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  1. One More Month of Good News for EB-2 Indians and Chinese

    by , 01-19-2012 at 12:32 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Sources tell me that we're going to see one more big jump - perhaps as much as a year - in the EB-2 India and China numbers for the March Visa bulletin that comes out in early February. Then the party is going to end with stalling or retrogressing after that. You never know for sure until the actual bulletin is published, but EB-2 applicants from those two countries need to pay attention to the bulletin and be prepared to act quickly.

    by , 01-19-2012 at 05:58 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    To little fanfare, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy has announced that there will only be four National Physical Therapy Exam testing dates offered in 2013. The exam dates for 2013 are expected to be released in mid-2012.

    The FSBPT is offering five exams in 2012 and offered three exams in the second-half of 2011. FSBPT notes that:

    We understand and appreciate that more test dates - not fewer - is what our stakeholders would like. However, in order to maintain the validity of the exam and maintain the current score reporting process, we are able to offer only four dates in 2013.

    FSBPT began fixed date testing on July 1, 2011, as a result of concerns over the security of the exam. The NPTE is only offered in the United States and is the only one of the three major healthcare licensing exams to have adopted a fixed date testing schedule. The NCLEX-RN (Registered Nurse) and the OTR (Occupational Therapy) exams are offered around the world and on most business days. Both the NCLEX-RN and the OTR exams have not had notablesecurity breaches, unlike the NPTE.
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or
  3. Bloggings: The strangest thing I have ever seen in US presidential politics; by Roger Algase

    I began following presidential campaigns in 1948, when I was a child and not old enough to vote. It was in that same year that I also attended my first and so far only campaign rally by an actual presidential candidate (Harry Truman, then running for re-election against Tom Dewey, the man on top of the wedding cake, whose lack of ability to show any genuine concern for ordinary people foreshadowed Mitt Romney today).
    Later, as a college student, I also attended a speech by then Senator John F. Kennedy, but he was running for re-election, not yet for the presidency. I have seen many very strange things in American presidential politics. 
    But I have never seen anything stranger than this year's presidential campaign, in which the two major parties are doing everything in their power to antagonize the fastest growing portion of the electorate, namely Latino (and Asian) voters. According to an article in the January 18 ID written on behalf of the Pew Hispanic Center, fully one third of these voters consider immigration to be a very important issue. Many of them personally know someone who has had deportation-related problems. 
    In 2000, Latino voters did a great deal to help George W. Bush win almost as many votes as his Democratic opponent, Al Gore. In 2008, they were crucial to Barack Obama's election. In 2010, these same voters stayed home in droves, giving right wing radicals control of the House of Representatives. 
    What madness in both parties to use every possible strategy to alienate these voters, as the Republicans are doing with their support of draconian anti-immigrant state laws and their pledge to deport, with few if any exceptions, every last unauthorized Spanish-speaking (or other brown-skinned) man, woman and child in America; and Obama, who is taking deportations to record levels, amounting almost to mass expulsion, is also doing.
    By targeting Latinos and other minority immigrant communities, and alienating American citizen members of these communities, the presidential candidates in both parties are acting as if they are not running for the presidency, but against it.
  4. Credibility Determinations Are Not Credible, Part Three

    In this series, I have been writing about methods for determining whether an alien is telling the truth.  So far, I have examined inconsistencies, demeanor, and lack of detail, and I have posited that none of these methods is very reliable.  Today, I will examine one method that I have long felt was the least reliable, but as I've worked on more cases, I have begun to believe that it actually may work better than other techniques used to determine credibility.  I am speaking about plausibility.
    First, what do we mean by plausibility?  When a fact finder determines that an event is not believable, it is implausible.  For example, I worked on a case where the Immigration Judge found my client's testimony implausible.  The client was an Ethiopian political activist who passed through government security at the airport even though a warrant had been issued for her arrest.  The IJ did not believe that a person wanted by the government could pass through airport security.

    Unless your name is Big Daddy, you probably can't smell the mendacity.

