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    by , 04-06-2009 at 06:24 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Well, it's the DHS equivalent. This story is SPECTACULAR!Jim Slaughter, an officer with DHS' Customs and Border Protection (he works at the San Luis, Arizona border station), has sued DHS' Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a raid on his home. Here's the story from KSWT, the CBS television affiliate in Yuma, Arizona:

    A Customs and Border Protection officer says the Department of Homeland
    Security violated his constitutional rights.  Jim Slaughter and his wife Sheila
    were doing laundry last July when, they say, a group of Immigration and Customs
    Enforcement agents showed up on their doorstep looking for a fugitive.
    "My wife said is this candid camera and that kind of ticked him off a little
    bit and he says no mam you need to step back," says Jim.  The couple claims they
    were ordered to stand in the middle of their living room as agents were about to
    search their home.
    "I said do you realize i'm a U.S. Customs K-9 officer at San Luis, Arizona
    and they all just froze. The lead agent, his eyes got real big, and he's like
    what?  You are?"  In fact Jim has worked for CBP for seven years.  He says the
    agents immediately retreated.
    In March, Jim's attorney filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland
    Security citing a violation of the fourth ammendment for protection against
    unreasonable searches.OK, just to be serious for a moment. Doesn't this story really tell you how out of control the raids have gotten?
  2. Apr 7 - Inventors Hall Of Fame

    -----------------IMMIGRATION DAILY FROM ILW.COM------------------
    April 7, 2009,0407.shtm
    1.  Comment: Inventors Hall Of Fame
    2.  Focus: US Tax Compliance For Immigrants And Employers: The
        Lawyer's Complete Guide
    3.  Articles:
        (a) Signs Of Change In Immigration Enforcement Policies
        Emerging From DHS by Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron for
        the Migration Policy Institute
        (b) California Supreme Court Unanimously Supports The
        Broadest View Of State And Local Government Authority To
        Enforce Immigration Law by Michael Hethmon
        (c) Bloggings On PERM Labor Certification by Joel Stewart
    4.  News:
        (a) DOS Cable On Website Changes
        (b) DHS Announces Mexican Repatriation Agreement
        (c) DHS Stops Sending All Asylum Applications To DOS
    5.  Classifieds:
        (a) Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
        (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Professional
        (c) Immigration Law Certificate
        (d) Website Services
    6.  Headlines:
        (a) Catholic Church Encourages Illegal Immigration After
        Losses From Molestation Scandal
        (b) State Officials Looking At Effects Of New Immigration
        (c) National Journal Reported That Mccain "Buck[Ed] His Party
        On Immigration," But Ignored His Reversal
        (d) Aunt's Case Indicative Of Immigration Non-Enforcement
    7.  ComingsNGoings:
        (a) Immigration Event
    8.  Letters From:
        (a) Honza Prchal, Esq.
        (b) David D. Murray, Esq.
        (c) Sid Lachter, Esq.
        (d) Tim Houghtaling
        (e) Anita Atieno,0407.shtm
    Books On Immigration Law:
    Immigration Law Seminars:
    1.  COMMENT
    Inventors Hall Of Fame
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports "When it celebrates the spirit
    of invention next month, Akron's National Inventors Hall of Fame
    will quietly acknowledge a little-known facet of American
    innovation: Seven of the 16 people being honored as great
    American inventors are immigrants." For the full story, see here.
    We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by
    writing to
    2.  FOCUS
    US Tax Compliance For Immigrants And Employers: The Lawyer's
    Complete Guide
    ILW.COM is pleased to announce a new book on tax compliance for
    immigrants and employers authored by noted authority Paula
    Singer. The outline is as follows:
    ++International Aspects of Individual U.S. Tax Returns
    ++A Guide for Filing IRS Forms 1042 and 1042-S
    ++L-1 Intracompany Transferees on U.S. Assignment
    ++J-1 Nonstudent Exchange Visitors Performing U.S. Services
    ++U.S. Taxation of H-1B Specialty Workers
    ++U.S. Taxation of B-1 Business Visitors
    ++U.S. Taxation of Foreign Students
    ++Tax Treaty Benefits for Foreign Nationals Performing U.S.
