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April 30, 2007

Take Action: New Poll Shows 75% of Voters Support CIR! Time is Ripe to Voice Support for the STRIVE Act!

A new nationwide poll from The Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners concludes that fully three-quarters (75%) of American voters support an immigration reform proposal that embraces a comprehensive architecture. More information about the poll is available on the National Immigration Forum's website at http://www.immigrationforum.org/Documents/PressRoom/PublicOpinion/2007/Forum-MIPoll0407.pdf

The proof is in the polls- Americans want comprehensive reform. Now it's our job to carry the message to Congress. Let's generate momentum for a productive immigration debate by calling on members of Congress to support the recently introduced STRIVE Act (H.R. 1645), a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. Send the message by calling and e-mailing your representative!

Visit Contact Congress today to thank your representative for cosponsoring STRIVE, or to urge him or her to get on board! You don't need to know whether your representative is a cosponsor. Simply enter your zip code, and Contact Congress will determine whether your representative deserves a big thank you or a nudge in the right direction.

E-mail your representative and senators today at http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2007

Reducing Disparities in Health Coverage for Legal Immigrant Children and Pregnant Women

The 1996 legislative battle over welfare reform left many casualties in its wake. Non-citizens were among them. Once eligible for Medicaid coverage on the same terms as citizens, legal immigrants are now restricted from the transfer program for the first five years they are in the country without regard to their indigence or medical needs. Today, nearly half of all low-income immigrant children have no health insurance coverage. Despite improvements in Medicaid and the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and an overall decrease in uninsured citizen children, the percentage of low-income immigrant children who lack health coverage has climbed dramatically since 1996. Today, not surprisingly, there exists a large and still growing disparity in health insurance coverage between citizen and noncitizen immigrant children.

Leighton Ku, a Senior Fellow of Policy Studies at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, discusses the issue in his report, "Reducing Disparities in Health Coverage for Legal Immigrant Children and Pregnant Women." In the report, Ku examines the origins of the problem, directing his attention in particular to those states that did not maintain "replacement coverage" for legal immigrants during their first five years in the country. In 1996, when many of these states had relatively low rates of immigration, this policy change was less problematic than it is today. Steadily increasing immigration rates in these "new growth" states is creating a growing population of uninsured legal immigrant children and pregnant women. The combination of inadequate living conditions, lack of access to nutritious foods, and limited healthcare threatens the lives of this vulnerable population.

To read the report and Ku's proposals to solve the problem, please visit: http://www.cbpp.org/4-20-07health2.htm
Return to top

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

April 28, 2007

Nativist Movement; 'Vietnamese' Anti-Immigration Group Really Isn't

Intelligence Report; Spring 2007

"First, he denied it. Then he said it was his wife's idea. Finally, white anti-immigration activist Tim Brummer admitted to using the false Vietnamese surname "Binh" in his capacity as spokesman for Vietnamese for Fair Immigration. In his defense, Brummer claimed that because he eats Vietnamese food and is half-Vietnamese "in my own mind," he wasn't really fibbing. In fact, he told a local reporter, he may even legally change his name to Binh.

Welcome to the world of "diverse" immigration-reform groups. Brummer had taken to speaking and writing under the name of "Binh" to darken the skin hue of the California-based Vietnamese for Fair Immigration.

Tim Brummer has long been railing against immigrants, often on radical anti-immigrant sites like Save Our State and Vdare.com, a racist forum named after Virginia Dare, supposedly the first white child born in America. In one such post, he wrote: "The children of occupying aliens should not be U.S. citizens. I would have to say 10 million illegal aliens that cost Americans $300 billion a year, that kill thousands of Americans, that sicken millions of Americans, and that trash our environment, are a hostile alien occupation."

In the last two years, Brummer, a member of the relatively moderate Californians for Population Stabilization, has posted more than 2,000 comments on the Internet forum of the California-based hate group Save Our State, which has tolerated neo-Nazis and other white supremacists at its rallies.

Brummer's "Vietnamese" group is not the first to try to put an ethnic face on a predominantly white anti-immigration movement trailed by whiffs of racism and tarred by accusations of extremist connections. Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman group is one of many that routinely highlight their few minority members to camouflage their overwhelmingly white membership.

