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  1. Before Applying for Immigration Benefits, Use FOIA


    http://shortwhitecoats.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/foilogo_1_large_image.jpg
    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is an extremely valuable tool. It allows an immigrant and his attorney to see what information the government has about him in its files.

    U.S. immigration laws are extremely complex. Formulating a successful immigration strategy can be compared to playing poker. Wouldn't it greatly increase your odds of success if, before you placed your bet, you knew what cards your opponent was holding? Of course!

    This is the beauty of FOIA. You can learn what materials about you are in the files of the USCIS and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (which consists primarily of the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals) before you submit an application for immigration benefits.

    Let's say, for instance, that you are applying for a green card through your job or through a relative. You overstayed your visa a few years ago, and an Immigration Judge ordered you to leave the U.S. which you did. However, you are unsure whether the Judge ordered you deported or whether he granted you voluntary departure. If you were deported, you are ineligible to return to the U.S. for 10 years, but if you left under voluntary departure, you are not subject to this bar.

    If you simply apply for a green card, and learn at your interview that you are subject to the 10-year-bar, you could be in big trouble. When I worked as an INS Trial Attorney, I saw many people apply for green cards through their U.S. citizen spouses who did not realize that a Final Order of Deportation had been entered against them because they failed to appear for a deportation hearing. Often, this occurred because the Immigration Court sent the notice to an old address. Nevertheless, they were arrested at their interviews, and detained by the government while their lawyers attempted to reopen their cases.

    Or imagine that you could only adjust your status in the U.S. if you qualify for benefits under Section 245(i). You think that your U.S. citizen aunt may have petitioned for your mother and the rest of the family back in the 1980s when you were a minor. The only problem is that both your aunt and your mother have passed away, and you have no proof that a petition was ever submitted. What is the solution? Order your mother's immigration file under FOIA, and find out.

    All in all, it often makes sense to obtain a copy of your file before you apply for immigration benefits. Our law firm submits over 100 FOIA requests each year.

    Here are a few things that you should know about FOIA:

    1) There are no filing fees for submitting a FOIA application, although the government may charged you a small copying fee if your immigration file is huge;
    2) If you are afraid that your file may contain negative information, you may wish to hire an immigration attorney to obtain and review your file. The attorney does not have to reveal your address on the FOIA application;
    3) The USCIS often withholds certain parts of your file from you based on exemptions specified in the FOIA law. However, you have a right to appeal the USCIS' decision;
    4) I have yet to see a case where EOIR withheld any part of the file from the applicant;
    5) If you are undergoing removal proceedings, you are entitled to receive your FOIA file more quickly; and
    6) The processing times for FOIA requests to the USCIS have dropped from one year at the beginning of 2009 to four months currently. EOIR often processes FOIA requests in just two to three months.

    Having worked for the INS, and since 1982, in private practice, I believe that it is better to be safe than sorry. If you or your immigration attorney have the slightest doubt about your eligibility for immigration benefits based on something that may be in your government file, you should first submit a FOIA request and obtain a copy of your file.

    For more information about the Freedom of Information Act, see our "FOIA" page at