    The reason I previously felt that plausibility was a poor basis for determining credibility is because it is difficult to know what is plausible.  In the above example, it turns out that many high-level political activists who had been jailed by the government were able to leave the country through the airport.  In my case, we presented this evidence and my client received asylum.
    As I've thought about it more, I've come to believe that my case was decided in the proper way.  The IJ was concerned about a legitimate plausibility issue.  We presented evidence to satisfy that concern.  The case was granted. 
    The astronomer Carl Sagan famously said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."  Mr. Sagan's axiom can be applied in the asylum context.  Where an alien makes a claim that the IJ finds implausible, the alien should be given an opportunity to demonstrate that the claim is, in fact, plausible.  The more implausible the claim, the better evidence the alien will need to demonstrate plausibility.  This seems like a reasonable method for assessing credibility.
    If there is a conclusion to this short series on credibility, I suppose it is that no method of determining credibility is all that reliable.  This problem exists in all areas of the law, but it is particularly acute in the asylum context where so much rests on an alien's unsupported testimony.  The various methods of determining credibility can certainly help suss out the most egregious untruths, but beyond that, I have real doubts about their effectiveness.  In the end, the fact finder must reach a conclusion using the imperfect tools that are available.  Given all that rides on these decisions, it's not a task I envy them.
    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
  5. Obama's New Executive Rule - What does it mean for the power of the Presidency? By Danielle Beach-Oswald

    Although his record on deportation might have led to a record number of deportations last year, President Obama is at least making  a paltry attempt worthy of some praise in trying to help those illegal immigrants who are the immediate relative of a US citizen receive their green card.  The New York Times announced on January 6 that the administration is trying to implement a new regulation that will allow illegal immigrants who are the immediate relatives of US Citizens to receive their green cards abroad without the 3 or 10 year bar of re-entering the country apply to them.  The 3 or 10 year bar has been in place because of the illegal presence of these individuals in the United States.  Previously, the only relief for such a bar was the 212i waiver of inadmissibility.  However, these waivers are often difficult to adjudicate as they require a case of "extreme hardship" to the US Citizen Immediate relative which is not only a very high standard but also can take extended periods of time over a year.  This new proposal would allow these illegal immigrants to receive the waiver from USCIS prior to departing to their respective home countries to receive their green cards. 
    Obviously, this is just a proposal and even if it were to pass would affect a small group of people as many are already out of the country and those here even if the waiver is granted would have no assurance of return.   This proposal of 240B (d)  also only applies for those who had left the country after an illegal stay in the U.S. of over 180 days or 365 days.
    "Specifically, USCIS is considering regulatory changes that will allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request provisional waivers under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (INA or Act), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(v), prior to departing the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. An alien would be able to obtain such a waiver only if a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, is filed by a U.S. citizen on his or her behalf and that petition has been approved, thereby classifying the alien as an ''immediate relative'' for purposes of the immigration laws, and he or she demonstrates that the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to the alien's U.S. citizen spouse or parent ''qualifying relative.'' The qualifying relative for purposes of the waiver is not necessarily the immediate relative who filed the immigrant visa petition on the alien relative's behalf." - Federal Register /Vol. 77, No. 5 /Monday, January 9, 2012
    This proposed change does not come without controversy.  Representative Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee,an d well-known for his harsh stance on immigration called this an abuse of administrative powers.  However, immigration lawyers, immigration advocacy groups, and Latino organizations are hailing this as a step in the right direction.
    This measure is certainly a step in the right direction as it will provide both shorter waiting times and more transparency in the process for illegal immigrants to receive their green card.  It will also ease the process for the Department of State and USCIS with 212(i) or I-212 (permissions to re-enter)  waivers as there will be fewer to adjudicate. 
    Although I do not agree with Representative Smith's statements, there are issues of administrative law that come into play here that cannot be ignored.  How much executive power should the President have over immigration regulation?  Although this new regulation is viewed favorably by immigration advocacy groups and attorneys, it could easily be repealed by a later president, or perhaps even this President.  Such a regulation is only temporary and may only provide a "quick fix."  Additionally, it also opens a Pandora box for this President and later Presidents  to try institute immigration regulations without   having the necessary research and testimony on Capitol Hill to truly understand the ramifications of such a decision.  While the President is technically allowed to implement such a regulation without the authorization of Congress, it  also still is possible for Congress to intervene and say that President Obama cannot pass such a measure.  It would be a travesty if Representative Smith or others on the Hill reversed this measure simply for political motives.
    On the broad perspective this executive rule  is much like using a fly swatter to  eliminate a swarm of bees on the immigration issue.
    Executive Rule making has always come with some controversy.  This is one area however that goes to the root of our immigration system and seeks to preserve family unity on a very limited scope.   Therefore, this is an executive rule that Lamar Smith shouldn't seek to oppose but rather incorporate into congressional legislation.  But more importantly, it points to the broader issue - how much direct control should the president have over immigration?
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