October 31, 2007
H-1B filing fee increase
The Congress has voice voted to increase the H-1B filing fee by an additional $3,500. This increase is without an increase in the H-1B numbers. Go to www.aila.org to contact Congress to voice your opposition.
October 30, 2007
Aussies Get New Visa Deal
Irish Voice News, September 24, 2007
"THE U.S. and Australia have agreed a 12-month work and travel program, scheduled to go into effect on October 31 of this year, where American and Australian college students and recent college graduates under the age of 30 can legally live and work in either country.
It is the second time in two years that Australia has done a special U.S. visa deal for its citizens. Last year they succeeded in creating a new category of E-3 visas which allows 10,000 qualified Australians per year to come and work indefinitely in America with a renewable work visa.
“Australia has had this sort of deal with various countries under the commonwealth as well as Ireland, but this is sort of model is new from the U.S. side,” said former Congressman Bruce Morrison, now an immigration lobbyist, referring to the new 12 month visa...'.
October 29, 2007
Anti- immigration Congressman Tom Tancredo, founder of the Immigration Reform Caucus, has announced that he will retire at the end of next year.
Great news to start the week;
Tancredo to Retire at End of 110th Congress
Monday, Oct. 29, 2007; 9:07 am
By David M. Drucker, Roll Call Staff
"Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) revealed late Sunday that he will retire upon the conclusion of his current term, regardless of how his long-shot presidential bid turns out, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
As promised, Tancredo, 61 , waited until after the Colorado Rockies' last out of the World Series on Sunday night before announcing that he plans to leave Congress at the end of this, his fifth term. The Rockies were swept 4-0 in Major League Baseball's main event by the Boston Red Sox.
"It's the fact that I really believe I have done all I can do in the House, especially about the issue about which I care greatly [immigration]," Tancredo told the Rocky Mountain News in a phone interview from a motel in Iowa, where he is campaigning for president.
Tancredo's retirement leaves House Republicans with another open seat to protect in the 2008 cycle. The news is sure to buoy Democrats as they seek to expand their House majority.
However, the strong Republican bent of the Congressman's suburban Denver 6th district should keep the seat safe from a Democratic takeover and all but ensure victory in the general election for the eventual GOP nominee, especially considering the fact that 2008 is a presidential year...".
October 28, 2007
US immigration 'worst in the world'
From Times Online, October 25, 2007, Tom Chesshyre;
"Entry requirements in the United States are the "worst in the world" and visa rules are "cumbersome", causing tourists to steer clear of America, according to a leading figure in US travel and tourism.
Jonathan Tisch, chairman of the influential Travel Business Round Table in the US, which represents travel orangisations in America, told Times Online Travel that urgent action is required to incease visitors to the United States, as tourism numbers do not proportionately match up to other countries.
He is calling on immigration officials at airports to be more polite, for fewer visa restrictions and for a nationwide tourist board to promote tourism - no such organisation exists at present as each state organises its own tourist publicity.
Tisch, who is visiting London to watch the Miami Dolphins play the New York Giants, which his family half owns, at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, believes that potential visitors consider trips to the America to be "problematic"...".
October 27, 2007
Pew Hispanic Center Releases Report on Attachment of Latino Immigrants to Their Native Country
The Pew Hispanic Center today released a first-of-its-kind report that analyzes data from a national sample of Latinos to determine how much contact Hispanic immigrants have with their native country. The attachment of Latino immigrants to their native country, or "transnationalism," is measured by levels of remittance-sending, phone calls, and return visits. Just one-in-ten Latino immigrants engages in all three of these behaviors on a regular basis, the report finds. It also finds that immigrants' transnational behavior is related to the years immigrants have been in this country; the age they were when they first arrived; and their country of origin. And it is correlated, as well, with their attitudes toward the U.S.
The report is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website, www.pewhispanic.org.