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

    Updated 12-02-2013 at 04:48 PM by CShusterman

  2. Nov 16 - Social Networking At Work

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------
    November 16, 2009
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1116.shtm
    Items:
    1.* Comment: Social Networking At Work
    2.* Focus: US Tax Compliance For Immigrants And Employers: The
    *** Lawyer's Complete Guide
    3.* Articles:
    *** (a) Economic Progress Via Legalization: Lessons From The Last
    *** Legalization Program by Rob Paral, Madura Wijewardena, and
    *** Walter Ewing for the Immigration Policy Center
    *** (b) Bloggings On Dysfunctional Government by Angelo A.
    *** Paparelli
    *** (c) Bloggings on Deportation And Removal by Matthew Kolken
    4.* News:
    *** (a) DHS Secretary Napolitano On CIR
    *** (b) CRS Report On Border Security
    5.* Classifieds:
    *** (a) Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
    *** (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    *** (c) Translation Services
    *** (d) Website Services
    *** (e) BIA Delivery Service
    6.* Headlines:
    *** (a) Napolitano Urges Swift Action on Immigration Reform
    *** (b) Nationalists Urge Perry To Stop Feds From Dumping Aliens
    *** In Texas
    *** (c) Identity, Immigrants, Military
    *** (d) ICE Nabs 111,000 Criminal Illegal Aliens In One Year
    7.* ComingsNGoings:
    *** (a) New Attorney
    8.* Letters From:
    *** (a) Honza Prchal, Esq.
    *** (b) Jim Roberts
    *** (c) Lisa
    *** (d) Chia-Li Sung
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1116.shtm
    |+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|
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    |+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|
    _________________________________________________________________
    1.* COMMENT
    Social Networking At Work
    Law.com reports "How can employers prevent careless and possibly
    liability-producing use of social media? Much of the answer
    involves common sense." For the full story, see here.
    http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202435367912&pos=ataglance
    We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by
    writing to mailto:editor@ilw.com.
    _________________________________________________________________
    2.* FOCUS
    US Tax Compliance For Immigrants And Employers: The Lawyer's
    Complete Guide
    Our new book on tax compliance for immigrants and employers
    authored by noted authority Paula Singer is shipping now. The
    outline is as
    follows:
    ++International Aspects of Individual U.S. Tax Returns
    ++A Guide for Filing IRS Forms 1042 and 1042-S
    ++U.S. Taxation of H-1B Specialty Workers
    ++U.S. Taxation of B-1 Business Visitors
    ++U.S. Taxation of Foreign Students
    ++L-1 Intracompany Transferees on U.S. Assignment
    ++What You Need to Know About Exchange Visitors
    ++J-1 Nonstudent Exchange Visitors Performing U.S. Services
    ++Tax Treaty Benefits for Foreign Nationals Performing U.S.
    Services
    ++Appendix includes Treaties/Agreements and Sample Letters
    ++CD-ROM includes 50+ IRS Forms, 16 IRS Publications, useful web
    links
    For more info and to order, please see:
    http://www.ilw.com/store/tax.shtm
    For info/ordering by fax, please see:
    http://www.ilw.com/store/tax.pdf.
    _________________________________________________________________
    3.* ARTICLES
    (a) Economic Progress Via Legalization: Lessons From The Last
    Legalization Program
    Rob Paral, Madura Wijewardena, and Walter Ewing for the
    Immigration Policy Center write "[u]nauthorized immigrants who
    gained legal status in the 1980s through the legalization
    provisions of the IRCA experienced clear improvement in their
    socioeconomic situation.
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1116-paral.pdf
    http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/
    (b) Bloggings On Dysfunctional Government
    Angelo A. Paparelli cautions "LPRs are best advised to take IJ
    proceedings seriously."
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1116-paparelli.shtm
    http://blogs.ilw.com/angelopaparelli/
    (c) Bloggings on Deportation And Removal
    Matthew Kolken discusses a recent BIA decision covering the
    standard for adjudicating motions for continuance.
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1116-kolken.shtm
    http://blogs.ilw.com/deportationandremoval/
    To submit an Article for consideration, write to
    mailto:editor@ilw.com
    _________________________________________________________________
