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  1. August 2013 visa bulletin

    by , 07-10-2013 at 06:52 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just released the August 2013 Visa Bulletin.
    There has been a dramatic jump for India EB2. MU Law expected that an India EB2 progression would happen,
    although it took a lot longer than we expected. Suffice it to say, had it happened earlier in the year, today's jump would not have been as dramatic. Nevertheless, the India EB2 jump is welcome news.

    Unfortunately, no other category moved more than a few weeks and most employment-based categories did not move at all.

    August 2013 Visa Bulletin
    All Other Countries China India Philippines
    EB-2 Current 08AUG08 01JAN08 Current
    EB-3 01JAN09 01JAN09 22JAN03 22OCT06




    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.
  2. Edward Snowden and the Realpolitik of Asylum

    As of this writing, it appears that Edward Snowden, the NSA
    "whistleblower," is holed up in the Moscow airport looking for a country
    to take him in. He already has offers of asylum from Bolivia, Venezuela, and (mi país) Nicaragua. I've previously written*that
    Mr. Snowden likely does not qualify for asylum under international law,
    so why would these countries offer him refuge? The answer is what I
    would call the "realpolitik" of asylum law.

    Realpolitik has been defined as "politics or diplomacy based primarily on power... rather than ideological notions or moralistic or ethical premises." *


    Remember when living in an airport used to be cute?



    As applied to asylum law, realpolitik means that the receiving
    country is not concerned about whether the applicant meets the
    international law definition of refugee. Rather, the receiving country
    has some ulterior motive for granting asylum; it hopes to benefit itself
    or harm a rival by granting refuge.

    In Mr. Snowden's case, it's not hard to imagine why certain
    countries-Russia, China, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua-have been
    willing to facilitate his journey. Russia and China, for example, have
    poor human rights records, authoritarian governments, and restrictions
    on press freedom (Freedom House rates both countries "not free"). China in particular is known for censoring the internet and cyber piracy. Venezuela has a less than stellar record when it comes to press freedom and free speech, and it apparently*spies on its own citizens.
    Maybe by assisting Mr. Snowden, these countries hope to improve their
    own image while bringing the U.S. down a notch or two. Bolivia and
    Nicaragua perhaps see helping Mr. Snowden as "pay back" for years on the
    receiving end of American foreign policy (I'm thinking of the Contras in Nicaragua and-more recently-the diversion of the Bolivian president's plane in an effort to capture Mr. Snowden).

    In addition, all these countries might want to show the world that
    they are not afraid to stand up to the U.S. They might gain prestige (at
    least in their own minds) if they are seen confronting the big kid on
    the block.

    Another reason that the different countries might offer asylum to Mr.
    Snowden is that they want to encourage people who damage the U.S.
    government's foreign policy. Particularly when foreign relations are
    viewed as a zero sum game, it makes sense to diminish your rival in
    order to help yourself. I can see how this rationale might apply to
    China and the Latin American countries, but I am not sure it works with
    Russia. Both the U.S. and Russia have been harmed by extremist Islamic
    terrorists, and you'd think that there would be a mutual interest in
    fighting this threat (the two countries worked together after the Boston
    Marathon bombing, for example). It would seem to me that Russia's
    protection of Mr. Snowden (and the implied endorsement of his actions)
    would be counter to that country's interest in cooperating with us to
    stop terrorism.

    Finally, I suppose it's possible that the countries aiding Mr.
    Snowden are helping because they truly believe he did the right thing
    and they want to support him. Call me cynical, but this I doubt. The
    idea that Russia or China believe in the principle of government
    transparency is laughable. Even the Latin American countries, with their
    Left leaning governments that might support government transparency,
    seem more interested in antagonizing the U.S. and asserting their
    independence than in standing up for the principles that Mr. Snowden
    represents.

    As a lawyer interested in humanitarian international law, I fear that
    when the asylum law is misused for realpolitik purposes, the system is
    weakened and made less legitimate. Asylum cases always implicate
    international relations; Mr. Snowden's case more than most. But the hope
    is that such considerations can be minimized in order to provide
    protection to people*fleeing persecution, regardless of the political
    consequences of granting (or denying) asylum.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