The Pew Hispanic Center is a non-partisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
October 26, 2007
Immigration law applies to everyone
For several years I have been saying that immigration law applies to everyone. Here is an article in the New York Times describing this shift. By By Julia Preston, published: October 21, 2007
Tighter Border Delays Re-entry by U.S. Citizens
"EL PASO — United States border agents have stepped up scrutiny of Americans returning home from Mexico, slowing commerce and creating delays at border crossings not seen since the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The increased enforcement is in part a dress rehearsal for new rules, scheduled to take effect in January, that will require Americans to show a passport or other proof of citizenship to enter the United States. The requirements were approved by Congress as part of antiterrorism legislation in 2004.
Border officials said agents along the southern border were asking more returning United States citizens to show a photo identity document. At the same time, agents are increasing the frequency of what they call queries, where they check a traveler’s information against law enforcement, immigration and antiterror databases.
The new policy is a big shift after decades when Americans arrived at land border crossings, declared they were citizens and were waved on through. Since the authorities began ramping up enforcement in August, wait times at border stations in Texas have often stretched to two hours or more, discouraging visitors and shoppers and upsetting local business.
The delays could remain a fact of life across the southern border for the next few years, border officials said, at least until new security technology and expanded entry stations are installed and until Americans get used to being checked and questioned like foreigners. Last year 234 million travelers entered the United States through land border crossings from Mexico...".
October 25, 2007
Cloture Vote on DREAM Act Fails
On October 24, 2007, the Senate failed to garner the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on the DREAM Act (S. 2205). The 52-44 vote in favor of proceeding to debate on the DREAM Act was eight votes short of the 60 votes necessary for cloture. A successful cloture vote would have allowed senators to begin debating and amending the DREAM Act before voting on its final passage.
Eight Democrats joined 36 Republicans to block the measure from moving forward, while 12 Republicans joined 38 Democrats and two Independents to vote in favor. To find out how your senators voted on the DREAM Act, visit Contact Congress at http://capwiz.com/aila2/vote.xc/?votenum=394&chamber=S&congress=1101&voteid=10474806&state=US View AILA's statement on the Senate's failure to proceed with debate on the DREAM Act at http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=23691
October 24, 2007
DREAM Alert: Votes on Wednesday - CALL NOW!!
The DREAM Act positively conveys the benefits and contributions of immigrants to America. Its passage would send a clear message across the country that immigration is a valued American tradition that is badly in need of a makeover. Senate support of the DREAM Act promotes hardworking immigrant students while expressing a commitment to repairing our broken system.
If the DREAM Act Fails to Pass the Senate...
Conversely, if the DREAM Act does not garner the sixty votes it needs to pass the Senate, a different message will resonate throughout the country. This message tells immigrant kids that their hard work in school - the studying and staying out of trouble - mean nothing to American law makers. This message tells teenagers who have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives that this is not their home and that the American Dream belongs only to their classmates, but not to them.
The DREAM Act will come to a vote in the Senate on Wednesday. What message will your senators be sending? Call them today and ask for their support!
Sen. Lamar Alexander: (202) 224-4944
Sen. Bob Corker: (202) 224-3344
October 23, 2007
Ain’t That America
New York Times Editorial, published: October 22, 2007;
"Think of America’s greatest historical shames. Most have involved the singling out of groups of people for abuse. Name a distinguishing feature — skin color, religion, nationality, language — and it’s likely that people here have suffered unjustly for it, either through the freelance hatred of citizens or as a matter of official government policy.
We are heading down this road again. The country needs to have a working immigration policy, one that corresponds to economic realities and is based on good sense and fairness. But it doesn’t. It has federal inertia and a rising immigrant tide, and a national mood of frustration and anxiety that is slipping, as it has so many times before, into hatred and fear. Hostility for illegal immigrants falls disproportionately on an entire population of people, documented or not, who speak Spanish and are working-class or poor. By blinding the country to solutions, it has harmed us all...".
October 22, 2007
Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams: The Lost Potential of Undocumented Students
American Immigration Law Foundation ; providing factual information about immigration and immigrants in the United States.
NEW RELEASE, October 19, 2007, by Roberto G. Gonzales
"The current political debate over undocumented immigrants in the United States has largely ignored the plight of undocumented children. Yet children account for 1.8 million, or 15 percent, of the undocumented immigrants now living in this country. These children have, for the most part, grown up in the United States and received much of their primary and secondary educations here. But without a means to legalize their status, they are seldom able to go on to college and cannot work legally in this country. Moreover, at any time, they can be deported to countries they barely know. This wasted talent imposes economic and emotional costs on undocumented students themselves and on U.S. society as a whole.