    4.* NEWS
    (a) DHS Secretary Napolitano On CIR
    During a speech at the Center for American Progress on November
    13, 2009, DHS Secretary Napolitano said, "Let me be clear: when I
    talk about "immigration reform," I'm referring to what I call the
    "three-legged stool" that includes a commitment to serious and
    effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and
    workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are
    already here."
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2009,1116-napolitano.shtm
    (b) CRS Report On Border Security
    The Congressional Research Service released an updated version of
    its report outlining the roles and responsibilities of the four
    main agencies within the DHS charged with securing our nation's
    borders: the CBP, ICE, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the TSA.
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2009,1116-crs.pdf
    _________________________________________________________________
    5.* CLASSIFIEDS
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    (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    Cleveland, OH* - Margaret Wong and Associates, LLP
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    of law school class. Excellent advancement opportunities offered,
    including partnership track. Send resume + cover letter to:
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    (c) Translation Services
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    attorneys and individuals since 1993 with the translation of
    personal documents, academic credentials, criminal clearance
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    (e) BIA Delivery Service
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    of Immigration Appeals? We offer same day service to the BIA. We
    are conveniently located only a block away. Fax us your Notice to
    Appeal or brief by 2pm ET on the due date to: (703) 845-5991 and
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    and mail/fax it back to you. We offer competitive rates and
    unparallelled service. For information, contact us: Brief-X-
    Press, Falls Church, VA* Fax: (703) 845-5991.
    _________________________________________________________________
    6.* Headlines
    (a) Napolitano Urges Swift Action on Immigration Reform
    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressed confidence
    Friday that Congress would introduce a comprehensive immigration
    reform bill in early 2010 and that debate and passage of the
    legislation could occur before the mid-term elections later that
    year.
    (b) Nationalists Urge Perry To Stop Feds From Dumping Aliens In
    Texas
    The Texas Nationalist Movement has challenged Texas Gov. Rick
    Perry to "walk the walk" on nullification by interdicting federal
    attempts to use Texas as a dumping-ground for apprehended illegal
    aliens.
    (c) Identity, Immigrants, Military
    Immigrants, with and without citizenship, have been a sizable
    part of the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War.
    (d) ICE Nabs 111,000 Criminal Illegal Aliens In One Year
    DHS along with ICE announced the Secure Communities initiative
    nabbed more than 111,000 criminal illegal aliens since its
    inception one year ago.
    For links to the above stories see here:
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1116.shtm#Headlines
    _________________________________________________________________
    7.* ComingsNGoings
    Readers can share professional announcements (up to 100-words at
    no charge), email: mailto:editor@ilw.com. To announce your event,
    see here http://www.ilw.com/corporate/media_sponsor.shtm
    (a) New Attorney
    International Immigration Services, PA (www.ezusimm.com) is
    pleased to announce that Brandon Meyer has joined the firm as an
    Attorney.* He will manage our new San Diego, CA office and
    specialize in E-1/2, L-1, O-1, EB-1, National Interest Waiver,
    and EB-5 matters.* He can be reached at brandon@ezusimm.com.
    _________________________________________________________________
    8.* LETTERS
    Readers can share comments, email: mailto:editor@ilw.com* (up to
    300-words). Past correspondence is available in our archives
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/archives.shtm
    (a) Dear Editor:
    Thanks ID for publishing the study on intermarriage rates among
    immigrant population in Germany. It's interesting and may be
    creepy or hopefully spun, which is a good sign that the data are
    honestly arrived at. The study implies that a large, distinct
