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  1. USCIS Service Centers Break Lives, Not Just The Immigration System. By Roger Algase


    This is a continuation of my comment of April 8, about the capricious action of the USCIS Texas Service Center in reopening an I-140 extraordinary ability petition which had been approved after thorough review two years ago, and issuing a NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke), without any apparent reason, and then claiming that the TSC had never received my rebuttals to the NOIR, even though they were both signed for by TSC staff as shown on my FedEx receipts.

    Even more disturbing, as mentioned in my last post, was the issue of possible gender discrimination raised by the NOIR, which refused to consider an award that the petitioner had won from a prominent women's organization on the grounds that the competition in question was not open to men. The NOIR has also refused to consider other awards won by the petitioner for the same reason, even though the competitions in those cases were in fact open to men.

    In addition, the NOIR contained multiple egregious misstatements of fact about the more than 200 page record in the case. The NOIR bore all the signs of a document that was hurriedly put together in a rush to accomplish some purpose, which one can only guess at, but which did not have very much to do with an objective evaluation of the evidence.

    Needless to say, this had a devastating psychological effect on my client, whose only "fault" was having designed beautiful and unique, internationally acclaimed, award winning jewelry. Having already been approved for extraordinary ability classification, she had every expectation of being welcomed for permanent residence in America.

    But her shock was compounded when she found out, three months after I sent in my rebuttal to the NOIR, that the TSC was claiming never to have received it.

    To the credit of the TSC customer service section, this is now being looked into carefully, and I am confident that this case will not be decided without my rebuttal being considered, one way or another.

    But this delay and evident lack of care in directing not one, but two rebuttal envelopes to the right place at the TSC, has shocked my client even more. She has given me permission to quote her following reaction anonymously:

    "Just the attitude of the immigration office makes me so mad. No responsibility at all. It's totally not acceptable...Time is the most precious thing in life for people...It seems to me they don't care about people's life...

    Taking more time and days to hear about the final result from them will be so stressful."

    She concludes:

    I feel like I want to know what the United States President Mr. Obama who has the responsibility for this country thinks about this attitude of the immigration office and what is happening. I hope he wouldn't let Immigration do such a thing which destroys people's lives.

    "I really wish there will be no more victims like me."

    If this is the kind of welcome that America gives to the most talented and accomplished people from all over the world who come here to devote their careers and their special skills to our society through our rigorous and demanding professional legal immigration system, is our country not heading in the wrong direction as a nation?

    I will keep Immigration Daily readers advised of developments in this case after hearing further from the Texas Service Center.

    Updated 06-08-2014 at 07:30 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. Congressional Women Leaders Visit “Women’s Fast for Families”

    by , 04-09-2014 at 07:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I received the following press release from the office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chair of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    April 8, 2014
    CONTACT: Matt Lee
    (202) 225-1766

    Congressional Women Leaders Visit “Women’s Fast for Families”

    Call for House Vote on Bipartisan Immigration Reform Legislation

    Washington, DC – Today, women leaders in Congress visited the “Women’s Fast for Families” on the National Mall and met with the more than 100 courageous women who are fasting for 48 hours to protest the Republican Leadership’s failure to bring HR 15, a bipartisan immigration reform bill, to the House floor for a vote. This event is the culmination of a month of fasts and other activities held across the country to highlight the impact of our broken immigration system on women and emphasize the urgent need for reform.

    “I’m proud to support the brave women who are fasting on the National Mall to bring attention to the pain and suffering caused by our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard(CA-40), Chair of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform. “The sacrifices made by these women to come to Washington D.C. speak to the fear they experience everyday of being permanently separated from their children and families. All they are asking is for the Republican Leadership to allow a simple up-or-down vote on immigration reform. Let’s give these courageous women the opportunity to realize the American Dream.”

    “We thank all these great women as they unite here in DC to continue to bring attention to immigrant women suffering due to the Republican Congress’ failure to bring a comprehensive reform bill to the floor for a vote,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32). All women must unite in the quest for our true American values to be adhered to, ensuring equality and respect for immigrant women and their families.”