Among the findings of this report:
About 65,000 undocumented children who have lived in the United States for five years or longer graduate from high school each year. Although they can legally attend most colleges, they are not eligible for most forms of financial aid.
Because of the barriers to their continued education and their exclusion from the legal workforce, only between 5 and 10 percent of undocumented high-school graduates go to college.
Given the opportunity to receive additional education and move into better paying jobs, undocumented students would pay more in taxes and have more money to spend and invest in the U.S. economy.
The ten states which, since 2001, have passed laws allowing undocumented students who graduate from in-state high schools to qualify for in-state college tuition have not experienced a large influx of new immigrant students that "displaces" native-born students or added financial burdens on their educational systems. In fact, these measures tend to increase school revenues by bringing in tuition from students who otherwise would not be in college.
The bipartisan Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, first introduced in Congress in 2001, would provide a solution to the current dilemma by allowing undocumented students to apply for legal permanent resident status and to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities.
The DREAM Act would provide 360,000 undocumented high-school graduates with a legal means to work, and could provide incentives for another 715,000 youngsters between the ages of 5 and 17 to finish high school and pursue post-secondary education".
For more information contact Tim Vettel at (202) 742-5608.
October 21, 2007
"Last week, Immigrants' List-supported candidate Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts defeated a Republican opponent running on an anti-immigrant platform.
Tsongas spoke out in favor of reform that includes increased visas for high & low skilled workers, due process restoration, and a fair & practical pathway to earned citizenship.
Like so many candidates in 2006, Ogonowski used Tsongas position to demonize immigration into nothing more than a border security & amnesty issue - using it in TV ads, on the radio, and in direct mail pieces.
Immigrants' List was able to raise almost $20,000 for Tsongas in the last week of the campaign, when she needed it the most. She was able to use this money to counter her opponent's anti-immigration distortions. The electorate got the message, and in a district that former Republican Governor Mitt Romney won with 55% of the vote in 2002, Tsongas defeated her anti-immigrant opponent by six percentage points...".
October 20, 2007
Take 3 Actions This Week! Support H-2Bs, DREAM, and AgJOBS!!
These Issues Need Support! Call Congress Today!
Tell Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, and Rep. Jim Cooper that:
1. Now is the time for the DREAM Act. These ambitious students should be allowed to pursue their dreams!
2. The H-2B cap was hit on October 1st! Congress must extend S.988/H.R.1843 in order to Save Small and Seasonal Business!
3. AgJOBS is a bipartisan measure with support from farm workers and growers! Congress must act now in order to keep our U.S. farms in operation and provide U.S. households with access to safe, homegrown food.
To take action go to www.aila.org
October 19, 2007
Immigrants in Arizona: Fiscal and Economic Impacts
Restrictionist messaging is, unfortunately, very loud and very effective. But is it accurate? For example, does immigration harm the U.S. economy, as restrictionists so often claim? Judith Gans, manager of the Immigration Policy Program at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at The University of Arizona, set out to answer this question in her report entitled "Immigrants in Arizona: Fiscal and Economic Impacts."
The report prepared by Professor Gans examines the costs and benefits of immigration in Arizona. It provides estimates of the incremental fiscal cost associated with immigrants – education, health care, and law enforcement – and measures their contributions to Arizona’s economy both as consumers and as workers. The two categories of immigrants [(naturalized citizens and non-citizens (which includes the undocumented)] are examined separately in order to disentangle the economic costs and benefits associated with each.
Based on Professor Gans' study, the total Arizona state tax revenue attributable to immigrant workers was an estimated $2.4 billion (about $860 million for naturalized citizens plus about $1.5 billion for non-citizens). Balanced against estimated fiscal costs of $1.4 billion (for education, health care, and law enforcement), the net 2004 fiscal impact of immigrants in Arizona was positive by about $940 million. In other words, far from the negative economic impact so often claimed by restrictionists, the presence of immigrants in Arizona accounted for a nearly $1 billion gain for Arizona's economy.
