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November 30, 2008

Canada announces immigration reform


"TORONTO: Canada's Conservative government said Friday that it plans to fast-track the immigration process for skilled workers in high-demand occupations, drawing criticism from the country's opposition leaders that the new rules are unfair.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said applications for immigrants in occupations such as health, skilled trades, finance, and resource extraction will be processed within six to 12 months compared with up to six years under the old system. Geochemists, speech language pathologists, university professors, plumbers and chefs would also be fast-tracked.

The minister also said that Canada will maintain its immigration levels, while countries like the United Kingdom and Australia are cutting back.

"The recent steps this government has taken to improve our immigration system will help ensure that Canada remains competitive internationally and responsive to labor market needs domestically," Kenney said...".

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

November 27, 2008

Harry Reid: Immigration Reform (Amnesty) on the Agenda

From wwww.aolnews.com

By Dave Nov 26th 2008 8:34AM

Filed Under:eDemocrats, 2008 Senate, Immigration

Harry Reid is interviewed by the Detroit Free Press

Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?

A: On immigration, there's been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. ... We'll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we'll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.

Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?

A: We've got McCain and we've got a few others. I don't expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That's a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that's going to take a lot more time to do

Please God, let this be true, please, please, please. Please let the Democrats, as the first thing on their agenda, try to convince Americans facing layoffs and an economic meltdown that the first thing we must do is import more immigrants to do the jobs that "Americans won't do". Also that their pushing Healthcare back. As Kaus puts it:

So voters don't get health care (which Obama made a central issue in the campaign) but do get illegal immigrant semi-amnesty (which was a selling point only on Spanish language radio)?

Confirmed, Harry Reid is horrible on strategy. I'm sure glad he's majority leader, but I'm afraid cooler heads in the White House may see this as the disaster for the Democrats that it most surely is.

Also confirmed if what Reid says is true, McCain has learned nothing about the long term effects of working with Democrats.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2008

Another Reason to Give Thanks

Leaders in Both Parties Agree Immigration Reform is a Must Pass Priority

November 25, 2008

Washington, DC-In recent days, leaders from both sides of the aisle indicated that comprehensive immigration reform is a legislative priority for the 111th Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reassured the public that Congress will "move forward" and pass immigration reform legislation. Meanwhile, the renowned Republican strategist Karl Rove included immigration reform as part of a roadmap for the future survival of the GOP. "Republicans must find a way to support secure borders, a guest-worker program and comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens citizenship, grows our economy and keeps America a welcoming nation," said Rove.

In fact, the lessons from this month's election are stark. An analysis by America's Voice of 21 "battleground" races for House and Senate seats found that pro-immigration-reform candidates beat enforcement-only "hardliners" in 19 of the races. "Americans voters have shown they prefer fair and practical solutions over anti-immigrant rhetoric that sidesteps the real problem," said Angela Kelley, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. Now leaders must show that they got the wake up call. Reid and Rove know that the American people are counting on Washington to offer answers that strengthen and sustain all of America's workers, families and communities, native born and newcomer alike. Immigration reform is a part of the solution for a stronger America, and one that policy-makers have to get done and get done right."

For more information and background on these comments and more, visit ImmigrationImpact.org.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2008

FAQ; how long can it take to gain legal status?

Answer; when I first passed the bar exam 23 years ago in Tennessee prior to becoming a licensed attorney I helped an immigrant avoid deportation in immigration court. I advised the attorney who handled who did not have immigration experience on how to deal with the case. I had just graduated law school where I has studied immigration law. Over the years I assisted the client as he attempted to gain lawful status. Unfortunately my client was unsuccessful on his marriage case because of divorce. Likewise his employment case failed because his employer went out of business.

The way that he adjusted status to Permanent Residency was by an application by his US citizen daughter when she turned 21 years of age. So last week I called to tell him that his case has been approved after all of these years.

This is the nature of immigration law; the cases take years to develop. This makes the practice one of strategy and patience.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2008

Reid Says Immigration May Be On the Agenda


Monday, November 24, 2008

Deborah Barfield Berry reports for Gannett News Service:

WASHINGTON -- Buoyed by more Democrats in the House and Senate and a Democratic president-elect, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he expects lawmakers next year to take on hot-button issues from immigration to health care.

The Nevada Democrat also said Congress will try early on to undo some of President George W. Bush's recent executive orders, including ones on environment policies.

