« July 2007 | Main | September 2007 »

August 31, 2007

Study Shows Number of Immigrant Workers in Unions Has Grown by 30% in the Last Ten Years

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a study earlier this month showing that, as the number of immigrant workers in the U.S. workforce increased by 66 percent between 1996-2006, the percentage who were union members grew by 30. In contrast, the number of native-born workers in unions during this same time period decreased by about 9 percent.

The MPI report, which is based on analysis of the Current Population Survey (CPS) Basic Monthly Data (a monthly survey of about 50,000 households on unemployment and labor force participation), also highlights variations in union representation rates of immigrant workers across industrial sectors.

The demographic shift identified in the MPI study may help explain why labor unions have departed from their historical skepticism of immigrant workers, and instead have become an important force in support of pro - immigrant policies. The support, however, is not uniform across all policies. During the most recent congressional debate over CIR for example, labor unions generally favored legalizing the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants, but were divided over the proposals for new temporary worker programs.

The complete report is available on MPI's website http://www.migrationinformation.com/USfocus/display.cfm?id=638

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2007

Congress in Recess During August

Congress will be adjourned until September 4th.

While the House and Senate will be not be in session during August, your senators and representatives will be busy reconnecting with constituents across your state. Many of them will be holding Town Hall-style meetings throughout August. These Town Hall meetings are a great opportunity for you to ask immigration-related questions and also to let your elected officials know that, even after the last CIR stumbling block, immigration reform is an important issue for you and your community.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2007

AILA Statement on DHS “No-Match” Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 10, 2007

CONTACT: George Tzamaras, 202-216-2410; gtzamaras@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - "Stepping into the vacuum created by Congress' inability to enact workable comprehensive immigration reform, the Administration ramped up its enforcement arsenal today, leaving many employers between a rock and hard place," stated Kathleen Campbell Walker, President of The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). "The real solution, recognized by the Administration, is comprehensive immigration reform," Walker continued.

Enforcement of immigration laws is an important component of our immigration system. And enforcement efforts should be smart, not just tough. Enforcement only is not the solution.

The Administration's newest initiative requires employers to resolve discrepancies between their employee records and those of the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security. Once the employer is put on notice by SSA or DHS of a discrepancy in Social Security number or immigration status information, the employer has 93 days within which to re-verify the information. If the employer is unable to correct the discrepancy within 93 days, the employer has two choices: either terminate the employment and risk lawsuits by employees or continue the employment and risk severe civil and criminal sanctions from DHS. As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission commented on this proposed rule last year, "The EEOC is concerned…employers have incentives to take actions that violate Title VII and/or [immigration law's] nondiscriminatory provisions."

"Employers often receive 'no match' letters for very legitimate reasons, such as clerical errors, or failure to register a change of name after marriage. Both employers and employees can face bureaucratic delays in trying to document and correct records. It is unrealistic to expect employers to be able to jump through these hoops in the timeframe provided, and unfair for an employee to face potential termination as a result of these delays. Imagine the economic chaos this would cause. It would worsen worker shortages across industries such as agriculture, hospitality, and construction and unleash a flood of misery upon employers and their employees alike," said Walker.


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.

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

August 28, 2007

Permanent Injuction against Carmen M. Ceja dba Ceja Enterprises, Inc.

In the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee at Nashville in Case No. 06-783-I the Honorable Claudia Bonnyman, Chancellor of the Chancery Court issued a Permanent Injunction prohibiting Carmen M. Ceja, Ceja Enterprises, Inc., Ricardo Morales, Mitize Morales, Yolanda Larrea and Adeline Miranda from engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law. This includes receiving any compensation, giving advice, completing any forms for submission to the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS and the Tennessee Department of Labor. They are prohibited from advertising as Notario Publico, Notario, Notaria Publica or Notaria.

For a copy of the injunction contact Attorney Sean Lewis at 615-646-6002.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2007

Clement vs. Dean

There is an election for Mayor in the city of Nashville, Tennessee. Early voting began on August 22 and ends on September 6. The general election will be on September 11.

I encourage you to vote; my recommendation is for Karl Dean. He has shown in his campaign to be a progressive balanced candidate. His campaign has appealed to the good in voters. Bob Clement has run a campaign based on fear and mis-information. The city of Nashville deserves better.

Mario Ramos.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2007

Immigration reform in 2007

The need for reform is constant as there has been no solution other than a continuation of enforcement only. Time has shown that the enforcement only approach has failed the U.S.A. Illegal immigration is bigger than ever. There needs to be a solution which offers adjustment of status to needed workers.