Other groups claiming to represent specific ethnic blocs have also turned out to have connections to predominantly white parent organizations. In the case of You Don't Speak for Me! (YDSFM), a Washington, D.C.-based immigration restriction organization that describes itself as "a group of concerned Americans of Hispanic/Latino heritage," the group is so intertwined with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) that the two share the same press officers. (There are also connections between the group and the Minuteman Project: Rosanna Pulido, 50, founded the Illinois chapter of the Minuteman Project and is also Illinois chapter leader of YDSFM.)

One of these mutual YDSFM/FAIR press contacts is Ira Mehlman, a white man who is also active in the FAIR-sponsored anti-immigration outfit, Choose Black America (CBA). Supposedly a coalition of black leaders opposed to illegal immigration, CBA, whose only press conference was orchestrated and funded by FAIR, is in fact just another FAIR product attempting to improve public perceptions of the overwhelmingly white anti-immigration movement".

At; http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=746

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2007

CIR Momentum in the House! Push for the STRIVE Act!

Representatives Luis Gutierrez and Jeff Flake stepped up to the plate in the House last month when they introduced the comprehensive STRIVE Act. This bipartisan legislation provides the framework necessary to restore justice and security to our borders, our workplaces, and our communities.

Does your representative need a gentle reminder that it's time to get serious about comprehensive immigration reform? Or, does your representative need a great big thank you for already showing leadership on CIR as a co-sponsor of STRIVE? To find out, and to take action, simply enter your zip code below. Contact Congress will determine whether your representative has cosponsored the STRIVE Act and choose the appropriate message: a thank you letter to cosponsors, or a letter urging non-cosponsors to consider sponsorship.

Go to www.aila.org click on contact congress button

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2007

House Immigration Subcommittee Holds Hearings on Employment Verification and Worksite Enforcement

This week members of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, of the House Judiciary Committee, turn their attention to the employment verification and worksite enforcement components of immigration reform.

The first of the week's two hearings took place today, April 24, 2007, and focused on "Problems in the Current Employment Verification and Worksite Enforcement System." Stephen Yale-Loehr, Chair of AILA's Business Immigration Committee, testified on the history of employer sanctions, the Basic Pilot Program, systemic problems in the current program, and recommendations for a workable electronic employment verification system.

A second hearing on "Proposals for Improving the Electronic Employment Verification and Worksite Enforcement System" will take place on Thursday, April 26, at 9:30 a.m., in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will be webcast on the Judiciary Committee website.

This week's hearings are the fourth and fifth in a series of immigration-related hearings convened by Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).

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

April 25, 2007

FAQ; How many masters H-1B visa are left for FY 2008?

Answer; USCIS on April 23, 2007 announced that 18,649 applications have been received for the 20,000 masters H-1B visa. I predict they will be gone by the end of April 2007. This will occur because of the rush to grab the 1,351 left. Applicants will submit their application ready or not and then seek to amend later on. If they wait they will not be able to apply until April 1, 2008.

If you are from Singapore, Chile or Australia there are visas available to you as per the Free Trade Treaties with each country. To learn more go to www.sacvisa.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2007

Gallup Poll; Immigration (UPDATED 4/20/2007)

Guidance for Lawmakers

"1. Americans believe immigration, in the abstract, has been good for the United States, but do not want to see current levels of immigration increased. Americans overwhelmingly oppose efforts to make it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens.

2. There is no evidence to suggest that immigration, either legal or illegal, is a high-priority issue for the average American today.

3. On the illegal immigration issue, most Americans think it is important to control the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States as well as to address the status of illegal immigrants currently in the United States. At least 6 in 10 Americans favor allowing illegal immigrants a chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements...".


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

April 23, 2007

Update on Senate CIR negotiations

By Fawn Johnson
CongressDaily, nationaljournal.com/pubs/congressdaily/
April 20, 2007

“A core group of senators that has been meeting almost daily for the
last several weeks is close to announcing the outlines of a
comprehensive immigration bill that could be the basis for Senate debate in late May.

I think we've made a ton of progress, and I think next week, we might
even be able to talk about it more publicly, said Sen. Mel Martinez,
R-Fla., who is part of the group. The problems are small and

There isn't overall agreement,' said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The
discussions, I think, are being taken in good faith. ...It's a
constructive dialogue.'