Last week, Reid discussed his priorities for the next Congress.

QUESTION: What are your priorities for the first 100 days of the session?
ANSWER: We're going to have to take care of a lot of nominations. ... We have to finish our appropriations process. We have a number of issues to repeal -- presidential orders (Bush) put in in the last few weeks. ... On the environment, for example, we're looking at clean-air regulations.

Q: Will it be an easier pitch with more Democrats in Congress?
A: Yes, next year it will be much easier to do. ... I'll have a larger majority here; so will ( House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi. We'll have a new president. And I think the Republicans come from the same states we come from. They have a lot of issues they need help with.

Q: What failed efforts disappoint you?
A: I wish we would have passed the speculation bill dealing with oil. I wish we could have gotten more money for infrastructure. We got quite a bit. But ... we should have a major infrastructure development program in our country.

Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?
A: On immigration, there's been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. ... We'll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we'll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.

Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?
A: We've got McCain and we've got a few others. I don't expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That's a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that's going to take a lot more time to do.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2008

Arizona Governor Napolitano tapped as new Homeland Security chief


The popular two-term governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, has been tapped by President-elect Barack Obama to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Her responsibilities would include such high-profile and hot-topic issues as immigration enforcement, federal disaster response, and airport security.

As a border-state governor, Ms. Napolitano brings experience to the role of immigration enforcement. She vetoed several tough illegal immigration bills put forward by state Republicans. She also supported the comprehensive reform efforts in Washington that were ultimately shot down last year by opponents of illegal immigration.

Napolitano has been skeptical that building a fence along the border will solve the immigration problem. She once said, “You build a 50-foot wall, somebody will find a 51-foot ladder.”

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

November 20, 2008

Immigration Policy Working Group formed by Obama

T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University since July 2004. He has been a member of the Georgetown faculty since 1997. Dean Aleinikoff served as General Counsel and Executive Associate Commissioner for Programs at the Immigration and Naturalization Service for several years during the Clinton Administration. From 1997 to 2004 he was a Senior Associate at the Migration Policy Institute, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. He has written widely on immigration, refugee and citizenship law and constitutional law. Dean Aleinikoff is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Yale Law School.

Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar is Professor and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School. His work focuses on how organizations manage complex regulatory, migration, international security, and criminal justice problems. During the Clinton Administration he served at Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he worked on countering domestic and international financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures. He has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Asylum Access and the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. He has testified before Congress on immigration policy and separation of powers, and was appointed to the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

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

November 19, 2008

Immigration Policy Center Launches New Immigration Policy Blog

The current climate of undeterred online immigrant-bashing is about to be faced with a force to contend with. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) yesterday announced the launching of its new blog, Immigration Impact at www.ImmigrationImpact.com. Immigration Impact was developed to help reshape the immigration debate in a way that will bring the country closer to comprehensive immigration reform. The blog will provide thoughtful and rapid-response commentaries and insights on the latest news and events so that you can be up-to-date with what's going on in the immigration debate.

"The misleading messages coming from an increasingly large number of anti-immigrant blogs demand an honest and informative response from their counterparts in the blogosphere," said IPC director and Immigration Impact contributor, Angela Kelley. "We're joining the blogosphere to tell the other side of the story and counter these attacks with arguments based in fact, research, and in-depth analysis."

Writers for the blog currently include Dr. Michele Waslin and Dr. Walter Ewing, two leading researchers and policy analysts in the immigration field. Notable and longstanding immigration advocates Benjamin Johnson and Angela Kelley will also serve as regular contributors. The Immigration Policy Center welcomes guest-contributions from reputable writers, bloggers, and advocates in the field.

Visit Immigration Impact at www.ImmigrationImpact.com.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2008


LexMonitor is a free daily review of law blogs and journals highlighting prominent legal discussion and the lawyers and other professionals participating in this conversation, owned & operated by LexBlog, Inc.

Visit my blog at; http://www.lexmonitor.com/authors/155-mario-ramos

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2008

Immigrant Advocates Reach Out To Obama

Coalition Appears in D.C. To Press Agenda, Events
By N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, November 12, 2008;

"Dozens of immigrant advocates from across the country convened in Washington yesterday to call on President-elect Barack Obama to halt work-site immigration raids and fulfill campaign pledges to offer the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path to citizenship within his first year in office.