The complete study is available on the University of Arizona's website at; http://udallcenter.arizona.edu/programs/immigration/publications/impact_judy.pdf
October 18, 2007
House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Secure ID Technology
The Government Management, Organization, and Procurement Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing titled "Pick a Card, Any Card: Secure ID Technology" on Thursday, October 18 at 2 pm, in room 2247 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The hearing will focus on how to make a tamper-proof ID, including technology options such as chips, security printing and other commercially available technologies. Relative levels of security that different technologies provide, as well as the costs and scalability associated with each will be reviewed. Programs discussed will include e-passports, HSPD-12, REAL ID and others.
* Kathy Kraninger - director, Screening Coordination Office, DHS
* Michael Everitt - director, Forensic Document Laboratory, ICE
* Benjamin Brink - assistant public printer for security and intelligent documents, GPO
* Bonnie Rutledge - director, Vermont DMV
* General Services Administration witness may be added.
* Neville Pattinson - Gemalto Inc., representing Secure ID Coalition
* Reed Stager - Digimarc Corp., representing Document Security Alliance
* Kathy Alsbrooks - Lasercard Corp.
October 17, 2007
Fleeing to U.S., Cubans’ First Stop Is Often Mexico
By Marc Lacey, Published: October 16, 2007
"CORTÉS, Cuba — Cubans are migrating to the United States in the greatest numbers in over a decade, and for most of them the new way to get north is first to head west — to Mexico — in a convoluted route that avoids the United States Coast Guard.
American officials say the migration, which has grown into a multimillion-dollar-a-year smuggling enterprise, has risen sharply because many Cubans have lost hope that Raúl Castro, who took over as president from his brother Fidel in 2006, will make changes that will improve their lives. Cuban authorities contend that the migration is more economic than political and is fueled by Washington’s policy of rewarding Cubans who enter the United States illegally.
In fact, unlike Mexicans, Central Americans and others heading to the southwestern border of the United States, the Cubans do not have to sneak across. They just walk right up to United States authorities at the border, benefiting from lax Mexican enforcement and relying on Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, which gives them the ability to become permanent residents if they can reach United States soil...".
October 16, 2007
The Pulse: Your Resource for Immigration Advocacy
"In a new report entitled Hispanics Rising, the New Democratic Network (NDN) reviews the emerging politics of the fastest-growing part of the American electorate, one deeply changed by the immigration debate. The report documents how Hispanics have gone from a group trending Republican to a group overwhelmingly Democratic; one whose percentage of the American electorate has increased by 33 percent in the last 4 years; and one poised, because of the structure of the Electoral College, to determine who the next President will be in 2008.
Writing in The Washington Post recently, former Bush Chief White House Speechwriter Michael Gerson described the changes in the Hispanic electorate this way: I have never seen an issue where the short-term interests of Republican presidential candidates in the primaries were more starkly at odds with the long-term interests of the party itself. At least five swing states that Bush carried in 2004 are rich in Hispanic voters -- Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Florida. Bush won Nevada by just over 20,000 votes. A substantial shift of Hispanic voters toward the Democrats in these states could make the national political map unwinnable for Republicans … Some in the party seem pleased. They should be terrified".
A copy of the full report is also available on the NDN websitehttp://www.ndn.org/hispanic/hispanics-rising.pdf
October 15, 2007
See my ad at Craigslist.com
I am an immigration lawyer with 20 years of experience. My firm handles business and family cases. My staff speaks English and Spanish to serve our clients. Our goal is for you to be satisfied with our service. Contact us today to arrange your appointment.
October 14, 2007
FAQ; referral to an attorney in New York City
Question; LULAC case - letter of intent to deny
Dear Mr Ramos,
I have received a notice of intent to deny under LULAC and would appreciate it if you could send me a "Form to gather Declarations" as I could not get it from your instructions in a blog of yours that I have read.
Also, would appreciate it if you could give me some lawyers who I could contact in New York City who are familiar with the CSS/LULAC case, as I could retain a lawyer. Any fee that is reasonable by you will be paid.