Two components likely to be part of the agreement are a 'trigger'
mechanism that would delay implementation of a guestworker program
until enforcement mechanisms are in place and a new 'Z visa' program
for undocumented workers in the United States, according to Martinez…”.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2007

From Newcomers to Americans: An Integration Policy for a Nation of Immigrants

The United States has long been a nation of immigrants, but in recent years, the government of the world’s “melting pot” has become strangely silent on the issue of immigrant integration. As Professor Tomás Jiménez points out in the Immigration Policy Center’s latest report, congressional debate on wholesale reforms of our broken immigration system has focused almost entirely on laws governing admissions, with merely a symbolic nod to questions of integration.

In “From Newcomers to Americans: An Integration Policy for a Nation of Immigrants,” Professor Jimenez argues that much more than an overhaul of its immigration policy, the United States needs an immigrant policy that deals proactively with integration of newcomers. A policy that makes integration more difficult, uncertain, or excessively lengthy, he claims, simply is not in the best interests of the nation. Rather, facilitating successful and rapid integration of immigrants minimizes social tensions and allows newcomers to contribute more fully to the U.S. economy.

In his report, Professor Jimenez analyzes trends in immigrant integration in the United States, and argues that immigrant integration must become a national policy priority. The full report is available on the IPC's website at:


Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2007

Send a letter supporing comprehensive immigration reform

Here is a letter I sent using the American Immigration Lawyers Association Mail System at www.aila.org. Send a letter supporting reform, here is the sample letter;

Message sent to the following recipients:
Senator Alexander
Senator Corker
Congressman Jim Cooper,

I am writing to ask you to take immediate action in support of bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation. In January, Senate leaders designated immigration reform as one of their top ten legislative priorities, and I urge you to move forward with this priority by sponsoring legislation similar to the STRIVE Act (H.R. 1645) introduced in the House of Representatives. The consequences of our broken immigration system have never been more apparent and the need for congressional action never more urgent. The time for reform is now!

A humane, workable, and comprehensive immigration reform proposal must:

1. Create realistic legal avenues for immigrant workers to enter the U.S. to fill jobs throughout our economy, through visa programs that ensure full labor rights, job portability, and a path to permanent residence over time for those who would not displace U.S. workers;

2. Establish a workable process to provide undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. an opportunity to come out of the shadows and earn the privilege of permanent legal status by: registering with the government, paying a hefty fine, undergoing thorough security checks, and meeting additional requirements;

3. Reform our visa preference systems and eliminate the family-based and employment-based visa backlogs that senselessly keep U.S. families separated for years and prevent American businesses from attracting the brightest talent from around the world;

4. Establish smart enforcement strategies that restore the rule of law in our workplaces and along the border, while protecting due process rights and facilitating the cross-border flow of goods and people that is essential to a vibrant economy.

The American people demand a comprehensive and humane solution to our nation's immigration problems. I urge you to act quickly to address this pressing issue and to restore our nation's historic commitment to immigrants, fairness, and the just rule of law.


Mario Ramos

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2007

Did you know that Joe Perdue looks like a chicken?

On March 17, 2007 one of my clients had a cancellation of removal case in immigration court. The case is based on having been here over 10 years, having a U.S. citizen child and the child having a serious illness; asthma.

To start the case the Immigration Judge asked my client the following questions;

1. What is your name?
2. Who do you work for? Perdue Chicken
3. Do you know Joe Perdue? No
4. Did you know that he looks like a chicken? what?

These questions were translated from English to Spanish which only raised the level of humor.

Then the Judge determined the following; if according to INA § 216(c)(4)(A), if my client (1) has been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application; (2) has been a person of good moral character during such period; (3) has not been convicted of an offense under INA §§ 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2) or 237(a)(3); and (4) establishes that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child, who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. My client was granted their cancellation of removal based on the children's asthma.

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

April 19, 2007

This Week in Congress; House Immigration Subcommittee to Hold Hearings on Past Immigration Reform, AILA Members to Testify

This week members of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, of the House Judiciary Committee, will resume their immigration work with two hearings focused on major immigration reform bills of the past two decades: the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA). AILA members Muzaffar Chishti, Stephen Legomsky, and Paul Virtue will testify.

The first hearing, on "Shortfalls of 1986 Immigration Reform Legislation," will take place at 3 pm on Thursday, April 19, 2007, in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses will include:

Muzaffar Chishti, AILA member and Director of the Migration Policy Institute, New York University School of Law;

Stephen Legomsky, AILA member and Professor of International and Comparative Law, Washington University;

Stephen Pitti, Professor of History and American Studies and Director of the Program in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, Yale University;

Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations, Numbers USA.

