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  1. Michelle Obama Between a Rock and an Immigration Place

    by , 05-20-2010 at 11:55 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Michelle Obama was given the unenviable task of having to answer for her husband's failed immigration policies yesterday.  I don't feel for her, as I am given this task on a daily basis: having to tell a family that mommy or daddy won't be around anymore because of the President's 1,000 person per day deportation record.We can only hope that Michelle gave Barrack an earful after dinner.
  2. Senate Hearing on the Refugee Protection Act

    The Senate Judiciary committee held a hearing yesterday on the Refugee Protection Act.  I wasn't able to attend, but the Senate conveniently records such hearings, and you can view it here. 

    Doggone it, people like the RPA
    My friend who attended thought it did not go very well for supporters of the bill.  I can't say I agree, though the last five minutes, when neither of the pro-RPA witnesses could answer Senator Franken's softball questions and each tried to defer to the other, was not a shining moment.  Here are some other moments worth mentioning:
    The ranking Republican, Senator Sessions from Alabama, raised some legitimate (and some not-so-legitimate) concerns that will probably need to be addressed if the bill is ever to become law.  Of course, the first issue was national security.  He felt that the RPA would allow Osama Bin Laden's wife (wives?) and children to claim asylum in the United States, as the law relaxes barriers for family members of terrorists.  Given the limited number of people we can admit each year, he argued, we would be better off admitting people without close ties to terrorists.  He also stated that the RPA would broaden the definition of "asylum seeker," and thus encourage more fraudulent claims.  He questioned how many people we could realistically allow to enter the United States as refugees and asylees.  He argued that we could not admit everyone who meets the definition of a refugee, and said that if things fell apart in Afghanistan or Iraq, we could not take in all the people who sided with us in those wars.
    There were two pro-RPA witnesses, Dan Glickman of Refugees International and Patrick Giantonio of Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates.  They argued that the one-year filing deadline does not serve its intended purpose of reducing fraud.  Mr. Giantonio noted that many asylum seekers who fail to file within one year of arrival receive withholding of removal or relief under the UN Convention Against Torture.  Both forms of relief have a higher burden of proof than asylum.  Thus, if the one year deadline were not an issue, such people would have qualified for asylum (I agree with this point).  From the alien's point of view, asylum is a more desirable outcome than the other forms of relief, but the witnesses did not mention the benefits of asylum.  The pro-RPA witnesses also emphasized that the bill would not compromise national security because refugees and asylum seekers would remain subject to all the same background checks that are currently required.  Mr. Giantonio also briefly mentioned some of the deleterious effects of immigration detention on asylum seekers.
    Igor V. Timofeyev, a former DHS official and a Soviet Jewish refugee, testified in his personal capacity.  He appeared as the anti-RPA witness, though his criticisms were fairly tame (refreshing given the normal discourse on most immigration-related issues).  His concerns were national security, national security, and national security.  He also mentioned that federal appeals courts are overburdened with immigration cases.
    Finally, it bears mentioning that Senator Leahy included in the record a letter signed by 89 faith-based, human rights, legal services and refugee assistance organizations and 99 individual asylum law practitioners, pro bono attorneys, law professors and other experts in the field (including this humble blogger). 
  3. Liberty and Justice for All?




    http://shusterman.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a639ec4a970c0133ee07aaba970b-120wi As everybody knows by now, recently Arizona's Governor signed a law requiring local law enforcement officials to take into custody persons when they have a "reasonable suspicion" that they are present in the U.S. illegally. The person would be turned over to the Immigration Service, and be released from jail if they could demonstrate their legal status.

    Last Monday, the ACLU and various other groups sued Arizona officials in Federal Court to void the law on a number of grounds including violation of the Constitutional rights of equal protection of the law and free speech. President Obama has questioned the validity of the law and a number of individuals, organizations and governmental entities are protesting against the law.

    Yet, polls show that a majority of Americans support the law.

    I suspect that most Americans think that enforcement activity will be limited only to illegal aliens, and that as American citizens, they have nothing to fear. I hope that the following true story will make some people think twice about supporting a law that gives the government such tremendous powers over the lives of ordinary citizens.

