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April 29, 2008

Congressional Hispanics knock Democratic leaders

By ERICA WERNER – 1 day ago

AP News

"WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Hispanic Caucus denounced House Democratic leaders Wednesday as "spineless" and little better than Republicans for failing to take on comprehensive immigration reform.

Leaders of the all-Democratic caucus, which numbers two dozen, criticized their party leadership at a news conference for instead scheduling hearings on enforcement legislation and specific visa issues.

They also complained that they are being blamed for opposing bills strongly supported by other Democrats that would add more visas for certain classes of immigrants, such as high-tech or seasonal workers. Instead, the Hispanic Caucus insists on a comprehensive approach that would provide a path for citizenship for some 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S.

Such legislation collapsed in the Senate last year and Democratic House leaders have shown little appetite for trying to revive the highly contentious issue in an election year.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona called the Democratic caucus "spineless."

"Today my party wants to do what is easy, not exactly what is right," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. "The leaders in our party who are arguing for consideration of helping just a few immigrants are risking the future of all immigrants."

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., who chairs the Hispanic Caucus, said the visa and other bills under consideration were "nothing more than a Band-Aid being used to cover up a gaping wound."

The lawmakers were particularly incensed because hearings have been scheduled on a bill by moderate first-term Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., that focuses on enforcement and would add border patrol agents...".

at www.ap.org

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

April 28, 2008

Metro traffic stops lead to most deportations

Here is an article about the Sheriff's 287g program;

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080428/NEWS01/804270431


Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2008

Pope Speaks Up for Immigrants, Touching a Nerve

By DANIEL J. WAKIN and JULIA PRESTON
April 20, 2008
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/20catholics.html

"Even as he was flying to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of protecting immigrant families, not dividing them.

He raised the issue again in a meeting on Wednesday with President Bush, and later that day spoke in Spanish to the church’s “many immigrant children.” And when he ends his visit to New York on Sunday, he will be sent off by a throng of the faithful, showing off the ethnic diversity of American Catholicism.

The choreography underscores the importance to the church here of its growing diversity — especially its increasing Hispanic membership.

Of the nation’s 65 million Roman Catholics, 18 million are Latino, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and they account for more than two-thirds of the new Catholics in the country since 1960.

Millions of other recent arrivals come from Asia and Africa. More and more parishes depend on priests brought from abroad to serve the flock.

Benedict has calibrated his immigration stance with care, stating the need to protect family unity and immigrants’ human rights, but pointedly avoiding any specifics of the American immigration debate, like the issue of whether to grant legal status to illegal immigrants. Yet last week his visit quickly stirred the crosscurrents of the debate.

His comments drew a rebuke from Representative Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado who has been a leading opponent of illegal immigration.

Accusing the pope of “faith-based marketing,” Mr. Tancredo said Benedict’s comments welcoming immigrants “may have less to do with spreading the Gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the Church.” Mr. Tancredo, a former Catholic who now attends an evangelical Christian church, said it was not in the pope’s “job description to engage in American politics.”

On the other side of the issue, some members of the Catholic hierarchy said they were shocked that on the same day that Benedict and President Bush affirmed in a joint statement the need for a policy that treats immigrants humanely and protects their families, federal agents were conducting raids at five chicken plants. They arrested more than 300 immigrants accused of being illegal workers.

The timing was coincidental, immigration officials said, and it was not clear whether the pope had known about the arrests when he met with Mr. Bush.

But the raids surprised some American Catholic leaders, who are often on the forefront of advocacy for immigrant rights...".

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2008

Vocal opposition to SAVE is urgently needed!

Your U.S. Representative is undecided about the SAVE Act.
Calls are urgently needed to ensure Rep. Jim Cooper's OPPOSITION!
Tell your Rep NOT TO SIGN the discharge petition!

Follow these steps for action:

1. Read below for talking points

2. Call Rep. Jim Cooper at (202) 225-4311

3. Forward this message to your professional and personal networks!

A discharge petition circulating the House of Representatives that, if successful, would force a vote on an ill-conceived deportation-only bill! Tell Rep. Jim Cooper NOT TO SIGN the petition because the bill, the "SAVE Act" (H.R. 4088), introduced by Reps. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) IS NOT the right solution to our broken immigration system!!

