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There is a fascinating observation in a recent column by noted demographer Michael Barone. Listen to what he says:
"The 2010 Census tells something else that may prove important: There's been a slowdown of immigration since the recession began in 2007 and even some reverse migration. If you look at the Census results for Hispanic immigrant entry points -- East Los Angeles and Santa Ana, Calif., the east side of Houston, the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago -- you find that the Hispanic population has dropped sharply since 2000.
One reason is the business cycle. The 2000 Census was taken on April 1, 2000, less than a month after the peak of the tech boom. Unemployment was low, immigration was high, and entry-point houses and apartments were crammed with large families.
The 2010 Census was taken after two years of recession, when immigration had slackened off. We simply don't know whether this was just a temporary response to the business cycle or the beginning of a permanent decline in migration.
Past mass migrations, which most experts expected to continue indefinitely, in fact ended abruptly. Net Puerto Rican migration to New York City stopped in 1961, and the huge movement of Southern blacks to Northern cities ended in 1965. Those who extrapolate current trends far into the future end up being wrong sooner or later."
What makes this so intriguing is the fact that conventional wisdom holds precisely the opposite, namely that the US is subject to never-end waves of unlawful migration to which we can offer no meaningful resistance. Yet, this is not all. While it is certainly true, whether we are speaking of the 1930's or the 21st Century, that hard times makes many Americans less receptive to calls for more immigration, the influence of dismal economic forces will, over time, diminish these same demographic trends. Reinforcing the basic truth that, at bottom, migration is an economic phenomenon, it is the business cycle and not government policies that have the most powerful and sustained impact on who and how many come to America.
One final thought. Since the American public does not distinguish between legal and illegal migration, and tends to support the former while opposing the latter, particularly if we speak of high-end migration with advanced education, it may be that the pain we are all going through now in the Great Recession of the last few years will, in the end, make enactment of comprehensive immigration reform more, not less, likely. If migration outside the law ebbs, then perhaps the American people will be less prone to see all immigration as a threat and consider the case for letting more of the best and brightest come on its own merits. That is a conversation that America needs. As the great philosopher Mel Allen of Yankee Broadcaster fame in yesteryear used to say " How 'Bout That!"
April 4, 2011
1. Comment: Top Links March 2011
We feature the most accessed links by our readers in March 2011
Top five March Immigration Daily Articles
++Reading The Morton Memo: Federal Priorities And Prosecutorial
Discretion by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia of the Immigration Policy
++ Deeper into the Shadows: The Unintended Consequences Of
Immigration Worksite Enforcement by Jeffrey Kaye
++REAL ID Implementation: Less Expensive, Doable, and Helpful in
Reducing Fraud by Janice Kephart for the Center For Immigration
++ The Ten Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Techniques by Larry
++After The Raid Is Over: Marshalltown, Iowa And The Consequences
Of Worksite Enforcement Raids By Jan L. Flora, Claudia M. Prado-
Meza, and Hannah Lewis from the Immigration Policy Center
Top five March Immigration Daily Items
++USCIS Publishes E-Verify Self Check Presentation
++ ICE Publishes Memo On Civil Immigration Enforcement
++ CRS Report On Noncitizen Health Insurance Coverage And Use Of
Select Safety-Net Providers
++ CRS Report On Trafficking In Persons In Latin America
And The Caribbean
++ USCIS Publishes Stakeholder Engagement Presentation Slides On
2. Article: BALCA On Using A Range Of Experience In Recruitment
by Cora-Ann Pestaina
3. Article: Immigrants in New-Destination States by Aaron
Terrazas for the Migration Policy Institute
4. Bloggings: Want A New Passport? Adopted Children Need Not
Apply by Gary Endelman
5. Bloggings: Immigrant Of The Day: Pele - Soccer Legend by Greg
6. Bloggings: Violence in Mexico Threatens to Overwhelm the U.S.
Asylum System by Jason Dzubow
7. Bloggings: Immigration and Diversity - Some International
Comparisons by Roger Algase
8. News: USCIS And DOS Launch Pilot Program On Overseas I-730
9. Focus: Criminal Issues in Removal Proceedings
Tuesday, April 5 is the deadline for the Thursday, April 7 phone
session of "Removal For Experts", with Scott Bratton (discussion
leader), Nadine Aljijakli, Judd Azulay, Wayne Benos, Bob Frank,
Howard Silverman and Steve Thal. The curriculum is as follows:
++ Criminal grounds of removal and inadmissibility
++ Aggravated felonies and limitations on relief
++ Vacating convictions and the impact of Padilla v. Kentucky
Tuesday, April 5 is the deadline to sign up. For more info,
including speaker bios, detailed curriculum, and registration
information, please see: Online:
Fax form: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/201104.pdf.
Don't delay, sign up today.
