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  1. Historic Cloture Vote

    by , 06-24-2013 at 03:20 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    I was able to get a ticket and watch the Senate vote live from the Senate's gallery. Exciting to say the least. Just left and will comment later this evening. But time to celebrate the historic 2 to 1 vote in favor of reform.

    - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
  2. Letters of the Week: Jun 24 - Jun 28

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as "Comment" below.
  3. Bloggings: Benefit Not Burden -- Consular Non-reviewability -- Consular’s Office Decision to Deny, Rarely Reversed, by Danielle Beach-Oswald


    The "Doctrine of Consular Non-reviewability" may be a concept unfamiliar to many yet it is very important for anyone outside the country desiring to enter the United States with a visa. When an individual is not on U.S. soil, he must go through the U.S. Department of State and visit a consulate abroad in their home country in order to attain a visa.

    The problem confronting visa applicants is that no system of external oversight exists within a consulate for visa issuance decisions. This essentially
    enables the consulate office to express bias and employ inconsistent standards.
    Consular processing is required when the intending immigrant is not physically
    located in the United States and therefore has to request a visa in order to
    legally enter the country. It is disconcerting since this doctrine allows a
    consulate to issue a denial without an explicit set of evidence present to
    explain the outcome. This leaves visa applicants helpless without any chance
    for appeal or external review.
    A recent case in Afghanistan
    brought attention to the issue regarding a couple, Fauzia Din, a U.S.
    citizen and her fiancée, Kanishka Berashk. Mr. Berashk did have an approved
    visa petition from USCIS based on marriage yet while waiting for his visa
    interview, the situation changed. Unfortunately, his visa application was
    denied and the only justification given was denial based on Section 212(a) of
    the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which includes several
    terrorism-related grounds for excluding non-U.S. citizens from the country[1]. The
    "terrorism-related grounds" were based on Mr. Berashk's job as a payroll clerk,
    performing low-level administrative duties at the Afghan Ministry of Social
    Welfare. This charge may seem absurd, yet since Afghanistan
    was controlled by the Taliban at one point many Afghani citizens have faced
    similar accusations from U.S.
    government officials. The U.S. Department of State under the doctrine of
    consular nonreviewability is not responsible for justifying its lack of action
    or rejection of a visa application. Din filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government
    to adjudicate her husband's visa application but the complaint was dismissed
    due to the protections of consular denials from judicial review.
    It is pertinent that an applicant and his attorney be fully
    aware of the exact explanation of a denial for a visa application. Without this
    knowledge, there is no opportunity to dispute incorrect information. Currently,
    consular nonreviewability does not allow for the needed transparency. The U.S.
    Department of State consistently defends this doctrine in the hopes of
    "protecting our borders". It is of course appropriate that the United States
    has this far-reaching authority in order to keep the country secure by deciding
    who should be permitted to enter the borders. Yet, there are also regulations
    in place, which define the limitations of this authority, and they must be
    followed. Decisions must be evaluated, regardless if they are being made under
    the roof of a consulate. A highly criticized doctrine such as this must be
    amended because the justification for maintaining the status quo is simply too
    weak and the complaints against it continue to rise.


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  4. Nortn Carolina's E-Verify Law Expands July 1; Will it Expand More?; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    North Carolina's E-Verify law, which was effective in part on October 1, 2011  for employers that employ 500 or more employees, is expanding on  July 1, 2013, to cover employers that employ 25 or more employees. Additionally, the North Carolina legislature is considering several additions to the existing E-Verify legislation. Specifically, contractors and their subcontractors entering into a contract with a local government would be required to use E-Verify and an employer would not be penalized if it relied upon an employee's valid restricted drivers permit or valid restricted ID as part of its obligation to submit newly-hired employee data to E-Verify. This is an interesting situation given that Congress is currently debating an Immigration Reform bill, which would make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the next four years. Thus, most legislatures have not been passing additional E-Verify legislation.
  5. Most Highly Regarded Immigration Lawyer?

    by , 06-24-2013 at 03:09 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Who knows? But it's flattering being on a list like this. I know every lawyer on the list - a few are close friends - and I can certainly tell you that the others are superb. And kudos to my colleagues at Siskind Susser for inclusion in this edition of Who's Who in Corporate Immigration Law.
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