration law for more than two decades. She is widely renowned as an expert in immigration law. She is a frequent lecturer on immigration law to attorneys all over the US, and appears frequently in newspapers, on radio, and on Spanish-language television programs.

In addition, Tapia-Ruano is an adjunct professor of immigration law at ITT-Chicago Kent School of Law and De Paul College of Law in Chicago, and she has published several articles in leading legal publications regarding various topics in immigration law. She holds a rating of AV (very high to preeminent) by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, is listed in Woodward/White's Best Lawyers in America, Leading Lawyers Network, the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, Marquis' Who's Who of American Women, is a lifetime member of United Who's Who, and was named a "Super Lawyer" in Illinois for the past three years.

Tapia- Ruano founded the Chicago firm Tapia-Ruano & Gunn PC. Her firm is based upon the principle that through immigration the American Dream is continuously renewed. The mission at her firm involves helping immigrants and their families realize this dream, and assisting business in meeting their unique human resource needs.

On June 22, 2006 Tapia-Ruano was sworn in as President and primary representative of AILA, the national association of 10,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. She is a naturalized citizen from Cuba, and the first Hispanic to be elected to this position in the 60-year history of AILA.

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 06:29 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2006

SIGN-ON LETTER FOR H-1B & EB SUPPORT

November XX, 2006

The Honorable __________
United States Congress
Washington, DC ______

Re: Employment Crisis

Dear Senator/Representative ________:

We are writing to urge Congress to take immediate steps to address the crisis facing American businesses as a result of an H-1B "blackout" and serious employment-based (EB) green card backlogs. Companies seeking access to the best and brightest global talent have been confronted with an unprecedented sixteen-month restriction on access to new H-1B temporary professional employees and multi-year delays in EB green cards for permanent hires.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the FY 2007 numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for workers was reached on May 26, 2006, four months before the start of the fiscal year. This means that U.S. companies are being denied access to topflight global talent for over 16 months, disrupting-if not destroying-crucial research and development projects in critical industries. It will also retard technological innovation and undermine our ability to create and sustain domestic employment opportunities.

A similar crisis is occurring with EB green cards. Because these visas are distributed equally among all countries, with a quota set for each country, backlogs have resulted for individuals coming from high-demand countries, even when the overall cap has not been reached and regardless of the fact that these high-demand countries are often the only source of individuals capable of filling high-skilled jobs American businesses need. Once the quota is met for nationals of a given country, only those who applied before a set cut-off date are able to get visas. The rest are forced to spend up to seven years waiting, unable to become true stakeholders in our country, putting their lives on hold in the hopes that a green card eventually will become available to them. Not surprisingly, these talented professionals often tire of waiting, and leave the U.S. to put their knowledge and skills to use in other countries eager to compete with and surpass the U.S.

Every day that passes without access to these high-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. The undersigned entities thus urge swift Congressional action to provide relief from the H-1B blackout and EB backlogs. If U.S. companies do not gain immediate access to the best and brightest, our competitors on the global stage will continue to advance and America's competitive advantage will decline.

We thank you for your attention in this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

[Company name] [City] [State]

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2006

H-1BH-1B/EB sign-on letter to Congress: Raise the H-1B cap and alleviate EB green card backlogs!

From Mario Ramos;

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. There are also increasing delays in obtaining employment-based (EB) green cards from some countries.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is organizing U.S. companies to "sign on" to a letter that will be sent to each member of Congress urging an increase in the H-1B quota and EB numbers. I urge you to agree to sign that letter, which is pasted in below.

If your company would lend its name to the letter to Congress, chances of raising the H-1B cap back to a more rational level and of obtaining more EB green card numbers would improve. We hope to have 1,000 companies sign the letter. Please reply to me by email to let me know if your company is willing to "sign on" to the letter below. You don't need to actually sign and send the letter; just tell me you are willing to sign it. Please let me know if you are agreeing to sign on behalf of the headquarters office or your local office.

Only your company name, city and state need appear. Individual responsible persons at a company need not be named.
Thank you in advance for your help on this important issue!

