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  1. CLEVELAND, OHIO: WE WANT SMART, ENTREPRENURIAL IMMIGRANTS

    by , 07-12-2008 at 02:08 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Civic leaders in Ohio's largest metro area have started an initiative to attract foreign students, workers and entrepreneurs. Why? Because they help drive the job creation engine that the region is trying to bolster. The Talent Blueprint Project is not the only initiative around the country with a mission of this sort. Chambers of commerce around the country get it. Why doesn't Congress?
  2. $1.7 TRILLION...

    by , 07-12-2008 at 01:08 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    ...and a loss of 8.1 million jobs for US workers.

    That's how much consumer spending would decline and the number jobs that would be lost if the antis got their way and all illegally present immigrants suddenly were gone, according to a study by the Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic and financial analysis firm.
  3. IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: RODOLFO ACEVEDO - ARCHITECT

    by , 07-12-2008 at 12:59 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)

    Argentine-born Rodolfo Acevedo started out 18 years ago in America as a busboy. Today, he's a partner at JMWA Architects in Boca Raton, Florida and he's been tapped by USCIS to redesign drab, unwelcoming USCIS offices in South Florida. Will friendlier-looking offices translate in to friendlier USCIS officers? We'll see.

    In the mean time, here's to Mr. Acevedo who is looking to make the immigration experience just a little better for future immigrants who will process at USCIS offices in the Sunshine State.
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  4. VACATION TIME/GUEST BLOGGING

    by , 07-12-2008 at 12:39 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    I'm going to be taking my annual vacation starting Monday. Last year I had to skip it because we were in the middle of VisaGate and our firm was filing green card applications like crazy during the window that opened up for our employment-based applicants.

    So I owe my family a real trip this year. I'm on the road for the next two weeks for a good old fashioned family road trip and will be hitting theme parks, mountains, beaches, historic sites, national parks and more.

    I'll be doing light blogging during my time off and I'll even try and post some photos. But I welcome readers to send me their own contributions and I'll try and post many of them. Many of you already do this sort of thing in the comments section of the blog. Just email me your proposed post to gsiskind@visalaw.com and put "guest post" in the subject header. Then include the proposed text in the body of the email. Feel free to include links to videos and pictures.
  5. WHEN PEOPLE GET CREATIVE

    by , 07-12-2008 at 12:21 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    What happens when business groups, unions, workers, government officials, pro-immigration advocates and immigration restrictionist groups all put their heads together to craft a solution to a problem? Just look to Colorado.

    I'm talking about an initiative in that state to make it easier for farmers to work through the incredibly difficult H-2A visa process for foreign agricultural workers. The H-2A agricultural worker program has no cap and should be a heavily used visa category. But it is not largely because of arduous recruiting requirements, transportation rules, housing requirements and lengthy processing times. Only 50,791 of the visas were used in 2007 despite the need for millions of workers in agriculture.

    Colorado has just passed legislation that will help farmers work their way through the application process. The state will work with the Mexican government and a Mexican labor firm to recruit workers on behalf of Colorado farmers. And the United Farm Workers union will play a helpful role in working with the governments of Mexico and Thailand. The union has worked out agreements with authorities in those countries to expedite passport services, background checks and training.

    NumbersUSA leader Roy Beck has given his restrictionist organization's backing to the plan and called it "encouraging."

    I'm encouraged as well. The H-2A program still has a lot of problems and this plan by no means solves the much bigger issues in the immigration system. But if it is successful for Colorado, it could serve as a model for groups to work together to come up with a more comprehensive strategy to dealing with our immigration needs - both for enforcement and for legal immigration programs that work.
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