CALL TODAY!
Rep. Jim Cooper: (202) 225-4311

Talking Points:
1) Please DO NOT Sign the Discharge Petition on The SAVE Act.

2) The Shuler/Tancredo bill mandates participation in a Basic Pilot employment verification system which relies on the deeply flawed and inaccurate Social Security Administration and DHS databases.

3) Now just a voluntary program, the Basic Pilot program is only used by 52,000 employers. The Shuler/Tancredo bill would require more than 6 million employers to use the system within the next 4 years - a more than 11,000% increase in participation of a fundamentally flawed system.

4) The Shuler/Tancredo bill will create serious economic hardship for U.S. businesses and workers and will do nothing to solve the problem. Inevitably, many thousands of US citizens and legal residents will be fired or denied employment opportunities and businesses will lose valuable workers who cannot resolve bureaucratic data discrepancies.

5) Equally important, as a measure to curb undocumented immigration, the Shuler/Tancredo bill ignores the root systemic problems and fails to deal with the fact that more than 5% of the US workforce is undocumented.

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

April 17, 2008

It's Tax Time! Immigrants and Taxes: Contributions to State and Federal Coffers

Policy Spotlight

Tax Day would seem to be an appropriate time to inject some bottom-line reality into the long-running debate over whether or not immigrants in the United States "pay their own way" as taxpayers. As with nearly all aspects of the immigration debate, the controversy over how immigrants impact the public treasury is far too often dominated by emotionally charged rhetoric rather than hard facts. Many of these much-needed facts are provided in a forthcoming report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), prepared by Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer at the Wall Street Journal and former director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2005 Current Population Survey and other sources, Moore and Vedder conclude that immigrants not only pay their own way in taxes, but play a hefty role in shoring up the teetering Social Security system, and provide a fiscal windfall to U.S. taxpayers by tending to come to the United States during their prime working years--after the costs of their education and upbringing have been borne by their home countries.

A sneak peak at more findings of the report can be found on the IPC website; http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/index.php?content=fc080412

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:04 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2008

USCIS Reaches FY 2009 H-1B Cap

USCIS has released a statement confirming that as of April 7, 2008, USCIS received more than enough H-1B petitions to use up the entire cap of 58,200, plus approximately 6,100 “recaptured” numbers from this year’s Chile/Singapore H-1B1 cap. USCIS has also received more than enough petitions that will count against the exemption cap of 20,000 for employees with a Master’s or higher degree from a U.S. college or university.

USCIS will now log in all received H-1B petitions and conduct a random selection process for H-1Bs to be considered for processing toward this year’s caps. USCIS is not yet able to provide a date by which the random selection will be done, nor indicate how many petitions were received.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2008

Lobby Day on April 3, 2008 in Washington DC

Our Mission: On April 3, will educate policy makers about the real and deepening crisis facing American businesses, communities, and families. We will persuade members of Congress and their staff that immigration policies are failing America.

Our broken immigration system can only be fixed with a comprehensive solution that:

requires the undocumented population to come out of the shadows and earn legal status;

provides fair and lawful ways for American businesses to hire much-needed immigrant workers who help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition;

reduces the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment-based immigration by reforming the permanent immigration system; and

protects our national security and the rule of law while preserving and restoring fundamental principles of due process and equal protection.

But given the political impossibility of a large-scale overhaul this Congress, law makers can and must take specific immediate action to diminish the suffering of American businesses, communities, and families. We are not abandoning our vision for long term solutions, but recognize the political realities of achieving them at this time. For the duration of the 110th Congress, Senators and Representatives will be confronted with deportation-only immigration proposals that are short sighted and can only exacerbate the current crisis. AILA strongly opposes deportation-only strategies and instead urges relief to business, communities and families by:

Businesses in Crisis
Providing H-1B, H2-B, and EB relief
Communities in Crisis
Providing due process protections and detention standards
Families in Crisis
Restoring discretion and waivers

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