Regards, Mario Ramos

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2006

American Immigration Lawyers Association Exposes Immigration Myths

In from AILA Oct. 3, 2006;

America is a country of immigrants; yet today, the subject of immigration is quite controversial. The issue divides communities and politicians alike due to the many misconceptions that abound surrounding this matter.

The United States currently houses a larger population of undocumented migrants than at any point in its history. In the 1990s, more than 9 million legal immigrants were admitted to the U.S. In 2005, 11 million foreign-born individuals were living in the country in an undocumented status.

According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, these migrants are typically alienated from the rest of American society, economically vulnerable, and fearful of contact with social institutions that provide health care and education. "America's immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed so that immigration is legal, safe, orderly and reflective of the needs of American families, businesses and national security," said Deborah Notkin, president of AILA.

While the large numbers of immigrants have led some to conclude that the country has lost control of its borders, officials at AILA say that the true causes and dynamics of immigration cannot be so easily compartmentalized.

Developing effective immigration policies requires overcoming the prevalent myths about immigration, she said. One misperception, Notkin said, is that migration occurs because there is a lack of economic development in migrants' home countries. In actuality, international migrants do not originate in the world's poorest nations, but in those that are developing and growing dynamically. Mexico, for example, the largest single source of U.S. immigrants, is not a poor nation by global standards. It has an industrialized, $1 trillion economy and a per capita income of almost $9,000.

Another myth is that migrants are attracted to the United States by generous public benefits. In reality, immigrants are less likely than natives to use public services, and 5 percent or less report using food stamps or welfare.

There also is the misunderstanding that most immigrants intend to settle permanently in the United States, Notkin said.
Mexico-U.S migration has been historically circular, with 80 percent of Mexican immigrants reporting that they made no more than three trips to the United States and three-quarters staying less than two years.

To learn more about immigration law and policy, visit www.aila.org.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2006

Looking Over the Wall

There is an Editorial, published on October 9, 2006

Congress has adjourned to plead for its re-election, having bequeathed to the nation a giant fence-building project as its official strategy for fixing the immigration problem. No doubt some voters will be reassured by the idea that covering 700 miles of the 2,000-mile southwestern border with razor wire and floodlights will solve this thing once and for all. But many others will continue to suspect that it is more complicated than that.

With a better start, this election year could have featured a rational debate about immigration policy that went beyond xenophobia and the fear of disorder caused by the presence of immigrant day laborers on suburban street corners. Americans — particularly those struggling to find decent jobs themselves — have a reasonable concern about what effect the presence of so many unplanned-for workers has had on the economy. They deserved to hear that talked about in a realistic way.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/09/opinion/09mon3.html?th&emc=th

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:54 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

300 Million

There is an Editorial in NY Times, published: October 11, 2006 which captures well the state of the United States at its 300 million person;

"America’s 300 millionth person will be here any day now. The Census Bureau has combined birth, death and immigration rates and expects him or her to arrive in mid-October. No one knows where or how — squalling in a birthing room in Los Angeles, maybe, or darting out of the desert east of Phoenix.

That’s too bad, because whoever it is should get a bouquet and a thank-you card. It should be signed by President Bush on behalf of a grateful nation that is buzzing with a youthful energy for which the aging powers of Europe would gladly trade their pension obligations. If the newcomer is an immigrant, he or she should also get an apology from Mr. Bush for the scarcity of worker visas, and a promise to get right on that problem.

Whenever the population odometer hits a huge round number, it creates unease, but we usually get over it. Predictions of planetary famine made the 1968 book “The Population Bomb” a raging bestseller, but today you find it only at garage sales...".

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/11/opinion/11wed4.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2006

What Was True Purpose of Immigration 'Road Show'?

From Marshall Fitz, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association;

The House of Representatives' unprecedented series of after-the-fact immigration "hearings" has finally, mercifully, concluded. Pre-empting the standard process for reconciling differences between House and Senate bills, House leaders decreed the Senate immigration bill contrary to the will of the people and, purportedly to prove that dubious assertion, staged some 30-odd "field hearings" around the country.