The second hearing, on "Shortfalls of the 1996 Reform Legislation," will take place at 10 am on Friday, April 20, 2007, in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building. AILA member Paul Virtue, Partner at Hogan & Hartson, LLP, and former General Counsel for INS, will testify. (A full witness list is not yet available.)

This week's hearings are the second and third of a series of immigration-related hearings convened by Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). The first hearing of the series took place on March 30, 2007, on Ellis Island. Testimony at this hearing, is entitled "Past, Present, and Future: A Historic and Personal Reflection on American Immigration,".

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2007

From Newcomers to Americans: An Integration Policy for a Nation of Immigrants

NEW RELEASE April 17, 2007

by Tomas R. Jimenez

The United States long has been a nation of immigrants, but its policies are out of step with this reality. Public policies with regard to the foreign-born must go beyond regulating who is admitted and under what circumstances. The nation needs an immigrant-integration policy that effectively addresses the challenges and harnesses the opportunities created by today's large immigrant population. It is not in the best interests of the United States to make integration a more difficult, uncertain, or lengthy process than it need be. Facilitating the successful and rapid integration of immigrants into U.S. society minimizes conflicts and tensions between newcomers and the native-born, and enables immigrants to more quickly secure better jobs, earn higher incomes, and thus more fully contribute to the U.S. economy.

Among the findings of this report:

Today's newcomers are integrating into U.S. society in ways reminiscent of immigrants from previous eras, with the children and grandchildren of immigrants mastering English, improving their educational status, and joining the U.S. workforce.

According to the 2000 Census, 91.1 percent of the children and 97.0 percent of the grandchildren of Mexican immigrants spoke English well.

In 2004, the share of Mexican immigrants without a high-school diploma was 58.0 percent, but only 16.9 percent of their children lacked a diploma.

The federal government must take the lead in facilitating the integration of immigrants. But rather than dictate policy, the federal government should partner with state and local governments, NGOs, and the private sector in carrying out the business of integration.

The future prosperity of the United States depends on the success of today's newcomers given that immigrants who have arrived in the United States since 1960 make up almost one in ten individuals in the country, while the children of these immigrants comprise more than 10 percent of the total population.

An active approach to integration is apparent in U.S. refugee policy. Refugees to the United States are greeted by an expansive web of government agencies and NGOs tasked with facilitating their integration into U.S. society.

Civic integration of immigrants is essential and must involve opportunities to participate in civil society that facilitate trustful relationships between immigrant newcomers and all facets of their receiving community, especially law enforcement, elected officials, and other civic leaders.
Read the entire report here; www.immigrationpolicy.org.

For more information contact Tim Vettel (at 202-742-5608 or tvettel@ailf.org)

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

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

April 17, 2007

FAQ: How can I apply for an H-1B visa this year?

Answer; unless you are a master graduate of a U.S. university there are no more H-1B visas available at this time. There are H-1B1 visas for persons from Chile or Singapore. The E-3 is available for persons from Australia. Go to www.sacvisa.com to learn more.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2007

You Tube; immigration video

For some comic relief go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhEl6HdfqWM

Watch this video for some immigration laughs and a cartoon perspective on the immigration debate.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2007

Bush, Business Target Republicans in Last-Ditch Immigration Try

By Catherine Dodge and Jay Newton-Small

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, with the backing of more than 50 business groups, is mounting an all-out effort to win support among skeptical Republican lawmakers for an immigration overhaul that may be his last chance for a domestic achievement.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff are meeting lawmakers weekly to build support for a plan that would combine a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, which most House Republicans oppose, with stricter enforcement. With the same frequency, Gutierrez is sitting down to plot strategy with business groups, which are also lobbying lawmakers.

Winning Republican support is critical because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told Bush earlier this year she won't bring the immigration legislation to a vote unless the president delivers a significant number of House Republicans to join with the Democrats to pass it.

With Bush politically weakened by the war in Iraq and his popularity near record lows, his effort is ``much more about convincing and cajoling'' lawmakers than enforcing party discipline, says Representative Mark Kirk of Illinois, who leads the 40-member Tuesday Group of self-described moderate Republicans. ``I don't think he can push them into much at this point.''

To the Rescue?

That's where the business groups come in. The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, a Washington-based umbrella organization that includes more than 50 trade groups and companies, says it has sent representatives to discuss immigration with all 55 newly elected House members.