    immigrant pool from a single country (Turkey) doesn't seem to be
    a good thing for assimilation (think Mexicans in the USA in
    recent years) though Turks are separated internally, and often
    violently, between Kurds and Turks. Increased diversity in
    immigration flows is a good thing if one likes one's own culture
    (in my case, I adopted it by choice) enough to wish for
    assimilation. Germans are "better", meaning more American, about
    this sort of thing than most Europeans and still get a bum rap,
    so it was fun to read this for that reason as well. The ironic
    publication date of November 11th made it more meaningful still.
    As for today's note on Lou Dobb's departure being a hopeful sign
    for the passage of CIR, I would point out that Al Franken had a
    bigger audience with Bush in the White house and that Rush
    Limbaugh traditionally does better with Democrats at 1600
    Pennsylvania Avenue. Dobb's abrupt departure may be a sign that
    CIR seems dead to most people at CNN and those who watch cable
    news. We may also be over-reading meaning into his abrupt leave-
    taking. He's done this before.** So has, pace MM, the Fort Hood
    shooter, shown that he has fit poorly into the Army system. I
    expect that had his commanding officer been a more typical Muslim
    instead of a bureaucrat responding to an institutional aversion
    to making waves and getting HR involved in a departmental review,
    the shooter would have been turfed out of the service or perhaps
    into the professional care of his colleagues before committing
    murderous treason. The antidote to prejudice is not putting one's
    head in the sand but rather honesty and treating people fairly.
    Honza Prchal, Esq. Birmingham, AL
    (b) Dear Editor:
    Regarding 11/13/09 ID Comment and Letters, it is sad, revealing
    and premature that ID and R. Algase would rejoice in Lou Dobbs
    stepping "down" from his CNN post which was not due to a few
    whining liberals, anti-Americans and special interests, but is a
    step up to be an even greater advocate for millions of US without
    the limitations the job entailed. What is "Orwellian" is the RA
    letter's demonization and villification of needed, legitimate and
    long overdue enforcement as well as comparing "soft on entry"
    Janet N. of DHS to Sheriff Joe. The MM letter ignores that Major
    Hasan had shouted the Islamic battle cry "Allah-O-Akbar (God is
    great)" before opening fire, was wearing the shalwar-kameez, the
    traditional attire worn by Afghan Arabs who wage jihad alongside
    al-Qaeda and the Taliban and had angry confrontations with other
    officers over his views that Muslims should "rise up and attack
    Americans" and other evidences about this act of terrorism. The
    letter of RA (11/12/09 ID) continues a Jihad for Diversity and
    against "Northern Europeans" which differs from the U.N.'s
    recently released annual index of human development, which ranks
    182 countries by such factors as education, per-capita income,
    and life expectancy.The top ten Nations were racially
    homogenous where in 9 of these, the dominant race is white with
    the 10th being Asian. Diversified U.S. didn't make the cut. To
    find out why, read: "Muslims in 21st Century America: Racial
    Religious Chasm" by Frosty Wooldridge and "The Two Faces of Major
    Hasan"* by Pat Buchanan as well as references in my ID letters of
    Oct 30th and Nov* 4th.
    Jim Roberts
    (c) Dear Editor:
    Lou Dobbs departure from cnn is long awaiting good news (11/13/09
    ID comment). Mr. Dobbs views were too dividing for this country,
    his venom was very distasteful for the eyes and ears, and I
    applaud cnn for getting rid of him, his views are very racial and
    need some anger management class towards immigrant, and learn how
    to deal with them, because this country is built on immigrants.
    The next three are Hannity, glen beck and Bill Riley, because we
    have no room in this country for racism and hatred. We came too
    far and all these guys do is spit out venom.
    Lisa
    (d) Dear Editor:
    Responding to ID's comment (11/13/09), it may be victory for ID,
    but it is damage for the rest of us. This is another prime
    example of how illegals and their supporters' steering the
    country's policies towards what would benefit the illegals
    instead of tax paying, law abiding citizens. How typical.
    Chia-Li Sung
    _________________________________________________________________
    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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  3. Nov 13 - Goodbye Lou, Hello CIR