About 90 percent of the interviews I do cannot go forward due to a lack of a process which allows an application to be submitted. There needs to be comprehensive immigration reform.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2007

Economic Mobility of Immigrants in the United States

The idea of economic mobility in America often evokes a personal story. For many Americans, it is one of immigrant parents or grandparents, or even one's own journey and arrival. In recent decades, immigration has been rising steadily, suggesting that the allure of the American Dream is alive and well. But is it actually working for today's immigrants? How has immigrant economic mobility changed over time? And is immigrant economic mobility similar to that of U.S. citizens?

A recent report by the Economic Mobility Project suggests that the American engine of economic assimilation continues to be a powerful force, but one which is incorporating a fundamentally different and larger pool of immigrants than it did in earlier generations. The report highlights that while first generation immigrants are earning relatively less than they have at any other time since World War II, immigrants continue to realize significant gains in upward mobility between the first and the second generation. By focusing on the shifting educational and economic profile of today's immigrants, the report raises important and thought provoking questions about the economic prospects for immigrants in America today.

Visit the Economic Mobility Project homepage to read the full report; http://www.economicmobility.org/reports_and_research/?id=0003

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

August 24, 2007

Mother's immigration cause continues in Mexico after deportation

By ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press Writer, August 21, 2007, TIJUANA, Mexico (AP)

For the past year, Elvira Arellano has promoted an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws from inside a Chicago church, where the illegal immigrant sought refuge to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son.

Now, after being deported Sunday by U.S. immigration officials, she is trying to stir sympathy from within her native Mexico.

She huddled less than 24 hours later with about a dozen activists to plan her next steps in Tijuana, just across the border from San Diego and only about 100 miles from where she says she entered the United States illegally in 1997. Her plans included a talk-radio show appearance Tuesday, a news conference at City Hall on Thursday and a rally Sept. 12.

"I have a fighting spirit, and I'm going to continue to fight," Arellano, 32, said outside the second-floor apartment where she is living with a friend. Her 8-year-old son Saul will stay in Chicago with his godmother.

Arellano's supporters liken her to Rosa Parks, who sparked the civil rights movement, and Dolores Huerta, who co-founded United Farm Workers of America. Outsiders say that's a stretch and note that she cannot yet stake claim to any change in U.S. policy.

While some Americans sympathize with Arellano, who held low-wage jobs as a single mother, others consider her a trespasser.

Peter Nunez, a former federal prosecutor who teaches immigration policy at University of San Diego, called Arellano's campaign a media-driven effort that overlooks that she came to the United States illegally and chose to have a child.

"She and her sympathizers expect America to absolve her of her misconduct because she had a kid," he said. "Fine, take your kid back with you. That's what mothers do."...".

at; http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/08/21/state/n153234D17.DTL&type=politics

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2007

H-2B Exemption to Expire Next Month Unless Key Legislation is Passed!

Send Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper, an email from Contact Congress to urge their support of The Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act (S. 988, H.R. 1843) that would extend the H-2B exemption.

Let them know that this critical legislation would help small business employers who are reliant on seasonal workers to hire qualified individuals to work during peak months. The bill would provide relief by extending an existing exemption in the H-2B visa cap for experienced foreign workers who have participated in the H-2B program within the past three years, have followed all our laws while here, and then returned to their native countries as required. This exemption is set to expire on September 30, 2007, unless the provisions of S. 988/H.R. 1843 are passed.

From AILA; Visit Contact Congress to send Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper, a message TODAY! Encourage your employer-clients to do the same!

If your legislator is already a cosponsor of S. 988 or H.R. 1843, you will automatically be directed to a letter thanking them for their support of this issue.

At www.aila.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2007

Immigration activist deported to Mexico

Elvira Arellano leaves her U.S.-born son with friends after her arrest outside an L.A. church.

By Sonia Nazario and David Pierson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers, August 20, 2007

"Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who became a symbol in the nation's immigration wars after she took sanctuary in a Chicago church last year, was deported late Sunday, authorities said.

Arellano, 32, was arrested earlier in the day by federal immigration agents outside Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles. She was processed in Santa Ana, then transported about 100 miles to the San Ysidro border crossing to be turned over to Mexican immigration officials about 10 p.m., said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Arellano, a single mother, moved into Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago a year ago to avoid being separated from her 8-year-old U.S.-born son. At her request Sunday, the boy was left with her traveling companions, including Walter Coleman, pastor of the Chicago church.

Arellano was arrested as she was leaving the downtown Los Angeles church, also known as La Placita, with her son and a supporter...".


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

August 21, 2007

Clement & Dean

Sunday’s Tennessean had Bob Clement and Karl Dean answer questions on five key issues as to why they want to be Mayor;

Clement stated that he would work to open an immigration enforcement field (ICE) office in Nashville. Well, there has been an ICE office here in Nashville already for about ten years. His congressional office helped to bring it to Nashville.

Here is the quote;


“Since most immigration enforcement is done at the federal level, how can you make any impact as mayor?