10. Headline: Website Audit report is a quick way of checking ur
site against best practices & ensure that it's setup 2 get u
11. Headline: RT @DMashak: Federal Agents Told to Reduce Border
12. Headline: Lawmakers Take Up Immigration, Abortion
13. Headline: Confessions of an Undocumented Immigrant
14. Headline: Teaching the young to DREAM http://ow.ly/4sCSU
15. Headline: Supporters Haven't Given Up Of The Dream Act Yet
16. Headline: Utah's Republican governor under fire over
17. Headline: White House officials try to calm border fears
18. Headline: Hispanic Republican group rejects immigration-
enforcement bill being heard today http://ow.ly/4sCos
19. Headline: Disparity in border security under review
20. Headline: Immigration reform bill http://ow.ly/4sCdW
21. Headline: Call for change stirs East Boston immigrants
22. Headline: Looking for the best candidate? Carry your help
wanted ad on Immigration Daily. Find out more details at
23. Headline: Tax Compliance for Immigrants and Employers: The
Lawyer's Complete Guide. Don't wait! Get your copy today
To submit an Article or a news item to Immigration Daily, write
to mailto:email@example.com. Follow ILW.COM on Twitter:
1. Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Newark, NJ - Mid-size gateway firm
seeks paralegal on a part-time or contract basis, with future
potential for full-time, to prepare full-range of business
immigration applications (including H-1B, L-1, PERM, I-140). Must
have BA degree with 1-2 years of business immigration experience
and excellent communication and writing skills. Competitive
compensation. Email resume, cover letter and salary requirements
2. Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
Raleigh, NC - Ogletree Deakins,
a leading labor and employment law firm with offices located
throughout the nation, has an immediate opening for an
immigration paralegal in their Raleigh, North Carolina office.
Qualified candidates must have extensive employment based
immigration paralegal experience, preferably in a large law firm
environment. Duties will include preparation and filing of
petitions with a specific focus on labor certification
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3. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Raleigh, NC - Ogletree Deakins,
a leading labor and employment law firm with offices located
throughout the nation, seeks an immigration attorney with 3 - 5
years of business immigration experience. Candidates must possess
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visas. In addition, candidates must have experience working in a
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4. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorneys
Washington, DC - The Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC), U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of
Homeland Security, is seeking experienced attorneys with 3+ years
demonstrated experience in immigration law for the Adjudications
Law Division (ALD) in Washington, D.C. The attorneys will serve
as advisors to the Chief of the ALD, the Chief Counsel, and to
USCIS and other Departmental components on issues relating to
U.S. immigration laws and adjudications. The successful candidate
will handle ALD legal issues which include but are not limited to
employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions;
adjustment of status; naturalization and citizenship; parole;
employment authorization; and alien registration. Applicants
must possess a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, be an
active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have 3+ years of
post-J.D. experience in immigration law, with substantial time
handling adjustment of status and/or nonimmigrant and immigrant
petitions. For more info, key in Job Announcement Number: COU-
CIS-2011-0003 at http://www.usajobs.com/. Submit cover letter,
resume, and two writing samples to: mailto:ALD.ALD@dhs.gov. Must
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Position is at the GS-0905-13/15 level.
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ComingsNGoings: Immigration Event Amherst, MA, April 15-16, 2011
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Constitutional Values and American Identities", a Colloquium on
the Constitution and the Imagining of America. For more info, go
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by Chris Musillo
The Department of State has updated their Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) to reflect the fact that B1/B2 applicants ought to be given visas to come to the US to take the NPTE.MU encourages all B1/B2 applicants who had been denied B1/B2 visas for this reason to re-apply for a B1/B2 interview.
As we mentioned in our last MU update, all applicants will still need to prove non-immigrant intent, i.e. that the applicant maintains a non-US residency and intends to leave the US at the conclusion of their visit to the US. Failure to prove nonimmigrant intent remains a valid reason for the Consular/Embassy official to deny the B1/B2 application.
9 FAM 41.53 N4.1 General Licensure Requirement
for H Nonimmigrant
The requirements for classification as an H-1B nonimmigrant professional
may or may not include a license because States have different rules in this
area. If a State permits aliens to enter the United States as a visitor to take
a licensing exam, then USCIS will generally require a license before they will
approve the H-1B petition. However, some States do not permit aliens to
take licensing exams until they enter the United States in H-1B status and
obtain a social security number. Therefore, a visa should not be denied
based solely on the fact that the applicant does not already hold a license to
practice in the United States.
Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.
I received an inquiry from an attorney who is concerned about the USCIS denial of I-140 employment based petitions that have the wrong box indicated for category of petition (The choices on the petition include different preference categories 1-3). For cases involving PERM, only the 2nd preference or 3rd preference boxes may be chosen.
The attorney states the following:
"I noticed that you have written a few times about the I-140 'wrong box' problem. I am considering a legal challenge to that practice in an effort to see if I can get a whole lot of people their money back under what appears to be a double filing fee. I'm working with another attorney who has more constitutional law/APA experience and he's very concerned to an estimate of how many times USCIS has denied an I-140 for the wrong box being checked. We are especially interested in EB-3 skilled worker/professional denials for 'wrong box' submissions after the 01/06/2010 I-140 form revision because there is no advantage to be gained from checking the wrong box and because the attached labor certification shows clearly what category the petition should be filed under."