Representatives of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a coalition of grass-roots organizations from Los Angeles, New York and the Washington area, also announced plans to mobilize tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters for a demonstration on the Mall on Jan. 21, the day after Obama's inauguration".

at http://www.washingtonpost.com

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

November 12, 2008

FAQ; will there be reform under the Obama administration?

Answer; Starting on election day and every day there after I have been asked this question. Of course we expect to see some type of reform given that the Hispanic, New Americans and immigrants provided Obama with the difference needed for victory.

To make sure that he keeps his promise we need to take action to bring about reform. There are those who will try to stop us, those who want to focus on other issues.

This is why we all need to take action to see reform in 2009.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2008

FAQ; does Mexican ask immigrants their legal status?

Answer; Rights agency: Mexican police shouldn't ask migrants' legal status when they file complaints

"By MARK STEVENSON | Associated Press Writer
8:51 PM EST, November 2, 2008
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's National Human Rights Commission asked legislators on Sunday to change the country's laws so that police would no longer have to ask migrants about their legal status when they file criminal complaints.

The idea is to make it easier for undocumented migrants in Mexico to report crimes, abuses or extortion attempts against them, the commission said in a news release.

In a letter to the Mexican Senate, the commission wrote that migrants should "be treated foremost as crime victims, regardless of their immigration status."

At present, Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law requires police to ask foreigners to prove they are in the country legally before they can offer the migrants any kind of services. The commission called that "restrictive and repressive."

Tens of thousands of Central American migrants cross through Mexico each year in an attempt to reach the United States, but many report being robbed, assaulted or shaken down for money, sometimes by police or immigrant traffickers.

"Mexico has become the scene of the most shameful violations of migrants rights," wrote commission President Jose Luis Soberanes.

In July, Mexico removed criminal penalties for being in the country illegally. Undocumented migration is now a minor offense punishable by fines, as compared to previous punishments of 1½ to 10 years in prison.

In part, advocates argued, Mexico's harsh treatment of migrants undermined its own demands for better treatment of undocumented Mexicans in the United States.

The commission praised the July reform, noting it had "blocked opportunities for corruption, crime and the systematic violation of migrants' human rights," and continued that "as part of this legal evolution, it is important to permit all undocumented migrants access to the justice system."

Anger over abuses against migrants boiled over in a small town in central Mexico in October, where townspeople rioted to defend dozens of Central Americans who had been held captive by traffickers, reportedly in collusion with police".

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

November 07, 2008

FAQ; Does immigration law apply to US citizens?

Answer: Yes, here is a story from the Associated Press;
"Feds free US citizen held for 2 months in Calif.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. citizen who was held for two months in a southern California detention center said immigration officials refused to believe his birth certificate was real.

The 25-year-old Jose Ledesma said he's happy to be free after facing possible deportation. He was released Monday after U.S. immigration attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the case.

Ledesma said he was born in Madera County, Calif., and had twice provided government attorneys with a copy of his California birth certificate. The government said he provided conflicting information on whether he was a U.S. citizen or a Mexican citizen in the U.S. illegally".

Under immigration law you have no right to an attorney is held without bond. So either you fight your case and stay in jail or accept deportation from the US. Then you have to return illegal to your home country. This is an excellent example of how messed up the current system has become.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2008

FAQ; what was the result of the amnesty in 1986?

Answer; visit the report "Lessons From The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986" at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/PolicyBrief_No3_Aug05.pdf

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

November 05, 2008

FAQ will there be an amnesty under the Obama presidency?

Answer; Yesterday I was extremely pleased to see Obama win the Presidency. It has been a long 8 years under the Bush administration of intolerance towards immigration and immigrants. As an immigration lawyer I have seen thousand of persons lives adversely affected by the severe immigration policies which destroy families; separate children from parents; husbands and wives; brothers and sisters; those who came to the US to seek a better life.

When I first became a lawyer 22 years ago I was fortunate to see my clients gain lawful status under the amnesty President Reagan & Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil. Many people say that it did not work and was an amnesty. Well it did work approximately 3 million people applied to gain status. They paid a fee of $185.00 to cover the cost of the program. This was not a quote "amnesty".

I remember that the application was easy and I could finish about one per hour. This is in contrast to the highly complex nature of each case today which takes about one day to complete.

For a reform to work it has to be affordable, easy and simple. We should learn from the past. We need to work towards helping Obama implement a workable immigration reform.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2008

Vote Obama today

Vote Obama today

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