All across America, local governments have taken on illegal immigration because of the abject failure of the federal government to deal with the issue.

I support those who have come to our city legally and who are working hard to become citizens of our country. But I am troubled and outraged with the influx of illegal immigrants who are not following the rules.

Here is my plan for dealing with immigration issues when I become mayor:

First, I will work with Sheriff Daron Hall's program (287g), which looks into the immigration status of all people arrested for crimes here in Nashville. If they are here illegally, they should be sent home. There is no excuse for allowing people here illegally to continue breaking our laws.

Second, I will address the illegal immigration issue by using my contacts on the federal level to open an immigration enforcement field office (formerly known as an INS office) in Nashville.

Third, I will crack down on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. Those employers should face increased fines and penalties.

And finally, I want to organize a summit on immigration issues. Nashville is a diverse city, and our character is strengthened by our many ethnic groups. We all benefit from a better understanding of each other.

We cannot ignore the problem of illegal immigration and the effect it is having on our community. As mayor I will not allow Nashville to become a safe haven for illegal immigrants…”.

You can read the entire five reasons at;


Karl Dean;

“Since most immigration enforcement is done at the federal level, how can you make any impact as mayor?

Immigration is a challenging topic today. The United States was founded on the premise that people would find freedom and shelter here, and many of our families were immigrants at one point in the past. However, our country is challenged by the increasing problem of illegal immigration, and we see many of its facets here in Nashville.

I support the 287 (g) program implemented by Sheriff Daron Hall, which increases the resources of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement through cooperation with state and local law enforcement. It goes to the basis of public safety to learn someone's background and criminal history when they are arrested. I am against illegal immigration, and this is a pragmatic way that Metro can address the issue of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes in our community.

We must balance our concerns with illegal immigration with the ever-changing population of our city and welcome new citizens who come here legally. Nashville needs to remain a friendly place to live…”.

You can also read Karl Dean five reasons at;


Mario Ramos
Immigration Lawyer

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2007

U.S. Agency Is Swamped by Requests for Visas

By Julia Preston, published: August 18, 2007;

"Immigration authorities have received about 300,000 applications for high-skilled-employment visas since July 1, federal officials said yesterday, a deluge unleashed after the federal government first said it would not accept any applications for those visas during July and then reversed course.

Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency, was still receiving applications for employment visas yesterday, the last day of a special period it announced on July 17 for immigrants with professional skills to file petitions for permanent residence visas, known as green cards. As a result, the total tally of applications received in the last six weeks was not available.

The agency admitted it was swamped by the applications it had already received, which was more than double the annual limit of 140,000 employment visas.

According to official figures, in the three months before July the agency received an average of 54,700 applications a month for all green cards, including employment visas and those based on family ties. Applications were already surging then as foreigners sought to file papers before higher processing fees took effect on July 30...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2007

Activist heads to L.A. rally

From the Chicago Tribune, by Antonio Olivo, Tribune staff reporter, 9:55 PM PDT, August 17, 2007;

"Elvira Arellano has slipped out of the Chicago church where she avoided deportation for a year and is apparently headed toward Los Angeles, where an immigration march is being planned for Saturday, a West Coast march organizer said.

Arellano, an illegal Mexican immigrant, became a lightning rod in the country's immigration debate after taking refuge inside the Humboldt Park church last summer on the day she was to report to the Department of Homeland Security to be deported. Just two days ago, she announced she would leave the church, with the intention of going to Washington, D.C., to participate in a Sept. 12 prayer and fast vigil on the National Mall.

If all goes according to plan, she will be joined in Los Angeles by her son, Saul, 8, a U.S. citizen, who flew ahead with a family friend, said Javier Rodriguez, whose March 25 Coalition is coordinating the planned march through downtown Los Angeles.

Rodriguez called Arellano's decision to provoke federal immigration authorities by appearing publicly "her last fight at the O.K. Corral...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2007

This Week in Congress

From AILA: Congress is Not in Session

Congress will be adjourned for the next two weeks, and will resume proceedings on September 4th.

While the House and Senate will be inactive during August, your senators and representatives will be busy reconnecting with constituents across your state. Many of them will be holding Town Hall-style meetings throughout the August recess. Town Hall meetings are a great opportunity for AILA members to ask immigration-related questions and also to let your elected officials know that, even after the last CIR stumbling block, immigration reform is an important issue for you and your community.

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

August 17, 2007

Comments to my YouTube account


Agreed! We are a nation of immigrants, after all. There appears to me to be racism involved in this big to-do about people from Mexico. Why? If Mexicans were white would the same treatment aat the borders be true?

Dear Dilinger123,

The hearing were in the Brentwood City Hall which does not allow camera or video recording. So I filmed outside in 90 degree weather.