House leaders claimed a lofty public purpose for the hearings: to engage the American public in a nationwide debate over immigration policy (by spotlighting the Senate bill's pitfalls). Even when first uttered, however, that claimed purpose rang untrue; now, months later, we all know that it was patently false.

Recall that these same leaders rammed their enforcement-only immigration bill (H.R. 4437) through the House a mere 10 days after the bill was first introduced. No meaningful debate was allowed, no bipartisan alternatives considered and no stakeholder input secured. Ten days to rubberstamp a never-before-seen policy proposal for one of the most complex domestic issues of the day. Where was the call for national debate then?

Isn't it possible, you might ask, that changed circumstances - for example, millions of people rallying across the country against their bill - really did trigger a change of heart and propel the House to engage the American public?

If so, they sure have a funny way of "engaging." Instead of a balanced set of hearings encouraging audience participation, the House gave us two months of traveling Kabuki Theater with comically stilted witness lineups, inflammatory hearing titles, simplistic pre-scripted themes and no community input.

So then, why the hearings, why the waste of our time and money? A cynical, but realistic, explanation is that political strategists calling the shots believed that negotiating with the Senate would create a lose-lose dynamic for House Republican candidates in the November elections: Fail to compromise and suffer the charge that Republicans are ineffective, or find a middle ground and get attacked by party hard-liners as supporting amnesty.

Staging hearings certainly accomplished the goal of delaying negotiations. And eschewing pragmatism for ideological fervor may indeed serve the short- term electoral interests of some House Republicans - although most polls indicate that the House approach is unpopular with voters, including most Republicans. But derailing a bona fide opportunity to resolve a pressing domestic policy conundrum will surely cost the nation (and likely the majority party) in the long run.

To learn more about immigration law and policy, visit www.aila.org.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2006

Sensenbrenner Under Fire -- Does Congressman Profit From Undocumented Labor?

From New America Media, News Analysis, Roberto Lovato, Oct 06, 2006

Here is a great article showing how Congressman Sensebrenner is putting his interests above that of the United States;

"Editor's Note: A look at Congressman James Sensenbrenner's stock holdings show investments in companies alleged to benefit from the work of undocumented immigrants, as well as firms contracted to build new border security measures. Roberto Lovato is a New America Media writer based in New York.

MILWAUKEE, Wis.--When President Bush signs into law a bill authorizing the construction of a 700-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, one man stands to reap more than just political profit. Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, critics say, is also reaping financial profits from the very immigration policies he himself has championed.

Immigration rights advocates, the congressman's Democratic opponent and some constituents are pointing to Sensenbrenner's investments in companies they say are generating profits from the labor of undocumented immigrants. They also say that Sensenbrenner stands to benefit from investments in companies contracted by the federal government to provide services he has proposed as part of his immigration reform legislation -- such as building massive immigrant detention centers or providing surveillance systems to monitor immigrants near the border.

An analysis of companies identified in Sensenbrenner's 2005 financial disclosure forms reveals that the congressman has invested in companies that have reportedly hired or subcontracted with employers who hire undocumented workers...".

at; http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2006

Congress Departs for Pre-Election Recess & Senate Passes Secure Fence Act, DHS and DoD Bills Kept Clean

Congress recessed on the morning of September 30, 2006 and many legislators headed for their home states and districts to focus their energy on mid-term election campaigns. Some anti-immigration hardliners are running campaigns fraught with negative stereotypes of immigrants and alarmist rhetoric about immigration.

Congress worked late Friday night and into Saturday morning to conduct final votes on critical legislation, including the Homeland Security appropriations bill and the Department of Defense authorization bill, before departing for the pre-election recess. Thanks to the staunch opposition of Senate conferees and the efforts of immigration advocates, House leaders failed in their efforts to attach immigration enforcement riders to the DHS appropriations bill and the Defense authorization. The Senate, however, passed the Secure Fence Act just hours before adjourning, by a vote of 80-19, thereby authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. On the bright side, Congress failed to appropriate the funds needed for construction. The $1.18 billion that they did appropriate is anticipated to fund less than 100 miles of the project.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2006

Temporary Skilled Workers Enrich America' s Competitive Edge

In from AILA, posted Sep. 27, 2006;

The recent debate over immigration policy commonly depicts immigrants as undocumented, uneducated people who flood our borders without inspection. Although many immigrants who enter this country are unskilled laborers who provide essential services in many sectors of our economy, of equal importance to the immigration debate are the highly educated foreign professionals whose skills play a vital role in the enrichment of our economy. These foreign born workers bring unique perspectives and expertise that are essential to maintaining America's competitive edge as the leader of the global marketplace.