    “Being a representative of a district with such a great diversity, with constituents from near and far, I will stand with the more than 100 women fasting for a vote on bipartisan immigration reform,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). “These courageous people, people that have sought opportunity in this great country and those that have strived to make a better life for their families through immense sacrifice deserve justice – they deserve comprehensive reform now.

    “We cannot ignore the women who are fasting to bring a human face to the problems with our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). “They show us the suffering of countless families splintered by our failing system. Nearly 70 percent of all women immigrants who have legal status came here through the family immigration system, and right now they face a 4.3 million-person backlog. This burden falls disproportionately on women and children, and fails our ideals as a nation. It’s time to put an end to this national disgrace and bring immigration reform to the finish line.”

    “I’m proud to join these courageous women in fasting to draw attention to the overwhelming need for comprehensive immigration reform in this country,” said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01). “I was honored to meet with these women this morning, who are fighting to keep their families together and ensure fair treatment of all immigrants. The time to act is now and to have an up-or-down vote in Congress.”

    “I’m here today to join these women in saying enough is enough - the American people demand a vote on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Homeland Security Committee Border Subcommittee. “It’s been almost a year since the Senate passed a bipartisan package and too many families are being torn apart or living in fear waiting for the House Republicans to take action now.”

    "The women fasting here today do so in the long tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. who put the cause of justice ahead of their own needs,” said Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01). “It is time for Congress to follow their example and act to pass comprehensive immigration reform immediately. In Southern Nevada, so many immigrant women work in back-of-the-house jobs and in the informal economy, cleaning and caring for children. This work has been neglected and devalued for too long. The millions of immigrant families across the country, including the 200,000 undocumented immigrants in Nevada, cannot wait any longer."

    “I stand in solidarity with the women who are fasting in Washington, and I join them in demanding a vote on comprehensive immigration reform,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6). “I applaud the sacrifice they’re making in order to keep the light shined on the need to overhaul our nation’s immigration laws. It is well past time to fix our broken immigration system that has hurt too many people for far too long including women, children and families. The time for comprehensive immigration reform must be now.”
  3. USCIS Service Centers Are Breaking Our Broken Immigration System. By Roger Algase


    Update, 3:20 pm, April 8

    I have spoken with the Texas Service Center and they are looking into the question of my missing NOIR response described below. I am optimistic that this will be resolved, so at least there will be a decision based not only on the NOIR, but on my rebuttal as well.

    I want to commend the customer service section at the TSC for its very helpful attitude and its hard work.

    The following is my original post.

    One of the favorite themes of our punditocracy and political classes of all persuasions and ideologies is talking about America's "broken immigration system". Of course, this means different things to different people.

    For pro-immigrant activists, "broken" means, among other things, the over-reliance on deportation as a means of dealing with people from unpopular ethnic groups who are not accepted by the base or most of the leadership of one of our two great political parties.

    For immigration opponents, on the other hand, "broken" means that we are not kicking Latino people out of this country fast enough, and that the Mexican border has not yet turned into another Berlin Wall or Korean demilitarized zone.

    But what both sides have in common is a belief that only, or at least mainly, Congressional action can "fix" the "broken" system.

    But our immigration legal immigration system is also being broken by the very people who are supposed to be administering it. I refer to USCIS officials who are deliberately twisting the meaning of statutes or regulations in order to deny petitions which were obviously meant to be approved, or who are irresponsibly mishandling petitions in order to defeat the goal of fair adjudication.

    I will start with an egregious example of the latter perversion of the rules which has been taking place at the USCIS Texas Service Center over the past several months on one of my own cases and is still unresolved as of this writing.

    I have previously written about this case, and the following is by way of update.

    More than two years ago, a client of mine who is a highly talented and accomplished award-winning jewelry designer with international international recognition and a record of unique achievements in her field, was approved on the basis of her own I-140 self-petition for EB-1 extraordinary ability classification.