LOL! I'm sorry Dorothy, but you are wrong. We are not a "nation of immigrants." We are a nation of LEGAL immigrants. There's a big difference. And it doesn't matter whether you're white, brown, black, or whatever ... you should not be allowed to come into our country, violate our laws, and accept free benefits paid by law abiding taxpayers. Come here legally and you're cool. Come here illegally, and you should get out now. Americans will not tolerate it much longer.

Marsh is an puppet for the Bush administration.

tylr1983 (5 months ago) Marked as spam
Gives us your tired, your weak, your huddled masses... Oh, wait, no, fuck it, get them out of here and build a fence.

Love that good hypocritical ol' usa.

missed the point entirely...as usual...the immense drain on our resources is too high and we cannot let it continue unchecked. Yes it was once a nation for freedom and now that is being jeopardized by unregistered immigrants of all nationalities that are causing problems and funneling money out of our economy and into other countries. Tired of the hearing the One World crap -- please shut the door as you exit the country

Title 8 Section 1235 of the U.S. Code, Improper Entry by Alien, Any citizen of any country other than
the United States who: Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as
designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts
to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful
concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.

We live in an era of immigration prohibition which fosters illegality. This is similar to the prohibition of alcohol in the US and the subsequent growth in criminal enterprises. We need leaders who realize this or they need to be replaced. Make no mistake I seek to have respect of law; but I understand that prohibition achieves the opposite.

This is the pits. Thankfully We have senators in Tennessee who voted to get rid of language, in this farce of immigration reform, of amnesty for illegals. Now maybe some of you don`t mind paying, through your tax dollars,for free medical care for illegals, while tax paying Americans go without medical coverage, but I do. I live just south of Brentwood and I am glad Lincol Davis has voted against illegal immigration.

Voting to continue immigration prohibition helps maintain a state of illegality. We need leaders who recognize that they cannot solve the problem unless they recognize that they are the problem.

Anyone who says no more borders is a piece of shit Socialist. All that hippie-dippy crap is great, if everyone on the planet is on the same page with handing out soccer balls and rainbow keychains. Until that great day of Utopia is achieved (it won't be), I'll keep my front door fucking locked.

This response if so off the wall I am not certain what you are talking about. Borders without control is the current US immigration policy. To continue supporting the status quo only supports the criminals. To have control immigration reform is needed. Only by giving visas to the workers can the criminals be caught. This is the same as the prohibition of alcohol last century in the U.S.

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

August 16, 2007

To Curb Illegal Migration, Spain Offers a Legal Route

"TORRIJOS, Spain, Aug. 7 — Fatou Faye was not the first person to head for Spain from her run-down corner of Dakar, the Senegalese capital. Half a dozen friends and relatives left before her, squeezing into wooden fishing boats and wagering their lives on the high seas for the chance of a future in Europe.

“Some succeeded,” Ms. Faye said flatly. “Some were sent back. Some drowned.”

But there was no dangerous sea voyage for Ms. Faye, a 32-year-old mother of two who came to Spain under circumstances that thousands of her compatriots can only dream of: on a plane, with a visa and a job that pays five times what she earned back home.

Ms. Faye is one of the first Senegalese workers to be hired under a Spanish labor plan that offers legal passage and a one-year work permit to some with the idea that by raising the possibility of reaching Spain legally, young Africans will be dissuaded from throwing themselves on the mercy of the Atlantic.

The program, promoted by the Spanish and Senegalese governments, aims to bring hundreds of workers to Spain this year with renewable one-year visas and jobs. Workers on one-year permits may have their contracts extended, at which point they have the right to bring over their immediate family. Ultimately, officials here say, the plan is to bring in thousands of immigrants through the program...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2007

AILA Members' Weekly Immigration Radio Programs

Immigration In Perspective
Yvette Sebelist - Wednesday Mornings from 9:00 - 10:00 am CDT
Listen on WRFN-LPFM, Radio Free Nashville 98.9
and at www.radiofreenashville.org

Immigration Q&A (Cantonese, Mandarin, Toishanese, & English)
Helen Hui and Frank Tse - Thursday nights, 9:00 pm PDT
Listen on KEST AM 1450 in San Francisco
and at http://www.mrbi.net

Immigration Q&A - South Carolina
Jose Monge and David Davila - Thursday mornings, 11:00 am EDT
Listen on RITMO 99.6 FM and 1170 AM

"Coming to America" - Q&A on Immigration
Gordon Quan and Jose Perez - Tuesday nights, 7:00 pm CDT
Listen on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston, Texas

Immigration Information - Immigration Updates and Q&A
Kraft & Associates - every other Sunday
Listen on 104.9 FM in the Dallas/Fort Worth area

Immigration Information (English, Ilocano)
Maile Hirota - Saturday mornings, 8:30 – 9:00 am
Listen on KPMW 105.5 FM in Maui (including Lanai, Molokai and parts of Oahu)