    ++What You Need to Know About Exchange Visitors
    For more info, including how to place a pre-publication order,
    please see:
    For info/ordering by fax, please see:
    3.  ARTICLES
    (a) Signs Of Change In Immigration Enforcement Policies Emerging
    From DHS
    Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron for the Migration Policy
    Institute write "The new guidelines, which will be issued within
    the next few months, are expected to direct state and local law
    enforcement agencies participating in the program to primarily
    target immigrants with criminal convictions rather than ordinary
    immigration-status violators.",0407-chishti.shtm
    (b) California Supreme Court Unanimously Supports The Broadest
    View Of State And Local Government Authority To Enforce
    Immigration Law
    Michael Hethmon writes "With almost no notice from the media or
    immigration bar, the California Supreme Court - the most
    influential state high court in the nation on immigration law -
    has issued an opinion that significantly expands the authority of
    state and local governments to enforce federal immigration law
    and of state courts to adjudicate violations of such laws.",0407-hethmon.shtm
    (c) Bloggings On PERM Labor Certification
    Joel Stewart writes "As most jobs exceed the limit of two to four
    years of preparation time, the application for PERM will result
    in an audit.",0407-stewart.shtm
    To submit an Article for consideration, write to
    4.  NEWS
    (a) DOS Cable On Website Changes
    The Department of State released an action cable announcing that
    the (Destination USA) portal website was
    decommissioned on March 16, 2009.,0407-cable.shtm
    (b) DHS Announces Mexican Repatriation Agreement
    DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Foreign Secretary
    Patricia Espinosa announced following their meeting on Friday
    that Mexico and the US have reached agreement on formalized
    arrangements for the expedited and humane repatriation of Mexican
    (c) DHS Stops Sending All Asylum Applications To DOS
    DHS published notice in the Federal Register, effective April 6,
    2009, providing that USCIS will no longer forward all affirmative
    asylum applications to DOS. Instead, USCIS will send affirmative
    asylum applications to DOS only when USCIS believes DOS may have
    country conditions information relevant to the case.,0407-asylum.shtm
    (a) Help Wanted: Immigration Paralegal
    NYC - Established boutique law firm seeks experienced paralegal
    who desires to work from home, part-time.  We specialize in O-1
    and EB-1A in the arts and entertainment, with a selection of H-1,
    L-1 and family cases. The ideal candidate will: 1) have
    experience in our practice area, 2) have an interest and talent
    for organizing, excerpting and summarizing evidence in a lengthy
    submission letter (for O-1 and EB-1 cases), 3) be self-
    motivating, and will 4) work efficiently, timely and in an
    organized fashion.  We communicate via emails and couriers. The
    candidate will augment our current team of telecommuting
    paralegals. We project 5-15 cases per month.  The candidate must
    have necessary computer equipment, software and skills for this
    position.  We pay by the hour or per case. Please forward
    detailed resume, writing sample for EB-1A case, and two
    references to:
    (b) Help Wanted: Immigration Professional
    New Orleans, LA - Tulane University seeks a dynamic immigration
    professional for the position of Program Manager in the Office of
    International Students and Scholars (OISS). The Program Manager:
    ensures Tulane's compliance with US immigration regulations and
    procedures with regards to H-1B and TN visas; is principal
    contact for the hiring of Tulane int'l faculty and staff; ensures
    intl'l faculty/staff receive proper immigration documentation and
    understanding of US immigration procedures; assists with F-1 and
    J-1 visa processing; helps retain int'l students to successfully
    complete academic course of study through programming.
    Requirements include: bachelor's degree and 2+ years int'l
    education experience at college level or equivalent. Salary is
    $34,080-$43,000/yr, depending on experience. To view full job
    details (scroll down to Manager, Program) and to apply visit here
    refer to job listing #102583.
    (c) Immigration Law Certificate
    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. Beginning
    this spring, the program is also being offered online. For more
    information on class schedules, tuition and fees, course
    applications and to register, see here.
    (d) Website Services
    Gain the competitive edge with your new website from INSZoom, the
    world's largest immigration software company. Choose from a range
    of template websites, complete with customized logos and images,
    60-70 pps. of professionally written immigration law content
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    the major search engines. Our content management tool lets you
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    a reasonable cost with websites from INSZoom. Learn more online
    or contact a sales representative at (925) 244-0600 to start the
    process of launching your new website today.
    6.  Headlines
    (a) Catholic Church Encourages Illegal Immigration After Losses
    From Molestation Scandal
    The coffers of U.S. Catholic churches have been running on empty
    and the church sees the pocketbooks of illegal immigrants as its
    only hope.