The United States economy has shifted significantly over the past fifty years. We are no longer the blue collar nation that we once were. The transformation of our economy from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy has created a growing demand for highly skilled technical workers. This demand has been accompanied by a decline in the number of native-born students seeking degrees in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Our prestigious graduate institutions currently train more foreign nationals than U.S. citizens in these important fields. These U.S trained specialists, both native and foreign-born, cannot fill the demand for highly-skilled workers in key occupations. U.S. businesses must be able to recruit and hire additional foreign-born professionals to alleviate temporary labor shortages in specific occupations.

To keep America competitive, we must increase the number of specialized worker visas awarded. H-1B visas, or temporary skilled worker visas, are currently capped at only 65,000 annually. Yet in recent years, this "cap" is reached in a couple of months and U.S. businesses are barred from hiring foreign-born professionals for the remainder of the fiscal year. In order to increase the number of highly skilled professionals in this country, we must reform the employment based immigration system and provide a sufficient amount of avenues through which U.S. businesses can legally employ specialized workers.

At the same time, we must increase recruitment and training of U.S. students as well - in order to accelerate this process, a hefty portion of the processing fees for the H visas are directed to the education and training of U.S. students in science and technology.
It is important that skilled workers are not overlooked in the current debate regarding comprehensive immigration reform. Raising the H-1B visa cap is vital to maintaining our leadership in the world market. We must retain the educated professionals whom we have trained internally in order to benefit from the unique skills that they possess. By sending the best and the brightest workers back to their respective countries, we only create competition for ourselves, thereby diminishing America's economic clout. By retaining foreign nationals, we may ensure that U.S. businesses have the most highly qualified workers in their fields, helping America maintain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy. the most highly qualified workers in their fields, guaranteeing maximum success and economic prosperity.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2006

FAQ: How do you apply for a H1B1 visa for Singaporeans? How is this different from the H1B visa?

Here is a question I received from Yahoo;

How do you apply for a H1B1 visa for Singaporeans? How is this different from the H1B visa?

Answer;

To receive an H1B1 visa which is valid for one year and may be re-newed you do the following;

1. be within the Professions which meet the definition of "specialty occupation" or have a 4 year degree as defined with the Free Trade Agreement or submit proof of alternative credentials.
2. Have a job offer letter from an employer
3. Have proof of labor attestation
4. Pay filing fees when you apply outside or inside the U.S.

This is a brief outline of how you appply for the H-1B1.

The H-1B1 is different from the H-1B in that it is currently available and open only to persons from Singapore or Chile. If you need more information please contact me.
MRVISA

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2006

In border fence’s path, legislative roadblocks

New from Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post, Oct 6, 2006;

"Loopholes mean fence may never be built, at least not as advertised;

No sooner did Congress authorize construction of a 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexico border last week than lawmakers rushed to approve separate legislation that ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised, according to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.

GOP leaders have singled out the fence as one of the primary accomplishments of the recently completed session. Many lawmakers plan to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its construction as they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.

But shortly before recessing late Friday, the House and Senate gave the Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of projects -- not just the physical barrier along the southern border. The funds may also be spent on roads, technology and "tactical infrastructure" to support the Department of Homeland Security's preferred option of a "virtual fence....""

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15149231/from/ET/

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

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is the Only Way to Fix a Broken System!