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------
    November 13, 2009
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1113.shtm
    Items:
    1.  Comment: Goodbye Lou, Hello CIR
    2.  Focus: Immigration Compliance Book Only $99
    3.  Articles:
        (a) Bloggings on Updates in Immigration Law by Carl
        Shusterman
        (b) Bloggings On Nurse And Allied Health Immigration by
        Christopher T. Musillo
        (c) Immigrant Of The Day: Albert Pujols of Dominican Republic
        by Kevin R. Johnson
    4.  News:
        (a) CRS Report On Permanent Admissions
    5.  Classifieds:
        (a) Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
        (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
        (c) Website Services
        (d) Translation Services
    6.  Headlines:
        (a) John King To Take Over Dobbs's Slot At CNN
        (b) Immigration Vital To Economy
        (c) Woman Sues Officials Over Immigration Arrest In Maryland
        (d) Law Enforcement Officials Call For Immigration Reform
    7.  ComingsNGoings:
        (a) Immigration Event
    8.  Letters From:
        (a) Roger Algase, Esq.
        (b) MM
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1113.shtm
    |+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|
    Books On Immigration Law: http://www.ilw.com/store/
    Immigration Law Seminars: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/
    Classifieds: http://www.ilw.com/corporate/advertise_on_ilw.shtm
    Advertise: http://www.ilw.com/corporate/advertise.shtm
    |+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|+|
    _________________________________________________________________
    1.  COMMENT
    Goodbye Lou, Hello CIR
    Lou Dobbs announced that he was leaving CNN on his show which
    aired November 11, 2009 (the full transcript can be found here)
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/11/lou.dobbs.statement/
    or see here to view the YouTube video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BbjB7xoUhg
    Immigration Daily has commented on Lou Dobbs often in the past
    (see: 2/28/08, 11/13/07, 7/2/07, and 5/14/07). Looking forward,
    we ask, What is the impact on CIR? We believe that Lou Dobbs'
    abrupt departure is a strong indicator that the chance of CIR
    happening in the near future is very bright. Stay tuned.
    We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by
    writing to mailto:editor@ilw.com.
    _________________________________________________________________
    2.  FOCUS
    Immigration Compliance Book Only $99
    ILW.COM is pleased to feature The Employer's Immigration
    Compliance Desk Reference by Gregory H. Siskind, co-published by
    ILW.COM and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
    The book features:
    ++Part I: Complying With Immigration Laws: Form I-9 General
    Concepts; Completing the I-9 Form; Reverification; Recordkeeping;
    Electronic I-9 Systems; Knowledge of Unlawful Immigration Status;
    Unfair Immigration Practices; Penalties and Other Risks; IRCA
    Compliance Tips; Conducting an I-9 Self-Audit; E-Verify, IMAGE,
    and SSNVS; Social Security No-Match Letters; Mergers and
    Acquisitions; State Employer Immigration Laws - Arizona,
    Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa,
    Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
    Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania,
    Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia,
    West Virginia
    ++Part II: An Overview of the U.S. Immigration System:
    Nonimmigrant Visas, Immigrant Visas (the "Green Card"), Asylees
    and Refugees
    ++Appendices: Notable ICE Worksite Enforcement Operations in
    2006-2008, M-274, Handbook for Employers, Electronic I-9 and E-
    Verify Vendors
    For more info on this book, see here (
    http://www.ilw.com/store/TheEmployersImmigrationComplianceDeskReference.shtm
    fax version, see here).
    http://www.ilw.com/store/TheEmployersImmigrationComplianceDeskReference.pdf
    This low-priced book is selling fast, order your copy today!
    _________________________________________________________________
    3.  ARTICLES
    (a) Bloggings on Updates in Immigration Law
    Carl Shusterman writes "Is a person who was deported almost 30
    years ago, and returned to the U.S. without inspection a year
    later subject to the permanent bar under the 1996 immigration
    law?"
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1113-shusterman.shtm
    http://www.shusterman.com/
    (b) Bloggings On Nurse And Allied Health Immigration
    Christopher T. Musillo writes "Nurse Practitioners will surely be
    a growing field in the US."
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1113-musillo.shtm
    http://www.muimmigration.com/
    (c) Immigrant Of The Day: Albert Pujols of Dominican Republic
    Kevin R. Johnson writes "Widely regarded as one of the best
    players in Major League Baseball game today, with Golden Glove
    and MVP awards, and a World Series victory, to his credit, Pujols
    and his family immigrated to the United States in the early
    1990s."
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,1113-johnson.shtm
    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/
    To submit an Article for consideration, write to
    mailto:editor@ilw.com
    _________________________________________________________________
    4.  NEWS
    (a) CRS Report On Permanent Admissions
    The Congressional Research Service released an updated version of
    its report on "U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions".
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2009,1113-crs.pdf
