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  1. California Republicans Embrace Immigration Reform to Survive. By Roger Algase

    While House Republicans are busy pandering to Tea Party anti-immigrant bigotry, a different message for the GOP is coming out of California. An August 19 POLITICO article: California Republicans turn to immigration to fight extinction starts off:

    "Republicans in Washington are taking a piecemeal approach to immigration reform - a strategy that could give the party's most polarizing figures a month's long platform to pop off about illegal immigrants.

    California Republicans have a much different line: Shut up and get it done.

    The divide boils down to simple math for California Republicans, who know they can't win elections here without the support of Hispanic voters.

    11 of the 15 districts held by Republicans are a quarter or more Hispanic - and some of them are prime targets for Democrats who need 17 seats to take back the House in 2014.

    But Republican leaders in Washington also face a much different picture nationwide: More than 100 GOP districts have close to no Hispanic voters.

    So while some Republicans in Washington might argue that there's no need to tackle reform with a pathway to citizenship, California Republicans believe they must - or face extinction."

    POLITICO goes on to quote Ruben Barrales, a former adviser to President George W. Bush who is now the head of Grow Elect, an organization dedicated to electing minority candidates across the state, as follows:

    "I cringe when I hear certain members speak."

    POLITICO continues:

    "Lesson One: Shut up about border security."

    The article also quotes Barrales as saying that Republicans should be focusing on the positive with immigration, and how it is making America stronger and California one of the best places to live. He also says that by the end of 2013, Hispanics will outnumber whites in California.

    The link is:

    Some California Republicans (though not all - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who represents a rich conservative district in Orange County, is staunchly opposed to reform and others are sitting on the fence) are getting the message that America is becoming a more diverse country, in which white voters no longer call all the shots.

    When will that message get through to the House Republicans in Washington? Will it get through in time to save CIR?

    Updated 08-19-2013 at 09:17 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 10-01-2013 at 03:07 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Congress’ failure to establish a budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (start date, October 1, 2013) has an impact on some areas of immigration. If you have any questions about how the government shutdown may impact your petitions, please contact Musillo Unkenholt.

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: USCIS operations continue despite the Federal Government shutdown, because fee-for-service activities performed by USCIS are not affected by a lapse in annual appropriated funding. H-1B, L-1, I-140, and I-485 petitions and applications are expected to continue processing with little impact as a result of the federal government’s shutdown.
    All USCIS offices worldwide are open for interviews and appointments as scheduled. E-Verify is an exception and is unavailable during the shutdown. For more information about how the shutdown is effecting E-Verify please visit

    Department of Labor: Most DOL functions that impact immigration will stop working as a result of the federal shutdown. The DOLwill neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. The DOL’s web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal Systemand the PERM system, have become static and are unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

    Department of State: The Department will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely, and planning for a lapse in appropriations must be continued. Visa issuance will be available in consulates that have adequate funding to continue operating. Please contact our office to determine if the consulate you plan to attend will continue operating.

    Customs and Border Patrol: Inspection and law enforcement are considered "essential personnel," though staffing may be more limited than usual. The borders will be open, and CBP is unsure of how the shutdown will affect the processing of applications filed at the border at this time.

    State Agencies: State agencies, such as driver’s licenses and professional licenses (e.g. Registered Nurse, Physical and Occupational Therapy licenses), are not impacted by the federal shutdown.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    Updated 10-03-2013 at 09:09 AM by CMusillo

  3. USCIS Launches Redesigned Websites
    On October 30, the USCIS introduced new websites, in English and in Spanish.

    The new sites are designed to enhance the user experience. In the past, I’ve always had a difficult time finding the information I needed on Because of this, I made sure that our website links to the most helpful pages on USCIS website from our temporary visas page, our green cards page, our citizenship page, our forms page, our USCIS page, etc. Hopefully, this saves our users a lot of time.

    However, it seems that it is much easier to find the information I need on the new USCIS website than on the old one. Bravo!

    The green menu near the top of the page contains the following items:

    1. Forms
    2. News
    3. Citizenship
    4. Green Card
    5. Tools
    6. Laws

    Place your cursor over the word “Forms”, and a pull-down menu provides links to a lot of useful information. The first row links to the most commonly searched for USCIS forms. The second row links to a chart showing the filing fees for various types of USCIS forms. It also links to a section regarding e-filing procedures and an explanation of how to order forms by phone and by mail. Finally, there is a link to the most searched for State Department forms and a link to the CBP page explaining the new I-94 procedures. The third row breaks down the forms according to category: Citizenship, Family-Based, Employment-Based, etc.