In from AILA, posted Sep. 27, 2006;

The recent debate over immigration policy commonly depicts immigrants as undocumented, uneducated people who flood our borders without inspection. Although many immigrants who enter this country are unskilled laborers who provide essential services in many sectors of our economy, of equal importance to the immigration debate are the highly educated foreign professionals whose skills play a vital role in the enrichment of our economy. These foreign born workers bring unique perspectives and expertise that are essential to maintaining America's competitive edge as the leader of the global marketplace.

The United States economy has shifted significantly over the past fifty years. We are no longer the blue collar nation that we once were. The transformation of our economy from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy has created a growing demand for highly skilled technical workers. This demand has been accompanied by a decline in the number of native-born students seeking degrees in the fields of science, engineering and technology. Our prestigious graduate institutions currently train more foreign nationals than U.S. citizens in these important fields. These U.S trained specialists, both native and foreign-born, cannot fill the demand for highly-skilled workers in key occupations. U.S. businesses must be able to recruit and hire additional foreign-born professionals to alleviate temporary labor shortages in specific occupations.

To keep America competitive, we must increase the number of specialized worker visas awarded. H-1B visas, or temporary skilled worker visas, are currently capped at only 65,000 annually. Yet in recent years, this "cap" is reached in a couple of months and U.S. businesses are barred from hiring foreign-born professionals for the remainder of the fiscal year. In order to increase the number of highly skilled professionals in this country, we must reform the employment based immigration system and provide a sufficient amount of avenues through which U.S. businesses can legally employ specialized workers.

At the same time, we must increase recruitment and training of U.S. students as well - in order to accelerate this process, a hefty portion of the processing fees for the H visas are directed to the education and training of U.S. students in science and technology.
It is important that skilled workers are not overlooked in the current debate regarding comprehensive immigration reform. Raising the H-1B visa cap is vital to maintaining our leadership in the world market. We must retain the educated professionals whom we have trained internally in order to benefit from the unique skills that they possess. By sending the best and the brightest workers back to their respective countries, we only create competition for ourselves, thereby diminishing America's economic clout. By retaining foreign nationals, we may ensure that U.S. businesses have the most highly qualified workers in their fields, helping America maintain its edge in an increasingly competitive global economy. the most highly qualified workers in their fields, guaranteeing maximum success and economic prosperity.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2006

AILA Disappointed by Border Fence Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 2, 2006

WASHINGTON DC -- Over the weekend, the Senate gave final approval to legislation authorizing the construction of 700 miles of double-layered fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, almost certainly ending the possibility of a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws this term.

"How disappointing; what a huge missed opportunity this was to get immigration reform right,' said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), "especially after a session in which the Senate spent months developing, debating, negotiating, and ultimately passing a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform package to overhaul the existing system."
Building a 700-mile fence along the southern border with Mexico will not address the systemic problems caused by illegal immigration or the conditions that make such immigration possible. Few really believe that a fence will do anything to address the underlying economic, social and law enforcement problems related to undocumented immigration. Mandating 700 miles of such fencing - and eschewing any semblance of cost-benefit analysis - is more about election-year posturing than trying to solve a thorny policy problem.

As we have said before, a fence is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem. We need to get beyond the mentality that deludes us into thinking we can enforce our way out of this problem. Undocumented immigration is a serious problem requiring an intelligent, realistic and comprehensive solution. Enforcement and reform are two sides of the same coin; you can't have one without the other. The Senate took some enormous strides in the right direction by passing a tough, but practical bill last may -- S. 2611. It is time now for House leaders to pull their heads out of the sand, to quit playing politics with this issue, and to realize that a realistic, comprehensive approach is what America needs.

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.

To learn more about immigration law and policy, visit www.aila.org.


Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

Half a fence isn't even half a solution

Check out "Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Opinion Columnist William McKenzie" October 3, 2007;

“What's going on in Washington's endless skirmish over immigration is a struggle for home-field advantage, about who'll have the upper hand when Congress returns after November's elections and takes up the unresolved immigration issue.

This is one time when the struggle for power affects more than Washington insiders. It matters to folks on the streets in states like California, Texas and Georgia, who live with daily reminders about why Congress must create a sane immigration system.