    In the 1980s, shortly after I had left my job as an INS Trial Attorney and entered private practice, I received a telephone call from Washington, D.C. from Congressman Edward Roybal. Rep. Roybal was angry about something that the INS had done to one of his constituents, and he asked me to help.

    A young man had attempted to enter the U.S. from Mexico, and was being held in detention by the INS in Los Angeles. Although, he provided the officer with a birth certificate showing that he was born in Los Angeles (and was, therefore, a U.S. citizen), the officer did not believe him. Why not?

    Because the birth certificate was typed with two different types of ink. Some of the words on the certificate were dark black, others were typed in a lighter shade of black. The officer suspected that the birth certificate may have been altered.

    It should have been very easy for the INS to verify the validity of the birth certificate since the Hall of Records was located just down the street from the Federal Building.

    The same day, on Friday, I visited the young man in detention. He told me that he had been incarcerated for five days. I assumed that the INS had obtained a copy of the birth certificate from the Hall of Records, and that the two certificates did not match. Instead, to my surprise, I learned that no one from the INS had even tried to obtain a copy of the birth certificate. How long were they going to keep this man in custody before someone paid a visit to the Hall of Records? No one could answer my question.

    So together with an aide from Congressman Roybal's Los Angeles office, we obtained a certified copy of the birth certificate from the Hall of Records that same day. And guess what? The certified copy was also typed in different shades of ink. Maybe some secretary had replaced her typewriter ribbon midway through typing his birth certificate.

    We quickly hurried back to the Federal Building, and presented the certified birth certificate to an INS Officer. "Oh, you're right", she said, "We will release him next Monday."

    Next Monday? She explained that she had a number of work-related tasks to perform that afternoon, so the young man would have to remain in jail over the weekend. My jaw dropped in amazement. Congressman Roybal's aide was outraged. She demanded that the young man be released from detention immediately. And, in the end, the government relented. Still, he had been incarcerated, quite unnecessarily, for five days.

    http://shusterman.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a639ec4a970c0133ee07b0ce970b-120wi When I read the Arizona law (SB 1070) and the ACLU complaint (98 pages), before I could even start to think about all the legal arguments that will be raised in Federal Court, I think of that young man and the indifference of our government regarding his detention.

    Is this what we mean by "liberty and justice for all"?

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

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 05:35 PM by CShusterman

  4. BUT MY MOM HAS NO PAPERS

    by , 05-19-2010 at 04:02 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    In an extraordinary exchange at an event that is usually just a photo op, First Lady Michelle Obama fielded a question from a second grader that really reminds us of the fact that the millions of people in the US working without status today are real people with real families. While the antis choose to dehumanize these folks by portraying them as criminals and parasites, this little girl reminds us that we're talking about people who are faced with terrible choices in life - living in utter poverty in an unstable homeland or living in the shadows in a wealthy democratic country that hopefully offers the potential for a decent future for your children (and forget about acknowledging the fact that they make enormous contributions economically and culturally to our country).

    I've found the comments in the news sites carrying this story fascinating. Do the most awful people in the country sit around all day searching for stories like this to spew their venom?