    _________________________________________________________________
    5.  CLASSIFIEDS
    (a) Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
    Cleveland, OH  - Margaret Wong and Associates, LLP
    http://www.imwong.com/
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    immediate hire. Candidate must be an  excellent researcher,
    communicater, and writer. Must have graduated from top 10 percent
    of law school class. Excellent advancement opportunities offered,
    including partnership track. Send resume + cover letter to:
    mailto:wong@imwong.com. All resumes will be treated in
    confidence.
    (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
    Passaic County, NJ  - Experienced immigration paralegal for
    senior paralegal position law office.  Must have excellent
    writing skills and people skills, working long hours is required,
    salary offered commensurate. Must speak foreign language. College
    degree preferred. Send resume and writing sample to:
    mailto:melinda2006@gmail.com.
    (c) Website Services
    Gain the competitive edge with your new website from INSZoom, the
    world's largest immigration software company. Choose from a range
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    (d) Translation Services
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    _________________________________________________________________
    6.  Headlines
    (a) John King To Take Over Dobbs's Slot At CNN
    CNN announced Thursday that John King, the Sunday morning host
    best known for his magic wall, is taking over the 7 p.m. slot
    left vacant by the abrupt resignation of Lou Dobbs.
    (b) Immigration Vital To Economy
    Some, like Genia's son Sergey, co-founder of Google, literally
    will change the world.
    (c) Woman Sues Officials Over Immigration Arrest In Maryland
    A Salvadoran immigrant, backed by two immigrants' rights
    organizations, is suing the sheriff's office in Frederick County,
    Maryland, and federal immigration officials, claiming that she
    was unconstitutionally interrogated and detained last year
    because of her Hispanic ethnicity.
    (d) Law Enforcement Officials Call For Immigration Reform
    Americans want a solution to our immigration dilemma, as do law
    enforcement officials across this nation. But the solution isn't
    turning every local police department into an arm of Immigration
    and Customs Enforcement.
    For links to the above stories see here:
    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2009,1113.shtm#Headlines
    _________________________________________________________________
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    (a) Immigration Event
    Nov 17 - The CIS Ombudsman Office is holding its next telecom,
    "USCIS Adoption Petition Processing: How Is It Working for You",
    2-3 pm EST. USCIS official(s) will be interviewed by the CIS
    Ombudsman's office on adoption related  issues. The event is
    free. Interested participants must register in advance by
    emailing cisombudsman.publicaffairs@dhs.gov.
    _________________________________________________________________
    8.  LETTERS
    Readers can share comments, email: mailto:editor@ilw.com  (up to
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    http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/archives.shtm
    (a) Dear Editor:
    All immigrants and American citizens of goodwill should rejoice
    over the fact that Lou Dobbs, one of America's leading apostles
    of anti-immigrant fear and hate, has left CNN. Latino and other
    pro-immigrant organizations were instrumental in bringing this
    about. Pro-immigration advocates also have the power to end the
    Obama administration's 287(g) reign of terror of conducting raids
    in local immigrant communities and combing jails to deport
    illegal immigrants before conviction of any crime. They can stop
    the cruel detention policies that have caused so many immigrant
    deaths and they can put the Orwellian E-Verify and No-Match-
    Letter programs, with their flawed databases, into the dustbin of
    immigration history. They can send DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
    back to Arizona to join her erstwhile supporter, Sheriff Joe
    Arpaio, and they can oust biased or incompetent USCIS and State
    Department officials who follow their own whims, instead of the
    law, by denying meritorious immigration petitions and visa
    applications. They can fire the USCIS contractors who are
    intimidating employers of legal immigrants by conducting
    thousands of useless fishing expeditions. They can get rid of the
    Department of Labor bureaucrats who are sabotaging PERM. Above
    all, they can bring about real immigration reform, including
    legal status for millions of people who have made up many times
    over for their illegal entry or overstay by working hard, paying
    taxes, educating their children and contributing to our society
    and economy. They can even send Barack Obama back to Chicago in
    2012 if he keeps on forgetting that America is a nation of
    immigrants. Now is the time to put this power to use.
    Roger Algase, Esq. New York, NY
    (b) Dear Editor:
    Responding to J Roberts' letter (11/09/09 ID) referring to Fort
    Hood shooting as Islamic shooting simply because the military
    psychiatric officer is a Muslim, is wrong and if he is Christian
    your letter can't call the shooting as Christian shooting. Try to
    avoid such statements.
    MM
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  4. DHS Secretary says Obama "Fully Committed" to CIR