    (b) State Officials Looking At Effects Of New Immigration
    Preparations are moving forward on upcoming implementation of new
    Utah immigration statutes as state officials wait to see how
    pending federal policy changes could affect enforcement efforts.
    (c) National Journal Reported That Mccain "Buck[Ed] His Party On
    Immigration," But Ignored His Reversal
    As Media Matters for America has noted, during the campaign, news
    outlets repeatedly touted McCain as a leader on immigration
    reform without noting his reversal.
    (d) Aunt's Case Indicative Of Immigration Non-Enforcement
    An immigration reform activist says the recent decision by an
    immigration judge to allow President Obama's aunt, who is in the
    country illegally, to extend her stay in the U.S. is symptomatic
    of the problem with immigration enforcement in America.
    For links to the above stories see here:,0407.shtm#Headlines
    7.  ComingsNGoings
    Readers can share professional announcements (up to 100-words at
    no charge), email: To announce your event,
    see here
    (a) Immigration Event
    April 28, 2009, 2:00pm ET - ILW.COM is pleased to invite you to
    attend a 30 minute Webinar presentation entitled "How To Survive
    The Immigration Law Downturn" at no charge. Speakers include Greg
    Siskind, Boris Palanov, and Sam Udani. Discussion topics include
    how immigration law firms can effectively use technology to
    increase efficiency, a detailed analysis of the state of the
    immigration law field (by practice area and region), how web
    conferencing can save you money, including a feature web
    conferencing demo. The call will consist of 20 minutes of
    presentation, followed by a Q&A. Immigration attorneys are
    invited to register. Participation is limited and is first come,
    first served. To register, see here.
    This event is sponsored by Intercall, the world's largest audio,
    web and video conferencing provider.
    8.  LETTERS
    Readers can share comments, email:  (up to
    300-words). Past correspondence is available in our archives
    (a) Dear Editor:
    I see much potential for those old-fashioned stories of
    government dysfunction to ratchet on up in the coming months
    (04/02/09 ID). (1) knowledgeable people complain that employees
    are still getting raided in violation of a speech by Janet
    Napolitano. Greg Siskind writes "Now it appears that some at ICE
    are reveling in taking on the boss of the agency and, by
    extension, the new President. (see 04/02/09 ID) (2) However,
    there appears to be a solution for the plight of illegals rounded
    up in said raids, see ICE Releases Workers Arrested In Washington
    Raid(see 04/02/09 ID). Then there is a reminder of stepped up
    employer enforcement coming. Kafka-land, here we come. Can an
    employer hire these people if illegal aliens are allowed to work
    after detention without civil liability? Can I bring a suit from
    legally present job applicants who had been rejected?
    Honza Prchal, Esq.
    (b) Dear Editor:
    I'm weary of the of hearing the same old tired tune sung by
    Rogelio Quesada's letter (04-06/09 ID), the lyrics proclaiming
    that H-1B's " ... are basically obligated to stay on the job then
    work for less  money than U.S. citizens." That is simply not true
    for the most part. Of course there are always a few scofflaws who
    feel no qualms about cheating, lying on applications, and some
    even hiring illegal aliens they know or should know to be
    illegal. The H-1B regulations require an employer to pay the
    prevailing wage, as determined by the US Department of Labor, for
    the H-1B job in the geographical area where it is to be
    performed. The government has audit powers and both the State
    Department and USCIS insure the regulations are followed. If an
    H-1B changes status in the US and then, say a year or so later,
    goes home to India to visit parents, he must apply for an H-1B
    visa stamp, where the Visa Officer asks for payroll records and
    tax returns. If the H-1B does not leave after COS, or does
    initial consular processing for the H-1B, at time of the
    extension of the H-1B petition, USCIS  will ask for payroll
    records and tax returns. It is sad that those with little
    knowledge about the immigration system feel no shame in parroting
    that which they have heard from anti-immigrationists. As to Mr.
    Quesada's letter's reference to "Old Bill Gates" - "Old Bill" did
    not become a billionaire by being stupid. I will venture to guess
    Microsoft pays prevailing wage and has their I-9's in order -
    they can't afford not to - lest they end up like Wal-Mart, with a
    consent decree against them and little hoops they will need to
    jump through for years to come.