Regards and Good Wishes,
Answer; Thanks for the e-mail to my website. I recommend that you contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association for a referral to a New York attorney who can help you. Please go to;
October 13, 2007
FAQ; Hardship Waiver
Question; I received everything you sent concerning the hardship waiver. I don't know what we need to do. I saw the list of reasons why they would grant it, but I don't know how to go about requesting it. Do I have to write a letter? Is there a particular format that I need to follow? Could you please give of some type of guidance on what to do?
Answer; Let's set a time to meet and discuss the details of the waiver and the process.
October 12, 2007
FAQ; US marriage laws and immigration?
Question; I am interested in coming to your office to address several questions that I have regarding US marriage laws and immigration. Please advise if this is possible, how much is your charge and etc.
Answer; Yes, I can answer your questions regarding US marriage laws and immigration. My fee for the initial consultation is $200.00. During this this interview we can discuss the strategy in filing your case.
October 11, 2007
Ex-Mexico Prez: Racists Stop Immigration
AP By DIEGO A. SANTOS;
"NEW YORK (AP) — Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Monday that the United States is letting racism dictate its policies, especially when it comes to immigration.
"The xenophobics, the racists, those who feel they are a superior race ... they are deciding the future of this nation," he said, without naming names, in an interview with The Associated Press.
In his first interview to promote his new book, "Revolution of Hope," Fox applauded President Bush's desire to pass an immigration accord that would allow more Mexicans to work legally in the U.S.
But he criticized Bush for failing to pass the promised reform.
"There was always a reason for why it couldn't be done. 'It is not possible because of the elections.' He couldn't touch the topic because this election is very important, or because security was more important," Fox said.
"So, when are they going to finally address it? It needs to be resolved."
Fox said he hopes his new book, written in English, helps Americans understand the Mexican point of view on immigration...".
October 10, 2007
JAMES SENSENBRENNER JR. (R-WIS.); http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12054520/the_10_worst_congressmen/2
"No politician better embodies the zealotry of the 109th Congress than Sensenbrenner, chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee. His solution to hot-button issues is always the same: Lock 'em up. Sensenbrenner has proposed legislation that would turn 12 million undocumented immigrants into felons, subject any adult selling a joint to a teenager to at least ten years in prison, and incarcerate college kids for failing to narc on their hallmates. He also wants to prosecute anyone who utters an obscenity on the air. Big fines just aren't tough enough for indecent broadcasts: As Sensenbrenner told a group of cable executives last year, "I'd prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process."
In addition to his assault on free speech, Sensenbrenner has also played a major role in curtailing civil liberties. He was the lead House sponsor of the Patriot Act, which gives the government broad powers to spy on Americans. Although the measure was intended to stop terrorists, Sensenbrenner insists it should also be used in routine criminal cases.
Sensenbrenner's iron-fisted rule of the judiciary committee was on nationwide display last year during a televised debate over reauthorization of the Patriot Act. When Democrats began discussing the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo, the chairman abruptly ended the meeting and cut off their microphones. When Democrats refused to leave the room, Sensenbrenner's staff pulled the plug on C-Span and turned out the lights. As The Daily Show host Jon Stewart put it, "He literally took his gavel and went home."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Sensenbrenner's abuse of power "disgraceful." But Democrats should take heart: The GOP chairman is an equal-opportunity bully. "He treats us all equally," says Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). "He treats us all like dogs."
Sensenbrenner, whose $10 million fortune stems from his great-grandfather's invention of the Kotex sanitary napkin, won $250,000 in the lottery in 1997. He also enjoys the perks of office: No congressman has racked up more frequent-flier miles on junkets sponsored by corporate lobbyists. While he was enjoying the good life last year, Sensenbrenner took time out to make life tougher on working families, winning approval for a bill that makes it harder for Americans overwhelmed by debt to declare bankruptcy. The congressman refused to consider an exemption from the bill's restrictions for victims of Hurricane Katrina -- and even voted against the aid package designed to help them recover from the disaster...".