    The approval was by the TSC, and was based on over 200 pages of evidence initially submitted and submitted in response to an RFE. I was not involved in that case.

    However, almost two years later, while she was waiting for her green card to be approved, she received a notice from the TSC that the approved I-140 petition was being reopened and that the TSC intended to revoke the approval.

    Usually, revoking an approved petition is done only when there is new information indicating that the initial approval was based on misrepresentation or mistake of facts in the initial petition, but nothing of this sort was alleged in the Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR).

    While there had been a fairly recent federal court decision changing the law to some extent in this type of case, this change in the law took place before the initial petition was approved and was specifically mentioned in RFE which the petitioner had responded to successfully.

    Therefore, any change in the law based on the above decision could not have been an excuse for reopening this case, and it was not mentioned in the NOIR either.

    It was clear that the only reason for reopening the case, was, to paraphrase words attributed to former president Bill Clinton in a somewhat different context, because the TSC "could".

    The NOIR, moreover, was replete with blatantly inaccurate statements about the evidence on which the previous approval was based, and also stated that a major award which the designer had won from one of America's oldest and most distinguished women's organizations should not have been recognized because the competition was not open to men.

    The NOIR went one to say that none of the other recognition that the designer had received in other competitions should be considered either, because all of these other competitions were allegedly open only to women also. The record showed clearly that this statement was simply not true.

    Within the relatively short time allowed by the TSC for a response, I sent in a full rebuttal, pointing out the numerous factual errors in the NOIR and many examples of evidence in the original, approved, submission which the NOIR had overlooked, mischaracterized or simply ignored.

    My rebuttal to the NOIR was in two separate sections, each delivered by FedEx on two separate days and signed for by two different TSC intake staff members, but both within the deadline.

    I also advised the TSC customer service center of the arrival of my package by email before the deadline and enclosed a copy of one of the response letters I had sent by FedEx.

    I received an email back from the TSC stating that the letter I had emailed (on time) would be placed on the file for this case.

    This was almost three months ago. Now, incredibly, in response to a Congressional inquiry, the TSC now advises that it has no record of receiving any response from me to the NOIR at all and that the matter is now "with an adjudicator".

    I am now waiting for the TSC to try to find my responses which it signed for three months ago to an NOIR which was issued without any justification and which was full of egregious and highly prejudicial mistakes, about an extensive record in this case which the TSC evidently didn't think was worth paying any serious attention to when it issued the NOIR.

    To be continued.









    Updated 04-09-2014 at 07:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. H-1B CAP HAS BEEN REACHED

    by , 04-07-2014 at 04:40 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    In a surprise to no one, USCIS announced today that it has reached the H-1B cap for both the regular and master’s cap. The USCIS is expected to hold an H-1B lottery within the next week.

    If your H-1B petition is filed under the Premium Processing Service (PPS) you should hear of its acceptance no later than April 28. However if your PPS petition is not accepted, it may take until mid-May before you find out that the case was not accepted under the H-1B lottery.

    Reminder: The PPS does not give a petitioner any greater chance at winning the H-1B lottery, but it does allow for speedier notice and decision-making.

    If your H-1B petition is filed under the Regular Processing path it may be until May or even June before your find out if your H-1B petition is accepted under the lottery or not. Last year it took about 10 weeks before all H-1B petitioners were notified of their acceptance or rejection.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. The Grey Lady Wakes up from her Nap

    by , 04-07-2014 at 02:24 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The New York Times reported a "scoop" today that has taken social media by storm. After sifting through the records they found that: "two-thirds of the nearly two million deportation cases involve people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all. Twenty percent — or about 394,000 — of the cases involved people convicted of serious crimes, including drug-related offenses, the records show."

    These statistics are in direct contradiction to the President's claim that his administration is targeting “criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families.”

    Regular readers of this blog are already well aware that the President habitually mischaracterizes his deportation record, but for those that need to get caught up click here to read more old news from the Grey Lady.

    Stay here to keep current.
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