    David D. Murray, Esq.                 Newport Beach, CA
    (c) Dear Editor:
    An April 6 letter repeated the anti-H-1B visa myth that "once
    foreign workers are hired they are basically obligated to stay on
    the job then work for less money than U.S. citizens."  Wrong.
    Getting a new visa for an H-1B employee who wants to change jobs
    is usually just a formality, and an H-1B employee cannot legally
    be paid less than the prevailing wage for his or her type of job
    in his or her geographic area.  In fact, my experience in more
    than twenty-five years of H-1B work is that H-1B employees are
    typically paid much more than the prevailing wage.  Of course,
    H-1B opponents will not let reality interfere with what they want
    to believe.
    Sid Lachter, Esq.
    (d) Dear Editor:
    Hurray to David D. Murray, Esq.'s letters. His letters provide a
    sane voice in the sea of blabbering fools when it comes to the
    issue of "racial profiling". At last some legal type to mention
    that the concept of "probable cause" frequently begins with the
    smallest observation followed by several or many more until
    answering the question: "Is this person doing what a normal  law
    abiding individual would be doing in this location at this time
    of day/night?" A seasoned law enforcement officer can and does
    observe, access, and sort out the wheat from the chafe.  She/ He
    does this rapidly and without need of some written record
    depending on if the person observed is up to no good or not. What
    is profiled is the look and actions of individuals afraid of
    authority because they are doing wrong.  It is all part of a big
    puzzle that cannot be observed until the last piece is in place.
    That's called police work. I vividly recall years ago when a
    black New Orleans Officer observed what appeared to be a white
    male in a black neighborhood late at night. It was good police
    work to ask the question "Is there something amiss here?".   That
    light skinned african american had just killed a Detroit police
    officer in a huge shootout.  Thanks to the good police work of
    that inquisitive officer the lives of others were spared.  Racial
    profiling?  No, simply good police work.  Accept the fact there
    is a difference. Fools at their own jeopardy seek to hamstring
    good police work. Some dark night they may need help from an
    officer all to victimized by onslaught of criticism to promptly
    provide that life saving effort.
    Tim Houghtaling
    (e) Dear Editor:
    I read Ms. Swanson's letter (04/06/09 ID), and it made me feel
    good that there is someone out there who can stand up to these
    low self esteemed men who abuse women. Thanks to Ms. Swanson's
    letter for responding to Jtanyu's letter (03/30/09 ID). Someone
    needs to remind people that before any arrest is made there has
    to be investigation and if there is physical evidence thats it.
    Anita Atieno
    The first daily in the field of immigration. Forward this to a
    Publisher: Sam Udani   Legal Editor: Michele Kim   ISSN:1930-062X
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    by , 04-06-2009 at 06:59 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    That's an apt comparison. And for those not familiar with this guy, trust me, this is no compliment. By the way, for those Arpaio fans who will probably post something obnoxious in the comments, Connor had people who made identical arguments about African-Americans violated segregation laws. Mayor Phil Gordon is worried that Arpaio is ruining the state's reputation. The fear is certainly justified.In a separate development that made me laugh, Sheriff Joe is calling the House hearing on Arpaio's activities a "witch hunt" that is just a "publicity stunt." Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Google "Arpaio publicity stunt" and you'll get more than 4,200 hits. The man depends on publicity like it is oxygen.
  4. Job Zone Levels, SVP Levels, Wage Levels, and Preference Categories

    by , 04-06-2009 at 05:48 AM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    These are four different concepts that interact among themselves.
    Job Zone Levels are used on the O*Net to categorize jobs according to complexity. There are five job zone levels, from level one (jobs requiring little or no training) to level five (jobs requiring higher education, training and experience). Several weeks ago I wrote about Job Zone Level Five which has slightly more than 100 occupations described on the O*Net, and I identified eight positions that could be used by businesses:
    (1) 25-9011.00 - Audio-Visual Collections Specialists
    (2) 11-1011.00 - Chief Executives
    (3) 19-3011.00 - Economists
    (4) 15-1011.00 - Computer and Information Scientists, Research
    (5) 11-9041.00 - Engineering Managers
    (6) 15-2031.00 - Operations Research Analysts
    (7) 15-2041.00 - Statisticians
    (8) 11-3031.01 - Treasurers and Controllers
    Job Zone Level Four contains a large number of professional positions, but, according to DOL, they are less complex. 