Immigration Information and Q&A Segment on Saul y Kchorro En La Manana
Laura Paris - Regular Monday morning guest, 8:00 - 9:00 am
Listen on 98.9 Radio El Sol in Charleston, SC

Immigration Information and Q&A Segment (Spanish)
Olsi Vrapi - Monday mornings, 9:00 - 10:00 am MDT
Listen on KYBR Radio Oso in Santa Fe, NM

Immigration Information and Q&A Segment (Chinese)
Justin Wang - bi-weekly, 1:00 - 2:00 pm PDT
Listen on 96.1 FM in the Bay area

Immigration Information and Q&A Segment (Spanish)
Eric Horn - Fridays at 12 noon EDT
Listen on 1580 AM in Long Island, Southern Connecticut, and Atlantic City.

Immigration Information (Spanish)
Isabel Machado - The 2nd Wednesday of each month
Listen on 1030 AM KLBS Radio I Los Banos and 96.1 FM KSQQ in San Jose

Immigration Information and Q&A Segment (Spanish)
Wayne Sachs - Tuesday mornings, 7:00 - 8:00 am EDT
Listen on LaNuevaMega 1310 AM in Philadelphia, PA and Camden,New Jersey

Línea Abierta Edición de Inmigración - Call-In Program (Spanish)
Rosalba Pina - Daily, noon - 1:00 pm PDT
Listen on satellite station Radio Bilingue: the Latino Community Radio Network

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2007

Vigil to Stop the Raids in Columbia, Tennessee

August 14th, 1:00 - 2:00 PM, War Memorial Plaza at the State Capitol
Nashville (Union and 6th)

CONTACT: Ariel Safdie, 615-833-0384, ariel@tnimmigrant.org

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition invites you to join in a vigil in front of the Tennessee State Capitol to pray for the families who have been affected by the immigration raids in Columbia, TN and to demonstrate to elected officials that this violation of human rights is unacceptable to our community.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2007

AILA Members' Weekly Television Programs, Features, and Segments

Su cita con inmigracion
Jorge Rivera - Daily, 5:00pm EDT with weekly interview specials every Monday
Watch on Univision during Primer Impacto

Immigration feature on Sabado Gigante
Jorge Rivera - Varying time slots during Saturday night program

Immigration Q&A
Alma Rosa Nieto - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:45 am PDT
Watch on Telemundo

Immigration segment on local Southern California News
Alma Rosa Nieto - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 5:00 am and 11:30 am PDT
Watch on Telemundo, Channel 52

Rincon Consejo Legal
Philip Berns* - Every Saturday morning, 10:30 am EDT
Watch on Cablevision Channel 77 (Public Access), Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk, Connecticut
*Seeking sponsors to put the program on other public access stations in the region and elsewhere in the U.S..

Markazi TV - Farsi (Persian)
Farshad Owji - Every Tuesday evening from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm PST
Watch this live immigration update on Markazi TV

Pod Cast: Immigration Fridays / Viernes de Inmigración (English / Spanish)
David Hart and Andrea Olivos-Kah - Published to iTunes Fridays at 6:00 pm
Archives available on http://www.immigrateusa.com (English) and http://www.resideenusa.com (Spanish)

Kaleidoscope Of Asia
Samuel J. Levine, Saturdays 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Watch on Channel WNVC 56, Fairfax, Virginia

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2007

H-2B Exemption to Expire Next Month Unless Key Legislation is Passed!

Send Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper, an email from Contact Congress to urge their support of The Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act (S. 988, H.R. 1843) that would extend the H-2B exemption.

Let them know that this critical legislation would help small business employers who are reliant on seasonal workers to hire qualified individuals to work during peak months. The bill would provide relief by extending an existing exemption in the H-2B visa cap for experienced foreign workers who have participated in the H-2B program within the past three years, have followed all our laws while here, and then returned to their native countries as required. This exemption is set to expire on September 30, 2007 unless the provisions of S. 988/H.R. 1843 are passed.

Visit Contact Congress to send Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper, a message TODAY! at www.aila.org. Encourage your employer-clients to do the same!

If your legislator is already a cosponsor of S. 988 or H.R. 1843, you will automatically be directed to a letter thanking them for their support of this issue.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2007

2007 Enacted State Legislation Related to Immigrants and Immigration

In the continued absence of comprehensive immigration reform from the federal level, states have displayed an unprecedented amount of legislative activity – and have developed a variety of their own approaches and solutions to correct our broken immigration system. As of July 2, 2007, no fewer than 1404 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced among the 50 state legislatures, meaning that state legislators have introduced roughly two and a half times more bills in 2007, than in 2006. In fact, from January to July 2, 2007, 170 bills became law in 41 states, with another four bills reaching all the way to the state Governor's office before being vetoed. An additional twelve bills are currently pending gubernatorial approval. Furthermore, several states remain in session, leaving open the possibility that additional legislation related to immigrants will be introduced, and possibly enacted, later this year.