    by , 11-15-2009 at 04:00 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    Regular readers of this blog know that the best chance for liberalization of Schedule A visas - registered nurses and physical therapists -- is for the language of HR 2536 to be folded into next year's Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Sen. Schumer has taken the lead on this issue and is rumored to be working on a CIR bill.

    Nevertheless there has been some skepticism about whether CIR will ever be introduced. Some, like Rep. Gutierrez are getting anxious.

    This week we saw the best indication that CIR is still on schedule. In prepared remarks to the Center for American Progress, DHS Secretary Napolitano said,

    "the President continues to be fully committed to reforming our immigration laws, and why he asked me to take a lead role in this effort."

    Sec. Napolitano's plan calls for a "three-legged stool". She continued,

    "Let me be clear: when I talk about "immigration reform," I'm referring to what I call the "three-legged stool" that includes a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here."

    Legal changes to employment-based immigration, including improved legal flows for workers, is the only way that Schedule A visa reform can happen. We've seen a few indications that CIR is still set to move early next year. The Secretary's remarks are the clearest indicated yet.
  5. Vague PERM Requirements: BA or Master's in Any Field

    by , 11-14-2009 at 03:35 PM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    In a recent decision issued from the Nebraska Service Center, which came to me without the file number and with the petitioner information excised, the Chief of the AAO sustained the petitioner's appeal of an NSC denial for an I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition. The Employer had required an advanced degree with no specific major field of study. The Nebraska Service Center took issue with the requirement, as not qualifying to establish that the alien could be designated as an advanced degree professional. The Service Center had applied the reasoning from Matter of Shin, 11 I&N Dec. 686 (Dist. Dir. 1966) and Matter of Palanky, 12 I&N Dec. 66 Reg'l. Comm'r. 1966) old cases holding that if a degree was required, it would need to encompass knowledge that is a prerequisite to entry into the particular field of endeavor.
    The current regulations, however, found at 8 C.F.R. Sec. 204.5(k)(2) state that the definition of "profession" is one that requires a baccalaureate for entry into the occupation. The AAO found, "therefore, the definition of 'profession'in that regulation, which states only that a profession must require a baccalaureatee for entry into the occupation, takes precedence over the two older cases cited in the Service Center's decision.
    The AAO continued, "Although the definition of ''profession' at 8 C.F.R. Sec. 204.5(k)(2) does not state that the labor certification must require a field of study that relates to the occupation, the regulation does provide that a profession is an occupation for which a United States baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent is the minimum requirement for entry into the occupation."
    In the instant case, the Employer stated a master's degree requirement on the labor certification application but did not specify any specific field of study, i.e., the employer would accept a degree in any field of study. The application actually stated in H-4, "Master' degree in "Any Major"and in H-7 "Acceptable alternate field of study: "Any Major." Aside from the Degree Requirement, the only other requirement was writtein in H-14, "Must speak and read Japanese."
    The AAO noted that some professionals may require more than a baccalaureate in an unspecified field, and in those cases the USCIS would be justified in inquiring whether the labor certification that does not specify one or more fields of study can truly be considered to require a member of the professions.
    However, turning its attention to the position as described in the SOC and O*Net databases, the AAO found that the position of Market Research Analysis requires a baccalaureate degree in 82% of cases. In the SOC, the Occupational Outlook Handbook stated that the required education for the occupation of Market and Survey Researchers is a bachelor's degree, or possibly a master's degree for technical positions. The OOH mentioned that prospective market and survey researchers may have studied business, marketing, consumer behavior, liberal arts and social sciences, including economics, psychology, English and sociology, mathematics, statistics, sampling theory, survey design, computer science, business administration, communications and other related disciplines.
    In the instant case, the beneficiary had a Master's Degree in mathematics and economics, and the AAO held that, "The beneficiary's education is therefore consistent with the requirements of the occupation as stated in the OOH."
    In conclusion, the AAO found that the petitioner established that the position certified is a profession, and the beneficiary's education was consistent with the requirements of the profession.
    The AAO left for another day to question whether another type of job could qualify for 2nd preference approval if it did not indicate a specific field of study appurtenant to the degree requirement.
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