    Each job zone level is associated with an SVP range. The SVP is the specific vocational preparation training time permitted for an occupation. "Permitted" means that the DOL has determined the SVP for each occupation (normal requirements in the USA), and employers may not set higher requirements than those described by the SVP, without documentation of business necessity.
    The SVP, however, was turned upside down by the PERM Rule. My colleague Roy Watson, a seasoned practitioner, wrote about this and stated the problem succinctly:
    "The original DOT had over 11,000 job descriptions. O*Net was created because it was felt that searching the DOT was too "cumbersome" and time consuming....and the 11,000 jobs were squeezed into a little over 1,000!"
    The result was that the SVP was downgraded for many jobs. Those which previously had an SVP of 8 (allowing higher education plus experience as minimum requirements) were downgraded to SVP 7 (allowing only four years of education, experience or training). In practical terms, this means that except for the eight positions I described above, businesses would have to offer positions with lower minimum requirements. For example, a position inJob Zone Level Four may only require a Master's Degree (MA is equal to 4 years SVP) or a Bachelor's (BA or BS is equal to 2 years SVP) plus two years experience.
    SVP for skilled through highly professional positions are the following:
    SVP 6    over 1 year up to and including 2 years
    SVP 7    over 2 years up to and including 4 years
    SVP 8    over four years up to and including 10 years
    SVP 9    over 10 years
    For educational levels, an AA with a specific course study (like nursing) amounts to two years of SVP.
    A Baccalaureate degree (BA or BS) also amounts to two years of SVP (on the theory that the first two years are general education).
    A Master's Degree is 4 years of SVP.
    A Doctorate degree is 7 years of SVP (two for Baccalaureate, two for Master's, and 3 for PhD).
    Under the current DHS preference category system, there are five Preference Categories, but most professional positions fall into the 1st or 2nd preference. The latter is available for jobs requiring a Master's Degree or a Bachelor's plus Five Years of Progressive Experience. Some jobs even require higher than a Master's Degree and many years experience. Accordingly, Job Zone Level Four is no longer appropriate for these jobs, since it does not permit a Master's plus years of experience, or a Bachelor's plus Five. 
    Prevailing Wage Determinations are divided into four levels and there are five steps to obtain the proper determination, including experience, education, special skills, and supervisory duties. Lamentably, some employers confuse the PW Determination with the SVP/Job Zone Level analysis. For example, if the SWA states that the Prevailing Wage Level is "Four," this does not mean that the Job Zone Level is "Four." On the contrary, a Job requiring little or no experience (Job Zone Level 1)  could have a Prevailing Wage Level Four due to additional skills and job functions. Remember, too, that notwithstanding the five steps to obtain wage determination, the DOL may also use a "totality of the circumstances" analysis involving job level criteria such as "entry level" to "Fully Competent."
    In a typical case, an Occupation described on the O*Net, will have a Job Zone Level Four, with SVP 7 (two to four years of experience, education or training), a Prevailing Wage level of One or Two, and qualify for DHS Preference Level Two. As most jobs exceed the limit of two to four years of preparation time, the application for PERM will result in an audit.
    A good way to understand all this is to print out the O*Net Report for "Market Research Analyst" 19-3021 and "Economist" 19-3011. The reports include the job duties, tasks, job zone levels, and wage trends. Market Research Analyst is Job Zone 4 and can justify a Master's Degree (four years SVP) but no experience. Economist is Job Zone 5 and can justify a Master's Degree plus experience or Baccalaureate plus five years experience. The DHS Second Preference category can be used if the requirements are a Master's Degree or a Bachelor's plus Five Years Progressive Experience. The Prevailing Wage for either of the above may be anywhere from 1-5 depending on the specific requirements of the job.
    And so, there you have it. Job Zone Levels, SVP Levels, Preference Categories and Prevailing Wage Levels are distinct concepts. Employers and their attorneys have to consider how these concepts may be compatible with each other in a specific PERM application.

    by , 04-04-2009 at 03:40 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    This is actually encouraging news if you support the H-1B program. Actually, headlines like this are the protectionists' worst nightmare. The antis argue that H-1B workers are paid less than their American counterparts. But they really aren't interested in the foreign workers being paid more. They don't want them here at all no matter what they're being paid. You never hear them arguing for more enforcement of existing laws and that's because that would undermine their goal of barring all foreign workers regardless of what they're paid. Trust me - the government going after bad actors like the company that was the subject of this enforcement action does NOT make the restrictionists happy.
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