Earlier this week, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a quantitative overview of introduced legislation and brief analysis of enacted laws relating to immigrants and refugees. This report, entitled, "2007 Enacted State Legislation Related to Immigrants and Immigration,” includes legislative proposals and laws solely concerned with immigration enforcement, and also all those in which immigrants-–whether authorized or undocumented--migrants, aliens and refugees are affected.

Visit the NCSL homepage to download and read the full report; http://www.ncsl.org/programs/immig/2007ImmigrationUpdate.htm#Public

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2007

Congress is Not in Session

Congress is currently adjourned for its month long August recess, and will resume proceedings on September 4th.

While the house and senate chambers will be inactive during the break, your senators and representatives will be busy reconnecting with constituents across your state. Many of them will be holding Town Hall style meetings throughout the August recess. Town Hall meetings are a great opportunity for AILA members to ask immigration-related questions and also to let your elected officials know that, even after the last CIR stumbling block, immigration reform is an important issue for you and your community. Watch your email inbox for updates on Town Hall meetings near you.

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

August 09, 2007

Panel: Immigration change will take activating mainstream Americans

By Patricia Zapor, 8/7/2007, Catholic News Service

"WASHINGTON (CNS) – Poll after poll says the American public supports a comprehensive approach to fixing immigration problems, but leaders of efforts to pass such a federal law acknowledge that an opposite message is driving the debate.

With a comprehensive immigration bill likely off the table until after next year's presidential election, advocates for immigrants said at an Aug. 3 teleconference that their strategy now has to become getting more of that majority of the public involved in fighting for what they say they believe and defusing the power that immigration "restrictionists" have gained.

One part of that is to get more religious leaders to take a stand, said Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"We need to counter the voices of talk radio," said Appleby. "Quite honestly, the churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, need to do a better job of educating people about the realities of immigration .. to put a human face on the discussion."

Cecilia Munoz, vice president of research and advocacy at the National Council of La Raza, said that, just as it took mainstream Americans speaking up to help bring about the civil rights laws of the 1960s, more of the public must become involved in supporting immigration reform.

"We have to make it more difficult for people to stand on the sidelines," she said.

Munoz referred to a speech by Janet Murguia, La Raza's president, at the council's July annual conference, in which she described what's happened to the immigration discussion as "hatred and bigotry. We thought we were having a debate on immigration policy. But it was really a debate about who decides what it means to be an American."

Murguia said in the speech that in failing to move forward with a bill that dealt with immigration in a way that had the support of most of the country Congress "voted to cave in to bigotry. When the Senate voted to reject hope, it voted to embrace fear..."".

at http://www.catholicnews.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2007

At Odds Over Immigrant Assimilation

By Karin Brulliard, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, August 7, 2007; A01

Hernan Ruiz, a concrete finisher with a gray streak in his dark hair, shot up his hand during a recent citizenship test prep class at a sunny Silver Spring community center. Called on to answer a question about who elects the U.S. president, the El Salvador native carefully pronounced "electoral college," a response he might need to know for his official transformation into an American.

After 22 years in the United States, Ruiz said, he feels like one.

But he knows that not everyone sees people such as him -- an immigrant who prefers to speak his mother tongue -- that way. To this, he responds that the U.S. government should demand that newcomers know English -- and help them learn it.

"This country was founded by immigrants. There should be a lot of cultures," Ruiz, 48, said. "But at the base is the government."

Ruiz's idea lies at the heart of a question that has recently entered the national immigration debate, one some researchers say is important as new trends challenge old integration patterns: Should the government encourage assimilation?

The Bush administration is taking steps to do that. The Task Force on New Americans, created by executive order last year, recently presented initiatives that supporters say will help immigrants "become fully American."

Among the government initiatives is a Web site to direct immigrants to information on benefits, English classes and volunteer work. Another site offers resources for English and citizenship-test teachers. More than 12,000 copies of a tool kit containing civics flashcards and a welcome guide in English and Spanish have been distributed to libraries. This fall, the government has scheduled eight regional training conferences for civics and citizenship instructors. The task force is to deliver more recommendations to President Bush after convening discussions on assimilation with immigrant advocates, teachers and local officials around the nation...".

at; washingtonpost.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2007

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Urgently Needed "Enforcement-Only" not a Viable Option

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07080364 (posted Aug. 3, 2007)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, August 03, 2007

CONTACT: George Paul Tzamaras, 202-216-2410; gtzamaras@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - Congress adjourns for its August recess this weekend, having once again failed the American people by missing an opportunity to reform our dysfunctional immigration system. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is deeply dismayed - albeit not surprised - that arch-conservatives in Congress continue to play political football with an issue of great national importance and have killed any hope of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) during this legislative session. Senate lawmakers were confronted with a choice last month: pander to an increasingly ugly nativist movement, or swallow hard and try to solve a national crisis. Sadly, a majority chose the former and the consequences of that decision will haunt American communities, businesses, and families for at least the next two years.