October 09, 2007
Congress will soon vote on The DREAM Act, an important policy that will help immigrant kids achieve their dreams - You can help make the DREAM Act a reality by calling and emailing Congress! Learn more about the DREAM Act and how to take action at http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/
October 08, 2007
The Squirrel Wars
By , DT. MAX, Published: October 7, 2007; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/magazine/07squirrels-t.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin
"When you think of England, Rupert Redesdale is who you think of. He has a slanting forehead, a nose shaped like an adze and the pink face of an aristocrat from the Georgian era. But in fact his family is far older: it is one of five in Britain that can trace its roots directly back to William the Conqueror, the last successful invader of England, in 1066. “Our original name was Bertram,” he told me recently. “We were Normans.” Redesdale, a 40-year-old baron, can stand on a Northumberland hilltop and see the Rede Valley, with the Rede River running through it. He is able to say things like, “Our family had a castle in Mitford, but Robert the Bruce, the sod, knocked it down.”
I first met Lord Redesdale one day in August in the Lake District, about 80 miles southwest of his home in the Rede Valley. The Lake District, in the north of England, is on the front lines of a new Hundred Years’ War. It is a war between rodents. Since the 19th century, gray squirrels, an American import, have been overtaking Britain’s native red squirrels and claiming their territory. The grays have moved up from the south of England, thinning out the reds along the way. The reds now survive mostly in Scotland and the English counties, like Northumberland, that border it. The grays are larger and tougher and meaner than the reds. They can eat newly fallen acorns, and the reds cannot. They cross open lands that the reds are scared of. They are more sociable than reds, allowing for higher population densities. Although gray males cannot mate with red females, they often intimidate red males out of doing so. “It’s like: ‘That’s my girl. You move away!’ ” Redesdale said.
The situation has now reached a crisis point: there are only an estimated 160,000 red squirrels left in Britain, whereas there are more than 2 million grays. Without human intervention, reds could be gone from England in 10 years. The red squirrel is a national icon, and the British government is trying hard to save it. Deliberately killing a red squirrel or disturbing its nest, called a drey, is a crime. Last year the government set up more than a dozen refuges for red squirrels in the north of England. The country’s National Lottery granted £626,000 to a group called Save Our Squirrels to run the reserves. Save Our Squirrels, or S.O.S., is a who’s who of British conservation organizations, among them the Mammals Trust and Natural England. It has a toll-free number for reporting sightings of grays and reds and works to raise public awareness of the red’s plight..".
October 07, 2007
New York State's Drivers' License Policy is Under Attack
New York State's Drivers' License Policy is Under Attack
Dear Immigrant Advocates,
On September 21, New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer announced a new driver's license policy that strengthened the integrity of the NYS licenses and made undocumented immigrants eligible for the license if they met tough identification and documentation standards.
The new policy was welcomed by the public because it promotes public safety, reduces hit-and-run accidents, helps law enforcement and helps bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.
Some anti-immigrant activist are attacking this policy as something that gives IDs to terrorists, when in fact, the new license with strong anti-fraud measures makes it harder to get license for anyone without valid proofs of identity.
For the sake of public safety, road safety and fair access to drivers' licenses, we need to need to not only preserve the new New York State policy but replicate it in all other states that are also trying to maintain immigrant eligibility, at the same time, enhance the security of their licensing process.
Take Action Today!
Whether you are a New York resident or not, please join us. We need you to drown out the voices of hate-mongers in New York and other parts of the country and defend this important policy as a national example.
Please call Governor Spitzer (518-474-8390) to tell him, "I am calling to thank you for your leadership in improving the drivers’ license system to protect public safety for all New Yorkers and setting a national example."
Urge your state to adopt similar drivers' license policy that's tough but fair.
For more information, please contact Milan Bhatt, Immigrant Worker Advocacy Coordinator at the New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC), 212-627-2227 ext. 233 or email@example.com. You can also visit www.thenyic.org.
Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
October 06, 2007
FAQ; can I change employers inside the US with an H-1B1?
My girlfriend is a Singaporean national on an H1B1 visa. She got it issued at the US Embassy by bringing an offer letter and LCA. She recently received a new job offer. Her h1b1 shows validity until 2012 but for her current employer. How difficult is it to change employers while remaining in the US? If she simply goes to the embassy can she reapply for a new visa or does she need to apply for a change of her visa? if you know for certain the answers to these questions, we'd very much appreciate any insight and could discuss paying for an hour of advice if required.
