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    by , 07-06-2008 at 04:58 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The New York Times has a front-page story by their immigration reporter Julia Preston that is well worth the read. Ms. Preston is one of a small number of reporters that covers immigration on a full-time basis and it really shows in the depth of her reporting.

    The story is the first I've seen to cover a new phenomenon in immigration politics. In states across the country, employers fed up with being targeted for enforcement without simultaneously Congress taking steps to create necessary legal avenues to sponsor guest workers. For those of you who buy the Lou Dobbs canard that we have plenty of guest worker visas, the only guest worker program available for those workers in non-professional positions is the H-2B program with a cap of 66,000 visas per year. With millions and millions of illegal workers in the US, the H-2B program is really like having no program at all.

    The groups working on these issues are providing an important reminder that politicians who claim to be pro-business but who have not worked to provide guest worker programs to America's businsesses are ANTI-BUSINESS. Any politician who touts their pro-business voting record but who has voted against legal work visa programs is simply being disingenous and cannot honestly claim to care about the needs of America's employers. They are every bit as anti-business as the politicians they derail for being for big government.

    I'm also glad to see Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorksUSA quoted. She's doing remarkable work trying to facilitate the establishment of state business immigration coalitions and coordinating their efforts. Here's a graphic from the story on legislation around the country. I'm proud to say I've helped ImmigrationWorksUSA on compiling some of the data. You can click on the picture for a better view.

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    by , 07-06-2008 at 06:48 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)

    As I'm watching this morning's Wimbledon men's championship match between Roger Federer and Rafal Nadal, I thought it would be appropriate to honor one who won the tournament many times. Federer is going for his sixth title (though he's just lost the first set). That would be an amazing feat and he would break Bjorn Borg's record of five straight titles.

    It's hard to believe that it's been nine years since German-born Stefi Graf was in Wimbledon finals. She won seven times and had a total of 107 tournament wins in her career, ranking her third behind legends Martina Navratilova (who I honored last year) and Chris Evert. Graf married tennis great Andre Agassi and the two have lived for many years in Agassi's hometown of Las  Vegas, Nevada. They have two children and have been active in charity work for the last several years.

    Here's a clip from the 1999 Wimbledon match between Graf and a young Venus Williams who yesterday won the 2008 ladies championship. The match is considered one of the best in recent history.

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    by , 07-05-2008 at 04:03 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Apparently, snooping through the passport files of celebrities is all the rage for some voyeuristic US State Department officials. Fortunately, I'm just a boring immigration lawyer about which no tabloid will give a hoot. Are we about to hear that some entrepreneurial DOS official is selling the information to the National Enquirer?
  4. USCIS's Ombudsman's 2008 Report: "Hello Out There!" or "HellOOo"?

    by , 07-05-2008 at 11:35 AM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    Sometimes, for no apparent reason, a word or phrase bubbles up from deep within the realm of memory.  As I studied the excellent 2008 USCIS Ombudsman's Report to Congress, out from my cerebral hard drive popped "Hello Out There!" -- the title and opening and ending lines of William Saroyan's outstanding 1942 one-act play. The play is about angst, the existential cry of the human spirit beset by a world of injustice, but also about hopeful beginnings. (In high school I played the smallest of bit parts -- the jailer -- a ten-second walk-on with no lines.)

    As I wondered why this phrase suddenly popped in my mind, into my consciousness came another meaning of "hello," pronounced with an adolescent sing-song intonation that stresses the last two syllables, as in "HellOOo."  This slang meaning of "hello," as confirmed in, expresses astonished incredulity at another person's naivete.

    Pondering the two meanings of this common salutation, I at last made the connection to the Ombudsman's report.  On one hand, his report is a deep-throated "Hello Out There!" -- an earnest clarion call alerting us in detail to the many problems and dysfunctions of USCIS, and a hopeful urging to our nation's leaders for resolute action.  On the other, the report may well evoke a skeptical and smarmy reaction from members of the public and the immigration cognoscenti whose hopes have been dashed repeatedly by countless broken promises and initiatives that failed.

    I take the quixotic view of the Ombudsman's report.  If he can help in achieving even a glass half-full of his many worthy recommendations, and earlier unanswered suggestions to his predecessor, our country will be well served.
  5. Homeland Security's Report Card - Mom and the Nuns Would Be Disappointed

    by , 07-03-2008 at 07:30 AM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    If Congress were my dear departed Mom, and I were the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there would be purgatory to pay if I brought home a report card like DHS produced in 2007.  To put it another way, If the President were Sister Donavita, my eighth grade parochial-school nun, and she issued me the 2007 DHS report card, I would have been (metaphorically) bloodied and bowed before I left her class, and my Mom would still provide (not quite so metaphorical) wooden-spoon discipline when I got home.

    Regrettably, however, disciplinary standards of the past do not persist in the present.  DHS Employee Morale a grade of "F,"Port Security a "C-/D+," Management & Organization, and Critical Infrastructure, both "Incompletes," and Chief Privacy Officer, an overly generous "B-," despite revolving-door leadership and an average three-year ranking of last place among all federal entities in "privacy trust" score, according to the Ponemon Institute's report (2007 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government).

    Why do we tolerate this abysmal lack of protection?

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