Laura Reiff, the co-chairwoman of EWIC, which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Home Builders and the biggest U.S. hotel operator, Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International Inc., says members are regularly organizing ``fly-ins'' by trade-group representatives to lobby lawmakers.

There is also ``a new infusion'' of grass-roots involvement from small- and mid-sized businesses, says Tamar Jacoby, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a Washington organization that favors free-market policies and backs immigration overhaul. State groups are contacting lawmakers when they return to their districts in Arizona, Texas, Florida and Colorado, she says...".

at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=awp0itl4nPAU&refer=home

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2007

USCIS Update On H-1B Lottery And Receipting

In this Update, the USCIS reports that the random selection lottery was conducted on April 12, 2007. The Update states that those selected will receive receipts. Members report receiving receipts prior to the running of the random selection process. The USCIS has advised AILA that receipts dated on or before April 12, 2007, are not to be considered evidence that the case was selected in the random selection process.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2007

FAQ; I am from Chile, how do I find a job in the U.S.?

Question; I am an industrial engineer (Universida Catolica de Chile)and also have an MBA degree for an American University. I'd like to take advantage of th H-1B1 visa program for Chilean citizens. Can you help me? I do not have a job offer in the US.

Answer; In response to requests by clients on help locating a job offers in the U.S. I have created SAC Visa, LLC; joining forces with former Orion International founder, Jim Tully and Palo Alto entrepreneur Andreas Ramos to build a business immigration machine.
SAC Visa LLC allows both clients and candidates to utilize a web-friendly job bank to find job offers in the U.S.A. Candidates from Chile may apply for one year re-newalble work visa on line at no charge for positions posted by American businesses needing immediate professional or technical help. Candidates can apply at no cost at www.SACVisa.com or they can contact MRVvisa.com to start the hiring process. SACVisa LLC is working with American industries by offering a subscription job bank of candidates, a full service recruiting staff, a combination of both. Job Placement fees are employer paid.
With his new partner, Jim Tully; the co-founder of one of the largest non-franchise staffing firms in America Mario combines over two decades of immigration experience.

"When Mario first approached me about helping him build this business model," says Tully, "it only took a few minutes before I realized how valuable this hiring resource would be to American industry." The company officially opens it doors January 1, 2007, but the job orders for a number of bi-lingual Spanish managers and IT professionals has already started SAC steadily interviewing and placing new talent.
Visit www.SACVisa.com today to submit your resume to being the process of locating a job offer in the U.S.A.

Yes, by going to wwww.SACVisa.com we can help you locate a job offer in the U.S.

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

April 12, 2007

H-1B visa applications have a 55% chance for approval

119,193 H-1B visa applications were received by US CIS on April 2 & 3. So lets do the numbers 119,193 minus (12,989 master) = 106,204 applications. Interestingly this is almost double the number of H-1B visas available for FY 2008. Lets continue doing the numbers 106,204 minus (58,200 H-1B visa for FY 2008) = 48,004 who will be rejected. Roughly 45% will be rejected for FY 2008. Those rejected may apply to a visa on April 1, 2008 to start work on October 1, 2008.

If you are from Singapore, Chile or Australia and want to work in the U.S go to www.SACVisa.com. We will help you locate a job offer in the U.S.

If you are an employer and need to hire a foreign worker before October 1, 2008 go to www.SACVisa.com. We will help you locate the workers you need.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2007

7,011 H-1B Master visas are still available

As of April 11, 2007 CIS has announced that of the 20,000 masters H-1B 12,989 have been applied for on April 2 & 3, 2007. So there are 7,011 masters H-1B visas left for fiscal year 2008.

If you are from Singapore, Chile or Australia and want to work in the U.S go to www.SACVisa.com. We will help you locate a job offer in the U.S.

If you are an employer and need to hire a foreign worker before October 1, 2008 go to www.SACVisa.com. We will help you locate the workers you need.

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

April 10, 2007

Touchback requirement = wait of 1,428.6 years

Yesterday President Bush spoke in support of immigration reform in Yuma, Arizona. I support the Presidents effort to continue moving forward on immigration reform. As for the requirement for immigrant to return to their home country I use as an example current case processing time in Cuidad Juarez Mexico. There are over 7,000 pending marriage cases between U.S. citizens and Mexicans. Their wait to return to the U.S. is over one year.