She may apply to change employers while in the U.S. In order to change employers her application for the new H-1B1 must be physically received by CIS prior to taking the new job. This is called “porting”. She does not need to apply for a new visa unless her visa has or is expiring shortly. Contact me if she needs assistance in porting to the new employer.
October 05, 2007
Redesigned Naturalization Test
From USCIS; 9/27/2007
In the interest of creating a more standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a multi-year redesign of the naturalization test. The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans.
Over the past decade, several in-depth studies of the naturalization test revealed concerns with the test’s content, how the test was being administered, and how it was being scored. To address these concerns, the federal government launched a test redesign in 2000. In April 2005, the USCIS Office of Citizenship took over responsibility for this redesign. A panel of adult education experts affiliated with Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), U.S. history and government scholars, expert test development contractors, and other external stakeholders provided input into the redesign.
The major aim of the redesign process is to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the redesigned test will serve as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.
To accomplish these goals, USCIS initially piloted a new test–with an overhauled English reading and writing section, as well as new history and government questions–in ten sites across the country. The feedback from this pilot was then used to finalize testing procedures, English reading and writing prompts, and a list of 100 new history and government questions. To ensure the pilot accounted for a representative sample of candidates with a variety of education levels, the test was also piloted at adult education sites nationwide.
The resulting redesigned test was publicly introducted on September 27, 2007. Naturalization applicants will begin taking the revised test on October 1, 2008.
Which Test Do I Take?
Following the public introduction of the redesigned naturalization test on September 27, 2007, there will be one full year before naturalization applicants begin taking the revised test. This period will allow adult educators and immigrants working toward citizenship sufficient time to prepare for the redesigned test. The following guidelines will determine whether naturalization applicants will take the current test or the redesigned version:
If an applicant:
Applies BEFORE October 1, 2008 and is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview BEFORE October 1, 2008, he or she will take the current test.
Applies BEFORE October 1, 2008 and is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview AFTER October 1, 2008, he or she can choose to take the current test or the redesigned version.
Applies AFTER October 1, 2008, he or she will take the redesigned version.
Is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview AFTER October 1, 2009, regardless of when he or she applied, he or she will take the redesigned version.
October 04, 2007
Court Extends Order That Blocks Government From Implementing Flawed Social Security No-Match Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2007
CONTACT: Lauren Mendoza, AFL-CIO, (202) 637-5212; firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Archuleta, ACLU, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666; email@example.com
Stella Richardson, ACLU-NC, (415) 621-2493; firstname.lastname@example.org
Marielena HincapiÃ©, NILC, (415) 845-3403; email@example.com
SAN FRANCISCO - After a hearing today, a federal judge extended for 10 days an order that temporarily stops the government from implementing a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule that would cause U.S. citizens and other authorized workers to lose their jobs, and which would illegally use error-prone social security records as a tool for immigration enforcement. The judge's order also stops the Social Security Administration (SSA) from beginning to send notices to approximately 140,000 employers across the country notifying them of the new rule, which would impact approximately eight million workers.
"We are pleased that the judge saw the need to continue to block this rule that would lead to increased exploitation of workers," said John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO. "More than 70% of SSA discrepancies refer to U.S. citizens but the DHS regulation would encourage employers to fire any worker based on these erroneous discrepancies, especially if she has an accent or is perceived to be foreign born."
Today's extension of the temporary restraining order comes as a result of a lawsuit filed in August by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Central Labor Council of Alameda County along with other local labor movements. In the lawsuit, the groups charge that the misguided rule violates the law and workers' rights, imposes burdensome obligations on employers, and will cause discrimination against workers who are perceived to be immigrants.
For years the SSA has sent "no match" letters to employers if the name and social security information reported by a worker on a W-2 form does not match up with the information contained in SSA databases. The "no match" letters were never considered reason to believe that an employee did not have permission to work in the U.S, and currently employers who receive "no-match" letters are not required to take any action. In fact, there are many innocent reasons for such discrepancies such as clerical mistakes, name changes due to marriage and divorce, and the use of multiple surnames that are common in many parts of the world.