The struggle also will impact whether President Bush can generate momentum for his other domestic initiatives next year, including taking a swing at overhauling entitlements and the tax code. If immigration stalls – and after his failed overhaul of Social Security – he will lack any push to get other issues off dead center. Congress may think, "Why bother with this guy?"

More on that in a moment. Here's what happened last week before Congress recessed to go home and campaign: The House got the Senate to go along with 700 miles of border fence, probably between Douglas, Ariz., and the Pacific Ocean. The Senate previously approved 370 miles, but early Saturday it went for the whole House enchilada.

The natural impulse would be to believe the House's shut-the-border, security-first-and-only caucus had gained the advantage. But below the surface, where most of the action really takes place, some bigger-thinking Republican senators actually gained the initiative. Led by Sen. Arlen Specter, they said there was no way the House would force the Senate's hand by dumping a bunch of other border-security measures into spending bills. This wasn't just any group of senators. It included John Warner, Larry Craig and Thad Cochran. They had the seniority and conservative credentials to arm-wrestle House Speaker Dennis Hastert when he muscled his way into the debate.

This Senate group basically told him to take the other border-security measures out of the spending bills or the government shuts down. The speaker blinked, eliminating such proposals as enhancing the authority of state and local law officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

The House's security-only caucus got its fence and more border agents, but that's it. Even the fence isn't fully funded, with money enough to build only about half of the 700 miles. As one immigration advocate put it, House conservatives spent a year pushing for border security and got only a half-funded fence. That's not a lot…”.

http://www.dallasnews.com/localnews/?nl

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2006

In the Immigration Debate, Children Deserve Better!

Just in from AILA, posted Sep. 27, 2006;

Immigration has moved to the forefront of national debate. Sharp divisions have emerged on the subject as Congress deals with various pieces of legislation directly or indirectly related to immigration. Yet given the immense coverage and expansive debate, the one aspect of the immigration issue that is often overlooked is what happens to the children.

Every day unaccompanied immigrant children enter the United States. America for them still represents the land of opportunity - sometimes it is economic opportunity, sometimes it is the opportunity for true safety, and often it is both. Many young ones travel here to escape abusive or other unsafe conditions. They weather the harshest elements to get here. Sometimes they fall victim to predatory traffickers who victimize and exploit them. And they go through all of this with a traumatic sense of separation from home and family. When they arrive, the children have no way of knowing what lies ahead for them, but they have hope - hope that the place they have come to is far better than the place they have come from.

Unfortunately these hopes are not fulfilled for many of the unaccompanied children who enter the United States. More than one third of the youth, once detained, are held in the same detention centers that house juvenile criminals and treated likewise as criminals. Yet some of the federal agencies that are responsible for the children's care neglect to keep current records or share information on these unaccompanied immigrant children who are trying to navigate through court proceedings without sufficient guidance or representation.

For too many the detention period is indefinite. Others eventually are linked with counsel or placed in foster care, although the conditions are not always sensitive to the child's special circumstances. The bottom line is that where unaccompanied immigrant children are concerned, the system is riddled with deficiencies and the children's best interests remain largely ignored.

The government needs to ensure that the children's best interests are considered from the very first point of contact. Unaccompanied immigrant children deserve to be treated with dignity, and must have their basic human rights respected. This is yet another reason why Congress and the Administration need to work out a comprehensive immigration reform. Piecemeal policies do not work. In the past these attempts that mainly focus on enforcement measures have failed - they failed to resolve the underlying issues that continue to drive immigration, failed to benefit either side of the fence, and most importantly they failed to create better conditions for the children who still arrive with the hope of knowing the American Dream.

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

October 03, 2006

The Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In from AILA, posted Sep. 27, 2006;

The immigration debate is once again dominating the news. Members of Congress are now focusing on the long-neglected problem of fixing our country's failed immigration laws. Deborah Notkin, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) believes, "American lawmakers are at a critical point. Enforcement only legislation won't work and hasn't worked. Previous efforts to solve this problem focusing exclusively on border security have failed miserably."
In fact, during the past decade, the U.S. tripled the number of agents on the border, quintupled the budget, toughened our enforcement strategies, and heavily fortified urban entry points.