However, blocking the way to a tough, fair, and practical solution was not enough for these hard-liners. They are now pushing to exacerbate the problem by offering a parade of harsh, anti-immigrant amendments on nearly every piece of moving legislation. This thoroughly discredited "enforcement only" approach will neither secure our nation's borders nor serve our nation's businesses or families. Broken immigration laws cannot be justly enforced and borders cannot be secured by might alone. Immigrant communities and their employers are literally under siege. They cannot apply for legal status because no paths to legal status are available to them under our broken laws. Employers cannot find "legal" workers because no employment visas exist for such workers.

In the Senate, even some prior CIR supporters - in a stunning about face - have joined with immigration restrictionists to sponsor a regressive, anti-due process, enforcement proposal that would criminalize 12 million hard-working men and women in one fell swoop. Senator Kyl (R-AZ) and former reform advocates Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC), have turned their backs on pursuit of a bipartisan solution and have joined Senator Sessions (R-AL) in pandering to hard-line immigration restrictionists. The bill they have introduced today is a repudiation of comprehensive and workable reform. It is also a repudiation of all the immigrants who continue to come in pursuit of the American Dream, to work hard, to secure a future for themselves, their families, and the country.

Meanwhile, States and localities around the country, justifiably frustrated with Congress's failure, have quixotically embarked on their own efforts to address the issue of undocumented immigration. But even those efforts that are well-intentioned (and many of them are not) cannot solve what is plainly a national policy problem, as a Federal Judge ruled definitively in striking down a local ordinance in Hazleton, Pennsylvania last week.

AILA renews its call on leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties to come back to the table, to negotiate in good faith a comprehensive set of reforms that will secure our nation's future by:

(1) Bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and creating a clear path to lawful residence for those who come forward, pay fines, and demonstrate their commitment to become Americans by earning their status through working and learning English.

(2) Providing our nation with a new worker program that includes labor protections, job portability, and a realistic path to permanent residence.

(3) Eliminating the existing unconscionable backlogs in family immigration, preserving meaningful family immigration with reasonable quotas, and recalibrating our employment-based immigrant visa quotas to accommodate the needs of our dynamic and growing economy.

(4) Assuring due process and civil liberties protections that guarantee immigrants their day in court, judicial review, and a meaningful opportunity to seek waivers and discretionary relief.

(5) Enacting smart border and worksite enforcement mechanisms that protect our national security interests, while respecting civil rights.

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".

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

Expert Witeness

Here is a case that describes the need for expert witnesses. This reasoning applies in all immigration matters.

CA7 Finds IJ Denied Right to Present Evidence by Excluding Expert Opinion

"The court held that the IJ's refusal to consider the expert's affidavit or testimony was a violation of Petitioner's right to present evidence. The court found that the IJ's reasoning flawed because the expert could have given his opinion regarding a political issue, and was not testifying as a document expert...". (Tadesse v. Gonzales, 7/9/07).

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:56 AM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2007

Video Game Lets Players Be Immigrants

Thursday August 2, 2007, by LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ, Associated Press Writer

"MIAMI (AP) - A Japanese computer science student fails to take a full load of university classes and loses his student visa. A 10th-grade Indian girl is detained because of a high school essay she wrote on the Department of Homeland Security.

These are two of the characters in ``ICED!'' - a new video game that invites players to step into the shoes of foreigners who run afoul of the U.S. immigration system. It is part of a burgeoning genre of video games that examine major social and policy issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the situation in Darfur and the Electoral College.

``The game allows you to get into the body of a person, so you can experience what they are going through. There are very few opportunities to get that perspective,'' said Mallika Dutt, head of the nonprofit Breakthrough, which produced the game and uses new media to highlight social issues around the world.

``ICED!'' - a play on the acronym for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office - is scheduled to be available for free download next month. It differs greatly from games like ``Border Patrol,'' which popped up on the Internet last year and exhorted players to kill illegal immigrants as they entered the country.

``ICED!'' seeks to show how immigration laws passed in 1996 expanded the number of crimes that can trigger deportation and limited immigrants' rights to appeal.

Players try to avoid deportation by keeping a low profile and performing community service. Shoplifting or jumping a subway turnstile loses points. Lose too many, and your character ends up in a federal detention facility.

``You can get a lot out of a game, more than from film and other media in some ways, because you are actively engaged rather than just a passive consumer,'' said Suzanne Seggerman, head of the nonprofit group Games for Change.

Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for ICE, declined to comment on the game. ``ICED!'' gamers can become a Mexican high school graduate whose family overstayed its visa, or a Haitian war veteran who faces deportation when he turns to alcohol and crime after returning from Iraq.

In the first level, players keep a low profile in a city vaguely resembling New York. In the second level, they must navigate an immigration detention center. Programmer Heidi Boisvert estimates the game can take 10 to 30 minutes to play.

Boisvert and Natalia Rodriguez came up with the idea in graduate school and approached Breakthrough about helping them develop it. Boisvert said they didn't talk to immigration authorities, but they did speak to immigration experts, attorneys and advocacy groups, as well as their target audience of voting-age teens...".

at; http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6823346,00.html

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

August 05, 2007

GAO & Congressional Oversight Committee Study Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirements

On July 24, 2007, House Oversight Committee Chairman Waxman (D-CA) released two new analyses that examine the impact of Medicaid citizenship documentation requirements effective since 2006. A GAO analysis shows that the onerous requirements have caused tens of thousands of eligible U.S. citizens to lose their Medicaid coverage, and a report by the Committee’s majority staff shows that no taxpayer savings can be attributed to the new requirements. The staff report also shows that implementation costs far outweigh any expenditure savings generated by excluding undocumented immigrants from Medicaid coverage. For every $100 spent by federal taxpayers to implement the new requirements in six states, the staff report found, only 14 cents in Medicaid savings can be documented.

The GAO analysis and majority staff report are both available on the House Oversight Committee's webpage;


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

August 04, 2007

Immigration and Military Enlistment:The Pentagon's Push for the DREAM Act Heats Up

—Jorge Mariscal

""The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, provision in the immigration bill is expected to help boost military recruiting.” − Bill Carr, Acting Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy

"I've been here almost eight years. I feel like I belong to this country," he said. "People like me, we want to serve the country. We love this country. We don't have papers. We can't afford to go to college. The military is the perfect option for us.” − Sebastián, undocumented student from Mexico

In early June, a two-pronged media cycle dealing with the issue of non-citizen soldiers and military recruitment slowly began to materialize. Following on the heels of an internal Pentagon study that reported a general decrease in interest in military service among young Americans, the debate about the role of non-citizens in the U.S. military intensified.

In the Washington Post, reporter Brigid Schulte filed a feature story titled, “Why Won't We Let Them Fill the Ranks?”, in which she described the willingness of many undocumented youth to enlist. Schulte’s piece is filled with enthusiastic comments from undocumented youth who are eager to sign up.

At one point, she depicts a group of undocumented workers cheering as the invasion of Iraq begins, apparently because the war would afford them the opportunity to enlist...".

This article is from Draft NOtices, the newsletter of the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (http://www.comdsd.org)

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2007

Heading into August Recess Congress Tackles Appropriations; Immigration Amendments Possible

As Congress heads into recess at the end of the week, both chambers are busy considering appropriations and authorization legislation before the month-long August break.

The House of Representatives will consider two appropriations bills this week: FY 2008 Agriculture Appropriations (H.R. 3161), and FY 2008 Defense Appropriations (H.R. 3222). These must-pass bills could provide restrictionist lawmakers with opportunities to attach riders on employment verification or other enforcement-focused measures.

Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) warned today that a Saturday session of the House might be necessary to wrap-up work before the recess.

The Senate, meanwhile, will attempt to wrap up its work on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S. 1893 substituted for H.R. 976), and with other measures that might surface before the end of the week. Please stay tuned to www.aila.org for more information as it becomes available.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2007

Carmen Ceja; notario shut down

Friends: The link below is to an article in the Nashville Scene by P.J. Tobia describing the TN Attorney General's lawsuit against Carmen Ceja, whose notario business has been shut down, at least temporarily. This is a very good development.

Gregg Ramos 615) 255-2555, Ext. 8130


Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2007

Rep. Lofgren Introduces Bill to Void Immigration Fee Increases

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2007 CONTACT: Pedro Ribeiro 202-225-3072, pedro.ribeiro@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. - Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today introduced a bill to void the recent increases in immigration fees by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The bill would void the new fee structure set to take effect today and reinstate the previous fee structure. The bill also states that USCIS has consistently failed to reduce application backlogs and has suffered from a lack of transparency and effective management.

"Our immigration services need to move into the 21st century," stated Rep. Zoe Lofgren. "But, USCIS has consistently failed to explain or justify the amounts and distributions of this new fee increase. While I agree that USCIS needs to modernize its existing infrastructure and procedures, they must do so in a transparent and open manner. After repeated requests over several months, USCIS has yet to provide Congress with a detailed plan for its infrastructure modernization efforts. Our immigration system should be both effective and fair; sacrificing one to achieve the other should not be an option."

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