Under the new DHS rule, employers receiving "no match" letters might be required to fire employees whose SSA discrepancies are not resolved within 90 days after the "no-match" letter is received. If the employer does not respond to a "no-match" letter, DHS may conclude that the employer had "constructive knowledge" that an employee was not authorized to work in the U.S. and prosecute the employer accordingly.
Today's extension was handed down in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
In addition to the AFL-CIO, which is represented by the law firm of Altshuler Berzon LLP, other parties bringing the lawsuit include the Central Labor Council of Alameda County, represented by the ACLU, the ACLU of Northern California, and NILC, as well as the San Francisco Labor Council and the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, represented by Weinberg, Roger and Rosenfeld.
Lawyers on the case include Scott A. Kronland, Stephen Berzon, Jonathan Weissglass, Linda Lye and Danielle Leonard of Altshuler Berzon LLP; Jonathan Hiatt, James Coppess and Ana AvendaÃ±o of the AFL-CIO; Lucas Guttentag, Jennifer Chang, MÃ³nica M. RamÃrez and Omar Jadwat of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project; Alan Schlosser and Julia Mass of the ACLU of Northern California; Marielena HincapiÃ©, Linton Joaquin and Monica Guizar of NILC; and David Rosenfeld and Manjari Chawla of Weinberg, Roger and Rosenfeld.
The complaint, a complete list of plaintiffs, and other information about the lawsuit can be found at: www.aclu.org/nomatch
October 03, 2007
DREAM Act which was scheduled to come for a vote as recently as yesterday to the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bill did not make it to the floor. We excerpt the following from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
"The DREAM Act will be tabled until mid-November when Majority Leader Reid intends to set aside time for its debate.
Sen. Reid has consistently demonstrated an earnest resolve to push the Senate to deliberate serious reforms to America's dysfunctional immigration laws. We thank Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Richard Lugar (R-IN) for their behind-the-scenes efforts to move the DREAM Act this week, and take the Majority Leader at his word that he will do all within his powers to address this important issue. However, we will also take at their word several Senators, mostly Republicans, who said they support the DREAM Act but had concerns about the vehicle to which it was being attached this week. Since the Congress is unlikely to pass major reform this year, narrowly targeted measures like DREAM and AgJOBS would serve as stopgap measures .. Narrowly targeted measures like the DREAM Act, which have garnered support in both houses and both parties, can point the way towards real improvements for American families, the American economy, and the bright future of immigrants in this country."
October 02, 2007
New York leads the way to drivers license safety
According to a New York Times news story, "New York State, home
to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants, will issue driver's
licenses without regard to immigration status under a policy
change announced yesterday by Gov. Eliot Spitzer" (for the full
story, see here).
New York joins eight other states (Hawaii, Maine, Maryland,
Michigan, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon and Washington) in allowing
drivers to obtain a license without proof of US legal status, in
contradiction to REAL ID's requirement of proof of legal status
before receiving state identification cards. Although REAL ID is
technically on the books, it no longer carries any weight since
its death knell has already been sounded.
October 01, 2007
Example letter sent supporting the Dream Act using American Immigration Lawyers Association Mail System
Message sent to the following recipients:
Message text follows:
611 Commerce Street Ste 3119
Nashville, TN 37203-3743
September 25, 2007
I am writing to urge you to support the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2007, formerly S. 774, that is being offered as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill, by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Richard Lugar (R-IN).
This bipartisan legislation will allow immigrant students who have grown up in this country, graduated from high school, and have no criminal record, to go to college and legalize their immigration status. The young people who would benefit from this legislation have done nothing wrong.
Yet they are being severely punished.
The DREAM Act recognizes that some of our best and brightest students are prevented from reaching their potential. Thousands of young people each year are prevented from pursuing their dreams of going to college because they have no immigration status and, without the option of in-state tuition, lack sufficient resources.
The vast majority of these children were brought here by their parents at an age when they had no say in the matter. These innocent children have managed to succeed against all odds and are an important part of communities all across this nation. They include class valedictorians, straight-A students, and others headed in the right direction. Yet, the road to achieving their dreams is blocked. For others, the recognition that they have no future causes them to give up and drop out. These children deserve a better chance.
I urge you to support this important legislation.