If the over estimated 10,000,000 Mexicans have return to Mexico lets do the math; 10,000,000 divide by 7,000 cases per year = 1,428.6 years to process 10,000,000 cases. Clearly this is an unacceptable waiting period for workers to return to the U.S. Given that the average lifespan is around 77 years for Mexicans the overwhelming majority will be dead by the time their case is ready for review to return to the U.S. This waiting period is the same in U.S. embassy around the world. Without addressing how the embassies will deal with this massive increase in caseload the touchback provision is unworkable.

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

April 09, 2007

FAQ; H-1B1 to H-1B & visa cap

Question; If I would like to change my visa status from H1B1(Singapore) to tradtional H1B visa, do I have to file an new application for H1B subject to cap number or I can do the transfer and not subject to cap number.

Answer; Unfortunately there are no more H-1B visas until April 1, 2008. The cap on traditional H-1B visas was reached for the year on April 2, 2007 (the very first day applications could be submitted). Unless the U.S. Congress allocates additional visas to the H-1B category there will be no more H-1B visas until April 1, 2008 (which will be the earliest filing date). Your H-1B1 cannot be transferred to the H-1B visa.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

USCIS Received More Than 65,000 H-1B Applications on April 2!! Tell Congress to Increase the Cap!

65,000 H-1B visas are not enough to meet the demands of our work force! Tell Congress today! Call or email your senators and representative and let them know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received on April 2 - the first day H-1B applications could be filed for fiscal year 2008 - a volume of applications well in excess of the 65,000 annual limit.

Call the U.S. Capitol switch board at (202) 225-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to the offices of your senators and representatives.

Visit Contact Congress at www.aila.org to email your Senators and Representative a pre-written letter that explains why the H-1B cap is far too low!

Hitting the cap on April 2, 2007, creates an unprecedented eighteen-month restriction on access to new H-1B visas for temporary professional employees. This blackout on new H-1B visas, coupled with a continually growing employment-based (EB) green card backlog for permanent hires, puts American businesses at severe disadvantage in the global economy.

The H-1B and EB visa programs are vital tools necessary to keep the U.S. economy competitive in the world market and to keep jobs in America. 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. As President Bush has remarked, if these professionals are not permitted to come to the U.S. to share their expertise, they will go to other countries and benefit companies abroad instead. The end result will be American jobs lost and American projects losing out to foreign competition, with devastating long-term consequences for the U.S. economy.

Every day that passes without access to these high-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. The best way to resolve this crisis is for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure as soon as possible. Any reform must include an increase in the H-1B quota.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2007

How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages

Were California an independent nation, it would rank second in the world – just behind Russia – in the number of international migrants it receives. Within the U.S., California easily ranks first: in 2004, the state was home to nearly 30 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population, and immigrants accounted for one-third of its 15 million workers (including two-thirds of those without a high school diploma). Moreover, between 1990 and 2004 alone, California saw a 40 percent increase in its foreign-born population, including a large proportion of newly arrived and poorly educated Mexican laborers.

Thus, as Giovanni Peri points out in his latest report, it would be logical to assume that “if immigrants hurt the labor market options of native workers, Californians should feel the most pain.” Yet in February, the Public Policy Institute of California published research by Peri demonstrating that, in fact, native-born Californians benefit from immigration in the form of real wage increases ranging from .2 to 7 percent.

In “How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages,” Giovanni Peri, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis, analyzes the decennial Censuses and American Community Survey data to determine how native workers’ behavior and wages responded to the inflow of immigrant workers between 1960 and 2004. Peri concludes that during 1990-2004, immigration induced a 4 percent real wage increase for the average native worker, with increases ranging from .2 percent for native workers without a high school diploma to between 3 and 7 percent for native workers with at least a high school education.

The report also finds that it is not native workers, but previous immigrants who fare the worst under increased immigration. According to Peri, during 1990-2004, less recent immigrants may have lost between 17 and 20 percent in foregone wage increases – that is, wage increases they might have received had sealed borders prevented immigration and made their services increasingly scarce.

Download the full report from the Public Policy Institute of California website; http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/cacounts/CC_207GPCC.pdf

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2007

USCIS Reaches FY 2008 H-1B Cap; 71,800 will be rejected!

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on April 3, 2007, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for FY 2008.