    Most of the other 5 menu items also have multiple rows of menu items which link to commonly searched for topics. The “Citizenship” tab links to various items concerning naturalization, citizenship through parents, and State Department passport information. The “Tools” tab provides links to a host of helpful services. It explains how to get a copy of your file, find a civil surgeon, check the status of your pending application, etc.

    Other menu items may still need a little work. For example, the “News” item contains only 3 links in the pull-down menu. While the “News Releases” and “Alerts” links are up-to-date, the “Questions and Answers” link stops in July 2012. Perhaps there is a reason for this, but if so, the page does not explain what it is.

    There are other items which need additional work. For example, when I worked as an INS Attorney (1976-82), I spent a couple of years interviewing persons claiming U.S. citizenship through their parents. The laws pertaining to “acquisition” and “derivation” of U.S. citizenship are complex, and the legal requirements change every few years. For this reason, INS Attorneys always relied on 4 handy charts published by the government.

    When I created our website in 1995, I wanted to link to these charts on the INS/USCIS website. However, it was extremely difficult to find them. When I finally did so, I linked to them from our “US Citizenship Through Parents” page. However, every few months, the government would change the URL/Address of these pages, thereby breaking my links. After repairing the broken links over a dozen times, I decided to put the 4 Nationality Charts on our website.

    Ever the optimist, I hoped that the new USCIS website would make it easier to find the 4 charts. In order to test my thesis, I placed my cursor of the “Citizenship” tab and down came the various menu items. I clicked on the link entitled “Citizenship Though Parents”. Two charts instantly appeared, but where were the other 2?

    I decided to try a new approach. I clicked on the website’s internal search engine which reads “What are you looking for?” and entered the words “Nationality Charts”. I got 89,900 results, but wait, the first 4 were links to the elusive Nationality Charts. Eureka!

    However, when I clicked on the first link, I did not see the chart, but the following message:

    Please be aware that the Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 71 to 76 and Appendices 71-1 to 75-7 have been superseded by USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 12: Citizenship & Naturalization as of January 22, 2013.

    Hmm… I then clicked the “Policy Manual” link, and from there, I clicked on “Part H: Children of U.S. Citizens”. This provided me with a lot of great information, but very complex. Where were the charts? Perhaps, if I were willing to spend a considerable amount of time clicking links, I would have found them, but for now, I’ll stick to my own website.

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 12:11 PM by CShusterman

    Tags: uscis, Add / Edit Tags
  4. GOP Elites Reportedly Favoring Cruz. Could This Be Bad News For H-1B? Roger Algase

    POLITICO is reporting that more and more Republican "elite" politicians are gravitating toward supporting Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) for president as the last, best, hope to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination. See:

    This is despite the fact that some of Cruz' immigration proposals are even more extreme than Trump's. Take H-1B for example.

    As mentioned in my recent post, Trump did a sudden about face on H-1B right after the Detroit Republican debate, and withdrew all of the sensible and realistic things he had just said about helping educated professionals stay in the United States. Instead, he came out with a denunciation of H-1B which sounded as if it could have been written by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) or Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

    However, Cruz had already gone beyond that, by proposing a 180-day moratorium on all H-1B visas. As a lawyer who has been representing H-1B clients for some three decades and who understands how much H-1B workers are contributing to our society (including some who are being paid six-figure salaries - what a myth all the talk about "cheap foreign labor" is compared to the reality in most H-1B cases), I think that Cruz' H-1B proposal is certainly extreme and irrational.

    But at least it is constitutional and does not violate the spirit (if not the letter) of the First Amendment and the essence of American democracy, as does Trump's proposal for a "temporary", but indefinite, ban on admission of all Muslims from anywhere in the world to the US.

    Therefore, ill-considered and unreasonable as Cruz' proposed moratorium on H-1B visas is, it is still not a threat to the foundations of our democracy and America's tradition of religious freedom, as Trump's ban on Muslims would be.

    If one, for example, happens to be a Muslim skilled or professional worker who wants to work in the US in H-1B status, it would make sense to hope for a Democratic victory this fall. If either of the two Republican front-runners becomes president, it would not necessarily be good news for such an applicant.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 03-09-2016 at 05:05 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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