  5. May 19 - Contested AILA Election


    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------
    May 19, 2010
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/digest/2010,0519.shtm
    Headlines:
    Focus
    3 Articles
    5 News Items
    14 Tweets
    Classifieds: Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney, Help Wanted:
    Immigration Attorney, Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney,
    Immigration Law Certificate, Case Management Technology
    ReadersWrite
    ComingsNGoings
    _________________________________________________________________
    ITEMS
    1. News: Contested AILA 2010 Elections: Candidate Statement -
    Cheryl R. David
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2010,0519-david.pdf
    2. News: Contested AILA 2010 Elections: Candidate Statement -
    Laurel Scott
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2010,0519-scott.pdf
    3. News: Contested AILA 2010 Elections: Candidate Statement - C.
    Lynn Calder
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2010,0519-calder.pdf
    4. News: Contested AILA 2010 Elections: Candidate Statement - Ira
    Azulay
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2010,0519-azulay.shtm
    5. Focus: Immigration Practice By Robert C. Divine
    Immigration Practice by Robert C. Divine & R. Blake Chisam is an
    invaluable supplement to Kurzban's with a
    different approach. It is also useful to newer practitioners and
    paralegals
    in view of its easy to understand and practical style. For more
    info, see here.
    http://www.ilw.com/books/immigrationpractice.shtm
    To order by fax, see here.
    http://www.ilw.com/books/immigrationpractice.pdf
    6. Article: The Holocaust And The Lost Caribbean Paradise by
    William R. Perl for the Foundation For Economic Education
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2010,0519-perl.shtm
    7. Article: Bloggings on Immigration Law And Policy by Greg
    Siskind
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2010,0519-siskind.shtm
    8. Article: Bloggings on Political Asylum by Jason Dzubow
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2010,0519-Dzubow.shtm
    9. News: CRS On Alien Legalization And Adjustment of Status
    http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2010,0519-crs.pdf
    10. Tweet: Business Immigration Forms and Strategies. A handy
    resource for #immigration law practitioners. Get your copy at
    http://ow.ly/1GMDd
    11. Tweet: Obama and Calderon to discuss #immigration, Mexican
    president condemns Arizona #SB1070 http://ow.ly/1N8vd
    12. Tweet: RT @Nayetzi: @jorgeramosnews Presiden't Obama please
    pass the DREAM ACT, & if no immigration reform re-open 245(i) w/
    executive order
    13. Tweet: AZ backlashes: Commissioner threatens 2 turn light off
    in Los Angeles in response to city council's boycott
    http://ow.ly/1N8cN #SB1070 #FAIL
    14. Tweet: About the thugs at the TSA: http://ow.ly/1MRK6 Ynot
    deport all TSA employees to Antarctica?
    15. Tweet: RT @LawWatch: "Sheriff asks to opt out of federal
    #immigration program" http://bit.ly/9Fem7s #immigration
    16. Tweet: Congress.org: #Immigration groups escalate tactics
    http://ow.ly/1MQ86 Listen up, politicians ... tis your *** that
    will be in the fire!
    17. Tweet: RT @ImmigrationTips: Laura Bush Speaks Out Against
    Arizona #Immigration Law http://bit.ly/auemdT We need action, not
    words
    18. Tweet: RT @muybna: Richard Land and other prominent
    conservatives call for GOP immigration reboot:
    http://go.muybna.com/3m @CCIR #ri4a #tcot
    19. Tweet: RI4A starts civil disobedience http://ow.ly/1MPjw
    400,000 families/yr broken is NOT acceptable! Follow'g in
    footsteps of anti-slavery mov't
    20. Tweet: Nurse #Immigration Book: your guide 4 preparing a
    case, understanding the nursing crisis & recruiting nurses. Get
    ur copy http://ow.ly/1GMTC
    21. Tweet: Antis need to learn English - #CIR is NOT amnesty
    http://ow.ly/1MIRb #immigration
    22. Tweet: Chicago Cubs urged to move spring training camp to
    protest Arizona #immigration law http://ow.ly/1MIPG
    23. Tweet: Crazy Antis say: Amnesty? Bureaucrats already drawing
    up plan to implement http://ow.ly/1MIFT From the antis mouths to
    God's ears!
    To submit an Article or a news item to Immigration Daily, write
    to mailto:editor@ilw.com. Follow ILW.COM on Twitter:
    http://www.twitter.com/ilwcom
    _________________________________________________________________
    CLASSIFIEDS
    1. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    downtown Chicago - AzulaySeiden Law Group
    http://www.azulayseiden.com
    seeks an immigration attorney. To be considered, a candidate must
    have 2+ years experience practicing immigration law. Fluency in a
    foreign language and varied immigration experience preferred. The
    firm practices all areas of immigration law, including business,
    family, removal defense, appellate work and outbound immigration