Yet, during the same time period, America saw record levels of illegal immigration, porous borders, a cottage industry created for smugglers and document forgers, and tragic deaths in our deserts.
"We must learn from our mistakes, not repeat them," advises Notkin. "What we need is comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform that deals smartly with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S. Most are relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful residents or workers holding jobs that Americans do not want. People already here who are not a threat to our security, but who work hard, pay taxes, and are learning English, should be allowed to earn permanent residence."

Legislation introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and others, the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, includes the necessary components of reform and provides the basis for fixing our system. It combines toughness with fairness, creating a new worker visa program that provides a legal flow of migration. Likewise, a "break-the-mold" worker program would significantly diminish illegal immigration by creating a legal avenue for people to enter the U.S., something that barely exists today. Current immigration laws supply just 5,000 annual permanent visas and 66,000 temporary visas for workers, versus an annual demand for 500,000 full-time, low-skilled "essential" workers. Similarly, reducing the decade-long backlog in family-based immigration would reunite families faster and, make it unlikely that people would cross the border illegally in order to be reunited with their loved ones.

"Congress and the Administration must act wisely as they weigh their choices, says Notkin. "We've had enough "quick fixes" that have made an already unworkable system worse. It's time to recognize that enforcing dysfunctional laws is no solution. We cannot control our borders - or enhance our national security - until we enact comprehensive immigration reform."

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

October 02, 2006

Senate Clears Border Fence Legislation for President

Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, after winning a cloture vote on the measure a day earlier (which essentially prevented amendments from being offered during floor consideration), had nonetheless agreed to allow minor amendments offered by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Mel Martinez (R-FL). The amendments sought to give the DHS Secretary greater discretion in determining where the fencing should be placed, and modify the term “operational control” of the border to reflect a more fluid standard.

However, amending the House-passed version of the bill would have required that the bill return to the House for another vote and, after lengthy negotiations between House and Senate leaders, lawmakers decided that the proposed changes relating to the location of the fencing could be handled "via a gentlemen's agreement" after the legislation passed, rather than through formal amendment. They did not address the second amendment relating to the definition of “operational control.”

President Bush is expected to sign the legislation without delay.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

U.S. fence ends immigration dream of Mexico's Fox

By Alistair Bell, Reuters, September 30, 2006;

”Mexico City - Mexican President Vicente Fox retires in November with his dream shattered of a U.S. immigration overhaul that would allow millions more Mexicans to work legally north of the border.

Fox was once warmly described by President Bush as an "amigo," and his main foreign-policy objective was persuading U.S. lawmakers to soften immigration laws.

But Fox's quest was as good as ended when the U.S. Senate on Friday gave final congressional approval to building a fence about 700 miles long on the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration. The bill now awaits Bush's expected signature, although it falls short of his goal of a broader overhaul…”.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/30/AR2006093000490.html

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

October 01, 2006

Immigration Activist Defying Ruling

This artice published on September 30, 2006 by Sophia Tareen, Associated Press Writer details the most recent ruling against a mother fighting to remain with her son;

"CHICAGO — An immigration activist who took refuge in a church after the government ordered her deported to Mexico said Saturday she will remain holed up there, even though a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed on her behalf.

The lawsuit against the government had contended that deporting Arellano would effectively deport her son Saul, who is a U.S. citizen, and would violate his rights. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled Friday that although the 7-year-old would face hardships, they weren't of constitutional magnitude.

Arellano, 31, and her son have been living at the Adalberto United Methodist Church since mid-August. "I want to stay here with my son,"Arellano said in Spanish to reporters at the church."I'm not just fighting for my situation. ... You can't separate families."
The Rev. Walter L. Coleman, the Adalberto pastor who sued in August on the woman's behalf, said he and Arellano are in contact with other families in similar situations and are considering filing a class-action lawsuit, he said.

Coleman said he is not concerned that federal officials will enter the church to remove Arellano. "We fear God more than we fear Homeland Security,"he said".

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2006Sep30/0,4670,ImmigrationActivistDeportation,00.html

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