    Updated 07-16-2013 at 10:38 AM by JDzubow

  3. Bloggings: More Bad News For CIR Prospects in the House of Representatives by Roger Algase

    It is no fun being pessimistic about the chances for CIR passage this year. The hopes of so many people, the 2012 election results, the urgency of doing something realistic about the 11 million unauthorized immigrants, the reality of demographic change, the needs of our economy for both high skilled and low skilled labor, and America's traditional ideal as a land of opportunity and racial equality, all make the case for reform overwhelming.
    Even from an immigration restrictionist perspective, the approved Senate CIR bill, S.744, with its $46 billion price tag for more fences, drones and other high tech equipment along the Mexican border, not to mention additional 20,000 border patrol agents, will inevitably make a significant reduction in unauthorized immigration.
    S.744 would also reduce family (i.e Latino) immigration, eliminate the Africa-friendly diversity green card lottery, expand e-verify and impose additional requirements on H-1B dependent companies - all long held restrictionist goals.
    When the obvious need for reform is put together with the broad support across the entire political spectrum, from liberal Latino and other pro-immigrant organizations at one end, to right wing Christian evangelicals, the Koch brothers and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News at the other; it would seem simply inconceivable that CIR could fail once again, as it did in 2007.
    But the above would assume that America is a truly democratic society with a political system that reflects the will of the overwhelming majority of its people. It also assumes that opposition to CIR is rational. The reality is otherwise on both counts
    Last year, a million more Americans voted for Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives than voted for Republican ones, but that chamber is nevertheless controlled by an extremist Republican majority, most of whom are from safely (white) gerrymandered districts and only worried about primary challenges from even more extreme Tea Party candidates.
    These House Republicans, clearly, have no use for brown-skinned immigrants, authorized or otherwise, especially if they are less educated or less well off. See, Kevin R. Johnson: The Intersection of Race and Class in U.S. Immigration Law and Enforcement (2009).
    scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1543&content=lcp
     The reality, therefore, is that CIR is in very deep trouble in the House.
    See Politico: Immigration reform heads for slow death, July 9.
    dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=DAD9A9D3-E121-4FE5-AEEA-C351C475EE94
    Politico states:
    Top Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill see the momentum swinging decidedly against getting a [CIR] deal this Congress. Rubio persuaded only 13 fellow Republicans to back the bill; the editors of the National Review and Weekly Standard offered a rare, joint editorial in opposition to it this week; and private GOP headcounts show only a small fraction of House Republicans would ever vote for anything approximating the Senate deal...
    With even the most modest measures facing an uphill fight, getting to a pathway to citizenship - which Democrats will demand be part of any eventual deal - looks like a pipe dream."
    Meanwhile, the president looks on helpessly from the sidelines. Politico: Obama's immigration strategy in limbo (July 9).
    dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=8F0DD27C-EF99-4273-B8E8-A81AA8CDA937
    This is no time for complacency or wishful thinking by immigration reform supporters.

  4. Great News for Spouses/Children of Green Card Holders

    The August 2013 Visa Bulletin contains great news for both spouses and children of permanent residents. As of August 1, the family-based 2A category will be current for all countries.

    If you have a green card, and your spouse (and/or children) are lawfully present in the U.S., they should get ready to file their I-485 packets in August. Even if the category retrogresses later on, they will be able to remain in the U.S. together with you. In 90 days, they will receive their work and travel permits. Your spouse will be able to get a drivers license. Your kids will be able to enroll in school.

    If the I-130 petition is pending, they can file their I-485s. If you have not filed anything for them, get ready to file I-130s and I-485s in August.

    If you were waiting to naturalize before you sponsored them for green cards, or before you got married, wait no longer. Sponsor them in August, or marry your boyfriend or girlfriend in July, and get the paperwork ready to file in August.

    And given the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down section 3 of DOMA, remember that the above advice applies to same-sex couples as well.

    If your spouse is abroad or entered the U.S. unlawfully, things are a bit more complex. The time to see your immigration lawyer is now!


    Below are the dates for the family-based categories in the August 2013 Visa Bulletin:


    FAMILY CATEGORIES


    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
    1st 9-1-06 9-1-06 9-1-93 1-1-01
    2A Current Current Current Current
    2B 12-1-05 12-1-05 2-1-94 12-22-02
    3rd 12-8-02 12-8-02 5-1-93 12-1-92
    4th 6-22-01 6-22-01 9-22-96 1-8-90



    The big news in employment-based numbers is that India EB-2 advances from 2004 to 2008. If this affects you, be sure to file your I-485s in August.


    EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES


    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 8-8-08 1-1-08 Current Current
    3rd 1-1-09 1-1-09 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    Unskilled 1-1-09 3-22-04 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

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  5. If You're a Lawyer and Like this Blog...

    by , 07-09-2013 at 12:22 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    ... perhaps you would consider suggesting the ABA Journal add this to their annual Blawg 100 list. You can nominate me by clicking here.
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