    services. Looking for a motivated, committed individual who wants
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    the opportunity to work in a leading US immigration law firm. We
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    and personal life. The position is in the main office in downtown
    Chicago. Please send a resume, writing sample, and any inquiries
    to mailto:ksilberberg@azulayseiden.com.
    2. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    Washington, DC: Steptoe & Johnson LLP
    http://www.steptoe.com
    seeks associate or immigration specialist for our immigration
    practice. A JD with immigration experience is highly preferred,
    but will consider candidates who are not attorneys but have
    extensive and substantive knowledge about business immigration.
    Should possess strong writing skills and ability to interact with
    clients effectively and extensively. Principals only. Send resume
    and transcript to mailto:Legal_Recruiting@steptoe.com. Equal
    Opportunity Employer.
    3. Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    Washington, DC - The Office of Chief Counsel seeks experienced
    attorney with experience in federal acquisitions law, fiscal law
    and other administrative laws for the Commercial and
    Administrative Law Division. Serve as senior attorney providing
    advice to the Chief of the Commercial and Administrative Law
    Division, the Chief Counsel, and USCIS officials on issues
    related to federal acquisitions law, fiscal law, and other forms
    of general administrative law in support of USCIS' mission. For
    more info, including how to apply, key in Job Announcement
    Number: COU-CIS-2010-0006 at http://www.usajobs.com/
    Applications should be sent to: Lakisha Richardson at
    mailto:ALD.ALD@dhs.gov by 5pm EST, Monday, May 24, 2010. Position
    starts at GS-12, GS-13 level, GS-14, or GS-15 level, depending on
    experience, and has promotion potential to GS-15/10 level.
    4. Immigration Law Certificate
    Classes offered both online and in-person. Master the complex
    and ever changing maze of immigration policies and regulations
    with the Immigration Law Studies Certificate Program offered by
    CUNY's School of Professional Studies. This graduate-level
    certificate program, consisting of (3) three-credit classes,
    offers students who complete it a comprehensive understanding of
    the laws, regulations, and processes surrounding the status of
    immigrants in the US, including family and employment-based
    immigration and deportation defense. It is designed for
    individuals working in law firms, companies, government agencies
    and nonprofit organizations where they interact with immigrants
    and immigrant legal concerns on a regular basis and would
    therefore benefit from greater knowledge of the laws and
    regulations surrounding immigration. For more information on
    class schedules, tuition and fees, course applications and to
    register, see here.
    http://www.sps.cuny.edu/programs/spscourses/programdescription.aspx?pid=17&sid=ILCP
    5. Case Management Technology
    Are you ready for the new changes in immigration? See why INSZoom
    has a 99% customer retention rate. Use our forms with peace of
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    To place a classifieds ad in Immigration Daily, see here
    http://www.ilw.com/corporate/advertise_on_ilw.shtm
    _________________________________________________________________
    ReadersWrite
    1. ReadersWrite: Yesterday's Discussion
    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2010/05/18_treasure_state.html#comments
    2. ReadersWrite: Today's Discussion
    http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/2010/05/19_contested_AILA_election.html#comments
    To submit an Article for consideration, write to
    mailto:editor@ilw.com
    _________________________________________________________________
    ComingsNGoings
    ComingsNGoings: Immigration Event - 6th Annual Immigration Law
    and Policy Conference - Bringing Immigration Policymaking into
    the 21st Century, Prospects for Immigration Reform: What to
    Expect from Washington?, and Communities Laying the Groundwork
    for Immigration Reform and Beyond. Hosted by: Migration Policy
    Institute, Georgetown University Law Center, Catholic Legal
    Immigration Network, 9-5pm, Wednesday, June 24, 2010, Hart
    Auditorium, Georgetown University Law Center
    http://www.law.georgetown.edu/webcast/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=863
    Readers can share professional announcements (up to 100-words at
    no charge), email: mailto:editor@ilw.com.
    _________________________________________________________________
    The first daily in the field of immigration. Forward this to a
    colleague!
    Publisher: Sam Udani Legal Editor: Michele Kim ISSN:1930-062X
    An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is
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