Over 150,000 applications were received for the 58,200 H-1B and 20,000 Masters H-1B visas. So let’s do the numbers 150,000 applicants minus 78,200 = 71,800 applicants who will be rejected. As consolation CIS will return their filing fees. The winners will be chosen on lottery basis. In its press release CIS advised employers not to be concerned and there is no need to contact CIS; at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

This late April fool’s joke is on the U.S. employers and H-1B workers who will have another chance to apply on April 1, 2008. By way of example Canada our neighbor to the north allowed 170,000 highly skilled workers into Canada in 2006. Canada is a country of 32 million. The population of the U.S. is almost ten times greater at 300 million. Yet Canada's economy needs over 2 times more skilled workers than the U.S. economy.

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

April 05, 2007

CCIR Action Alert

The Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform has circulated an action alert directed at the White House, asking advocates to phone the White House on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5.

Call the White House and let the administration know that they are moving in the wrong direction on immigration reform! Remind the president that we need workable, humane, and comprehensive reform. We need sensible fixes to our broken immigration system. The White House plan is not even close!

Last week, you generated almost 83,000 calls to Congress; now the White House needs to hear from you! Tomorrow and Thursday, April 4 & 5, call 202-456-1111 (between 9:00am and 5:00pm Eastern) or email comments@whitehouse.gov

PHONE MESSAGE (an operator will take your message):

Tell the President to Support Real Immigration Reform …
(choose one or more of the following)
…with a path to citizenship.
…that reunites families.
..that protects workers.
…that respects due process.


Mr. President,

I urge you to support real immigration reform.

To be real and workable, reform must be comprehensive and:
- provide a path to citizenship.
- reunite families.
- protect workers.
- respect due process.

Go to the CCIR website to find a promotional flyer about the Call-In Days: http://www.cirnow.org/file/763.pdf

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

April 04, 2007

NATIONWIDE Call-In Days to the White House

Dear Immigrant Rights Advocates:

As many of you have heard, the White House plan for immigration reform is absolutely contrary to our values of workable, humane, and sensible fixes to our broken immigration system. Their plan—leaked to the media last week—was distributed last week.



While it’s absolutely crucial to communicate with our base in a variety of languages, please explain that the messages left with the White House should be done in English. We are asking you to communicate with your friends, family, and networks. Check w.cirnow.org for more information.

Thanks for all your support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Jeff Hauser, Deputy Campaign Manager for Legislative Affairs
Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2007

Turn Up the Pressure for CIR: Meet with Your Legislators during the Spring Recess!

After Congress adjourns this Friday, March 30, your legislators will be heading home for the Spring Congressional Recess, and they need to be reminded that their constituents demand comprehensive immigration reform. Call or meet with your senators and representative in their district offices and tell them that immigration reform is a national priority that must be dealt with upon their return to DC.

The House Spring District Work Period runs from April 2 to April 13, 2007. The Senate's Spring Recess runs from April 2 to April 9, 2007.

Find your legislators' district office contact information at: http://capwiz.com/aila2/dbq/officials/

For more information about comprehensive immigration reform, visit AILA's CIR page at: http://www.aila.org/issues/issue.aspx?docid=18635

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2007

AILA: Current Cap on H-1B Visas Greatly Underestimates the Need for High-Skilled Workers in the US

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2007 CONTACT: George Tzamaras 202-216-2410

WASHINGTON, DC, March 30 - In another striking example of a broken U.S. immigration system, American businesses looking to hire professional workers from abroad are gearing up for an expected frenzy on April 2, the first day on which an employer can request a visa for an H-1B worker under the quota limit for the fiscal year 2008 that begins on October 1, 2007.

The number of H-1B visas, capped at 65,000, was reduced from 195,000 by Congress in fiscal year 2004.

Because of the annual cap on the number of H-1B visas, many expect the allocation to be exhausted on the first day that applications may be filed, which is six months prior to the start of the fiscal year. If an employer does not get its application in before the limit is reached, it will lose a window of opportunity to apply that won't reopen for another year. And, once that window does reopen, it will be yet another six months after application before the needed employee can start work.

In fiscal year 2007, the supply of such visas lasted less than eight weeks after the filing period opened. "The shortage of H-1Bs is hitting a critical point and that isn't good news for U.S. employers who may now have to cancel projects or send the projects overseas," said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "These high-skilled workers are vital to U.S. competitiveness, and we should welcome their contributions to U.S. economic growth."

The H-1B visa program is utilized by U.S. businesses and other organizations to augment the existing labor force with foreign workers in specialty occupations that require expertise in a specialized field. Typical H-1B occupations include scientists, architects, engineers, computer programmers, teachers, accountants, and doctors. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years.