The attorney asked me if I had any estimate based on my experience and work with AILA as to how many I-140's have been denied since 01/06/2010 based on wrong box submissions. Unfortunately, I do not have access to this type of information, but I believe that such errors are not uncommon.
However, the attorney implies that 'wrong box' mistakes on the I-140 may be driven by an attempt by Petitioners to gain some advantage in the preference process.
Frankly, I had never thought about that.
The examples I have seen were simply errors (typographical) on the forms, in which someone filled out the form and simply checked the wrong box. Some attorneys believe that "filling out forms" should be relegated to marginally qualified persons whom they hire to assist them.
In actual fact, the work of properly filling out forms is very demanding and requires a great deal of education, experience, and training.
One case I saw was a third preference filed as an EB-1-3. There was no advantage to filling out the wrong box as a multinational executive. The attorney and client had a great deal of difficulty after the error in filing, since the Service continued to process it as an EB-1-3, and the client was clearly qualified for 3rd preference. The confusion went one for years, with RFE's, Denials, and appeals, because the attorney (and subsequent attorneys) still did not realize that the wrong box was checked!
This confusion occurred because the service continued to adjudicate the petition as a multinational (accordng to the box checked) and not as a third preference based on a labor certification. The Service did not notice (or care) that the documentation, including an approved PERM, were not for first preference, and the three attorneys who handled the case did not understand or correct the 'wrong box' mistake.
I believe that 'wrong box' mistakes are not uncommon and are usually just the result of incompetence.
The current version of the I-140 form is easier to understand than before and should eliminate most of the unfortunate errors made in 'wrong box' selection.
As I have been practicing for many years, I recall a time when the Service would offer to correct the form if the 'wrong box' was checked, or, if not, the petitioner could request the error to be corrected. I even saw cases, albeit years ago, when the Service wrote to the Petitioner asking if they would like to change the category checked on the form (usually from 2nd to 3rd) if it seemed that an approval could be issued in 3rd but not in 2d.
However, in recent years the Service has taken the position that the only way to correct such an error is to file a new petition with a new fliing fee.
Most observers realize that nowadays the Service has not only increased its fees but seeks to require petitioners and applicants to file and refile, just to charge more money from and also to discourage some types of filings.
Unfortunately, the Service is not delivering the quality determinations that were promised when the fees started to go up. Fees are currently at astronomical levels, and still rising, while service quality in adjudications has plummeted to new lows.
Currently, there are no fees for PERM processing, however, it is possible that they may be instituted at some time in the following.
David North recently wrote on the Center for Immigration Studies website that a surge in Mexican asylum seekers might overwhelm the immigration court system in the United States. In making his point, Mr. North referred to one of my blog entries:
At the moment the approval rate for Mexicans applying for asylum, despite the ferocious gang activity on the other side of the border, is only a little over 2 percent, but it is not the approval rate that worries but the application rate. Should that soar we would be in big trouble. And it might. Jason Dzubow, a skilled asylum lawyer here in Washington, has written in both the Asylumist and Immigration Daily that some Mexican asylum seekers and their advocates "have formed a coalition to support each other in their cases."
First, I certainly appreciate being referred to as a "skilled asylum lawyer" (though perhaps I would prefer to be called a "good-looking asylum lawyer").
Second, Mr. North raises an important issue. Thus far, the evidence for an increase in the number of Mexican asylum seekers is anecdotal. Statistical data for Mexican asylum seekers in immigration court is relatively flat: In FY 2010, there were 3,231 asylum seekers from Mexico; in FY 2009, 3,335; in FY 2008, 3,527; in FY 2007, 3,080; and in FY 2006, there were 2,818 Mexican asylum cases filed in U.S. immigration courts. Data on affirmatively filed cases shows that the number of people from Mexico filing for asylum in the asylum offices has actually declined (the number of affirmative asylum seekers fell from 2,456 in 2008 to 1,778 in 2009).
Nevertheless, the scenario described by Mr. North remains a real possibility. Violence in Mexico is out of control, and if things fall further apart, we could experience an influx of asylum seekers. Our current immigration court system is already overloaded (cases routinely take one or two years-or more-to adjudicate), and so a large number of additional cases would completely clog the system. In addition, it is unclear whether our society can or should absorb large numbers of additional refugees. What then is the solution?
One possibility would be to reduce our refugee admissions from other countries and fill those slots with asylum seekers from Mexico. We current admit and absorb about 75,000 refugees each year. They come from many different countries. If there was a large influx from Mexico, we could give Mexican asylum seekers priority over people fleeing persecution in more distant lands.
Another method to deal with a large refugee flow from Mexico would be to keep the refugees in camps, as is done in many parts of the world. The people could remain in temporary camps administered by the U.S. and the United Nations, and when conditions in Mexico improved, they could return to their country. It seems to me that we have a moral obligation to help people fleeing for their lives. However, I am not so sure we have an obligation to permanently resettle those people in our country.
For now at least, this is all hypothetical. Let's hope it remains that way.
Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.