"Congress needs to realize that the current cap on H-1B visas greatly underestimates the need for high-skilled workers in the US, and this blunder will only impact our economy in a negative way," concluded Tapia-Ruano. "The most expeditious way to resolve this crisis is for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure as soon as possible."

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 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2007

AILA Objects to the Enforcement Methods and Tactics Used in Recent Workplace Raids


CONTACT: George Tzamaras, 202-216-2410

WASHINGTON D.C.-The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) strongly objects to the ill-advised and inhumane enforcement methods and tactics that continue to be employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in workplace raids. We expect DHS to use its enforcement resources to end human trafficking and smuggling and to prosecute widespread criminal enterprises that violate our nation's immigration laws. But any enforcement action must be carried out with respect for due process and human rights. Recent raids have been conducted without providing for the care of children or access to counsel. Communities and family members have not been provided with timely information about the location of those arrested and shipped thousands of miles away to detention warehouses in remote areas. At a time when employers and employees who want to do the right thing and abide by the law but are unable to do so due to the complete absence of legal means for immigrant workers to seek and gain employment in the United States, AILA questions whether workplace raids are an effective immigration enforcement tactic at all.

In any enforcement action, our government must:

* Release those charged on their own recognizance or reasonable bond, absent a showing of criminal conduct or previous final removal order;
* Implement electronic monitoring in lieu of detention for anyone deemed a flight risk who has responsibilities for the care of dependent family members;
* Make immediate provision for the care of minor children of any person detained;
* Detain any person within the jurisdiction within which he or she is arrested for at least the first 7 days, so that the person may consult with, and obtain, counsel;
* Provide accurate and timely lists of pro bono attorneys and nonprofit agencies that may assist detainees in securing legal representation;
* Notify counsel and family members within 24 hours of transferring any detainee;
* Ensure that all immigration detainees are afforded the medical care, visitation rights, legal materials, and functioning telephones mandated under the Department of Justice immigration detention guidelines;
* Make sure that immigration detainees are not held in facilities where they are intermingled with individuals facing criminal prosecution.

"The recent workplace raids are a prime example of a broken immigration system, completely disconnected from the economic reality of today's labor needs and marketplace," said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of AILA. "The raids underscore the urgency of the need for comprehensive immigration reform NOW," she added. "The workers seized during the most recent raid in New Bedford are some of the very workers on whom employers and communities rely for their needed skills and their willingness to fill a variety of U.S. jobs." Tapia-Ruano pointed out that of the 361 men and women seized in New Bedford, most are young and middle-aged Latino women who had not harmed anyone. "Some were detained, some were flown to a Texas detention center, forced to leave behind children in Massachusetts-many of whom are U.S. citizens and are completely innocent in this," said Tapia-Ruano. "None of them had any reason to expect that DHS would decide to make an example out of them."

As the frequency of immigration raids has intensified in recent months, AILA is deeply concerned with the tone and aggressive nature of these actions and is troubled with DHS officials' disregard for due process and humanitarian considerations. As a result of these overzealous raids, entire communities are afraid to leave their homes and terrified to send their children to school. Those seized and detained by DHS officials are summarily taken away from their homes-without their children, without their documents or possessions-and transferred to distant locations where there are few attorneys who can help them. They often cannot contact family and are effectively denied access to counsel, while their deportation from the United States is arranged without regard to whether they may have a basis to remain.

AILA asserts that the status quo isn't working and that raids and round-ups do not begin to solve the immigration issue. "The truth is, America needs 21st century solutions to its immigration problems," stated Tapia-Ruano. "America needs an immigration system that can respond to the economic realities of today-an immigration policy that simultaneously creates legal avenues for people to enter the U.S.; allows people already here to earn the opportunity to adjust their status; addresses the multi-year backlogs in family- and employment-based immigration; and creates and implements a smart border security and enforcement regime that respects core principles of due process."

The time is ripe for Congress and the Administration to step up and enact real reform legislation that benefits the economy by providing a legal path to match willing employees with willing workers, and that benefits national security by allowing law enforcement to go after real criminals.

America is a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. AILA strongly supports the enforcement of reasonable and just laws. Smart and effective enforcement is an essential part of comprehensive reform. But workplace raids that are carried out without regard for the human consequences, and without respect for fundamental constitutional protections and principles, have no place in our democracy.

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 08:24 AM | Comments (0)